Indie Eats! An insider’s guide to the best in local, independent dining.
Where to go and what to eat in Lake County is the question everyone wants answered. With so many towns and so many establishments, there are many choices. To make your dining decisions just a little bit easier, Little Lake County has compiled a ‘sampler platter’ of independently owned, family-friendly restaurants in select Lake County towns as suggestions for your own family dining experience. We might even toss in a suggestion for a date night, too. And feel free to recommend additions to our lists–we love reader suggestions.
This week we’re heading to Grayslake!
Grayslake is one of my favorite local towns. Located right in the heart of Lake County, it’s where I chose to start my own business and so I am often looking for places to grab a quick meal for myself, take my children or have a date night. Grayslake has great offerings for all.
With two locations to serve all of Grayslake, Somethings Brewing has become my local favorite. Its menu is diverse with a wide array of sandwiches, soups, salads, hearty breakfast items and sweets, oh, the sweets. My son loves the hand-decorated sugar cookies, and I devour the artisan muffins. Something’s Brewing’s coffee is phenomenal, with several options and ground in the store (they will also grind some for you to take home.) They are open all day long for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Everything is made to order and they have several gluten-free and vegetarian options. And a biggie for me, a changing table in the bathroom.
55 N. Barron Boulevard, Grayslake, 847-548-0206 Facebook
At Congri, I enjoy the homestyle Cuban cuisine with heart. With a great menu featuring sandwiches to full dinners and desserts, its great for lunch or dinner crowds. I took my 3-year-old son and he tried foods he has never even heard of before, saying all of it was delicious. We had plantains, rice, and Cuban shredded beef with a guava and cheese pastry for dessert. Additionally, this is the first restaurant I have ever been to where they had special toddler utensils and plates for him to use that looked like what we had at home. The music was fun, upbeat and traditional. And the owner could not have been nicer or more accommodating. See our Congri Restaurant Review and our Passport to Flavor: Cuba piece on kid-friendly Cuban dining.
Formerly Bulldogs of Grayslake, this local burger joint has an extensive menu and new specials every day. Unique burger toppings such as fried egg, pineapple, fried onion rings or a fried banana (and many more). Traditional burger choices are also available. Much of the menu is the same from Bulldogs. Anyone of their burgers can be replaced with a veggie burger, turkey burger or chicken breast (although it currently does not say so on the menu). They also offer salads, wraps french fries (including Parmesan fries or buffalo fries) and shakes. Half price happy hour is 3:00-5:00 p.m. Parents, take note: no changing tables in the bathroom.
101 Center Street, Grayslake
Perfect for your girls’ night out or a date or special occasion, The Vine has a modern and upbeat atmosphere. Known for its wine and martini list, the restaurant also features a unique selection of appetizers to share and delicious main courses. When the weather cooperates, there is outside patio seating and often offers live music playing during weekends. Most recently on a girls’ night out, I sampled the crab cakes and they were phenomenal; the rest of my group was also extremely satisfied. The Vine was featured among our Fan Favorites for Most Romantic Dining Spots in Lake County.
Sake Zake Note- this location is now closed
1227 N. IL Route 83, Grayslake, 847-223-5052, Facebook I love good sushi. And I have been to this place for both a sit down dinner with family and for take out. As a big fan of rolls, the selection is great and they feature specialty rolls every day. Sake Zake also has lots of cooked fish and vegetarian options for both rolls and main courses such as udon noodles, t’s often found on Groupon if you are looking for a good deal on a new spot and a delicious meal. Sake Zake was featured among our Fan Favorites for Sushi in Lake County.
While technically Third Lake, this is my favorite pizza place in the area. I started going there several years ago out of necessity when teaching music lessons at the guitar shop that used to be in the same strip mall. You can grab a two-slice meal with a drink for less than$5 or take an entire thick or thin crust home (Need delivery? You’re in luck! Wayne’s Pizza delivers to Grayslake and parts of Gurnee).
Did we miss your favorite? … Tell us in the comments.