The Best Restaurants In Palatine, Illinois

CD9YBD Jul 28, 2010 - Chicago, Illinois, U.S. - The Girl & The Goat restaurant and bar was opened in the summer of 2010. The menu consists of 30 items: 10 vegetarian, 10 meat, and 10 fish. (Credit Image: © St Petersburg Times/
CD9YBD Jul 28, 2010 - Chicago, Illinois, U.S. - The Girl & The Goat restaurant and bar was opened in the summer of 2010. The menu consists of 30 items: 10 vegetarian, 10 meat, and 10 fish. (Credit Image: © St Petersburg Times/ | © ZUMA Press Inc / Alamy Stock Photo
Helen Armitage

It may one of Cook County, Illinois’ biggest communities, but picturesque Palatine is technically a village and despite its size still lives up motto, ‘a real home town.’ It boasts an eclectic dining scene to boot, offering hungry mouths everything from creative Latin eats and authentic Italian to American pub grub and award winning wings. Read on for a round-up of Palatine’s best local eats and where to find them.

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Artistic Cuisine

A downtown Palatine dining favorite, Artistic Cuisine offers an eclectic menu blending Argentinian and Italian cuisine alongside a list of carefully selected wines with a distinct South American bent. Its lunchtime menu features plenty of gourmet pizzas and sandwiches, while Artistic Cuisine’s artfully plated dinner options include the likes of homemade gnocchi with roasted tomato sauce and Argentinian-style steak with chimichurri, roasted potatoes and grilled vegetables. Keep an eye out for seasonal specials like grilled Atlantic salmon with avocado relish and beef bourguignon, and stick around for a dessert of traditional Argentinian dessert of flan con dulce de leche.

Restaurant, American, $
Brandt’s Little Café had been a favorite meeting place (and feeding place) in town for almost 50 years. So when Palatine residents Walt Oswald and Jim Iuorio heard it was struggling, they stepped up and bought the joint, refurbished the 100-year-old farmhouse it calls home, then rebranded and reopened as Brandt’s of Palatine in 2013. Thankfully, they did a great job and the restaurant remains as popular as ever. The menu features plenty of pub grub classics like sandwiches, wraps, and quesadillas, though if there are a couple of must tries, it’s most definitely Brandt’s signature half-pound burger (topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle and customizable with extra toppings like cheese, bacon, and guacamole) and its BBQ ribs, they’ve even been featured on ABC News.

Red Apple

Restaurant, American
It’s pancakes galore at Red Apple, one of Palatine’s most popular breakfast and lunch joints. With over 15 different varieties to choose from (Swedish-style pancakes with lingonberry and traditional blueberry pancakes included) diners are definitely spoilt for choice. They serve plenty of other classic breakfast dishes too, from skillets and build-your-own breakfast sandwiches to French toast, waffles, and crepes. The lunchtime menu features soups, sandwiches, and old-fashioned char-broiled burgers, which are especially perfect when washed down with one of Red Apple’s retro malted milkshakes.

Agio Italian Bistro

Restaurant, Italian, $
Authentic Italian cuisine, a romantic and intimate setting, and one of the biggest wine lists in town, it is no wonder Agio Italian Bistro is one of the village’s best loved restaurants. Owner Joe Barrutia brings a wealth of experience to Agio (he’s also the owner of the 26-year-old Slice of Chicago next door) and this shines through, from the restaurant’s elegant dining room and charming patio to its tempting menu. Start with classic appetizers like calamari fritti and beef carpaccio before choosing from mouthwatering mains that include veal saltimbocca with prosciutto, sage, and fresh mozzarella and Agio’s house made cavatelli with shrimp, asparagus, and sun dried tomatoes in a zingy lemon pepper cream sauce.

Pita Pita Mediterranean Grill

It’s been hailed by diners as the best Mediterranean and Middle Eastern eats in the Chicago suburbs, and if classic Greek dishes and meaty kebabs are your idea of dining heaven, then Pita Pita Mediterranean Grill is the place to go. Take a seat in its airy, modern dining room and chow down on authentic appetizers like babha ghanouj and falafel, and hearty entrees such as chicken tawook (grilled chicken marinated in Mediterranean spices and served with grilled tomato and onion) or mnazeleh (tender cuts of beef sautéed with tomato and onion and served on a bed of eggplant). Only two desserts are served, baklava and qatayef, but they’re as deliciously authentic as any other Pita Pita dish.

Durty Nellie’s

Restaurant, Irish, $
Palatine’s resident friendly neighborhood tavern Durty Nellie’s started out back in 1972, but a move to its bigger, better venue a little over a decade ago saw it become one of the Chicago suburbs’ top music venues, welcoming big acts like Violent Femmes alongside a whole host of local bands. But we’re here to talk about the food, and that’s pretty good, too: classic, casual American eats are the theme and Durty Nellie’s burgers, including the Nellie Melt topped with bacon, white cheddar, and grilled onion, are a diner favorite. Beverage-wise, Durty Nellie’s serves over 100 craft beers from across the globe, including a few local beers from producers including Church Street Brewing Company and Ale Syndicate.

Gianni’s Café

Restaurant, Italian, $
Family owned and operated Italian restaurant Gianni’s Café has been delighting local diners with its authentic, homemade cuisine and upscale-casual vibe since opening in Palatine over a decade ago. Naturally, plenty of pasta is served alongside other classic Italian dishes like chicken cacciatore and veal parmigiana, but if the restaurant has a specialty, it’s most definitely its seafood. Pescatarians will be more than pleased with offerings like fresh raw oysters, shrimp Portofino and wild salmon almondine. Signature cocktails, wine, and craft beer make up Gianni’s drinks menu, and brunch with unlimited mimosas and Bloody Marys is served on weekends.

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