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South Suburban Hidden Gems

I'm starting to explore what the South/south west Suburbs has to offer in good food. This post is for those places on the south side that you think are great, but that are not that well known to the greater public. Please inform us all about your suburbs hidden gems.

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  1. I'm not sure if this qualifies as a "hidden gem" BUT:
    Luisa's Pizza in Crestwood (14025 Cicero Ave) is great. Luisa herself worked in the kitchen at the Original Uno's downtown, and I'm a fan of the deep-dish. The sauce is tangy with a touch of sweetness, and the sausage is spicy & flavorful! We always get the deep-dish sausage and wash down with Peroni beer...mmmm

    1. Fine Dining:

      4471 Lawn Avenue
      Western Springs 60558

      Courtright's Restaurant
      8989 S. Archer Avenue
      Willow Springs, IL 60480


      Tin Fish
      18201 S. Harlem Ave.
      Tinley Park

      1. One more in fine dining:

        1006 S. State St.
        Lockport, IL 60441
        (815) 838-5566

        1. Chuck's Southern Cafe in Burbank, about three miles southwest of Midway Airport. They do a good job with Mexican, Cajun, and BBQ, which is a TALL order.

          1. I have a couple

            Flossmoor Station Brewery
            1035 Sterling
            Flossmoor, IL.


            Great beer, and good food. Set in an old train station.


            Ron's Cajun Connection
            897 E. Highway 6
            Utica, IL.


            Probably the best cajun food in Chicagoland, in my humble opinion it blows Heaven on Seven, Maple Tree Inn, and the others I have tried away. The Gumbo, Etouffe, Jambalaya, & Pecan Pie are excellent. Also it is non smoking. Great place to get dinner on a trip to Starved Rock State Park. Luckily I only live 15 mins away. For dinner go early or plan to wait in line which snakes out the door. Only open Thurs - Sat for dinner, and Sunday noon - 5 p.m..

            1 Reply
            1. re: swsidejim

              I agree Cajun Connection is a must when we go out to Starved Rock. I only wish I lived closer!!!

            2. A couple of nice restaurants in Tinley Park are Bogart's steakhouse in old downtown Tinley Park, (get the onion soup) and Gatto's, a really nice Italian joint on 80th Avenue a little north of I-80. Good food, reasonable prices. Rubino's Italian Deli and grocery on Oak Park Avenue makes the best Italian subs I've ever had, as well as a host of other great sandwiches.

              1. Thanks for the recomendations. Keep them up. I'm going to add one of my favorite, witch in Aristons on 175th and Kedzie. Great hot dog, gryo and burger place. Not a high end place by any means, just good food.

                1. For "old school" Italian, try Palermo's 95th. It's in Oak Lawn on 95th St. at Cicero. Great pizza (especially the regular crust) with its somewhat sweet sauce and decent Italian standards, too!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Jason Dumo

                    LATE REPLY:

                    Grew up with Palermo's. Great pizza and fantastic full menu. Plan no waiting as this place packs them in 24/7.

                    There was a recent reply about a barbacue place in a strip mall in the vicinity 127th and southwest highway in and around Chicago Ridge? Can someone tell me the name? Much appreciated!

                    1. re: amoncada

                      I don't know if there's anything on southwest highway in 127th... Near Chicago Ridge though, there is The Pit...which I wouldn't recommend. They use to be awesome, but the past few times I was there, it wasn't that great.

                      There is also Smokey Bones, which closed down. That was on Ridgeland in about 96th street.

                      If there is a bbq place on 127th in Southwest Highway, let me know! I'd be interested in checking it out.

                      1. re: amoncada

                        The bbq place is Smokin' Joes BBQ at 127th and Ridgeland in Palos Heights. Awesome food. Too far south to be Chicago Ridge, and the Pit is in Hickory Hills.

                    2. You ask a difficult question, because what type of place do you want? Some people are giving you more formal, some burger joints. I for example, wouldn't recommend Palermo's except perhaps for the pizza. While I agree with Tin Fish, I've heard others on the South Side, say it's too expensive (it's much cheaper than city counterparts by the way). It would be helpful to narrow down your question.

                      1. Gatto's in Tinley or New Lenox are outstanding. Great Italian at great prices. One will encounter the friendliest waitstaff around. See if Patrick is behind the bar at TP location. He's a friendly, funny barkeep that will keep you there 'til closing.

                        1. Very good Barbecue, Cajun/cCreole, Mexican, American and Tex Mex at:
                          Chuck's Southern Comforts Cafe
                          5557 W 79th St.
Burbank, IL 60459
                          (708) 229-8700


                          1 Reply
                          1. re: lina14

                            Mexican fast food totally run by mexican owners and staff with horchata, menudo on weekends, etc is Lucky Burrito II off the Monee-Manhattan exit towards Monee. Its the first tiny town south of the south burbs in Will County but my daughter STILL wants to make the 2 hour drive south to eat it!

                          2. I know I'm reviving an old thread here, but I just had to mention a place that I consider hidden. It is supposedly Polish, and of course they have a lot of Polish dishes here. But what surprised me was the most tender fall-off-the-bone BBQ ribs. The dinner comes with a nice salad of greens, tomatoes and cucumbers with your choice of dressing, and a choice of sides. The potato dumplings were great! And their potato pancakes rock! Three to a plate and they are HUGE and crunchy! Try Szarotka's in Justice at 8100 S Roberts Rd. http://www.szarotka.us/szarotka-menu,...

                            1. Be sure to try the Patio. Consistantly good food. Two locations. www.patioribs.com