Last updated on December 1, 2022 by Wandering our World

The idyllic suburb of Highwood is one of the best places to live in Chicago, where festivals and community gatherings are frequent among the many young adults who reside here. But what we love the most about this place is – you guessed it – its thriving food scene.

The downtown area is dotted with several eateries offering cuisines from across the globe, so you never have to go out of your way for a good dinner date.

If you happen to be in the area, here are our favorite Highwood restaurants, IL – places you simply must try when in Highwood. Bon appetit! 

Photo for illustrative purposes only: Unsplash+

Our Top Eight Restaurants In Highwood, IL: Food Worth Waiting For!

1. Disotto

Italian favorites served in a cozy and rustic setting with a heated and shaded patio 

Very few places can emulate what dining out in a restaurant in Italy truly feels like, but Disotto is definitely one of them.

With food that’s authentically Italian and impeccably executed, this place is great for romantic dinners and celebrating with friends, especially considering the rustic ambiance. Both the main floor and the basement have exposed brick walls, soft lighting, and a very cozy feel, where the main floor has a bar and offers a more buzzy atmosphere, and the basement with a more intimate and quiet vibe.

Al fresco dining is an equally charming setting, with tables under shades and surrounded by pretty flowers during the summer and space heaters during the colder months.

Disotto hosts a fine-tuned menu of some of the most loved Italian favorites presented with a modern interpretation. Appetizers are varied and palate-pleasing, offering everything from grilled octopus to beef tartare, as are the main courses which are equally enticing.

Pizzas are thin and crispy-crusted, while the pasta is homemade and infused with rustic Italian flavors. One of the favorites here includes the tender and juicy half-roasted chicken called Pollo Arrosto, served with a delicious jus and some hot potato salad. Pair that with one of their fantastic Italian wines, and you’ve got yourself an unbeatable, luxurious meal.

Weekend brunches (11 am – 2.30 pm) include flavorful frittatas, benedicts and decadent French toasts, alongside a triple-tier tower of fruits and purees for you to whip up your own cocktails. So drop by for dinner between Monday to Friday, 5 pm onwards, or 11 am onwards during the weekends. 

Address: 310 Green Bay Rd, Highwood, IL

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/VeselovaElena

2. The Mean Wiener 

Fast-casual restaurant serving hot dogs and Mexican favorites in a laid-back atmosphere

A local gem and one of Highwood’s worst-kept secrets, The Mean Wiener is where everyone goes for satisfying, hefty, cheese-dripping meals.

The casual and super laid-back atmosphere helps because frankly, you’ll be chomping down their delicious stuff without caring about how you look while doing so. Inside their spotlessly clean dining room, there are colored walls and a casual layout, where you order at the counter and receive freshly-made meals in record time. Easy, straightforward, and unfussy – just as fast food should be.

Although this place specializes in making unbelievably good, huge hot dogs, they also happen to serve up some of the best Mexican food among restaurants in Highwood, IL.

Take for example their tacos, which are authentically Mexican and irresistibly tasty. They’re so good that they came up with Taco Wednesdays where you can get these filling, perfectly-made savory delights at a discount all day long. Fajitas, enchiladas, and other favorites are equally mouth-watering and served in enormous portions. Or you could just get one of their jumbo-sized, loaded hot dogs or burgers for a quick, easy, yet insanely tasty lunch.

They also do a short Mexican breakfast menu for those craving something decadent like huevos rancheros in the morning. So in case you’re ravenous and want a fulfilling meal, drop by The Mean Wiener any day of the week from 11 am onwards – they’re totally worth the extra calories! 

Address: 532 Sheridan Rd, Highwood, IL 

3. Longitud315

Latin cuisine served in a homey ambiance with a patio and rooftop dining options, along with occasional live music

Longitud315 has been serving the neighborhood with the bold flavors of South American cuisine for a decade, with co-owner/Chef Tony Castillo’s years of experience shining in his dishes. It’s the perfect place for a day or night out with your family, since the whole place has a very homey and cozy vibe to it.

The first floor offers lots of tables lined up in an inviting dining room with accent walls and a bar at the end, while the second floor has only a few tables nestled into what used to be a small apartment. A kitchen, a countertop, and a couch surrounded by elegant decor make you feel like you’re dining at a friend’s house, so this gorgeous, intimate setting is only available upon reservation.

Al fresco diners can settle on their sidewalk patio or the charming rooftop setting with fire pits for the winters. 5/5 for the ambiance alone, if you ask us!

Their menu includes small plates and regular plates, so you can go either way depending on what you want. Peruvian ceviche, Argentinian montaditos, Pulpo A La Lena (grilled octopus), and similar small plates of tantalizing Latin flavors delight hungry patrons all week long.

Main dishes include the Salmon A la Brazileira marinated in a Brazilian mojo sauce, or the Lomito Saltado – grilled beef tenderloin infused with bright Peruvian flavors. No matter what you choose to order, don’t forget to pair your meals with some of their fantastic Argentinian wines!

Longitud315 is open from 4.30 pm onwards between Tuesday and Thursday and 2 pm onwards on weekends. So put on your best dress and savor the five-star vibe and quality food at this local favorite – reservations are recommended! 

Address: 315 Waukegan Ave, Highwood, IL

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/tbrainina

4. Miramar Bistro 

Vintage bistro serving French favorites and Cuban specialties in a comfortable yet refined atmosphere with outdoor seating 

Miramar Bistro was opened back in 2004 by owner/Chef Gabriel Viti, and since then it has become a staple within the Highwood restaurant scene.

The chef’s aim to revive Cuban cuisine and combine it with a menu dominated by French delicacies worked out great because locals can’t stop raving about the quality food here! It’s the perfect place to experience a refined, fine dining ambiance that is still comfortable and casual.

A very French and slightly Old Wordly atmosphere prevails here, with dark wood accents, comfy red armchairs, and antique mirrors in the surroundings. The main dining room has a bar and lots of tables, each with its own set of large dripping wax candles – their attention to detail in terms of decor is astonishing! You can also dine alfresco on their sidewalk tables.

Their menu is not too extensive, but definitely has something for everyone. Lunch revolves around light bites and handhelds, such as a Cuban ham and cheese or a scrumptious Croque Madame. Burgers, pasta, and entrees such as roasted scallops with oyster mushrooms can also be savored during lunch, and you can also build your own seafood platter.

The same goes for dinner, except that you’ll find richer dishes like a juicy lamb shank or tender roasted duck in an orange sauce. Don’t skimp out on their fresh oysters either, and definitely get something from their extensive and magnifique wine list!

Top all that good stuff with personable service, and you’ll be glad you chose this vintage French bistro for the occasion. The place is open all week long from 11.30 am onwards, including a Sunday brunch with decadent breakfast offerings along with the regular menu. Reservations are recommended for the weekends!

Address: 301 Waukegan Ave, Highwood, IL 

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Petrenkod

5. El Buren Caribbean Cuisine 

Caribbean favorites served in a trendy dining room and a shaded, well-kept patio

Nothing beats the bold flavors of Caribbean cuisine, and El Buren – an understated gem among restaurants in Highwood, IL – surely knows their way about it.

This family-owned business ensures they serve great-tasting food, while also making their customers feel welcome in the gorgeous restaurant. Sit inside their roomy, modern-looking dining room with muted colors, accent walls, and a fully stocked bar as Puerto Rican salsa plays in the background. Even better, settle down on their charming patio fenced in by plants under a canopy that lights up at night. Either way, you’re sure to fall in love with their food and warm hospitality!

Their menu features all of your Caribbean favorites, starting with a rich, homemade plantain soup with plantain chips on the top. The El Jibarito sandwich, filled with succulent meat in between fried green plantains, makes for an excellent choice for lunch, which can also be served as a vegetarian pick.

But you won’t be doing this place justice if you don’t order the very popular jerk chicken that’s topped with tangy mango salsa – it’s one of the most flavorful and succulent of all jerk chickens!

There are plenty of seafood options too, including a coconut-y seafood stew called Caldo Santo with cornmeal coconut dumplings – a Puerto Rico favorite. Finish off on a high (and sweet) note with one of Chef Angel’s homemade desserts. 

El Buren also happens to serve some of the best mojitos and coconut margaritas around town, so be sure to drop by from Wednesday to Saturday from 11 am onwards and 2 pm onwards on Sundays. Fun fact: the restaurant was recently featured in a segment on NBC’s Telemundo! 

Address: 331 Waukegan Ave, Highwood, IL

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/FromMyPointOfView

6. Clucker’s Charcoal Chicken 

Casual joint serving rotisserie chicken and sandwiches with a charming patio 

Not everyone is a fan of chicken, but once you taste the smokey, succulent birds at Clucker’s, you’ll leave a changed person.

Taking rotisserie chicken to a whole new level, this counter-service place is a local favorite, where people pop in for casual meals that taste no less than five stars. The dining room is pretty straightforward with an easy-going atmosphere, so you can relish those juicy chicken bits with no distractions. You can also do this on their cute little shaded patio, which is surrounded by pretty flowers during summers. 

The secret behind their ultra-flavorsome chicken is in the marination. The meat is soaked in fruit juices with herbs for 24 hours before they’re slow roasted in a charcoal rotisserie, resulting in tender, succulent chicken with maximum flavor. So even though it’s a quick-serve, fast-casual restaurant, the food is no less than gourmet quality!

Choose from one of the chicken platters served with the side of your choice, and you also get to choose your sauces, which, by the way, are homemade and just as tasty! Their sandwiches are pretty darn good too, such as the Sloppy Chicken which has some of the best-pulled chicken you’ll ever taste.

Salads, salsa, chips, and other tidbits can also be found on their menu, so don’t hold back – everything they serve is always fresh and delish!

Clucker’s is open every day from 11 am onwards for dine-in, takeout, and delivery. 

Address: 405 North Sheridan Rd, Highwood, IL

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/thesomegirl

7. Greenwood American Kitchen and Bar

All-time favorites with a modern twist served in a hip ambiance with lots of outdoor seating options

Comfort foods elevated to their level best is what Greenwood American Kitchen is all about. Although it’s relatively new in the area, owner Josh’s decades of experience in the restaurant business has turned this place into a staple among restaurants in Highwood, IL.

Sit inside this spacious dining room with wooden panels and a chic aesthetic, where large windows make the room sunny and breezy and a bar makes the atmosphere buzzy and alive with conversation. Outside, you’ll find a roomy and shaded seating area, along with an elegant, walk-in al fresco dining corner available with reservations. The perfect spot to catch up with friends over drinks and great food!

To match this hip ambiance, Greenwood offers a short but inclusive menu full of favorites with a modern twist. Appetizers include a flavorful shrimp cocktail and some decadent mac and cheese with a black truffle sauce, along with vibrant salads.

Their burgers come cooked according to your preference in all their succulent splendor, which also include a delicious Impossible burger with french fried onions in it.

Meanwhile, the mains, such as the Ahi Tuna, are always in a creatively tasty sauce paired with the best sides, so it’s like a carnival inside your mouth. They’ve also got vegetarian options, such as the falafels served with harissa and a salad. And boy, can they up whip up some mean cocktails!

With an extensive and very interesting wine list with rare picks on offer, this place is one of the best among restaurants in Highwood, IL. They’re open from Tuesday to Sunday, 5 pm onwards for dinner. 

Address: 200 Green Bay Rd, Highwood, IL

Photo for illustrative purposes only: Unsplash+

8. Marco’s Northside Grill

Local eatery offering bar food and craft cocktails with regular live music and patio seating

Marco’s Northside Grill is clearly a hotspot among Highwood Restaurants, IL – the owner is very passionate about it and this highly reflects in the food and service offered here.

Even on weekdays, you’ll often find this place to be jam-packed with locals in a cheery and super friendly atmosphere, where you can chomp on comfort foods and glug down some of the best drinks in the area.

Kick back inside the low-key and chill dining room with tables lined up and a small bar with a TV at the other end, or relax on the sidewalk patio. You’ll love the food and drinks either way, especially if you happen to dine in on a live music night! 

A relaxed menu with comfort picks sets the tone for dining here. Start with their appetizers, which include some very sought-after onion rings, wings, chicken tenders, and such. Salads always taste fresh and bright here, made with house-made dressings and vinaigrettes.

Move on to the thick and juicy burgers or sandwiches that are piled high with all the right fixings, such as the shrimp po’boy or the classic Chicago dog, or go all out with one of their entrees served with veggies. Their extensive beer selection is always a winner, especially when paired with their excellent burgers.

No matter what you get, expect made-to-order, steaming hot food that’s reasonably-priced, hearty, and satisfying. Of course, don’t forget to get some of their craft cocktails that are always a generous pour!

Marco’s also offers a short breakfast menu on Sundays (8 – 11 am), with some of the best beignets you can find around the area. Do check out their socials for live music schedules – they’re open every day except on Mondays, from 11 am onwards.

Address: 329 Waukegan Ave, Highwood, IL

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/DGLimages

Highwood Restaurants, IL: Our Final Thoughts

Whether it’s fine dining or a hearty burger that you’re craving, you’ll find it all right here within the Highwood restaurant scene. So save yourself the hassle of looking up places and give these favorites of ours a try – you won’t be disappointed!