Lake Forest’s culinary scene offers a wealth of enticing options for decadent dining this summer—here are 11 of our favorites.
AUTHENTICO MEXICAN RESTAURANT & BAR
This trendy hot spot serves authentic Mexican cuisine with a modern twist. Favorites like guacamole and fajitas share the menu with a fresh mango salsa and creative seafood dishes. Don’t miss the inspired flight of three margaritas, as well as a new gluten-free menu. 770 N. Western Ave., 847.295.3500
At this spot owned and operated by local Chuck Knesley, regulars love the sports bar atmosphere—think plenty of pub grub, beer and games on TV—and the opportunity to run into a neighbor or two. It’s family-friendly, too, with a separate dining area. Kids will love the firefighter artifacts that serve as decor. 502 N. Western Ave., 847.234.3444
THE ENGLISH ROOM
In a cozy corner of the Deer Path Inn is the inviting fine dining offered by chef Kehllil at The English Room. The lavish Sunday brunch buffet has long been a favorite of Lake Forest families, and in pleasant weather, the outdoor space is a special treat. 255 E. Illinois Road, 847.234.2280
The English Room offers the perfect place to dine on sunny summer days.
Owner Mary Greub does European desserts right at this French bakery just off Market Square. Stop in for coffee in a porcelain cup with a pastry, tart or cookie—all prepared with the highest-quality, freshest ingredients. The bakery is famous for its chocolate marjolaine signature dessert—a showstopper for sure. 720 N. Western Ave., 847.234.0023
Le Colonial resides in the historic former police and fire department building in the center of town on Market Square. With interiors completely renovated and decked in signature Le Colonial style, it is one of Lake Forest's hottest new spots. 655 Forest Ave., Lake Forest, 847.474.1500
Cold-pressed, handcrafted and healthy libations are easy to find at Lake Forest’s own juice bar. We’re also partial to the smoothies and acai bowls. 647 N. Bank Lane, 847.235.2090
Enjoy an alfresco meal at The Gallery’s courtyard patio this season.
OAKEN BISTRO + BAR
Inspired by the ancient white oak heritage trees found in Lake Forest, Oaken Bistro + Bar serves a menu that is constantly growing and changing. The lounge-style interiors are laid-back and luxurious, and there’s an eclectic list of cocktails, wine and beer. 200 N. Field Drive, 847.582.6410
SOPHIA STEAK LAKE FOREST
As the co-founders of Ballyhoo Hospitality, husband-and-wife team Ryan and Anna O’Donnell are known for beloved downtown concepts like Gemini Bistro and Coda di Volpe. Now, the partners have expanded their Sophia Steak concept into new territory with their first Lake Forest restaurant, and it's a huge hit. 181 E. Laurel Ave., 847.920.7002
SUSHI KUSHI TOYO
Since 1993, Sushi Kushi has been serving traditional Japanese cuisine for lunch and dinner. The menu offers appetizers from the sushi bar (salmon carpaccio, oyster shooters), sushi, sashimi and cooked entrees. Check out the list of 40-plus specialty rolls. 825 S. Waukegan Road, 847.234.9950
Photography by: FROM TOP: PHOTO BY ANASTASIA ILINAMAKAROVA/PEXELS; PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE ENGLISH ROOM; PHOTO: BY CECILIA LANYON