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Feb 26, 2009 12:18 PM

Food in Wauconda

Hi gang.
I am starting a new job in Wauconda. (Yeah! A job, woo hoo!)
I will be looking for afternoon and evening eats in town as I will be working the second shift..
I searched the board but there wasn’t much to go on.
Anyone from or in the Wauconda area that’s familiar with grazing establishments there?


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  1. We went exploring last week and stopped at two eating establishments in town.
    The first was Wild Bill’s Grill on Main Street south of the High School.
    Nice little hole in the wall sandwich joint. Fits about 6 people inside but outdoor seating is available. Typical bill of fare, dogs, beef, fries, etc.
    We got dogs to go and ate on the run. I think they were the local Chicago Vienna beef hot dogs. The dogs were not served real hot and the buns are not steamed or warmed. The fries were the big fatties and when you ask for cheese, wow! You get cheese! Plenty of it too! Yum!
    We’ll have to try the beef next time.

    We also tried a little pub type of pizza joint, J.J. Twiggs on the corner of Bonner and Main Street.
    Nice atmosphere, dinning room or bars, toss the peanut shells on the floor, lot’s of TV sets.
    We ordered the personal pizza and the daily special.
    The wait staff was fun, friendly and accommodating. The wait time from order placement to table delivery was a bit long. Our anticipated 45 minute lunch was closer to 2 hours.
    The pizza is very good with a little less then generous amount of toppings. The prime rib sandwich special was a sandwich and fries. The meat could have stood to be a larger piece for the money. The quality was good but not anymore then piece of prime rib. Gourmet prices for seemingly standard pizza joint foods. The sandwich came in around $8.00 and the 12 inch personal pizza was about $10.00. We’d still go back but more on a special occasions then regularly due to pricing.


    2 Replies
    1. re: kylerockwell

      Not to seem disagreeable, but those prices seem to be in line with the Chicagoland area and don't jump out at me as being too high, I'm assuming you must be from another part of the country where the food is more reasonable.

      Anyway, there's a couple of alright Mexican taquerias along 176, my favorite in that area, is in the building next to the Chinese buffet place, I cant recall the name.

      Wauconda is relatively thin on dining options so IMO, if you want really good food, you'll have to either drive to Crystal Lake, Lake Zurich or McHenry.

      For a better hot dog experience go to Fratellos on the corner of Rt 120 & Rt 12 in Volo, the best sub sandwiches anywhere are found at Tony's on Rt 120 about 1/2 mile west of Fratellos, both are only 15 mins drive away from Wauconda. If you want an upscale steakhouse, drive to the Stony River just on the other side of Lake Zurich. LZ also has a Gino's East pizza that's decent (not as good as Downtown Chicago, but good) and a Hackney's for good burgers.

      There is also a great thread on good eats around the McHenry area that might give you some good dinner ideas since they may not all be do-able for lunch.

      1. re: abf005

        I grew up in the area and agree that you'll probably have to venture out of Wauconda for some better dining options. My favorite in the vicinity is D&J Bistro in Lake Zurich (corner of Rand (Rte 12) and Route 22). I have been going there since it opened in the late 80s and the food is consistently good. French bistro food as you would expect, nothing revolutionary, but great quality and execution. It's about a 10 minute drive from Wauconda.

        Another favorite childhood haunt of mine is Fritzl's which is a little further north on Rand at Old Rand Rd. As the name would indicate, the food is German, and although I haven't been in a about a decade, the food was always very good and the service extremely friendly.

        Uncle Julio's is another option for Mexican which is on Rand between the two aforementioned restaurants. Great fresh Mexican, but I always found it a bit over-priced. Maybe they have a lunch special of which I'm unaware that would be a good option for you.

    2. There's a number of spots that have been overlooked on these posts! If you're interested in a good dining experience, try Docks on 176 right on Bangs Lake. The owners Jeff and Don create a good customer experience with good food, particularly good ribs and steaks and they also have a good sandwich menu and daily specials. Rauls Burrito Express, also on 176 makes a burrito as big as your head and is very good and reasonable. And, also on 176, Lukes has good Chicago-Style hotdogs and that's coming from a South Sider!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Southside Vinnie

        I'll second Raul's! Great place for the money! -mJ

      2. Drive down 12 (north) to Hackneys! There are a few places on Main Street that are pretty good spots as well. I agree w/ JJTwiggs- I grew up on the one in Lake Zurich (when it was there)- great pizza! Lake Zurich has all of your chains if you are in that mood! A few good mexican restaurants as well (I prefer Tacos El Norte - in Lake Zurich on the west side of the road by the Dairy Queen).

        2 Replies
        1. re: ChiTownGal

          Thanks for the feed back everyone!
          We’ll be trying them out in the weeks to come.

          We did go back out to Wild Bills Grill again.

          I did a combo sandwich and the missy did the burger, a buddy did the hot dogs.
          The beef was REAL good. Ample helping, thicker cut then most I have had and I would guess its home made. No extra charge for peppers.
          The sausage tasted like Italian sausage and was grilled to perfection. It wasn’t drenched in gravy and it didn’t need to be. You tasted the meats. A+.

          The burger was outstanding but could have been taken off the grill a bit sooner.
          Still served on a nice toasty bun and flavorful without being hidden by condiments.
          Fat fries served with a tub of cheese.
          Dogs were hot as hot dogs should be.
          My cardiologist would love me for eating here but my tummy says it’s ok.

          Off to the next eating joints in town…..

          1. re: bikerbobo1

            So we run into Bobo and his side kick, Russ.
            Bobo runs Black Sheep Custom Cycles in town. (Here's your plug buddy!LOL!)
            We went to the Luke’s in down town Wauconda.
            I requested a brat, grilled, with grilled onions.
            Bobo got a couple of dogs and Russ got a double burger.
            My brat never hit the grill. It was deep fried. I was bumming as I stressed I wished it to be grilled. It was served on a hot dog bun. I’m used to them on French bread like a Maxwell Street polish. It tasted exactly like deep fried French fries. I won’t be doing that one again.
            Bobo’ said the dogs were dogs. You couldn’t do much to them.
            Russ’ burger looked to be quite the good serving size. He did mention that they could have removed it from the grill a bit sooner. The condiments that he requested didn’t come on the burger tho. There was a definite language barrier there.

            The Mrs. And I did the Raul’s Burrito Express later in the week.
            Now, that’s the big bang for the buck!
            I got the shrimp fajitas. Comes with beans and rice. Smoking. Just plain good food.
            The beans had a good flavor and so did the rice.
            Plenty of shrimp too!
            The Mrs had a burrito without veggies. They give a very generous portion of meat, beans and rice to make up the difference of the missing veggies.
            Nice little store. We’ll be going back for sure!
            Thanks for the suggestions!