7 Restaurants Every North Shore College Kid Craves

Every college town has their specialties—restaurants that students favor for brunch, dinner, or that 2 a.m. slice of pizza. As my fellow college freshmen and I finished finals and came home for the summer, however, we couldn’t have been more excited to return to all of our favorite childhood spots. Everyone has their own list, but these seven spots come up again and again:

Buffalo Joe’s

I did not speak to one fellow college freshman this year who wasn’t dreaming about Buff Joe’s. Whatever they put in their specialty buffalo sauce is entirely unique; other wings simply won’t satisfy. And don’t get me started on their waffle fries. 812 Clark St., Evanston, 847-328-5525; 2000 Green Bay Road, Evanston, 847-864-5400; 1841 Howard St., Chicago, 773-764-7300

Photo by Peter Quill
Photo by Peter Quill

Sarkis

My brothers spent every Saturday morning in high school sitting in Sarkis’ homey booths eating Bacon Lorettas with cheesy hash. Dining hall brunches can’t even come close. 2632 Gross Point Road, Evanston, 847-328-9703

Foodstuffs

Foodstuffs has everything we dream of: salads, sandwiches, pre-made food, and (gasp) every dessert you could possibly imagine. In a college town, you aren’t likely to find a treasure like this. Cue the crowds of girls pulling out their phones to Instagram the colorful do-it-yourself chopped salad masterpieces. 338 Park Ave., Glencoe, 847-835-5105; 2106 Central St., Evanston, 847-328-7704; 1456 N. Waukegan Road, Glenview, 847-832-9999

Photo by Emma Noyes
Photo by Emma Noyes

Walker Bros. Pancake House

This is a no brainer. We were all raised on their chocolate chippies and the thick-cut crispy bacon. This is the restaurant that taught us how to stand in line—because it’s worth it. 620 Central Ave., Highland Park, 847-432-0660; 1615 N. Waukegan Road, Glenview, 847-724-0220; 153 Green Bay Road, Wilmette, 847-251-6000

Lou Malnati’s

Everyone you meet asks: “Oh, you’re from Chicago? Do you eat deep-dish pizza, like, all the time?” Yes, we do. And no, other cities’ pizza doesn’t taste the same. Chicago has many pie giants, but my favorite will always be Lou Mal’s. My friends and I love nothing more than digging into their addictive buttery crust. 3223 Lake Ave., Wilmette, 847-256-5780; 1850 Sherman Ave., Evanston, 847-328-5400; 1326 Shermer Road, Northbrook, 847-291-0250

Photo by Emma Noyes
Photo by Emma Noyes

Cheesie’s Pub & Grub

Every night out with my friends in high school ended with someone saying, “Who wants to go to Cheesie’s?” Now that we’re grown-up and independent enough not to have a curfew (kidding, Mom), those late-night cravings are even worse. What better way to satisfy them than with thick-cut Texas toast loaded with three different types of cheese, chicken tenders and BBQ sauce? 622 Davis St., Evanston, 847-868-8686

Photo by Jamie Handelman
Photo by Jamie Handelman

Portillo’s

No one does Chicago-style dogs quite like this North Shore staple. Every time I saw one of my East or West Coast friends putting ketchup on their hot dogs in the dining hall, a little part of my soul died. 9400 Skokie Blvd., Skokie, 847-933-0700; 8832 W. Dempster St., Niles, 847-795-0600


Don’t forget to also visit these restaurants!