Since I'm from HoustonChicago's winter took me by surprise. Sometimes my coat, gloves, scarf and sweater are just not enough to keep me warm. It's times like these when I venture into Evanston to get some of my favorite cold weather bites. From noodles to soups, these dishes are exactly what you need on cold days.

Table to Stix Ramen

A big bowl of noodles filled with rich pork broth is perfect for a snowy day. Toppings range from tender menma to salty chashu. My favorite dish is the classic tonkotsu ramen. The noodles have the perfect chew and the chashu falls apart in your mouth. The wonderfully rich broth works so well with the salthy chashu, in addition to the runny egg and the tender menma. One of my favorite additions to this bowl is the corn. It adds a bit of sweetness along with the scallions. Finally, I can never pass up the addition of brussel sprouts. The way they soak up the broth and bring a bit of a charred flavor to the dish adds a whole other dimension.


In addition to a steaming cup of coffee, my weekend brunch during the winter includes the sweet potato bowl from Cupitol. The spices of the curry bring warmth to the dish with the creamy richness of the coconut milk. The addition of sweet potatoes and kale make it a meal that will keep you full all day long. But a meal wouldn’t be considered brunch without a runny yolk, which is where the perfectly poached egg that rests on top of the bowl comes in. Mixing in the runny yolk, the creamy curry sauce becomes richer and the rice soaks up every bit of sauce. This bowl is sure to get you out of bed on a cold Saturday morning.

Cozy Noodles & Rice

Stepping into Cozy Noodles and Rice is enough to cheer me up on a gloomy winter afternoon. The restaurant's walls are adorned with knick-knacks galore and bring a smile to my face. But aside from restaurant's decor, its food cures me of a winter chill. Whenever I am craving something to help me defrost, I dream of Cozy's green curry. Creamy coconut milk and Thai green chili spice will warm you up from the inside out. The freshness of the basil along with crunchy carrots and tender bamboo shoots add brightness to the dish, too.

Trattoria Demi

The twinkly lights and quaint interior of Trattoria Demi transport diners to a cozy piece of Italy in the heart of downtown Evanston. The welcoming interior feels inviting on a winter night. The restaurant's asiago stuffed gnocchi is a hearty dish leaves you full and satisfied. What more could you ask for than cheese stuffed gnocchi? The creamy vodka sauce perfectly coats the pillowy pasta and it's topped with an incredibly large piece of chicken parmesan. The serving is so generous that it could easily feed two, so it's the perfect dish to split with a friend. The cozy vibes of Trattoria Demi and the rich gnocchi is the perfect thing to satiate your desire for something warm.

Unicorn Cafe

Snuggling up in Unicorn Cafe with a hot cup of coffee is  a perfect solution to grey whether. The classic combo of a grilled cheese and tomato soup warms the soul, too. The crunch of the perfectly toasted bread and delicious melted cheese are so satisfying, and it's the perfect contrast to creamy tomato soup. All the rich flavors are contrasted by the acidity of the tomato that cuts through the fat of the cream and cheese. Eating these dishes on their own is great, but dunking a delicious sandwich into creamy soup is sure to delight. This childhood classic is a favorite of mine year-round.

Don't let the winter dull your spirits or put you in a bad mood. See the chill as an opportunity to enjoy these warm bites instead. Thankfully, the restaurants and cafes in Evanston know how to warm customers up and make them happy.