Go the distance: Food stops worth the walk

Hayley Glatter, Copy Chief

Last quarter, my roommate and I had the inspired idea that we would sign up to do a half-marathon this May. We had grand visions of our newly athletic selves jogging happily through the streets of Chicago while sporting the sleekest gear on Earth.

This vision was far more appealing in February. Now, as the reality that I’m actually going to have to run 13.1 miles in a few weeks sets in, I’ve been forced to do some serious training so I don’t end up like Dr. Mindy Lahiri when she tried to complete a triathlon. Nothing motivates me quite like food does, so runs with a restaurant destination have successfully moved me off the couch and onto the pavement.

The weather is (theoretically) getting nicer, and the dining hall food is (definitely) getting old. So instead of going to Chipotle for the third time this week, try one of these off-the-beaten-path places. They’re a little bit further away but are sure to make your longer walk worthwhile.

Location: Gigio’s Pizzeria

Address: 1001 Davis St.

Distance from The Arch: .6 miles

Tina Fey literally ate here. That should be motivation enough for you to stop binge-watching “30 Rock” on Netflix and walk a little bit.

In all honesty, Gigio’s is the counter to the magic that is Lou Malnati’s: rather than churning out Chicago’s famous deep dish pizza, the Davis Street stop serves up delicious thin crust pies.

If you’re all about that cheese pizza, Gigio’s offers an awesome variation, but my personal favorite is the Gigio’s “Special.” The sausage, mushroom, green pepper and onion-topped masterpiece is practically weighed down by toppings but is so flavorful that you won’t care if you end up a little bit messy.

Location: Rollin’ To Go

Address:  910 Noyes St.

Distance from The Arch: .8 miles

To be fair, Rollin’ To Go isn’t much of a walk for students who live on North Campus. But for us South Campus folk, the Italian sandwich powerhouse is a hidden, far-off gem.

With a selection ranging from pesto chicken to Philly cheesesteak, there’s sure to be something on the menu that you’ll like. Plus, you can have your food delivered right to your door in a relatively efficient manner, so if you’re not feelin’ a walk, you can still enjoy a sandwich.

Location: Homer’s Ice Cream

Address: 1237 Green Bay Rd., Wilmette

Distance from The Arch: 3.3 miles (also accessible by the Metra)

I was accepted into Northwestern on the back of Homer’s Ice Cream. I’m not even kidding — I actually wrote my “Why Northwestern?” essay on the old-fashioned Wilmette shop.

It’s definitely a hike, but if you’re willing to walk, you’ll be rewarded. Homer’s has been a North Shore staple for nearly 80 years, and the homemade ice cream has garnered accolades from publications ranging from Chicago Magazine to Bon Appetit. Homer’s doesn’t mess around when it comes to frozen treats, and they have the diversity of flavors to prove it. Between mango sorbet, raspberry frozen yogurt and my personal favorite, coffee toffee ice cream, Homer’s consistently delivers a superb product.

You owe it to yourself and your taste buds to take a trip to Homer’s while at NU, and if the 3.3-mile walk seems a little daunting, it’s also easily reached by the Metra. Just hop on the train at the Davis Street or Central Street stops and take it to the Kenilworth stop; you’ll be glad you did. 

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