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January 27, 2023
You can’t talk about iconic Evanston restaurants without bringing up Edzo’s. Since 2009, Edzo’s has been serving up mouthwatering burgers, fries, shakes and more from its prime location in downtown Evanston. If you’re looking for an exciting place to get a great meal, Edzo’s is the perfect destination, and it’s for that reason it has earned the designation as the Best Evanston restaurant as voted on by ETHS students.
Edzo’s is an essential part of Evanston culture that has provided many of us with great food and priceless memories. I have countless memories of going to Edzo’s with my dad on a cold winter day or with my friends on a half-day in middle school. When Edzo’s closed for remodeling during the pandemic, Evanston residents couldn’t wait for it to reopen.
“I was super happy when it reopened. I tried to go as soon as possible when it did, because I really love that restaurant,” says sophomore Zach Cutter.
I felt the same way, when I heard that Edzo’s was reopening in September after being closed for seven months, I knew I had to go.
The first thing I noticed when I returned to Edzo’s was the change in decor. The wall-sized chalkboard menu and the colorful burger mural were gone. The menu had been replaced by an ordering app and the mural had been painted over with colorful stripes. Despite the change in appearance, the atmosphere of the restaurant still fits owner Eddie Lakin’s original vision.
“I wanted it to look like a funky hotdog stand… that had been there since the 60s or the 70s and not changed. I want people to think…it’s been there for 40 years,” says Lakin. This definitely came through when I entered Edzo’s. With the retro stripes stretching around the walls and the vintage poster hanging opposite the counter, it was easy to believe this place had been here for a while.
I wasn’t in Edzo’s just for the atmosphere; I wanted to eat. I eagerly ordered a cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and ketchup, and a side of fries. Within minutes my food was ready, the burger and fries tossed messily into little cardboard boats. My nose filled with the intoxicating aroma of the warm, golden-brown fries, and I quickly stuffed a handful in my mouth. They were just like I remembered them, soft yet crispy, perfectly thin, and salted just right.
Next, I grabbed the burger and took a bite, careful to get a taste of each ingredient. My tongue was bombarded with an array of different flavors, the tender beef patty, the gooey cheddar, the crisp lettuce, the juicy tomato, the tangy pickles, the sharp onion, the sweet splash of ketchup, and the soft, fluffy bun. It had been a while since I had eaten a burger this good.
“We grind the beef fresh every day. We have the potatoes fresh every day. We try to use whole ingredients that start with real produce and not buy stuff that’s frozen or already pre-made before we cut it. And then we just try to cook it fresh and serve it quick,” says Lakin.
I could taste the difference, Edzo’s fresh ingredients gave strong, unique tastes, elevating the food to an ever higher level. After devouring the rest of the burger and fries, I leaned back in my chair, satisfied. I was happy to know that my favorite Evanston restaurant was back in business and better than ever.
If you missed Evanston’s best burger restaurant during COVID, don’t worry. Edzo’s is back and just as good as you remember. The restaurant looks a little different, but the great food and retro atmosphere are still the same.
“The vibe of the place is really fun, and [it is] a place that I can go to anytime [and] not have to worry about the food being good one day or bad one day,” says Cutter.