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A Guide to Wheaton: Where to Eat, Shop, and Play

INSIDER’S GUIDE: The historic western suburb’s charming fall and winter festivities are just a 45-minute Metra ride from Chicago.

Notable places and shops in Wheaton
Clockwise from top left: A bear from The Stork’s Cradle; jewelry from The Genuine Article; a dish from Suzette’s Creperie; and exhibit at Science Center at Wheaton College; the counter at Serene Teaz; inside Ivy Restaurant
 

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Cast aside stereotypes: Wheaton still has a church on every corner, but lately the town has shown a vibrant, fresher face, with new restaurants, boutiques, and even bobcats at the local zoo.

ADELLE’S FINE AMERICAN FARE
[1] Enjoy colorful artisanal fare (pear and date bruschetta, meatloaf with bordelaise sauce) under wine-bottle chandeliers in the bar, or in the elegant dining room. 535 W. Liberty Dr., 630-784-8015, adelles.com

CARLSON
[2] Art curiosities meet serious working materials in this bargain hunters’ paradise, which offers sketchbooks, paints, and fantastic coloring books. 111 E. Front St., 630-668-4000, carlsons-stores.com

COSLEY ZOO
[3] Home to more than 200 animals (including coyotes, red foxes, peacocks, and even Madagascar hissing cockroaches), this little zoo feels big—especially now that the new bobcat exhibit is open. 1356 N. Gary Ave., 630-665-5534, cosleyzoo.org

Small Wheaton map
Click to view the full map.

THE GENUINE ARTICLE
[4] Glass art is the real deal in this gallery and atelier. You’ll also find limited-edition sculptures, kaleidoscopes, fringe cuffs, and other jewelry. 201 W. Front St., 630-690-2323, genuinearticlewheaton.com

IVY RESTAURANT
[5] Housed in a Tudor-style chapel, this is the place for a tender bone-in rib eye or Gorgonzola-crusted strip steak. 120 N. Hale St., 630-665-2489, ivyofwheaton.com

JEANS & A CUTE TOP
[6] Find Miss Me, Silver, and Mavi denim for under $100, colorful scarves, and costume jewelry at this accessible, friendly boutique. 204 W. Wesley St., 630-690-5287, jeansandacutetopshop.com

LITTLE POPCORN STORE
[7] Most treats are under a buck: 2 cents for cherry balls, 25 cents for Grapeheads, and 75 cents for fresh popcorn. 111 ¼ W. Front St., 630-690-7712

SCIENCE CENTER AT WHEATON COLLEGE
[8] The ice age mastodon discovered in neighboring Glen Ellyn in 1963 makes for an extraordinary (and free!) showpiece. 430 Howard St., 630-752-5627, wheaton.edu

SERENE TEAZ
[9] Deliberately Wi-Fi free, this airy teahouse calms with ­corner-window views, a cozy bar, and an abundance of fragrant loose teas. Connoisseurs flock for the rare rebrewable Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearls. 221 W. Front St., 630-784-8327, sereneteaz.com

THE STORK’S CRADLE
[10] The mother and daughter who run this baby store say they like to think “outside the registry.” Gifts range from heirloom keepsakes to the duo’s famous Chenille Sisters dolls, handmade with 100 percent chenille and bullion fringe. 210 W. Wesley St., 630-752-1584, thestorkscradle.com

SUZETTE’S CREPERIE
[11] This recently expanded French bistro is the place for boeuf bourguignon crêpes, seasonal specials like a Moroccan-inspired couscous au poisson, a three-course Christmas tea, and an all-French wine list. 211 W. Front St., 630-462-0898, suzettescreperie.com
 

FOUR DON’T-MISS FALL EVENTS

Warm up (and fill up) at the fourth annual Chili Cook-Off, held November 3 around town (downtownwheaton.com). . . . The popular French Market, at South Main Street and East Liberty Drive, ends November 3, so stock up on locally grown produce, jewelry, crafts, and more. . . . Explore the outdoors during the Hot Cider Hustle, an eight-mile run and walk on November 4 (allcommunityevents.com). . . . The Cosley Zoo lights up again in this year’s Festival of Lights, held November 23 to December 30 (cosleyzoo.org).

ON THE HORIZON

The Dickens of a Christmas Celebration, which kicks off November 23 with a tree lighting and parade, runs through Christmas Eve and includes late-night shopping and ice sculpting (downtownwheaton.com). . . . Visit Santa on the Polar Express train ride on December 2 and 9 (santainchicago.com).

 

Photography: Travis Roozée

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