Discover | Downers Grove

March 2017 View more

Named for its first settler, Pierce Downer (with questionable punctuation, so goes the saying “apostrophe free since 1873”), Downers Grove is a village with charm to spare. A fifteen-minute drive (or three stops via Metra train) from Naperville will land you in downtown Downers, which has a small but mighty shopping scene. On Friday nights during the summer, vintage car owners park their wheels up and down Main Street and locals wander the sidewalks with ice cream cones or popcorn in hand. You’ll find most downtown businesses along Main, Curtiss and Burlington streets; it’s worth venturing out of downtown for a few destination-worthy sights and snacks, too.



Downtown Downers Grove Market
Downers Grove Main Street Train Station, south parking lot off Burlington Avenue

At this weekly outdoor market (held Saturdays May through October) choose from treats to eat right away (scones, popcorn, crepes) and goodies to take home, from produce to flowers to meats and cheeses.

Downers Grove Museum
831 Maple Avenue, 630.963.1309

Take a peek at period rooms in the Victorian Blodgett house, a hyperlocal hall of fame featuring celebrities with Downers Grove connections and a 1921 fire engine.

Fishel Park
Grove Street between Main Street and Farrar Court

BYO lawn chair for the free Summer Concert Series (7:00 p.m., Tuesdays late May to late August) where you can buy wine, beer and food from a handful of local vendors. Last year’s performers ranged from “American Idol” alumna Gina Glocksen to Beatles tribute band Cavern Beat.

Prince Pond
4941 Linscott Avenue

This picturesque pond surrounded by historic homes features fountains in the summer and ice skating in the winter, including a playground and shelter.


Lyman Woods Nature Center
901 31st Street, 630.963.9388

This nature center boasts a butterfly garden, picnic area, beehive viewing, hiking trails and even a “green roof” (look up and you’ll see the building is covered with prairie grass).



Alter Brewing Company
2300 Wisconsin Avenue, #213, 630.541.9558

This brewery’s high-ceilinged taproom pours made-on-site brews ranging from Hopular Kid pale ale to Smash Tun imperial double stout. Check the online calendar for events such as Tuesday trivia night and food truck nights.

1341 Butterfield Road, 630.852.2333

This modern Latin eatery shakes up tangy tequila cocktails and tacos ranging from traditional (Baja-style fish) to offbeat (lobster with roasted jalapeño salsa).

Ballydoyle Irish Pub & Restaurant
5157 Main Street, 630.969.0600

Expect craft beers on draft, a food menu that goes way above pub grub and live music nearly every night of the week.


Caribbean Corner
970 Warren Avenue, 630.541.8641

Fill up on toasty jibaritos (sandwiches with fried green plantains for bread), empanadas and traditional Latin entrees such as lechon (slow-roasted pork) and ropa vieja (braised flank steak) at this colorful cafe.

Cellar Door
5150 Main Street, 630.241.2030

This bistro and wine shop has a tasty bottle selection, a menu of vino-friendly bites and perhaps the tiniest, yet most popular, patio in downtown Downers Grove.

Every Day’s a Sundae
990 Warren Avenue, 630.810.9155

This old-fashioned scoop shop doles out ice cream cones, sundaes, milkshakes and more.

Ingram’s Busy Bee Bakery
5126 Main Street, 630.968.8830

Grab a number and choose whatever treats your appetite desires, from iced doughnuts to fruit-topped coffee cakes to sprinkle-laden cookies. (P.S. The cinnamon bread loaves make great french toast.)

Mia’s Cantina
1012 Curtiss Street, 630.541.8176

This cozy cantina has earned a following thanks to its friendly bartenders, solid margaritas and satisfying Mexican eats.

Mojo’s East Coast Eats
2758 Maple Avenue, 630.796.2832

This East Coast-style sandwich shop’s hoagies and cheesesteaks are worth the short drive out of downtown.

RBK American Grill
994 Warren Avenue, 331.251.6780

This contemporary American restaurant is just as appealing for a burger and a beer at the bar as it is for a date-night, three-course meal. Expect thoughtfully sourced ingredients, seasonal seafood specials and a decent drink list.

Wells Street Popcorn
5125 Main Street, 888.576.7267

What this alley-sized store lacks in size, it makes up for in flavor, with popcorn varieties such as caramel and jalapeño-cheddar.



221 Creations
1008 Curtiss Street, 331.777.4979

This elegant stationery and gift boutique is a must-visit for brides-to-be or anyone with a wedding or engagement party on their calendar, especially for fans of Kate Spade desk products.

Charlie & Grace
937 Curtiss Street, 331.777.5818

This cute-as-can-be children’s resale shop sells high-end clothing brands such as Boden, Tea and Janie & Jack, as well as outerwear, shoes, accessories and books.

Evelyn Jane
1008 Curtiss Street, #1, 331.777.5263

Browse handmade jewelry, patterned scarves and bright handbags, all artfully displayed on branches, ladders and rustic wooden tables.


Fair Game
5147 Main Street, 630.963.0640

With regular game nights and an impressive stock of board games, this shop is an antidote for digital overload.

Happy Dog Barkery
5118 Main Street, 630.512.0822

Indulge your four-legged best friend with homemade treats and stews (flavors rotate weekly), plus the latest in leashes, collars and other canine accessories.


Jolie Boutique
5133 Main Street, 630.796.2462

There’s a little bit of everything in this stylish shop, from sleek handbags to bath goodies to baby booties.



5221 Main Street, 630.852.5648

This two-floor yarn shop also houses a mini-cafe serving sweets, tea and Intelligentsia coffee.

My Special Toy Store
5137 Main Street, 630.324.6344

In an era of Amazon and big-box stores, this quaint indie toy shop is a gem indeed.

RTT Cycle Shop
5116 Main Street B (alley entrance), 630.541.3007

This bicycle store and repair shop caters to professional cyclers and recreational riders alike.


Style Studio
1015 Curtiss Street, 630.852.1304

Stop in for a gift and step out with a gift for yourself, too: think cozy sweaters, quirky home goods, luxury candles and Vera Bradley bags.

The Tivoli Theatre (5021 Highland Avenue, 630.968.0219) was built in 1928 and was one of the first movie theaters of its kind in the country. Adult admission then was a mere forty cents. Today, the restored single-screen theater shows movies and also features a bowling alley and hotel in the same building.