Paramour Bungalow (Hewn photo by Julie Matthai. All other photos courtesy of each business.)

Evanston is the perfect blend of urban and suburban.

It’s filled with funky, trendy shops and restaurants that cater to forward thinking North Shore denizens, especially those that like to eat well. You can easily reach the Dempster Street shopping district via the “L,” or walk from the nearby Metra stops at Davis or Main streets.

Either way, you’re sure to find plenty to keep you busy on a beautiful summer day, especially with Lake Michigan just a few blocks away!

Paramour Bungalow

Filled with unique and eclectic home accessories, this store is a treasure trove of inventive interior design. From the snazzy fabric-covered chaise to the clever pillows and tea towels, they understand the allure of good design that also ups the fun quotient. 812 Dempster St., 847-328- 5540 

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Homestead Meats

Ehran Ostrreicher, late of Chicago’s now closed City Provisions, is the butcher behind this brand new storefront, where everything will be locally sourced and hand crafted. Find fresh sausages, bacon, smoked turkeys, and meat cut or ground to order. Expect butchering demos and pop-up dinners to be on the menu as well. 1305 Chicago Ave., 847-868-8040

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Stumble & Relish

A mother–daughter team is behind this adorable store filled with fanciful scarves, handcrafted jewelry (many from local designers), lovely bags, paper goods and home décor, all selected with love. 1310A Chicago Ave., 773-330-3488

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Hewn

If you are a lover of bread, look no further. Baker Ellen King has a way with flour, and each loaf is hand forged with love. Ditto the scrumptious morning pastries, like her exceptional croissants; the almond is a real stunner. 810 Dempster St., 847-869-HEWN

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Union Pizzeria and SPACE

Crowds still swarm Union for a taste of their wood-oven fired pizzas, topped with winning combinations like lamb, eggplant and olives or potato, basil pesto and goat cheese. But I come for Chef Vince diBattista’s salmon and the awesome cocktails and the great bands that gig at SPACE, of course. 1245 Chicago Ave.; Union Pizzeria: 847-475-2400; SPACE: 847-492-8860

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Minasian Rugs 

Armen and Carnig Minasian are the third generation to carry on the family rug business, and walking into this store is a trip back in time, both in the depth of historical knowledge and breadth of selection, as well as the level of service. Magic carpets, indeed. 1244 Chicago Ave., 847-864-1010

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Lollie 

Find “beautiful chic for urban kids” at this fashion-forward favorite. Whether you’re looking for a baby shower gift or the perfect outfit or toy for that special 6-year-old in your life, they’ve got it. 1312 Chicago Ave., 847-328- 7303

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