Part One in a series of “Saugatuck of the North Shore Articles”
City dwellers and north shore residents often flock to the western shores of Michigan to experience the laid back, summertime feel of the smaller, quaint towns, dotting the Michigan shoreline. Some travel just an hour to Michigan City, some almost three or four to get to Saugatuck, due to its rich dining, art gallery and shopping experiences.
But, Highwood, just 40 minutes north of downtown Chicago and for many, a quick 10 minute or less car ride has many of the same benefits.
Let’s take dining, for example. Walk down any of Highwood’s main drags and your choices are endless. From the upscale, Italian restaurant, Ballaro, on the south end of the city, to the Mean Weiner at the north, there is much in between.
On any lovely summer night, Highwood’s Bloom street is filled with patrons from Nieto’s; upscale Mexican and American, La Casa de Isaac, more traditional Mexican, and Miramar, with its Cuban and Havanese inspiration. Turn north onto Waukegan Avenue, and experience Latin America with Longitude 315, the Caribbean with El Buren, or grab a hamburger or Italian Beef at Marco’s or Buffo’s. For traditional Italian and a great martini, stop into Nite N Gale, a throwback to the 50’s where the broiled chicken and ribs rule.
Just the other side of the tracks, is Del Rio with its world famous wine list, Disotto’s Enoteca, modern Italian from the Francesca’s group, with a great outdoor patio, and Froggy’s for French wine and food.
Highwood’s breakfast establishments include; Sandy’s, another delightful throwback to the golden age of sit down diners, and Maria’s Bakery, across the street, with fresh pastries, coffees, sandwiches and authentic Italian dinners for early birders, and Café Pettopia.
Casual and kitchey burgers, tacos and fish are up the street at The Mean Weiner and Lucky Fish Deli, along with Clucker’s Chicken, and upscale American fare at both Lovell’s and Scotty’s. For an old school, authentic taco visit Tacos El Norte in the strip mall on Washington, and pop in to Isaac and Moishe’s Kosher Style Mexican Deli for provisions not generally found north of the border, as well as delicious healthy shakes and small plate meals, in store.