Downtown Arlington Heights

Destination: Downtown Arlington Heights

Experience the unique character of our region, as we explore places off the beaten trail. Includes an interactive map for finding these locations on the go.

Downtown Arlington Heights
Downtown Arlington Heights

This mini-metropolis of 75,100 people is buzzing with activity. Located in Cook County along several major thoroughfares – Interstate 90, IL Route 53, U.S. 12 and U.S. 14 – it’s easy to pass through without stopping. But venture downtown, and you’ll notice a vibrant neighborhood filled with places to play and modern high-rise residences. Even better, Metra drops you off right in the heart of the action.

➲ Metropolis Performing Arts Center
More than 300 performances and 40 productions happen each year, from live theater to musical artists. An in-house school trains some 2,500 students – adults and children – in music, drama and dance. 111 W. Campbell St., (847) 577-2121.

➲ Star Cinema Grill
Take “Dinner & a Movie” to a whole new level at this Texas-imported restaurant and movie theater, the first of its kind in Chicago. Arrive early to select your meal and alcoholic beverage, and enjoy dinner during a first-run movie. 53 S. Evergreen Ave., (847) 259-7827.

➲ Mitsuwa Marketplace
One of Chicagoland’s largest Japanese grocers, this stop is filled with thousands of Japanese food items, cosmetics, appliances and more. Its restaurant serves authentic dishes and offers cooking classes for kids. 100 E. Algonquin Road, (847) 956-6699.

➲ Arlington International Racecourse
From May through September, this thoroughbred horse-racing track posts races every Thursday through Sunday. This turf track hosted racing’s first $1 million purse as well as the 2002 Breeders’ Cup. Dress attire is enforced in certain areas. 2200 W. Euclid Ave., (847) 385-7500.

➲ Nickol Knoll Golf Club
Built upon a former landfill, this public course is recognized as one of the area’s top par-3 layouts. The course hosts night golf during late summer, with glow-in-the-dark equipment, and is also the site where Walter Payton once practiced uphill runs. 3800 N. Kennicott Ave., (847) 590-6050.

➲ Southeast Asian Dining
Enjoy the culinary talents of the area’s Asian community, which makes up about 7 percent of the village’s overall population.
• altThai. Mostly Thai flavors. 40 S. Arlington Heights Road, (847) 797-8442.
• Bistro Chen. Chinese and Dim Sum. 10 E. Miner St., (847) 255-9080.
• Nari Sushi. Sushi, Japanese, Korean. 236 E. Golf Road, (847) 228-7780.
• TTOWA. Korean. 161 W. Wing St., (847) 749-4493

➲ La Tasca Tapas
Its specialty is tapas – that is, small-plate dishes in classic Spanish styles. Also ask about the generous paellas, the homemade sangria and the live Latin-style dance bands that perform regularly in the evening. 25 W. Davis St., (847) 398-2400.

➲ Brackett & Company
Started by local native Lincoln Brackett and Tim Heck, this eclectic shop is filled with home accents, from furniture and decor to candles and artwork. 13 W. Campbell St., (847) 873-1250.

➲ The Knobbery
As its name suggests, this family-owned store is filled with decorative hardware for every purpose: kitchen cabinets, door handles, bathroom fixtures and light switch plates, to name a few. 930 W. Northwest Hwy., (847) 342-0803.

➲ Frontier Days Festival
Part of the city’s annual Independence Day celebration, this five-day event includes a giant parade, nationally known musical acts and family events galore. Its “Disability Days” activities provide entertainment specifically for those with special needs. Recreation Park, 500 E. Miner St.