Stuff to do in Evanston!?

Submitted by PKnoll_17 on October 2nd, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Heading to the game this weekend. As it will be my first time to Northwestern for a game, anyone who's been before have any reccomendations? Obviously there's Chicago, but any "must visit" places or restaurants around campus. Also, how are the fans? I couldn't see them being out of control heckling you all the time but you never know. Thanks in advance, GO BLUE!!



October 2nd, 2011 at 2:50 PM ^

Yea I forgot about the Italian beef. Definitely not a bad choice, but I never get it. I've never had the sausage, and the chocolate cake shake is very good, but I can't drink something that thick with a meal.

OP: do either of these and you'll be fine. Portillo's is a great place. Everyone I know who went out of state for college ends up missing it more than probably anywhere else.


October 2nd, 2011 at 2:42 PM ^

Driving to, and parking in, Evanston for a game is a nightmare.  I live a bit north of Evanston and end up taking the Metra and walking whenever we play the Wildcats. 


October 2nd, 2011 at 2:49 PM ^

If you want to go to a really good steak house in Evanston, go to Pete Millers Steak House.

I have been on NW's campus a couple of times.  It is definitely not like Michigan or the other larger B1G schools where the energy level on game day is off the charts.  Much smaller and more subdued. 

Wolverine Devotee

October 2nd, 2011 at 2:56 PM ^

I wish I could go to a road game this year. We're possibly going and taking our tailgate to the game at minnesota next year. It'll be cool to see that new stadium they have and Michigan to get keep the Little Brown Jug.


October 2nd, 2011 at 3:09 PM ^

Where is the best place to park and/or tailgate?  Going to Evanston for the game for the first time next Saturday.  Also, how early should I be there to get a good spot?

Chi Go Blue

October 2nd, 2011 at 3:17 PM ^

If you're looking for good places to eat in Evanston Buffalo Joe's has incredible wings. Not quite the variety of BWW in terms of sauces, but the wings are like 2x the size and the hot sauce is phenomenal. Get a double order with a side of cheddar chips (waffle fries) and you won't be able to walk out of the restaurant you'll be so full.


October 2nd, 2011 at 3:35 PM ^

You have to eat at one of those places. The best pizza that I've ever had. Uno's and Gino's East get by on name, but they're not very good. Lou Malnati's is the best, followed by Giordano's.

el segundo

October 2nd, 2011 at 5:56 PM ^

If that's where you're staying, it's way too far to walk.  But the bus service to downtown Evanston is good.  Take a bus to the Davis Street station, ask for a transfer, and then take the El at Davis Street to Central.  The Central Ave. station is about two blocks from the stadium.


October 2nd, 2011 at 7:11 PM ^

Zilch.  Even locals find it hard to park every day (two-hour max metered parking), and Central Street traffic even on 'normal' days is getting quite bad: locals (like me) avoid it.  I have enjoyed your posts over the years, and especially your appreciation for 'minor' sports.  if there is a way for you to private message me, I can try to help you out with parking.


October 2nd, 2011 at 4:21 PM ^

in Evanston can be found at Prairie Moon, 1502 Sherman Rd.  Great pub food, too.  Northwestern fans are generally polite.  I'm in grad school at NU and when my undergrad students find out I'm a UM fan they respond with an ironic groan and then forget about it.  They're excited about Persa returning and the team's prospects this year, but there's little ill will to be found towards other fanbases. 


October 2nd, 2011 at 4:40 PM ^

Best burger in Evanston, and maybe Chicago, is at Edzo's on Sherman. Not walking distance from the stadium, but it is in downtown Evanston. You can ride the "L" between Ryan stadium and downtown Evanston easily. It gets crowded, so prepare to wait in line, especially on a Saturday. They have the most amazing garlic fries and Italian beef fries - all the stuff on Italian beef, with fries instead of the beef. This is SERIOUSLY the best burger and fries I've had in a long time. And they have amazing shakes, too. 

Whoever said Joy Yee is good is right - the place is usually packed with Asians, which is always a good sign. Good bubble teas, too. Bat 17 on Benson has good sandwiches and a nice selection of beer. I think some Zingerman's guys consulted on the menu. 

If you're in Chicago, Hot Doug's is a great place for hot dogs and sausages. Prepare for a big wait, though. Friday and Saturday they have duck fat fries. 



October 2nd, 2011 at 4:49 PM ^

I was just going to login to tell the OP to go to Edzo's. Word of warning, they have Hot Doug's style hours, I think it's only open until 4:30 on any given day. Get the truffle fries and the nutella shake. If you don't like either, go to North Shore hospital and have your tongue replaced.



October 2nd, 2011 at 9:51 PM ^

Edzo's is the best burger joint in the area and possibly one of the best eateries in Evanston.  I'm kind of surprised at the mediocre recommendations elsewhere in this thread - there is no "good" pizza in Evanston which has been a long-standing point of surprise to me (a college town without a single good pizzeria?) as well as a serious crimp in my standard of living for the eleven years I've lived here.  The Home Made stuff is good, but as the name implies, you have to take it home to cook it.

Edzo's though, is always worth whatever line there is when it's open.  The spicy mexican chocolate shake is awesome, too, and their corn dogs are also amazing (I stole my kids').

Walker Bros is also a strong recommendation - usually a line on the weekend, but it moves pretty fast.  And the apple pancakes, potato pancakes and bacon are all top-notch.

Also: street park in a neighborhood somewhere around Main or Dempster street and take the el.  If the lines are too long after the game, it's not a horrible walk.



October 2nd, 2011 at 4:53 PM ^

Lakeshore drive and found parking in a neighborhood between the stadium and lake.  Access in and out was much easier than the usual way off the freeways.


Find a good map and take the back surface streets in and out.


NW has several lots on campus but I found them full a couple hours before the game.  Lots of M fans head to these games to tailgateing fills up fast and with the game at night it should be a pretty early arriving crowd.


Metra is great for getting to the game, a nightmare leaving as the line is long.


October 2nd, 2011 at 5:54 PM ^

Definitely check out the Bahai Temple at the northern border with Wilmette.  Here are some places in or on the border of Evanston highly rated and frequented by locals:

Seafood: Davis Street Fish Market
Pizza (by far the best) (take out): Piero's
Steaks/prime rib (Pete Miller's is OK; EJ's is much better): EJ's
Chinese: Pineyards
Irish pub (atmosphere, including dart boards, pool, beers, etc., rather than food; near Prairie Moon, already recommended): Tommy Nevins
Breakfast (Charlie Trotter has taken his staff here) (minimal seating): Sarkis; also (much larger but still can be long lines) Walker Bros. Original Pancake House
There is a popular shack hot dog place on the southwest side of the west parking lot at the stadium.


October 2nd, 2011 at 6:24 PM ^

As far as I know, there is no good place to tailgate unless you arrive early enough (how early is early enough I have no idea) to park in the parking lots at the stadium.  (I'd offer my house, but my wife would not appreciate that.)  As for parking, apart from the stadium parking lots, again the options are quite limited.  It might well be best to park in one of the public parking structures in downtown Evanston or Chicago (but VERY expensive in downtown Chicago) and take the El or Metra up to Central Street in Evanston (El stop is a few blocks east, Metra is a few blocks west; there are interesting restaurants and shops west on Central Street).  There is limited parking (for a reasonable price) in the elementary and middle school parking lots on Green Bay Road just south of Central Street.  Otherwise, you can head west or east into the residential neighborhoods (not mine, please!) until you find a parking spot.

Denard Robinso…

October 2nd, 2011 at 8:38 PM ^

I grew up in the area and I'm going to be heading back there with a bunch of other undergrads to show them around. Places I plan on taking them:

Buff Joes. Right in downtown Evanston and easily the best chicken wing I've ever had. Even their mild flavor is delicious and nobody's mild flavor is good. Cheese fries strongly recommended.

Walker Bros Pancake House. Most people go for the apple pancake, but I think the German pancake is better. Their bacon might be better than sex. Sarkis got mentioned here and it's pretty good, but it's a complete shithole and you'll be surrounded by hungover high school kids. Fun fact, you can order a "special water" there, which is just a cup of cheap ass vodka. Do not do this.

Portillo's. Can't go wrong, but I do the chili dog and chocolate cake shake.

Chuck wagon. It's over in Wilmette and it's about the size of a hallway, but they put gyros on top of your cheeseburger and that's just outstandingly excessive.

Chinatown. Chicago's got a great chinatown, I'd stay in the newer part because it has better restaurants.

Piero's. I also love Gino's East. I think Lou Malnati's is pretty terrible (sauce is too sweet and the crust leaves a funky taste in my mouth), but some people swear by it.



October 2nd, 2011 at 9:47 PM ^

I was just checking out the NW Athletic Department website and they open campus lots off of Sheridan 4 hours before game time.  They are free and they offer free shuttles to Ryan Field.  Does anyone know how far these campus lots are from the bars in Evanston?  

dr eng1ish

October 2nd, 2011 at 10:14 PM ^

Sarki's has the best greasy, terrible for you breakfast food this side of Fleetwood. Get the disaster or a loretta and has browns. Dang I want some right now.


October 2nd, 2011 at 10:30 PM ^

If you want to stop in little Italy, ( near UIC) great eats are al's beef and or fantno's for subs it's the best. Remember Evanston was a dry town so not many pubs but Tommy nevins is good for food and beer, tailgate near the golf course or up in wilmette. The last great NW, and UM game I was at the was the Jason avant one hand catch game.


October 2nd, 2011 at 11:55 PM ^

If the weather's nice, take a walk around the back of the campus along the lake. You can see the Chicago skyline, and you'll walk by the new soccer and LaCrosse fields. There's a pond where you can feed giant carp or just watch other people feed them. They're pretty disgusting. There's a bikepath along Sheridan Rd (which cuts through campus) - just follow it along the lake going north. 


October 3rd, 2011 at 12:24 AM ^

The traffic can be awful on gameday.  We thought we left early enough last time I went to a game there and I was wrong.  I still remember running for about a mile and making it there in the middle of the first quarter.  I would highly recommend getting there early and then taking in the town.