518 Dempster St., (847) 492-8340
This restaurant/market hybrid is a treasure trove of pan-Asian goodies. On the left, aisles stand stocked with everything from microwavable bowls of noodles to the childhood favorite Koala Yummies. The Sea Ranch offers sushi grade fish, including atlantic salmon. Seating is limited, so your best option is carry-out. Prices per roll range from $2.10 to $3.50.
Thee Fish Bowl
600 Dempster St., (847) 475-6500
If CuteOverload.com opened up a shop, they would be no match for Thee Fish Bowl. The one-stop shop has everything from Betta fish to chinchillas, but the main attraction is, inarguably, the puppies. A pen in the center features a rotating pair of pups looking for a home.
I Dream of Sweets
611 Dempster St., (847)859-6317
A flowery oasis of pies, pastries and cakes, this dessert parlor is an unapologetically girly delight. Tables topped with copies of Vogue and fresh flowers make this cozy nook a perfect location for lunch with the besties. Guys might try this as a unique daytime date; you can’t go wrong with white chocolate chai cheesecake at just $4.69.
2nd Hand Tunes
800 Dempster St., (847)491-1690
Evanston’s oldest record store holds a collection sure to make even the most jaded vinyl-loving hipster swoon. Stacks upon stacks of rare records, movies, CDs, cassettes and even VHSs are packed inside. The shop also purchases used music and movies, a quick way to make an easy buck if your collection needs to be refreshed.
Wiener and Still Champion
802 Dempster St., (847)869-0100
This hot dog haven is not for the weak-stomached. The menu features such drool-worthy items as the Bacon Dog, a wiener wrapped in — you guessed it — bacon, then deep fried to a crisp. In honor of their appearance on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” the stand created the Dippin’ Dog Deluxe, a duo of hand-dipped corndogs smothered in homemade chili and cheese.