In Aurora, where one in five residents were born outside the United States, there’s a world of flavors to explore in this global community brimming with culture, history and heritage. The Aurora Eats guide is your passport to the city’s 330-plus authentic, specialty restaurants and markets, which reflect the community’s diversity and make it the go-to place for culinary exploration and enjoyment.
Start your journey in the Aurora Cultural Arts District. On just one tiny block among thousands in the state’s third-largest community, experience the alluring aromas of Vietnamese French pastries created by a chef featured recently on Food Network’s “Holiday Baking Championship” or sample scientifically inspired microbrews flowing inside tasting rooms with plenty of vibe.
The district is a microcosm of the diverse voices, people, and entrepreneurs who have come from around the globe and now call Aurora home, offering authentic food and experiences that will please your body and awaken your soul.
Tucked away in the far northwest corner of Aurora is the Stanley Marketplace, a revitalized manufacturing facility turned haven for independently owned boutiques and eateries serving up James Beard Award-winning scratch-to-table fare, Spanish churros, Argentinian empanadas, Southern-style BBQ and Mediterranean-inspired flatiron chicken.
Flanking the city’s west side, the Havana corridor is a gastronomic superhighway.
KoreaTown on the corridor’s south end is a bevy of Korean culture and cuisine (think K-pubs and karaoke, fried chicken, house-made tofu, and hot pot). And up and down the corridor, your culinary quest continues with delights like Japanese fish ice cream and ramen, Ethiopian injera, Somali stews and El Salvadoran papusas. Wrapping it all up, the summer Havana Street Global and Night Markets celebrate the rich diversity of businesses along the corridor with delicious food and captivating cultural performances.
Scattered throughout Aurora’s 164 square miles, the international influence is palpable in the vindaloos, hibachi and pho dished up at regional shopping meccas like Southlands and Cornerstar, the Thai curries, Cuban sandwiches and Russian borscht flanking neighborhoods like Hampden Hills, Heather Ridge and Village Green, and the acai bowls and German schnitzel tucked away in City Center. Cruise down Colfax Avenue for nourishing soul food, Syrian kebah, conveyor-belt sushi or carne asada, or Parker Road for vegan uthappam, hot pot and boba.
If cooking at home is more your style, take a trip around our specialty markets to find the building blocks for global fare—exotic herbs and spices, halal meat and fish, fava bean flour and fresh-baked rye bread, rose water and red palm oil, and so much more.
Every summer, Aurora celebrates its cultures and traditions with Global Fest, an event brimming with international eats, entertainment, cultural demonstrations, an international flag parade, a global fashion show, and festivities. This event at the Aurora Municipal Center is filled with people from all parts of the world who gather to celebrate their own countries and cultures and traditions.
There’s no doubt that food feeds not only the body but the soul, and in Aurora, the nourishment that you crave is everywhere.
Bring your appetite to Aurora and find out why it’s truly the world in a city. Start your adventure today at AuroraEats.org.