Glen Ellyn, a village in DuPage County, is a Chicago suburb located 24 miles due west of downtown. I had not been there before, but went with a friend to explore and to see a special Frida Kahlo art exhibition at the Cleve Carney Art Museum at the College of DuPage.
It has a small, charming downtown area with a number of bars, restaurants, cafes and boutiques. I think you will enjoy my recent finds:
Our first stop was for coffee at Blackberry Market. Located at 401 N. Main St., this is a cafe/market offering coffee drinks, pastries and a large menu of breakfast and lunch items.
Ten Thousand Villages is a charming shop, from 1946, selling fair-trade crafts and housewares from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Their mission is to create opportunities to earn income for artisans in developing countries through fair trading relationships. 503 Pennsylvania Ave.
Chocolaterie Stam: This is a downtown chocolate shop featuring old-world, Dutch traditional chocolates. The Stam family has been in the confectionery business for over 200 years. Based in Des Moines, they have locations in Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Colorado, Minnesota and Nebraska. 530 Pennsylvania Ave A.
Families with children will love 2 Toots Train Whistle Grill downtown at 450 N. Main St. It is a train-themed restaurant with train tracks running throughout the restaurant delivering baskets of food. They feature a menu of hamburgers, hot dogs, milkshakes, malts, and classic root beer floats.
Two Hound Red Brewing Co. is a popular downtown brewery and restaurant at 486 Pennsylvania Ave. They offer food and beer pairings. They make a number of IPAs, lagers and porters. Their food menu includes burgers, sandwiches, salads, pizzas and soups.
Marché is an attractive cheese and wine shop, at 496 N. Main St., that features cheese and charcuterie boards and plates along with sandwiches. They also offer a number of classes and events.
Maize + Mash: Located downtown at 430 N. Main, this is a contemporary American bistro with a focus on craft cocktails, whiskey and classic tavern fare.
I highly recommend Reserve 22, the restaurant at the local Village Links Golf Course. Located just south of downtown, it is a nice restaurant with a lovely outdoor patio overlooking the golf course. They feature seasonal cuisine. I loved my Reuben sandwich and our excellent server. It is very popular, so make sure to make a reservation before you go.
Just south of Reserve 22, at the College of DuPage, is the Harold D. McAninch Arts Center where you can see performances of music, dance and theater by students and other professionals along with films. It is also home to the Cleve Carney Art Museum which has art exhibitions showcasing art by regional, national and international artists. I went to see a Frida Kahlo show with 26 of her paintings from the Dolores Olmedo Museum in Mexico City along with an historical exhibit on her life and family. I was very impressed with the Arts Center as this was my first visit. 425 Fawell Blvd.
South of the College of Dupage, in suburban Lisle, is the Morton Arboretum. Well-worth a visit, the Arboretum is a public garden, and outdoor museum with a library, herbarium, and program in tree research including the Center for Tree Science. It has grounds, covering 1,700 acres and collections of trees and other living plants, gardens, and restored areas among which is a restored tallgrass prairie. The living collections include more than 4,100 different plant species.
As a place of recreation, the Arboretum has hiking trails, roadways for driving and bicycling, an interactive children’s garden and a 1-acre maze. I enjoyed seeing a special exhibition of sculptures located throughout the grounds. I would love to go back in the fall when the leaves are changing. 4100 Illinois Route 53.