North Chicago Suburb Dating (Highland Park Area)
January 20, 2010 11:18 AM   Subscribe

I have an upcoming first date in the Highland Park, IL area. I don't really leave the city to often, and I don't have a car, and I've actually haven't spent too much time in the North Suburbs. Can anybody help me out in suggesting 'things' to do, proper first date stuff, in the Highland Park through the Skokie Area. [Friday Night] - thanks for your help.
posted by anonymous to Food & Drink (7 answers total)
There are a couple of bits of info that would be helpful here:

- Are you over 21? (Lots of stuff opens up if you can get into places that are age-restricted.)

- Will you have access to a car for your date? (i.e., will your date be picking you up, or what?) You'll be more limited if you can only go to stuff that's walkable from the train stations, but it's perfectly doable.

- Do you have a particular budget in mind? In general, Evanston and Skokie will be less expensive than Highland Park or Glencoe, but there are certainly exceptions both ways.

(Emailing a mod this info may get you more useful responses!)

You could certainly do dinner and a movie for not too much dosh in Highland Park without needing a car. I'd do Walker Brothers for dinner, but then, that's comfort food for me :) There are two theaters, Renaissance Place and the Highland Park Theater - the former is a standard first run house and the latter is mostly an art house these days.

I dunno about the movie situation in Evanston, but Dave's and then a Cafe Caffeine was pretty much my high school weekend itinerary. It's also a college town - look into Northwestern for events and the like. I'm sure the weather will be a bit chilly for a walk along the lake, but keep it in mind for the future. :)

I moved out long before I turned 21, so I'll leave the grown-up options to others.
posted by restless_nomad at 11:47 AM on January 20, 2010

I wouldn't recommend trying to do Highland Park or elsewhere in the North Chicago suburbs without a car. Is iGo or ZipCar an option for you?

I had a fantastic meal at Bluegrass in Highland Park last year. I was in the area for a friend's event at the Highland Park Art Center.

If you're limited to CTA-reachable locations, I would stick to Evanston rather than venturing into Skokie and further north. I really like The Celtic Knot Pub. Evanston also has a huge but nice movie theater that shows both mainstream movies and a pretty good amount of indie/foreign/arty stuff.
posted by Meg_Murry at 11:51 AM on January 20, 2010

I live in the next town over from Highland Park and we go out for dinner there all the time. There are a lot of great restaurants. I'm a little confused by your question though .. if you don't have a car, are you taking the train up to Highland Park? Will your date have a car there? If not then you're more or less limited to the restaurants right by the train station (s). There are actually plenty of those depending on which stop you go to.

If you send me a MefiMail with some more details or email a mod to post those details here I will be happy to suggest specific restaurants/price ranges/areas to walk around if it isn't too cold. If you don't want to do that, I'll post a few restaurant suggestions later tonight when I have more time. I'll also check and see if anything fun is going on that night.
posted by Kangaroo at 12:15 PM on January 20, 2010

City Park Grill and Abigail's are both probably suitable restaurants. City Park Grill is about two blocks from the Highland Park Metra station; Abigail's is right across the street from the Ravinia Metra station.
posted by likedoomsday at 12:20 PM on January 20, 2010

Your age and interests would be helpful info here. Although the downtown Highland Park area is cute and has some good restaurants, you're likely better off sticking to Evanston. The concentration of bars, restaurants and nightlife is much higher in Evanston, and proximity to the CTA will also be helpful if you plan to be out later than the Metra runs.

Without more information, it's going to be tricky to give you specific suggestions on what places to check out. My suggestions for an early 20-something who's short on cash would be vastly different from my suggestions for a 40-something looking for a quiet night at a more upscale restaurant. The movie theater in downtown Evanston is within walking distance of many bars and restaurants if you go that route.

Oh, and as restless_nomad mentioned, Dave's Italian Kitchen and Kaffeine are popular, but if you don't want to be surrounded by high schoolers and NU undergrads you might want to skip both.

A few generic Evanston restaurant options:
- Blind Faith if either of you is vegetarian
- Davis St. Fishmarket for seafood
- Chef's Station is quiet and more "grownup"
- The Keg, if you want to drink with college students (and possibly high school students)
- Tommy Nevins for a reliable Irish bar/restaurant
posted by awegz at 1:17 PM on January 20, 2010

If you are thinking about Evanston (which is available by Metra from Highland Park) and you like sushi, Kuni's is one of the best spots in all of Chicagoland.
posted by rtimmel at 3:23 PM on January 20, 2010

Nthing Evanston. B
posted by onepot at 9:48 PM on January 20, 2010

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