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The 12 best restaurants in Naperville

From chocolatiers to country cooking, here's our pick of the best restaurants in Naperville

Written by
Lisa Arnett
Brock Wilbur

Don’t dismiss Naperville’s food scene as a load of chain restaurants, pickup bars and spots frequented mainly by North Central College students. Its food scene has been booming over the last few years, and if you don’t know, it’s time to get to know. 

From the Water Street District to further afield, this city is awash with great foodie spots; whether you’re looking for Peruvian sandwiches, fluffy falafel or plates of curry and paratha, you’ll find it all here. Oh, and there’s more tasty options (plus easier parking) in strip malls along 75th Street or tucked among big-name chains on Freedom Drive off I-88. For bargains and splurge meals alike, read on for the best restaurants in Naperville. 

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This guide is by Illinois-based writer Lisa Arnett and Brock Wilbur, who was previously Time Out’s Midwest editor. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines

Best restaurants in Naperville

The Hotel Indigo’s top-floor bar and restaurant, which translates as Spanish slang for 'good heavens,' is filled with nouveau macrame decor and massive windows that look out to downtown Naperville and beyond. Santo Cielo is also serving the most intriguing cuisine and cocktails in town. The menu of globally inspired items ranges from mussels and spicy Basque Country sausage swimming in smoky tomato broth to Don’t Rye to Me, a beer-inspired rye cocktail with citra hops mist and syrup made from Solemn Oath Brewery’s Snaggletooth Bandana IPA.

Naperville is home to the first cafe outpost of Chris Chacko’s coffee roastery empire (you'll find his beans on fine-dining menus in Chicago and beyond) – so consider Sparrow Coffee a must-visit for the java-obsessed. Here you'll find single-origin coffees, deft baristas, and lattes made with milk from cows raised on an organic, biodynamic Wisconsin farm. To eat, there’s avocado toast, hand-held Liege waffles, quiche and pastries. 


3. Quiubo

The sleeker, more spacious sibling to Geneva’s perpetually crowded Mexican restaurant Bien Trucha, Quiubo is where you go to gorge on tacos stuffed with Zarandeado-style octopus, Slagel Farms pork belly and braised short rib. Wash it all down with crisp and refreshing cocktails shaken with tequila, mezcal and sotol, a sweet-and-smoky spirit made in Chihuahua, Durango and Coahuil from an agave-lookalike plant that's actually part of the asparagus family. 

This sleek and bustling two-floor bar and eatery offers a solid craft beer selection on draft and trendy cocktails like frosé. For food, there's pretzels, saucy tater tots and buttermilk fried chicken sandwiches to indulge in, but the burgers with juicy beef pattys are the main draw. (Oh, and make sure you grab some of Empire's dirty chips, too.) The rooftop seating—equipped with a retractable top for rainy days—is a great spot for people watching. 


This farmhouse-chic breakfast and lunch spot serves up desserty pancake stacks, funky Benedicts, mimosa buckets and whimsical coffee drinks (think birthday cake milkaccinos and cookie butter lattes). If you can't wait to sink your teeth into an oversized biscuit stuffed with eggs, cheddar and bacon (it's a sausage-gravy–drenched beauty), then we recommend using the NoWait app to avoid a long wait on the weekends.  

Consistently ranked the best Southeast Asian restaurant in Naperville, this reliable Vietnamese joint defies its DMV-adjacent strip mall location. Here, a dozen kinds of fresh and fragrant pho await to cure what ails you, whether that be a stuffy nose, a pesky hangover or just plain old hunger. The banh mi and spring rolls are equally good and you can even order milk teas by the half-gallon. 


This delectable chocolatier and patisserie (with an adjacent bistro and private event space upstairs) is a must visit for those with a penchant for European tastes and insatiable sweet-tooths. Indulge in a cup of Le Chocolat's decadent Belgian-style sipping chocolate, and if you want to take the experience home with you, splurge on one of the spectacular gift baskets. Need some real food? Sitting down for a croque monsieur or beef bourguignon is as much worth the trip as a handful of truffles to-go.

The suburban location of Chicago’s Chinatown restaurant of the same name, serves the same Cantonese specialties in a snazzy multi-roomed space. You’ll want to eat your weight in barbecue pork buns, pan-fried chive cakes and shrimp shumai from the dim sum menu. For veggies, we like the perfectly cooked beans in the string bean 'casserole' and the chubby rice noodles pan-fried in a lightly spicy XO sauce.


A no-frills counter-service spot in northern Naperville, SanguCHE serves traditional Peruvian dishes and tasty sandwiches. Born from owners Cesar and Adelina's desire to share their family recipes with the community, SanguCHE was voted one of Naperville's best restaurants by Naperville Magazine. Snag a few empanadas, alfajores (dulce de leche-filled sandwich cookies) and tamales before they sell out (which happens before closing every day). 

This traditional Spanish tapas restaurant is housed in a Greek revival mansion and boasts eight dining rooms as well as a idyllic tree-shaded patio for dining alfresco. Dishes like grilled tiger shrimp, patatas bravas and heaping pans of paella pair perfectly with wines from Spain’s Rioja, Toro and Penedes regions. Sunday brunch here is a bountiful buffet plus snazzy stations for meat-carving and omelets.


A suburban offshoot of the Chicago-based original, JK Kabab serves made-to-order Indian and Pakistani fare at affordable prices. The $8 lunch specials – including chicken, lamb or beef skewers with basmati rice, salad and either paratha or chapati – are delicious and easy on the wallet. Save room for the housemade pista kulfi, Indian ice cream flavored with rose, vanilla and pistachios.

Step inside the current Naperville location of this Middle Eastern fast-casual chain and marvel that it all started in a former Taco Bell on nearby Ogden Avenue. The chicken shawarma, steak and falafel are all tucked into freshly baked, pillowy pita with homemade pickles and drizzled with spicy harissa and skhug sauces. Don’t sleep on the fries, which are shaped like potato chips and best dunked in a side of garlic sauce.

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