Lasagna and Liquid Gold juice from In the Raw
Lasagna and Liquid Gold juice

“This is totally a safe place for people like you!” our bubbly server assured my dining partner, who meekly mentioned that she’s on the Paleo diet, a strict “caveman” regimen of no grain, no dairy, no refined sugar, no joy. In the Raw, the North Shore’s upscale new “living foods café”—where there’s nary an animal product, a speck of gluten, or an oven in sight—is a veritable parade of fit folks. They arrive morning (for a freshly pressed green juice or colorful blended shake after yoga), noon (for a mom date over sunflower “falafel” on sesame “bread”), and night (for pad thai, a striking bowlful of shaved veggies, almonds, and glass noodles that you’d never guess were actually kelp). An obvious slam dunk for the gluten-averse, vegans, and cavewomen among us, this spot also served this surprised omnivore one of the tastier meals she’s had in a while. 483 Central Ave., Highland Park, 847-432-9999.



Photograph: Anna Knott