Contrary to popular opinion, Evanston has a lot to offer even to those who aren't pursuing higher education at the moment. Venture a bit south of Northwestern's campus and you'll find a whole lot to like - and, yes, some prowling Wildcats, too.Purple Line.
Best of the nightlife
Tommy Nevin's Pub
When the going gets tough, the Irish drown their sorrows in pints of Guinness and bury their faces in baskets of fish and chips (or so the story goes). At this neighborhood bar, beer drinkers of all nationalities (and college majors) follow that lead, relaxing with a cold one and some better-than-pub-grub eats. Watch out - the darts games can get pretty serious here.
Good for groups
You gotta love that Ethiopian restaurants revitalize an age-old dining concept: sitting and sharing. At Addis Abeba, which moved to Evanston after 15 years at the corner of Clark and Addison, eating is a celebration among friends and family. Food is presented on a large communal platter (called the mesob), dishes are shared, meals are savored, and forks and knives are forbidden.
Wiener and Still Champion
Be warned: You'll come here with the intention of spending a few bucks on a hot dog and fries (you can get your dog steamed, grilled or deep-fried), but you'll end up splurging on some of the menu's deep-fried goodies, including gyros, pickle chips and chili. Yup, you read that right: deep-fried chili. Still, your wallet won't take much of a beating, unless you decide to tackle the ridiculous Triple Undisputed (aka the 911): nine burger patties and nine slices of cheese on a bun for $22.50.
Where to chill
You could easily spend a few hours at this music venue, provided the right act is performing - and the all-ages club books bands of all types. Drop a few extra bucks to reserve a table, order up a pie from Union Pizzeria (housed under the same roof) and get to groovin'. They may have to kick you out.
Blind Faith Cafe
We won't call the Midwest's oldest and largest vegetarian place a hidden gem, but you might be surprised by it nonetheless. The restaurant, opened in 1979, gets creative with its meatless menu, offering everything from corn-and-potato enchiladas to seitan marsala to vegan chocolate mousse. Try the organic wines and beers, too.
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