Down on the west bank of Aurora’s scenic Fox River is Chef Amaury, an eclectic and vibrant restaurant serving contemporary American cuisine cooked up by talented chef and namesake Amaury Rosado. Located on the city’s newly designated Restaurant Row, part of downtown Aurora’s cultural regeneration, Chef Amaury prides itself on using fresh and locally grown produce. The restaurant offers a seasonal, weekly changing menu that features dishes like English pea soup with dates, puffed pork skin and Serrano chili and the Berkshire pork with beluga lentils, sherry vinegar and juniper. Soak up Chef Amaury’s chic ambiance in its intimate dining room, enjoy an al fresco meal on the restaurant’s deck and indulge in a signature cocktail at the bar.
Chef Amaury, 33 West New York Street, Aurora, IL, USA, +1 630 375 0426
River’s Edge Café
The River’s Edge Café is a charming spot in downtown Aurora that is open for breakfast and lunch, and with its friendly neighborhood vibe and quaint outdoor patio overlooking the Fox River, it is the perfect place to refuel, unwind and watch the world go by. The cafe has an extensive menu of coffee blends sourced from the local Chicago-based artisan coffee roasters Metropolis, which are lovely enjoyed with one of the cafe’s fresh homemade muffins. Try a hearty sandwich like the slow-roasted barbecue pulled chicken or the grilled ham and provolone cheese with honey mustard on a pretzel roll, or alternatively go for a warming bowl of the cafe’s soup de jour, which includes chicken and vegetable and tomato and basil.
River’s Edge Café, 14 West Downer Place, Aurora, IL, USA, +1 630 897 3343
Basils Greek Dining
Basils Greek Dining is named after one of the key ingredients in traditional Greek cooking, vasilikos, also known as basil. Vasilikos also means ‘royal’ and this is reflected in the restaurant’s upscale ambiance and fine cuisine. Boasting a large, elegant dining room featuring mosaic details and subdued lighting complemented by an open kitchen and beautiful stone fireplace, Basils is a salute to traditional Greek and Mediterranean fare with a contemporary twist. The menu has a number of hot and cold appetizers, like grilled octopus, zatziki – a yogurt, cucumber and garlic dip – and mouth-watering ‘Greek comfort plates’ like keftedes, herby lamb and beef meatballs served with tomato sauce and potatoes. Finish off your meal with the traditional Greek dessert galaktoboureko – orange and lemon custard in a light, flaky filo dough.
Two Brothers Roundhouse
You can’t go far wrong with a visit to Two Brothers Roundhouse. The roundhouse in which it is situated was built in 1856 and is listed on the USA’s National Register of Historic Places, while the restaurant’s menu is, by contrast, distinctly modern and upscale gastro pub fare. Small plates include the crab cake croquettes with Fuji apple and Belgian endive slaw, or for a more filling option, entrees include the meatloaf made with Midwestern bison, mushrooms, poblano peppers with a chipotle beer glaze and a side of mashed potatoes and green beans. Of course, it would be a sin not to sample a beer or two like the crisp Prairie Path or the citrus-flavored Outlaw India Pale Ale.
The Turf Room
Located on the quaint village of North Aurora, The Turf Room is a unique and stylish restaurant that provides guests with an eclectic and contemporary American menu that incorporates elements of global fusion and changes on a seasonal basis. With three dining rooms, a lounge and wine bar and outdoor patio with stunning wood burning fireplaces, The Turf Room features classic design elements like black leather seats and exposed brick walls and exudes an upbeat, welcoming ambiance. The extensive and varied menu includes appetizers like spring roll stuffed with Maple Leaf Farm duck from the neighboring state of Indiana, caramelized onion and goat’s cheese, while entrees include roasted Colorado lamb chops with a rosemary jus and roasted fingerling potatoes.
The Turf Room, 1033 Kilberry Lane, Aurora, IL, USA, +1 630 906 9300
Tamarind is a vibrant and welcoming restaurant serving traditional Indian cuisine. The colorfully designed restaurant is evocative of modern India, with beautiful hand-woven silk and vibrant murals adorning the walls. Tamarind’s menu features all the Indian classics like tasty curries, fresh and fluffy naan breads and delicious biryanis. Finish with the popular Indian dessert kulfi which is similar to ice cream and available in mango and pistachio flavor.
Tamarind, 4250 Fox Valley Centre Drive, Aurora, IL, USA, +1 630 375 1600
Ballydoyle Irish Pub and Restaurant
Named after the world-famous Ballydoyle Racing Stables in Ireland, Ballydoyle Irish Pub and Restaurant resides in a prime location in a charming red brick building overlooking Stolp Island and the Fox River. Ballydoyle’s kitchen uses only the highest quality ingredients to create a varied menu with a wide selection of dishes, including staple pub fare like burgers and traditional Irish food like boxty – a classic Irish potato pancake recipe. Guests can choose from dishes like the beef and Guinness stew with carrots, onion, potato and celery or try a lighter bite like the Guinness barbecue pork and Swiss cheese sandwich. Ballydoyle also has a wide range of bottled and tap beers from across the globe and has live music every Friday and Saturday.
Inspired by its owners’ travels throughout India, OMango is a restaurant specializing in contemporary Indian cuisine that opened its doors to the Aurora public in 2012. Offering a menu that showcases the rich, authentic and diverse dishes from all regions of India, guests can choose from a of light paratha wraps stuffed with filling like organic tofu or chicken keema, curries like chana masala and tandoori cooked dishes like chicken tikka. OMango also owns a mobile food truck where guests can get their favorite dishes to eat on the go.
OMango, 1056 North Route 59, Aurora, IL, USA, +1 630 449 5100
Hopvine Brewing Company
The Hopvine Brewing Company is a restaurant and brewery that offers guests the unique experience of watching the craft beef brewing process while they dine, with large windows that look through into the restaurant’s onsite brewery, fermentation room and storage cooler. Hopvine’s menu is updated regularly and is based around fresh, seasonal produce and hearty pub grub. Choose from dishes such as the pulled pork sandwich with jalapeno and raisin slaw, or buttermilk brined fried chicken with a house-made waffle and maple ginger syrup. Don’t leave without trying a Hopvine craft beer like the Aurora Amber or the Stolp Island, named after the historic Fox River island.
At Sushi Plus, a modern and bright Japanese restaurant located in the south of the city, food is served kaiten zushi restaurant style, with sushi brought to guest’s tables via a refrigerated conveyor belt system where dishes are color coded according to their price. Offering guests a unique dining experience in a chic yet inviting space, Sushi Plus has over 90 different dishes to choose from, complemented by a number of imported Japanese beers and sakes and global wines. Try a sushi dish of hokkigai – giant surf clam – or order from the restaurant’s a la carte menu, which features the deep-fried soft shell crab served with ponzu sauce.
Sushi Plus, 4430 Fox Valley Centre Drive, Aurora, IL, USA, +1 630 820 1666