The intercampus shuttle is one of the best, and worst things at Northwestern. Despite being dependably late and crowded during bouts of bad weather, it does offer free transportation into downtown Chicago. If you’ve been at NU for any amount of time, you’ll know that one stop past Allison/The Arch will take you into the heart of downtown Evanston, aka where ALL the food is.

What you may not know is that the stops after downtown Evanston can take you to some tasty locales as well. So save your $3 CTA pass and hop on the shuttle for a fun and free foodventure (paying for the food aside).

Stop 1: Chicago/Lee or Chicago/Greenleaf

Number of stops south of Allison/Arch: 2

Sweet food stop: FRIO Gelato

cream, coffee, milk, ice, chocolate, espresso, sweet
Charlotte (Charli) Hu

Frio serves authentic, handmade Argentinian Gelato. The artisanal gelato producer places an emphasis on natural ingredients only, with a nut- and gluten-free focus.

Location: 517 Dempster St. To get there, walk 7 minutes north from the shuttle stop (past Trader Joe’s), and turn east on Dempster St. 

Hours: Every day 12-10pm

Price Range: $3-$10

Savory food stop: Union Pizzeria

cake, coffee
Charlotte (Charli) Hu

Union Pizzeria serves small plates, soup, salads, and wood-fired pizza. Fantastic mood lighting, great staff, and delicious food.

Location: 1245 Chicago Ave. Walk 6 minutes north from the shuttle stop, it will be on the same side as Trader Joe’s.

Hours: Every day 4-10pm

Price range: $8-20

Stop 2: Chicago/Main

Number of stops south of Allison/Arch: 3

Sweet food stop: Dollop Coffee & Hoosier Mama Pie Company

Charlotte (Charli) Hu

Hoosier Mama proudly serves freshly made sweet and savory pies, hot sandwiches, coffee and tea. It’s the kind of place that makes you nostalgic for the old diner days.

Location: 749 Chicago Ave. Located next to the Kedzie stop, and a 2 minute walk south of the Main stop.

Hours: 6:30am-9pm Monday to Friday, 8am-9pm on weekends.

Price range: $1-$10 (unless you’re planning on buying an entire pie).

Savory food stop: La Principal

tacos, chicken, bread
Charlotte (Charli) Hu

The newly opened joint has a simple, but flavorful menu serving authentic Mexican street food. The bar also serves unique but zesty cocktail concoctions.

Location: 700 Main St. To get there, walk north to Main st from the shuttle stop and turn west towards the CTA tracks. It’s on the street corner immediately after you pass under. ~2 min

Hours: 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Price range: Under $12

Stop 3: Sheridan/Loyola 

Number of stops south of Allison/Arch: 4.

Sweet food stop: Insomnia Cookies

cream, ice, ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate
Charlotte (Charli) Hu

Insomnia serves warm, melt-in-your-mouth cookies, cold, heavenly ice-cream, and everything in-between. Perfect for a rainy day or after an eventful evening.

Location: 6470 N Sheridan Rd. Walk 1 min south on Sheridan rd and it should come up immediately on the right.

Hours: 9 a.m. - 3 a.m.

Price range: $1-$6 (aside from the cookie cake which is $16).

Savory food stop: Ghareeb Nawaz

Charlotte (Charli) Hu

Ghareeb Nawaz is located on Devon Avenue, which is as authentic as Indian food gets in Chicago. The portions here are huge and an amazing deal for their price.

Location: 2032 West Devon Avenue. This one is a little far, but definitely worth the 20-minute walk. Head south on N Sheridan Rd until you reach W Devon Ave, then head west for around 1 mile. The slightly inconspicuous, but extremely popular restaurant will be located on a street corner on the right side.

Hours: 24/7

Price range: Nothing above $10

Stop 4: Ward (downtown Chicago)

Number of stops south of Allison/Arch: 5

Sweet food stop: Ghirardelli's

chocolate, cream, cake
Charlotte (Charli) Hu

The famous San Francisco-based chocolate shop also has an adjoined café. Menu items include ice cream, hot chocolate, shakes and malts. It’s rich, indulgent and a chocolate-lover’s paradise.

Location 830 Michigan Ave. It’s a 7 minute walk west of the Northwestern Medical School. Head west on E Chicago Ave and turn north on N Michigan Ave. It should come up at the first intersection on N Michigan.

Hours: 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Price range: Under $10 (unless you order the family-sized sundae, which is $30).

Savory food stop: Eataly

Charlotte (Charli) Hu

Eataly is a conglomerate building housing many different small stalls and restaurants. Each stall sells different kinds of food. These include a Nutelleria that sells all things Nutella, a gelato stand, a bakery that sells sandwiches, gnocchi and pizza. There’s also an Italian supermarket on the ground floor.

Location: 43 E Ohio St. Head west on E Chicago Ave, south on N Michigan, and walk until you reach E Ohio St and turn west (right). It should be located at the second intersection on E Ohio St.

Hours: Every day, 8 a.m. - 11 p.m.

Price range: If you stick to the small stalls, everything is under $15. If you want to have a full on meal, prices can range anywhere from $10-$50.

chocolate, sweet, cream, cake, cookie, candy, pastry
Charlotte (Charli) Hu

To quote Drake, “sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination.” These food destinations are your chance - and excuse - to get out of Evanston and explore the vibrant and diverse food community of Chicago. You’re going to be here for 4 years; it’s as good a time as any to get acquainted with the locals flavors.