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A hand positions a fois gras shortbread “cookie” on top of a bowl containing a fois gras medallion and fois gras-filled gnocci covered in a chicken broth.
At George Trois in Winnetka, diners can enjoy a multicourse tasting menu, while Aboyer in the same building, offers French brasserie classics.
Garrett Sweet/Eater Chicago

The 20 Essential Chicago Suburban Restaurants

The best bites outside city limits

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At George Trois in Winnetka, diners can enjoy a multicourse tasting menu, while Aboyer in the same building, offers French brasserie classics.
| Garrett Sweet/Eater Chicago

Chicago is a world-class culinary city. What often gets overlooked, though, are the terrific options available in the surrounding areas. Destination dining exists in the suburbs and those who live near the following spots can likely attest to their excellence. There’s a range here, from fine dining to the finest burgers and hot dogs in northeastern Illinois. So think outside the city limits and have an adventure.

For updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may still pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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1. Chicago Culinary Kitchen

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2391 N Hicks Rd
Palatine, IL 60074
(847) 701-8243
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Owners Kristina and Greg Gaardbo have earned high marks and a devoted following for their Texas-style barbecue. Before the COVID-19 crisis, the couple sold limited quantities of brisket, pulled pork, ribs, and other smoked meats on the weekends. They’ve since expanded into a full-fledged restaurant with an extensive menu of craft beer and weekly specials.

2. Charlie Beinlich's

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290 Skokie Blvd
Northbrook, IL 60062
(847) 291-0420
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Charlie Beinlich’s was created back in 1950 in the image of a north woods bar, complete with wood paneling and fish trophies on the wall. Its menu is simple: shrimp cocktail and sandwiches (grilled cheese, ham, tuna and egg salad). But the true standout is the burger. It’s a thick patty of meat, cooked on a grill, served on a toasted and buttered bun, ideally with grilled onions and a side of crispy crinkle fries. There’s nothing fancy about it, but it’s the sort of burger that makes a diner sigh afterward, “Ah, that hits the spot.” Be warned: it’s cash only.

3. Bob Chinn's Crab House

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393 S Milwaukee Ave
Wheeling, IL 60090
(847) 520-3633
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Living in the Midwest means fresh, quality seafood is a rare catch. Fortunately for suburbanites, Bob Chinn’s receives products daily from local purveyors and offers an extensive selection of crab legs, lobsters, fish, shrimp, and a killer mai tai. The crab house’s success has made it one of the highest-grossing independent restaurants in the country. It celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, and although Bob Chinn died in April, his family promises to continue the way he would have wanted.

4. George Trois

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64 Green Bay Rd
Winnetka, IL 60093
(847) 562-6105
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George Trois is actually two restaurants in the same building. George Trois is a temple to fine dining with a seasonal tasting menu. Aboyer is a brasserie that mixes French classics such as moules marinière and foie gras with chicken wings and sliders. Both are run by chef Michael Lachowicz (who previously worked at the legendary Le Francais), who recently overhauled both dining rooms.

5. Buffalo Joe's

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812 Clark St
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 328-5525
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For North Shore residents, wings are synonymous with this Evanston institution. The chicken is fried until it’s extra crispy and then tossed in founder Joe Prudden’s tangy, buttery sauce. Spiciness ranges from mild to “suicide,” and the quintessential game day food is best paired with a side of Buff Joe’s waffle fries.

6. Mitsuwa Marketplace

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100 E Algonquin Rd
Arlington Heights, IL 60005
(847) 956-6699
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Chicago’s premiere Japanese market is actually tucked away in suburban Arlington Heights, where legions of longtime fans beat a path to shop for produce and Asian packaged goods. It also houses Pastry House Hippo, a bakery packed with delectable Japanese pastries, an outpost of the confectionary brand J. Sweets, and a bustling food court with stalls featuring sugary Japanese-style crepes, ramen, udon, donburi, and more.

7. Pita Inn

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4710 Dempster St
Skokie, IL 60076
(847) 677-0211
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Since it opened 40 years ago, Pita Inn has become celebrated for its falafel, shawarma, kebabs, hummus, lentil soup, and, of course, its soft and pillowy pitas. (Keeping up with the times, there are now Impossible kebabs.) But also don’t sleep on the garlic sauce, which elevates anything it touches, from a pita sandwich to a plate of french fries. There are now four additional locations, plus a grocery store in Skokie.

8. Burt's Place

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8541 Ferris Ave
Morton Grove, IL 60053
(847) 965-7997
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Burt’s Place was the last restaurant founded by Burt Katz, the legendary Chicago pizza-maker who first added a ring of caramelized cheese around the crust (his other spots include Pequod’s and the recently-closed Gullivers); Anthony Bourdain once said that Burt’s was the only Chicago-style pizza he ever loved. Before his death in 2016, Katz passed his recipes onto Jerry Petrow, his hand-picked successor, who continues to run Burt’s Place in the style of the master.

9. Chodang Tofu Village

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1719 W Algonquin Rd
Mt Prospect, IL 60056
(847) 956-8638
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Stay nourished with sizzling-hot tofu soups courtesy of this Korean stalwart in Mount Prospect. Chodang dedicates much of its menu to comforting sundubu-jjigae served in stone pots. There are several variations, including seafood, beef, and pork, and diners choose their spice level. Each order arrives with a host of banchan and a raw egg to poach in the broth.

10. New York Bagel & Bialy

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4714 W Touhy Ave
Lincolnwood, IL 60712
(847) 677-9388
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The best bagels in Chicagoland are boiled and baked in a Lincolnwood strip mall just off I-94. This 24-hour shop slings New York-style bagels that are soft, chewy, and doughy. Grab a dozen to go or enjoy them in sandwich form, filled with lox, corned beef, or pastrami.

A lox sandwich.
Bagel enthusiasts swear by the ones from this Lincolnwood shop.
Jeffy Mai/Eater Chicago

11. Gene & Jude's

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2720 River Rd
River Grove, IL 60171
(708) 452-7634
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The iconic River Grove hot dog stand needs little introduction. Its famous Depression Dog is topped with just mustard, onions, relish, sport peppers, and a handful of fries. Ketchup lovers will have to look elsewhere for the tomato condiment: it’s expressly forbidden inside Gene & Jude’s.

Two Depression Dogs.
Gene & Jude’s hot dogs are a Chicago classic.
Gene & Jude’s [Official Photo]

12. Johnnie's Beef

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7500 W North Ave
Elmwood Park, IL 60707
(708) 452-6000

Italian beef aficionados know that the finest version of the sandwich is out in Elmwood Park (there's a second Johnnie’s in Arlington Heights, too). The well-seasoned beef is finely chopped and loaded onto Gonnella bread, and diners can (and should) have it dipped in jus and balanced with giardiniera or sweet peppers. On a hot day, the housemade Italian ices are also required eating.

13. Bien Trucha

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410 W State St
Geneva, IL 60134
(630) 232-2665
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It doesn’t get as much recognition as some Chicago taquerias but Geneva residents know Bien Trucha stacks up to the best. The town’s busiest restaurant, whose name roughly translates to “on top of one’s game,” sets the standard for Mexican dining in the suburbs with an outstanding array of tacos. The signature Bien Trucha taco — carne asada, chorizo, roasted tomatillo salsa, and a layer of melted Chihuahua cheese — is a must-try.

A platter of tacos.
The taco game is strong at Bien Trucha.
Bien Trucha [Official Photo]

14. Autre Monde Cafe & Spirits

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6727 Roosevelt Rd
Berwyn, IL 60402
(708) 775-8122
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In 2011, four Spiaggia vets landed in Berwyn and opened a cozy neighborhood bistro. The result: Destination-worthy Mediterranean fare consisting of seasonal shared plates, pastas, and flatbreads. The eclectic drink list is equally impressive, showcasing a selection of old world wines and small-batch spirits. Autre Monde is currently offering weekend dinner packages for two on Tock.

15. Katy's Dumplings

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665 N Cass Ave
Westmont, IL 60559
(630) 323-9393
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An essential spot for Chinese food, Katy’s is renowned for its hand-pulled noodles and fresh dumplings. Menu favorites include pan-fried potstickers, beef noodle soup, and scallion pancakes stuffed with meats and veggies.

16. Vie

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4471 Lawn Ave
Western Springs, IL 60558
(708) 246-2082
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Paul Virant's lauded restaurant has received critical acclaim and was previously a recipient of a Michelin star. The focus is on fresh, seasonal ingredients and Virant also specializes in pickling and preserving. Vie offers a three-course prix fixe menu for $60 (wine pairings and dessert are extra), which changes with the seasons.

17. Chuck's Southern Comforts Cafe

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6501 W 79th St
Burbank, IL 60459
(708) 229-8700
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Head to Chuck’s Southern Comforts Cafe for some divine smoked meats. The menu boasts Cajun staples, like seafood gumbo and po’ boys, but the star of the show is the barbecue. Feast on ribs, pulled pork, brisket, smoked chicken, and more. Can’t decide on just one? Order the three-meat sampler platter. A second Chuck’s is located in Darien.

18. Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket

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645 Joliet Rd
Willowbrook, IL 60527
(630) 325-0780
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A secret fried chicken recipe passed down over generations has helped Dell Rhea’s become a historic and necessary pit stop along Route 66. The restaurant has been feeding hungry travelers the same juicy chicken with a side of nostalgia since 1946.

19. Al Bawadi Grill

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7216 W 87th St
Bridgeview, IL 60455
(708) 599-1999
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There are several Middle Eastern restaurants in densely Arab-populated Bridgeview, but Al Bawadi stands above the others. Once guests step inside, they’re treated to Arabian décor, servers dressed in traditional outfits, and wood-fired meats and seafood. An added bonus: Every meal starts with complimentary eggplant dip. A second location is in Niles.

A plate of grilled meats and rice.
Grilled meats are the specialty at Al Bawadi.
Al Bawadi [Official Photo]

20. Maple Tree Inn

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18849 Dixie Hwy
Homewood, IL 60430
(708) 388-3461
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Beloved Cajun-Creole restaurant Maple Tree Inn reopened in 2019 in Homewood after a fire destroyed its original location in Blue Island, where it had been serving Big Easy-style meals since 1980. (Previously, it had been a modern American restaurant until its owner had a hangover-fueled epiphany one New Year’s Day.) All the classics are here — barbecue shrimp, gumbo, jambalaya — plus some originals, like voodoo nuts, garlic cloves covered in andouille sausage and then smoked.

1. Chicago Culinary Kitchen

2391 N Hicks Rd, Palatine, IL 60074

Owners Kristina and Greg Gaardbo have earned high marks and a devoted following for their Texas-style barbecue. Before the COVID-19 crisis, the couple sold limited quantities of brisket, pulled pork, ribs, and other smoked meats on the weekends. They’ve since expanded into a full-fledged restaurant with an extensive menu of craft beer and weekly specials.

2391 N Hicks Rd
Palatine, IL 60074

2. Charlie Beinlich's

290 Skokie Blvd, Northbrook, IL 60062

Charlie Beinlich’s was created back in 1950 in the image of a north woods bar, complete with wood paneling and fish trophies on the wall. Its menu is simple: shrimp cocktail and sandwiches (grilled cheese, ham, tuna and egg salad). But the true standout is the burger. It’s a thick patty of meat, cooked on a grill, served on a toasted and buttered bun, ideally with grilled onions and a side of crispy crinkle fries. There’s nothing fancy about it, but it’s the sort of burger that makes a diner sigh afterward, “Ah, that hits the spot.” Be warned: it’s cash only.

290 Skokie Blvd
Northbrook, IL 60062

3. Bob Chinn's Crab House

393 S Milwaukee Ave, Wheeling, IL 60090

Living in the Midwest means fresh, quality seafood is a rare catch. Fortunately for suburbanites, Bob Chinn’s receives products daily from local purveyors and offers an extensive selection of crab legs, lobsters, fish, shrimp, and a killer mai tai. The crab house’s success has made it one of the highest-grossing independent restaurants in the country. It celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, and although Bob Chinn died in April, his family promises to continue the way he would have wanted.

393 S Milwaukee Ave
Wheeling, IL 60090

4. George Trois

64 Green Bay Rd, Winnetka, IL 60093

George Trois is actually two restaurants in the same building. George Trois is a temple to fine dining with a seasonal tasting menu. Aboyer is a brasserie that mixes French classics such as moules marinière and foie gras with chicken wings and sliders. Both are run by chef Michael Lachowicz (who previously worked at the legendary Le Francais), who recently overhauled both dining rooms.

64 Green Bay Rd
Winnetka, IL 60093

5. Buffalo Joe's

812 Clark St, Evanston, IL 60201

For North Shore residents, wings are synonymous with this Evanston institution. The chicken is fried until it’s extra crispy and then tossed in founder Joe Prudden’s tangy, buttery sauce. Spiciness ranges from mild to “suicide,” and the quintessential game day food is best paired with a side of Buff Joe’s waffle fries.

812 Clark St
Evanston, IL 60201

6. Mitsuwa Marketplace

100 E Algonquin Rd, Arlington Heights, IL 60005

Chicago’s premiere Japanese market is actually tucked away in suburban Arlington Heights, where legions of longtime fans beat a path to shop for produce and Asian packaged goods. It also houses Pastry House Hippo, a bakery packed with delectable Japanese pastries, an outpost of the confectionary brand J. Sweets, and a bustling food court with stalls featuring sugary Japanese-style crepes, ramen, udon, donburi, and more.

100 E Algonquin Rd
Arlington Heights, IL 60005

7. Pita Inn

4710 Dempster St, Skokie, IL 60076

Since it opened 40 years ago, Pita Inn has become celebrated for its falafel, shawarma, kebabs, hummus, lentil soup, and, of course, its soft and pillowy pitas. (Keeping up with the times, there are now Impossible kebabs.) But also don’t sleep on the garlic sauce, which elevates anything it touches, from a pita sandwich to a plate of french fries. There are now four additional locations, plus a grocery store in Skokie.

4710 Dempster St
Skokie, IL 60076

8. Burt's Place

8541 Ferris Ave, Morton Grove, IL 60053

Burt’s Place was the last restaurant founded by Burt Katz, the legendary Chicago pizza-maker who first added a ring of caramelized cheese around the crust (his other spots include Pequod’s and the recently-closed Gullivers); Anthony Bourdain once said that Burt’s was the only Chicago-style pizza he ever loved. Before his death in 2016, Katz passed his recipes onto Jerry Petrow, his hand-picked successor, who continues to run Burt’s Place in the style of the master.

8541 Ferris Ave
Morton Grove, IL 60053

9. Chodang Tofu Village

1719 W Algonquin Rd, Mt Prospect, IL 60056

Stay nourished with sizzling-hot tofu soups courtesy of this Korean stalwart in Mount Prospect. Chodang dedicates much of its menu to comforting sundubu-jjigae served in stone pots. There are several variations, including seafood, beef, and pork, and diners choose their spice level. Each order arrives with a host of banchan and a raw egg to poach in the broth.

1719 W Algonquin Rd
Mt Prospect, IL 60056

10. New York Bagel & Bialy

4714 W Touhy Ave, Lincolnwood, IL 60712
A lox sandwich.
Bagel enthusiasts swear by the ones from this Lincolnwood shop.
Jeffy Mai/Eater Chicago

The best bagels in Chicagoland are boiled and baked in a Lincolnwood strip mall just off I-94. This 24-hour shop slings New York-style bagels that are soft, chewy, and doughy. Grab a dozen to go or enjoy them in sandwich form, filled with lox, corned beef, or pastrami.

4714 W Touhy Ave
Lincolnwood, IL 60712

11. Gene & Jude's

2720 River Rd, River Grove, IL 60171
Two Depression Dogs.
Gene & Jude’s hot dogs are a Chicago classic.
Gene & Jude’s [Official Photo]

The iconic River Grove hot dog stand needs little introduction. Its famous Depression Dog is topped with just mustard, onions, relish, sport peppers, and a handful of fries. Ketchup lovers will have to look elsewhere for the tomato condiment: it’s expressly forbidden inside Gene & Jude’s.

2720 River Rd
River Grove, IL 60171

12. Johnnie's Beef

7500 W North Ave, Elmwood Park, IL 60707

Italian beef aficionados know that the finest version of the sandwich is out in Elmwood Park (there's a second Johnnie’s in Arlington Heights, too). The well-seasoned beef is finely chopped and loaded onto Gonnella bread, and diners can (and should) have it dipped in jus and balanced with giardiniera or sweet peppers. On a hot day, the housemade Italian ices are also required eating.

7500 W North Ave
Elmwood Park, IL 60707

13. Bien Trucha

410 W State St, Geneva, IL 60134
A platter of tacos.
The taco game is strong at Bien Trucha.
Bien Trucha [Official Photo]

It doesn’t get as much recognition as some Chicago taquerias but Geneva residents know Bien Trucha stacks up to the best. The town’s busiest restaurant, whose name roughly translates to “on top of one’s game,” sets the standard for Mexican dining in the suburbs with an outstanding array of tacos. The signature Bien Trucha taco — carne asada, chorizo, roasted tomatillo salsa, and a layer of melted Chihuahua cheese — is a must-try.

410 W State St
Geneva, IL 60134

14. Autre Monde Cafe & Spirits

6727 Roosevelt Rd, Berwyn, IL 60402

In 2011, four Spiaggia vets landed in Berwyn and opened a cozy neighborhood bistro. The result: Destination-worthy Mediterranean fare consisting of seasonal shared plates, pastas, and flatbreads. The eclectic drink list is equally impressive, showcasing a selection of old world wines and small-batch spirits. Autre Monde is currently offering weekend dinner packages for two on Tock.

6727 Roosevelt Rd
Berwyn, IL 60402

15. Katy's Dumplings

665 N Cass Ave, Westmont, IL 60559

An essential spot for Chinese food, Katy’s is renowned for its hand-pulled noodles and fresh dumplings. Menu favorites include pan-fried potstickers, beef noodle soup, and scallion pancakes stuffed with meats and veggies.

665 N Cass Ave
Westmont, IL 60559

Related Maps

16. Vie

4471 Lawn Ave, Western Springs, IL 60558

Paul Virant's lauded restaurant has received critical acclaim and was previously a recipient of a Michelin star. The focus is on fresh, seasonal ingredients and Virant also specializes in pickling and preserving. Vie offers a three-course prix fixe menu for $60 (wine pairings and dessert are extra), which changes with the seasons.

4471 Lawn Ave
Western Springs, IL 60558

17. Chuck's Southern Comforts Cafe

6501 W 79th St, Burbank, IL 60459

Head to Chuck’s Southern Comforts Cafe for some divine smoked meats. The menu boasts Cajun staples, like seafood gumbo and po’ boys, but the star of the show is the barbecue. Feast on ribs, pulled pork, brisket, smoked chicken, and more. Can’t decide on just one? Order the three-meat sampler platter. A second Chuck’s is located in Darien.

6501 W 79th St
Burbank, IL 60459

18. Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket

645 Joliet Rd, Willowbrook, IL 60527

A secret fried chicken recipe passed down over generations has helped Dell Rhea’s become a historic and necessary pit stop along Route 66. The restaurant has been feeding hungry travelers the same juicy chicken with a side of nostalgia since 1946.

645 Joliet Rd
Willowbrook, IL 60527

19. Al Bawadi Grill

7216 W 87th St, Bridgeview, IL 60455
A plate of grilled meats and rice.
Grilled meats are the specialty at Al Bawadi.
Al Bawadi [Official Photo]

There are several Middle Eastern restaurants in densely Arab-populated Bridgeview, but Al Bawadi stands above the others. Once guests step inside, they’re treated to Arabian décor, servers dressed in traditional outfits, and wood-fired meats and seafood. An added bonus: Every meal starts with complimentary eggplant dip. A second location is in Niles.

7216 W 87th St
Bridgeview, IL 60455

20. Maple Tree Inn

18849 Dixie Hwy, Homewood, IL 60430

Beloved Cajun-Creole restaurant Maple Tree Inn reopened in 2019 in Homewood after a fire destroyed its original location in Blue Island, where it had been serving Big Easy-style meals since 1980. (Previously, it had been a modern American restaurant until its owner had a hangover-fueled epiphany one New Year’s Day.) All the classics are here — barbecue shrimp, gumbo, jambalaya — plus some originals, like voodoo nuts, garlic cloves covered in andouille sausage and then smoked.

18849 Dixie Hwy
Homewood, IL 60430

Related Maps