Indie Eats: Where to Eat in Highland Park

Dining in Lake County

Introducing 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 to be answered. With so many towns and so many establishments, there are a lot of choices. 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 to make your dining decisions just a little bit easier.  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 Highland Park!

Where to Eat in Highland Park

Being on the lookout for locally-owned restaurants in and around Lake county helps us find new places to try but helps us remember good ol’ favorites at the same time. Highland Park has a beautiful downtown with great places to eat and fantastic shopping.

Photo source: Once Upon a Bagel on Facebook

Once Upon a Bagel

1888 1st St, Highland Park | (847) 433-1411
I discovered Once Upon a Bagel earlier this year when we ran a 5k in Highland Park. After the course took us to the lake – down a steep hill and then right back up – we ended near the train station and walked over to Once Upon a Bagel to celebrate with some food. I was surprised to find out this little place has so much more than bagels! The bagels are amazing, but you can order omelets, pancakes, and hash browns; it features lunch and dinner, too. Don’t let the outside fool you; there’s a great space for families to sit, and the ambiance is relaxed and friendly.

Photo source: Country Kitchen on Facebook

Country Kitchen

446 Central Ave, Highland Park | (847) 432-7500
I’ll never forget the first time I ate at Country Kitchen. My dad took me for breakfast one time when I was in high school, and I ordered banana pancakes that were simple but brilliant. This is exactly what the name suggests: great home-cooking that won’t let you down. Country Kitchen serves breakfast and lunch.

Tamales: A Mexican Joint

1480 Waukegan Road, Deerfield | (847) 680-8900
Everyone knows Tamales, right?! It’s the happening place in Highland Park. You have the option to sit indoors or outdoors and enjoy the unique Mexican dishes but especially the tamales that come with your choice of shrimp, pumpkin, chicken, or mushroom. Don’t forget to taste the mouth-watering sauces.

Photo source: Michael’s on Facebook


1879 2nd St, Highland Park, IL 60035 |(847) 432-3338
Any Highland Park food list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Michael’s. Michael’s isn’t just your ordinary hot-dog place. Michael’s prides itself on its 46-ingredient salad bar and its Chicago-style red hots. Personally, I love the fries and all the pictures on the wall.

Did we miss your favorite? Tell us in the comments!


Jen Vincent is a Technology Integration Specialist for Mundelein School District 75 who loves to stay busy and go on adventures with her two monsters, Jordan and Danny, and her sports-loving husband, Chad. As a writer, blogger and educator, she strives to model and inspire others to live a growth mindset in everything she does — be it staying in a yurt on a yoga retreat, writing a novel, or ordering a drink at Starbucks. While she loves a good Kombucha and a fresh salad, she can tell you where to get the best vegan chocolate cake and non-meat “bacon” burger in Chicagoland. Jen blogs can be found on Twitter at @mentortexts as well as

Indie Eats: Where to Eat in Highland Park

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