Visiting the suburbs and looking for the best Oak Park restaurants in the downtown area? Oak Park is always an experience to remember! Whether you’re looking to explore, relax, or simply find someplace new, you’re sure to find something to love.
As one of Chicago’s premier suburbs, it has a variety of sights, attractions, and activities — from one of the many historic landmarks to the myriad of eclectic restaurants, shops, and nightlife venues.
Here is our roundup of some of the best eats on Lake Street and
in the historic Frank Lloyd Wright neighborhoods. Review our selections and recommended bites while relaxing with some locals in these Oak Park restaurants arranged by cuisine.
Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant
📍950 Lake St, (708) 613-2999
My husband and I dined at Cooper’s Hawk during a weekday, hoping it would not be so busy. Upon entry, the sleek tasking room buzzed with people and aromatic notes of wine swirled in the air. The tasting room is where patrons can sample the wine flight options for about $20. The flights range in whites, red, and bubbly, or you can create your own.
Since the dining area was full and we didn’t have reservations, we chose a table in the bar area. Scanning the menu, the Soy Ginger Atlantic Salmon leapt out at me and arrived resting atop a bed of wasabi-kicked mashed potatoes alongside an Asian sesame slaw.
Forking a small batch of mashed potatoes mixed with that sinus-clearing wasabi, the pillowy texture contrasts the salmon. On the next forkful, I make sure to catch some bright purple shreds of cabbage, the crisp slaw mingling sweet and salty with pops of green onion. Each bite highlights a different texture and flavor, from the meaty fish to smooth spuds to vibrant slaw. I felt enveloped in the warmth and intimacy that characterizes the Cooper’s Hawk experience.
The Little Gem Cafe
📍189 N Marion St, (708) 613-5491
The soft glow of the bulbs and flickering candle on the table provides just enough light to appreciate the exposed brick walls of this intimate restaurant. The rich sounds of jazz music float through the cozy space, their melodies blending with the quiet murmur of diners’ conversation.
When my salmon filet arrives, I breathe in the citrusy aromas wafting up with the faint wisps of steam. The fish’s bronzed crust crackles slightly as I press in with my fork, releasing the moisture of the expertly cooked flaky interior. I paired a tender morsel with the honey glazed brussels sprouts. The fresh sauteed zucchini perfectly balanced the depth of flavor with its crisp texture subtle seasoning.
I absolutely loved dinig at the Little Gem Cafe. It’s a great spot for a romantic dinner, girl’s night out, or dinner with family. This neighborhood gem exceeded my expectations with its impressive execution and inviting yet sophisticated setting. I can’t wait to return for brunch!
When it comes to Italian cuisine, Oak Park restaurants offer a delectable array of options that cater to all taste buds, from classic pasta dishes like lasagna and spaghetti carbonara to mouthwatering pizzas topped with fresh ingredients.
📍1038 Lake St, (708) 358-0800
As a Chicago pizza lover living in Oak Park, I feel lucky to have Lou’s right in my neighborhood. Their iconic deep dish is hands down the best pizza in town, with a buttery crust that puts all others to shame. And the service is as friendly as the pie is delicious.
I’m proudly Team Deep-Dish, but Lou’s thin crust options are amazing too. My go-to order is the Lasagna loaded with marinara, ricotta, and mozzarella. The Cheese Deep Dish is a close second, especially when I need something to sink my teeth into.
When the family wants something healthier, it’s got to be the Chicken Louie salad with grilled chicken, tomatoes, cheddar, and homemade croutons on fresh greens. However you slice it, Lou Malnati’s is my pizza oasis right here in Oak Park.
Il Vicolo Trattoria
📍116 N Oak Park Ave, (708) 386-5801
📍1111 Lake St, (708) 445-9700
Whenever I pass by Tre Sorelle Ristorante and hear the lively jazz band playing outside, it transports me straight to Europe. I can practically picture myself sitting at a trattoria, nibbling on bruschetta as the sun sets over vineyards in the distance.
This little spot serves up tastes of Italy that leave me longing for the boot. I always start with a crisp glass of Pinot Grigio before diving into the hearty Eggplant Parmigiana layered with cheese and tangy marinara.
Their handmade pastas are sublime too – the Tre Sorelle with shrimp, scallops and mussels in a light tomato broth makes me feel like I’m at the Italian coast. And I love customizing a pasta dish with my favorite ingredients.
Just be sure to save room for the creamy, flavor-packed gelato. A bite of the pistachio or hazelnut is like taking a bite out of Italy itself. With its cozy ambiance and mouthwatering cuisine, Tre Sorelle always satisfies my cravings for an Italian getaway.
📍814 North Blvd, (708) 848-3434
Victory Italian Restaurant
📍100 S Marion St, (708) 434-5766
Imagine stepping into a charming Italian restaurant, where the air is filled with the irresistible aroma of authentic cuisine. As we dined in this cozy Italian haven, the combination of lasagna, salmon, and sautéed vegetables created a memorable feast.
Billy Brick’s Wood-Fired Pizza
📍128 N Oak Park Ave,(708) 948-7707
Very good pizza with traditional options made in a wood-fired oven. The cost is about $15 per pizza and feeds 1 to 2 people. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, the sandwiches are also appetizing. Recommendations: Italian Grinder, Chicken Pesto, Margherita Pizza, BBQ Chicken Pizza.
Breakfast or Brunch
📍726 Lake St, (847) 921-4003
When I wake up craving a morning pick-me-up, Chicago Waffles comes to mind for a breakfast spot. Their waffles are crispy on the outside and fluffy inside, the perfect cushion for sweet and savory toppings.
I love getting a Waffle Flight to sample different flavors like red velvet, chocolate chip and lemon ricotta. Chicago Waffles even has gluten-free waffle options, which can be hard to find.
Moving beyond waffles, their breakfast sandwiches are crave-worthy too. I’m obsessed with the croissant sandwiches layered with savory fillings like sausage, eggs, and melty cheese. The omelets are always super fluffy, and you can pack them with all your favorite fillings.
If you are dining with kids, Chicago Waffles has a great children’s menu too with mini pancake stacks and smiles all around. With its family-friendly vibe and scrumptious selections, Chicago Waffles will keep you coming back for breakfast and brunch cravings.
📍145 S Oak Park Ave, (708) 848-4949
📍1101 Lake St., (708) 665-3490
Stepping into the newly opened Oak Park location of Crepas Culichi, I instantly feel like dining royalty. The chic atmosphere is a breath of fresh air with its swanky chandeliers, gold toned chairs, and bright ambiance.
The globally-inspired menu takes me on a culinary world tour with each dish. I adore starting with the Mexican Coffee served tableside for a touch of theatrics.
Their savory crepes layered with avocado, spinach and melty brie make me feel like I’m dining at a Parisian Cafe. The chilaquiles is a symphony of flavors and textures.
With its diverse cuisine and upscale yet inviting ambiance, I always feel like a queen dining here. It’s my new go-to for elevated fare with international flair right here in Oak Park.
📍100 S Oak Park Ave, (708) 948-7328
📍138 North Marion St, (708) 383-1750
When I wake up with a grumbling stomach needing satisfaction, Cozy Corner is my breakfast boutique of choice. Their fluffy omelets are stuffed with melt-in-your-mouth fillings that provide the perfect protein punch to start the day.
And don’t even get me started on their crispy hashbrowns done up Bavarian style with bacon – they are totally worth the indulgence!
The French toast and pancake platters look straight-up decadent, layered with fruit, syrup and yummy trimmings. With just one bite, they taste as satisfying as they look. I can’t think of a better place among Oak Park restaurants for a heartier, stick-to-your-ribs kind of breakfast.
The portions are so generously satiating, I’m fueled for hours after dining here. It hits that sweet and savory breakfast spot for me every time.
Cafes & Bistros
📍1018 Lake St, (708) 628-3707
Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea
📍702 Lake St, (708) 434-5510
Stepping inside, I’m enveloped by the aroma of freshly ground beans and the low hum of chilled out conversations. At the counter, I order an iced vanilla latte, the perfect post-run refreshment.
Cup in hand, I headed to a table by the front window overlooking the street. Sunlight streams in, catching the condensation on my icy drink as I take that first cooling sip. The espresso cuts through the sweet cream and vanilla, giving me a much-needed caffeine jolt.
Around me, dogs relax at their owners’ feet as the coffee shop fills with more patrons. Friends laugh over foamy cappuccinos while students type away with headphones in. It’s easy to blend in with locals at this coffee house.
Serenitea Tea Cafe and Boutique
📍1046 Pleasant St, (708) 660-9670
Tucked away on a quiet, leafy street in Oak Park sits a little yellow storefront – Serenitea Tea Cafe, my neighborhood’s best-kept secret.
Pushing open the glass door, I see a cozy spot at the window. I ordered a soothing pot of tea and took a seat. There are glass jars of loose-leaf teas that line the rustic wooden shelves while steaming porcelain teapots rest on the tabletop.
Soon the server appears, placing down two lavender sugar cookies on a floral China plate. As I lift the perfectly round cookie, the subtle floral aroma floats up. Taking a bite, the soft and buttery cookie seems to melt on my tongue, giving way to the delicate taste of lavender. It’s heavenly.
This cafe is my sanctuary where I can pause and appreciate the little joys – a pot of tea, the afternoon sunlight, and bliss in the form of a cookie.
Courageous Bakery & Cafe
📍736 Lake St, (708) 894-2253
This is a cozy cafe where there is not a bad seat in the house. Sit by the window and sip cardamon tea, nosh an almond croissant, and watch the world goes by. Recommendations: Breakfast tacos, Cinnamon Rolls… or pastry!
📍136 N Oak Park Ave, (708) 383-3550
My husband noticed this restaurant because he is obsessed with Portugal, and guess what? Oak Park has Portuguese cuisine!
I stopped in to try the empanadas. The sweet and savory aroma of baked dough fills the kitchen. The golden, crescent-shaped pastries are flickered with flakes of buttery pastry.
I take one empanada between my fingers, the flaky crust still warm. Lifting it up, steam escapes through the vents in the dough, carrying notes of seasoned beef and sweet raisins. I take a bite and the crispy shell gives way to the empanada’s piping hot filling.
📍103 S Oak Park Ave, (708) 434-5077
Located just steps from the CTA station, the cozy cafe is an ideal spot to fuel up before a day of exploring downtown Oak Park. I ordered an egg and cheese bagel and a coffee then find a seat to have a few bites before going to the Field Museum.
The bagel arrived overflowing with fluffy scrambled eggs, melty cheddar cheese. The first bite yields a satisfying crunch from the perfectly toasted bagel with distinct nutty notes of asiago cheese. Amelie is a neighborhood gem, making it easy to start the day off right before setting out on an urban adventure.
📍811 S Oak Park Blvd, (708) 613-4403
Pushing open the heavy wooden door, I’m enveloped by the rich aroma and the warmth of the neighborhood café. I step up to the gleaming glass counter brimming with treats – flaky croissants, towering slices of cake, and rows of picture-perfect pastries.
I ordered a latte, the espresso’s nutty notes mingling with steamed milk. Now for the hard part – choosing a pastry while my stomach rumbles. The decisions are paralyzing!
I enjoyed sitting outdoors with a strong cup of coffee and cake. My eyes are drawn to the glass-fronted bakery kitchen where apron-clad bakers roll out velvety dough and crimp the edges of pies.
It’s the simple things.
📍1100 Lake St
I pass this cafe on every walk to and from the train station. During the weekend, I stopped by to order a light breakfast.
Settling on the smoked salmon avocado toast, I soon have the plate in front of me, brimming with color. A thick slice of golden toasted bread is spread with creamy avocado. Ruby red lox is layered on top in ribbon-like strands. What a delicious combination of texture and flavors!
Sugar Fixé Patisserie
📍119 N Marion St, (708) 948-7720
The aroma of freshly baked goods lures me into the neighborhood café early one morning. I order a chocolate croissant before finding a seat by the window.
As I tear off the first tip of the croissant, the shatteringly crisp outer layers give way to reveal the airy interior. The buttery scent transports me back to the cozy cafés of Paris where you can see the Eiffel Tower. I am immediately reminded of a croissant baking class with a Parisian chef.
I think of wandering those bustling streets, ducking into a pâtisserie to enjoy a croissant and café au lait. Now, as I take my first bite, those same delicate crispy flakes melt on my tongue.
After giving my compliments, I learned that staff at this patisserie are classically trained, and it shows!
Léa French Cafe
📍106 N Marion St, (708) 613-5994
I arrive at La Petite Crêperie, a cozy French café in downtown Oak Park, and am enveloped by the rich aroma of buttery baked pastries. Settling into a wrought iron chair at a table by the front window, I enjoy a cup of coffee and the apple galette.
Pleasantries are exchanged with the locals as I tear a piece of the buttery puff pastry crisscrossed with caramelized apple slices spilling out from the center.
The tart apples contrast the smooth pastry wonderfully. Savoring each bite, the apples’ sweetness intensifies as their juices mingle with the subtle vanilla notes in the pastry.
These Oak Park restaurants take you on a culinary journey through the diverse and exotic flavors of the East. We’ve listed a few for you to savor the delicate balance of sweet and savory in authentic Japanese sushi rolls, indulge in the aromatic spices of Thai curry, or experience the fiery heat of Szechuan cuisine at these Oak Park restaurants.
📍1130 Chicago,(708) 660-1300
Penny’s is another favorite. Stepping into the restaurant, I hear the sizzling sounds and smell savory aromas from the kitchen. It instantly makes my mouth water.
We start with crispy crab Rangoon, the creamy cheese and crab filling bursting hot as I bite through the fried dumpling shell. Next is the Tom Yum soup, tart and tingling with kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, and chilies.
My daughter’s favorite is the chicken satay skewers with tender meat in a nutty Indonesian peanut sauce. We also recommend the Japanese gyoza with a juicy pork filling and the vegetarian bowl piled high with stir-fried veggies.
My absolute favorite dish is the 5 Pepper Shrimp. The plump shrimp kicking with sporadic heat from the assorted peppers is a mouth-watering cross-cultural experience.
📍1113 Lake St, (708) 383-9888
As a dumpling fanatic, I can confidently say that Katy’s is the place to go for the best dumplings in town. Believe me, I’ve scoured everywhere within miles to find a better dumpling, but nothing beats the handmade ones at Katy’s. As soon as I bite into their plump pleats filled with savory veggies or shrimp, I know there’s no comparison.
My personal favorites are the Shrimp and Chive Dumplings, exploding with the fresh taste of shrimp and aromatic chives in each steaming hot bite.
The handmade dumplings packed with tender meats and broth are otherworldly good. I also adore starting with Katy’s crisp, flaky Scallion Pancake served piping hot.
And the best part is their dumplings are so generously stuffed that I leave feeling satisfied every single time. For anyone as obsessed with dumplings as I am, Katy’s can’t be missed!
📍118 N Marion St, (708) 255-8888
This restaurant is a terrific addition to the community. We ordered pan fried gyoza, popcorn chicken, Sapporo miso ramen, and vegetable miso ramen to-go.
Everything was packaged with thought, and we loved that dinnerware was appropriate. It included chopsticks and the traditional ramen spoon called chirirenge.
We enjoyed the taste and look forward to returning to dine indoors.
📍727 Lake St,(708) 383-1625
One of our favorite spots for Asian cuisine. Recommendations: Spring Rolls, Tom Yum soup, any Curry Dish with rice, Pad Siew.
📍1107 Lake St, (708) 660-8899
We love bento boxes. You have a choice of chicken, beef, or salmon. Good sushi choices (and creatively done). The bento box comes with 6 California rolls, vegetable tempura, & steamed rice.
My favorite foodie experience was the tempura batter crackling as I bit a slice of onion to my mouth. The paper-thin exterior shattering crisply before giving way to the juicy, tender onion inside. I dragged it through the small dish of salty dipping sauce, and savored the interplay of textures and flavors. The delicate crunch faded into mellow sweetness, with a hint of soy.
I also recommend the Salmon Teriyaki, Dragon Roll, Godzilla Roll, and Philadelphia Roll.
📍731 Lake St, (708) 383-2766
📍1025 Lake St,(708) 573-3668
A poke bowl is a Hawaiian dish that consists of diced raw fish (typically salmon or tuna) served over a bed of rice with various toppings. Indoor seating is limited to window stools. Go for the poke bowls but stay for the bubble, or boba, tea! If you love bubble tea shops, you may want to take a trip to Chinatown.
📍124 N Marion St, (708) 628-3421
While there are plenty of classic BBQ options for diehard carnivores, I appreciate that Q has alternative dishes like their perfectly roasted Brussels sprouts. I can’t eat enough of those charred leafy greens.
You have a choice of 3 BBQ sauces — a spicy sauce originating from Texas that has a savory and spicey sweet taste, a sweet sauce originating from Memphis that has a smokey brown sugar taste, and a vinegar-basee sauce originating from North Carolina that has tangy juices and spices.
Don’t even get me started on their garden salad layered with cranberries, walnuts, and a tangy maple vinaigrette – it’s one of the best salads I’ve ever tasted.
From melt-in-your-mouth meats to stellar sides, Q fires on all cylinders. The mac and cheese has a bread crumble topping. The street-sized tacos are about $4 each. Just be sure to get those seasonal fish tacos before they’re gone!
BBQ lovers are in for a treat. This place is the real deal!
Vegan or Vegetarian
Whether you’re a committed vegetarian or simply looking to explore plant-based options, Oak Park restaurants have menus that showcase the beauty and versatility of plant-based cuisine.
📍104 N Marion St, (708) 848-4226
📍1100 Lake St, (708) 613-4273
Cajun Boil & Bar
📍1109 South Blvd, (708) 613-5500
Poor Phils Bar & Grill
📍139 S Marion St, (708) 848-0871
Beware of die-hard Chicago sports fans! The walls are jam-packed with sports memorabilia and I counted at least 9 TV’s in the restaurant. Interested in a specific game? Just ask the server to change the channel.
This place is usually bustling, and it is a great spot for sandwiches and a cold ale. The creole and Cajun dishes are quite good. Recommendations: Fish N Chips, Jambalaya, Po’boys.
The shrimp po’boy is my go-to sandwich with a side of coleslaw.
With each bite, there is a harmonious blend of textures and tastes – the crispy, seasoned shrimp, the fresh baguette’s soft interior, and the cool, crisp lettuce and juicy tomato slices. It’s topped with slices of red onion (which I always pick off). I squeezed a bit of lemon into the sandwich. It is wonderful enhancement to the wasabi-mayo.
Choosing the right side to go with your sandwich is akin to assembling the ideal team to support the star player. You get a choice of french fries. redskin potatoes, tater tots, mashed sweet potatoes, mac’n cheese, red beans and rice, creamed spinach, steamed Broccoli, chilled Fruit or cole slaw.
Too bad they no longer serve breakfasts; they were pretty darn good! While I’m sad to have missed their breakfasts, one taste of this savory Louisiana-inspired fare tells me they have mastered much more than just morning meals.
Scratch Kitchen on Lake
📍733 Lake St St., (708) 434-5643
Great spot for watching sports and enjoying a burger with a pub-like vibe. The restaurant is family-friendly and has a well-rounded menu. Families will enjoy trivia night together. Recommendations: Scratch Burger, Da South burger, Truffle Fries.
Mexican or Latin American
We certainly love the options in the world of Latin American cuisine at Oak Park restaurants. From the fiery spices of Mexican enchiladas to the succulent flavors of Argentinean grilled steaks, these establishments offer a tantalizing fusion of tastes that transport you to the heart of Latin America.
Maya del Sol
📍144 S Oak Park Ave, (708) 358-9800
📍1110 Westgate St, (708) 660-9522
I smile every time I walk into Boss Burrito, my favorite local spot for authentic Mexican flavors. The tiny joint is flooded with customers waiting for tacos, burritos and other South-of-the-border specialties.
Biting into the warm tortilla, it gives way to the smoky poblano pepper mingling with my choice of lettuce, tomatoes, chopped onions, and cilantro.
While Oak Park is packed with top-notch Mexican restaurants, Boss Burrito will always be my first stop, especially when I’m jonesing for their unforgettable poblano tacos.
Amerikas Nuevo Latino
📍734 Lake St, (708) 613‑4254
Amerikas had been on my bucket list for weeks. I walk into the lively brunch scene at Amerikas Nuevo Latino and am immediately offered a complimentary cup of flavorful tortilla soup.
Soon my chilaquiles arrive, a colorful mess of crispy tortilla chips bathed in tangy green salsa and topped with sunny side up eggs, cheese, and Mexican crema.
Scooping up a loaded chip, the eggs’ velvety yolk mixes with the smoky salsa and mild cream. Between creamy, crunchy bites, I sip an effervescent mimosa, and enjoy a perfect foodie experience.
Hecho en Oak Park
📍1053 Lake St, (708) 383-6900
I stopped here for a casual lunch and grabbed a seat in the center of the restaurant. As I sat, I admired the festive decor and the handy hooks beneath the high-top tables for coats and purses.
I decided on a taco salad served with crisp romaine lettuce, overflowing with corn, tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, grilled pineapple, avocado and strips of fried tortilla. As I savor the fresh tastes, I contemplate a sangria, and decide to save that for another visit.
Hecho serves a satisfying meal and the tortillas are hand made. You will be recharged and ready to continue your day with a smile.
Tacos El Tio #4
📍1115 Lake St, (708) 948-7243
I tried the breakfast at Tacos El Tio for the first time. I wasn’t sure if I needed or order at the counter but I was directed to take a seat anywhere. I settled into a spot near the window and noticed how expansively the menu had grown since my last visit. Once upon a time, you could only order tacos – now you can enjoy burritos, quesadillas, gorditas, tortas, flan, and many more traditional Mexican dishes.
I decided on Huevos a la Mexicana (spicy scrambled eggs) with a side of beans, rice, and 6 corn tortillas. The mixture of colors made it look almost too good to eat. As I opened the freshly heated tortillas there was a release wispy tendrils of steam that curled and danced upwards. My favorite tasting was the Mexican rice.
In all, it was a delicious breakfast at a very reasonable price, only $7. This could be a favorite place to hang out in town because they are open 24 hours a day, 7 days per week with 4 large screen TVs serving entertainment and news.
Indulge in Mediterranean cuisine at Oak Park restaurants that serve dishes with flavors ranging from tangy zest of lemon-infused grilled chicken to the velvety smoothness of creamy hummus.
📍728 Lake St,(708) 358-1700
Whoopaaah! The Greecian food is authentic and delicious. Recommendations: Saganaki, Spanakopita, Pastichio, Combination Plate.
📍1030 Lake St, (708) 848-7734
This cafe was voted the best Middle Eastern restaurant in the western suburbs for a reason! My favorite is the Avocado Falafel Sandwich. Nestled inside are round, crisp falafel balls, their crunchy golden crust giving way to a soft, savory interior redolent of parsley and spices.
With each bite, the avocado’s satiny texture contrasts delightfully with the falafel’s hearty crunch. The cool sliced avocado balances the falafel’s warmth and complements its earthy flavors with its mellow, buttery taste.
When ordering takeout for the family, we also love the Salmon platter, Chicken Shawarma, and Lentil Soup.
📍129 S Oak Park Ave, (708) 848-5555
Harold’s Shrimp and Chicken
📍1023 Lake St (708) 434-5282
The crown to this culinary triumph is a generous sprinkling of lemon pepper which adds a zesty and aromatic touch. A sprinkling of lemon pepper seasoning adds a bright, zesty kick, little flecks of black and yellow clinging to the nooks and crannies of the shrimp and fries. The jumbo shrimp take center stage and are crispily fried to a golden perfection.
Service can be a bit slow at times, but it is worth the wait.
More Oak Park Resources
Visiting Oak Park? You may also be interested in reading:
- Frank Lloyd Wright Souvenirs That You’ll Want to Gift
- Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio
- Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Museum
- Best Summer Events in Oak Park
Final Thoughts on Oak Park Restaurants
These are some of the best Oak Park restaurants and they were selected for their proximity to local attractions. There are more options on frequented streets like Madison, Lake, Chicago, and North Avenue, plus a few remote gems. No matter what type of cuisine you’re in the mood for, you’ll find it in Oak Park!
Whether you are visiting the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, strolling the Wright Plus Housewalk, running Frank Lloyd Wright Races, visiting Ernest Hemingway’s Birthplace, touring Unity Temple, or planning a weekend getaway, you won’t go wrong with any of these spots in downtown Oak Park to choose from.
With a mix of American, Mediterranean, Mexican, Chinese, and Japanese options, I’m confident that you will find something to satisfy your appetite. Oak Park restaurants are some of the best in the Chicago suburbs!