Hoosier Mama: Evanston’s Hidden Gem


By Abigail Davis, Staff Writer

Near the center of downtown Evanston is a bustling, urban cafe called Hoosier Mama. This restaurant serves almost anything your heart desires, from paninis to pie. While the prices may be a bit steep, the food is well worth it.

The environment of the shop is very laid back and relaxed. It would be easy to stay there for hours to catch up on work, but the food is prepared quickly in case you’re on the go. I decided to enjoy my time and the atmosphere with a couple of my close friends, and we were able to enjoy ourselves for quite a while.

Hoosier Mama gives off an almost hipster vibe, making it feel like a spot in an urban Chicago neighborhood. The cafe itself is quite large, but it still manages to feel quaint and cozy. One of the most endearing aspects of the shop was the chalkboard menu that takes up an entire wall. Whether you go on a week day or a weekend, there is always a crowd of people, so come prepared to search for a seat.

I ordered my typical drink: a chai latte. I can honestly say that it is one of the best I’ve had. For years, I’ve been trying it out at different restaurants and cafes, but the one at Hoosier Mama has no competition. It is the perfect warm, sugary, yet subtle blend of spices, and it is the most homey fall and winter drink.

Along with my latte, I ordered a classic slice of apple pie. Eating this took me back to my grandma’s house on Thanksgiving Day- only this was ten times better. The pie crust was soft and flaky, making it the perfect base for the apples on top. Those were coated with cinnamon as well as other fall flavors. This warm slice of pie, fresh from the oven, is all you need to turn your day around.

My order was complete in only one minute, making it a great treat for when you’re in a hurry. The workers were unbelievably kind, and they are very meticulous with their work. For instance, apparently my piece of pie wasn’t looking presentable at first, so the cook gave me two slices instead of one. This made me realize how much they really want you to enjoy yourself at Hoosier Mama.

All in all, Hoosier Mama has officially became my new favorite cafe. While it is pretty well-known in the Evanston area, many students at Niles West are yet to be exposed to it. If you are looking for a relaxed environment to do homework, a place to catch up with friends, or quick bite, this cafe is the place for you. While the atmosphere may be outstanding, the quality of the food is what really sets it apart.