Whenever you visit a new place, it's always good to try to live like a local. This way, you can hopefully get the most authentic experience that you possibly can, visiting terrific spots that may be a bit off the beaten path or outside of the downtown area. St. Charles, IL is bursting with extraordinary businesses, and being your favorite guides to all things St. Charles, we are here to help! Take a look below at some of the very best hidden gems you can find around town.
For any beer enthusiast, it's always a thrill to visit a new brewery, especially if it's one you haven't been to before. 93 Octane Brewery (one of the six craft breweries in town), is the perfect place to spend an afternoon, trying out some of their thirst-quenching brews. Inside, you can catch some of the latest sports action on their televisions, and on the weekends, you can frequently hear the sounds of live music. If you start to build up an appetite, you can order food next door at Urban Counter where they serve up juicy burgers, hot dogs, cheese curds, and more that you can enjoy on their indoor/outdoor patio.
When it comes to shopping, buying handmade products crafted by skilled artisans just can't be matched. Campbell Creations, a Made in St. Charles Recipient, exemplifies just that. Located right across from the Fox River, you can shop for not only a handcrafted charcuterie board, but also a genuine work of art. Campbell Creations uses native Illinois trees and merges them with organic epoxy, incorporating elements such as butterflies or flowers. Each charcuterie board is distinct, ensuring that the one that you purchase is truly a one-of-a-kind piece that you and your guests will admire every time you use it.
Since 2019, Hoarders Trading Post has been a haven for music enthusiasts all throughout the Fox Valley Area. This store has everything you could need to enjoy all of your favorite tunes. Whether there's a specific album you're looking for on CD, record, or cassette, their extensive, large scale collection has got you covered! They even sell vintage music players, including turntables if you need one to play that track that you just can't get out of your head. Not to mention that they offer plenty of music memorabilia and vintage posters that work for great additions to any music lover's collection.
Photos Courtesy of iPanic Escape Room
If you're in search of a fun challenge that you can do with your friends and family, then make your way over to iPanic Escape Room. This escape room will put your teambuilding skills to the test - requiring you to solve puzzles and locate rooms in order to win. With different difficulty levels and room sizes, you can choose the room that is right for your group. Each room has a unique theme, such as "Dragon Slayer" or "Alien Encounter," and is decorated with fun props. This is an exciting way to spend an evening out, and everyone participating is guaranteed to have a great time.
Photos Courtesy of Brigette Burgman of Nomadic Soul Photography
Being that St. Charles, IL is a suburb of Chicago, it would only make sense that this town is home to some fantastic spots where you can devour the crowd favorite dish: pizza. Located west of downtown is where you'll find one of the finest pizzerias around in Pomodoro E. Mozzarella. Rated one of the top 100 pizza places in the United States according to Yelp, Pomodoro E. Mozzarella is famous for their Margarita Pizza and their array of homestyle Italian favorites. Pair this alongside their fresh-baked bread and a glass of wine for a mouthwatering meal that is hard to beat.
Photos Courtesy of Sushi Diva
Who doesn't love sushi? If you're craving some authentic Japanese fare, you have to get your next meal at Sushi Diva. Their menu boasts a wide range of signature rolls, giving you a tough decision on which ones to choose. Some favorites include the Dragon Rainbow Roll and the St. Charles Princess Roll (which you can watch them make here). On top of the sushi, you can get also get Bento Boxes, and other Japanese fair including ramen, teriyaki, and more. So, grab some friends and spend a dinner out savoring a sharing all the delicious flavors!
Photos Courtesy of The Basement Gym
Finding the right gym can sometimes be a challenge. You have to make sure that you're in an environment that makes you feel welcomed, while at the same time having a gym that has all the necessary amenities to help you reach your goals. The Basement Gym checks off both of these boxes, having 8,000 square feet of space that isn't just used for workout equipment, but also an in-house salon, a chiropractic office, supplemental choices, and even specialty bars for powerlifting! This is truly a one-stop-shop for everything fitness related, and with the guidance of their experienced trainers, you'll be able to make great strides along your health journey.
Photos Courtesy of Trend + Relic
A shopping-paradise that is not-to-be-missed east of downtown is Trend + Relic. Their huge space is filled with products made by very talented local artisans. You'll discover everything including furniture, home goods, art, and that's just the tip of the iceberg! The owner's knowledge and experience in retail has really shaped this shop to be a staple of the community, and has been recognized by earning numerous awards, most recently by 2023 Best of the West by West Suburban Magazine. If you consider yourself a shopping-enthusiast, you simply can't come to St. Charles without making a trip.
It's no secret that St. Charles is an incredible community with wonderful businesses and exceptional people. Do your part to give back and view our volunteer opportunities! There are many ways you can get involved with the St. Charles Business Alliance, like during one of our events or on one of our committees. Please click here to learn more.