As a first-year student, I'm a newbie to the Evanston food scene. I indulge in shared plates at Found Kitchen, brunch at Cupitol, and on occasion, the ever-so-loved Mac grilled cheese at Cheesie's. I'm always on the hunt for a trendy, affordable and tasty spot, and recently, I stumbled across Kinship, my new favorite spot. 

Say hello to your new favorite spot for brunch, lunch, dinner and everything in between. Kinship and Next of Kin are the places for you. Part-restaurant and part-market, this genius concept will satisfy any and every craving. Naturally, I ventured over to the newly-opened Evanston spot to investigate, and I liked what I found. 

The Atmosphere

Chloe Krugel

When I first walked into Kinship, I immediately fell in love with its enticing, hip vibe. A trendy playlist, geometric gold chandeliers, and a marbled bar created a chill atmosphere for this intimate space. Surrounded by windows that let customers observe the snow falling outside, the space feels cozy in these cold winter months, and it will undoubtedly transition well into the bright and cheerful summer season. 

On to The Food

Chloe Krugel

Full disclosure, I am a Brussels sprouts fanatic. So, when I initially got my hands on Kinship's menu, the Brussels sprouts immediately stood out to me. Let me tell you, these bad boys did not disappoint. Topped with Cotija cheese and roasted to perfection, you can't go wrong with this savory appetizer. Warning: You may want to get two orders of these because they'll go fast. 

#SpoonTip: If you're trying to eat light, order the cracked pepper aioli on the side as a dip.

Chloe Krugel

After the melt-in-your-mouth Brussels sprouts, I indulged in the Roasted Winter Salad with radishes, crispy chickpeas and roasted butternut squash. On those days when the crispy fried chickpeas at Sargent are neither crispy nor fried, look no further than this Kinship staple. If you're feeling a little extra #hangry, go ahead and add on a savory side like the crispy broccoli or cauliflower.

Chloe Krugel

At this point, I was extremely excited to try the Honey Butter Fries. I tried to mentally prepare myself for these, but there is truly no way to anticipate the crunch, the subtle sweetness and the honey butter glaze that consumes these fries. Honestly, Kinship could just sell these fries and business would still be booming, they are just that good. But, don't just take it from me. A 6-year-old boy and self-proclaimed fry fanatic sitting next to me described these as "the absolute best" waffle fries he's ever had. Take that, Chick-fil-A. 

Chloe Krugel

The fries left me craving something sweet, so I indulged in a seriously addicting pot brownie for dessert. This little pot packs a big punch. Topped with mint chip gelato and hot chocolate sauce, this treat proves some serious competition for other Evanston sweets (Insomnia, watch out). 

After falling in love with the ambiance of Kinship, I couldn't help but define the relationship after trying some highlights from the delicious menu. I can't wait to come back for brunch and to visit the daily market at Next of Kin. 

#SpoonTip: Kinship also offers a wide selection of eclairs, including one with a Northwestern theme. Grab a dozen (or two) to bring with you to your next club meeting or get-together—you'll get some major school spirit points.