I know what you’re thinking, why would I venture out of one of the best restaurant cities in the world to find a new spot? While the 30-minute drive on 290 West might not be the most scenic route, it is definitely worth it to check out the best date night spots in western suburbs, including Elmhurst, Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, and Oak Brook. Plus, these towns are popping enough that they almost make you feel like you’re walking down Fulton Market, only minus the blaring traffic. (and the headache of trying to park!)
Right next door to Cook County on the west side, Elmhurst is known for its rich art and history. A visit to the area almost always require checking out the Elmhurst History Museum and Elmhurst Art Museum. If you have time, the Wilder Park Conservatory also never lets you down. All these activities should work up a good appetite for you. Then, let’s take a look at some great dining spots below.
100 S York St, Elmhurst, IL 60126
Is there anything better on date night than a perfectly cooked steak, a huge bowl of pasta, or a stiff martini? Not in my book. Luckily, 100 South’s expansive menu is full of mouth-watering dishes that are sure to satisfy any craving. If you’re looking for a new cocktail to try, 100 South is well-known for their hand-shaken pear martini that you’ll most likely tell your server to keep coming. After dinner hours, the bar turns into a lounge that takes date night to the next level.
105 S York St, Elmhurst, IL 60126
Woodfire pizza and endless pasta options? Sign me up. Pazzi di Pizza has a huge menu including classic Italian dishes made with fresh and exciting ingredients. They also offer daily specials and a changing “pasta of the week” to keep restaurant goers coming back for more. When the weather gets nice (summer, please hurry), Pazzi also has an open patio with a great atmosphere for sipping on an Aperol spritz.
151 N York St, Elmhurst, IL 60126
Okay, so technically for 151 Kitchen I lied a little bit, because what really needs to be called out here is their $16 bottomless mimosa deal. If you and your partner are looking for a spot to have great food and get a little tipsy while doing it, 151 is the place for you. Their brunch menu, burgers, salads, and full bar make 151 the best way to spend a Saturday. Bonus feature is that 151 is walkable to the Elmhurst Metra station if you’re looking for a quick and cheap ride home.
About 25 miles to the west sits Wheaton, a quaint college town with plenty of nature for a good day out, featuring the favored Morton Arboretum. So, if you’re taking your loved one for a date in among the trees, you’ll be delighted to find that there are plenty of romantic date spots right around to sit and stare into each other’s eyes with a glass of wine.
120 N Hale St, Wheaton, IL 60187
In the warmer months, Ivy in Wheaton has a beautiful patio featuring romantic string lights, a cool ambiance, and, you guessed it, ivy plants covering the buildings brick walls. What was once home to a church (see: their stained-glass windows and chapel ceilings), is now the perfect date-night spot for an intimate dinner for you and your partner. Ivy invites you to work your way through a menu full of food that will keep you wanting more. Or at least a glance at the dessert menu.
108 N Hale St, Wheaton, IL 60187
If a more casual setting is on the date-night agenda, Burger Social is the place for you. While “burger” is in the name, this spot offers so much more than the classic patty on a bun. Step outside the box and try a Spicy Nacho, Shrimp, or Korean BBQ burger, all made with ingredients sourced from our great Midwest. If burgers aren’t your thing, Burger Social also offers fresh salads and delicious sandwiches, along with classic and unique cocktails.
535 W Liberty Dr, Wheaton, IL 60187
Sharing and compromise are two key parts of any successful relationship. At Adelle’s, you’ll have to work on both. Known for their sharable small plates, you and your partner can indulge in menu items like fried brussels sprouts, steak tartare, and pan-seared scallops. The compromise comes in when deciding who gets the last bite. This scratch kitchen restaurant also prides itself on using fresh ingredients with no preservatives or additives, which is a bonus on top of an already delicious menu.
This small village is a hidden gem when it comes to daytrip romantic dates. Check out the McAninch Arts Center and Stacy’s Tavern Museum, or grab another couple for a double date and challenge the Cluedin Escape Rooms. When you start to feel hungry, head over to one of these places below for a good meal!
433 N Main St, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
If you and your partner are big fans of fresh, homemade pasta, fire + wine is the place for you. Fire + wine is the perfect place to spend time with loved ones, browsing a long wine list, and picking out the perfect dish to pair it with. The staff here is incredibly knowledgeable and make awesome suggestions on house-favorites. Perfect ending to a spectacular meal? Indulging in your sweet tooth and picking something off the dessert menu. I’m always a sucker for gelato.
499 N Main St, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
At the end of another long week, you’re probably looking for a margarita and endless tacos, right? Right. A Toda Madre has everything you’re looking for. A fun setting to spend some quality time with your partner? Check. Nine different types of tacos to fulfill whatever you’re in the mood for? Yup. Settle in and eat to your heart’s content, because sometimes all you need is your partner, tasty food, and about five hand-shaken margaritas.
We don’t need to say more about how exciting Oak Brook is. If any, head out there to see the Princess Diana Exhibition that’s been getting all the buzz! Or simply enjoy a shopping date and spoil your loved one at the Oak Brook Center, then head over to one of these brilliant restaurants for an even better experience.
1415 22nd St, Oak Brook, IL 60523
Branzino, spaghetti neri, and prosciutto pizza. Should I continue? While Lucca Osteria specializes on a shorter menu, you won’t be left feeling like you missed out on anything. At this establishment, the chefs have perfected everything on the menu, down to the polenta. The savory, satisfying dishes at Lucca Osteria will have you and your partner ready to cuddle up on the couch and end date night in a perfect food-coma, binging the newest season of Love is Blind.
1410 16th St, Oak Brook, IL 60523
When you’re in the mood for some contemporary, upscale American dishes, J. Alexander’s is the way to go. This place is all about taking the food you know and love to the next level. While the menu is known to rotate their features, you can always find the classics like a French dip, slow roasted prime rib, and the well-known crispy chicken platter. Taking a stop at J. Alexander’s for date night will leave you looking forward to your next trip out west.
Featured Image Credit: Fire + Wine