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Best Gourmet/Specialty Food Markets on the North Shore

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Still putting your holiday menus together? Whether you need full on inspiration, assistance with some finishing touches or just want to stock your fridge, the North Shore has some great specialty food spots that just might make your holiday a whole lot merrier!

Poeta’s Italian Food Market
520 Green Bay Road, Highwood, 847-432-3037

A true neighborhood gem. They are known for their fine meats, Italian specialties, homemade pastas, fresh bread and their famous Homemade Italian Sausage and Beef. Their deboned marinated chicken also gets big raves and if you are running short on time, they have a great selection of prepared frozen meals and pizza dough that are mother-in-law full proof.

Zier’s Prime Meat & Poultry
813 Ridge Road, Wilmette, 847-251-4000

Zier’s Prime Meats is an “old-fashioned family butcher shop in a modern time” specializing in the finest Midwestern raised prime beef, fresh poultry, naturally raised pork, veal, and lamb. They have their own smokehouse onsite and offer many varieties of homemade smoked sausages and meats; even smoked salmon. They also offer an extensive line of wild game and American Wagyu KOBE beef; as well as unusual and hard to find gourmet sauces, soups, and spices.

Artisanal
414 Linden Ave., Wilmette, 847-512-3155

Artisanal is another modern-day version of a family-owned neighborhood grocery, offering a wide array of locally sourced, organic and specialty foods. From high quality meats and charcuterie, to fresh cheese, dairy and produce to a tempting selection of grocery items including jams, condiments and cereals; they’ve got it all. And, we didn’t even mention their in-house sushi chef and “The Happy Room” (fun and exciting libations)!

Harrison’s Poultry Farm
1201 Waukegan Rd., Glenview, 847-724-0139

This poultry farm has been proudly serving the finest all-natural poultry to the people and restaurants of Chicago’s North Shore since 1893. In addition to a full range of fresh poultry (chicken, turkey, duck, goose, quail, hen, chicken sausage etc.), the store is filled with great products from local honey and all natural eggs, to an excellent selection of sauces and spices as well as pre-made poultry dishes and sides.

Reagan Meats
1855 Waukegan Rd., Glenview, 847-724-0243

Reagan Meats serves up some of the finest prime and organic meats and produce on the North Shore of Chicago. They process all of their own beef, pork, lamb, veal, and chicken and welcome special requests. They’ll even special order sausages made according to your own family recipes. In addition, they sell a variety of marinades and homemade frozen entrees for when you are in a pinch!

Corner Cooks
507 Chestnut St., Winnetka, 847-441-0134

While there may be some changes going on at the restaurant, Corner Cooks is still providing a wonderful Holiday-to-Go menu that can fulfill all of your holiday needs. Featuring a wide variety of appetizers, soup, salads, entrees, sides and of course, dessert, there is something for everyone on the menu. Please note: orders must be placed by Dec. 19 and picked up on Dec. 24 from 11-1:30.

Foodstuffs
2106 Central Street, Evanston, 847-328-7704
338 Park Avenue, Glencoe, 847-835-5101
1456 Waukegan Road, Glenview, 847-832-9999
225 E. Westminster Avenue, Lake Forest, 847-234-6600

With four locations throughout the North Shore, Foodstuffs has been providing quality gourmet food to Chicagoland shoppers for more than 30 years. Modeled after the European Market concept , they offer a full menu of items including homemade appetizers, soups, entrees, salads, sauces, breads and pastries as well as pates and cheeses, fresh seafood, quality meats, build your own salads and sandwiches and unique shelf products. Visit their website for special holiday menus and ordering deadlines.

If we omitted one of your favorites, or there is a certain topic you would like to see covered, please leave us a comment! Additionally, we are happy to point out any of these locations as part of our Tour of the Shore, a must do for anyone considering a move to the North Shore. It’s a stress free way to familiarize yourself with the communities, schools, house values and amenities in the area. Call us at 847.881.6657 to find out more.

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Best Colorists on the North Shore

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We know. Your social calendar is on overload right now, and you want to look and feel your best. Perhaps a little color is in order to freshen up your look. No need to trek all the way downtown, the North Shore has plenty of skilled colorists who are at the top of their game and will make you look like you’re at the top of yours.

J•stranD Salon
258 Green Bay Road, Highwood, 847-432-4111

J∙stranD for Hair, Body, and Soul is a beautiful and comfortable salon that offers a plethora of services in a professional but warm and welcoming environment. Each team member is dedicated to a particular service, so you have colorists that are dedicated to color and color only. And while you are in capable hands with any of the colorists here, you’ll hear many on the North Shore singing the praises of Vesna .

Paul Rehder Salon
952 Green Bay Road, Winnetka, 847-501-4000

The opening of this new salon was eagerly anticipated by many on the North Shore. Although many love its sleek and urban feel (sister location downtown), it’s the devout following of Marissa and Priscilla, and their mastery of color, that has had people flocking to this new outpost.

Red 7 Salon
816 Dempster St., Evanston, 847-866-7337

This award-winning, fun and eclectic salon often describes itself as the “Cheers!” of the salon world, but with an upscale twist! And whether or not everybody will know your name, the names you want to know for color here are Adrian and Maggie.

Salon Volé
1783 St. Johns Ave., Highland Park, 847-432-2640

Salon Volé is a chic and sophisticated salon but with a friendly and laid back vibe. The entire staff is top notch and very attentive to their clients. For color: Anthony (owner), Danny, Maria come highly recommended, but you really can’t go wrong with any member of the team.

Taylor Reese
572 Roger Williams Ave., Highland Park, 847-432-8800

Taylor Reese is one of the big name hair salons on the North Shore and is recognized as one of the top salons in America by Elle magazine. Although people rave about all of the stylists here, Bridgette and Julia are the leaders of the pack when it comes to color.

The Salon LTD
588 N. Western Ave, Lake Forest, 847-295-6565

If you are looking for a fun, modern salon with a small town feel, then this is the place for you and Sonja is the colorist for you. Having been called a “magical wizard with color”, you’ll be in good hands with Sonja.

If we omitted one of your favorites, or there is a certain topic you would like to see covered, please leave us a comment! Additionally, we are happy to point out any of these locations as part of our Tour of the Shore, a must do for anyone considering a move to the North Shore. It’s a stress free way to familiarize yourself with the communities, schools, house values and amenities in the area. Call us at 847.881.6657 to find out more.

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Best Family-Friendly Restaurants on the North Shore

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Tired of cooking? Tired of leftovers? But still have family in town? Then it’s time to take the show on the road. Dining out with kids has its unique set of challenges, so we offer you this list where the kids will be welcomed but your taste buds will not have to suffer.

The Happ Inn
305 Happ Road, Northfield, 847-784-9200

The Happ Inn has become a neighborhood staple known for its inviting and dynamic atmosphere, fresh quality food, specialty craft beers and diverse wine list. This award winning restaurant is the perfect place to meet friends and family for a casual dinner or to grab a cold beer and quick bite while watching the game on a flat screen TV in the bar.

The Silo
625 Rockland Road, Lake Bluff, 847-234-6660
The Silo has been a landmark on the North Shore for over 43 years, serving famous pan pizza. In addition, award winning chili, appetizers, salads, sandwiches, hamburgers, dinner entrees, and a full service bar compliment the menu. Gluten free options now available plus they have a magician on Sunday evenings from 5 – 8 pm.

Market House on the Square
655 Forest Ave., Lake Forest, 847-234-8800
If you are looking for something a little more upscale but still kid friendly, then this is your place. The menu offers classic American cooking rooted in tradition yet taking full advantage of current techniques. Everything is from scratch including fresh bread baked daily, flatbreads, dressings, sauces, pastas, cheeses sausages and more. Separate kid menu available as well.
Nu offers crafted food featuring the rich tradition of American Cooking we all grew up loving.

Buffos
431 Sheridan Road, Highwood, 847-432-0301

Thin crust and double-decker pizza are specialties of the house. But the choices don’t end with pizza; a complete menu of charbroiled burgers, Italian beef and sausage, soups, chili, salads and pastas with homemade sauces from traditional Highwood recipes are among Buffo’s varied selection. A great place to catch a game, play some classic arcade games and some nights they host car shows!

Valley Lodge Tavern
2132 Waukegan Rd, Glenview, 847-724-7440
1141 Central Ave., Wilmette, 847-920-5675

With its homelike atmosphere, the Valley Lodge is another iconic restaurant on the North Shore. Started in 1969 in Glenview, the Stavrou family has been serving up mouthwatering burgers, as well as sandwiches, salads and entrees along with great service to keep customers coming back for years to come. A newer outpost of this North Shore staple is now open in  Wilmette.

Old Neighborhood Grill
2902 Central St., Evanston, 847-492-9500

Old Neighborhood Grill offers a comfortable, family-friendly atmosphere. The menu features all of your old favorites – burgers, hotdogs, Italian beef and sausages, chicken, fish and rib eye steak sandwiches. They also have a number of Greek specialties, including gyros and shish-ka-bobs made from their own family recipes.

Real Urban BBQ
610 Central Ave., Highland Park, 224-770-4227

The owners are committed to bringing the best “Real Urban Barbecue,” to their customers, and they have stayed true to that commitment. Their menu, served cafeteria style, features all of the classics: brisket, ribs, pork, chicken, turkey, and sausage as well as a nice variety of sides and a varied selection of sauces to suit anyone’s taste. For none beef eaters, there is also a selection of salads as well as fish tacos.

If we omitted one of your favorites, or there is a certain topic you would like to see covered, please leave us a comment! Additionally, we are happy to point out any of these locations as part of our Tour of the Shore, a must do for anyone considering a move to the North Shore. It’s a stress free way to familiarize yourself with the communities, schools, house values and amenities in the area. Call us at 847.881.6657 to find out more.

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Fun Things To Do on the North Shore: Nov. 28 – Nov. 30, 2014

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Catch the holiday spirit along with Santa, Elsa (think Frozen) and live reindeer! Plenty of opportunities for holiday and family fun abound this weekend!

Lake Forest Annual Tree Lighting
Nov. 28: 3 – 7 pm
Market Square, 1 Market square, Lake Forest

31 years and going strong. This annual family tradition includes live ice sculpting, Santa meet and greet, and caroling with the Lake Forest High School Choristers. cityoflakeforest.com.

The Mousetrap
Nov. 28: 8 pm; Nov. 29 2:30 and 8 pm; Nov. 30 7 pm
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie

Agatha Christie’s masterful whodunit weaves an intricate plot filled with nerve-rattling suspense, all leading up to the ultimate final twist! For ticket information, click here.

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Fun Things To Do on the North Shore: Nov. 21 – Nov. 23, 2014

wilmette tree lighting

The holiday season officially kicks off with some area tree lightings, holiday wine tastings and shopping opportunities. In addition, Evanston welcomes a new brewery and Suzanne Vega performs. And if that’s not enough, Barnes and Noble caps off a Discovery Week with two great parent workshops with tips on how to raise multilingual and global citizens! What a great weekend!

Wilmette Holiday Family Celebration
Nov. 20: Tree Lighting at Village Hall @ 7 pm
Nov. 21: Holiday Parade 10:30 am,
Visit with Santa & Sleigh Rides 11:15 – 1 pm
Starts at 4th and Linden and travels to Village Center, Wilmette

Celebrate the holiday season with the annual Tree Lighting and Wilmette Holiday Parade. Thousands of friends and family gather along the parade route to watch bands, classic cars, clowns, performers, school groups, businesses, community and civic organizations and more. For more information: holidayparade.wilmettechamber.org

Sketchbook Brewing Company Grand Opening
Nov.21, 4 pm – 8 pm
Sketchbook Brewing Company, In the alley behind 825 Chicago Avenue, Evanston

One year after Cesar Marron’s Grätzer recipe won the Sam Adams “Longshot” award, he and co-founder Shawn Decker will celebrate the Grand Opening of Sketchbook Brewing Company, offering up to six different times of brew at a time, including a gluten free option. For more information: sketchbookbrewingcompany.com

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Best Pie on the North Shore

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When it comes to pies, we strongly believe you really can’t go wrong! But since it ‘tis pie season, we wanted to recognize some local favorites that truly stand above the rest. And if you are thinking about picking one up for Thanksgiving, place your order ASAP, as some places are already booked up! Now who’s ready for a slice?

Hoosier Mama Pie Company
749 N. Chicago Ave., Evanston, 847-868-8863

This Evanston outpost is a joint endeavor of the Hoosier Mama Pie Co. in Chicago & The Dollop Coffee and Tea Co. The storefront boasts a large sunny rom to enjoy a slice and some coffee while watching the bakers and baristas ply their trade. Everything is made in house. There is always a tempting and varied selection of sweet pies to choose from and they also offer pie flights – 3 half slices of pie from their daily flight menu for under $8! Breakfast pastries, savory pie plates, sandwiches, and salads available too.

Sweety Pies
8042 Lincoln Avenue, Skokie, 847-213-0900

Sweety Pies is a family run business whose founders gave up their day jobs to follow their passion. Since opening in 2007, this bakery, cakery and café has become a Skokie landmark. When it comes to their pies, most of the recipes have been handed down from family and are baked by mama, Arden Kruger. The pie menu always features three staples: Apple Pie Crisp, Chocolate Cashmere and Crocodile Pie (their version of pecan pie with semi-sweet chocolate and a touch of rum in a buttery pastry crust). However, they are happy to accommodate special requests so just give them a call and enjoy!

Bent Fork Bakery
333 Waukegan Avenue, Highwood, 847-926-4438

This adorable, family-run bakery tucked away in Highwood is one of the North Shore’s best kept secrets; although word is spreading and there is a reason why. You really can’t go wrong in this small batch, all butter, everything made from scratch bakery. There is always a fresh selection of fruit and cream pies to choose from. Current holiday offerings include: Perfect Pumpkin Pie, Caramel Apple Crostata, Cranberry Apple Crostata, Southern Pecan Pie and a variety of Fruit Pies (Door County Cherry, Granny Smith Apple, Peach or Mixed Berry). Holiday orders must be placed by Saturday, Nov. 22 at 2 pm.

Foodstuffs
2106 Central Street, Evanston, 847-328-7704
338 Park Avenue, Glencoe, 847-835-5101
1456 Waukegan Road, Glenview, 847-832-9999
225 E. Westminster Avenue, Lake Forest, 847-234-6600

With four locations throughout the North Shore, Foodstuffs has been providing quality gourmet food to Chicagoland shoppers for more than 30 years. Modeled after the European Market concept , they offer a full menu of items including homemade appetizers, soups, entrees, salads, sauces, breads and pastries as well as pates and cheeses, fresh seafood, quality meats, build your own salads and sandwiches and unique shelf products. There is always a rotating selection of fresh baked goods on site, but if you have a particular pie in mind, you will have to place an order. Their current holiday offering includes: Pumpkin Pie, Harvest Lattice Pie, Laura’s Pecan Pie, Mom’s Apple Pie, and Triple Berry Pie. Thanksgiving orders must be placed by Sunday, Nov. 23 at 5 pm.

Deerfields Bakery
201 N. Buffalo Grove Road, Buffalo Grove, 847-520-0068 (café too)
813 N. Waukegan Road, Deerfield, 847-520-0068

Deefields Bakery has been serving the North Shore for more than 40 years and it has truly become an institution. It is owned by the Schmitt family whose tradition of baking actually goes back more than 5 generations. They are known for their wide assortment of cookies and custom cakes but you certainly can’t go wrong with one of their baked or whipped cream pies. With 20+ varieties to choose from, the only problem is choosing which one to order!

Long Grove Confectionary
220 Robert Parker Coffin Road, Long Grove, 847-634-0080

The closing of the Long Grove Apple Haus a few years back left many North Shore residents in a state of dismay. By thankfully, those who still yearn for those famous Uncle Johnny’s Brown Bag Apple pies, can get their fix at the Long Grove Confectionery where the pies are now sold fully baked, but frozen. Just let one of these beauties defrost for 8 hours and then bake for approximately 1.5 hours and you’ll be instantly transformed back to your childhood.

*Brown Bag Apple Pies from Elegant Farmer in Mukwango, WI can also be found at area Sunset locations. Please check with your local store for details.

If we omitted one of your favorites, or there is a certain topic you would like to see covered, please leave us a comment! Additionally, we are happy to point out any of these locations as part of our Tour of the Shore, a must do for anyone considering a move to the North Shore. It’s a stress free way to familiarize yourself with the communities, schools, house values and amenities in the area. Call us at 847.881.6657 to find out more.

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Fun Things To Do on the North Shore – Nov. 14 – Nov.16, 2014

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Prepare to be entertained this weekend with a wide range of performance offerings, including a crowd pleasing mentalist, a beloved family classic and acclaimed classical music. And for those looking for a little indulgence for the home and self, check out the Vintage and Design Weekend Market.

The Wizard of Oz
Nov. 14, 10 am; Nov. 15, 10 am (playing through Jan. 3)
The Marriott Theatre, 10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire

Relive the classic tale of four unlikely friends on the adventure of a lifetime! Join Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow (and little Toto too) as they journey down the yellow brick road to the magical Emerald City. The Wizard of Oz will remind you that there really is “no place like home”. A special one-hour presentation for kids (and parents) of all ages! Followed by a Q&A session with the cast. For ticket information, click here.

Best Friends and Mind Mysteries of Bill Gladwell
Nov. 15; 7:30 pm – 10 pm
Mohr Student Commons at Lake Forest College, 555 N. Sheridan Road, Lake Forest

Experience the mind blowing talent of Bill Gladwell, a master manipulator of thoughts, behavior and brain-based improv, during a special appearance as part of the 11th annual Brain Awareness Week at Lake Forest College. Free event.

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Lake Forest Book Store – A True Gem on the North Shore

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Since 1949, this quaint, independent book store has been a town favorite. Despite its small size, it boasts a large selection of books that serves the needs of the town and surrounding communities. Known for its knowledgeable staff and exceptional customer service, the store has perfected the art of recommending books based on customers’ interests. And, should there be a book you’d like that they don’t carry, they are happy to track it down and place a special order for you.

The staff’s passion for books extends beyond the storefront as they are often hosting author and book events at the store and throughout the community. There is also a monthly book club that meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 7 pm at the store. All are welcome to join.

Lake Forest residents have grown up coming to the Lake Forest Book Store. If you haven’t discovered it for yourself, we strongly suggest you do!

Upcoming Events:

Author Luncheon with Renee Rosen at The Grille on Laurel (181 E Laurel Ave., Lake Forest)
Luncheon with Renee Rosen, author of What the Lady Wants: A Novel of Marshall Field and the Gilded Age
Wednesday, Nov. 19 at 11:30 am; Tickets $35
Click here, for more information.

“Opening Yoga to Everyone” with Matthew Sanford, author of Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence
Hosted by Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association (GLASA) and Forever Om Yoga
Nov. 21-23
Three day workshop taking place at Forever OM Yoga and Lake Forest Country Day School both in Lake Forest, includes special keynote speech and reception and book signing.
For more information, visit: http://www.glasa.org/yoga/

Indies first: Small Business Saturday
Local authors will join the book store throughout the day recommending books.
Saturday, Nov. 29; 9:30 am – 5 pm
Register at Lake Forest Book Store at 847-234-4420

Allison Pataki, author of the Traitor’s Wife: The Woman Behind Benedict Arnold and the Plan to Betray America
11 am

Katherine Reay, author of Dear Mr. Knightley and her new book Lizzie & Jane
2pm

Upcoming Book Club Selections
Nov. 18: Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Katherine Abbott
Dec. 16: The All of It by Jeanette Haien

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Fun Things To Do on the North Shore – Oct. 24 – 26, 2014

Make sure you get plenty of rest this week because the weekend is jammed pack with Halloween haunts for kids and adults, plus a whole lot more. We’ve expanded this week’s list to include as many events as you could handle!

Halloween on North ShoreBoo Bash
Oct. 24, 6 pm – 7:30
Northfield Community Center, 401 Wagner, Road, Northfield
This favorite Halloween event returns for the younger set. Children 3-8 will enjoy free carnival games, balloon artists, craft, treat bags and cookie decorating. There will also be a special train ride around Willow Park. For more information, click here.

Halloween Happening
Oct. 24, 6-9 pm
Community Recreation Center, 1200 Wilmette Avenue, Wilmette
Filled with chills and thrills, this family-friendly event features carnival games, magician, fortune teller, moonwalk, arts and crafts, face painting, mad scientist’s lab and pony rides. Don’t miss the Theater of Terror and the Traveling World of Reptiles! Pizza dinner is included, along with a goodie bag and a visit to the Pumpkin Patch. Wristbands will be issued and will be required to participate in all activities. $15 resident/$20 non-resident. Sign up early here.

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Best Burgers on the North Shore

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With so many options to choose from (gourmet, classic, chain etc.), it was quite hard to narrow down the list to just a few. We are sure that this list will spark some debate. However, the good news is that wherever you are on the North Shore, there’s probably a pretty good burger place nearby. And yes, we’ll take fries with that!

Prairie Grass Café’s Top Sirloin Burger
601 Skokie Boulevard, Northbrook, 847-205-4433

An award- winning gourmet burger that is served with mild Amish blue cheese topping, grilled beefsteak tomatoes and grilled onions sans bun! The burger is that good that you do not need one!

Charlie Beinlich’s
290 Skokie Boulevard, Northbrook, 847-291-0420

Two words sum up the Charlie Beinlich’s experience, old school! Known for their simple hamburgers and cheeseburgers, Charlie Beinlich’s is a no frills dive with a limited menu, and limited toppings for your burger (we’re talking cheese, onions and bacon). They keep it simple but fresh and people continue to come back for more. A Chicago classic. Closed Sunday and Monday. Cash only, don’t say we didn’t warn you!

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