Last Updated on December 1, 2022 by Wandering our World
Located 40 miles west of downtown Chicago, St Charles is a thriving little community with pretty much everything you could want for a fun weekend getaway.
Of course, that includes some amazing places to eat, so to help you out here’s some of our favorite restaurants in St Charles, IL. Experience everything from steaks and Italian fine dining to Mediterranean flavors and casual American fare here!
Let’s dig in!
Our Top Eight Best Restaurants In St Charles, IL: Food Worth Waiting For!
1. Eden Restaurant
Upscale Mediterranean fusion restaurant with a spacious, glassed-in patio and a view of Fox River along with live music
If you want to know what it truly feels like to dine in the lap of luxury, head towards Eden Restaurant.
With impressive Mediterranean fusion dishes, some stellar cocktails, and sweeping views of the Fox River, this place is easily one of the finest places for date nights and celebratory dinners.
And even though it’s an upscale eatery, the interior design isn’t pretentious or over the top. Stepping in, you’ll notice that the dining room is spacious and has just the right amount of lighting. There’s contemporary decor on the walls, but the place still feels warm and casually comfortable to settle into.
Meanwhile, the bar area looks bougie and trendy, and the wonderful bartenders with their impressive mixology skills greatly add to the experience!
And let’s not forget their patio, which is even more roomy, glassed-in, and covered, so you get a breathtaking all-round view of the river in a room bathed in natural light. Very classy!
Just like the ambiance, the food here is elegant and tastes exactly like what you’d expect from a fine dining restaurant. And although the menu isn’t as extensive, it’s still pretty inclusive and has some amazing vegetarian and gluten-free selections.
Small plates include a mixture of Greek, Italian, and Mediterranean flavors, such as the Saganaki, a refreshing shrimp scampi, or the delectable falafel sliders.
The main dishes feature some stunning grilled lamb chops with Tzatziki sauce, perfectly cooked filet mignons, and a wonderful seafood pappardelle. Expect everything to be artfully plated with spot-on flavors. And do pair your meal with their excellent wines or vibrant cocktails – they make a really good old-fashioned, by the way!
They also have live music on most Fridays and weekends, and happy hours from Wednesday-Friday, 4-6 pm. Reservations are highly recommended as this is one of the most popular restaurants in St Charles, IL!
Address: 1 Illinois St, St. Charles, IL
Trendy restaurant serving Japanese cuisine and sushi in a sleek dining area and a patio
If what you’re looking for is sushi and Japanese delicacies in an upbeat atmosphere, head towards Shakou.
This ultra-modern eatery is very popular in the Chicago suburbs (they’ve got four stunning locations!), and once you experience their food and ambiance, you’ll understand why.
The very bougie-looking dining space is adorned with contemporary decor and luxurious sofas and chairs for seating, and there’s a gorgeous bar in the center with mood lights and a gigantic TV.
Leading up the stairway is the upstairs area which has glass railings, so the lower floor is in full view from the tables near the edges. Trendy music drowns the dining rooms, so you can sip on fancy cocktails and martinis and get in a groovy mood. You can also sit in the cute patio area.
As far as the food is concerned, it’s all beautifully plated and packed with exquisite Japanese flavors, with sushi being particularly popular.
Expect basic stuff like the spicy tuna or the salmon and avocado roll alongside creative signature rolls like the Niku Niku which comes with sliced NY strip, spiced tuna, and asparagus in soy paper topped with sauces. Vegetarian and GF sushi also grace the menu.
And if you’re not a sushi person, they’ve got lots of elegant, Japanese-inspired entrees too, such as the braised short ribs in a sweet ginger sauce or the marinated Atlantic haddock with arugula and yuzu wasabi. It’s Japanese cuisine at its finest! Do try their lip-smacking-good signature cocktails as well.
Open Tuesday-Sunday from 4 pm onwards, Shakou is the perfect place for friends to clink their glasses together over classy food.
Fun fact: they’ve been recognized in Forbes Magazine too!
Address: 312 W Main St, St. Charles, IL
3. Kava Diem
Organic breakfast and lunch fare served in a cozy setting with a fireplace and a patio overlooking the river
Among the many riverside restaurants in St Charles, IL is Kava Diem – a locally-owned cafe focused on high-quality coffee and organic foods.
Designed in warm, winter colors, their spacious dining room has comfy couches, modern decor, and large windows with a view of the river. There are all kinds of seating arrangements (including a semi-private alcove) and even a real fireplace, making you want to nestle into one of the seats with a book and some of their excellent bulletproof coffee.
Better yet, settle on their patio that directly overlooks the river – there’s no feeling like munching on fresh, organic eats in a naturally beautiful setting like this!
One of the reasons their food tastes great is because they source their produce and meat from local farms, so you get vibrant, fresh-off-the-farm kind of stuff here. Even better is the fact that these carefully-selected farms are sustainable and humane – we love a restaurant that goes the extra mile to do what’s right!
And the best part? Their menu is a blend of health-centric dishes and satisfying, cheesy foods like quesadillas, burgers, and burritos, so you get the best of both worlds.
The all-day breakfast menu consists of different avocado toasts with innovative spins on them alongside fulfilling burritos and breakfast sandwiches. Pair them with a cup of their finest, house-roasted coffee, and you’ll be swooning with delight!
The lunch menu has equally tempting picks, including gourmet burgers and wraps with high-quality ingredients and unique combinations of flavors. They’ve also got an extensive vegan menu which includes burgers and nachos, and the staff is happy to cater to all sorts of dietary restrictions (including GF stuff).
Drop by any day from 8 am – 3 pm, order at the counter, and choose your favorite cozy corner to sink into!
Address: 1 Illinois St, St. Charles, IL
4. St Charles Place
Dimly-lit, fancy steakhouse with eclectic decor and an old-school charm
St Charles Place is arguably one of the most unique and romantic steakhouse restaurants in St Charles. The whole vibe of the restaurant is supper club-based and very vintage, where you can indulge in exquisite food without ever feeling rushed.
Their spacious dining rooms have a breathtaking ambiance with a very eclectic selection of decor. Wooden beams, unique furnishing, delicate yet magnificent chandeliers, and art nouveau posters on the walls make for an odd yet surprisingly beautiful combination.
It’s all dimly lit, with premium light fixtures and a gorgeous tree lit up in the center, making the atmosphere very romantic. Top that with the lovely and very fitting music in the background, and you’re in for a memorable experience!
Since this place is quite upscale, expect to be treated like a king with their delectable, classy dishes which are often served with tableside service. Their menu revolves around the finest dry-aged USDA beef cuts, and the chefs here really know their way about grilling meats.
Start with something like their fresh oysters in a horseradish cocktail sauce or the grand seafood tower with lobster tail, prawns, Ahi tuna, and more for the whole group to nibble on.
After that, turn your attention to the melt-in-the-mouth rib eyes and filet mignons served with your choice of sauce (tip: try their cognac topping!). They also have gourmet burgers, simple yet authentically Italian pasta, and some seafood offerings to go with your plate of meat.
And don’t forget the ever-so-popular after-dinner drinks, such as the Godiva chocolate martini. And oh, the key lime pie and carrot cake are not to be missed either!
Having reservations for weekends is a good idea as this is one of the most popular restaurants in St Charles, IL, but may not be necessary – the place has ample seating for big crowds. Find them open every day from 4 pm onwards for the finest of fine dining!
Address: 2550 E Main St, St. Charles, IL
5. Pomodoro E Mozzarella
Family-owned Italian eatery serving artisan pizzas and traditional entrees in a small dining room and sidewalk seating
Pomodoro E Mozzarella is a small, family-owned gem in downtown St Charles, known for its perfect little artisan pizzas. With freshly-baked bread and handpicked ingredients, their food is so authentically Italian that you’ll feel transported to the quaint streets of Naples as soon as you taste it.
Stepping inside, you really wouldn’t think that an unassuming, tiny little restaurant like this can dish out such gourmet quality food, but thanks to owner/chef Joe’s expertise, locals get to taste a slice of Italy right here in St Charles.
You can choose to sit inside the very low-key and small dining space or outside on the few tables under umbrellas. They also do take-out, and you’ll see loads of people popping in and out to pick up their orders.
Made with freshly kneaded dough every day, these pizzas are some of the best and most authentic anywhere in town, with the perfect ratio of sauce to cheese and a wonderful crispy crust.
The classic Italian flavors like the Margherita or the sausage and mushrooms are all-time crowd-pleasers, while there’s stuff like Ai Gamberi with a confit garlic spread and shrimps for those interested in diverse flavor profiles.
Entrees like the chicken parmigiana and housemade pasta bolognese are not to be overlooked either – they’re just as popular with all the fresh homemade goodness you could want. And their meatball sub in freshly baked bread is a very sought-after lunch pick too, so if you’re looking for a quick bite, their sandwiches are a great way to start your meal.
If you happen to be in the area and want rustic Italian food, drop by from 4 pm onwards on Tuesdays and 11 am onwards the rest of the days (closed on Mondays). They’re quick to serve and won’t disappoint!
Address: 1850 W Main St, St. Charles, IL
6. The Graceful Ordinary
Creative takes on traditional flavors served in a sophisticated setting and a spacious terrace overlooking Fox River
Just over a year ago, The Graceful Ordinary was added to the St Charles riverside dining scene as the brainchild of chef Chris and his wife Megan.
Dishing out creative versions of global cuisine, this upmarket eatery has quickly raced to success as people rave over its reimagined rustic food and elegant atmosphere. With modern yet classy decor on its walls and luxuriously cushioned seats, the dining spaces inside this restaurant are jaw-droppingly gorgeous.
Real candles burn on the tables and pretty chandeliers twinkle as chefs busily prepare your food in the open kitchen in clear view of the guests. There’s an equally beautiful bar area too, while the screened-in and shaded terrace has ample seating (including fire-pit tables) for you to take in the views of the river and the downtown nightlife beyond it. The weekly live music only makes it all more impressive!
Chris and Megan define the menu as ‘rustic-refined’, and once you taste their innovative takes on all-time favorites, you’ll realize why this place is all the rage these days. Expect stuff like octopus capriccio with a tangy lemon puree and scallop ceviche with squid ink aioli as appetizers – two excellent choices to start your meal. Small plates include raw oysters, steak tartare, and a lovely plate of beets and burrata with citrus smoked vinaigrette.
Meanwhile, the entrees feature expertly grilled steaks served with high-end sides and sauces alongside seafood and a couple of vegetarian picks. The menu is concise yet impressive, and everything tastes ridiculously good and is worth every buck you shell out.
They also do brunch (10 am – 3 pm) on weekends, with premium-looking sandwiches, buttery pastries, and bottomless mimosas. Drop by between Tuesday-Friday from 4 pm onwards and after 3 pm on weekends. We recommend reservations, although their terrace is first come first serve.
Address: 3 E Main St, St. Charles, IL
7. Smitty’s on the Corner
Family-owned counter-serve restaurant serving gourmet sandwiches and soups in a humble setting
If you’re a sandwich snob and can’t stand anything less than the perfect bite, Smitty’s on the Corner is your place. It’s a humble little family-owned deli on the riverside avenue, but boy can they whip up some mean sandwiches!
There are a few small tables and proud community-based decor on the walls inside their dining space, but that’s all there is to it. Walk in, get in line, order at the counter where the delightfully friendly staff will help you make the right choice, and get ready for the ultimate lunchtime sandwich to beat your hunger. No fuss, delicious food in no time – perfect for when you’re in a rush or want a quick bite while shopping.
The deli gets its bread from the Breadsmiths Bakery in St Charles, so all of their sandwiches come with fresh and lightly toasted or grilled bread. Fillings are generous, sauces are poured in just the right amount, and they always throw in a NY deli pickle spear to complement the sandwiches.
Try the ever-so-popular Turkey Berry sandwich with Swiss cheese, veggies, and cranberry-mayo sauce on cracked wheat bread, or the LeBeef with thick yet tender roast beef slices on a special homemade bun.
Their soups are pretty good too, as are the freshly baked cookies and ice cream scoops. Everything is reasonably priced – even the meatiest of sandwiches – so you can expect a full and satisfied belly without shelling out too many bucks.
Drop by any day from 9 am to 4 pm from Monday-Friday and 10 am onwards on Saturdays, and say hi to the lovely people behind the counter!
Address: 15 E Main St, St. Charles, IL
8. Chum’s Shrimp Shack
Seafood served in a small yet fun venue with sea-themed sculptures on the walls and video game machines
If you’re a sucker for seafood, there’s no better place than Chum’s Shrimp Shack for that – a small yet thriving family-owned and operated restaurant in St Charles.
It was first founded in 2019 in East Dundee, but the family decided to move their location to their hometown in 2021. Since then, the business has continued to soar as locals can’t get enough of their expertly prepared shrimps and fish that taste oh-so-refreshing.
The venue itself is small with a handful of tables, but the fun decor and the overall cheery vibe make you want to settle in and stick around for longer.
Order at the counter after going through their extensive menu of fish, oysters, and shrimp, and they’ll bring it out to you. They do take their time with it, though, as everything is prepared fresh to order, but it’s all worth the wait.
The shrimps here are huge, non-greasy, and offered by the pound – the Jumbo coconut shrimps are particularly tasty (locals swear that it’s the best they’ve ever had!). You can also order platters, which include shrimp prepared in many ways, lobster meat, catfish, and more.
If you’d like handhelds, try the surf and turf lobster cheese steak sandwich with filet mignon and Maine lobster – you’ll be blown away by just how good it is! They use homemade sauces, slaw, and also bread everything in-house, so it’s no wonder why it’s all mouth-watering good.
Drop by any day between Tuesday-Saturday from 11 am onwards, and while you’re at it, do try your luck at their video gaming machines to win free vouchers!
Address: 2115 W Main St, St. Charles, IL
The Best Restaurants In St Charles, IL – Final Thoughts
The food scene in St Charles is bustling and thriving with amazing restaurants, and our favorite ones are among the top picks for everything from fine dining to quick bites, so do give them a try!