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Down the Road: Best Chicago Restaurants Not in Chicago

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Down The Road is sponsored by Lexus, makers of the new seven-passenger 2014 GX. With a sleek combination of utility, capability and connectivity, the GX is the perfect vehicle for your next great adventure outside of the city.
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Surrounded by some of the country's most renowned restaurants, Chicagoans might forget that some of the area's finest culinary destinations lie on the outskirts of the city—or, dare we say, in the suburbs. Eater and the new 2014 Lexus GX have collected eight of the best Chicago-area restaurants that aren't, well, in Chicago. From ultra-sophisticated Vie to the hot dog masters at Gene & Jude's, find the perfect destination for your next culinary adventure.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Found Kitchen & Social House

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1621 Chicago Ave
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 868-8945
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Opened by Amy Morton, the daughter of steakhouse mogul Arnie Morton, this rustic Evanston restaurant is aimed at serving memorable new American fare while serving a social mission. Morton has pledged to "hire and train people coming out of homelessness," and regularly provides space in the restaurant for non-profit events.

2. Vie Restaurant

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4471 Lawn Ave
Western Springs, IL 60558
(708) 246-2082
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Raised on a Missouri farm, chef Paul Virant brings a natural understanding of fine produce to Vie, his suburban offshoot. Virant's expertise with canning and preserves means diners can enjoy local ingredients year round.

3. Ramen Misoya

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1584 S Busse Rd.
Mt. Prospect, IL 60056
(847) 437-4590
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An offshoot of a Japanese chain specializing in miso ramen, this suburban gem reportedly has its noodles flown in from California. Far from local, but oh so tasty.

4. Autre Monde Cafe & Spirits

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6727 Roosevelt Rd
Berwyn, IL 60402
(708) 775-8122
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Despite the French name, Autre Monde draws influence and flavors from around the Mediterranean, with dishes like Moroccan-style chicken wings and Pork Alentejana, a Portuguese classic.

5. Gene & Jude's

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2720 N River Rd
River Grove, IL 60171
(708) 452-7634
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Gene & Jude's isn't fancy, but it does turn out what many consider to be the best hot dog in the United States. Don't miss the classic, dressed with mustard, relish, sport peppers, and french fries.

6. Johnnie's Beef

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7500 W North Ave
Elmwood Park, IL 60707
(708) 452-6000
The original location of Chicago's premier beef sandwich shop, Johnnie's in Elmwood Park also has an offshoot in Arlington Heights. Both boast sandwiches overflowing with a delicious combination of meat, peppers, and gravy.

7. MH Fish House

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670 N Bank Ln
Lake Forest, IL 60045
(847) 234-8802
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This "sea-to-table" restaurant uses Chicago's central location to full advantage, sourcing Gulf crayfish, Atlantic cod, and Hawaiian hamachi that are all "less than 24 hours out of the water."

8. Inovasi

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28 E Center Ave
Lake Bluff, IL 60044
(847) 295-1000
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A Lake Forest locals' favorite, this fine-dining outpost boasts an "ever-changing menu of locally sustainable organic ingredients." Stop by on Tuesday for the weekly selection of eight gourmet burgers.

1. Found Kitchen & Social House

1621 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60201
Opened by Amy Morton, the daughter of steakhouse mogul Arnie Morton, this rustic Evanston restaurant is aimed at serving memorable new American fare while serving a social mission. Morton has pledged to "hire and train people coming out of homelessness," and regularly provides space in the restaurant for non-profit events.
1621 Chicago Ave
Evanston, IL 60201

2. Vie Restaurant

4471 Lawn Ave, Western Springs, IL 60558
Raised on a Missouri farm, chef Paul Virant brings a natural understanding of fine produce to Vie, his suburban offshoot. Virant's expertise with canning and preserves means diners can enjoy local ingredients year round.
4471 Lawn Ave
Western Springs, IL 60558

3. Ramen Misoya

1584 S Busse Rd., Mt. Prospect, IL 60056
An offshoot of a Japanese chain specializing in miso ramen, this suburban gem reportedly has its noodles flown in from California. Far from local, but oh so tasty.
1584 S Busse Rd.
Mt. Prospect, IL 60056

4. Autre Monde Cafe & Spirits

6727 Roosevelt Rd, Berwyn, IL 60402
Despite the French name, Autre Monde draws influence and flavors from around the Mediterranean, with dishes like Moroccan-style chicken wings and Pork Alentejana, a Portuguese classic.
6727 Roosevelt Rd
Berwyn, IL 60402

5. Gene & Jude's

2720 N River Rd, River Grove, IL 60171
Gene & Jude's isn't fancy, but it does turn out what many consider to be the best hot dog in the United States. Don't miss the classic, dressed with mustard, relish, sport peppers, and french fries.
2720 N River Rd
River Grove, IL 60171

6. Johnnie's Beef

7500 W North Ave, Elmwood Park, IL 60707
The original location of Chicago's premier beef sandwich shop, Johnnie's in Elmwood Park also has an offshoot in Arlington Heights. Both boast sandwiches overflowing with a delicious combination of meat, peppers, and gravy.
7500 W North Ave
Elmwood Park, IL 60707

7. MH Fish House

670 N Bank Ln, Lake Forest, IL 60045
This "sea-to-table" restaurant uses Chicago's central location to full advantage, sourcing Gulf crayfish, Atlantic cod, and Hawaiian hamachi that are all "less than 24 hours out of the water."
670 N Bank Ln
Lake Forest, IL 60045

8. Inovasi

28 E Center Ave, Lake Bluff, IL 60044
A Lake Forest locals' favorite, this fine-dining outpost boasts an "ever-changing menu of locally sustainable organic ingredients." Stop by on Tuesday for the weekly selection of eight gourmet burgers.
28 E Center Ave
Lake Bluff, IL 60044

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