Best Restaurant, Best Meal for a Tight Budget: Tomate Fresh Kitchen

Emily Sakai, Social Media Editor

For the fourth year running, Tomate Fresh Kitchen was voted Evanston’s best restaurant.

It’s a remarkable feat for the small establishment, located at 914 ½ Noyes Street, especially when you consider that the business is carry out and delivery with no dine-in option.

With what its website describes as “gourmet street food” based in Latin American cuisine, Tomate has an ironclad grip on the Northwestern student body that is truly unmatched. Never was this more apparent than in the early months of 2021, when the restaurant temporarily closed and left a burrito-shaped hole in many of our hearts. Since its reopening, Tomate regulars and curious newcomers alike have enjoyed the wide variety of delectable fillings in their tacos, gorditas and burritos.

For me, the burritos are where Tomate stands apart. They’re each around $8, an absolute steal for the quality and quantity of food you receive. Each filling I’ve tried, from the chicken tinga to the carnitas to the sweet potato, has been top notch. While I’m not vegetarian, their vegetarian options are so good I often opt for those. The guacamole is also some of the best around, so spending the extra $1 for that is totally worth it.

My only complaint? It closes early, shutting its pickup window at 6 p.m. Still, that doesn’t stop Tomate from deserving the top spot among Evanston restaurants.

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Twitter: @em_sakai