Great North Shore Restaurants: Where to Eat in Winnetka and Northfield

Winnetka and Northfield are two shiny jewels in the North Shore’s crown, small towns with big personality. The pristine, tree-lined streets are flanked by graceful homes, the commuter rail whisks residents back and forth to Chicago, and Lake Michigan glistens nearby. Charming shopping and dining areas characterize these two lovely suburbs. Here are some of our favorite Winnetka and Northfield restaurants to grab a bite to go, or to sit down with family and friends. 

Editor’s Note: This post was created as part of the Winnetka/Northfield Chamber Guide, and only includes chamber members.

501 Local
Global

 
 
 
 
 
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The gorgeous walled-in patio of this appealing global-cuisine resto is especially relevant now. Small plates shine here, especially the fried Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms and the refreshing Shrimp Ceviche.

501 Chestnut St., Winnetka, 847-784-1444, 501local.com

Avli Estiatorio
Greek

Avil Estiatorio chicago restaurant, grilled artichoke

Owner Louis Alexakis brings authentic Greek cuisine to the North Shore, along with a terrific—and largely Greek—wine list. From the creamy skordalia  and flaming saganaki to the charred Taverna-Style Lamb Chops, every dish is a winner. Impressive indoor/outdoor patio. 566 Chestnut St., Winnetka, 847-446-9300, avli.us

Fred’s Garage  
American Comfort Food

Fred's Garage Double Griddle Burger
Fred’s Garage Double Griddle Burger

Built in a repurposed and refurbished garage, Fred’s (from the owners of Evanston’s Ten Mile House) is a neighborhood restaurant with food you’ll crave—especially the super crispy fried chicken. Expansive covered patio for rain-or-shine dining.

574 Green Bay Road, Winnetka, 847-496-3733, fredswinnetka.com

George Trois Group  
Contemporary French

George Trois restaurant

Jean Banchet Award-winning Chef Michael Lachowicz has two restaurants here under one roof: Aboyer, a contemporary French-American bistro, and George Trois, a jewel box of a gastronomic experience with an innovative, classical French-inspired tasting menu. Beautiful outdoor seating.

64 Green Bay Road, Winnetka, 847-441-3100, georgetroisgroup.com

Grateful Bites Pizza Shoppe
Pizza

Grateful bites pizza, chicago restaurants

Owners Matt and Sarah Halack began at local farmers markets, but have progressed to brick and mortar, much to our delight, and it’s a wonderful family spot. The Elotes Pizza is quite extraordinary, and that sourdough crust! Yum

899 Green Bay Road, Winnetka, 847-386-9141, gratefulbites.com

Happ Inn
American Comfort Food

Happ Inn restaurant, chicago eats

Long a North Shore favorite for families, business lunches, and single mingles alike, The Happ Inn is the best kind of neighborhood hangout. Fabulous burgers, salads, upscale bar food, and a few Mexican favorites keep people coming back — not to mention the potent signature cocktails!

305 Happ Road, Northfield, 847-784-9200, thehappinn.com

Hometown Coffee & Juice
Coffee Shop (In old Caffe Aroma spot)

Coffee-Shop-Hometown-Coffee-Avo-and-Lox

The newest branch of Glencoe’s runaway hit coffee shop will open in June in the old Café Aroma space. You will crave their inventive, made-to-order smoothies and Hometown Toasts and Bagel Melts, and the coffee drinks are on point.

749 Elm Street, Winnetka, hometowncoffeejuice.com

Little Lan’s
Szechwan and Mandarin Chinese

 
 
 
 
 
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Extensive Chinese menu for dining in or carry out/delivery. Recently, they’ve expanded their offerings to include fresh sushi. You’ve got to give the people what they want!

544 Chestnut St., Winnetka, 847-446-9988, littlelans.com 

Mino’s
Italian

 
 
 
 
 
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Who says you can’t find great Italian food north of Belmont? Mino’s bucks the trend with their authentic pastas (don’t miss the Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe or the Tagliatelle alla Bolognese), crisp wood-fired pizzas, and appealing starters. Among the entrees, the Branzino — topped with loads of citrus and arugula — is a standout.

985 Green Bay Road, Winnetka, 847-386-6053, minositalian.com

Mirani’s at Home
French/Mediterranean

 
 
 
 
 
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Madeleine and Kaveh Mirani have been fixtures on the Winnetka food scene for decades, including their lovely French bistro, Mirani’s. Five years ago, they shifted to a take-out concept, offering French-, Italian-, and Persian-style specialties that evoke the Mediterranean in all its flavorful glory.

567 B Lincoln Ave., Winnetka, 847-446-4646, miranis-at-home.com

Pomeroy French Bistro
French

 
 
 
 
 
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Ballyhoo Hospitality (Sophia Steak, Andros Taverna, Gemini) will open this lovely French bistro this summer in downtown Winnetka. Expect charming sidewalk seating, a zinc bar, and plush red leather banquettes. Two private dining rooms will be perfect for your celebrations. Steak Frites, here we come!

844 Spruce St., Winnetka, ballyhoohospitality.com

Once Upon A Bagel  
Deli

 
 
 
 
 
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Don’t be intimidated by the bounteous deli menu; it’s all tasty. It’s a good idea to know what you want going in or you will spend the better part of the day weighing the options. There’s also surprising depth in the Mexican grill items as well.

1052 Gage St., Winnetka, 847-784-1411, onceuponabagel.com

Spirit Elephant
Vegan

 
 
 
 
 
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This vegan restaurant has few challengers in Winnetka or on the North Shore. The menu is plant-based, largely local and organic, and very creative — especially the inspired desserts. Don’t miss their beautifully balanced cocktails and mocktails.

924 Green Bay Road, Winnetka, 847-348-9000, spiritelephantrestaurant.com

Stacked & Folded  
Sandwiches and Salads

Stacked and Folded restaurant

Known for their globally inspired sandwiches, fusion tacos, and ample seasonal salads, this Winnetka original met with such success in downtown Winnetka that they’ve opened a second outpost in Evanston. And any place that offers hand-cut potato chips, tater tots, AND regular and sweet potato fries is a real find in our book!

551 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka, 847-386-9100, stackedandfolded.com 

Taco Nano
Mexican

Taco Nano (Northfield)

This tiny storefront pumps out terrific tacos and other Mexican classics, each dish an explosion of flavor. We can’t get enough of the Chicken Taquitos and the Crispy Camarones with watercress and creamy serrano salsa! Check out their daily family packages for four.

1743 Orchard Lane, Northfield, 847-386-7159, taconano.com

Three Tarts Bakery  
Bakery/Café

three tarts bakery restaurant

For nearly two decades, this all-butter bakery has consistently delivered on the yummy. It’s your go-to spot for custom cakes, breakfast pastries, breads, cookies, soups and sandwiches. New this year is the Three Tarts Supper Club, offering family meals to go. 

301 South Happ Road, Northfield, 847-446-5444, threetartsbakery.com

Tocco
Italian

 
 
 
 
 
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Napoli-born chef Bruno Abate knows that great ingredients speak for themselves. Classic, simple Italian food, beautifully prepared.

507 Chestnut St., Winnetka, 847-386-6955, tocconorth.com


Content produced by Make It Better Media Group in partnership with the Winnetka-Northfield Chamber of Commerce.


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Julie ChernoffBetter’s dining editor since its inception in 2007, graduated from Yale University with a degree in English — which she speaks fluently — and added a professional chef’s degree from the California Culinary Academy. She has worked for Boz Scaggs, Rick Bayless, and Wolfgang Puck (not all at the same time); and counts Northlight Theatre and Les Dames d’Escoffier International as two of her favorite nonprofits. She currently serves on the national board of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, an advocacy group addressing hunger issues in the U.S. and Israel for the nearly 46 million people — veterans, children, seniors, tribal nations, and more — who go to bed hungry every night.