Travel Eats: Huntley Food Adventure | chicago foodie girl


Travel Eats: Huntley Food Adventure

As most of you know, while I live in the city, I spend four days a week commuting to the far northwest suburbs. On paper (well, according to trusty Google Maps), the commute is an hour and a half, but realistically, with traffic, construction, train delays, and the inevitable run-in with random farm equipment (it's reallllly far outside of the city), it's more like a two-hour-plus commute door to door. Needless to say, my massive commute doesn't leave me much time to explore the area during the work week (the train back into the city waits for no one!), so when the fab folks at McHenry County Living reached out to offer me the chance to spend a Saturday checking out the Huntley food scene, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to finally learn about some of what the northwest 'burbs have to offer.

Diana and I hit the road early on a gorgeous Saturday morning; just over an hour later, we found ourselves on the steps of our first food stop: family owned/run Manny's Handcrafted Gelato & Cafe. Gelato for breakfast? Why not?! Located on the historic Huntley Town Square, Manny's offers small batches of gelato made in-house, a coffee bar, and a range of handmade panini.

After sampling approximately half of their available 22 flavors (go hard or go home, right?!), I settled on the highly recommended Belgium Waffle and Salted Caramel Gelatos. I absolutely loved the sugary bits of waffle mixed with the salty caramel!

Diana went a more classic flavor combination: the creamy Banana Cream Pie Gelato paired with a smooth and rich Chocolate Gelato.

Once we finished with our foray into the world of Manny's Gelato, we walked down the street to check out the Huntley Farmers Market (and to work off a bit of that gelato in preparation for our next food stop!).

Potted perennials, herbs, vegetable & fruit plants, and various homegrown produce from Providence Farm

Along with produce and handmade treats, the farmers market also featured a variety of goods from local artisans and crafters, including these cute sculptures from Recycled Madness.

Diana and I both fell hard for these awesome beeswax candles from Ashley's Amber (so much so that we had to make a quick pit stop at the car after visiting her booth in order to drop off our bulging bags!).

Of course, we couldn't leave the market without a few treats, including the addictive Cheddar and Caramel Chicago Blend from AJz Kettlecorn.

Blueberry and Cherry Patriotic Blend

Chocolate Chip Cookies from the Cookie Queen of Huntley

We spent a good hour working up our appetites at the farmers market in preparation for our next stop: Parkside Pub, home of the famed Turkey Testicle Festival.

While our lunch was firmly testicle-free, we did chow down on these deliciously gooey and cheesy Pub Fries, smothered with Monterey Jack, cheddar cheese, bacon, and ranch.

We paired our fries with the bright and flavorful Carne Asada Salad: marinated skirt steak, cilantro, avocado, corn, and a tomatillo dressing.

At this point, we had spent a few hours in the sun, so we were both desperate for some AC and something cool to drink (yes, we're both heat/humidity wimps). Our fourth stop definitely came just in time! Morkes Chocolate offers a wide selection of signature truffles and chocolate treats, along with specialty coffees, and freshly made doughnuts. Diana and I both immediately gravitated toward their frozen blended mochas...

...and their adorable Lucky Charms donuts. I especially loved the dark chocolate version, as the hint of bitterness kept the donut from being overly sweet.

Chocolate-covered Twinkies. I took a few of these home to Mario; he immediately devoured one and proclaimed it to be the best version of a Twinkie he'd ever tasted!

These bubble gum packs totally took me back to my childhood!

Before we hit our last two stops, we made a quick trip over to Woodstock for a mini food break. After a few hours of exploring the square (and dropping some cash at the adorable Read Between the Lynes!), we were finally ready to return to Huntley and tackle dinner at Pub 47, starting with these saucy Parmesan Garlic Wings.

Green Lipped Mussels & Littleneck Clams, sautéed in a garlic white wine brown butter sauce

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich: slow roasted pork butt smothered in housemade BBQ sauce, topped with onion crisps and served on a pretzel bun

Steak Sandwich: NY Strip Steak with melted mozzarella cheese, served on a garlic seasoned French roll

Finally, we made our way to the sixth and final stop, Huntley Dairy Mart. Open since the early 1950s, the Dairy Mart is a local institution, as well as a popular pit stop for those on their way to Wisconsin.

Vanilla Soft Serve topped with rainbow sprinkles = the perfect ending to our Huntley food adventure!


  1. Wow! You're commute sounds like mine. 4-5 days a week driving 89 miles one way. I feel ya! It's hard to do other things when you're always traveling to/from work. :) What a great chance to get out of town and try something new!

    1. Ugh, your commute is even further than mine! 😵 I'm not thrilled with it, but I refuse to leave the city. It is definitely fun to visit elsewhere during the weekends though!

    2. That's how I feel!! Makes for interesting weekends almost every weekend. ��

  2. Glad you guys had a great day ... the blog turned out awesome. Need those fries in our lives!

  3. That all looks so good! Chi town food is the best. You are only missing Tom's on there;)


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