The 15 Best Restaurants in Illinois!

Illinois is home to many world-famous chefs and high-quality restaurants offering eclectic flavors with influences from all around the globe. Whether you prefer grab-and-go style lunches or long, sit-down gourmet dinners with spectacular views, you can find all that and more in Illinois.

1. Kuma’s Corner, Chicago, IL

Known for its creative burgers, homemade chips, and hand-cut fries, Kuma’s Corner is the perfect spot for relaxing after a long day. The rock-and-roll theme adds to the ambience of the pub, and you’ll never walk away hungry at Kuma’s Corner.

2. Mexique, Chicago, IL

If you’ve never experienced French-inspired Mexican cuisine, you’ve got to try Mexique in Chicago. Chef Carlos Gaytan was awarded “Chef of the Year 2011” and puts a lot of heart and creativity into his dishes. Mexique also features a Mother’s Day brunch buffet, decadent desserts, and many more delectable dishes.

3. Schmaltz Deli, Naperville, IL

This classic Jewish deli in Naperville serves up traditional sandwiches, satisfying breakfasts, specialty desserts, crisp fresh salads, and more. The Overstuffed Sandwich is a favorite here because it’s stuffed full of tasty meat. Schmaltz Deli is worth the trip.

4. Abreo Restaurant, Rockford, IL

If you like small, creative dishes served in a dramatic fashion, you’ll appreciate Abreo Restaurant in Rockford. Chef Paul Sletten is passionate about creating and reinventing unique, seasonal dishes local to the area. Abreo is perfect for a quick lunch dinner or formal dinner party.

5. Shanghai Terrace, Chicago, IL

Shanghai Terrace was voted “Best Chinese Restaurant in Chicago” for a couple reasons: the savory cuisine and spectacular skyline views. The seductive setting combined with traditional Cantonese and Shanghainese dishes makes this restaurant distinctive and worth a trip. Chef Elmo Han really sets the bar for traditional Asian cuisine.

6. Black Dog Smoke & Ale House, Urbana, IL

This modern pub is a creative mixture of Latin and New American, serving up some of the best barbeque in the area. Enjoy the Taco Dinner Special on weekends and choose from the many beers on tap, as well. Black Dog Smoke & Ale House is a down-to-earth joint where you can eat with your fingers and have a great time with friends. 

7. The Purple Pig, Chicago, IL

There’s never a dull, tasteless moment at The Purple Pig in Chicago. Relax with a glass of wine and experience exquisite cuisine prepared by fourth-generation chef Jimmy Bannos Jr. Enjoy house-cured meats, cheeses, and delicious dishes such as pork-fried almonds, calamari, and Spanish octopus terrine.

8. Zenwich, Elmhurst, IL

This Asian-inspired sandwich shop in Elmhurst eliminates the boring sandwich stereotype. Experience unexpected flavors with unique, made-to-order “zenwiches” featuring an Asian twist. Where else can you order a spicy garlic shrimp or pork katsu sandwich? This friendly restaurant will have you thinking differently about sandwiches.

9. Eggy’s Diner, Chicago, IL

If breakfast is your favorite meal, Eggy’s Diner in Chicago should be on your list. Featuring every kind of breakfast dish from French toast to omelets, this diner satisfies the breakfast-lovers cravings. Enjoy unique breakfast dishes such as strawberry lemon pancakes, gyro omelet, and green eggs & ham.

10. Joe’s Stone Crab, Chicago, IL

Known as one of the most popular restaurants in Chicago, Joe’s Stone Crab is famous for its top-notch seafood selection and signature steaks. Experience a tender filet mignon or indulge in King Crab Louis. They also offer “bar food” such as cheeseburgers, crab rolls, and grilled tacos.

11. Basil’s Greek Dining, Aurora, IL

Basil’s Greek Dining in Aurora puts a culinary flair on traditional Mediterranean cuisine. Here you can experience the warmth of Greek comfort foods such as moussaka and pastichio. This stylish Greek taverna also offers flatbreads, kebabs, and other delicious appetizers.

12. Nick & Nino’s Penthouse Steakhouse, Springfield, IL

Take in the views from the 30th floor at Nick & Nino’s Penthouse Steakhouse in Springfield. Perfect for special occasions, this high-end restaurant delivers a night you won’t forget. Indulge in the black angus aged steak, firecracker shrimp, or chipotle-marinated sea bass.

13. White Fence Farm, Romeoville, IL

White Fence Farm is a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant known for serving amazing family-style fried chicken. This take-out restaurant also offers tasty, home-style dishes like crispy white fish and fried shrimp, all served with homemade sides such as mashed potatoes and corn fritters. Featured on “Check Please”, White Fence Farm is a restaurant worth putting on your food bucket list.

14. Khoury’s Cuisine, Peoria, IL

For casual and affordable Mediterranean and Lebanese cuisine, check out Khoury’s Cuisine in Peoria. Enjoy large portions of delicious dishes such as the Super Duper Gyro, kibbeh, and garlic chicken. Appetizers include buffalo wings, cheese balls, and other tasty sides. Khoury’s Cuisine is ideal for a lunch date.

15. Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, Chicago, IL

For some of the best deep-dish pizza in Chicago, head to Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria. Using a family recipe handed down through several generations, this is one of the most iconic restaurants in Chicago. You can’t really experience Chicago without trying Lou Malnati’s signature deep-dish pizza.

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