Downtown Naperville Restaurants

You can indulge just about any craving in Naperville. It has become a place where restaurateurs flock, knowing they will find a willing and enthusiastic following, no matter what their specialty.

MidiCi: The Neapolitan Pizza Company

Authentic wood-fired Neapolitan pizza arrived in Naperville this summer when MidiCi Pizza opened at 135 Water St. #101 in the new Water Street District in downtown Naperville and it has been enjoying rave reviews.

“Coming to MidiCi is the closest you can get to eating in Italy without going there,” said Valerie Insignares, the owner and a longtime veteran of restaurant administration around the country. “Our food is imported straight from Italy and our ingredients are prepared fresh every day using specialized ingredients like Caputo 00 flour which has a consistency like baby powder. The resulting crust is thin and ‘pillowy,’ which makes it softer to bite into.”

The wood-fired oven is a key element in the baking of Neapolitan Pizza. The moisture and aroma of the wood allows the crust to maintain its internal softness, as well as ensuring large bubbles inside the dough, and the typical aroma of cooked bread. The clay ovens in which the pizza is cooked (between 850 and 950 degrees Fahrenheit) can bake the pizza in just 90 seconds.

MidiCi also offers gluten-free crust and special vegetarian and vegan offerings and is non-GMO, so it is a great place for everyone – even those with dietary restrictions. And don’t miss out on their signature dessert – a Nutella calzone that can be made with regular or gluten-free dough.

The restaurant offers seating for 168 people, including 49 on a patio near the DuPage River which is dotted with coffee plants and overlooks a fountain. Patrons order at the counter and when it is complete, their meal is delivered to their table, Insignares said. There is also a full-service bar.

The centerpiece of MidiCi, however, is a 14-foot-tall non-fruiting olive tree. “It symbolizes Mother Nature. It brings the outdoors in,” Insignares told the Daily Herald before MidiCi opened. And because the tree is surrounded by a circular table and bench seating, people can sit around the tree while they’re eating.

The indoor tree is meant to help the restaurant meld fast-casual service with fine-dining taste and create an experience like dining in Naples, Insignares said.

Le Pain Quotidien

Le Pain Quotidien (which translates to “The Daily Bread”) is a bakery/restaurant that opened at 204 S. Washington Avenue last spring. The Belgian-owned restaurant has five locations in Chicago and chose to open its first suburban Chicago location in Naperville, said Amina Fanning, district manager.

“We had been toying with the idea of opening in the suburbs for awhile and when a corner location became available in Naperville, we decided to open there because we felt it would very nicely represent our very distinct, artisan brand,” she said. “This is a great neighborhood for us and Le Pain Quotidien is a very unique brand here.”

Breads are their pride and joy. In fact, the staff makes its own starter dough, as well as a wide variety of pastries, daily and they serve full meals, as well – for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And during good weather, patrons have the option of enjoying their meal outdoors, just like they would in Europe.

Meals offered range from quiche to salads to Belgian “tartines,” which are open-faced sandwiches made with bread using the recipe of Le Pain Quotidien’s founder’s grandmother. A wonderful vegan cake is also offered and very popular, as are mimosas.

“Ours is a very creative, but simple, menu,” Fanning said. “No matter what, we never compromise on quality. When procuring ingredients, we always buy the best and don’t look at the price. Everything has to be clean, simple, healthy and delicious when we serve it.”

“We are thrilled that we chose to expand to Naperville. People here enjoy full-service dining. We love to see people come in during the week and sit down to enjoy their meal. That seldom happens in Chicago where everyone just pops in and out, on the run.”

Santo Cielo

Santo Cielo, 123 Water St., #509, tops off the Hotel Indigo with a globally-inspired menu, fine dining atmosphere and a wonderful view of the river and downtown Naperville. A part of the Bien Trucha Group, it opened last spring and has been wowing local diners ever since with its fabulous food, a wonderful Sunday brunch buffet and its upscale personal service.

The Santo Cielo menu is geared to change with the seasons and is rooted in what is available from local farms, said Emiliano Gottig, general manager. In addition, the way in which items are served at Santo Cielo is unique. Instead of moving from appetizer to entrée as you see in a typical restaurant, items are shared in a tasting setting. One or two dishes are generally shared at the same time.

“We pride ourselves on presenting dishes from all over the world, with no one set cuisine,” Gottig said. “We like to offer dishes for all palettes, from steak and potatoes, to sea bass, to pasta like gnocchi and short ribs and more. And while we do not currently offer daily specials, we may do so in the future.”

As for desserts, they are known for their French chocolate cake, served with coffee ice cream, and their Mayer lemon tart.

The alcohol selections in Santo Cielo’s “Sky Lounge” and throughout the restaurant are also extensive, ranging from craft beers to organic and sustainable wines, to cocktails of all descriptions. The extensive window walls in the Sky Lounge overlook the river and downtown Naperville and open in good weather to catch the breeze.

List of Downtown Naperville Restaurants

Catch — 35 Seafood Restaurant
35 S. Washington St.
Naperville, IL 60540
630) 717-3500

Giordano’s Restaurant and Pizzeria
119 S. Main St.
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 428-2111

La Sorella di Francesca
18 W. Jefferson Ave.
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 961-2706

Nando’s Peri-Peri
6 W. Jefferson Ave.
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 388-0193

Potbelly Sandwich Works
236 S. Washington St.
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 579-1234

Potter’s Place/Two-Nine
29 W. Jefferson Ave.
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 355-9165

Quigley’s Irish Pub, Inc.
43 E. Jefferson Ave.
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 428-4774

Rosebud Italian Specialties & Pizzeria
Mr. Jeff Cybulski
22 E. Chicago Ave.
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 548-9800

Santo Cielo
123 Water St., Ste. 509
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 323-0700

SixtyFour – A Wine Bar
123 Water St.
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 780-6464