Best Locally Owned Restaurants in Downers Grove
Whether you’ve just moved to the area or are looking to explore the dining scene, Downers Grove has some of the best restaurants in the state. In today’s blog, we share some of our favorite local restaurants so you can have a great dining experience and celebrate the work these families have been doing for years.
Inspired by families and the warmth of social gatherings, Il Mio is an Italian restaurant that aims to provide the perfect dining experience in a cozy and intimate setting. The restaurant’s name is a term of endearment that translates to “darling.” Before the restaurant opened its doors, the site was home to Grocerland, a wholesale supplier of quality groceries in Clarendon Hills. Il Mio continues Grocerland’s mission of serving customers with fresh, quality ingredients.
If you’re wondering how the restaurant came to be, it was after the family decided to create a space that celebrated their most treasured memories so that others could make their own. As you can see, this is a restaurant inspired by people and connection. The menu, for example, is influenced by the family’s favorite dishes from their dinners and vacations.
The menu has five categories: dinner, drinks, drafts, dessert, and bambini. The dinner category has seven sections: shareables, flatbreads, salads, handhelds, pasta, sides, and entrees. Look for the orange Vespa on the menu for the restaurant’s signature dishes, which include fried calamari, Margherita “daisy,” pesto burrata, Il Mio salad, meatball polenta, fried chicken sliders, cacio e pepe, pappardelle with short rib ragu, and chicken pepperoncini. Vegetarian, gluten-free, and seasonal dishes are also available.
Bryan’s American Grille
Established in 2015, Bryan’s American Grille provides an inviting and fun environment for those looking for a place with great food and entertainment for the whole family. The restaurant aims to become the neighborhood’s number one choice for food and entertainment. Bryan’s American Grille is located on the south side of Ogden Avenue and is open daily. It offers a diverse menu, daily activities, live events, late-night games, and karaoke nights. Sports fans are more than welcome, as the restaurant has 11 televisions showing the latest sporting events.
The menu is extensive and has something on it for everyone, including children. There are 14 categories: starters, wings, pizza, sides, salads, American burgers, sliders, sandwiches, wraps, quesadillas, soups and chili, entrees, kids’ meals, and desserts. Bryan’s American Grille is known for having the best homemade dishes in the area.
While all the food is delicious, don’t forget to try the burgers and fried chicken, as well as the signature dishes. As a sports-supporting restaurant, Bryan’s also has a wide selection of drinks and craft beers. The beverage menu has eight categories: draft beers, domestic bottles, premium bottles, specialty beers, cans, house wines, premium wines, and fun drinks.
Founded in 2018, Pierce Tavern is more than a neighborhood restaurant. It’s a place of rich history and quality food. Its location at 5135 Main St., Downers Grove, has sentimental value, as it was once home to Downers Grove’s first bank, as well as a post office, several doctors’ offices, a barbershop, and a library. To put it simply, the building was quite a thing back in 1829. However, following the stock market crash of 1947, the bank and other businesses closed, and the Muriel Mundy Apparel Shop became the next big thing for over 60 years.
Then Max Logan’s Home Accents, a home decor store, opened its doors from 2012 to 2017. A year later, Pierce Tavern made its debut and soon became the building’s “it” thing. According to the restaurant’s owners, the Vlahos family, Pierce Tavern is their way of paying homage to Downers Grove founder Pierce Downer.
It has three menus: one for food, one for cocktails and wine, and one for beer. The main food menu offers small plates, burgers, pizzas, soups and salads, large plates, sides, and handhelds. The restaurant is known for its delicious burgers, so be sure to try one of the eight available before you leave. The menu also includes vegetarian-friendly options. Those interested in holding private events at the restaurant must contact the restaurant first.
Established in 2005, Cedar Grill is one of Downers Grove’s gems. It’s a Mediterranean restaurant serving Middle Eastern, vegetarian, and Mediterranean cuisine. Cedar Grill strives to be the go-to place for people who want fresh, quality food in a relaxed and comfortable environment. This family-owned and operated restaurant is located at 2223 Ogden Ave. and is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
It’s halal-certified and prides itself on using only the finest and freshest ingredients to create its meals. What’s even better is that you can bring your family for either lunch or dinner.
There are two menus — one for brunch and lunch and one for dinner. Choose from appetizers, pita wraps, veggie pita wraps, sandwiches, lunch on a plate, soups and salads, Mediterranean bowls, sides, drinks, and desserts. And be sure to try the in-demand dishes, such as pita wraps, shawarmas, hummus, and anything with falafel in it.
Due to the restaurant’s popularity among the local community, it’s recommended that you make a reservation ahead of time. And if you fall in love with the food and would like to have it at one of your events, Cedar Grill also offers catering services.
Ready To Try Some of the Best Locally Owned Restaurants in Downers Grove?
If you love trying new places to eat in Downers Grove and haven’t visited any of the above eateries, we hope this list has inspired you to do so. The dining scene in Downers Grove is simply amazing, and as our village’s best on-site jewelry repair, we can’t stop talking about it. So this is an invitation to visit these wonderful restaurants, have fun, and support the families that make it all possible. We hope you love dining at these establishments as much as we do.