A few weeks ago, a friend and I were sitting in the Townee Square Restaurant in Libertyville (a staple downtown since 1986) venting about life, eating some amazing breakfast and it got me to thinking about the restaurant we were sitting in. All of the conversations those walls had heard, all the amazing stories told under that roof, and how food at restaurants like the one we were dining in is simply some of the best. Sure, new restaurants are cool and offer great things but there is nothing like a good old-fashioned diner, greasy spoon or establishment that has stood the test of time. Here are some of yours (and my) favorites as polled on Facebook, but please add your favorites in the comment section if you don’t see it here!
Favorite Lake County Restaurants
The Vegas Cafe
914 Main St., Antioch | (847) 395-6363
A fixture in downtown Antioch for years, this is one of my favorite places in Lake County to get great food, amazing service and a warm and inviting atmosphere. My favorites — bacon waffles for breakfast and their soups are to die for.
The Canteen Restaurant
214 S. Hough St., Barrington | (847) 382-0900
Mr. Sam always treated our kids like his own.
— Jennifer B.
648 Deerfield Rd., Deerfield | (847) 945-2727
I ate there as a child and the same family owns it, I believe.
— Lisa M.
Whistle Stop Cafe
15 E. Grand Ave., Fox Lake | (847) 587-5654
We mentioned Whistle Stop Cafe in our Five Kid-Friendly Stops Along the Milwaukee North Metra Line.
225 Center St., Grayslake | (847) 223-9776
For a fun breakfast experience, head to Fred’s. The little unassuming restaurant tucked in among shops is one of the best places to get breakfast in the area and the atmosphere is a lot of fun as well.
34265 Illinois Route 83, Grayslake | (847) 223-2909
This is a regular spot for many of my friends (myself included); so much so that the ladies know who we are and I love that. Their breakfast is amazing, so really anything you order is bound to be delicious.
30 N. Whitney St., Grayslake | (847) 223-0670
We would head here after church many Sundays and this place never, ever disappoints.
446 Central Ave., Highland Park | (847) 432-7500
A favorite of my father-in-law and ours as well. The breakfast is delicious and the service is very friendly.
Full Moon Family Restaurant
1300 Skokie Highway (Rt. 41), Lake Bluff | (847) 689-0733
This place does free Thanksgiving dinner every year!
— Jennifer J.
Deer Path Inn
255 E. Illinois Rd., Lake Forest | (847) 234-2280
Since 1929, Deer Path Inn has been serving the North Shore with upscale food and lodging. You can read all about their storied history here.
768 Western Ave., Lake Forest | (847) 234-9844
My dad used to go here with his classmates when he was studying to get his masters degree at the local college and college students know where the best food is.
Lake Villa Restaurant
147 Cedar Ave., Lake Villa| (847) 356-8400
This restaurant is my dad and husband’s favorite breakfast in Lake County and I am almost afraid to share it because if they can’t get a seat after this publishes, they will blame me. But seriously, my dad is a trusted source on breakfast places, so if he says to go here, you need to go.
30 E. Main St., Lake Zurich| (847) 438-8110
This place has been a staple in downtown Lake Zurich since before I can even remember.
508 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville | (847) 367-9144
This place looks tiny from outside but is huge with a back room, so plenty of space for your group. The staff is so sweet and the food is even sweeter. They even make their own Greek yogurt that you can carry out!
419 S. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville | (847) 362-9494
Lots of memories with my Papa there.
— Alli C.
532 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville | (847) 362-5995
Lots of memories at this great little joint in downtown Libertyville. Since 1977 they have been serving incredible food, including my favorite hamburger and fries.
The Village Tavern
135 Old McHenry Rd., Long Grove | (847) 634-3117
This place has been around since 1849 and that, my friends, makes it the oldest restaurant in Lake County (possibly Illinois). The bar survived the McCormick Place Fire in Chicago; you can’t find history like that at Red Robin.
89 US Highway 45, Mundelein | (847) 949-1550
For some great seafood, go to the historic Dover Straits in Mundelein where they are celebrating their 39th anniversary!
799 E. US Highway 45, Mundelein | (847) 680-8888
Becky D. recommends this great restaurant in Mundelein. They offer fun weekday specials such as Tiki Teriyaki Tuesday and free rainbow sherbet on your birthday.
5 Points Restaurant
2505 Green Bay Rd., North Chicago| (847) 689-0061
Family owned for over 40 years, 5 Points has an amazing menu full of good old-fashioned diner food.
843 W. Rollins Rd., Round Lake Heights| (847) 546-7744
A Round Lake staple since 1986, Olando’s is famous for two things: pizza and ice cream. But with a huge menu including salads, Italian beef (the “bootie”), hamburgers and much more, you won’t go wrong with anything you order.
Bobby’s Barrel Inn
35009 N. Gilmer Rd., Round Lake (Volo) | (815) 385-8811
Around since 1982, Bobby’s is a great breakfast place but word on the street is their fish fry is pretty amazing as well.
1009 North Ave., Waukegan | (847) 244-0101
An icon on the east side of Lake County; also a great place to stop for dinner before seeing a show at Genessee Theater.
— Lisa N.
What do you think of this list? Are there any restaurants we missed? Let us know in the comments!