Mom and Pop Eateries to Visit During Lake County Restaurant Rally 2021 - Visit Lake County - Blog

Mom and Pop Eateries to Visit During Lake County Restaurant Rally 2021

By: Jonathan Jones 03/01/2021

Seven days remaining in Lake County Restaurant Rally. We decided to take a look at the mom and pop eateries to visit during this foodie festival.

The Lake County pulse is a rhythm started by its mom and pop restaurants, shops and services. The independent small businesses give the land of lakes its vibrancy.


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Here is one of our specials for this weekend. It is a 8oz Grilled Tip Steak Served over a rhubarb purée. Accompanied by a potato and goat cheese gratin and roasted rutabaga. Come on in and join us! We have a few other items on special this weekend as well! #thechocolatesanctuary #chocolatesanctuarygurnee #tcs #gogurnee #gurnessgotit #visitlakecounty #supportsmallbusiness #supportlocalbusiness #eatlocal #foodgram #foodie#instafood #forkyeah #yum #alwayshungry #buzzfeast #huffposttaste#likefoodchicago #dailyfoodfeed #foodbeast #chicagofoodmag #beautifulcuisines #BHGfood #foodandwine #eeeeeats #eatfamous #eater

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Whether it's a traditional home-cooked meal, a unique twist on international cuisine or something innovative and trendsetting, Lake County's mom and pop eateries cover the menu spread.

Click here to learn more, visit one of these mom and pop eateries and feed the economy through March 7 and beyond. Feel good about stuffing yourself!

Bill’s Pizza & Pub in Mundelein/Bill’s Pub North in Third Lake


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Devour the pizza and spit out the peanut shells on the floor. Bill’s Pizza & Pub is a family-friendly restaurant, since 1957, with a unique, comfortable, rustic, Northwoods-inspired dining room with incredible wildlife mounts. The world’s renowned first double-decker and famous thin-crust pizzas are outstanding! Their menu also has delicious sandwiches and desserts. The atmosphere is relaxed, the beer is cold and served in a frosty mug, and the food is excellent. Both locations are indoor dining and  for carryout.

Bluegrass Restaurant in Highland Park


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Happy National Cheeseburger Day! ? #bluegrass # highlandpark

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A lifer in the restaurant business Jim Lederer has spent over 30 years in the restaurant business. Lederer went out on his own later in his career and created a concept for the American southern cuisine eatery, Bluegrass Restaurant. Located on the west end of Highland Park, Bluegrass is a true dining destination. Blending Southern hospitality eats, this American restaurant and bar feature plates of seafood, salads, barbecue meats, an array of delicious libations and more.

Bonta Pizzeria & Restaurant in Lincolnshire


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Spaghetti alla Carbonara Made the traditional Roman way with guanciale!

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Antonella and Nunzio Granito know Italian cuisine. The husband-wife duet grew up in Salerno, Italy. A business surrounded by the idea of utilizing a brick oven is not far fetched, as the couple used to make pies in their family's garage oven from their motherland.  The Lincolnshire eatery is, of course, an Italian restaurant. The deli and market serving lunch and dinner is highlighted by subs, soups, salads entrées, pastas, steaks, wood-burning brick oven pizza and calzone. The fare is prepared with fresh imported and local ingredients and gives you that neighborhood taste imported from the Granitos hometown.

Chessie's Restaurant in Barrington


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Dine local Chessie’s is OPEN Tuesday-Sunday 4pm-9pm Dine-In, Outdoor Dining, Curbside Carryout and Delivery!

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Chessie's was constructed near Barrington's former train station and features dining in a vintage Illinois Central railroad dining car - a 1920s Pullman Train. Chessie's is named after the Chessie System Inc - a holding company that owned the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway in the 1970s. The menu ranges from appetizers to salads, sandwiches, pasta, fresh fish and USDA-choice steaks. The Barrington restaurant has been serving decadent eats since 1978 and is one Lake County's longest standing restaurants.

The Chocolate Sanctuary in Gurnee


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#MondayMotivation served up at #thechocolatesanctuary in #gurnee!

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It's like living in cocoa heaven. The Chocolate Sanctuary makes most of their dishes with the magical cocoa bean. Whether you are munching on their cocoa infused barbecue sauce on their lollipop chicken pops, snacking on beef satay skewers with cocoa peanut chili sauce or chomping on the sanctuary's chopped salad with chocolate vinaigrette, expect big things with everyone's favorite cocoa treat somehow infused on your plate.

Chrissoulas Restaurant in Libertyville


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Special alert! Seared Nantucket scallops, lobster & corn sofrito, sauce bouillabaisse.. OPA! #picoftheday #getinmybelly #delicious #chef #cheflife #truecooks #foodporn #mediterraneandiet #mediterraneanfood #bouillabaisse #seafood #scallops #greek #greekfood #mainstreetlibertyville

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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. The brothers stay curious and prepare new innovative dishes always while being mindful of the changing seasons and utilizing local ingredients to put out an exceptional product.

Dangela’s Dumplings in Libertyville


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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 cindoor dining, arry-out and delivery through Grubhub, Uber Eats and DoorDash. The Libertyville hotspot is also providing frozen dumplings with cooking instructions.

Dover Straits in Mundelein


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Seriously don't miss out on these Lake County Restaurant Week eats! Only three more days! ?: Seafood specials at Dover Straits in Mundelein #lakecountyrw #letsgolakecounty #enjoyillinois

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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.

El Puerto Mexican Restaurant in Fox Lake


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Happy Cinco de Mayo! #cincodemayo #shoplocal #supportlocalbusiness #margarita

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El Puerto translates in Spanish to the word port. Saul Moya, the proprietor since 2001, started as a dishwasher in a Mexican restaurant in Chicago, and now he runs the show utilizing all of his own recipes. 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, indoor  or pick up to go.

Green Town Tavern in Waukegan


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Named after storied-Waukeganite Ray Bradbury's fictional town, Green Town Tavern is the city's local hang out spot that distributes an exceptional array of drinkables and fare. Since the public health crisis began, the City of Progress neighborhood tavern opened an extension of the eatery called GreenTown on the Rocks that hugs Lake Michigan so patrons can get a panoramic view while enjoying some tunes and booze.

Light the Lamp Brewery in Grayslake


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We loved our Mothers Day salad so much that we decided to keep it on the menu. This is a must try if you haven’t had it yet! Spring Salad - fresh romaine, spinach, and arugula blend with locally grown microgreens from Adam's Acres dressed in creamy sunflower caesar. Tossed with toasted sunflower seeds, grilled asparagus, crispy prosciutto crumbles, goat cheese, sun dried tomatoes, julienne preserved lemon. Absolutely delicious.

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This downtown Grayslake pub serves innovative brews, modern American cuisine, locally-sourced craft spirits and top-notch draft wines all handcrafted in-house. Light the Lamp has 14 craft suds drafts created internally. Besides libations, the hockey-themed also offers unique meals, including burgers, sandwiches, flatbreads, shared plates and desserts. For those who aren't beer lovers, the seven-year-old Grayslake brewpub also offers tap wine. Besides libations, the hockey-themed also offers unique meals, including burgers, sandwiches, flatbreads, shared plates and desserts. Some of Light the Lamp's signature suds include the Red Line Ale (amber ale), Sin Bout Stout (oatmeal stout) and the 1980 Miracle American Pale Ale Kick back, relax and let that lettuce down.

La Casa de Samuel in Waukegan


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The Waukegan eatery serves authentic Mexican cuisine. All dishes are served with handmade corn tortillas fresh of the griddle to the table. The Waukegan Main Street restaurant’s highlighted eats include Pollo en Mole Estilo Guerrero (chicken in house-made mole sauce), Filete Gourmet (Bacon wrapped beef tenderloin filet with ham and chihuahua cheese), Chiles en Nogada (Poblano peppers stuffed with mincemeat, walnut cream and pomegranate), Cabrito Estilo Monterrey (grilled goat served with guacamole, cowboy beans and pasilla sauce), Filete Oaxaqueño (catfish filet in a banana leaf with zucchini squash blossom, chihuahua cheese and guajillo sauce), Platános Flameados (flamed bananas cooked with kahlúa, tequila Gran Manier and ice cream) and Nieve Frita (fried ice cream). Their two signature tacos include taco de cecina (guacamole, pico de gallo and beans) and taco de Lengua. La Casa de Samuel’s antojitos can be served with steak, chicken, pork or squash blossoms. It came with great sadness to hear the news of the creator of this phenomenal restaurant, Samuel Linares passed away due to COVID-19. His legacy lives on through his mastermind recipes and delectable cuisine.

The Lodge of Antioch

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