Whether venturing along the established “Restaurant Row” of North Avenue, “The Circle” district along Conti Parkway, or discovering the myriad of culinary gems dotted across town, the Village of Elmwood Park boasts a booming dining scene with a diverse range of cuisines for everyone.
In celebrating the one-of-a-kind eateries which make Elmwood Park one of Chicagoland’s premiere dining destinations, the village is gearing up to host its annual Restaurant Week, dubbed “Dine-In Elmwood Park,” from Friday, Feb. 17 through Sunday, Feb. 26.
“We’ve worked hard to support our local restaurateurs and to grow our dining scene in Elmwood Park over the past few years,” said Village President Angelo “Skip” Saviano. “Patrons visiting our restaurants will find good food in a more intimate, local setting than they might find in downtown Chicago.”
For 10 days, 17 restaurants across town will open their doors to sweet deals on menu favorites, guaranteed to keep mouths watering and stomachs full.
While deciding on whether to savor classic Italian dishes, familiar American staples or anything in between, take a sneak peek into the fun:
The Sportz Nook
7841 W. Grand Ave.
Open since last May, owner David Carlson says his small on size but mighty on menu restaurant guarantees diners a well-rounded night-out experience from the moment they enter until the second they clean off their plates.
“We’re a very clean, friendly atmosphere, and I owe everything to my staff,” Carlson said. “I’ve got great cooks, and our meatballs and meatloaf are our specialties, but honestly, all of the good food and friendly staff is what sets us apart from other establishments.”
During Dine-In Elmwood Park, the elevated neighborhood pub will boast a lunch special of its Reuben sandwich for only $10 and dinner specials of appetizer mussels in a wine garlic sauce for $10 and spaghetti topped with house favorite meatballs for $12. In addition, diners can enjoy a second meal for half-off menu price.
Donny G’s Ristorante and Bar
7308 W. North Ave.
If a throwback night out reminiscent of old-school Italian lounges and hearty meals is what you’re craving, look no further than Donny G’s.
“We’re all homemade and the best Italian kitchen you can find in the Chicagoland area,” said George Diamanopoulos, restaurant manager. “We have five-star reviews — and with the staff here, it’s a real family restaurant.”
Lunch specials include the meatball sandwich with fries ($10), albacore tuna panini with fries ($11) and cheese ravioli with vodka sauce ($14) — all including a soft drink and scoop of savory gelato.
Dinner specials — all served with one glass of red or white house wine and gelato — include chicken scallopini with mushrooms, onions and spinach ($18), pork chop Calabrese in a white wine sauce with spicy cherry peppers and potatoes ($22) and red snapper Francaise with spinach ($22).
7426 W. North Ave.
For 22 years, Cafe Cubano has served diners flocking from across Chicagoland for a taste of the most authentic Cuban food north of Miami.
Owner Mayra Fernandez, who runs Cafe Cubano alongside husband Javier, says they’re proud to stay true to their family’s Cuban roots, with recipes passed down from Javier’s father. That authenticity, she says, is what keeps people coming back time and time again.
“We are straight up, 100% Cuban food — no fusion,” she said. “Every time you order something, it’s prepared fresh. When you come into Cafe Cubano, we want you to feel like you’re having authentic Cuban food.”
That care, love and family tradition can be found in the lunch specials of any Cuban sandwich served with Cuban rice for $15. Don’t pass up the chance to savor a classic Cuban sandwich made with ham, Swiss cheese and roasted pork with pickles on freshly baked bread. Or, enjoy the dinner special Cuban bowl, featuring your choice of steak, chicken or pork for $15. Dishes come served complete with a side of fresh plantains.
Bon Vivant Juice & Smoothie Bar
7334 W. Diversey Ave.
These days, smoothie bowls and juice cleanses are all the rage.
Health is wealth, so why not lean into that inner voice telling you to eat more fruits and vegetables and check out Bon Vivant, which focuses entirely on wellness and eating “green.”
Bon Vivant, which began as a traveling food truck in 2017, opened its first brick and mortar location in Elmwood Park in August 2021 after owner Vanessa Alviso and her wife, Jasmin Ortiz, noticed a lack of similar options available in the area.
“We’re a one-stop shop for clean eating in Elmwood Park,” Alviso said. “Our stuff is 100% natural and fresh. A lot of smoothie and juice places are not, and we don’t use any additives or sweeteners — it’s all fresh or our own frozen fruit.”
During Dine-In Elmwood Park, enjoy $10 any three- to seven-day detox cleanse, and buy one get one half off deals on fruit smoothies, health shots (turmeric and ginger juices) and chia pudding bowls. All smoothies and bowls are made natural, with no added sugar and no added powders.
Customers must mention “Restaurant Week” for discounts.
For the full list of participating restaurants and deals, see menu below or visit elmwoodpark.org/event/restaurant-week-2/