Guide to a Global Cuisine During Lake County Flavor Festival 2024

By: Jonathan Jones 01/25/2024

Sometimes you can’t make that big trip to Europe, that safari excursion in Africa or that relaxing beach setting in Southeast Asia, Central America and/or the Caribbean Islands to experience international eats first hand.

A land of lakes global feast during Lake County Flavor Festival is the next best thing running throughout February. Who says you can’t stay land of lakes local to eat traditional, rustic, ethnic and divine bites like a seasoned traveler abroad? The global cuisine is right at your fingertips.

Visitors can win various foodie prizes like a $50 gift card to a participating restaurant, a cooking class at The Joyful Gourmet in Libertyville and a chance to win an overnight stay at Lincolnshire Marriott Resort which includes a dinner/theatre package at Wright's Brew & Bistro or Three Embers Restaurant and Marriott Theatre. Here is your guide to international cuisine during Lake County Flavor Festival.

Tony Canoli's Specialty Pastries in Mundelein, Italy

 

 

 

 

 

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Holy moly! If you can only check out this cannoli from Tony! The Mundelein confectioner creates traditional and unconventional cannolis for customers to indulge their sweet tooth. Tony Cannoli Specialty Pastries also conducts classes to teach visitors how to make the sweet Italian treat. The Mundelein maker also makes cakes, donuts, cookies, chips and more.

Sweet Home Gelato in Libertyville, Italy

The confectioner company provides visitors with an authentic Italian experience with dessert treats. The Libertyville establishment specializes in hand-crafted small-batch gelato, sorbets, sherbet, frozen yogurt and ice cream.

Singh's Kitchen in Libertyville, India

 

 

 

 

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Singh in Punjabi means lion, the animal that the Libertyville eatery takes pride in associating itself with. A little bit Indian, a little bit American, Singh’s kitchen is the ultimate dining experience for those who want to feel the history behind their meal. Their menu features bowls, surf and turf, rolls, tacos, wings and more innovative dishes.

Primo Italian American Cuisine in Gurnee, Italy

Primo Italian American Cuisine is Lake County’s dining hot spot with five-star ratings across the board. The Gurnee establishment’s menu includes salads and sandwiches, pasta, seafood, steaks and much more. The Gurnee establishment boasts an array of Daily Herald Reader’s Choice Awards. The jam-packed menu is complemented by a wine list of 100+ flavors.

Park Street Craft Kitchen and Bar Mundelein, Peru

 

 

 

 

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The Mundelein kitchen and bar recently changed hands in ownership: Nora and Paul Arroyo as they purchased the eatery in November 2017. The menu is updated seasonally and evolves the new culinary experience for guests on each visit. The South American style menu features soups, salads, a slew of unique entrees and housemade desserts. The downtown Mundelein establishment offers fresh takes on vintage Peruvian plates.

Pixca Restaurant in Highland Park, Central America

 

 

 

 

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"Pixca" means "harvest" in Mayan, so get ready for a tastebud exploration! Their chefs weave global influences into every dish, creating a culinary fiesta that's ¡muy bueno. Pixca champions fresh, local ingredients, so each bite bursts with farm-fresh goodness. Picture sun-kissed tomatoes, plump asparagus, and herbs so fragrant, they'll practically serenade you. The Highland Park eatery features seafood, pasta, salads, steak, tapas-style veggies, desserts and a brunch menu.

Oliverii North in Antioch, Italy

Oliverii North is a 37-year family tradition and the fourth installment of founder Guido Oliverii's restaurant. The Antioch, Italian-inspired eatery features pasta, pizza, soups, salads, seafood and more

Mama Jerk N Things in Waukegan, Jamaica

 

 

 

 

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Spicy coleslaw that'll tango with your tongue, creamy mac and cheese that's smoother than a reggae ballad, and fried plantains that'll have you channeling your inner islander. It's a flavor fiesta that'll make you wanna say "irie" after every bite. The downtown Waukegan venue's menu features chicken, pizza, seafood, oxtail, salads, wraps, vegetarian dishes and so much more.

Main Street Social in Libertyville, Italy./Mediterranean Region

Independently owned and operated Main Street Social opened in 2017. The restaurant, located in downtown Libertyville is a restaurant and bar that puts a twist on Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. Their menu features housemade portions of pasta, fresh seafood, bountiful salads, meat and cheese boards, delectable desserts and more. Besides the innovative dishes made from scratch, the MainStreet Libertyville eatery provides fine wines and craft libations.

La Mera Mera Taqueria in Libertyville, Mexico

 

 

 

 

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The most accurate La Mera Mera Taqueria translation that comes to mind is "The One and Only," The menu is unique for its elite tacos which pull original recipes from the southeast Pacific side of Mexico and central and northern regions' cuisine from the aforementioned country. The menu also features tortas, burritos, enchiladas and more.

Lola's Tacos and Tequila in Gurnee, Mexico

Take a proverbial trip south of the border to Gurnee Mills where Lola's Tacos & Tequila has moved into the Chicago Woodfire Pizza location. The lively Latin restaurant serves up your favorites from tacos to steaks to enchiladas, to burritos and a plethora of salads, soups, appetizers and other desserts. Sink your chompers into intriguing sweet tooth selections like the churro sundae and the margarita cheesecake. Salud to Lola's.

Jerk N' More Too in North Chicago, Jamaica

 

 

 

 

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The North Chicago joint serves authentic Jamaican cuisine and comfort food. Specializing in mouthwatering, award-winning jerk chicken, curry chicken, oxtails, tacos and scratch-made side items i.e. macaroni and cheese, candy yams, cabbage, rice and peas, plus desserts.

Giordano's in Gurnee, Italy

A Chicago staple, the stuffed deep-dish pizza makers, are offering no contact delivery and curbside pickup. Giordano’s has received acclaim as “Chicago’s Best Pizza” by NBC, CBS Chicago, the New York Times, Chicago Magazine, the Chicago Tribune and more. The delectable Windy City restaurant has been a staple in the Land of Lincoln for nearly a half century.
 

Feather Glass Wine Bar and Eatery in Vernon Hills, India

 

 

 

 

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The Vernon Hills restaurant and pub lives by the credo "fine wine is our native language." Owner Purvi Damani-Patel dreamed of owning an establishment like this after traveling the Land of Lincoln and other areas tasting wine. Its menu features brunch, dinner and plates like charcuteries, salads, seafood, steaks, and other international cuisines.

Fat Rosie's Taco and Tequila Bar in Lincolnshire, Mexico

The inception of the Fat Rosie started when Chef and proprietor of the Lincolnshire restaurant became acquainted with an agave farmer and his trusty donkey steed south of the border. The gentleman’s donkey had worked alongside this ground grower for over two decades. The heavy horse’s John Hancock is that of the one that’s named for this LCRW eatery – Fat Rosie. The festive Mexican taqueria serves a modern take on traditional cuisine and craft cocktails. Their menu is highlighted by soups, seafoods, enchiladas, fajitas, tacos, burritos and so much more.

El Puerto Mexican Restaurant in Fox Lake, Mexico

This authentic Mexican restaurant has a beautiful scenic view and is located on Nippersink Lake, connected to the Chain O’Lakes. Watch a beautiful sunset on the Chain while enjoying the best Margarita in Lake County. The menu includes Enchiladas, Chimichangas, sizzling fajitas, steak, seafood, burritos, combination platters and a variety of drinks, desserts and obviously tacos. Their three taco meal is served with lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese and your choice of ground beef, chicken or steak. The platter also comes with Mexican rice and beans. The Fox Lake Restaurant also serves taco salad with your choice of ground beef, chicken or steak topped with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream and guacamole. The restaurant offers three indoor dining rooms, a seasonal outdoor patio and a full bar with unique homemade drinks. Come by land or boat. Come rain or shine, you will be able to sit out in the patio under the canopy.
 

 

Dover Straits Seafood House in Mundelein, Greece

This Mundelein seafood staple and one of the land of lake’s eldest nautical fare establishments is Dover Straits. Famous extensive menu of seafood flown in daily, Dover Straits also offers premium steaks, pasta dishes and other excellent selections for the most discerning diner. Since 1978, the starboard restaurant is satisfied bellies across the Land of Lincoln.

Dangelas Dumplings in Libertyville, China

 

 

 

 

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The Libertyville eatery specializes in Chinese cuisine. The traditional and authentic restaurant also features a variety of dumplings, including shrimp, pork and Chinese chives, beef and onion, pork and celery, zucchini and egg, as well as vegetable side options. The family-owned restaurant folds goodness and happiness in each dumpling. Dangela’s Dumplings is open for carry-out and delivery through Grubhub, Uber Eats and DoorDash. The Libertyville hotspot is also providing frozen dumplings with cooking instructions.

Disotto Italian in Higwood, Italy

It’s like being transported to another place and time in Highwood. This restaurant, reminiscent of vintage Italy, has a menu that includes pizza fruit dishes, salads, pasta, Piatti, contorni and a slew of other delectable items. The scent of these delicious dishes permeates throughout the walls of this rustic and vintage Italian establishment. The carbonara is just an eye-opening dish. In this instance of the fuel noodles, it’s spaghetti with pecorino, bacon, egg yolk and black pepper. You must visit Disotto for their divine brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays.

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West Side Ramen at Chrissoulas Restaurant in Libertyville, Japan

The MainStreet Libertyville eatery features Greek and Mediterranean cuisine highlighted by octopus, pastitsio, moussaka, souvlaki, salads and a selection of 30 Greek vinos. The chef brothers, Nick and Theo Dimitriou have a combined 20+ year career in the culinary industry. For a portion of the winter, they transform to a pop-up vibe restaurant called West Side Ramen. Besides ramen, the kitchen serves burgers and sushi through March.

Casa Ruiz in Antioch, Mexico

Casa Ruiz is a Mexican restaurant in the heart of downtown Antioch. The menu is highlighted by tacos, quesadillas, burritos, seafood, tortas and more. The eatery also serves breakfast items. 

Catrachos Restaurant in Waukegan, Honduras

The land of lakes local Honduran eatery is a gem in the City of Progress promising a vibrant tapestry of flavors. Indulge your taste buds with traditional Central American cusiine like baleadas (stuffed flour tortillas), pupusas (savory corn masa cakes), carne asada (steak) and more. 

Casa Bonita Mexican Restaurant & Tequila Bar in Libertyville, Mexico

Casa Bonita serves authentic homemade Mexican cuisine prepared daily and made with high-quality fresh ingredients from local markets. Casa Bonita offers a vacation-style atmosphere with indoor and heated outdoor seating and a spectacular Tequila Bar featuring several delicious fresh hand-squeezed Margaritas.

Asia-Azteca inside American Place Casino in Waukegan, Mexico and China

 

 

 

 

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The perfect blend of Asian and Latin cuisine, dramatically presented, and brought to the table ready to be shared. Like in most cultures, the sharing of food breaks down barriers and creates a sense of belonging. The menu features innovative and authentic menu including tacos, lo mein, Thai curry dishes, ramen noodles, empanadas, fried yuca and more.


For more options on the global cuisine tip, continue here. To learn more about all the participants in Lake County Flavor Festival, click here.

 

 

 

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