Ask ChicagoNow: What is the best restaurant in the Chicago suburbs?

Ask ChicagoNow: What is the best restaurant in the Chicago suburbs?

ChicagoNow is a group of bloggers from all sorts of different backgrounds. One thing that helps tie them all together? Chicago.

With so much collective experience with the city, we’ve decided to put that knowledge to use by posing some of the oldest and most popular questions about Chicago to the group.

What is the best restaurant in the Chicago suburbs?

“I loved Mesón Sabika when I lived in Naperville. Before my parents moved out of state, my favorite restaurant in their suburb was Cucina Bella — Algonquin… beautiful restaurant, generous portions, high quality food at a pretty good price.” — Jayson J Crady, Confessions of a Coffeholic!

“Poochie’s on Dempster in Skokie.” — Bill Mayeroff, Pints and Pups

“My faves, as as city dweller who lives on the border: Taco Nano in Northfield is GREAT. Pita Inn (the Skokie one). Blue Ridge in Park Ridge for Korean BBQ. Oh and Shawarma Inn in Park Ridge, as well.” — Julie VonderHeide Hammerle, Hammervision

“Real Time Sports Bar – Elk Grove Village”. — Lucy Rendler-Kaplan, Small Girl, Big City

“For a really special dinner, no question, my husband and I head into the city. But if we want to stay close to home in the ‘burbs, the best food we’ve had is Fire + Wine in Glen Ellyn.” — MBA Mom

“Back to Skokie, there’s this little hole in the wall Chinese place I love. Sum’s Chop Suey has wonderful Orange Chicken, LoMein, Egg Rolls, soups, really everything. It’s on Dempster but it’s very hard to find. There’s only one table so it’s pretty much take-out. It’s been my favorite Chinese place, including anything in the city, for more than two decades.” — Howard Moore, I’ve Got The Hippy Shakes

“Perhaps I’m cheating, because this isn’t a restaurant per se. But, even as a confirmed city dweller, there’s one suburban delight that I’m always excited to eat: the steak tacos at Hawthorne Race Course. I love them simple, with just some lettuce, cheese, and salsa…though, of course, you can always load them up with tomatoes, onions, and other goodies as well.” — Nicolle Neulist, Picks & Ponderings

“La Barra in Riverside is good. The braciole is GOOD.” — Ray Salazar, The White Rhino: A Blog about Education and Latino Issues

“I like The Patio. Have been to the ones in Lombard and Bolingbrook. Terrific for an afternoon meeting–huge menu, lots of empty tables so you can stay for a long time. Much better than Starbucks for a meeting, especially if like me, your beverage of choice is a small decaf with skim milk.” — Diana Schneidman, Girl Born in ’51

“The best restaurant is Ron of Japan’s in Northbrook. There is one in the city and in Japan, but I have only ever eaten at this location. I first went there in 1990, and I could eat there every day if I could only afford it!” — Susan Schulhof, Looking for the Good

“Johnnie’s, North Avenue, Elmwood Park. Same classic Chicago beef stand it’s always been since 1961. One legend has it that Johnnie’s back room is so big, compared to the narrow, kinda squashed front where you order your beefs and Italian ice, because there was a bookie joint back there, conveniently located near the junction of Elmwood Park, Oak Park, and River Forest, the three suburbs with at one time more Outfit members than anywhere else in Chicagoland. Nonetheless, the beefs there are the best in the suburbs, or the city, for that matter. Anthony Bourdain picked Johnnie’s as one of the top 3 restaurants in Chicago, along with Avec and Girl and the Goat.” — Floyd Sullivan, Waiting4Cubs

“The Gallery in Lake Forest. Delicious menu, outstanding service and BYOB! The menu changes monthly based on the featured artist in the gallery!” — Nina Kushner Vallone, You Know Neen

“Da Baffone’s in Crystal Lake. An Italian family from Naples owns this authentic gem. Small, intimate and if you luck out, you may receive a complimentary, homemade Limoncello for dessert. Calamari, Veal Marsala, Angel Hair with Arrabbiata sauce and giant meatballs. Great Italian wine list resonably priced. I’m hungry just writing this.” — Very Terry

“In the summer, enjoying sangria and delicious tapas in the garden of Mesón Sabika is amazing. It’s in an old mansion, so inside in the winter isn’t bad, either. For fine dining, Tallgrass Restaurant in Lockport is great, and made Zagat’s list of best Chicago suburban restaurants.” — Shannan Ball Younger, Between Us Parents

“Sovereign in Plainfield is awesome…it’s in the ‘815 if you don’t mind the drive’ – Jonathon Brandmeier. Also LaBriola Cafe in Oakbrook and its ‘sister’ location La Barra in Oak Brook (same promenade)”. — Jayme Ryan Zobel, Life: One Post at a Time

If you have a question about Chicago that you want answered, email it to Think you have the answer to the above question? Let us know in the comments below.

Lead image via Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune

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