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May 22, 2008 11:32 AM

Are these close to St Charles, Il?

Mr CF and I are meeting some friends for dinner in a couple weeks. I've been checking the Chicago boards because we're also going to be in Chicago for a week in August (that's another post!) and I've found several places that sound great.

My question is: are any of the places we're thinking of close to St Charles, or not more than an hour away? I tried to search in the Chicago area board for St Charles, but couldn't find anything... not to my surprise or anything, I have an awful time finding things on the internet.

Anywhoo... we're thinking of - Sepia, Blackbird, One Sixty Blue, Les Nomades and Naha. Are they relatively close?

Does anyone have a recommendation for St Charles itself?
Or should we just bite the bullet and drive on in?


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  1. These restaurants are all relatively close to each downtown Chicago. So their proximity to St. Charles is essentially identical. With few exceptions, the western suburbs are largely a gastronomic wasteland. Do the drive!

    4 Replies
    1. re: mingusman

      I get tired of people thinking this is a "gastronomic wasteland". Some people have the notion that the world ends at Chicago;s borders. Below are 2 web sites that list all of the restaurants between Geneva and St. Charles, 2 towns that share borders and blend in together. Nothing is more than 15 minutes away and easy to find. Geneva has the best of fine dinning in Niche, Isabellas Estiatorio at Atwaters amongst others.

      1. re: LikestoEatout

        Thanks LikestoEatout!

        Niche does look really good, I think I'll try there first.

        I just knew there had to be great restaurants in or around St Charles. Thanks for posting this! You've saved us time and money!

        1. re: Cookiefiend

          You won't be disappointed! Isabella's is around the corner, you can always stop in for a drink.

      2. They are going to be right around an hour (I'd wager just a tad over) in the best of traffic. If you wanna go to these places, plan going at non-peak traffic times. You'll also have to factor in baseball traffic if you are going on a game day. It's do-able, just plan accordingly. You might want to look at finding something to do to get you into the city before your dinner to avoid rush hour hour, or going for a late seating. Where there's a will, there is DEFINITELY a way.

        P.S. There are a few places in the burbs that are worth a try as mingusman quipped. They are not plentiful, but there ARE some places. Is there any particular type of food you would be interested in? Maybe someone would be able to share some of the really great places that would be closer to St Chas.

        2 Replies
        1. re: gordeaux

          The places I mentioned above - Sepia, Blackbird, Les Nomades and Naha - are the sort of place we're thinking of. We've been to Blackbird, Alinea, Frontera Grill and Charlie Trotter's in the past and enjoyed all of them. I'm currently trying to get a reservation at Schwa for our August trip, so far to no avail. Fortunately, there are so many great places in Chicago!

          Probably the only type of food that wouldn't be too popular would be Thai - I can't convince Mr CF that Thai food is a good thing. I keep bringing it into the office for lunch and he's not jumping on the Thai band wagon with me... he's a crazy guy!

          Umm ... is there a game on June 6th?

          1. re: Cookiefiend

            America's team has a home game on June 6th at 7pm.
            The poseurs have an away game that day.

        2. As others have said, St. Charles to Chicago is about 1 hour one way minimum. St. Charles is in the "far west suburbs," so you might want to search the board using that. It is near Geneva, which I believe has a number of decent restaurants, so you might use that as a search term too.

          1. One of the best restaurants in the Chicago area is in Western Springs, Vie. It's pretty much dead east from St. Charles, but far enough outside of Chicago so that you wouldn't have to deal with city traffic. Here's their site:


            4 Replies
            1. re: jbw

              No offense, but Western Springs is not even close to "dead east" of St. Charles.

              Vie is a lovely restaurant and might even be worth the trip from St. Charles, but the route is less than direct --

              Probably about 45 minutes, not really much time savings from heading straight to one Sixty Blue, which about an hour:


              1. re: renov8r

                The menu at Vie looks fabulous.

                If I'm looking at these maps correctly, Vie is about 15 - 20 from downtown Chicago, which makes it a reallly good idea for August's trip.

                jbw - thanks for the link to Vie!
                renov8r - thanks for the maps!


                1. re: renov8r

                  Thanks!! I think many people here never look at a map and have no clue when they suggest a place to go. Western Springs from St Charles would not be a fun drive, might as well go in to Chicago which still isn't easy because the tollroad options are not close by. It would be easier to go to Geneva and take the Metra in.

                  1. re: LikestoEatout

                    What's the big deal here? The op's original suggestions were all in the city and he/she asked for recs on something closer to St. Charles (not more than an hour). To get from St. Charles to Western Springs you would likely use exactly the same route as you would to get to Chicago (E/64; S/I-355; E/I88; then rather than continuing on the Eisenhower for 15 miles of city traffic, you cut south for a couple of miles to Western Springs; total time about 45 minutes, rather than the hour+ it would take you to get into the center of town.) It's not as if I was recommending an inferior restaurant either. Vie, IMO anyway, is certainly at the level of the other restaurants mentioned by the op, and many people within Chicago's city limits drive the 15-20 miles outside the city specifically to eat there.

              2. Thanks to everyone who posted!

                Instead of going out, we stayed at their home and had a home cooked meal - which was both lovely and a great idea since we spent the entire time yakking. I always feel badly when we go to a restaurant and make everyone wait for us to catch up before we even look at the menu.

                Next time we'll venture out - I really want to try Niche.
                Since we'll be in Chicago in August, I will make a reservation for Vie.

                Thanks again!