Tried and True Favorite Restaurants in Lake County

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 ocunty restaurants

Favorite Lake County Restaurants

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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.

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The Canteen Restaurant
214 S. Hough St., Barrington | (847) 382-0900

Mr. Sam always treated our kids like his own.

— Jennifer B.

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Italian Kitchen
648 Deerfield Rd., Deerfield | (847) 945-2727

I ate there as a child and the same family owns it, I believe.

— Lisa M.

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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.

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Tried and True Favorite Restaurants
Photo source Fred’s Diner on Facebook

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Fred’s Diner
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.

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Triangle Restaurant
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.

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Whitney Street 
30 N. Whitney St., Grayslake | (847) 223-0670

We would head here after church many Sundays and this place never, ever disappoints.

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Country Kitchen
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.

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Full Moon Family Restaurant
1300 Skokie Highway (Rt. 41), Lake Bluff | (847) 689-0733

This place does free Thanksgiving dinner every year!

— Jennifer J.

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Tried and True Favorite Restaurants
Image source Deer Path Inn on Facebook

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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.

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The Lantern
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.

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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.

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Koffee Kup
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.

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Tried and True Favorite Restaurants
Image source Townee Square Restaurant on Facebook

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Townee Square
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!

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The Liberty
419 S. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville | (847) 362-9494

Lots of memories with my Papa there.

— Alli C.

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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.

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Tried and True Favorite Restaurants
Image source Long Grove Village Tavern on Facebook

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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.

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Dover Straits
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!

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Royal Cantonese
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Tried and True Favorite Restaurants
Photo courtesy Louie’s Restaurant Facebook page

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Louie’s Restaurant
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! 




















About Kari Wagner Hoban 36 Articles
Kari loves to write and take photos, not necessarily in that order. Her journey started in 2010 when she sat down to write a few words on a private blog. She pressed “public” a few weeks later and the rest is history. Kari loves making people laugh, being real, and spending time with her husband and two daughters. She also really loves her dog Buddy and fish Lucy. When she is not busy writing or going through the Starbucks drive thru, you can find her talking to her plants Zoe, Evie and Albert. She didn’t name Evie. Her nine year old did. But she's totally an Edna so that’s what Kari calls her when her nine year old isn’t home.


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