I’ve found that when I have a lot of commitments on my plate, the best thing for me to do is put even more on my plate — well, at least more food.

Downtown Evanston is home to a number of different coffee shops ranging from tried and true Starbucks to quintessentially quirky Unicorn Cafe. My personal favorite place to hang out and unwind, however, is Kafein. Located conveniently on Chicago Avenue, Kafein offers not only a great atmosphere, but also some of the most fun and creative coffee drinks I have ever seen, including my favorite, the Byzantine Bronze, which is a white chocolate and caramel latte. The eclectic servers are part of the place’s charm and they fit in perfectly with the broken down couches and 1980s Trivial Pursuit cards adorning the tables. Sometimes it’s nice to put on an old sweatshirt, sit on a dilapidated couch and drink the most sugary drink on planet Earth to escape from reality for just a little while.

Another food-related place that I go to unwind is Whole Foods. The frequency with which I consume Andy’s Frozen Custard immediately dispels any suspicions that I actually ascribe to the grocery store’s healthy lifestyle mantra, but taking a lap around Whole Foods and grabbing a sandwich is sometimes exactly what I need to get back on track. First of all, just walking into the store makes me feel like my life is a little bit more put together. All the organic ingredients are strangely aspirational, but being near people who buy things like flax seed pita chips is strangely soothing. They have their lives together, so why can’t I?! On top of that, the sandwiches that Whole Foods sells are bursting with the freshest ingredients the store has to offer. My favorite, called the Northwestern, is the greatest turkey BLT I have ever had. It’s made with artisanal bread and beefsteak tomatoes. Plus, the seating area in Whole Foods directly overlooks one of the busiest intersections in Downtown Evanston and provides some ideal people watching.

Ultimately, getting off campus and surrounding myself with the people of Evanston is the ideal way to unwind. Downtown Evanston is the perfect place to escape to because there are so many places to go and see. Plus, Downtown Evanston knows a thing or two about delicious snacks. ​

–Hayley Glatter

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