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Mar 9, 2010 08:43 AM

Healthy/decently fast lunch in Evanston?

Anyone have suggestions for lunch places in Evanston? I'm up there quite a bit, and I'm looking for healthier options, and particularly take-out. (I generally don't get enough time for a relaxed sit-down lunch.)

I'm usually working west of the downtown area, so places along Dempster are also good. But most of what I see along that area are fast food places and hot dog joints. (I have nothing against hot dogs, I just don't really need to eat them every day...)

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  1. Foodstuffs on Central has wonderful take-out items.

    1. Try Blind Faith Cafe, just east of Chicago on Dempster, on the north side of the street. Great vegetarian food, even for non-vegetarians. I eat there all the time and I think you can place an order and pick it up to go. The take out counter at Whole Foods is lovely and they have sandwiches, salads and sushi. Great salads at Lucky Platter on Main Street just east of Chicago on the south side of the street and they have a to go menu.

      1. There are several good options for take-out.

        Just west of downtown Evanston, across the street from the police station, is a take-out shop called Simple Gourmet. They have everything from sandwiches and salads to other types of prepared foods. They can heat up some items for you, like paninis etc. Everything is very high quality (better than Foodstuffs IMHO). They post their specials for each day on their website at They have a few parking spaces in their lot and there's more on the street in front. It's a block north of the Dempster station on the CTA Purple Line. They have a few tables outdoors where you can eat in nice weather.

        Panino's, at Dempster and Dodge, looks like a pizza joint but they have a whole lot more than that - everything from hot sandwiches (and, yes, pizza) to some pretty good salads (although the dressings are packets) and other items. They do a good job with phoned-in orders for carry-out (and you can order on their website; I've done it that way and it's worked out fine too). Check out their carry-out menu and website ordering at They have a nice big parking lot (same strip mall as Dominick's).

        The above mention of Whole Foods is a good idea, at both locations on Chicago Avenue. The one at Greenleaf has easier parking. Both are several blocks from the el.

        Parking's not as easy at Blind Faith or Lucky Platter but if you want to check out their menus, see their websites at and

        4 Replies
        1. re: nsxtasy

          There are also two excellent sandwich places just north of downtown Evanston, right next door to each other. Both are on Noyes Street at the Noyes stop on the CTA Purple Line; parking in the area is all metered, including along Noyes Street, in the lot across the street from the shops, and under the el tracks on the south side of Noyes. Don't ignore the meters, as Evanston strictly enforces parking regs.

          Al's Deli is a tiny shop that seems like a place in Paris. They make a variety of sandwiches; check out the menu on their website at Another attraction is their delicious homemade cookies, some of which are in trays in the window. The chocolate chip cookies are just like ones you make at home, just amazing! There are only a couple of tiny tables inside, but they do a huge carry-out business; waits at lunchtime can reach 15 minutes or so. Closed Wednesdays.

          Rollin' To Go also features sandwiches, both cold and hot, as well as pizza. The sandwiches come with homemade potato chips that are outstanding.

          1. re: nsxtasy

            And to follow up, I ate at Rollin' 2 Go today, and that was pretty darned delicious. About $7.50 got me a "Carmela" turkey sandwich with remoulade sauce, bacon, and avocado. Very good sandwich, and the variety of breads is a nice touch. The homemade chips were delicious, but they do pack a bit of a kick! I will definitely be returning, especially because the sandwiches are large enough that I can split one into lunches for two days.

            Thanks again for the recommendations--I look forward to trying the others!

          2. re: nsxtasy

            I tried Simple Gourmet last week, it was not bad at all. I had a salmon burger (served without a bun, which I thought was odd) that was excellent, and a decent but not remarkable potato salad. Cost of the meal with a can of soda was about $12, a little higher than I would have preferred, but still good food that didn't make me feel weighed down afterwards. Due to the cost, I may not be there every week, but I will definitely return!

            1. re: nsxtasy

              Across the street from Blind Faith is The Sea Ranch for some excellent Sushi -

              Sea Ranch
              518 Dempster St, Evanston, IL 60202