Barrington, Illinois, is a vibrant and historic village just northwest of Chicago. This 150-year-old city has a rich history, a renowned school district, a charming downtown scene, and a famous train station. Today, despite maintaining its vintage charm, you’ll find Barrington home to many galleries, restaurants, and shops.
As a thriving suburban town with a renowned reputation, most people come for amazing restaurants and upscale shopping opportunities. Whether you want a quiet place to relax or an energetic, trendy atmosphere, Barrington is guaranteed to have it. The historic charm, modern amenities, and vibrant business district are packed with galleries, museums, and much more.
If you’re interested in the best restaurants in Barrington, IL, look no further. Below you’ll find a list of some of the finest establishments in the area, from outdoor dining spots to unique locations in historic homes.
Region Kitchen and Bar
Region Kitchen and Bar is a true neighborhood gem in a highly desired location just outside of Chicago. Chef and owner Dave Perlick designed this flagship restaurant to utilize the region's diverse bounty of culinary flavors. The menu is crafted around a passion for fine food and flavors that are regionally and seasonally inspired.
Take your tastebuds and senses on a journey as you indulge in unique flavors and specialty menu items. Start with the bang bang cauliflower or tempura artichoke hearts before moving on to Oaxacan-style lamb shank or coq au vin. If you’re looking for the perfect spot for date night or a special occasion, Region is it.
Chessie’s Restaurant sits in the original Barrington train station and features a vintage Illinois Central Railroad dining car. They’ve provided excellent service and a friendly atmosphere since 1978 and are considered a staple in the area. Their exceptional menu offers over 60 items, including appetizers, burgers, steaks, sandwiches, seafood, pasta, and dessert. Chessie's is the place to go when you’re in the mood for a laid-back atmosphere and quality service.
Farmhouse on North
Farmhouse on North is Barrington’s newest restaurant and is already getting rave reviews. This lovely restaurant is in a historic North Avenue property built in 1883 and is as charming as its history. Their fresh, homemade food prepared with locally-sourced ingredients will surely please even the pickiest of palates. The menu constantly changes with the seasons, so be sure to ask about new, seasonal menu items. The ambiance and vibe reflect the farm-to-table menu with a rustic yet sophisticated atmosphere. On the second floor of this establishment is the Hayloft, a unique establishment where you can enjoy a local brew, glass of wine, or seasonal specialty cocktail.
Scratch Pastificio is a modern restaurant specializing in handmade pasta in downtown Barrington. The menu, centered around fresh pasta and unique ingredients, helps separate this spot from your traditional Italian restaurant. The unique take on classic favorites and the trendy, upscale environment combine to make a comfortable and vibrant place. Try the burrata with pistachio pesto, crispy pork belly with sweet pea risotto, or cacio e pepe for a special treat.
Ciao Baby! is a small, family-friendly restaurant in downtown Barrington. This charming restaurant serves authentic Italian dishes passed down through the generations. Their efforts to make guests feel like part of the family are established through their excellent service and dining accommodations. Whether you’re stopping in for dinner or hosting a business lunch or party here, you will surely be satisfied.
The rolled stuffed eggplant and stuffed artichoke perfectly accompany their fresh pieces of bread. Try the homemade meatball sandwich or Italian beef for something uniquely Chicago or a classic like chicken parmesan.
Shakou Barrington is known for its fusion of elegant and stylish decor, delectable cuisine, and excellent service. The award-winning Chef Sang Choi created a diverse menu using only the freshest ingredients, resulting in dishes that are unparalleled in flavor and visually striking. Whether you’re celebrating with family and friends or want an intimate dinner for two, this restaurant remains committed to creating the perfect venue for every occasion.
In addition to the main dining areas, lounge, and sushi bar, you’ll find a gorgeous terrace on the second floor. The terrace has a pergola, tea lights, and outdoor heating. With an outstanding menu, stunning designs, and exceptional service, it’s a dining experience you are sure to remember.
ZaZa’s Tavola Italiana
If you’re looking for an excellent Italian restaurant, ZaZa’s is one of the most loved in Barrington. This fine dining restaurant offers rich and flavorful pasta made with Old World standards. Indulge your tastebuds in their penne abbruzzese or paccheri tartufi for a taste of tradition. If you’re looking for something different, the filet porcini, pesce bianco spinaci, insalate, antipasti, or brick-oven pizzas over excellent choices.
Last but certainly not least on the list of amazing Barrington restaurants is the lovely Francesca’s Famiglia. Tucked in downtown Barrington’s quaint shopping district, this lovely trattoria is as charming as the ambiance. Guests enjoy a delicious earthy menu with cuisine from Rome, Tuscany, Umbria, and Lazio. Simple yet rustic cooking combines with zesty flavors and quality ingredients to make the menu stand out. Combine their menu with friendly service and a lovely atmosphere, and you have an excellent spot for any occasion.Try the bruschette alla romana, proscuitto con burrata, linguine alla caruso, or pollo francesce for a real treat.
Ready to get started?
*Header photo courtesy of Unsplash