Diners in River Forest

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The Junction Diner was born from a child's imagination. Kate and Brad Wahl's son Connor had just turned 1 and received a wooden train set. He played for well over an hour, delighting his parents, who had been searching for something that could keep their son's attention. The next step seemed as natural as a locomotive's forward momentum: they opened a train-themed restaurant to cater to parents and their kids.

Inside The Junction Diner, a long counter wraps around the room's center like a winding train track. Diners sit on either side, and servers move up and down the middle, carrying plates of food with playful, train-inspired names. Customers at the counter itself can even get their meals delivered by an actual train. The aptly titled "Lil Conductor's Menu" delights kids with mini burgers and cheese quesadillas, while older diners peruse "Box Car Burgers" made with certified Black Angus beef and "Junction Wraps" including the buffalo chicken, topped in buffalo sauce, veggies, and a choice of ranch dressing or blue cheese. Near the dining area, a large table with interactive model trains keeps kids busy while their parents finish meals.

7401 Madison St.
Forest Park,
IL
US

Lucia’s Pizzaria's menu includes Italian sandwiches and a roster of inventive pizzas, such as the tipsy margherita, which pairs plum tomato vodka sauce with fresh mozzarella and basil. Named a runner up in the 2012 Elmhurst 205 Foundation's "Top Pizza" competition, Lucia's Pizzaria is an active member of the Elmhurst community.

691 N York St
Elmhurst,
IL
US

We will take you back to the 1950's, come experience delicious food and a fun atmosphere for the entire family. Have the memorabilia take you back to a different time where good food was a way of life.

920 Busse Hwy
Park Ridge,
IL
US

At Doggie Diner, chefs try to bring together some of Chicago's most recognizable dishes, which already tend to be warm and hearty, with comfort-food favorites. Vienna Beef hot dogs, of course, fill buns destined for a coating of the requisite mustard, relish, pickles, and a tomato. The team loads another Chicago staple, italian beef sandwiches, with peppers and cheese and crown burgers with everything from bacon to pizza toppings. Meals might conclude with scoops of ice cream, which can be blended into shakes, served in a float, or used to test the willpower chip of a robot.

13 W 1st St
Hinsdale,
IL
US

Enjoy an old-fashioned meal at Palace Grill's diner. Those watching what they eat can still enjoy Palace Grill's menu, which features a number of healthy and low-fat items. Complete your meal with the perfect glass of wine or beer from Palace Grill's drink list. Youngsters are more than welcome to join mom and dad at Palace Grill. Sit outside at Palace Grill and soak up the sun on those nice summer days. Bring your favorite furball along to Palace Grill — it has a dog-friendly policy and keeps its doors open to pooches.

Palace Grill doesn't take reservations, so on busy nights you may have to wait a bit. Whether you're coming from work or a ballgame, the dress code at laid-back Palace Grill is come-as-you-are. Call Palace Grill for catering if you have a big event coming up. Or, take your grub to-go.

Sidle into a space on the street or park your vehicle in the adjacent lot. If you feel like saving gas, opt for public transportation, with stops conveniently located at Ashland-Lake (Green, Pink) and Racine (Blue).

You'll find your bill at Palace Grill to be more than reasonable, with most meals costing less than $15. Palace Grill is cash-only, so plan a trip to the ATM before heading over. Early risers and night owls alike can enjoy Palace Grill since it offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

1408 W Madison St
Chicago,
IL
US

A casual diner in Chicago's DePaul area, Pauline's encourages patrons to sit back and enjoy their experience. Plan to indulge a bit at Pauline's, though, because they don't offer any low-fat fare. The perfect place to take the kids, dining out at Pauline's won't cost you a sitter. Don't go off the grid! With the free wifi at Pauline's, you can surf the web and get some work done.

Make a reservation to ensure your table is ready when you are. Put the suit away when heading to Pauline's — dress is casual, as are the vibes. If time is of the essence, Pauline's' take-out option may be a better fit.

Need a break from the road? Public transportation is also convenient, with a popular stop at Fullerton (Brown, Purple, Red). Guests take to street parking at Pauline's' W Fullerton spot.

You can eat for next to nothing at Pauline's, where a typical meal will cost you less than $15. It's strictly cash-only at Pauline's, so make a trip to the ATM first. Brunch is the house specialty at Pauline's, though you can also stop by for lunch and dinner.

1337 W Fullerton
Chicago,
IL
US