Naperville, the fifth-largest city in Illinois, is often found near the top of national lists for best places to live in the U.S., and the suburbs’ restaurants can impress even the most-seasoned Chicagoan. Located about 45 minutes west of Chicago off I-88, Naperville’s outskirts and bustling downtown area are enough to inspire the inner-explorer of any food adventurer, and those simply looking for something recognizable. From Mexican to Indian and Chinese to American, there’s something for everyone in Naperville. Ordered from west to east.Read More
Where to Eat and Drink in Naperville
Illinois’ fifth-largest city has a diverse dining scene
1. Sharko's BBQ
Right in the heart of Naperville on Rt. 59, diners can enjoy meat that’s rubbed and smoked for 12 to 20 hours. Brisket, links and ribs can be ordered by the ounce or by the piece and slab. Sharko’s is also known for their spinach casserole and other house-made sides. Barbecue lovers can also enjoy free ice cream everyday when dining in.
2. Burrito Parrilla Mexicana
Located around the southern part of Naperville, Burrito Parrilla Mexicana conveniently brings the influences of Mexico City to the suburbs. Diners can check out Mexican-style breakfast, lunch and dinner with a variety of options that include chilaquiles, fajitas and an assortment of tacos. Burrito Parrilla Mexicana also has locations in the surrounding suburbs.
3. CityGate Grille
Nestled in the Calamos Investments building along the CityGate Center in the northern part of Naperville, CityGate Grille can be seen while exiting I-88 and entering Naperville. Their menu features Mediterranean themes and classic American grill fare. Steak lovers will be pleased to know that the USDA Prime selections are hand-cut to order. Those looking for Greek flare can check out a section of the menu dedicated to recreations of Greek classics.
4. Fire It Up Naperville
Found in Naperville’s Riverbrook Shopping Center, Fire It Up prides itself as a taco-fusion grill. Tacos here are far from the ordinary, and that is reason alone for diners to head to Naperville to check out their unique take on the dish. Aside from the standard chicken and steak tacos, diners can try a BLT, cheeseburger, and portabella taco, along with many other types. Even their brownie quesadilla gives dessert an interesting look. There’s a Wheaton location as well.
5. Dalicious Indian Restaurant
Located right off the always busy 75th Street, Dalicious Indian Restaurant helps diners ease their appetite and fear when deciding what to eat. Diners select a protein, a sauce, a dal (lentil), a side, and a type of bread. With nearly an infinite amount of meal combinations available, those who have been wary about Indian food may find something to love.
6. Mesón Sabika
Just outside of Downtown Naperville and near the famous Riverwalk Park, Meson Sabika offers the flavors of Spain inside a historic mansion that was built in 1847. Much of Meson Sabika’s menu represents the different tastes of Spain in the form of hot and cold tapas and paella. Patrons can dine on the patio that overlooks the gigantic lawn for an alfresco dining experience. They’re especially known for their Sunday brunch.
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Just off the Riverwalk in Downtown Naperville, Quiubo is a newer Mexican restaurant on the scene. Brought to you by the Bien Trucha team, Quiubo serves classic Mexican dishes with modern flare. Beer-battered tilapia, pumpkin seeds, and hibiscus flower are amongst the unique ingredients used in their tacos.
8. Hugo's Frog Bar & Fish House
Those who are familiar with the Rush Street mainstay have reason to rush to Naperville. Hugo’s Frog Bar Naperville is located right in the middle of the Main Street Promenade in downtown Naperville. Menus between the Chicago and Naperville location are slightly varied with their selection of fish and cuts. Lamb chops from Van Well Family farms and 50-day dry-aged Black Angus steaks will catch the pickiest eye.
9. La Sorella di Francesca
Part of the Francesca’s family of restaurants, La Sorella Di Francesca specializes in Northern Italian cuisine from Rome and the surround areas. Located inside the old Naperville city hall, Chicagoans can feel close to the city with fountain-side patio dining and feel closer to Italy with authentic pasta dishes to enjoy within the two-story trattoria.
Skip the flight to Naples, Italy. Simply drive right into the middle of downtown Naperville for authentic Naples cuisine that can leave any pasta and pizza lover satisfied. Pizzas are made in an authentic oak-fired oven, using classic Neapolitan traditions and recipes. Much of the menu is vegetarian and gluten-free friendly.
11. Raku Sushi Gourmet
Aside from modern and traditional Japanese dishes, this Ogden Avenue gem also has more than 100 selections of sushi. Hibachi service is also available for those looking to add excitement to their dinner. Raku Sushi is known for their bento lunches that include a little bit of everything. It’s also worth nothing that their udon is raved by many.
12. The White Chocolate Grill
The White Chocolate Grill prides itself as a contemporary American restaurant with a dash of Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired décor. WCG ground their chuck roast every morning for the burgers that day. Burgers, fish, and steaks are all grilled over wood for that smoky touch. They’re best known for their obvious namesake: White chocolate-themed desserts.
13. Mapo Restaurant
Named after the spicy tofu dish, Mapo brings their version of Hunan and Sichuan cuisine to Northern Naperville. Naturally, their mapo tofu is what they’re known for. For the uninitiated, mapo tofu is cubed tofu in a spicy oily sauce, often mixed with your choice of meat or fish. Many of their dishes dig deep into the roots of Sichuan cuisine with pork intestines and kidneys.
14. MingHin Cuisine
MingHin Cuisine’s popularity has grown so fast, that it was only a matter of time they found their way into the Western Suburbs. Open 365 days a year and offering all-day-long dim sum, it’s no wonder why MingHin is celebrating a second consecutive year as a Michelin Bib Gourmand recipient. Standout Cantonese dishes like the crispy pork belly and the hot and steamy shumai keep diners coming back.
15. Schmaltz Delicatessen
Schmaltz Deli takes pride in assuring diners will have a Jewish deli experience right in North Side of Naperville. Many of the New York themed sandwiches are overstuffed and piled high with layers of meat. Half sandwiches can be ordered as well, if requested. Those with a big appetite can attempt the “Big Macher” challenge: A quadruple decker sandwich featuring their best meats.