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Suburban Restaurants With City Vibes
Here are some of the best restaurants with a big-city feel, so you can have a dining experience to remember. (Even if you prefer takeout!)
Citrine
Oak Park
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A block south of well-traveled Lake Street in Oak Park, Citrine Cafe offers Demitarian inspired cuisine with an American flair. The restaurant is inspired by the owner Branko Palikuca, who used his childhood experiences in Serbia as an inspiration for the cuisine. In the restaurant, you can find traditional dishes, including braised and brined meats, as well as vegetables cooked in clay pots and brick ovens. Try one of their starters like the house-made lamb sausage or charred Spanish octopus, or one of their mains, like the angus beef short robs or the lake superior white fish.

Cooper's Hawk
Oak Park
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One of the most popular restaurants across the country, Cooper's Hawk in Oak Park is no different. And if you’ve never heard of Cooper’s Hawk before, you’ve most likely heard of what makes them famous. A little thing called, wine? Their extensive wine list, including barrels of specialty and reserve wines, is sure to please the wine lovers in your life. And don’t worry, their food is just as good. From their house-made meatballs and Italian bruschetta to the pistachio-crusted grouper and jambalaya, every choice is a good one. 

The Little Gem Cafe
Oak Park
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It’s all in the name. A true gem to the Marion Street area, Little Gem Cafe brings big flavor to downtown Oak Park. This restaurant brings big city feels through an antique Chicago building, with classic features — down to the live jazz music that carries you through the weekend. When it comes to their menu, all of the ingredients are fresh, high-quality, and are locally sourced whenever possible. You can try any of their incredible menu items like the New Zealand lamb chops — made with roasted potato, carrots, asparagus, and rosemary jus — or the seafood risotto made with imported arborio rice, fresh fish, shrimp, Prince Edward Island mussels and tomatoes.

Maya del Sol
Oak Park
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Since opening their doors in 2007, Maya del Sol embodies Chicago’s incredible mix of cultures in cuisine, by serving up some of the best, most authentic Latin American cuisine in the west suburbs. Their cuisine combines bold, innovative flavors from Mexico and Central and South America with recipes that have been handed down through generations.  Their restaurant is the perfect blend of chic and intimate, making it the perfect spot for date night or to chat with friends over incredible food. When the weather’s nice, you can enjoy a craft cocktail in their outdoor dining area. When it comes to dinner, there’s no wrong choice. You can try their carne asada served with chimichurri, or the wild mushroom tostada. They even offer a delicious brunch menu, with items like huevos rancheros and breakfast burritos.

Mora Asian Kitchen
Oak Park
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When it comes to dining with that city feel, Mora in Oak Park is truly something special. From the moment you walk in the door, the mix of modern décor in a classic old-style Chicago building makes it something to remember. Their menu features traditional Asian dishes, with a modern flare. Like their grilled robatayaki dishes —  including the honey shrimp or Korean wings. In the mood for sushi? No problem, try one of their incredible hand rolls like the sumo — made with cream cheese, spicy tuna tempura, spicy blue crab, wasabi mayo, and tempura crunch — or the geisha — made with spicy tuna, tobanjan chili, chili oil, and mayo topped with escolar, truffle sauce, and crispy fried shallots. Everything on the menu is bursting with flavor. 

One Lake Brewing
Oak Park
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Set inside a stunning building with a big city atmosphere, One Lake Brewing in Oak Park is truly a gem. Not only do they have gorgeous indoor dining, but there's’ also a rooftop patio with a view for when the weather gets nice. When it comes to the food, there’s something for everyone. You can start with one of the amazing appetizers — like the pretzels, made with clarified butter, Maldon sea salt, wholegrain honey mustard and their new beer cheese — or the try one of their entrees — like the fried chicken sando, served on a brioche bun, with bacon and ghost pepper aioli, white cheddar, house pickles, and seasonal lettuce. Plus, there’s a beer to match almost anything you pick. 

Autre Monde
Berwyn
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What locals know as a hidden gem in Berwyn, Autre Monde is a chic, city restaurant from start to finish. Its colorful, modern décor perfectly pairs with their equally colorful menu. This restaurant celebrates the rich culinary tradition of the Mediterranean coast, with influences from France and Spain, to Portugal, Italy and Greece. Plus, as a green certified build, they celebrate local and sustainable buildings and products.  For dinner, you can try one of their cold plates, like the mezze platter, a hot plate, like the falafel fried shrimp, or a large plate, like the wood grilled pork chop. 

La Parra
Berwyn
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A modern, trendy restaurant in the heart of Berwyn, La Parra specialized in home made pastas, tapas, and what they call some of the best cocktails you’ll ever try. The menu is inspired by Mediterranean cuisine and includes tasty items like the caprese or pear salad, or the chile relleno and beef tenderloin combination — topped with Azteca fondu. 

The Elm
La Grange
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An incredibly chic restaurant with gorgeous view to downtown La Grange, The Elm is a neighborhood gem that will make you wonder if you’re in the Chicago Loop. You can start the evening with one of their delicious cocktails or craft beers. The dinner menu rotates with the seasons, with a focus on American cuisine made from the freshest ingredients. You can try one of their signature dishes like the roasted cauliflower, seared scallops, or parmesan-crusted baja striped bass. Looking to host a big group? There’s plenty of space for everyone with private event rooms.  

Fourteensixteen
La Grange
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Another La Grange favorite, fourteensixteen promises great things to every person that walks through their doors. According to the owners, the mission is simple — let the seasons dictate their menu and provide every guest with great food. They choose fresh and sustainable ingredients to craft dishes that’ll make you feel good about what you’re eating. And they mean it. With appetizers like the poutine, corn bread, or scallops, or a main dish like the brazino, rohan duck, or green circle chicken. Their space is gorgeous and industrial, and includes a main dining room, bar, lounge, and a rooftop terrace. So it’s perfect for date night, or a girls’ night out.

Kama Bistro
La Grange
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An absolute delight in downtown La Grange, Kama Bistro isn’t just a restaurant, it’s an experience. Their menu is an exploration of regional Indian and Indian inspired American food. Every menu item is made from scratch, and features 10 regional and fusion sauces made with fresh produce, house ground regional spice blends, grilled meats, and fresh baked breads in a tandoori charcoal oven.

 

You can try one of their delicious appetizers, like the crispy chili potatoes  — tossed in garlic, onion, bell pepper w/Kama ketchup — or the lobster bisque made with ginger and fenugreek. For dinner? Try the tikka masala — made with creamy fresh Roma tomato reduction sauce, flavored with fenugreek and Kama garam masala. 

Milk Money Brewing
La Grange
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Located in downtown La Grange, Milk Money Brewing embodies the feeling of summertime in Chicago — all year round. Their trendy interior and incredible menu make it a feel good place to go for lunch or dinner. Their goal is to provide food and beer that are both seasonally-driven and locally sourced. For your meal, try one of their amazing dishes like the street tacos, marinated mahi mahi, or the gulf shrimp po’ boy. Paired with one of their house-made brews and you’ve got a meal to remember.

Pazzo Bene
La Grange

When it comes to big cities, there’s one thing we can all agree on. You can always find good Italian. And Pazzo Bene in La Grange delivers in every way. This chic Italian restaurant offers a modern take. Start off with the caprese con melanzane — made with sliced tomato, sliced breaded eggplant, fior di latte mozzarella, fresh arugula, roasted red peppers, olives, and house dressing — the Mediterranean baked clams — baked with seasoned bread crumbs topped with a light lemon, white wine, seafood stock, and fresh herbs — or the farfalle con pesto — which is farfalle pasta tossed with a classic pesto sauce made with fresh basil, garlic, toasted pine nuts and extra virgin olive oil. There’s no wrong choice here. 

Steak + Vine
La Grange

Opened in July 2016, Steak + Vine serves upscale food and cocktails in a relaxed environment. It was founded by a best friend duo of a life-long La Grange resident and chef. At the restaurant you can find prime steaks, delicious seafood, an incredible wine list, and an expensive bourbon list. You can try one of their delicious appetizers — like the baked goat cheese, with marina pistachios, and crostinis — or a delectable entrée — like the braised short ribs, served with vegetables, rosemary red wine sauce, and house mashed. 

Posto 31
La Grange Park
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At Posto 31, you’ll truly find Italian art. Each plate is carefully thought out to deliver an incredible experience for patrons. To begin? Try one of their delicious appetizers like the crispy brussels — served with artichoke hearts, balsamic, and Calabrian chili honey — or the fresh ricotta — served with 6th avenue honey black pepper, and toasted sesame bread. For dinner? Any of the fresh made pastas — like the Bolognese or rigatoni — are the perfect choice. 

La Barra
Riverside
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When it comes to Italian, La Barra in Riverside does it right — in all the best ways. This chic rustico Italian restaurant in the heart of downtown Riverside, serves up incredible Italian dishes with a modern flair. 

 

Whether you’re in the mood for seafood, pasta, or pizza — they’ve got it all. You can start off with an order of the delicious mussels in white or red sauce, and move to one of their incredible pasta dishes — like the cacio e pepe made with ricotta, pecorino-romano, and black pepper. Top it all off with one of their delectable desserts, and you’ve got a great night. 

 

 

No matter what type of food you’re in the mood for, there’s no need to head downtown, we’ve got you covered.