Lake Forest is a Chicago suburb, located in Lake County, 30 miles north of downtown Chicago. The 2010 census shows it with a population of 19,375. The affluent city is along the shore of Lake Michigan and is known for its beautiful homes. If you have time, you might visit and enjoy the small downtown area. You can drive or take the Metra train which stops in the heart of downtown. I recently went back to meet a friend for brunch and to explore on a sunny winter day. As a result, my recent finds include:
Market House on the Square: At 655 Forest Ave, in the heart of downtown, this is a restaurant featuring American fare in a warm, traditional setting. They are open for lunch, dinner or brunch on Saturday or Sunday. I chose it for brunch and enjoyed the quiche with a side salad.
Don’t miss Sweet’s for chocolates or ice cream at 260 E. Deerpath Rd. This is a local institution featuring excellent ice cream along with chocolates, truffles, caramels and toffee.
The Daily Grind is a small meat and fish market. They feature their homemade brats, sausages, hot dogs and burgers. They also have a menu of sandwiches which you can order and eat there. 1 Market Square Ct.
If you love local, independent bookstores, you will love the Lake Forest Book Store located at 662 N. Western Ave. This is a local bookstore offering a large number of titles, plus some gift items. They offer book clubs, talks by authors and other programs.
Starbucks: I normally don’t feature Starbucks, but the downtown Lake Forest location has one of the best interior designs I have seen. Hang out in the attractive lounge area, accented by a world coffee map, or on the patio in the rear. 672 N. Western at Deerpath Rd.
The Deer Path Inn: Opened in 1929, this is a Lake Forest Institution. It was styled after a 15th Century English Manor Home and was recently renovated. You can sit in one of the sitting rooms by the fire, enjoy a meal in the English Room, an elegant afternoon tea on Tuesdays through Saturdays or head downstairs to their White Hart Pub. This proper English pub is a fun, casual spot. I would definitely try The Bar, a very popular spot on the North Shore, with a fun dining room and a large menu including sushi. 255 E. Illinois. Rd.