Down Dempster

    Sea Ranch
    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 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.


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    Angelica Jaime, March 7, 2010