About Us

Central Street Evanston

Welcome to Central Street! Stroll along this charming street with family and friends to visit a friendly community of unique, independent businesses. Find hand-ground spices, toys and games, books, plants, stylish clothing, gifts and more. Visit a local art museum, learn yoga or how to sew, and take a fitness or dance class. Stop in a local eatery to enjoy a fresh-baked pastry and coffee, grab a sandwich or salad to-go, or dine at one of our many restaurants, offering Mexican, Thai, French, Mediterranean or American food and drinks. Central Street truly is close to home but far from ordinary. 


About the Organization

Central Street Evanston is a 501 (c) 3 organization that manages the Special Service Areas (SSA) #7 and #8 along the Central Street and Green Bay Road corridors. The organization provides marketing, events, beautification, placemaking and other services to support businesses and create a vibrant sense of place for residents and visitors.


About the Neighborhood

Central Street is the commercial heart of northern Evanston, serving the city’s diverse residents, and visitors from Chicago, its nearby suburbs and out-of-town. The 2.6 miles of unique and eclectic businesses along Central Street are part of a walkable and bike-friendly community that is served by the Chicago Transit Authority and Metra rapid transit systems. 


Central Street extends from Evanston’s waterfront and is surrounded by parks and nature, including Independence Park, Ackerman Park, Perkins Woods and the Canal Shores Golf Course. It is home to Northwestern University’s athletic facilities, including Ryan Field and Welsh-Ryan Arena, where the school’s football and basketball teams play, and to the top-rated NorthShore Evanston Hospital.

SSA Boundary Map

Central Street Evanston - SSA Boundary Map

Directions & Parking

Central Street is accessible via the CTA train or CTA bus and the Metra train. Street and lot parking are also available. There is also a Divvy Station on Green Bay Road across from the Metra Station and at the Central Street Purple Line Station. HOLIDAY PARKING If you are doing curbside pickup at shops or getting takeout, park at a "Keep Calm & Shop Evanston or Carry Out" sign and use your flashers. You do not have to pay as long as you are only there for 15 minutes.