Dining Detours: Post-Vacation Salvation

Hit these seven restaurants on the way back from a weekend trip

Returning from vacation, well, sucks.

Ease back into real life with a detour to one of these seven restaurants, each just minutes off the highway (from Wisconsin, Michigan and O'Hare) and guaranteed to perk up a depressing ride back to reality.

Returning from Wisconsin:

Ramen Misoya: An outpost of this Japanese chain (open for lunch and dinner daily) opened in Mount Prospect in July. It's slinging some of the Chicago area's finest ramen, each style anchored by savory, umami-rich miso.

Bob Chinn's Crab House: Drown end-of-vacation sorrows in a massive shellfish feast–stone crab, little neck clams, fresh Nantucket bay scallops–at this 31-year-old Wheeling restaurant (open for lunch and dinner daily and weekend breakfast).

New York Bagel & Bialy: Pick up bagels, bialys, sandwiches and schmear at all hours from this classic Lincolnwood bakery (open 24/7), considered by many to make the area's finest bagels.

Captain Porky's: This family-run roadside seafood shack and smokehouse in Wadsworth (open all day, every day) peddles lobster rolls, smoked ribs, crawfish po'boys and vegetable dishes made with produce from co-owner Dino Kallianis' garden.

Smoked fish at Calumet
Returning from Michigan: 
David's Delicatessen: Get fuel for the drive from this New Buffalo deli (open all day, every day). It offers classic, seasonal and vegetarian Reuben sandwiches (made with produce from local farms), and brews a custom roast of Intelligentsia coffee.

Calumet Fisheries: Hop off I-90 for a stop at this historic smokehouse (open all day, every day). Smoked sable, cornmeal-breaded fried shrimp and meaty, shell-on smoked shrimp are our favorites.

Amitabul's kimchi-laden soup

Returning from O'Hare: 
Amitabul: Detox from an overindulgent vacation with vegan Korean cuisine–kimchi noodle soup, bi bim bap made with greens and herbs, steamed whole wheat noodles with nuts, and more. The dishes at this tiny Northwest Side restaurant (open all day, every day) are as flavorful as they are healthy.