Leigh’s Day in the Elgin Area

Leigh’s Day in the Elgin Area
January 5, 2023 Elgin Area CVB

For the month of January and to start the new year- our Elgin Area blogs will be filled with Explore Elgin Area team members’ favorite experiences combined into a day trip so you can see what it’s like to be working in the #ElginArea.


Every morning, I love to start out my day with a run on the Fox River Trail. Sometimes I run all the way to Panton Mill Park in South Elgin, or all the way to downtown West Dundee, (where there are tons of shopping options) depending on the direction I take. 

After my run, I usually have a pretty big appetite. Sometimes I’ll head to Benedict’s Eggs and More. This restaurant is inside a converted home, and has cozy, vintage vibes and fresh beignets in the morning!

Post breakfast, it’s coffee time. There are so many options for coffee in the Elgin Area. To help me wake up, I might swing by Eastside Cafe for a coffee (Or a coffee flight if I’m with a friend)- It’s a local chill spot that features a selection of unique gifts to browse while you sip. For wine lovers, they also have a great assortment of them.

Once the coffee has lifted the morning brain fog, I like to head out and shop. Antiquing is a personal favorite activity, and one of my favorite places to shop at is the State Street Market Shops as well as Whatnots and Whimsies, both in Elgin. These stores carry a well-curated selection of vintage goods and I can get lost in them for hours!


When the afternoon rolls around, I usually like to grab a quick bite and then keep my day going, so I might swing by the Chick N’ Dip drive-through in Pingree Grove for quick but excellent hand-breaded chicken.

One iconic and consistently delicious bite I love is the Elgin Club from Blue Box Cafe. It features bacon and pepper jack cheese and is loaded with different high-quality lunchmeats. It’s perfect for my on-the-go needs. 

A favorite afternoon activity is to check out a class or exhibit at Gail Borden Public Library, (they have so many different classes for different interests, and rotating exhibits featuring the local and iconic history and trivia). I might also grab a coffee or pork bun from the Roll N Donut Cafe located inside.

I might pop into a workshop or event at Side Street Studio Arts if something is going on – they do a variety of unique workshops like origami workshops, Battle of the Bands (in the summer), and different art show openings in their gallery. Their MADE retail shop also features locally produced art and handmade goods. 


The sun is setting and it’s dinnertime! Two of my favorite places are Danny’s On Douglas in Elgin and D.C. Cobbs in East Dundee. Danny’s has extra-cheesy pizza (my favorite!) and friendly staff. D.C. Cobb’s is a favorite for when I know I’m really hungry. Their burger menu is huge, and their portions fill me up. The interior is a visual treat, it has multiple murals and other unique details. 

Now it’s time to fill the last few hours of my day. I love catching a movie at Marcus Elgin Cinema with friends, or I might head to RocHaus in East Dundee for a classic rock show located on a 110-year-old stage.

I always like to end my day with a treat. There are so many options for treats in the Elgin Area, but my top favorites would have to be Milk House, Van’s Frozen Custard, or Pastigel. Milk House has homemade ice cream and friendly staff who will let you sample their unique flavors (and ice cream flights!). Van’s Frozen Custard is a locally owned custard spot with classic and delicious scoops. If I want something quick that won’t melt, I love heading to Pastigel in Elgin and grabbing a concha or other pastry. That’s my day out in the Elgin Area – there are so many unique local spots for dining, shopping, and other activities.

For more local favorites, be sure to check out my co-workers Ryan, Krisilee, and Kerina’s favorite spots coming out later in January 2022!

View the Online
Visitors Guide

Sign Up for the