Mom and pop restaurants are becoming less common across Illinois, but those that are still around have long been an important fixture of local communities. These family-owned restaurants have been serving local patrons for decades. The following mom and pop restaurants are known for their hospitality, great food, and overall friendly atmosphere. Here are our favorites.
Bacchanalia is a family-owned Italian restaurant known for their authentic cuisine and large portions. Their home-style food is best described as “mouth-watering” and “high-quality.” Patrons love everything on the menu, but especially recommend the cappellini, fettuccine alfredo, veal piccata, and meatballs.
Known for their quick and attentive staff, Country House Restaurant is a family-owned cafe with an extensive menu offering generous portions. Favorites include the Benny Blanco, pancakes, and the Greek dishes. The owners care about their customers’ satisfaction and make sure they leave happy.
This longtime community favorite restaurant has been open for decades and features excellent service in a pleasant environment. They have a diverse menu with many options to choose from including breakfast, which is served all day. Customers note the French onion soup, omelets, and muffins. Jessica’s Restaurant is a great choice for comfort food at reasonable prices.
Sunrise Family Restaurant is a friendly, family-style restaurant known for their skillets. Patrons appreciate the friendly waitresses, enjoyable atmosphere, and menu selection. Favorite dishes include the biscuits and gravy, chicken alfredo, and chicken fried steak.
Old Route 66 Family Restaurant isn’t your typical café—this hidden gem offers home-style food in a quaint, retro atmosphere. Their fast, friendly service and generous portions also make this family-owned restaurant a local favorite. Popular dishes include the crispy chicken, pancakes, and pork chops.
Jack’s Cafe is a cozy establishment serving comfort food that keeps locals coming back. They have great menu options, attentive service, and affordably-priced food. Customers recommend the tender ribs and sauce, homemade soups, and breakfast options.
For homemade cooking and great service, check out Family Kitchen in Waterloo. This family-owned business offers a clean, friendly atmosphere with high-quality food served in generous portions. Patrons recommend the butterfly shrimp, wings, and pies. Check out their daily specials.
Yoder’s Kitchen serves old-fashioned Amish cooking in a clean facility. They offer menu items and a buffet, which includes a salad bar and dessert station. Popular menu items include the fried chicken, homemade breads, and pies (also homemade). Customers also note the friendly wait staff.
Known for their family atmosphere and attentive wait staff, Leonardo’s Family Restaurant offers good food and prices. Patrons especially like the fried fish, pizza, and breakfast skillets. This family-owned restaurant is the go-to lunch and breakfast spot in South Elgin and recommended by the locals. Check out their lunch specials!
Sam’s Drive-In is recognized for their large menu and fun, retro atmosphere. This family restaurant has been around for ages and has a large following of patrons who come here for the comfort food, ice cream, and classic car shows. Not much has changed at this old-fashioned diner for decades, making it an interesting find.