“Wine-and-Dine” through Greater St. Charles, where you can indulge your taste-buds in farm-to-fork dinners, spicy curry plates, good old-fashioned sundaes, and melt-in-your-mouth pastries, just minutes from award-winning hotels and resorts. Grab your foodie-friends and book your stay in Greater St. Charles to taste the delights of these talented chefs. Here is the list of top things to do in Greater St. Charles for foodies.
It’s not a restaurant, but Heritage Prairie Farm is known for its monthly dinners with family-style service. The organic-certified farm escorts diners to a long connecting table where they’re served meals made with ingredients from the farm. Live music plays while guests enjoy their meals and get to know their neighbors. The menu changes monthly, so guests can dine on the freshest items in season, including such options as bacon-wrapped gratins, shaved root vegetable salad and sweet potato pecan pie. Swing by the farm’s shop to purchase its own raw honey products and organic vegetables as a personal souvenir.
Started by a husband and wife duo, The Finery & Blacksmith Baralso serves fresh ingredients from its own garden. The chefs take pride in their unique menu that consists of bold Midwestern flavors with a hint of international touches from Mexico and the south of France. Expect to find items on the menu like braised lamb shank, country pheasant and cured salmon poke. Sunday brunches are also served with delectable plates like wild mushroom omelet, smoked salmon benedict and scallion potato pancakes (all paired perfectly with its bottomless mimosas). Order some of its innovative cocktail mixes from the bar that come with their own garnishes. The bar also makes some of its own bitters on-site.
You can mix your love of history and farm-to-table food at Pheasant Run Resort's Harvest Restaurant. It is located inside a renovated, historic dairy barn with interior decorations like cow print chairs to match the vibe. Expect to find items like veal chops, steaks and cheese appetizers on its menu. The restaurant's new chef specializes in creating signature plates with wine pairings. Reservations in advance are highly recommended.
When the weather is perfect, head over to The Office Dining & Spirits to take advantage of its massive outdoor patio with fire tables. The gastropub is known for its cozy, pub-meets-Italian villa decor where diners can enjoy fun dishes like soft pretzels appetizers, wood-fired Reubens and loaded nachos. Don't be surprised to find an impressive display of Hollywood ensembles such as framed portraits of Lucille Ball and Michael Jackson scattered throughout the restaurant, it’s all part of the charm.
Another fantastic destination to grab a bite or two is at Eddie Gaedel Pub, where guests can snack on hearty burgers, cheese curds and sip on the custom-made Bloody Marys. The restaurant also features daily specials for diners to get great prices on some of its specialties. And if you’re a baseball fan, you definitely don’t want to miss out on this place since it’s named and designed after famed St. Louis Browns’ player, Eddie Gaedel.
Looking for a place to kick back and relax with a good book while sipping on freshly brewed coffee (or hot press tea) and homemade sandwiches? Town House Books and Cafe is an oasis for foodies and bookworms to enjoy their two loves. Diners can delight in perusing the books before heading to the cafe to dine on gourmet salads and sandwiches. Get adventurous with your dining experience by ordering a house favorite—the Apricot Chicken sandwich that is the talk of the regulars. Meats are roasted in-house creating original sandwiches. The gourmet selection does not end there. The menu also boasts homemade desserts, soups and quiches.
Time to Indulge
Step back in time at Nuova Italia Ristorante, where you’ll not only taste centuries-old recipes, but dine in a 160-year old church, too. The dimly-lit romantic vibe in this restaurant matches the menu that consists of traditional Calabrian dishes like rigatoni, bolognese and pollo vesuvio. Go for something quite unusual and order the Penne Al Capone that consists of pasta with filet mignon in a freshly baked bread bowl.
Those with a sweet tooth will not want to miss out on Colonial Cafe, famous for its old-fashioned ice cream and sundaes. Feeding the locals for over 115 years, the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with comfort food favorites like country-fried steaks, chicken and waffles, and patty melts. However, it’s the ice cream you’ll want to come in for. The impressive sundae and ice cream concoctions have quirky names like “The E.T.” (five scoops of vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, peanut butter and Reese’s Pieces), “Ghiradelli Brownie Chipper,” and “O...O...Oreo Obsession.” In fact, if you successfully devour every drop of your massive “Kitchen Sink” sundae, you’ll be given a complimentary bumper sticker.
Meat Me Here
Vegetarians need not apply. Ream’s Meat Market satisfies every meat craving possible. The old-fashioned meat market has more than 100 different varieties to take home, including smoked sausages, beef, cheese and gourmet cuts for charcuteries. The meat market has been around since 1954 and continues to uphold the decades-long tradition of serving nothing but the finest cuts.
Craving steak? Then make your way to The Lodge on 64, where a butchery meets fine dining. There, guests can order a wide range of tasty meals such as seafood pasta, rotisserie chicken, and filet mignon. Reminiscent of a Lincoln lodge, the Lodge encourages diners to make their own s’mores over outdoor fire pits. It’s also a destination for nightlife with a spacious dance floor and live music performances.
At Muscle Maker Grill, you’ll realize that eating healthy doesn’t mean having to give up delicious food. The menu includes a wide range of dishes that are gluten-free, low calorie and nutritious. Items on the menu include reduced-fat pastas, meat-free chicken nuggets and hearty salads. Keep in mind, the menu is extensive so plan to make a few visits to experience everything.
Those with gluten allergies, you’re in luck! Two Wild Seeds is well known for having mouth-watering cupcakes, cookies, biscuits and custom-made cakes. The best part of it all? Most of the pastries are gluten-free. The business was started by two talented Midwest-raised sisters who wanted to reflect their love of the area through their sweets. The lemon tart is a favorite among locals.
Being a foodie means having a curious love for exotic flavors from every corner of the world. Luckily, St. Charles has plenty of ethnic restaurants that serve authentic dishes. Consider VinoThai’s impressive menu of curry plates and fried rice dishes to bring flavors from the Far East to your table. If sushi is more your thing, Mr. Samurai is known for serving gorgeous arrangements of rolls and sashimi. The restaurant also doubles as a steakhouse and hibachi grill. Curry lovers will want to check out Taste of Himalayas, where a blend of homemade Indian and Nepalese meals are served. To taste a bit of everything, swing by during lunch hours to take advantage of its buffet. Get your Spanish cuisine fix at Macarena Tapas, where you can sip on imported wine or sangria to pair with your seafood paella. Who doesn’t love traditional Greek food? You can get your fill of kebabs and gyros at Corfu Restaurant that will instantly make you feel as if you’re dining in the Greek Islands. For a family-style Italian feast, Salerno’s on the Fox will hit the spot. There, guests will dine on Italian comfort food like eggplant parmesan, pizza, and lasagna while enjoying the view of the Fox River. McNally’s Traditional Irish Pub stays true to its authentic atmosphere while serving classic Irish recipes with modern influences (think Scotch eggs, and corned beef and cabbage).
For more enticing dining options, look here. These include the annual Uncommon Threads luncheon where foodies can enjoy their meals during a live fashion show.
Book your stay for your St. Charles foodie adventure today!