North Chicago the suburb is a wasteland consisting of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, a U.S. Navy Base and associated military base things (commissary, exchange, housing, administrative buildings, etc.). There are very few quality restaurants or bars nearby. Directly south is Lake Forest (which has one of the only Ferrari dealerships in IL, and has a median family income of $200,000+). Directly north is Waukegan which the majority of the population is minority, and the median family income is $47,000). Based on the demographics of its neighbors, North Chicago is a weird place.
The best place to go then is a little further away. Libertyville, and Highwood were my personal favorites in the time I was there. Libertyville is a little slice of Americana. The main stretch of shops, bars, and restaurants is historic, classy, and has nice variety.
|Firkin - Libertyville, IL|
Firkin is also interesting to me because it seems like the best informal meeting bar in an area where there is a lot of business being done. Headquarters in the area include Solo Cup Company, Pactiv, CDW, Grainger, Brunswick, Abbott, Baxter, Hospira, and Takeda to name a few. Firkin was a good place to be seen and to talk to locals.
|Mickey Finn's Brewery - Libertyville, IL|
I love this bar. It is sort of my default bar whenever I can't or don't feel like making a decision. I know if I go here I won't be disappointed and will probably have a great beer, a good meal, and feel very comfortable whether at the bar, or out on the patio. Plus like any good brewer, I enjoy looking at the brewing room.
|Chief's Pub - Lake Forest, IL|
|Bridie McKenna's - Highwood, IL|
Bridie McKenna's is one of my favorite places to go in the fall and winter when it's necessary to have a great dark beer and some Beef and Guinness Stew.
Follow me on Twitter