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Apr 11, 2011 01:34 PM

Best LUNCH on Sunday in Naperville

We'll be in Naperville to shop at the Whole Foods and Trader Joe's next Sunday. We don't want BRunch or pizza. Open to most ethnic foods. CHOW much more important than service, ambiance or alcoholic offerings. Just want a tasty non-chain, locally owned LUNCH spot. Thanks!

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  1. I'll throw Naf Naf grill into your mix. try the Lentil soup, homemade chips, and baba ghanouj. I didn't care for the brined chicken, but that's me. I don't like brined chicken. Felafel were pretty good - heck everything i pretty good there, I just don't care for their brined chicken at ALL. It's a pretty good spot. Looks VERY chainy, but it's not. It's obv the owners are trying to appeal to the mall crowd, but don't let the decor screw you up.The food is pretty decent, and they make their pita pretty much when you order it. It's a puffy - fluffy pita, but that is the authentic version of where the owners are from. I'm no expert on Naperville, but Naf naf is good eats:

    Again, it looks so completely like a chain, but it isn't.

    1 Reply
    1. re: gordeaux

      Thanks, gordeaux. Just the kind of recommendation I was looking for!

    2. Is there anything specific you are looking for? For Non-Chain pizza/Italian, check out Traverso's. We love their pizza and they have been around about 40 years. You also have Katy's Dumplings, a great Chinese place on Ogden Road.

      Traverso's Restaurant
      15601 S Harlem Ave, Orland Park, IL 60462

      1. I find it amusing that you want non-chain, locally-owned for lunch, but are shopping at conglomerate-owned chain stores like Whole Foods and TJs. But's a suggestion. There's an H-Mart in Naperville that may satisfy some of your shopping needs, and its attached food court may satisfy your lunch needs as well. Here's a link to get you started:

        8 Replies
        1. re: Mizer

          Pssst...H-Mart is also part of a chain....

          1. re: ferret

            (Tee-hee. I was thinking the same thing)

            1. re: ferret

     my post again.

              I don't care about chain vs non-chain. I only commented about the inconsistency, and then made a suggestion for shopping/dining which WAS consistent.

              If the OP wants to shop at chain-but-non-conglomerate-owned stores, they can visit Casey's in the same strip mall as TJs, the Asia supermarket across the street from H-Mart, or the Michael's and Garden Fresh stores not far from the Whole Foods on 75th. For non-chain dining, my first choice would be Fabulous Noodles in Lisle, about a mile east of H-Mart.

              1. re: Mizer

                I've never been required to justify my food purchases on the other boards, but OK....

                For the last 20 years we've been growing most of the vegetables, fruits and herbs we eat---organically. What we don't grow, we try to buy at the farmer's market at Peoria's Metro Centre, about 18 miles from our home. Metro Centre is owned and operated by the brother of Susan G. Komen (name ring a bell? If not, think pink). In that shopping center is also an independently-owned store, Naturally Yours. We do a fair amount of shopping there---they carry many of the organic products we choose to use, including the bread from Peoria Bread Co. This bread is made by Dave Koehler, my state senator and is made of local, organic wheat. I also shop at several other locally-owned and -managed stores in Peoria: Taj Emporium for Indian spices and staples, Cedar's for the whole wheat pitas they make next door, Mediterranean Mart for pomegranate juice, and the International Market, which looks much like the H-mart.

                However, one thing we can't find at these local sources is good, organic, crunchy peanut butter without sugar or salt. We have found such a product at Trader Joe's. So, twice a year, when we're in St. Louis, we make a trip to Trader Joe's and stock up on peanut butter. And yes, a few other items usually find their way into our cart. We usually buy what we think is a 6-month supply of peanut butter, but we goofed last time and are down to our last jar!

                We recently decided to take a quick trip up to Naperville, which happens to be the location of the Trader Joe's nearest to our home. Don't go there too often, hence the request for dining recommendations. We also plan to go to Whole Foods since it's nearby in the hopes of finding some Neal's Yard stilton. It makes an excellent omlette with sauteed morels, which we hope to find soon at our friend's wooded property.

                So, I guess the question is, can we expect to find Neal's Yard stilton and organic, crunchy, salt- and sugar-free peanut butter at H-mart? Thanks.

                1. re: Anne

                  H-Mart is almost 100% Korean grocery store.. that I adore.. but it probably won't have stilton and organic, sugar-free pbutter. Definitely check out H-Mart for Asian specialty items but quite different than the items at WHF...

                  Katy's Noodles is stellar.

                  1. re: GraceW

                    I think Anne was merely pointing out her need to go to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods for certain products that aren't available elsewhere, and not seriously expecting H-Mart to carry those items.

                    And let's not ignore the smileys and other ways in which the discussion was intended to be light-hearted and humorous... ;)

                    1. re: nsxtasy

                      Apologies, sometimes, I do not read 'every' response posted by 'every' responder--therefore, the sarcasm was not apparent given the limited context. I just saw Anne's question and wanted to assist.

                      1. re: GraceW

                        Of course.

                        Incidentally, the second part of my post was intended for Anne, sorry if it seemed directed towards you.

          2. Anne - Katy's Dumpling House is a fine, ethnic choice in Naperville. Here is the link to their website:

            (As to the off-topic posts relating to chain/non-chain food purveyors, you were far more patient than I would have been in explaining your reasons.


            Katy's Dumpling House
            665 N Cass Ave, Westmont, IL 60559

            7 Replies
            1. re: masha

              Fabulous Noodles is good. You could also check out Mapo for excellent Asian food (very near the aforementioned H-Mart). If you wanted to travel a bit further north on Rt 59 you could visit the Two Brothers Tap House in Warrenville. They make an effort to use local sources as well as organic. And of course they make the beer on site. Since Whole Foods is at the intersection of 75th and Rt. 59 it would be about 15 minutes to reach Two Brothers.

              Fabulous Noodles
              4663 Old Tavern Rd, Lisle, IL 60532

              Mapo Restaurant
              1563 Naperville Wheaton Rd, Naperville, IL 60563

              1. re: dulcie54

                Thanks, dulcie54. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like Fabulous Noodles offers their lunch menu on Sundays.
                Two Brothers sounds interesting. Do you have a favorite food there?
                Maypo's website doesn't seem to be working. What kind of Asian food do they serve? Got a favorite there? Thanks!

                1. re: Anne

                  I have been a VERY frequent diner at Two Brothers. Everything is actually made in house by their chef. The menu is largely what you might call gastro-pub/bar fare. Tommy (the chef) often comes up with specials. For example, short ribs with polenta and blue cheese. You mentioned looking for Neal's Yard Dairy cheese at WF. The Bros serve a cheese flight but I confess I have never had it. (Total digression here, have you been to Neal's Yard in London?) The Bros has always been reliably good, relatively creative, friendly, and fairly priced. If you go...get directions. It is difficult to find and in an unmarked building. No sign or anything.

              2. re: masha

                Thanks, masha, for the recommendation---and the kind words!
                What are your favorite menu items at Katy's?

                1. re: Anne

                  Anne - A confession: I've never eaten there, but my husband has and he raves about it. I think he usually orders the noodles. Here is a link from the "LTHForum" (a Chicago-area food site) to posts on Katy's that may assist you in menu choices:

                  1. re: Anne

                    Make sure you get the hand-pulled noodles. Also, I love their szechwuan eggplant.

                    1. re: GraceW


                      Just a few blocks north from Whole Foods 0n Route 59 is Nagoya Japanese Buffet. They serve a great variety of seafood in oriental and non-oriental offerings. It's All you can eat for 12.99 at lunch. Includes cold salads, siu mai and other Chinese dumplings, fried and sauteed calamari, shrimp, cajun crawfish, soups, etc. Then they have a full sushi bar with lots of very good choices. After that, there is a tepanyaki grill where they will grill whatever you want, both veggies, meat, and seafood. Don't miss the elaborate offering of desserts, which include lots of fresh fruit, and ice creams (don't miss the Red Plum flavor). The variety and quality of offerings are well worth a visit.

                2. UPDATE. OK, first a confession: we didn't use any of your recommendations (insert embarassed smiley here). Our plans changed slightly. I wasn't aware until a few days ago that there was a Penzey's in Naperville. I needed to stock up on spices, so we added the place to our "must go" list.
                  Once we planned on that, hubby started looking for an acceptable lunch spot nearby. He found a place that serves food we can't get in Peoria: Cajun. Yes, we went to Heaven on Seven. It was WONDERFUL! While they serve brunch on Sundays, their regular menu is also available. We started with the shrimp and andouille sausage eggroll. WOW!!! Really wonderful blend of flavors and textures. They were HUGE---more the size of burritos---and there were 2 of them. Came with a hot mango sauce and a mustard sauce, and a sprinkle of the freshest chopped bell peppers I've had in a while. Since we still had our entrees coming, we had our server box up half of it.
                  As our entrees, I ordered the voodoo chicken enchiladas, and hubby ordered the etouffe of the day---chicken and crawfish. We both got a cup of the gumbo with our meals, which was delicious.
                  The etouffe was good, very flavorful, but the enchiladas were AWESOME! Dark meat chicken cubes in a delicious spicy cream sauce were wrapped in 2 LARGE flour tortillas, then topped with cheese. On top was a very FRESH pico de gallo---honestly, the tomatoes tasted like August homegrowns! Both of our dishes were served with white rice. We took home 1/2 of each entree---servings are HUGE here. Hubby also had the chicory coffee which was very, very good.
                  While I said we were ONLY interested in the chow, it's worth noting that the service and ambiance of this place made it a real treat. Our server was VERY knowledgable and helpful. The decor is fun---one long wall is covered in bottles of hot sauce, while the other wall covered in New Orleans-inspired art. The keyboard player was a nice touch.
                  So, if you're in Naperville, we'd HIGHLY recommend lunch or dinner at Heaven on Seven. We can't wait to go back!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Anne

                    Glad you were pleased with what you did and what you ate. Good thing you didn't bring Heaven on Seven up before, as quite a few people on this board or on another Chicago area board (LTH Forum) have written negatively about the place. There arequite a few other places in downtown Naperville you might consider on your next visit: Catch 35, La Sorella di Francesca, Ted's Montana Grill, etc.

                    Catch 35
                    100 S Washington St, Naperville, IL 60540

                    Heaven on Seven
                    600 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

                    La Sorella di Francesca
                    18 W. Jefferson, Naperville, IL 60540

                    1. re: Anne

                      Anne, I'm glad you enjoyed Heaven on Seven in Naperville! Next time you come towards Chicago, or even for a quick afternoon trip out of Peoria, you might want to try Ron's Cajun Connection in Utica Illinois. Ron is from Louisiana and makes the most wonderful Cajun food in a funky little roadhouse right off US 6 just north of Starved Rock. For years Ron's has been our stopoff on the way home from visiting the in laws in Peoria. We usually dine in and then bring home a good sized carryout order to have later or share with friends.


                      That said, Naperville does have a lot of good dining options in the downtown and within a few blocks of the Penzy's.


                      1. re: LikestoEatout

                        When I was there in May Penzy's was moving to Riverfront Plaza where 5 Guys, Chipotle, Bar Louie and Rosebud is. I would have liked to see the new store but I'll see it next May when I return again. Tango is pretty good as well. They have a nice Sangria.

                        2235 Enterprise Dr, Westchester, IL 60154

                        Bar Louie
                        5500 S Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60637