Alex's Washington Gardens

4.6
710 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Made from scratch, family recipe Italian cuisine in Highwood since 1932, and at it's current location since 1982. Serving a selection of Fresh Seafood delivered daily including Salmon, Whitefish, Ahi Tuna, Mussels, Calamari, Frogs Legs..... All the classics are here, homemade pastas, hand carved and pounded out Chicken and Veal Parmigiana, Limone, Piccata, Calabrese, and of course Lasagnas, Meatballs, Osso Bucco, Chicken Vesuvio, and many more, and of course homemade desserts. Also, we offer some of the best thin crisp crust pizza, which was the first pizza served on the North Shore at Scornavacco's since 1944.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian, Seafood, Steak
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Hours of operation
Dinner:
Sunday: 4:30pm - 9:00pm
Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
Friday 5:00pm - 10:00pm
Saturday: 4:30pm - 10:00 pm

Closed Only Six Evenings a Year: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Years Day, Super Bowl Sunday, 4th of July, Labor Day
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Phone number
(847) 432-0309
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Jose Briseno
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Catering
Our entire restaurant and bar are available for private lunch or afternoon gatherings as we open at 5 PM for regular business. For off-site catering, we can provide food only, or servers and bartenders as you wish. Call Jim, the owner, at 847-980-1954 to discuss party and catering options.
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Neighborhood
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Parking details
Street parking with valet parking Tuesday through Saturday. Complimentary Valet Parking Tuesday through Thursday.
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Public transit
Metra North Line is two blocks away.
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Wine
What 710 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.5
service
4.2
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
99% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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OT
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

Service was. Worse than awful and the food was bad. Usually we like it but this time was really bad

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SK
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was my wife’s birthday. We love this place-consistent food quality, friendly staff and cozy atmosphere.

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MR
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

It was very quiet in the restaurant- not a good place to take young kids, even on a Sunday at 5:30p!

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DW
Charleston
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love Washington Garden. Our favorite restaurant

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C
Chicago
31 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 5

We had one of the specials and it was lukewarm. I dont often send food back but I did. Came back the same temperature and waitress said she was getting yelled at and couldnt make it any hotter. Ridiculous

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MW
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The best pizza in the area. Hands down. The crust is thin and crispy. The sauce is flavorful and they don't overload on the cheese. Excellent pizza!

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N
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

I always enjoy eating there. The wait staff is very friendly. The drinks are with a good value.

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T
Chicago
49 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We cannot say enough about Washington Gardens. We consider ourselves regular, dining there every six weeks or so.

Wonderful menu, including first-class thin-crust pizza that would win plaudits in New Jersey.

Outstanding menu compounded by friendly, non-intrusive, and attentive service.

The foregoing explains why we come back again and again over many, many years.

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S
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Love this place! It’s our favorite standby.

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SS
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best Italian restaurant on the North Shore. The service and food is outstanding. The bartender, Victor is THE BEST!!! Always a great time and a great meal. NEVER disappointing!!

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k
Washington DC
126 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

always our favorite restaurant, great staff, service, delicious menu items

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LS
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great Italian food in a homey setting. Nice service.

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w
Chicago
14 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the best meals I have had in a long time.

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M
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food,good value,pleasant atmosphere. Wait staff most friendly and efficient

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CL
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my very favorite places in Chicago. Great food, great atmosphere, great service. Warm & friendly environment.

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k
Washington DC
126 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

always our favorite RESTAURANT, STAFF, FOOD, SERVICE

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LL
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

The food was very good: we ordered calamari appetizer and then our group had lasagna, veal marsala, and chicken limone. However the service was fairly slow (it took about 30 min to place our order) and it took a long time to get refills on our sodas (the server had to get the sodas from the bartender - why not just have an accessible soda fountain?). But my main issue is the building - it's really old and it shows. The bathrooms are tiny and the women's bathroom was out of order when I needed it so I used the men's room (which looked the same, why not have unisex bathrooms?) And there was no clear, designated parking (I later found out that the lot next to Slyce could be used but it was full anyway from the Pumpkin Festival - which was poor planning on my part.) There are a lot of restaurant choices in Highwood. I would try some others before going back here.

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LK
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 1

Had a terrible table- other empty tables were available but we not changed- owner terribly rude - we had been loyal long term customers but now will NEVER return and will surely tell all our friend as suggested by the owner - terrible experience and to top it off the valet service took 25 minutes to find our car

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r
Chicago
26 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Always enjoy the food and neighborhood charm. Highly recommend their alfredo sauce. Sat at bar and service was great!

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y
Chicago
100 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Yumm Italian cozy neighborhood spot
It’s consistingly deeeelish

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JA
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Washington Gardens is a wonderful neighborhood spot where the food is spectacular and the wait staff is the best! We try to come here at least once a week.

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S
Chicago
18 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

First time at Washington Gardens. Was a Friday night with a large crowd which was pretty noisy.
BUT, the pizza (especially the crust) was out of this world.

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k
Washington DC
126 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our favorite restaurant.
Consistently great, this time we
enjoyed lobster Sergio and Veal Marsala
Wonderful staff and service

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GJ
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A Highwood gem - classic Italian food that is always wonderful. The bar has a friendly “local” feel and the cocktails are generously portioned.
They make the best Chicken Parmesan we have eaten anywhere. And a baked - not fried Eggplant Parmesan. But our favorite indulgence (for when we want something rich and wildly wonderful) - the Straw & Hay pasta.
There’s many more wonderfully executed meat and fish dishes - we’re just stuck on our favorites :)

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R
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 3

Consistently good food and plentiful. Our only compaint was we felt rushed by wait staff who cleared our bottle of wine while there was still wine in it and went to do the same with our desseet plates until we stopped her.

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JN
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

As always the food was wonderful and the service superb! Our go to restaurant .

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Q
Chicago
29 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best Ever and great service! Consistently great food! Always fun to dine in but we also carry out their “ hands down “ best pizza ever!!!!
We have been customers for over 30 years!!

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RF
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

This is a consistently solid restaurant, with good pasta dishes and great thin pizza. The snarky waitress thought she was being clever, but it wasn't working for us. We'd mentioned on Open Table that we were celebrating our anniversary, but they obviously didn't look at it.

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JS
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed dining at Alex’s Washington Garden on Monday night. This was our second visit this month. The food is excellent. I had the Hay and Straw pasta as recommended by my hair stylist who also enjoys eating there. We will return soon,

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L
Miami
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 2

The food was great but the host at the door was most unpleasant. I had erred on my reservation and made it on Open Table for Friday night rather than Saturday night! I was most apologetic but he was horribly rude both on the phone and when we got there! He also had a fight with one of the patrons while we were there! This was very uncomfortable. He definitely needs to learn host manners if he is going to work the phone and the entry stand.

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A
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Washington Gardens has good food consistently. Their emails keep you up to date on specials, which is nice. The staff is always friendly and attentive. I’ve been going there happily for decades! My only suggestion is that they update the decor. That hasn’t changed in decades either!

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v
Chicago
67 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 2

The ravioli al forno that is suppose to imitate Willy’s *My Favorite Inn* is not doing the job. My husband could barely eat it. The marinara sauce is delicious. The place needs a face lift. It’s old and dingy. I think there is mold by the booths near the bar on the wood. Basically the old clientele continues to visit and its a thriving business.

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KS
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Washington Gardens has amazing food.

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S
Chicago
55 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Washington Gardens never disappoints. Best pizza in town by far. Service, food and ambience are outstanding.

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r
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The very best on the North Shore, great food and service.

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k
Washington DC
126 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

consistently great, our favorite restaurant and staff !

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OT
Chicago
18 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always great food and service at Washington Gardens.

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OT
Chicago
18 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a wonderful experience. Great food and service.

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a
Chicago
16 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Great local restaurant. Always good service and consistently good food.

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SB
Chicago
21 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

From the food to the service to the ambiance is always excellent. One of my favorite spots in highwood.

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