Arlington Heights Dining
Arlington Heights has a reputation as having a downtown with great dining. But don't stop with the approximately 40 restaurants downtown. There are about 200 restaurants in the immediate area. Whether your in the mood for national chain restaurants, mom and pop establishments, great dining ambiance, fine dining establishments, pizzerias, the corner pizza place with delivery, espresso café’s, restaurant pubs, ethnic establishments, or wine shops; you'll find it all.
Delight your taste buds at Italian-themed bistros, Tapas, Thai, America, Mexican, Chinese, and Irish-inspired establishments, and more. Arlington Heights and Chicagoland offers so many menus with something for everyone.
No expensive parking.
In fact, there is free parking in Downtown Arlington Heights. There are several Village-owned parking garages as well as on-street parking with 2-hour free parking. Valet parking is also available at some establishments. With the train station right in the heart of eating establishments in downtown Arlington Heights, you might even time your Metra trip to satisfy your appetite in Arlington Heights.
But remember, don't limit your selection to downtown. Arlington Heights has many restaurants all around town in both the Uptown and Southtown shopping districts. The Downtown Arlington Heights Directory provides the dining, shopping and entertainment offerings in Downtown.
LOCAL FOOD, LOCAL SOURCES
Rural and suburban communities of the Midwest tend toward cuisines that reflect the local food sources of the area, but Arlington Heights has expanded to non-local cuisines in recent years. The Midwest serves as a center for grain production, particularly wheat, corn and soybeans. Midwestern states also produce most of the country's wild rice.
Chicago and Kansas City are historically beef production and trade centers, while Iowa remains the center of pork production in the U.S. Many people believe steaks taste better in Chicagoland than any other place on earth.
Dairy products, especially cheese, form an important group of regional ingredients, with our neighbors in Wisconsin reigning as "America's Dairy Capital."
The upper Midwest, a prime fruit-growing region, sees the extensive use of apples, blueberries, cranberries, cherries, peaches and other cold-climate fruit in its cuisine. Many of these fruits are available in Farmer's Market at Arlington Heights Road & Eastman (next to North School Park) every Saturday,7:30 am - 1:30 pm, June, through October
Bakery Sandwich Shop
Chicago-style Hot Dog
Deli & Sandwich Shop
Mexican & Southwest
Pubs & Grills
Steak & Seafood
Arlington Heights has a reputation as having a downtown with great dining. But don't stop with the approximately 40 restaurants in Chicago
Midwestern cuisine is a regional cuisine of the American Midwest with culinary roots most significantly from the cuisines of Central, Northern and Eastern Europe.
American Food, but more
Everyday Midwestern home cooking generally showcases simple and hearty dishes that make use of the abundance of locally grown foods. Its culinary profiles may seem synonymous with "American food."
As with many American regional cuisines, Midwestern cooking has been heavily influenced by immigrant groups. Throughout the northern Midwest, northern European immigrant groups predominated, so Swedish pancakes and Polish pierogi are common. Wisconsin, Missouri, Kansas, Ohio and Illinois were destinations for many ethnic German immigrants, so pork sausages and potatoes are prevalent. In the Rust Belt, many Greeks became restaurateurs, imparting a Mediterranean influence. Native American influences show up in the uses of corn and wild rice.
Traditionally, Midwestern cooks used a light hand with seasonings, preferring sage, dill, caraway, mustard and parsley to hot, bold and spicy flavors. However, with new waves of immigrants from Latin America and Asia moving into the region, these tastes are changing.
Chicagoland and the Midwest is also headquarters for several seminal hamburger chains, notably McDonald's in Oak Brook, Illinois. McDonald's was converted to a franchise by milk shake mixer salesman Ray Kroc, who lived in the the Scarsdale neighborhood of Arlington Heights. He was selling a large order of mixers to the McDonald's borthers restaurant in California,and recognized for the potential of developing a multitude of restaurants. The first franchise McDonald's was built in Des Plaines, Illinois. The Midwest is also home to Vienna Beef at Elston and Damen and Fullerton Avenues in Chicago, Culver's in Sauk City, Wisconsin; Steak n Shake, founded in Normal, Illinois, and now based in Indianapolis; Wendy's in Dublin, Ohio; and White Castle in Columbus, Ohio. Diner chain Big Boy, known for burgers, is headquartered in Warren, Michigan.
While Arlington Heights offers more than typical American Contemporary cuisine, Chicago, like other major
urban centers, offers an even more diverse mix of ethnic cuisines and sophisticated, contemporary techniques.
Chicagoland has a distinctive cuisine of restaurant foods exclusive to the area, such as Italian beef (think Johnny's Beef), the Maxwell Street Polish, the Chicago-style hot dog (think Portillo's all over Chicagoland and Wiener Take All in Buffalo Grove), Chicago-style pizza, chicken Vesuvio and the jibarito, as well as a large number of steakhouses.
Chicago also boasts many gourmet restaurants, as well as a wide variety of ethnic food stores and eateries, most notably Mexican, Polish, Italian, Greek, Indian/Pakistani and Asian, often clustered in ethnic neighborhoods. Many of these cuisines have evolved significantly in Chicago. For example, the Greek cheese dish saganaki was first flambéed at the table in Greektown at The Parthenon restaurant in 1968. kefalograviera, kasseri, kefalotyri, or sheep's milk feta cheese is melted in a frying pan at the table until it is bubbling. Then the heat tempered and flames are extinguished with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. The process is often accompanied with a shout of "opa!"
As a major rail hub, Chicago historically had access to a broad range of the country's foodstuffs, so even in the 19th century, Chicagoans could easily buy items like live oyster and reasonably fresh shrimp. Chicago's oldest signature dish, shrimp de Jonghe, was invented around the turn of the 20th century. Today, flights into O'Hare Airport bring Chicago fresh food from all over the world -- think Bob Chin's in Wheeling.
The Midwest is sometimes thought to trail the East Coast and West Coast in culinary trends, yet, perhaps ironically, Chicago is the country's leading center of cutting-edge molecular gastronomy -- the scientific study of food preparation for the purpose of deliciousness.
Examle topics in Molecular Gastronomy
How ingredients are changed by different cooking methods (e.g., temperature, duration)
How senses affect our appreciation of food
Aroma release and the perception of taste and flavor
How and why we evolved our particular taste and flavor sense organs and our general food likes and dislikes
How cooking methods affect the eventual flavor and texture of food ingredients
How new cooking methods might produce improved results of texture and flavor
How the brain interprets signals from all senses to understand the "flavor" of food
How other influences, environment, mood, presentation, who prepares the meal -- affects the enjoyment of food.