Sunshine's Guidebook to Downtown Aurora (Scenic 1 mile walk from listing)

Sunshine
Sunshine's Guidebook to Downtown Aurora (Scenic 1 mile walk from listing)

Shopping in Downtown Aurora

All of the shops can be found within about a 5 block radius. Park at the parking garage on Downer Pl. and Stolp Ave. for $5 for the day (or $1/hour) and walk to all of your new favorite shops!
Fun, chic place with sassy greeting cards, mugs, pillows and local artisans' beauty products. Lovely selection of clothing, accessories, one-of-a-kind jewelry, dresses, and other clothing.
Wyckwood House Aurora
14 West Downer Place
Fun, chic place with sassy greeting cards, mugs, pillows and local artisans' beauty products. Lovely selection of clothing, accessories, one-of-a-kind jewelry, dresses, and other clothing.
Awesome consignment shop.
Warehouse 55
55 South Lake Street
Awesome consignment shop.
The cotton seed creative exchange incorporated
8 North Broadway
Lots of local crafts!
This is a relaxing wellness center/business collective right across from the main parking garage. You can use wifi, order lunch, and even take a nap in the aerial hammocks. Their hours are kinda sporadic, but if you text them, they can let you in and give you a tour. It's typically $20/hr to rent a room. There's also chair massages when a therapist is there. They also have an awesome metaphysical shop called "I of the Angeles." Lots of local artists and crafters sell their stuff out of the shop. They also set up at the Aurora Farmers' Market on Saturdays in the summer.
Zen Loft Wellness Center
6 West Downer Place
This is a relaxing wellness center/business collective right across from the main parking garage. You can use wifi, order lunch, and even take a nap in the aerial hammocks. Their hours are kinda sporadic, but if you text them, they can let you in and give you a tour. It's typically $20/hr to rent a room. There's also chair massages when a therapist is there. They also have an awesome metaphysical shop called "I of the Angeles." Lots of local artists and crafters sell their stuff out of the shop. They also set up at the Aurora Farmers' Market on Saturdays in the summer.

Food scene

All the restaurants in downtown Aurora are amazing! As the second largest city in Illinois, we pride ourselves in the fact that we have only two chain eateries. Whatever your budget or preference, we have something unique that you will love.
This place is a town favorite and perfect if you enjoy and awesome beer selection, amazing burgers, and quirky but delicious appetizers. They have delicious plant-based options as well!
Gillerson's Grubbery
33 West New York Street
This place is a town favorite and perfect if you enjoy and awesome beer selection, amazing burgers, and quirky but delicious appetizers. They have delicious plant-based options as well!
This place has amazing tapas and delicious mixed drinks. Everything is great and they even serve breakfast on the weekends.
Altiro Latin Fusion
1 South Stolp Avenue
This place has amazing tapas and delicious mixed drinks. Everything is great and they even serve breakfast on the weekends.
If you wanna get some fancy beers and meads, this is your place! Their pizza and pretzels are great. The art from local artists is even better! They have live music or mixers on select nights.
McCarty Mills Taproom
140 South River Street
If you wanna get some fancy beers and meads, this is your place! Their pizza and pretzels are great. The art from local artists is even better! They have live music or mixers on select nights.
A short drive down Galena, this place has an extensive, fancy breakfast menu of just about anything your can think of. There's decadent waffle flights, fluffy pancakes, and creative crepes. Perfect for brunch or lunch.
SYRUP - Aurora
1961 West Galena Boulevard
A short drive down Galena, this place has an extensive, fancy breakfast menu of just about anything your can think of. There's decadent waffle flights, fluffy pancakes, and creative crepes. Perfect for brunch or lunch.
This place has awesome food, fantastic beer, and great bands. The bands play outside in the pavilion in the summers where the "turn style" used to be to turn the train engines around. It's a popular place for weddings and can accommodate huge parties.
Two Brothers Roundhouse
This place has awesome food, fantastic beer, and great bands. The bands play outside in the pavilion in the summers where the "turn style" used to be to turn the train engines around. It's a popular place for weddings and can accommodate huge parties.
This place has great food, mixed drinks, and live music on Saturdays.
Ballydoyle
28 W New York St
This place has great food, mixed drinks, and live music on Saturdays.
They have hands-down the best ice cream you will ever eat! This place is family-owned and all of the staff are the nicest people. Their flavors might change from week to week, but everything is great. My personal favorite is Fig Goat (they occasionally have the Cherry Goat Cheese), or the Chocolate Thunder. There are also delicious, creative dairy-free options that are so creamy, you would never be able to tell it wasn't made with real cream.
Charlie's Silver Spoon Creamery
6 East Downer Place
They have hands-down the best ice cream you will ever eat! This place is family-owned and all of the staff are the nicest people. Their flavors might change from week to week, but everything is great. My personal favorite is Fig Goat (they occasionally have the Cherry Goat Cheese), or the Chocolate Thunder. There are also delicious, creative dairy-free options that are so creamy, you would never be able to tell it wasn't made with real cream.
This place has the best bagels, homemade cream cheese blends, and soups, plus delicious deli sandwiches. It's right along the river, so you can sit at their outdoor wooden booths that overlook the bike path and the river.
Jake's Bagels & Deli
220 North Broadway
This place has the best bagels, homemade cream cheese blends, and soups, plus delicious deli sandwiches. It's right along the river, so you can sit at their outdoor wooden booths that overlook the bike path and the river.
This place has great food and drinks selection. There are occasionally singer/songwriters.
Tavern On Broadway
24 North Broadway
This place has great food and drinks selection. There are occasionally singer/songwriters.
This family-owed pizzeria is carry-out and delivery only, but their food is so delicious. Whether you want a garlic bread sandwich, cheesey bread, pasta, or pizza, their sauce is amazing. They have a cauliflower crust that is even better than the regular. Their Thai quinoa and mixed greens bowl or the vegan pizza are my personal plant-based favorites. Their tiramisu and cannolis are the best! To find a nice place to sit and eat, walk two blocks south along Rt. 31/Lake St. and head east (left) on Benton. two blocks down there are some lovely benches on the bridge by the river and our famous "Swimming Stones" across the street from SciTech.
Decari ToGo
33 North Lake Street
This family-owed pizzeria is carry-out and delivery only, but their food is so delicious. Whether you want a garlic bread sandwich, cheesey bread, pasta, or pizza, their sauce is amazing. They have a cauliflower crust that is even better than the regular. Their Thai quinoa and mixed greens bowl or the vegan pizza are my personal plant-based favorites. Their tiramisu and cannolis are the best! To find a nice place to sit and eat, walk two blocks south along Rt. 31/Lake St. and head east (left) on Benton. two blocks down there are some lovely benches on the bridge by the river and our famous "Swimming Stones" across the street from SciTech.
We locals affectionately call this place "Tio's Tacos." They have the best tacos, sopas, and homemade chips and salsa. The food comes up fast and there is plenty of seating around the booths and tables.
Taqueria El Tio & Restaurant
81 South River Street
We locals affectionately call this place "Tio's Tacos." They have the best tacos, sopas, and homemade chips and salsa. The food comes up fast and there is plenty of seating around the booths and tables.
This place has the best mix of Asian fusion foods from all over. Their spicy crispy pork or Korean chicken is awesome. The veggie egg rolls are a must. Their fried rice or Pad Thai is amazing. They're open for lunch, then closed, and then open again for dinner so that could be a little confusing, but well worth it!
Mang-Kuk
210 East Galena Boulevard
This place has the best mix of Asian fusion foods from all over. Their spicy crispy pork or Korean chicken is awesome. The veggie egg rolls are a must. Their fried rice or Pad Thai is amazing. They're open for lunch, then closed, and then open again for dinner so that could be a little confusing, but well worth it!
This place is a fancier Mexican restaurant with outstanding food. It's two whole levels and their outdoor seating area is just lovely and surrounded by murals. We like getting a table by the windows so that we can watch the river. There is a lovely woman who makes guacamole at your table (please tip her well!), and the homemade salsa is complimentary. Their pina coladas and margaritas are huge and the best around. All of the food is amazing, the mole is divine, and the portions are large. There are bands and DJs upstairs on the weekends, and it's a great place to host private parties.
La Quinta de los Reyes Aurora
36 East New York Street
This place is a fancier Mexican restaurant with outstanding food. It's two whole levels and their outdoor seating area is just lovely and surrounded by murals. We like getting a table by the windows so that we can watch the river. There is a lovely woman who makes guacamole at your table (please tip her well!), and the homemade salsa is complimentary. Their pina coladas and margaritas are huge and the best around. All of the food is amazing, the mole is divine, and the portions are large. There are bands and DJs upstairs on the weekends, and it's a great place to host private parties.
This place has the best guacamole, sopas, and margaritas, and the staff is very nice!
Tecalitlan Restaurant
35 S Broadway
This place has the best guacamole, sopas, and margaritas, and the staff is very nice!
This family-owned, Puerto Rican restaurant is amazing. Their rice is the best around, and all of their dishes are savory and delicious. Save room for the homemade cakes and pastries for dessert!
Chupacabra Puerto Rican Kitchen
31 North Broadway
This family-owned, Puerto Rican restaurant is amazing. Their rice is the best around, and all of their dishes are savory and delicious. Save room for the homemade cakes and pastries for dessert!

Favorite Cafes

Aurora is known for its in-house or small-batch roasted coffees by local businesses. All of the cafes offer a wide variety of ambiance and creative spins on their coffee drinks and teas. Whether you need to catch your breath or catch up on some work, find your new favorite cafe below!
This is the perfect place for a great cup of coffee, a lovely muffin, and a view of the Fox River. They have open mic some evenings and local art displayed.
Tredwell Coffee
14 West Downer Place
This is the perfect place for a great cup of coffee, a lovely muffin, and a view of the Fox River. They have open mic some evenings and local art displayed.
This cafe has great coffee, avocado toasts, and decadent, fancy croissants. The place is beautifully decorated with lots of plants. It's right across our beautiful library and down the street from lots of art galleries. It's also a comfy, spacious place to set up and get some work down on the laptop.
Society 57
100 South River Street
This cafe has great coffee, avocado toasts, and decadent, fancy croissants. The place is beautifully decorated with lots of plants. It's right across our beautiful library and down the street from lots of art galleries. It's also a comfy, spacious place to set up and get some work down on the laptop.
Not in downtown Aurora, but worth a mention! This place has the best pie I've ever eaten. Their coffees are creative and decent. There are lots of handmade crafts by local people around the shop including pottery. Take Rt. 25 (also called Broadway) south and you'll get a beautiful, scenic view of the Fox River. The Oswego Farmers' Market is right in front of the shop on Saturdays in the summer.
Village Grind Coffee & Tea Co
19 Main Street
Not in downtown Aurora, but worth a mention! This place has the best pie I've ever eaten. Their coffees are creative and decent. There are lots of handmade crafts by local people around the shop including pottery. Take Rt. 25 (also called Broadway) south and you'll get a beautiful, scenic view of the Fox River. The Oswego Farmers' Market is right in front of the shop on Saturdays in the summer.
This place has an extensive menu and great coffee and smoothies. There are lots of handmade African crafts for sale as well.
Endiro Coffee
29 W New York St
This place has an extensive menu and great coffee and smoothies. There are lots of handmade African crafts for sale as well.

Arts & Music Scene

Downtown Aurora is known for their vibrant music, art, and theater scenes! The Paramount Theater boasts Broadway Shows, while The Venue and The Roundhouse offer award-winning live music. There's something new to check out every weekend! Visit AuroraDowntown.org/Calendar to see what's happening during your stay, or plan your next trip around an event. A favorite event to get a good sampling is First Fridays, held ever first Friday of the month (except for January and July). It's a city-wide downtown arts and music festival. All of the local businesses open their doors and host local musicians, artists, dancers, and performers. "Like" Aurora Downtown's Facebook page to see the current line-up.
This place always has awesome music, typically Thursday-Sunday. They play outside in a lovely, newly built mini stadium area when it's warm.
The Venue
21 South Broadway
This place always has awesome music, typically Thursday-Sunday. They play outside in a lovely, newly built mini stadium area when it's warm.
They have live music, karaoke, and swing dance classes every week!
Ballydoyle
28 W New York St
They have live music, karaoke, and swing dance classes every week!
Their music scene is the best in town! We always end up there on a Friday or Saturday night. Never a boring band, and the dance floor is always rockin'. The beer, spirits, coffee, and teas made under their brand are also fantastic.
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Their music scene is the best in town! We always end up there on a Friday or Saturday night. Never a boring band, and the dance floor is always rockin'. The beer, spirits, coffee, and teas made under their brand are also fantastic.
Always a treat to see a fantastic live performance at the Paramount! Their Broadway Shows, comedy acts, live music, and movie nights are the best! The theater is ornate and beautifully restored. They offer a special mixed drink that fits the theme of each show, and have delicious baked cookies, and other yummy treats at the concessions.
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Paramount Theatre
23 East Galena Boulevard
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Always a treat to see a fantastic live performance at the Paramount! Their Broadway Shows, comedy acts, live music, and movie nights are the best! The theater is ornate and beautifully restored. They offer a special mixed drink that fits the theme of each show, and have delicious baked cookies, and other yummy treats at the concessions.