Foodie alert! Restaurants highlight visit to Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois, takes advantage of the beauty along the city’s Fox River.

Located along the Fox River and about 45 minutes from downtown Chicago, lies the city of Elgin. Illinois’ eighth-largest city was once home to the Blackhawk Native Americans. The community became known for its dairy products. Today, Elgin is home to great food and great people.

From the moment that we arrived into Elgin, and checking into our hotel, we felt welcome. The front desk staff at the Holiday Inn Elgin was delightful and greeted us with a smile. The accommodations were spacious and the location is prime.

Holiday Inn Elgin
The Holiday Inn Elgin met our needs with a comfortable stay and nice amenities.

Eligin’s food scene is delicious. My friend and business partner Sara and I were in for a treat when we dined at the newly opened Bleu Root Restaurant, located in West Dundee. Located a few minutes from downtown Elgin, the restaurant offers a farm-to-table experience on the Fox River.

Bleu Root
Dining at Bleu Root was a great experience.

“Doctor Who” and food?

Science fiction and food go together, right? Any fan of “Doctor Who” or science fiction, or interested in checking out a little something different, will enjoy a trip to the Blue Box Cafe. From the “Doctor”-inspired decor to themed coffee drinks and events, it is one of the characters to check out in downtown Elgin.

Blue Box Cafe in downtown Elgin, Illinois
Doctor Who fans will recognize the Weeping Angel behind the door of the Tardis.

We don’t really consider ourselves drinkers normally, but we’ve really enjoyed tasting different drinks at both wineries and breweries. We’ve not come across too many places that specialize in martinis. The Martini Room in Elgin puts it all together with a great ambiance and comfortable place to get together with girlfriends, a date or a group of friends.

Martini Room in Elgin, Illinois
Martini Flight Wednesday

Dinosaurs and walking

We’ve added checking out local libraries when we travel. From great architecture to interesting exhibits – like the one at the Gail Borden Public Library – we recommend adding them to your list, too. The Gail Borden Public Library, located near the Fox River, has a Dinosaur Giants exhibit taking up both floors of the library. The display lasts until Sept. 24th.

Dinosaurs at the library?

Local coffee shops are the best! Most of them have a great personality and Domani Cafe was no exception. Not only was the cafe a great spot for coffee and a quick bite in the morning, it also had a great owner with a bubbly personality of his own. Make sure to let Leo know we said hi when you stop in. Oh, and may we recommend ordering the chai latte.

Coffee anyone?

We enjoyed a beautiful afternoon walking around downtown Elgin. Right along the river is the Fox River Bike Trail. The area is beautifully landscaped and great for walking and biking. The ducks seem to really enjoy the area, too.

Fox River Bike Trail
A view along the bike and walking trail.

Another park along the river is Festival Park, where you can find families enjoying a nice time at the playground or the splash pad. During the summer, check out the schedule for the Grand Victoria Casino Summer Concert Series.

Festival Park Splash Pad
Family fun at the splash pad.

In the evening, enjoy a walk along the river near the Grand Victoria Casino and check out the martini lights. They are beautiful color-changing pieces of art.

Martini Lights in Elgin, IL
I love the lights at night.

I enjoyed my visit to Elgin. I look forward to a return trip, bringing Tim along so he can have fun exploring the city. I recommend visiting the area.

Plan your visit to Elgin, Illinois by checking out their website at 

Disclaimer: Thanks to Northern Fox River Valley Visitors Bureau for hosting Sara and me. However, all opinions and views are ours.