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Mar 20, 2006 04:54 PM

What's to Eat in Naperville?

  • n

A family member will be attending a week-long conference in Naperville next month. What comes to mind in Naperville that is special---Indian? Thai? Chinese? Mexican? Polish? Seafood buffet? Southern? Something out of the ordinary?

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  1. 1. Bobak's Sausage Store 75th St and Rickert Dr.- lunch and dinner buffets. Loaded with lots of excellent food with a Polish orientation, but has lots more creative things than just Polish sausage and sauerkraut. This is a great bargain for really delicious food.

    2. Indian Harvest corner Royal St. George and Ogden Ave. Lunch buffet about $7-8. Good selection of moderately spicy dishes.

    3. Lemon Grass Thai Ogden Ave just east of River Rd Good thai dishes for lunch or dinner, very reasonably priced

    4. Jin's Mandarin Ogden Ave and Benedetti Drive (Mall) Lunch buffets about $6.00 - not gourmet food but interesting appetizer dishes and plenty to choose from.

    5. Allgauer's Grill in the Lisle Hilton on Warrenville Rd just east of Naper Blvd. More upscale place with excellent main courses, linen on the table, nice atmosphere. Chef Nick is quite creative. Go there for dinner or try buffet lunch. Seafood Buffet Friday night (about $32 per person but good), excellent Sunday Buffet. Thursday's Chicago Tribune west suburban edition with restaurant reviews offers a coupon for dinner at Allgauer's worth up to $23.00 off on entree. Why not!

    6. Cuisine of India Ogden Ave in Ogden Mall near K-mart. Good lunch and dinner buffet, reasonable prices.

    7. Joy Yee Noodles Iroquois Mall on north side of Ogden at Iroquois. Chinese, Thai, Korean, Vietnamese, more dishes (noodles or no noodles - rice for example). Fun to choose from 60-70 dishes, great fruit drinks, plenty to eat.

    That's a start

    6 Replies
    1. re: CJ

      I've never been to the Naperville location, but I enjoy Joy Yee's other locations. It kind of depends on what you order there, but their better dishes are excellent.

      My highest recommendation out in that area is Meson Sabika for tapas. Great old mansion with wonderful dining in or outside.

      1. re: Kitty

        In my opinion, I would have to 86 Joy Yee. Was there two weeks ago and although the mango smoothie was incredible. The chicken wings had all their feathers (they took them back and the server made jokes about the hairy birds). The chicken satay was fried and chewy and lacking any flavor whatsoever, the peanut sauce on the side was industrial strength Jif. We ordered a beef dish that was mostly fat and chewy... the sauce was not bad, the meat very questionable. Then we ordered the only edible dish was the beef lettuce wraps, which were barely eaten only because the rest of the meal was gross. Not to mention that the bathrooms were very messy.

        Meson Sabika is an absolute treasure.

        HP Schmaltz on aperville Road and Ogden for an incredible Hot Pastrami Sandwich,... $6.00 for 8oz of meat on marbled rye... I prefer seeded rye myself. Lots of great authentic New York and Jewish delicacies.

        Rosebud in downtown Naperville serves up great protions at reasonable prices.

        Chinn's 34th Street Fishery on Ogden just east of Naperville Road... wonderful Walu, grilled very reasonable and delicious.

        1. re: chatdean

          I would have to agree on 86'n the Joy Yee Noodle....The first time we were there a couple of months ago it was rally good, but it has consistently gone down hill from them...I think that success has gotten a hold of them..

          1. re: KevinT

            Agree as well.. Go to Fabulous Noodles in Lisle. Much better.

      2. re: CJ

        I second Joy Yee's... a variety of dishes - it can be quite overwhelming actually.

        All I have to say is the lady that opened up this restaurant is brilliant. How many chinese restaurant chains do you see? The location in chinatown is usually packed with chinese families, people from the neighborhood, tourists, college students, and random corporates from downtown. The original location is in Evanston near Northwestern... the second is in Chinatown... the third is in Naperville with a fourth opening up soon near University of Chicago.

        Please check out the link below for the extensive menu for the Naperville location.


        1. re: CJ

          I agree with the Bobak's suggestion. They have a wide variety of food, including some made-to-order items. Even picky eaters can find something to their liking. Lunch is a better value than dinner, which can be pricey if you take a family of 5. The grocery store part of the building has lots of great sausages, cheeses and lunch meats, in case your friend just wants to take something back to the hotel.

        2. l

          There are many options in the downtown area, find a parking spot and walk to all. Heaven on Seven has an outlet on Main Street, a few doors south of Jefferson. Around the corner on Jackson is Tango, an Argentine steakhouse that also serves tapas. As mentioned, Meson Sabika is great in a unique setting. Here is a website for just the downtown dining options:

          1 Reply
          1. re: LikestoEatout

            For Mexican food, I recommend:

            Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant, (630) 717-9030, 1150 E Ogden Ave, Naperville, IL 60563 (Near Naper Blvd.)

            This has a great variety of food, well beyond the usual "Mexican" fare of burritos, taco, etc. The Sunday buffet is excellent, with little plates of limes and other condiments intended to accompany the main dishes. Some locations have Mariachi bands on certain days.

          2. It looks like you've already received some good recommendations. I simply would add that, with a few exceptions, downtown Naperville dining now primarily consists of outposts of Chicago restaurants. For example, there is Bistrot Margot, Hugo's Frog Bar (crowded, expensive), La Sorella (Francesca's), Lou Malnati's, Rosebud, Catch 35, and Bar Louie (casual/bar).

            There is a great Irish pub, Quigley's, that serves good Irish bar food (i.e., fish & chips, shepherd's pie) and great burgers along with a nice pint of Guinness.

            For Thai there is Bangkok Village (right downtown near Chicago Avenue and Washington). There isn't much great Mexican in Naperville -- just the Americanized stuff -- but there are two good choices for Chinese. The first is House of Emperor, across from the "Market Meadows" Jewel at Naper Blvd. and Hobson. The other is Fabulous Noodles in Lisle, an unassuming place in a small strip mall at 4663 Old Tavern Road.

            9 Replies
            1. re: Ron A.

              Completely agree with House of Emperor and Fabulous Noodles, no other Chinese place in the Naperville area is remotely as good as these two.

              You forgot Sullivan's in your list of downtown Naperville outlets of Chicago restuarants. It IS a forgettable place, I must admit...

              I would add Chef Paul's Bavarian Lodge to the list. Much better German/Bavarian food than the recently-departed Berghoff's, and GREAT beer. I believe they are one of only three places in the Midwest to have Czechvar on tap! (It's known as Budvar everywhere else in the world, the Busch family "adopted" the name more than a century ago, and then used the legal system to keep the real thing out of the US until recently.)


              1. re: MarkH

                Is that the same Chef Paul that used to do a TV show and had a restaurant in the Caribbean---I forget which island but could have been Grand Cayman?

                1. re: N Tocus

                  I highly doubt it -- Chef Paul is a small locally owned German restaurant in Lisle. That said, while I personally am not crazy about German food, I can tell you that my parents are repeat customers and love the place.

                2. re: MarkH

                  House of emp. is a good one to eat. But there is a Joy Yee's Noodle shop on Ogden and Naper in the strip mall. This place is great authentic food. I have been to the one in Chinatown a few times and enjoyed myself, and the Naperville location is also great. Try the bubble teas.

                  I like the Red Door Tavern in downtown. They have great burgers. One has a crispy cheese that tastes delish.


                  1. re: Mike Mancuso

                    I guess for my tastes, Joy Yee is a place for people who think Chop Suey is authentic Chinese food. A couple miles east (in a small strip mall just north of Ogden at Old Tavern Road) is Fabulous Noodles -- try it and post your impressions here.

                    And for burgers, my local favorites are Country House in Lisle and DuPage Inn in Downers Grove...


                    1. re: MarkH

                      Country House is good for burgers. Quigley's also has excellent burgers. Although I like the place, in my experience the burgers at Red Door Tavern have been really dry.

                    2. re: Mike Mancuso

                      Absolutely agree with Joy Lee's. Unbelievably wonderful, authentic food, and the atmosphere is a blast!! Overall, just a great time!

                      1. re: Mike Mancuso
                        Chris Watkins

                        The Red Door burger I had sucked. It was burnt and the cheese was the consistency of vinyl. Never again.

                    3. re: Ron A.

                      Good call on Fabulous Noodles. I have had lunch there a few times and it was delicious. Be careful, if you blink, you'd drive right past it.

                      They specialize in great oriental soups. (These are meals not small servings).

                    4. I grew up in Naperville and worked a couple of summers at Meson Sabika - it's the only restaurant I will actually eat at after having seen the kitchen! Wonderful, amazing food. I was also in Naperville last weekend and went to a great Italian restaurant (Francesca's Passaggio) near the new high school (Neuqua?). It's part of the Mia Francesca/La Sorella chain and it was delicious. I had halibut vesuvio, which I've never had anywhere before. It's in a strip mall, but surprisingly good! Service was excellent as well.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Kathleen

                        I agree that Meson Sabika really is a beautiful place, but we really have been disappointed on our last several visits. The service has always been somewhat inconsistent, but on our last visit the poor service and indifference on the part of the front-of-house staff really soured us on the whole experience.

                        Also, I may be in the minority here, but IMO the tapas generally isn't as good as what you'd find downtown Chicago or even at some other places in the Western burbs (e.g., Emilio's in Wheaton). I believe that MS once was affiliated with Emilio's, but it no longer is.

                        1. re: Ron A.

                          We actually go from the city to Meison Sebika because of the atmosphere and food. The only thing that could be better there is the Sangria. Otherwise, well worth the trip.

                          1. re: westside

                            I agree, the sangria at Meson Sabika is so so but the food is fantastic and it's just a fun evening.

                            Also, I used to live in Naperville and House of Emperor was my absolute favorite Chinese restaurant in the area.

                        2. re: Kathleen

                          My wife had enjoyed Francesca's Passaggio with friends in the past, so when her father was in town a few months ago, she wanted to impress him by taking there. Unfortunately, I came along, too. Nobody was impressed that night.

                          I mean, it was all great, aside from the service being nonexistant, the food arriving cold to the table, and me having to explain to the hostess that a reservation means the table we reserved should be ready at the time designated (or darn close), not 40 minutes afterward because restaurant patrons "weren't finished drinking coffee and chatting."

                          I know places are going to have bad nights here and there. Francesca's "bad" happens to be atrocious and unacceptable.

                        3. (1) Biaggi's. It's an Italian restaurant on route 59. Priced reasonably around $10-$12 a person. Very nice atmosphere, and the servings are generous. Quality ingredients and a great wait staff.

                          (2) Szechuan Garden. It's a Chinese restaurant in Downer's Grove (drive a few minutes east on Ogden, it's not too far from Naperville). Food is generally spicy. Only go if you know how to navigate the menu, though, since food is a hit-or-miss there. I particularly like the intestines. (Not appetizing on paper, but it's really delicious.)

                          (3) Joy Yee's. Other people have already raved about this one. Food is pretty good, but the selection (along with the bubble tea) is what really blows my mind. Huge portions, too. However, note that this place is not the cleanest place. They were closed down temporarily by the health department. I have found a fly in my soup once. They've since re-opened, so I hope they've improved on cleanliness, but I'm still a bit wary about my food.

                          I also have my own website - - if you want to look at more menus from the Naperville area. I'm adding in more menus every now and then, hoping for it to eventually become a comprehensive menu listing. Feel free to shoot me suggestions as to where I should go next to pick up menus to upload.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: dzw120


                            You have a GREAT website! Very convenient for those times when restaurants haven't posted their own menu. Thank you very much.

                            1. re: GooberedUp

                              Thanks! I'll be working on improving it - The google maps are pretty new, and restaurant reviews are possible now. Online ordering's only a step away, and I'm definitely open to suggestions on where to take the site after that.