Des Plaines, Illinois
With close to sixty thousand residents, Des Plaines is in a continual growth cycle, being officially named the "City of Destiny." Its location right next to the O'Hare International Airport makes it a very easy stop when you're on your way into Chicago. While you're there you may want to stop into the McDonald's Museum which is a reconstruction of the company's first restaurant... the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame at Maryville Academy.. the Des Plaines Theater for an entertaining show... or the Deval Crossing interlocking tower, which is a huge attraction for train hobbyists and professionals, due to its triangular railway pattern. Those may all be great places to visit, but if you ask us, the best reason to come to Des Plaines is for the food! Here are our choices for the best restaurants and bars in the zip codes of 60016, 60017, 60018, and 60019.
You'll easily recognize Romano's Restaurant in Des Plaines by the familliar shingled roof, red white and green awnings, and those glowing letters spelling out the name Romano's. There's nothing else like walking through that corner door and knowing that you're about to have one of the best Italian meals in town! Romano's has been going strong for close to 60 years, and they've got all your favorites from pasta to poultry, from pizza to veal, and of course those wonderful ribs. The pizza crust is perfectly thin here, giving the right amount of attention to the delicious zesty sauce and cheese. We love this place.
Address: 1396 East Oakton Street
CAFE LA CAVE RESTAURANT
Fine dining is at its best in Des Plaines at Cafe La Cave Restaurant. You'll feel like you're dining in a candlelit cave on the face of a majestic mountain. There is no other restaurant that we're aware of that has this special type of ambiance. Of course a restaurant has to offer more than just atmosphere, and Cafe La Cave definitely does--every dish on the menu is delicious, but we'd highly recommend the Classic Chilled Shrimp Cocktail and the Escargot Bourguignon off the appetizer section, and the Chilean Seabass Giovanni or Seafood Pasta a la Cave from the entrees. Delish!
Address: 2777 Mannheim Road
HARRY CARAY'S ITALIAN STEAKHOUSE
Chicago Tribune named Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse the best steakhouse in Chicago! If you're wondering if it was named after the late Hall of Fame baseball announcer Harry Caray, you're right! It was. It's been in business since 1987 and they show no signs of slowing down. The absolute best aged steaks and chops in town are found here, and the warm and inviting atmosphere is just another perk. Excellent service too, with knowledgeable servers who will help you to find exactly the right entree to satisfy your appetite. Highly recommended.
Address: 10233 West Higgins Road
CHOO CHOO RESTAURANT
Choo Choo Restaurant is an historic location in Chicagoland, having opened back in 1951 with the idea of serving customers as quickly as a train travels. This diner has special rules in place to make sure that's the case, including a thirty minute eating limit while others are waiting, and no table switching (one table per visit). They do not accept reservations or credit cards, so bring your cash and be prepared for a short wait. The best burgers on the menu are the Choo-Choo Double and the Dairy Car, and you've got to wash it all down with one of their Rich Thick Milk Shakes & Malts. It's the perfect diner experience.
Address: 600 Lee Street
Paradise Pup is a Des Plaines tradition, with the familiar red and yellow awning and umbrellas announcing its presence to drivers cruising down South River Road. Many people stand in the long lines every day just to grab a bite of their tasty burgers, hot dogs, fries, and shakes! Everything is super fresh and really delicious. If you want to get a seat here, you might want to try to hit them at a slow hour! They're always packed with satisfied customers.
Address: 1724 South River Road
CLUB CASA CAFE, RESTAURANT, & SPORTS BAR
This is the one dining and drinking spot in Des Plaines that really has it all. They function as a cafe, restaurant, and sports bar, with a patio area and great banquet space. You'll find Club Casa located in the Des Plaines Golf Center, which makes it a great place to eat during a golf trip with Chicago Party Bus. They've got everything here from sandwiches to soups to appetizers, and all your favorite domestic and imported beers too. You'll really enjoy the satellite linked TVs which are always tuned to the big games of the day. Great place to unwind after a long day on the links.
Address: 353 North River Road
The Bar is so famous for its delicious beer-battered perch and cod, burgers, and pizzas, that they need no other name than the understated "The Bar." We love to stop in on Friday nights for karaoke, but any night of the week is a winner with great drink specials to help you go easy on your wallet while quenching your thirst. The price is right and the atmosphere is very nice. Gotta love this place.
Address: 1696 East Oakton Street
Countryside Saloon has been delighting bar patrons since 1988. It's a great place to catch the game while throwing back perfectly mixed drinks or domestic and imported beers. When it comes to appetizers, we enjoy the Garlic Bread and the Panserotti Pizza Puff. Salad lovers will enjoy the Cobb Salad, and sandwich afficionados will want to try the Filet Steak Sandwich or The Works Chicken Sandwich. The Malibu Chicken Wrap is a great light choice with chicken breast, romaine, avocado, onions, pineapples, and peppercorn ranch. And of course we can't forget the pizza, made with the famous Bellini's pizza recipe, a Chi-Town favorite since 1961.
Address: 2501 West Ballard Road
MINER STREET TAVERN
You've got to love Miner Street Tavern. All the best domestic and imported beers on draft, sexy waitresses, and good looking crowds. There's no better bar in the Des Plaines area to just kick back and enjoy the atmosphere with a delicious drink in your hand. They've recently begun karaoke nights, and they've always got wild events happening like the Mustache Bash (mustaches provided for everyone whether male or female!), Pajama Parties, and Geek Parties. If you love to have fun and you've got a sense of humor, check out Miner Street Tavern!
Address: 1494 Miner Street
Tiki Terrace is your go-to spot for delicious island flavor and tropical cocktails. You can catch the Tiki Terrace Dinner & Show every Friday and Saturday night. It's just like taking a vacation without ever having to leave the Chicago area. It's a full sensory experience straight from the South Pacific, from the unique island dishes to the revue show itself. Reservations are required, so give them a call in advance to get all the details and make sure that everything is set for a fun and exciting night!
Address: 1591 Lee Street