A Girly Day Out in Glen Ellyn
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Charm and cheer
Even on a chilly, slushy March day, Honey in downtown Glen Ellyn feels a lot like spring. Maybe it's the corner bakery-restaurant's giant blooming flower artwork, or its pastel walls and live succulents in handmade ceramic pots. But more than anything, fresh-baked cupcakes, cookies and bars behind sparkling glass temper residual winter blahs. It's hard not to walk in here and feel happy.
Fittingly, Honey marks a fresh start for owner Elizabeth Janus, who switched careers to open the restaurant after a trip abroad. "I kept hearing locals talk about how the one thing their charming downtown needed was an all-natural place to dine with family and friends," she says. Bingo.
Settled in 1834, Glen Ellyn (population: 27,000) prides itself on its leafy downtown, which straddles the Metra train line. Original Tudor Revival-style storefronts complement rehabbed Victorian, Dutch Colonial, American Foursquare and cottage homes. Moms, daughters and girlfriends can easily spend the day exploring the stores and restaurants in this six-block downtown.
Just for starters, you could have breakfast at Honey; linger over handbags and jewelry at scrappy-cute AliKat; explore a vintage candy shop; and grab dinner before a movie at the historic Glen Art Theatre—or get there early and catch a matinee for just $5.
Residents watch the number of visitors swell every summer, when the Illinois Prairie Path, a 62-mile-long crushed-limestone former railbed, teems with bicyclists, dog walkers and joggers. A family-friendly cardboard regatta and picnic (June 30, 2012) draws crowds to nearby Lake Ellyn, also the site of a Fourth of July fireworks show. JazzFest Glen Ellyn (July 14, 2012) attracts thousands, too. But springtime is relatively quiet, giving girlfriends eager to catch up plenty of places to do it.
Click ahead for ideas on where to shop and eat in Glen Ellyn. Pictured: Friends gather at Honey, which serves from-scratch breakfast, lunch and dinner. (630) 469-0000; honeycafe.net