An hour’s train ride from downtown Chicago, Highland Park is located in a woodland setting on the shore of Lake Michigan. The city is an enclave of urbane, wealthy, educated residents with family homes designed by prominent 20th-century architects, including Frank Lloyd Wright.
While Chicago’s gourmet dining is celebrated, it was also the place where the brownie, the Twinkie and Sara Lee’s famous All Butter Pound Cake were first baked and where — at the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1933 — frozen custard was introduced to the mass market. Baker Boys in Highland Park serves a traditional mom and pop-take on this ice-cream-style dessert, daily whipping together pounds of butterfat, egg yolk, cream and sugar.
Highland Park has always been the province of creatives and intellectuals — from Orson Welles, the actor, to Peter Suber, the philosopher — and what does the intelligentsia drink but tea?
Billy Corgan, professional wrestling promoter and long-time frontman of the Smashing Pumpkins, who resides in Highland Park, took time away from the anguished strains of his guitar-led alternative rock to set up a tea shop: Madame ZuZu’s.
It serves up organic tea and vegan sandwiches as well as poetry evenings, and it has even hosted introductory knitting classes.
Photographs: Wayne Cable; Slaven Vlasic/Getty; Frederick Breedon/Getty; David Pollack/Corbis via Getty