20 Best Restaurants in Des Plaines, IL

This article was written by local contributor Brooke Watkins & edited by the Travel Lens team.

Best Restaurants in Des Plaines, IL

Aside from the rich history and beautiful surroundings, Des Plaines is also a melting pot of diverse and delicious culinary experiences.

With a wide array of restaurants and cuisines to choose from, you'll never run out of options, whether you're in the mood for a sumptuous steak dinner or a quick and satisfying snack.

In this article, I'll be sharing the best restaurants in Des Plaines, Illinois, for you to explore and enjoy.

So, grab a fork and get ready to dive into the incredible flavors waiting for you in our beloved city!

Sofia Grill

I recently stumbled upon a hidden gem called Sofia Grill.

As someone who loves trying authentic cuisines from around the world, I was thrilled to find a place that offers delicious Bulgarian food.

I decided to go with the meatballs and chicken thighs, accompanied by potato and cabbage salads.

The meat was incredibly flavorful, juicy, and cooked to perfection.

The bread served alongside the meal was crusty on the outside and warm and soft on the inside – just the way I like it!

During my visit, I couldn't help but notice the cozy atmosphere that seemed to transport me straight to Bulgaria.

The grilled meats were tender and seasoned just right, and I made a mental note to try traditional dishes like kebapche and banitsa on my next visit.

I'm already planning to go back and try other dishes like the cheese-stuffed meat, sausage, and pork chop that I smelled cooking as I left the restaurant.

Sofia Grill · 782 W Oakton St # D, Des Plaines, IL 60018, United States
★★★★★ · Bulgarian restaurant

Bosna Grill

Dining at Bosna Grill was a delightful experience.

The restaurant is decorated in an ethnic-style, giving it an interesting and cozy atmosphere.

I decided to order the mixed meat platter, which the menu claims are for one person, but it was actually enough to share with my dining partner.

The mixed meat platter did not disappoint, and I must say, the cevapi was the best I've ever had!

Alongside the main course, I also enjoyed some of the pastries and desserts offered at Bosna Grill.

Bosna Grill · 644 W Algonquin Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60016, United States
★★★★★ · Restaurant

Gigio's Pizzeria

I've been living in this neighborhood for years, and one of my go-to spots for a delicious and satisfying meal is Gigio's Pizzeria.

Their thin-crust pizza is absolutely divine - it's so light and crisp that it almost feels like you're eating a cloud.

I often order a whole pie or just a slice, depending on my hunger level that day.

The family that owns Gigio's is incredibly welcoming and friendly.

One time I stopped by just before closing, and they still happily served me some of their last slices.

The bell peppers on their pizza are juicy without overpowering the other flavors, and though the price might be a bit steep for one pizza (I paid $29 once), it's totally worth it.

Another favorite of mine is their combo sandwich, with sausage that has been grilled to perfection, hearty and well-seasoned.

Gigio’s Pizzeria · 1603 E Oakton St, Des Plaines, IL 60018, United States
★★★★★ · Pizza restaurant

Paradise Pup

As someone who lives near Paradise Pup, I just had to see what all the hype was about.

It's a cash-only spot with a walk-up counter and picnic tables, so it's a perfect place for a casual meal.

I can confidently say that the burgers are absolutely amazing! I love the smoky flavor they have, and I'm glad I decided to give it a try.

I even tried their fried side of mushrooms and the peanut butter banana shake, which were both fantastic.

Overall, Paradise Pup is definitely a must-visit spot for anyone in the area who loves a good burger.

Paradise Pup · 1724 S River Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60018, United States
★★★★★ · Fast food restaurant

Oba Contemporary Japanese

I've been coming to Oba Contemporary Japanese for years, and it never disappoints!

This Japanese eatery serves sushi, cooked dishes, beer, wine, and sake in a sleek and contemporary space.

I love going there for lunch with friends.

Their chicken bento box is a must-try – they give you a lot of food, which makes it a great option for sharing or taking home leftovers.

One of the things I appreciate about Oba is their selection of sake.

The sushi is always fresh, delicious, and beautifully presented.

If you're a sushi lover like me, you'll be blown away by the quality and variety of sushi options at Oba.

The prices might be slightly above average, but it's worth every penny, especially for a special occasion or a night out with friends.

The ambiance is elegant and inviting, making it a fantastic dining experience overall.

Oba Contemporary Japanese · 1285 Elmhurst Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60018, United States
★★★★★ · Japanese restaurant

Giacomo's Ristorante

I have been living in this neighborhood for years now, and Giacomo's Ristorante has always been my go-to spot for authentic Southern Italian cuisine.

Whenever I have friends or family visiting, I make sure to bring them to this cozy old-world eatery.

The first thing that catches your attention when you walk in is the warm and inviting atmosphere.

I must admit, I have a few favorite dishes that I tend to stick to when I dine here.

The baked clams are phenomenal, and the lobster ravioli is a must-try.

The lunch specials are also fantastic, and with a full bar available, it's the perfect place to unwind after a long day at work.

Giacomo’s Ristorante · 740 N Wolf Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60016, United States
★★★★★ · Southern Italian restaurant

Mrs V's Restaurant

Oh, where do I even begin with my love for Mrs. V's Restaurant?

As someone who lives close by, this cozy little diner has been my go-to spot for breakfast and brunch for quite some time now.

Their menu is packed with scrumptious options, but the Caramel Banana French Toast is, without a doubt, the best French toast I have ever had – it even tops my grandmother's, and that's saying something!

Now, if you're more into savory breakfast dishes, you cannot miss their Farmers Skillet.

The presentation alone is a work of art, and the taste is out of this world.

I can genuinely say that it's worth every mile of the drive, even if you're not from around here.

Fair prices and excellent service just make the whole experience even better.

Whenever I have friends or family visiting, I always make it a point to take them to Mrs V's Restaurant.

Mrs V’s Restaurant · 1640 S River Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60018, United States
★★★★★ · American restaurant

B's Sweet Bites

As someone who lives in the neighborhood, I often find myself craving a delicious breakfast and some delightful baked goods. That's when I head to B's Sweet Bites.

The real gem of B's Sweet Bites is their bakery.

With an array of mouth-watering items like muffins, donuts, and mini cheesecakes, it's tough to resist indulging yourself.

And the prices are quite affordable too! If you're in the mood for something savory, they also have lunch options like the Steak Caesar salad and baked pasta.

B’s Sweet Bites · 1641 Oakton Pl, Des Plaines, IL 60018, United States
★★★★★ · Bakery

Don's Dock Seafood

Don's Dock Seafood, a family-owned establishment that operated since 1951, offers a cozy, hut-style dining experience with a unique BYOB policy that adds to the charm.

My go-to dish at Don's Dock is the crab stuffed salmon, which never fails to impress me with its flavor and presentation.

Another personal favorite is the crab cake, which I find to be one of the best in the area.

While the calamari has been a bit disappointing due to its thick breading and chewy meat, the shrimp poboy, on the other hand, is quite enjoyable with a better fit for the breading.

I also appreciate the wide selection of grilled fish options available, which I'm looking forward to trying on my next visit.

Don’s Dock Seafood · 1220 E Northwest Hwy, Des Plaines, IL 60016, United States
★★★★★ · Seafood restaurant

Kusina De MANILA

The first time I visited Kusina De MANILA, I was blown away by the mouthwatering chicken and pork adobo dishes.

The sauces were amazing, and the pork was incredibly tender. The whitefish is next on my list to try!

The atmosphere of Kusina De MANILA is cozy, fun, and inviting.

Although the restaurant is a bit far for some, I highly recommend making the trip—it's well worth it!

The milkfish dish is my personal favorite, but it's hard to choose with so many delicious options on the menu.

Kusina De MANILA · 632 W Algonquin Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60016, United States
★★★★★ · Filipino restaurant

Chicago Ramen

Every time I get a craving for some delicious ramen, I know exactly where to go: Chicago Ramen.

I've been visiting this casual Japanese ramen spot since it opened, and it never disappoints.

The simple storefront setting allows me to focus on the incredible flavors and textures of their ramen bowls.

One of my favorite things to order is the spicy chicken and shrimp tempura.

The presentation, even through delivery, is always beautiful, and they even include a side of ginger as a palate cleanser.

I love that they offer options to add an extra egg or fish cake if desired, which makes each bowl customizable.

And, of course, I always get it spicy! The service at Chicago Ramen is fast and friendly.

I've had times when I placed a takeout order, and it was ready in less than ten minutes.

They are always proactive and attentive, even when their dining room is full.

I appreciate that they package their broth separately to ensure that the noodles don't get soggy during transport, and the presentation is always exquisite.

My absolute must-try recommendation is their Tsukemen dish.

The noodles are tender and cooked to perfection, and the spicy miso is creamy and full of flavor.

CHICAGO RAMEN · 578 E Oakton St, Des Plaines, IL 60018, United States
★★★★★ · Ramen restaurant

Restaurant Mehanata

I recently visited Restaurant Mehanata in Des Plaines, and I must say it was a delightful experience.

As someone who enjoys trying new cuisines, I was excited to taste traditional Bulgarian dishes.

The restaurant had a casual atmosphere with beautiful ethnic decor and patio seating, which I found very inviting.

When I first arrived, I ordered the chicken soup, and it was absolutely delicious.

The freshness of the cucumber and tomato salad complemented the grilled chicken perfectly.

The combination of flavors made my taste buds dance.

I also enjoyed the shopska salad, which was an authentic Bulgarian dish that I hadn't tried before, and it didn't disappoint.

One thing that really stood out to me was the interior vibe of the restaurant.

The traditional decorations made the place feel cozy and warm, which is perfect for a nice dinner date or a gathering with friends.

Restaurant Mehanata · 1141 Lee St, Des Plaines, IL 60016, United States
★★★★★ · Bulgarian restaurant


Living in the neighborhood, I often find myself craving sushi and Japanese cuisine.

Over time, I have discovered the gem that is Dotombori, and now it's my go-to spot for satisfying my cravings.

The minimalist space creates a comfortable atmosphere, perfect for enjoying their delicious Kansai region-inspired dishes.

What I like the most about Dotombori is the variety of sushi on their menu.

They have interesting specialty rolls with unique names like "Rainbow Dragon" and "Las Vegas."

I love ordering a few different rolls to share with my friends and trying out new flavors.

Their sushi is always made with fresh, high-quality ingredients, making it some of the best sushi I've ever tasted.

Apart from sushi, they also offer a range of other Japanese dishes like udon, tofu dishes, and fried vegetables.

Their weekday lunch specials are a great deal, and the service is quick and efficient.

The Yaki Udon Noodles with chicken and vegetables is a personal favorite of mine.

I always end my meal with their Mochi Ice Cream in Green Tea and Mango flavors, a perfect way to round off a delicious meal.

I also appreciate the little touches they offer, like serving hot tea before the meal, which adds to the overall dining experience.

Dotombori · 1526 Miner St, Des Plaines, IL 60016, United States
★★★★★ · Japanese restaurant

Gail's Carriage Inn

Whenever I'm in the mood for a delicious breakfast or brunch, Gail's Carriage Inn is my go-to spot.

It's a longtime eatery in the area with a warm and cozy atmosphere.

I simply can't get enough of their pancakes and other American classic dishes.

They serve both breakfast and lunch, making it the perfect place for a leisurely weekend meal.

What really sets Gail's Carriage Inn apart is not just the great food but also the friendly and attentive service.

One of my favorite dishes at Gail's Carriage Inn is their signature Spud breakfast dish, which comes highly recommended by the staff.

It's a scrumptious and filling meal that always leaves me satisfied.

And if you're a fan of banana bread, this is the place to be – their banana bread is simply to die for!

Gail’s Carriage Inn · 1145 Elmhurst Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60016, United States
★★★★★ · Brunch restaurant

Mariachi's Tacos

I recently decided to give Mariachi's Tacos a try, as it's located in a strip mall near my home.

The place itself is a simple, colorful hub with an inviting atmosphere.

I was eager to taste their traditional Mexican fares, like tortas and al pastor tacos.

To my delight, the food was absolutely delicious!

Their steak was tender, juicy, and flavorful, and the portion sizes were generous for the price.

Despite the less-than-stellar customer service, I couldn't help but fall in love with their horchata.

It was perfect, and I found myself wishing I could order another one.

The chips and salsa were also noteworthy, making for a tasty appetizer before diving into my tacos.

While my visit to Mariachi's Tacos had its ups and downs, I can't deny that their food left a good impression on me.

Mariachi’s Tacos · 1936 E Touhy Ave, Des Plaines, IL 60018, United States
★★★★★ · Mexican restaurant

Coco Loco Seafood

I absolutely love going to Coco Loco Seafood whenever I'm in the mood for some delicious Mexican seafood.

One thing that sets Coco Loco Seafood apart from other seafood joints in the area is its creative dishes and drinks.

I particularly enjoy their coconut lemonade, which adds a refreshing twist to my meal.

While the prices might be a bit on the higher side, the food is definitely worth it, with generous portions and impeccable quality.

Coco Loco Seafood · 931 E Oakton St, Des Plaines, IL 60018, United States
★★★★★ · Seafood restaurant

Via Roma

I've been living in this neighborhood for years now, and I must say, Via Roma has become one of my go-to Italian restaurants whenever I crave some homemade Italian dishes.

Their cozy, family-owned atmosphere is perfect for a casual dinner with friends or a romantic date night.

One of the things I love about Via Roma is that it's a BYOB place.

I usually bring my favorite bottle of wine, and they don't even charge for corkage.

The outdoor seating adds a lovely touch during the warmer months, making it a great spot to unwind and enjoy your meal al fresco.

As for the food, I can never get enough of their pesto gnocchi with chicken and sundried tomatoes.

It's hands down one of the best pasta dishes I've ever had!

The gnocchi are fluffy and light, while the pesto cream sauce is packed with flavor.

My friends rave about their lasagna, spaghetti, and chicken Parmesan as well, so you really can't go wrong with their traditional Italian plates.

VIA ROMA · 464 E Northwest Hwy, Des Plaines, IL 60016, United States
★★★★★ · Italian restaurant

Illusion Bar Grill Cafe

I always love exploring hidden gems in my neighborhood, and one of my recent favorite discoveries is Illusion Bar Grill Cafe in Des Plaines, IL.

As a food lover, I was blown away by the quality and variety of dishes offered at Illusion.

I couldn't resist trying their pierogies and Greek salad, which were both delicious and generously portioned.

My friends and I couldn't get enough of their Tiramisu, which easily rivals some of the best Italian restaurants I've visited.

On top of that, their Lemon Martini was absolutely fantastic!

Aside from the great food, Illusion Bar Grill Cafe is an excellent venue for watching a game.

With big projection screens and smaller flat screens scattered around the seating area and bar, there's not a bad seat in the house.

Illusion Bar Grill Cafe - Des Plaines,IL. · 659 N Wolf Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60016, United States
★★★★★ · Bar & grill

Des Plaines Family Restaurant & Pancake House

As a longtime resident of Des Plaines, I can confidently say that the Des Plaines Family Restaurant & Pancake House is one of my favorite spots for breakfast and brunch.

This homey, colorful diner may not look like much from the outside, but trust me, you should definitely go in!

My go-to dish here has to be their chilaquiles, which I can honestly say are the best I've ever had at a restaurant.

But don't worry, if you're not in the mood for Mexican cuisine, their menu offers a wide variety of creative pancakes and other hearty American eats like steak sandwiches and Greek chicken breast.

Des Plaines Family Restaurant & Pancake House · 1769 Miner St, Des Plaines, IL 60016, United States
★★★★★ · American restaurant

Euro Grill

One of my favorite spots to grab a delicious meal in town is the Euro Grill.

The moment you walk into Euro Grill, you're greeted by the warmth of the friendly staff and the aroma of scrumptious food.

The cevapi is a must-try dish, even if it may not exactly resemble the ones served in Bosnia.

The bread they use is absolutely divine, and the food comes out quickly, leaving little time to wait for your meal.

While the restaurant itself is a bit on the smaller side, it offers a cozy and intimate atmosphere.

A small improvement could be the addition of more lighting, especially towards the back of the restaurant.

Euro Grill · 967 Elmhurst Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60016, United States
★★★★★ · Eastern European restaurant

Final Thoughts

Des Plaines has a plethora of fantastic restaurant options that cater to various tastes and preferences.

Whether you're in the mood for a mouthwatering burger from Paradise Pup, delectable sushi from Oba Contemporary Japanese, or a scrumptious dessert from B's Sweet Bites, there is always something to satisfy your cravings in Des Plaines.

So, the next time you find yourself in our lovely city, don't miss out on the chance to try some of these amazing eateries.

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