There are a million things to love about Chicago. So many amazing shops, bakeries, people and places. I love to share my favorites with you. From cupcakes to child care, it matters to me to be sure you have insider info on the best around town. So while this is strictly my opinion, here is a list of all my favorites and why I love them. If there is something you are looking for and don’t see, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to help you find what you’re looking for. Feeling at home means knowing your way around. And like the site says, I’m here to make you feel at home in every way possible.
The Hechtman Group
5250 Old Orchard Road Suite 400 Skokie, IL 60077
Contact: Jim Hechtman
I’ve worked with Jim and his group for the last 13 years. They are well versed and so knowledgeable. Trustworthy and I always leave feeling at ease.
ATTORNEY AND LEGAL
I have worked with Karl for over 12 years; he is beyond reliable and goes out of his way to create a fair price to support you.
1275 E Dundee Rd, Palatine IL 60074
Contact: Joe Moreau
Love these guys! I’ve gotten 3 cars with them.
1545 N Waukegan Rd Glenview, IL 60025
Contact: Mike Shewchuck
Mike Shewchuck is the epitome of true customer service. He makes sure you are taken care of and see claims through. He is so fair with pricing and is always trying to help you
save money. I love working with his entire team and they are always there to help.
First Financial Resources
Contact: James Menighan
If you have any questions regarding life and disability insurance this man knows the answers! After 45 years in the business Jim Menighan has profound knowledge of the industry. He is trustworthy, and always looking out for the best interest of his clients on a subject matter that most do not like to talk about.
Merry Carole Powers
Writer, Creative Director, Brand Journalist
When it comes to marketing and branding, this woman comes to the table with so much under her belt to help you grow your personal brand and build your business. She has worked with some of the biggest blue chip brands in existence and still finds the time to help Chicago based businesses. Her brand coaching and executive education are truly able to guide you to your own great successes. One ½ hour call will let you know what I mean… she can clear the way to more passion, profit and purpose in your life and your work.
1122 Waukegan Rd. Glenview (847) 998-6380
When it comes to tailoring, the staff at Urek’s are master craftsmen. Their work is always done so well, and always at a reasonable price.
The Center for Inspired Living
2320 Glenview Road Glenview, IL 60025
Contact: Valerie Spingola
Valerie is the epitome of a compassionate person who has helped so many of my personal contacts and they have loved working with her. I’ve been referring Val for years!
1st Advantage Mortgage LLC
3934 N. Lincoln Chicago, IL 60613
Contact: Morry Sochat
I have been working with Morry for almost 14 years. He has an amazing processor and they are a true team that methodically work to get you qualified.
North Shore Nannies
This company has the business of nannying down pat. They are pros in recommending a nanny that’s going to be a great fit for your kids.
Found one of my favorite people here. The women that run this place do their best to find the right match. Great source for short-term sitters too.
J & L Catering
1229 N North Branch St # 120 Chicago, IL 60642
Contact: Rachel Razowsky
Hands down my favorite catering company! Rachel knows so much and really listens to her clients. When I got married, J& L was referred to me by my tent company’s owner. Thank you Mike Glabowitz! People are still talking about the food. Creative, well-executed and kind people.
Every Day Gourmet
1216 Waukegan Rd Glenview, IL 60025
Contact: Sparvim Nazarof
Sparvim is an amazing chef and has such a knack for creating a menu that fits perfectly your every occasion. She is also located in the heart of Glenview!
The Stained Glass Bistro
1735 Benson Avenue
The wine list is pretty extensive! Wine flights are recommended if you can’t decide. The food is always unique and wonderful. Keep room for the deserts as they are always worth the calories!
915 Davis Street
I prefer to sit outside at this place. This interior is pretty dark and more conducive for the winter. Without a doubt the food outweighs the atmosphere. Price point is a little high but worth the money.
1631 Chicago Avenue
Prepare to wait, even if you get there during the “blue haired” special hours. Amy Morton says she made the interior to feel like her home. It is filled with unique furniture and chotchkies and makes for great people watching. Bar can be crazy. Plan for a longer dining experience. Food is worth it.
1245 Chicago Avenue
The pizza is awesome and the small plate items are fantastic. This place has it down as they are attached to Space, which is a hip small venue to see live music. Screams “date night”.
The Glenview House
1843 Glenview Road
Boy has this place changed from years past! The new owners completely rehabbed and raised the bar. The 2 stories allow for two kinds of dining experiences: quiet and an upscale sport bar. Take your pick. Extensive choices with the best big pretzel appetizer I have ever had!
1300 Patriot (in the Glen)
I know this is a lettuce entertain you restaurant but I have to say they never let us down. Food is always perfect. It is crazy slammed on the weekends so we love to bring it home. The pumpkin pie is one of my all time favorites! Unfortunately it is seasonal.
64 Green Bay Road
Beautiful food and a great price fix menu. Tried it the first time with a Groupon and I have been hooked ever since!
507 Chesnut Street
Corner Cooks offers in house parties where you cook and dine together…think “Big Night”. Jerry’s is the restaurant with food that is eclectic and straight forward. Never had a bad meal yet! Service is also very good.
310 Happ Road
True authentic Tapas food. Out door seating makes this place in the summer. Their on line take out menu is so easy to use. Fantastic for a good group of friends to dine together.
1150 Willow Road
A place for bowling, bacci, & great food. In fact, they have the best crab cake I have ever had! Their flat breads are better than their pizza. The wine list is extensive. The outdoor seating makes you feel like you are out of town: green grass and beautiful grounds.
Sushi is as good as the Kamahachi in the city. Only easier parking!
Part of the Francesca’s family. The fish is always fresh and the Francesca’s salad is not your average greens. Love the blue cheese sprinkled on top. Wait staff is always very helpful.
669 Skokie Boulevard
It is what you would expect of the Morton’s. I list this because it is one of the only restaurants that is open later during the week, until 10 p.m. Hard to find in the suburbs.
2124 Northbrook Court
Modern American cuisine. They really do a great job with all of their seafood – always fresh & prepared in multiple varieties. Their chopped salad is by far my favorite out of any restaurant! They have a whole mixed bag with what you usually expect but then they add corn, wasabi peas, hearts of palm, celery and the list continues. I actually crave this salad. The bread for the table is so good, no I mean really good!
Store Front Company
1941 North Avenue
I love this place! They call it Modern Farm cuisine…such a clever menu. The interior is just simple and beautiful. The wine list is always changing and always fantastic. I was introduced to my new favorite Chardonnay here. Try sitting at the tasting counter. You will be amazed watching the pastry chef work her magic!
1531 N. Damen Avenue
My favorite guacamole in Chicago! Outdoor patio is quite the scene.
This place has always been one of my favorites. They expanded years ago but I still love the original smaller space. Their salads rock! Brunch is amazing as well.
1619 Damen Avenue
This was my secret and now it is very busy. It feels warm cozy inside. The fish dish is always perfect. Love their olives and nosh stuff to start.
1747 Damen Avenue
By far the best place to satisfy your sweet tooth! I am a cookie person and this place has so many to choose from. Sometimes it’s great to have an appetizer, skip the dinner and go straight for dessert! Be warned – brunch is always packed!
1616 Damen Avenue
The outdoor patio makes this place ideal for the summer! The food is modern American. Debbie, the owner, knows her stuff. She caters great events & the food is always well received. Brunch here is one of the best in the neighborhood.
1576 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Another Francesca success! Casual Italian food. You better like garlic!
Glazed and Infused
1553 N. Damen Avenue
Leave your diet at the door! The new cupcake is a doughnut! I cannot tell you my favorite as there are too many.
1723 Halsted Street
This is hands-down the best dining experience I have ever had! Everything you hear about this place is true. It is worth the wait so schedule ahead and prepare to be wowed!
1729 Halsted Street
This place has withstood the test of time. Great date night place. Classy, with not your run-of-the-mill food. Can be a little pricey so maybe not for your first date.
1967 Halsted Street
Another diamond in Lincoln Park! It is bigger that it looks from the outside. They have a wine cellar for private dining. The food fits the name of the place. I just had the grilled octopus the other night & I am still thinking about it. Great bread too. Love a place with great bread!
464 N. Halsted Street
A truly authentic Italian restaurant. Rustic Italian as they call it. Even the waiter is from Italy. The experience makes you feel like you are not in Chicago but perhaps Positano!
615 W. Randolph
My favorite olives in Chicago are served here! Communal seating so conversations are not necessarily private.
200 Ravinia Park Rd Highland Park
I have been enjoying this park for over 30 years, whether it’s a romantic picnic and great music or rockin’ it out with my girlfriends in the Pavilion. There is literally music for everyone.
2424 N Lincoln Ave Chicago, IL 60614
This venue is awesome. It’s small and manageable, clean, with a great bar and delicious restaurant. It’s in the heart of the DePaul University area. It feels like a bigger version of Space in Evanston.
3730 N Clark St Chicago, IL 60613
This is a classic Chicago venue. I love to say my niece played in the youngest band to ever headline, “Purple Apple”. This place will always remain an icon to Chicago.
322 W Armitage Ave Chicago, IL 60614
This place has great booths, standing room and a stage that everyone can see – and gives you a sophisticated way to have a night out!
3159 N Southport Ave Chicago, IL 60657
A Lakeview classic. Small in size, which is why I like it. Cute pub and casual restaurant. And they’re always bringing in great new talent.
Contact: Bogdan Nycek
Bogdan has done work for me and my clients for the last 2 years. He is always up on the most up to date codes. He has always been available for me, even in a last minute pinch. So meticulous in his work and very fair in his pricing.
M & C Roofing
5540 S Whipple Street
Chicago, IL 60629
The man has been doing roofing for over 30 years – and no wonder, given his meticulous work and fair pricing. He was referred to me and I have been referring him ever since!
1920 N Waukegan Rd Glenview, IL 60025
I love this company. They are family owned well versed in extermination. I have not seen an ant around our place since using them! Plus, they always do their best to be available, even if it is on short notice.
Bussey Environmental Inc.
Contact: Brian Bussey
I have hired Brian for clients for the last 8 years. He is incredibly knowledgeable about mold and he really helps educate the client on remediation and takes the fear out of handling the situations.
Exterior Mason, Kris Zdunek
680 S. Ridge, Lake Forest
This man is brilliant with his trade! He shines a signature approach to interior masonry – you will always remember his work.
Their work fits their name 100%. Highly recommended!
Katonah Architectural Hardware
The Merchandise Mart Suite 163 Chicago, IL 60654
Contact: Susan Schmidt
Susan knows more about hardware than I can explain. Her showroom is stunning and she is amazing at helping customers figure out what is best for their look of their home. I have referred many clients to Katonah, and they are always satisfied.
Weiss Ace Hardware
1560 Waukegan Rd Glenview, IL 60025
Old-school, heart to heart customer service. So helpful. So refreshing. They always seem to have just what I need.
HEATING & AIR
Airflow Heating & AC
Ashwipe is always so reasonable in price and their workers are respectful and thorough. And that name makes the experience even more unforgettable!
Lewis Floor & Home
Contact: Ralph Schiff
This place is so unique – they carry hard to find flooring materials. Ralph has been there forever and, trust me, he knows how to make your floors pop.
350 Lake Cook Road Deerfield, IL 60015
Ask for Larry. He is the manager and has always helped me find great carpeting and does his absolute best to keep it in budget!
Yoder Kitchen Corp.
501 South Main St. Nappanee, IN 46550
The craftsmanship of Yoder is incredible. This is a family-run business and honestly can make whatever you want for your kitchen and bath, traditional to modern. I chose the mid-century modern and they nailed it! They take you by hand, step by step through every process. No wonder they’re so polished – they’ve been at it for over 50 years!
Contact: Jeff Eigel
The builder is amazing at staying true to a style and era. He has an uncanny ability to see space and implement a change that brings so much life to where it was needed before. He never delivers a “cookie cutter” home – each are unique. His touch in creating additions is delicate and flawless, with the greatest attention to detail. His pricing is very fair, and all while taking great pride in his work.
Home Décor Covet Studio
657 Vernon Avenue Glencoe, IL 60022
This is the place to discover unique and hard-to-find items for your home. Ann Kendall’s background in interior design allows her to seek and find unique pieces for all kinds of spaces.
Roman worked with Jeff Eigel of Eigel builders for years. I’ve experienced this company’s professionalism and care for my own home and I absolutely love my floors!
Earth Magic Painting & Remodeling, Inc.
4149 N Tripp Ave #8, Chicago, IL 60641-2087
Contact: Sebastian Kwik
Sebastian and his team are diamonds! Hard-working and well versed in everything from painting to rehabbing. He’s always on time, sincere and meticulous with his work.
Carrie Savino Interiors & Gardens
Carrie has a background diverse in both interiors and botanicals. She really listens to the client and guides them though the process. She has such a great eye and creates beautiful interiors that really show a finesse.
2258 N Fremont Street Chicago, IL 60614
Contact: Joanne Petrillo
Joanne is at the pulse of design. She has such an eye for color and various styles. She listens and creates what the client wants. She is an amazing guide. Her insight and vision have so many facets. Seriously, what’s not to love?
Contact: Sue McDermott
Sue is wonderful to work with. She has been crafting stellar window treatments for many years and combined with her expertise, is her fairness in pricing and customer care.
Ashland Millwork, Inc.
5 W Messner Dr. Wheeling, IL 60090
Contact: Gregg Kuetemeyer
Fantastic resource for windows, doors and trim. Gregg, the owner, takes pride in his business & is constantly hands-on with his team. Combined with fair & reasonable pricing, Ashland Millwork is a sure choice for window treatment!
LS Northwest Tile Corp.
318 Old Country Way, Wauconda IL
From simplistic to very intricate tile placement, Lester knows his craft. I love everything he has done for my own home. Lester works closely with Eigel Builders, as well.
Contact: Dori Barbeau & Claudia Bianchi
This amazing team creates a landscape suitable to your personality. They really take the time learning about your personal tastes and ultimately create a botanical landscape that is unique and beautiful. I just love how they don’t do cookie cutter. They help you think outside of the box. They also educated me on where I could save money and taught me a thing or two about how to maintain my yard. They truly started from scratch as I created a clean slate before we got started. I love my finished project!
Contact: Kelly Dowd
A concierge for all home needs. From home maintenance, seasonal care and moving to pet and house sitting, Kelly is so trustworthy and loves her job!
Contact: DeeDee Glaser
DeeDee is like a closet savant. She’s expert at getting the most out of your space!
Peach Tree Place
303 S. Happ Rd. Northfield, IL 60093
Something for everyone — from client & hostess gifts to teacher & wedding gifts, each selection is thoughtful and lovely. They are also known for their gorgeous gift wrap, no matter what the size gift!
954 Green Bay Road Winnetka, IL 60093,
704 N. Wabash Chicago, IL 60611,
Both stores are fantastic. So many choices for the home, great gifts, table linens etc. They are always keeping it fresh and new. So much fun to look for others and myself of course.
Fire & Ice
1484 Waukegan Road Glenview, IL 60025
This small, adorable store is chalk full of great pieces for women, from pieces of funky flair to stunning wardrobes to wear on date nights.
821 Chestnut Court Winnetka, IL
Classically cool clothes with a modern edge.
715 Elm St. Winnetka, IL
Amazing designer collection and the owner always hosts incredible trunk shows. See her website for details.
808 Elm St. Winnetka, IL
Everything from cool casuals to edgy dressy. It’s refreshing to find things that you thought you could only find in the city!
678 Central Avenue Highland Park, IL
For classically dressed ladies and mamas!
672 Central Central Highland Park, IL
Cool clothes that help us moms stay trendy alongside our daughters.
741 N Wells St Chicago, IL 60654
Great gifts for everyone with various price points.
1725 N Damen Ave. Chicago, IL 60647
I love this gal’s style and rarely will you ever see anything in her store elsewhere. They’re worth every penny! … But lots of pennies, so fair warning.
1630 N Damen Ave Chicago, IL 60647
Hip, custom baby clothes and accessories. I should own stock in this place. I absolutely love all of their fun fashions for lil’ ones. A slam dunk and icon in Bucktown.
1643 North Damen Avenue Chicago, IL 60647
This boutique is in the Heart of Bucktown and is always ahead of the curve in terms of style and design.
2001 W. North Avenue Chicago, IL 60647
Hip, unique shoes and boots for men and women. Love their customer service, too.
824 Armitage Avenue Chicago, IL 60614, 773.281.5655
NORTH SHORE LOCATION:
311 Happ Road Northfield, IL 60093, 847.446.3818
I don’t think I’ve ever walked out without a pair of new shoes or accessory… ever. They always have something for every woman… but sorry, no menswear!
1935 W North Ave Chicago, IL 60622
Elizabeth the owner has such a great way about her and her store and flowers exude creativity. Wicker Park Icon.
1700 W Hubbard St Chicago, IL 60622
I have been on the receiving end several times and the arrangements are always gorgeous and memorable. The vases are also keepers – ask anyone who’s gotten them!
1822 Glenview Rd Glenview, IL 60025
They take pride in their creativity! You’ll always get something more vibrant, more unique and more memorable than you’d ever find at a floral chain.
Health and Wellness
1312 Waukegan Rd Glenview, IL 60025
The owner of this studio is so dedicated and continually grows the business with new and exciting classes. The environment is perfect to let yourself submerge and let go.
Pilates Center of Chicago
4011 Ravenswood Ave. Suite 101 and 103 Chicago, IL 60613
This husband and wife team, Doug & Alicia Zabrocki, will kick your rear end and you will love the end result!
11 E Walton St, Chicago, IL 60611
My favorite 5-star spa in Chicago and, without question, my favorite presentation of room service! I love the boutique quality of this place.
401 N Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
Another great 5-star choice with elegant rooms. Your space will be spacious and decorated tastefully, while still cozy and casual.
The Hilton Orrington
1710 Orrington Ave Evanston, IL 60201
A hearth in the neighborhood, this is a beautiful vintage hotel. Very reasonably priced and in the heart of Evanston.
Hotel Palomar Chicago
505 North State Street Chicago, IL 60654
I was pleasantly surprised with this hotel. I highly recommend the room service from Sable Kitchen and bar, especially the truffle popcorn. Yum!
55 E Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60611
This place is a no-brainer if you have guests coming in from out of town. It has a central and convenient downtown location, with lovely rooms at a reasonable price.
Medical and Dental
2551 Compass Rd Glenview, IL 60026
Dr. Greis and his entire practice are amazing – they really make you feel at home!
Glenview 2601 Compass Rd 60026
Great for kids. This group in Glenview have it down. From the waiting room filled with such fun stuff to the amazing doctors who are more like child whisperers.
Mopper, Hartleib & Associates
2601 Compass Rd Ste. 100 Glenview, IL 60026
Great for adult dentistry. For a person who is always uncomfortable in the dentist’s chair, these guys make me feel relaxed, at ease, and in great company and care.
James B. Crowe & Associates
3827 N Ravenswood Avenue, Chicago, IL 60613
This gentleman has 25+ years of experience, and in all the years I’ve been using him, he is always spot on with his appraisals.
605 N Elmhurst Rd 847-702-2267
Contact: John Bruner
I’ve worked with John for over 10 years. He educates you on your home and recently added radon testing to his repertoire.
Primping and Pampering (Men and Women)
Art + Science Salons
1554 N. Milwaukee Avenue 773-227-4247
1971 N. Halsted Street 312-787-4247
Becca May and Christina Bock often said that women can hear men moan as they get the straight razor shave. These girls are making Chicago men look like the way we Chicago women want to see them!
NORTH SHORE LOCATION:
1629 Orrington Avenue, Evanston, IL 847-864-4247
There is a reason Chicago magazine listed them as #1! I love that they are focused on education and no stylist hits their floor until they go through a year of tough training in color or cutting. I found this place after 5 friends were completely transformed. Curiosity got me and once I went and experienced I was hooked….so much so that I married my hair dresser!
Fenner Medical Spa
512 Green Bay Road Kenilworth, IL 60043
Kate is my favorite person for facials! She provides what you actually need and doesn’t up-charge you. I love to give my friends certificates to experience her expertise for themselves and I always hear how much they love the experience!
I use this as a guide to find out information about the Chicago Public Schools and I usually get more accurate information than by calling an actual school.
Fast, easy search tool to use when seeking a school in the North Shore.
813 North Waukegan Road, Deerfield, IL
Best iced cookies ever!
1237 Green Bay Rd, Wilmette, IL 60091
No question, the best ice cream around! I’ve been going here for sweet treats since I was two years old. I remember my first banana split with my father. Prairie Berry, Pumpkin, Eggnog, Rum Raison and Fresh Peach are my favorite flavors, and the peppermint ice cream pie is not to miss. I am happy to say my son loves this place as much as I do because I have an excuse to go more often!
Sweet Mandy B’s
1208 W Webster Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
Cupcakes are great, of course, but those chocolate chip cookies are ridiculous! I love serving the mini cupcakes in all flavors for parties. Be sure to call ahead – there’s never much available on last-minute notice.
Oak Mill Bakery
2204 N. North Ave, Chicago 60622
Amazing cakes, especially the red velvet!