Saga Seeds – that inspired our group name are those scarlet, glossy, heart-shaped beads that are unique to certain parts of Southeast Asia. They symbolize love in that region and literally mean, “longing peas”. We long for unique gastronomical experiences and plan to share them with the readers about four to six times a year. SAGA also happens to be the initials of the members of this group.


Townhouse Books and Café is a hidden gem in St. Charles- about 35 minutes drive from 95th street in Naperville. We decided to have lunch there a few weeks ago and are sharing our review.

Townhouse café and bookstore is housed in a Victorian building on a tree-lined street, on the east bank of the Fox River. It was built in early 1970s when a leisurely lunch accompanied by animated conversations about literature and politics was the norm.

Before heading out for the lunch, we decided to take a walk in the scenic surrounding area of  Pottawatomie Park.  We enjoyed a 40-minute stroll along the Fox River, shared a few private jokes, called out to strangers to get a picture clicked. Well what can you say- girls will be just girls!

The car parking is right along the river and from there it is a quick 2-3 minute walk to the café so you only park once for the walk and lunch. But trip to the car was several times, because either one of us forgot our shades, or left the purse in the car- you know it right? Girls being girls!


There was a 10-minute wait at the café that is typical and allows you to browse at the bookstore.

There is something magical about bookstore-cafes. The aroma of books and food together creates a very inviting space.

It is easily one of the best bookstores we have been to. Various sections/genres are separated into small rooms in a never ending maze. While we were waiting we walked through the maze, discussing the many authors on display. If you have kids, a trip just for the kids is a must. The kids section has rugs on the floor, tiny stepping stools to sit or to get  the book from the top shelf and books-lots of them. Most kids will find the books they love and our prediction is- spend endless hours on the rug reading.

The wait was worth it as we got a spacious round table by the window that overlooks the back porch. The menu at Townhouse Books and Café is a bit limited but the quality and freshness of the ingredients and the lively atmosphere makes the visit well worth it.

The walls are adorned with various authors, which add to the history of the place. The place itself was packed, people of all ages engrossed in quality conversation. Sound of forks and knives and just words.
S ordered a Florentine Melt Sandwich on Pumpernickel bread and savored the Spicy Dijon.
A ordered a Hummus Melt on whole wheat bread with Kalamata Olives and Avocado
G ordered an Apricot Chicken Salad Sandwich with dried apricots and rosemary
A ordered a Townhouse Signature Salad with roasted Pecans and a homemade buttermilk dressing.

Of course we tried each other’s food- that’s the best part of girls’ outings. And everything was made just right.
We finished up with a homemade peach caramel bread pudding that lingered on our tongue on the drive back.We plan to make the peach bread pudding very soon.


The cost of the meal per person  was $10 plus change.


Plan a walk by the fox river and al fresco lunch at the Townhouse Books and Café soon.


Questions and queries – email us – [email protected]

Address: 105 N 2nd Ave, St Charles, IL 60174