2016 Best of the West

Dining

BEST STEAK

Best: Gibson’s Bar & Steakhouse in Oak Brook and Rosemont  

2nd: Harry Caray’s in Lombard and Rosemont 

3rd: TIE: Jameson’s Charhouse in Bloomingdale and Woodridge; and Morton’s The Steakhouse in Naperville, Rosemont and Schaumburg

Other Favorites: Capital Grille in Lombard and Rosemont; Foxfire Restaurant in Geneva; Redstone American Grill in Oakbrook Terrace; Weber Grill in Lombard; and Wildfire in Oak Brook and Schaumburg

BEST SEAFOOD

Best: Parkers’ Restaurant & Bar in Downers Grove

​2nd: Chinn’s 34th Street Fishery in Lisle 

3rd: Reel Club in Oak Brook

Other Favorites: Bonefish Grill in Schaumburg; Catch 35 in Naperville; Fiora’s in Geneva; Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen in Westmont; Red Lobster, multiple locations; and Swordfish in Batavia

BEST NEW RESTAURANT

Best: Barrel + Rye in Geneva 

2nd: Gia Mia in Geneva and Wheaton

3rd: TIE: McWethy’s Tavern in Romeoville; and Doughocracy in Geneva

Other Favorites: Buttermilk in Geneva; Hillgrove Tap in Western Springs; Pizza Barra in Oak Brook; and RBK American Grill in Downers Grove

2016 Best of the West

Best New Restaurant: Barrel + Rye

MOST ROMANTIC RESTAURANT

Best: Atwater’s in Geneva

2nd: Niche in Geneva

3rd: Ivy in Wheaton

Other Favorites: Adelle’s in Wheaton; Autre Monde in Berwyn; Carlucci’s Restaurant in Downers Grove; Little Gem Cafe in Oak Park; Mesón Sabika in Naperville; Patten House Restaurant in Geneva; Preservation Bread & Wine in Geneva; and White Chocolate Grill in Naperville

BEST MICROBREWERY/BREWPUB

Best: Penrose Brewing Company in Geneva

2nd: Two Brothers Brewing,Tap House in Warrenville and Roundhouse in Aurora

3rd: Emmett’s in Downers Grove and West Dundee

Other Favorites: Dry City Brew Works in Wheaton; Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant in Bolingbrook; Lunar Brewing, Villa Park; Stockholm’s in Geneva; and Urban Legend in Westmont 

BEST RESTAURANT IF MONEY IS NO OBJECT

Best: Adelle’s in Wheaton

2nd: Niche in Geneva 

3rd: Atwater’s in Geneva

Other Favorites: Autre Monde in Berwyn; Bistro Monet in Glen Ellyn; Capital Grille in Lombard and Rosemont; Carlucci’s Restaurant in Downers Grove; Gibson’s Bar & Steakhouse in Oak Brook and Rosemont; Harry Caray’s in Lombard and Rosemont; Redstone American Grill in Oakbrook Terrace; Rosebud in Naperville; Vie in Western Springs; Weber Grill in Lombard; and Wildfire in Oak Brook and Schaumburg 

BEST OUTDOOR DINING

Best: Ivy in Wheaton 

2nd: TIE: Fiora’s in Geneva; and Mesón Sabika in Naperville

3rd: TIE: Palmer Place Restaurant & Biergarten in La Grange; and Redstone American Grill in Oakbrook Terrace

Other Favorites: Arrowhead Golf Club in Wheaton; Country House in Geneva; Foxfire Restaurant in Geneva; Gibson’s Steakhouse in Oak Brook and Rosemont; Houlihan’s in Geneva, Naperville and Wheaton; J. Fleming’s Absolutely Delicious in Westmont; Jimmy’s Charhouse in Elk Grove Village; Maya Del Sol in Oak Park; Parkers’ Restaurant & Bar in Downers Grove; Patten House Restaurant in Geneva; Pinstripes in Oak Brook and South Barrington; Pizza Barra in Oak Brook; and Reserve 22 in Glen Ellyn

BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT

Best: Maggiano’s in Naperville, Oak Brook and Schaumburg

2nd: Roberto’s Ristorante in Elmhurst

3rd: TIE: Capri Ristorante in Burr Ridge; and Villa Verone Ristorante Italiano in Geneva;

Other Favorites: Angeli’s in Naperville; Antico Posto in Oak Brook; Carabba’s Italian Grill in Naperville and Woodridge; Chianti’s in Geneva; Clara’s Pasta in Woodridge; Cucina Paradiso in Oak Park; Francesca’s, multiple locations; Gaetano’s in Batavia and Forest Park; Il Sogno in Wheaton; La Za Za Trattoria in St. Charles; and Macaroni Grill in Hoffman Estates and Wheaton; Mangia Mangia in Countryside; Pal Joey’s Restaurant in Batavia and West Chicago; Rosebud in Naperville; and Tony Spavone’s Ristorante in Bloomingdale

BEST SUNDAY BRUNCH

Best: Allgauer’s at the Lisle/Naperville Hilton

2nd: Red Oak Room at Cantigny Golf in Wheaton

3rd: Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace

Other Favorites: Autre Monde in Berwyn; Brunch Café in Roselle; The Clubhouse in Oak Brook; The Drake Hotel in Oak Brook; Egg Harbor, multiple locations; Mesón Sabika in Naperville; and Nosh in Geneva

BEST PLACE FOR BREAKFAST

Best: Egg Harbor Café, multiple locations

2nd: TIE: Egg’lectic Café in Wheaton; and Nosh in Geneva

3rd: TIE: Blueberry Hill Breakfast Café in Aurora, Darien and Oak Brook; and Honey Jam Café in Bolingbrook and Downers Grove 

Other Favorites: Blackberry Market in Glen Ellyn; Butterfield’s Pancake House in Naperville, Wheaton, and Oakbrook Terrace; Buttermilk in Geneva; Delia’s in Oak Park; Dino’s Café in Bloomingdale; Fresh Start Café in Elmhurst; Jam and Jelly in Darien; Lemont Street Café in Burr Ridge; Savoury Restaurant & Pancake House in Bartlett; Simon’s Restaurant in Villa Park; and Willow Hills in Countryside

2016 Best of the West

Best Restaurant if Money is No Object: Adelle's 

BEST BARBECUE

Best: Uncle Bub’s BBQ in Westmont 

2nd: Steamboat Barbecue in Wheaton

3rd: The Patio in Aurora, Bolingbrook, Darien and Lombard

Other Favorites: Famous Dave’s, multiple locations; Q BBQ in La Grange and Naperville; and South Moon BBQ in Montgomery

BEST PIZZA

Best: Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, multiple locations

2nd: Papa’s Pizza Place in Bolingbrook and Woodridge

3rd: Aurelio’s, multiple locations 

Other Favorites: Barone’s Pizza in Glen Ellyn; County Line Pizza in Elmhurst; Dan’s Pizza in Downers Grove; Doughocracy in Geneva; Fox’s Pub & Pizza in Hinsdale; Gia Mia Pizza Bar in Geneva and Wheaton; Gino’s East in South Barrington, St. Charles and Wheaton; Giordano’s, multiple locations; Jim & Pete’s in Elmwood Park; Labriola Bakery & Cafe in Oak Brook; Ledo’s Pizza in Countryside; Morano’s in Geneva; Old Town Pizza Co. in Elgin, Lombard, Napervile and Schaumburg; Pazzi D’Pizza in Elmhurst; Pal Joey’s in Batavia and West Chicago; Pizza Barra in Oak Brook; Roberto’s Ristorante & Pizzeria in Elmhurst; Rosati’s, multiple locations; Salerno’s Pizza & Pasta in Bolingbrook and Oak Park; Stix & Stones in Burr Ridge; Uncle Pete’s Pizza in Addison and Naperville; White Cottage Pizzeria & Italian Cuisine in Carol Stream, Elgin and Wood Dale

BEST BURGER

Best: Country House in Clarendon Hills, Geneva and Lisle

2nd: Alfie’s Inn in Glen Ellyn

3rd: TIE: Back Alley Burger in Elmhurst and La Grange and Stockholm’s in Geneva

Other Favorites: Bristol Tap in Bristol; DMK Burger Bar in Lombard; Five Guys, multiple locations; Kuma’s Corner in Schaumburg; Labriola Bakery & Cafe in Oak Brook; Palmer Place in La Grange; Tom & Eddie’s in Lombard and Naperville; and York Tavern in Hinsdale

BEST HOT DOG

Best: Portillo’s, multiple locations

2nd: Gene & Jude’s in River Grove

3rd: Doggie Diner, multiple locations

Other Favorites: Big Guys in Berwyn; Cozzi Corner Hot Dogs & Beef in Downers Grove; Danny’s on Douglas in Elgin; Dips & Dogs in Hinsdale; Flips in Glen Ellyn; Johnny’s Red Hots in Lisle; The Stand in Glen Ellyn; and Teddy’s Red Hots in Darien and Downers Grove 

BEST ICE CREAM OR DESSERT

Best: Graham’s Fine Chocolates & Ice Cream in Geneva and Wheaton

2nd: Oberweis, multiple locations

3rd: Kilwins in Elmhurst, Geneva and Wheaton

Other Favorites: Every Day’s a Sundae in Downers Grove; Kimmer’s Ice Cream in St. Charles and Wheaton; Petersen’s Ice Cream in Oak Park; and Tates Old Fashioned Ice Cream in La Grange

2016 Best of the West

Best Sushi: Sushi House

BEST PLACE FOR VEGETARIAN AND/OR HEALTHY FARE

Best: Sweet Tomatoes, multiple locations

Other Favorites: Borrowed Earth Café in Downers Grove; Pinched Mediterranean Grill in Lombard; Preservation Bread & Wine in Geneva; and Seasons 52 in Oak Brook

and Schaumburg 

BEST SUSHI

Best: Sushi House, multiple locations

2nd: Sushi Mono in Wheaton 

3rd: Swordfish in Batavia

Other Favorites: Chef Soon Contemporary Sushi & Bar in Woodridge; Dao Sushi in Burr Ridge and Oak Brook; Nabuki in Hinsdale; and Shakou Sushi in St. Charles

BEST ASIAN RESTAURANT

Best: Gen Hoe in Geneva

2nd: TIE: Bangkok Village in Naperville; Lu’s Sushi & Chinese in Wheaton; and Swordfish in Batavia

Other Favorites: China Wok in Glendale Heights; Dao Sushi and Thai in Oakbrook Terrace; Dragon One Chinese Restaurant in Glen Ellyn; East China Inn, multiple locations; Golden Wok, multiple locations; Liu Brothers Asian Bistro in St. Charles; Mai Thai Café in Wheaton; Magic Wok in La Grange; Mama Thai in Oak Park; Nabuki in Hinsdale; Shakou in St. Charles; Silver Lake Chinese in Bartlett, Elgin, Roselle and St. Charles; Somsri Thai in Winfield; Stir Crazy Fresh Asian Grill in Oakbrook Center; Tai San Chef in Darien; Tusk Thai Cuisine in Batavia; Wok ‘n Fire, multiple locations; and Yu’s Mandarin in Schaumburg

BEST DELI/SANDWICH SHOP

Best: Josef’s Elegante Meats & Deli in Geneva

2nd: TIE: Augustino’s Rock and Roll Deli in Carol Stream and West Chicago; and Schmaltz Deli in Naperville 

3rd: TIE: Casey’s Foods in Naperville; and Moveable Feast in Geneva

Other Favorites: Beppe’s Italian in Oakbrook Terrace; Blackberry Market in Glen Ellyn; Danada Deli & Pantry in Wheaton; Frankie’s Deli in Lombard; Jason’s Deli in Naperville, Oak Brook and Schaumburg; Kreger’s Brat & Sausage House in Naperville; and McAllister’s Deli in Geneva and Naperville 

BEST COFFEEHOUSE

Best: Graham’s 318 in Geneva 

2nd: River City Roasters in Wheaton

3rd: TIE: Arcedium in St. Charles and Peet’s Coffee & Tea in Downers Grove and Naperville

Other Favorites: Buzz Café in Oak Park; Blackberry Market in Glen Ellyn; Cocoa Bean in Geneva; The Corner House in Lombard; Fresh Ground Roasting in Geneva; Limestone Coffee & Tea in Batavia; Loca Mocha Café in Berwyn; and Quinn’s Coffee House in Clarendon Hills 

2016 Best of the West

Best Irish Pub: Ballydoyle Irish Pub

BEST TEA ROOM/TEA HOUSE

Best: TIE: Serene Teaz in Wheaton and Suzette’s Creperie in Wheaton

2nd: TIE: The Little Traveler in Geneva; and Graham’s 318 in Geneva

Other Favorites: Atwater’s at the Herrington in Geneva; Café La Fortuna in Hinsdale and Willowbrook; Letty Mae’s Tea Room and Fancy Junk in Morris; Pinecone Cottage Tea House in Downers Grove; and Todd & Holland in Forest Park

BEST IRISH PUB

Best: Ballydoyle Irish Pub in Aurora and Downers Grove

2nd: Muldoon’s in Wheaton 

3rd: TIE: Irish Times in Brookfield; and Quigley’s in Naperville

Other Favorites: Claddagh Irish Pub in Geneva; Kerry Piper Pub in Willowbrook; McNally’s in St. Charles; and Shannon’s in Glen Ellyn

BEST CHEAP EATS

Best: Portillo’s, multiple locations

2nd: Buona Beef, multiple locations 

3rd: Culver’s, multiple locations

BEST FRENCH RESTAURANT

Best: Mon Ami Gabi in Oak Brook 

2nd: Suzette’s Creperie in Wheaton

3rd: Niche in Geneva

Other Favorites: Bistro Monet in Glen Ellyn; Nu Crepes in Elmhurst; and Paris Bistro in Naperville 

BEST PLACE TO BUY WINE

Best: Binny’s, multiple locations

2nd: SavWay Fine Wines & Spirits in Geneva, Oak Brook and St. Charles

3rd: Trader Joe’s,multiple locations

Other Favorites: Cooper’s Hawk Winery in Burr Ridge, Naperville and South Barrington; and Malloy’s Fine Wines & Spirits in Glen Ellyn, Lisle and Naperville

BEST FISH FRY

Best: Wheatstack in Lisle

2nd: The Little Owl in Geneva

3rd: Village Tavern & Grill in Carol Stream and Schaumburg

Other Favorites: Ashbury’s in Bolingbrook and Country House in Geneva

BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT

Best: Bien Trucha in Geneva

2nd: Jose Maria’s in Geneva

3rd: El Molcajete in Geneva

Other Favorites: Aguamiel in Clarendon Hills; A Toda Madre in Glen Ellyn; Café Salsa in Countryside; Cozymel’s in Wheaton; Maya Del Sol in Oak Park; Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant, multiple locations; Santiago’s Mexican Restaurant in La Grange; Uncle Julio’s in Lombard; and Yerba Buena in Lisle

2016 Best of the West

Best Fish Fry: Wheatstack

 

Activities & Entertainment

FAVORITE TV SHOW

Best: Downton Abbey

2nd: The Good Wife

3rd: TIE: Big Bang Theory and Homeland

Other Favorites: The Americans; Antique Roadshow; Blacklist; Blue Bloods; Dancing With The Stars; Elementary; Extreme Homes; Fargo; How to Get Away With Murder; Last

Week Tonight; Madam Secretary; Modern Family; NCIS; Scandal; Scorpion; The Simpsons; Suits; and The Voice

BEST FESTIVAL OR FAIR

Best: Festival of the Vine in Geneva

2nd: Swedish Days in Geneva

3rd: TIE: Downers Grove Rotary Fest; and Ribfest in Naperville

Other Favorites: Berwyn Arts Council Art Fair; Cardboard Boat Regatta in Glen Ellyn; Elmhurst Craft Beer Fest; Festival of the Fox in St. Charles; Hinsdale Fine Arts Festival; Kline Creek Farm’s County Fair in West Chicago; Last Fling in Naperville; Roselle Rose Festival; Poochapalooza in Glen Ellyn; RIverwalk Fine Art Fair in Naperville; Sandwich Fair; Scarecrow Fest in St. Charles; Taste of Westmont; Taste of Wheaton; and Woodridge Jubilee 

2016 Best of the West

Best Place for Live Music: The Arcada Theatre

BEST FARMER'S MARKET

Best: Wheaton French Market

2nd: Downers Grove

3rd: Geneva 

Other Favorites: Bartlett; Batavia; Elmhurst; Hinsdale; La Grange; Lisle; Naperville; Oak Park; North Riverside; and Winfield

BEST AREA MUSEUM

Best: Cantigny Park in Wheaton

2nd: Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art in Elmhurst

Other Favorites: Downers Grove Museum; Geneva History Museum; DuPage Children’s Museum in Naperville; Depot Museum in Batavia; Elmhurst History  Museum; Naper Settlement in Naperville; Little White School Museum in Oswego; Trickster Gallery in Schaumburg; and Wheaton Historical Museum

BEST PUBLIC LIBRARY

Best: Wheaton 

2nd: TIE: Elmhurst; Glen Ellyn; and St. Charles

3rd: Naperville 

Other Favorites: Downers Grove; Elgin; Geneva; Hinsdale; Indian Prairie in Darien; La Grange; Oak Brook; and Oak Park 

BEST MOVIE THEATER

Best: Tivoli Theatre in Downers Grove

2nd: Charlestowne 18 Theatre in St. Charles

3rd: TIE: York Theatre in Elmhurst; and Studio Movie Grill in Wheaton 

Other Favorites: Cinemark at Seven Bridges in Woodridge; The Glen in Glen Ellyn; iPic Theaters in Bolingbrook and South Barrington; Marcus Addison Cinema; Regal Cantera in Warrenville; and Yorktown in Lombard 

BEST MOVIE IN THE PAST YEAR

Best: The Force Awakens

2nd: TIE: Bridge of Spies and The Martian

3rd: Jurassic World;

Other Favorites: Brooklyn; Cinderella; The Intern; Mr. Holmes; and Spectre

2016 Best of the West

Best Farmer's Market: Wheaton French Market

BEST CRAFT OR ART SHOW

Best: Geneva Arts Fair 

2nd: Hinsdale Fine Arts Festival

3rd: Autumn Festival: An Arts & Crafts Affair at the Odeum in Villa Park

Other Favorites: Art in Bloom at Cantigny in Wheaton; Cream of Wheaton; Danada Art Show in Wheaton; Downtown Downers Grove Fine Arts Festival; Fine Line Arts Festival in St. Charles; Festival of the Vine in Geneva; Glen Ellyn Festival of Arts; Pride of the Fox Riverfest in St. Charles; Scarecrow Festival Craft Show in St. Charles 

BEST WEEKEND GETAWAY

Best: Galena

2nd: Lake Geneva

3rd: Las Vegas

Other Favorites: American Club at Kohler, Wisconsin; Green Lake, Wisconsin; Herrington Inn & Spa in Geneva; and Hilton Chicago/Indian Lakes Resort in Bloomingdale

BEST HISTORIC LANDMARK/ATTRACTION

Best: Cantigny Park in Wheaton

2nd: Naper Settlement in Naperville

3rd: TIE: Graue Mill and Museum in Oak Brook; and The Morton Arboretum in Lisle

Other Favorites: Burr Ridge Museum; Downers Grove Museum; Fabyan Windmill in Geneva; Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio in Oak Park; Harmening Homestead in Hanover Park; Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago; Naperville Riverwalk; and Wheaton Historical Museum

BEST PARK/FOREST PRESERVE

Best: Morton Arboretum in Lisle 

2nd: Cantigny Park in Wheaton

3rd: TIE: Fabyan Forest Preserve in Geneva; Fullersburg Woods in Oak Brook; and Waterfall Glen in Lemont 

Other Favorites: Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville; Cosley Zoo in Wheaton; Herrick Lake in Naperville; Lincoln Marsh in Wheaton; Mallard Lake Forest Preserve in Hanover Park; Maple Grove in Downers Grove; Maryknoll Park in Glen Ellyn; McCollum Park in Downers Grove; Naperville Riverwalk; Panfish Park in Glen Ellyn; Seven Gables Park in Wheaton; St. James Farm Forest Preserve in Warrenville; and Wheeler Park in Geneva

BEST PLACE FOR KID'S PARTY

Best: Home

2nd: Chuck E. Cheese, multiple locations

3rd: Enchanted Castle in Lombard

2016 Best of the West

Favorite TV Show: Downton Abbey

BEST PLACE FOR LIVE MUSIC

Best: Arcada Theatre in St. Charles

2nd: Ravinia Festival in Highland Park

3rd: Fitzgerald’s in Berwyn

Other Favorites: Dominican University Performing Arts; Evenflow in Geneva; McAninch Arts Center in Glen Ellyn; North Central College in Naperville; Paramount Theatre in Aurora; and Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet

BEST LOCAL BAND

Best: Thunder Road

2nd: American English

3rd: TIE: Gina Glocksen Band and Infinity 

Other Favorites: Flat Cats; High Infidelity; and South of Disorder

VENUE FOR LIVE THEATRE

Best: Paramount Theatre in Aurora

2nd: Drury Lane in Oakbrook Terrace

3rd: Arcada Theatre in St. Charles

Other Favorites: The MAC at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn; First Folio Theatre at Mayslake in Oak Brook; and Theatre of Western Springs in Western Springs

BEST BOOK YOU'VE READ LATELY

Best: The Nightengale

2nd: Rogue Lawyer 

Other Favorites: Dead Wake, Disclaimer, Fifth Floor, If Not, Killing Reagan,The Kitchen House and Men In Green

 

Shopping

BEST MALL/SHOPPING CENTER

Best: Oakbrook Center  in Oak Brook

2nd: Yorktown Shopping Center in Lombard 

3rd: Geneva Commons in Geneva 

Other Favorites: Danada Square in Wheaton; The Promenade Bolingbrook; Stratford Square in Bloomingdale; and Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg

BEST BARGAIN SHOPPING/OUTLET STORE

Best: T.J. Maxx, multiple locations

2nd: Home Goods, multiple locations

3rd: TIE: Nordstrom Rack in Naperville, Oak Brook, and Schaumburg; Goodwill, multiple locations; and Ross Dress for Less, multiple locations

Other Favorites: Carson’s, multiple locations; Costco, multiple locations; DSW, multiple locations; Hobby Lobby, multiple locations; Kelsey Resale Boutique in Glen Ellyn and Hinsdale; and Treasure House in Glen Ellyn

2016 Best of the West

Most Unique Gift Shop: The Little Traveler

MOST UNIQUE GIFT SHOP

Best: Little Traveler in Geneva

2nd: Cocoon in Geneva 

3rd: Tuesday Morning, multiple locations

Other Favorites: AliKat Boutique in Glen Ellyn; Just Ducky in Burr Ridge and Plainfield; Paisley on Main in Glen Ellyn; Scratch ‘n Sniff in Oak Park; and Ten Thousand Villages in Glen Ellyn and Oak Park

BEST WOMEN'S CLOTHING STORE OR BOUTIQUE

Best: Von Maur in Lombard and St. Charles

2nd: TIE: J. Jill, multiple locations; and Nordstrom in Oak Brook and Schaumburg

3rd: Jeans and a Cute Top Shop in Downers Grove, St. Charles and Wheaton

Other Favorites: Alixandra Collections in Hinsdale, LaGrange and Naperville; Chico’s, multiple locations; and Katy’s Boutique in Glen Ellyn

BEST DEPARTMENT STORE

Best: Von Maur, multiple locations

2nd: Nordstrom, multiple locations 

3rd: TIE: Kohl’s, multiple locations; and Target, multiple locations

Other Favorites: Carson’s, multiple locations; and Lord + Taylor in Oak Brook and Schaumburg; Macy’s, multiple locations; Marshall’s, multiple locations; Neiman Marcus, multiple locations; and Walmart, multiple locations

BEST PLACE TO BUY MEN'S CLOTHING

Best: Nordstrom in Oak Brook and Schaumburg

2nd: TIE: Men’s Warehouse, multiple locations; and Kohl’s, multiple locations

Other Favorites: Carson’s, multiple locations; Deans in Naperville; Jos A Bank, multiple locations; Lord & Taylor in Oak Brook and Schaumburg; Nordstrom Rack in Naperville, Oak Brook and Schaumburg; and Von Maur in Lombard and St. Charles

BEST PLACE FOR WOMEN'S SHOES

Best: DSW, multiple locations

2nd: Nordstrom in Oak Brook and Schaumburg

3rd: Von Maur in Lombard and St. Charles

Other Favorites: Miroballi in Wheaton; Nordstrom Rack in Naperville, Oak Brook and Schaumburg; and Style Studio in Downers Grove

BEST PLACE TO BUY WOMEN'S JEANS

Best: Jeans and a Cute Top Shop in Downers Grove, St. Charles and Wheaton

2nd: TIE: Dressbarn, multiple locations; and Macy’s, multiple locations Carson’s, multiple locations; Chicos, multiple locations; Costco, multiple locations; DSW, multiple locations; Flair on Third in Geneva; Kohl’s, multiple locations; and Style Studio in Downers Grove

BEST PLACE TO BUY CHILDREN'S CLOTHES

Best:  Kohl’s, multiple  locations

2nd: Von Maur in Lombard and St. Charles

3rd: Children’s Place, multiple locations

Other Favorites: Good Cents Children in Geneva; Gymboree, multiple locations; Justice, multiple locations; Le Petit Armoire in Glen Ellyn; Macy’s, multiple locations; Once Upon a Child in Bolingbrook, Elgin, Naperville, and Oak Brook; Sears, multiple locations; and T.J. Maxx, multiple locations. 

2016 Best of the West

Best Venue for Live Theatre: Paramount Theatre

BEST KITCHEN AND HOUSEWARES STORE

Best: TIE: Marcel’s in Glen Ellyn; and Williams Sonoma in Geneva, Naperville and Oak Brook

2nd: Crate & Barrel in Geneva, Naperville, Oak Brook and Schaumburg; 

3rd: Bed, Bath & Beyond, multiple locations 

Other Favorites: Bloomingdale’s, multiple locations; Home Goods, multiple locations; Kohl’s, multiple locations; Lowes, multiple locations; and Sur La Table in Naperville, Oak Brook and South Barrington

BEST PLACE TO BUY ANTIQUES

Best: Jackson Square Mall in La Grange

2nd:  Antiques of Winfield in Winfield

3rd: Geneva Antiques in Geneva

Other Favorites: Affordable Antiques in Naperville; Barley Twist in Hinsdale; Kane County Fairground in St. Charles; Sign of the Whale Antiques in Glen Ellyn; and Treasure House in Glen Ellyn

BEST RESALE/CONSIGNMENT STORE

Best: Kelsey Resale Boutique in Glen Ellyn and Hinsdale

2nd: The Courtyard in Hinsdale 

Other Favorites: Carousel Shop in La Grange; Divine Consign in Oak Park; Good Cents Children in Geneva; Goodwill, multiple locations; Jane Pabon Boutique in Geneva; My Favorite Things Upscale Resale in Downers Grove; Once Upon a Child, multiple locations; Second Hand Rose Consignment in Wheaton; The Perfect Thing in Wheaton; and Wise Penny Resale Shop in Wheaton 

BEST PLACE TO BUY APPLIANCES

Best: Abt Appliances and Electronics in Glenview

2nd: Sears, multiple locations

3rd: Young’s Appliances, Glen Ellyn

Other Favorites: Best Buy, multiple locations; H.H. Gregg, multiple locations; and Leonardi Appliances in Aurora

2016 Best of the West

Best Flower Shop/Florist: Phillip's Flowers & GIfts

BEST DECORATIVE ACCESSORIES FOR THE HOME

Best: HomeGoods, multiple locations

2nd: TIE: Cocoon in Geneva; and T.J. Maxx, multiple locations

3rd: The Little Traveler in Geneva 

Other Favorites: Bella Roba in Wheaton; Brandy’s of Burr Ridge; Design Essentials in Geneva; Horton’s Home Lighting in La Grange; Kirkland’s Home in Bloomingdale, Joliet and Woodridge; Kohl’s, multiple locations; Nona Jo’s in Naperville; Pier One Imports, multiple locations; P.S. Flowers & Interiors in Wheaton; 610 Home in Geneva; and Strawflower Shop in Geneva 

BEST ART GALLERY

Best: Elmhurst Artist Guild

Other Favorites: The Brigantine Gallery in Downers Grove; Gallery 28 in Geneva La Grange Art League Gallery; Ontarioville Art Cente in Hanover Park; and Proud Fox in Geneva

BEST PLACE FOR FURNITURE

Best: Tom’s Price in Bloomingdale, South Barrington and Wheaton

2nd: Walter E. Smithe in Geneva, Glendale Heights, Naperville and Oak Brook

3rd: The Dump in Lombard

Other Favorites: Art Van, multiple locations; Beidelman Furniture in Naperville; Divine Consign in Oak Park; Ethan Allen in Lombard, Naperville and Schaumburg; The Perfect Thing in Wheaton; 610 Home in Geneva; and Strawflower Shop in Geneva 

BEST PET STORE/BOUTIQUE

Best: PetSmart, multiple locations

2nd: TIE: Happy Dog Barkery in Downers Grove; and Petco, multiple locations

 3rd: The Urban Mutt in Berwyn and La Grange

Other Favorites: Barker Shop in La Grange; From Head to Tail in Elmhurst; Le Doggie Divine in Geneva; Pet Supplies Plus, multiple locations; Two Bostons Pet Boutique in Burr Ridge, Geneva and Naperville; Wetnose in Geneva and Oak Brook; and Woofbeach in Batavia, Geneva and South Elgin

BEST GROCERY, FOOD MARKET OR GOURMET SHOP

Best: Mariano’s, multiple locations

2nd: Fresh Market in Geneva and Glen Elllyn

3rd: TIE: Caputo’s, multiple locations; Whole Foods, multiple locations; and Trader Joe’s, multiple locations 

Other Favorites: Blue Goose in St. Charles; Brookhaven Foods in Burr Ridge and Darien; Casey’s Foods in Naperville; Fresh Thyme in Downers Grove, Joliet and Naperville; Kramer Foods in Hinsdale; Pete’s Fresh Market in Oakbrook Terrace and Oak Park; and Standard Market in Naperville and Westmont

2016 Best of the West

Favorite Movie: The Force Awakens

BEST NURSERY/GARDEN CENTER

Best: Wannemaker’s Home and Garden in Downers Grove 

2nd: Wasco Nursery & Garden Center in St. Charles

3rd: The Growing Place in Aurora and Naperville 

Other Favorites: Barn Owl Garden Center in Carol Stream; Heinz Brother’s Greenhouse in St. Charles; Hinsdale Nurseries in Hinsdale; Home Landscape Materials in Bolingbrook; Luurs Garden Shoppe in Hillside; The Planter’s Palette in Winfield; Platt Hill Nursery in Bloomingdale and Carpentersville; Prosek’s Greenhouse in Winfield; and Vern Goers Greenhouse in Hinsdale

Services

BEST HAIR SALON

Best: Charles Ifergan Salon in Oakbrook Terrace

2nd: Mario Tricocci Hair Salon & Day Spa, multiple locations

3rd: Bobette’s Hair Concepts in Geneva

Other Favorites: Entourage Hair Salon and Spa in Elmhurst; Linea Hair Salon & Day Spa in Glen Ellyn; Namaste Salon & Spa in Wheaton; OS2 Salon in Geneva; Salon Neopolitan in Wheaton; and Zazu Salon & Day Spa, multiple locations

BEST FITNESS CENTER/HEALTH CLUB

Best: Life Time Fitness, multiple locations

2nd: X-Sport Fitness, multiple locations

3rd: HealthTrack Sports Wellness in Glen Ellyn

Other Favorites: Ackerman Sports & Fitness Center in Glen Ellyn; Blast Fitness in Lombard and Downers Grove; Five Seasons Family Sports Club in Burr Ridge; Good Samaritan Hospital: Health & Wellness Center in Downers Grove; Midtown Athletic Club in Willowbrook; Wheaton Sport Center; and the YMCA, multiple locations 

BEST AREA BAKERY

Best: Kirschbaum’s Bakery in Western Springs

2nd: Ingram’s Busy Bee Bakery in Downers Grove 

3rd: Kirsten’s Danish Bakery in Burr Ridge

Other Favorites: Cocoa Bean in Geneva; Harner’s Bakery & Restaurant in Aurora; Just Crumbs in Downers Grove; Labriola in Oak Brook; Moveable Feast in Geneva; Sauer’s Bakery in Western Springs; Sugar Fixe Patisserie in Oak Park; The Sugar Path in Geneva; Suzette’s Creperie in Wheaton; Toni’s Patisserie in Hinsdale; and Vesecky’s Bakery in Berwyn

BEST AUTO REPAIR SHOP

Best: Nofsinger’s Auto Repair in Lombard

2nd: North Gary Auto Care Center in Carol Stream

3rd: My Husband

Other Favorites: A-Z Auto in Villa Park; Autopractor in St. Charles; Auto Body Village in Glen Ellyn; Benak Service in Western Springs; Fuller’s Auto Body in Lyons; Gearhead Auto Repair in Glen Ellyn; Haraldsen’s Garage in Darien and Westmont; J & C Auto Service in Downers Grove; Lang’s Auto Service in Downers Grove; and Maas Auto in Countryside and La Grange 

BEST LOCAL HOTEL

Best: Herrington Inn in Geneva

2nd: Hotel Baker in St. Charles 

3rd: Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center in Oak Brook

Other Favorites: Chicago Marriott in Naperville; Crowne Plaza in Glen Ellyn; The Drake Hotel in Oak Brook; Hotel Arista in Naperville; Le Meridien in Oak Brook; and McDonald’s Hyatt Lodge in Oak Brook

General

BEST AREA CELEBRITY

Best: Allison Rosati

Other Favorites: Actor Jim Belushi; Actor Sean Hayes; Former pro athlete Bo Jackson; Actor John Mahoney; Musician Jim Peterik; and Chicago Blackhawks Coach Joel Quenneville

MOST INFLUENTIAL WEST SUBURBANITE

Best: Chicago Blackhawks Coach Joel Quenneville

Other Favorites: DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin; 82nd District Congressman Jim Durkin; ABC News Anchor Alan Krashesky; and 6th District Congressman Peter Roskam

BEST OR MOST IMPACTFUL LOCAL NON-PROFIT

Best: People’s Resource Center in Wheaton

2nd: Metropolitan Family Services in Carol Stream, Naperville, Roselle and Wheaton

Other Favorites: Access DuPage in Carol Stream; Care Net, multiple locations; Community Nurse Health Association in La Grange; DuPage PADS in Wheaton; Feed My Starving Children in Aurora and Schaumburg; Hinsdale Community House in Hinsdale; Marklund in Bloomingdale, Geneva and Wood Dale; Northern Illinois Food Bank in Geneva; and Young Life in Hinsdale, Naperville, Oak Park and Western Springs

 

Sports

BEST AREA PUBLIC GOLF COURSE

Best: Cantigny Golf Club in Wheaton

2nd: Arrowhead Golf Club in Wheaton

3rd: Village Links in Glen Ellyn 

Other Favorites: Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in Lemont; Flagg Creek Golf Club in Countryside; Gleneagles Country Club in Lemont; River Bend Golf Club in Lisle; Seven Bridges Golf Club in Woodridge; Springbrook Golf Course in Naperville; and Zigfield Troy Golf in Woodridge

BEST GOLF DRIVING RANGE

Best: St. Andrews Golf & Country Club in West Chicago 

2nd: Zigfield Troy Golf in Woodridge

3rd: TIE: Arrowhead Golf Club in Wheaton; and Topgolf in Naperville and Wood Dale

Other Favorites: Cantigny Golf Club in Wheaton; Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in Lemont; Green Valley Golf Range in Hanover Park; and Riedy’s Tee Time in Lisle  

BEST AREA BOWLING ALLEY

Best: St. Charles Bowl

Other Favorites: Brunswick Zone, multiple locations; Edens Lanes in Westchester; Fox Bowl in Wheaton; Lisle Lanes; Suburbanite Bowl in Westmont; Tivoli Bowl in Downers Grove; and Wheaton Bowl

2016 Best of the West

Favorite Chicago-Area Sports Team: Chicago Cubs

FAVORITE SPORTS BAR OR PLACE TO WATCH SPORTS

Best: Buffalo Wild Wings, multiple locations 

2nd: Palmer Place in La Grange

3rd: Rookies All American Pub & Grill in Elgin, Hoffman Estates, Huntley and St. Charles 

Other Favorites: North Side Bar & Grill in Glen Ellyn; Pints in Elmhurst; Roundhead’s Pizza Pub in Downers Grove and Lombard; The Foundry in Aurora; and Time Out West in Hanover Park

FAVORITE CHICAGO AREA SPORTS TEAM

Best: Cubs

2nd: Blackhawks

3rd: White Sox

Other Favorite: Bears and Kane County Cougars

FAVORITE CHICAGO ATHLETE/PERSONALITY

Best: Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks

2nd: TIE: Matt Forte, Chicago Bears; and Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs 

Other Favorites: Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls; Mike Ditka, former Chicago Bears player and coach; Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks; Joe Maddon, Chicago Cubs manager; Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs; and Derek Rose, Chicago Bulls

Chicago Area

FAVORITE BROADCAST NEWS PERSONALITY

Best: Ron Magers, ABC7

2nd: Alan Krashesky, ABC7 

Other Favorites: Mark Giangreco, ABC7; Judy Hsu, ABC7; Larry Potash, WGN; Allison Rosati, NBC5; and Tom Skilling, WGN

FAVORITE RADIO PERSONALITY

Best: Roe Conn, AM 720 WGN

2nd: Eric and Kathy, 101.9 FM The Mix

3rd: Scott McKay, 95.9 FM The River

Other Favorites: Lin Brehmer, 93.1 FM WXRT; Steve Bertrand, AM 720 WGN; Steve Dahl, AM 890 WLS; Carl Grapentine, 98.7 FM WFMT; Garry Meier, AM 720 WGN; Robert Murphy, 94.7 FM WLS; and Dan Proft, AM 560 WIND

2016 Best of the West

Favorite Radio Personality: Roe Conn

TOWN YOU'D WANT TO LIVE IN (OTHER THAN YOUR OWN)

Best: Geneva

2nd: Glen Ellyn

3rd: TIE: Wheaton and Naperville

Other Favorites: Clarendon Hills; Downers Grove; Elmhurst; Hinsdale; Oak Brook; Oak Park; La Grange; and St. Charles

BEST ANNUAL CHICAGO PUBLIC EVENT OR FESTIVAL

Best: Taste of Chicago

2nd: Air & Water Show

Other Favorites: Chicago Beer Classic at Soldier Field; Grant Park Music Festival; Gold Coast Art Fair; Gospel Fest; Ribfest Chicago; and Venetian Night

 

 

BEST OF THE WEST HALL OF FAME

As part of the West Suburban Living’s 20-year anniversary, we acknowledge the following for being voted the most frequent winners in their respective categories.

DINING

Best Place for Breakfast

- Egg Harbor Café

Best Sunday Brunch

- Allgauer’s at the Hilton

Best Barbecue

- Famous Dave’s

- Uncle Bub’s

Best Burger

- Country House

Best Deli or Sandwich Shop

- Panera

- Shane’s Deli

- Augustino’s Rock and Roll Deli

Best Pizza

- Lou Malnati’s

- Giordano’s

Best Hot Dog

- Portillo’s

Best Seafood

- Parkers’ Restaurant & Bar

- Chinn’s 34th St. Fishery

Best Steak

- Morton’s The Steakhouse

- Sullivan’s Steakhouse

Best Coffeehouse

- Graham’s 318

Most Romantic Restaurant

- Atwater’s at the Herrington

Best for Ice Cream/ Dessert

- Oberweis

Best Kid/Family Friendly Restaurant

- Colonial Café

Best Restaurant if Money is No Object

- Niche

Best Italian Restaurant

- Francesca’s

- Maggiano’s Little Italy

Best Asian Restaurant

- P.F. Chang’s

Best Mexican or Latin Restaurant

- Bien Trucha

Best French Restaurant

- Mon Ami Gabi

Best Irish Pub

- Ballydoyle Irish Pub

Best Sushi

- Sushi House

Best Fish Fry

- Little Owl

Best Place to Buy Wine

- Binny’s Beverage Depot

Best Microwbrewery/ Brewpub

- Two Brothers Tap House

 

ACTIVITIES & ENTERTAINMENT

Best Festival or Fair

- Ribfest in Naperville

- Swedish Days in Geneva

Best Craft or Art Show

- Geneva Arts Fair

- Hinsdale Fine Arts Festival

Best Farmers’ Market

- Wheaton French Market

Best Park or Forest Preserve

- Morton Arboretum

Best Place for Live Music

- Fitzgerald’s 

Best Area Museum

- Cantigny

- DuPage Children’s Museum

Best Movie Theatre

- Tivoli Theatre

- AMC Cantera 30 in Warrenville

Best Place for a Kids Party

- Chuck E. Cheese’s

Best Weekend Getaway Destination

- Galena

- Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Best Venue for Live Theatre

- Drury Lane

Best Area Public Golf Course

- Cantigny

- Cog Hill

 

SHOPPING

Best Mall or Shopping Center

- Oakbrook Center

Best Women’s Clothing Store or Boutique

- Nordstrom

- Von Maur

Best Bargain Shopping/ Discount or Outlet Store

- T.J. Maxx

- Chicago Premium Outlets

Best Place to Buy Women’s Shoes

- Nordstrom

- DSW

Best Place to Buy Women’s Jeans

- Jeans and a Cute Top Shop

Best Place to Buy Children’s Clothes

- Kohl’s 

Best Kitchen & Houseware Store

- Williams-Sonoma

Best Decorative Accessories for the Home

- HomeGoods

Best Department Store

- Von Maur

Best Local Jeweler

- Charming Charlie

Best Place to Buy Furniture

- Toms-Price Home Furnishings

- Walter E. Smithe

Best Unique Gift Shop

- The Little Traveler

Best Nursery/Garden Center

- Wannemaker’s Home and Garden

- The Growing Place

 

SERVICES

Best Local Hotel

- The Herrington Inn & Spa

Best Hair Salon

- Mario Tricoci Hair Salon & Day Spa

Best area Bakery

- Kirschbaum’s

 

CHICAGO-AREA

Favorite Chicago Broadcast News Personality

- Ron Magers

- Alison Rosati

Favorite Radio Show/Personality

- Eric and Kathy

Best Chicago Event or Fest

- Taste of Chicago

Area Town You’d Most Want to Live in Other than Your Own 

- Geneva

 

A sincere thanks to all those who voted. For those who didn’t, we hope you will next year. And to all our readers, we hope you find this information both fun and useful.

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