One of the highlights of a visit to the Greater Chicago area is the incredible dining experiences available. Elmhurst, Illinois, is no different. It has its own unique eateries and establishments hailed by the citizenry as the best restaurants in the world. To be fair, we all feel that way about our hometown restaurants, and with good reason, as memories can become so intertwined with good food.
Any suburb of Chicago will have its fair share of places to find a tasty meal. Due to its proximity to such a diverse population, there will also be a wide range of fare to choose from, and that’s what makes Elmhurst so wonderful for food lovers. There are eateries of all kinds within the city limits, so no matter what you’re in the mood for, you can find it without too much searching. This article will cover the best restaurants in Elmhurst to grab a bite, and include a range of cuisines, so you’ll always find something to suit your taste.
416 N. York Street
Rated by TripAdvisor as the #1 eatery in all of Elmhurst, named one of the Top 100 Places to Eat in the US by Yelp!, and one of the Top 50 Best Sandwiches in Chicago by Chicago Magazine, Zenwich opened its doors to the Elmhurst public in 2009. They’ve been making and serving some of the most delicious offerings you can find anywhere ever since. Unlike so many sandwich shops, Zenwich isn’t focused on chain store recipes. In fact, everything they make is an original creation born from the fusion of Asian flavors and the American classic – the sandwich.
The artisans at Zenwich create tastes you won’t find anywhere else. Their creativity is only matched by their success. You won’t find a bad choice on their extensive menu, and, no matter what you order, you’re sure to leave with a smile and a satisfied appetite. Zenwich is just as comfortable catering to the less adventurous eaters as they are to the try-anything-once crowd, and will happily assist you in navigating the menu until you find exactly the selection you’re craving. The welcoming atmosphere and friendly staff make ordering one of the best parts of dining here, so take some time and be sure to get their recommendation. You won’t be disappointed in anything at Zenwich.
140 N. Robert Palmer Drive
When you’re looking for the absolute best breakfast you can find in Elmhurst, outside of your own kitchen that is, look no further than the Egg Harbor Café. The gourmet breakfast offerings on the menu are just one of the reasons people flock here. Their incredible service, inviting atmosphere, and affordable prices are almost as good as the food, so every time you visit this establishment you’ll leave feeling better than when you arrived.
A family-owned enterprise with locations throughout the area, the Elmhurst location is somehow homier with just the right amount of lighting and accents to make you feel welcome and comfortable while you feast on some of the best omelets to be found anywhere on the planet. With three generations working together, the Egg Harbor Café is an Elmhurst treasure that should not be missed.
174 N. York Street
When its doors opened in Elmhurst in 1999, Francesca’s Amici quickly became the go-to restaurant for authentic Italian cuisine. Located right in the heart of downtown, Francesca’s offers traditional, rustic cooking and the friendliest service you can find – anywhere. The ambience is casual, yet sophisticated, and the prices are better than what you’d expect from the atmosphere and aromas.
With a menu focused on the north of Italy – especially Rome, Tuscany, Umbria, and Lazio – the dining at Francesca’s Amici is all you would hope for in an Italian eatery with none of the amenities missing. The breads and pastas, the entrees and desserts, are all above and beyond what you find in so many restaurants, and the flavors are authentic and true to their origins. They even offer a full bar and lounge area, with an excellent wine list, where you can relax and wait for your table. If you love great Italian food, there is no reason to skip Francesca’s Amici, and every reason not to miss it.
Modern European Cuisine
116 Schiller Street
Since 2005, Elmhurst has been home to an incredible French-inspired restaurant, Cafe Amano, where diners are treated to exquisite cuisine and a romantic, low-light atmosphere. It really is just like a little piece of Europe right in the city, and, thankfully, it has grown from humble beginnings to become one of the area’s preferred dining destinations. With a menu full of delicious offerings, there’s no taste they can’t satisfy, and more delights than you could possibly imagine.
Frequently recognized by publications across the region for their inspired take on European fare, Cafe Amano is no stranger to Elmhurst’s community event calendar since they’ve worked with the Elmhurst Art Museum, the Park District’s Wilder Mansion, and others to bring exceptional food to catered events. This makes Cafe Amano more than just another restaurant. They’re a part of the community.
American & Czech Cuisine
668 W. North Avenue
As the oldest continuously owned restaurant in the area, in business since 1948, Mack’s Golden Pheasant is an Elmhurst tradition that every visitor and resident should take part in when they’re in the city. Offering American cuisine, alongside Czech specialties, Mack’s is exactly what you want when you’re looking for something satisfying, simple, and as comforting as comfort food gets. Their menu is full of excellent options, but if you can’t make up your mind try their award-winning roast duckling. It will not disappoint.
Mack’s Golden Pheasant is an inviting place with large windows and a beautiful back garden. The bar and lounge area are perfect places to wait for your table and meet and greet your neighbors while having a cocktail or glass of wine from their extensive list. It’s known as one of the last great drinking bars in Chicago, so take a little time before dinner and experience it for yourself. No matter what you order, you’re sure to have a spectacular time.
522 W North Ave.
While many may not know of this Elmhurst gem, it is easily the most authentic Mexican cuisine you can find for miles in any direction. The food is real, traditional fare from south of the border, and the selections range from good, to great, to incredible. There are no wrong answers on the menu, and the people here are some of the friendliest you’ll find anywhere in Chicago.
The real beauty of this eatery is the speed at which the food is prepared. If you’ve ever been to Mexico you’ll know that much of the real work is done hours before, and Los Fernandez is no exception. The delicious homemade tortillas, hot sauces, and other amenities are head and shoulders better than any other Mexican restaurant in the area. Try the chicken tacos and you’ll never go anywhere else for them again – guaranteed.
Upscale New American Cuisine
151 N. York Street
The jewel in Elmhurst’s downtown crown is definitely One Fifty One, a new American cuisine, upscale dining establishment with some of the finest chefs anywhere in Chicago. The food here is beyond good and oftentimes borders on the otherworldly. While prices can be higher than other local eateries, the quality and creativity you’ll find here is unmatched in the city. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to top what you’ll find here anywhere on the Magnificent Mile, and that’s saying something.
When you choose to dine at One Fifty One, you’ll be overloaded with sumptuous offerings on every page of the menu. There are delights to be savored on every plate, but if you can’t decide then go with the pork chop. It may be one of the greatest culinary accomplishments of all time, and should be tried at least once in every lifetime.
Elmhurst is fortunate to have an excellent eating establishment for every taste imaginable. No matter what you crave, you’ll find a great restaurant, with great people, serving great food somewhere within the city limits, and you’ll never have to break the bank to try them out. Each eatery has its own appeal, and a specialty or two on the menu, so take some time and try them all. That’s the best way to make sure you’re not missing out what could possibly be your new favorite food.
Whether you want a simple breakfast, or something far more exotic, Elmhurst has the place to fit your mood. With all types of cuisines and pricing, there’s sure to be a restaurant that suits you, and, if you’re in luck, it’s one of the restaurants on this list. They’re all worth your time and your money. Your taste buds will thank you for your efforts.