If you consider yourself a foodie and are planning a trip to Illinois, you have probably been looking through food blogs to find out which restaurants you should not miss when you go there. For this reason, we have compiled a definitive list of those restaurants. Whether you are planning a trip or have recently moved there and are looking for exciting dining experiences, this list is sure to help you get started on the right foot.
Smyth + The Loyalist - the dual-concept Chicago restaurant you should not miss
Of course, our list has to start with a Chicago restaurant. This city offers the most variety of restaurants with many places to pay a visit to. However, if you have a limited amount of time, the choice for your first stop is obvious - the modern restaurant Smyth + The Loyalist.
This dual-concept Chicago restaurant was first opened in 2016. Even though it is now six years old, the refreshing feel of such an innovative dining experience makes it feel brand new. The space is divided into two portions. Smyth presents you with a fine-dining experience and a set menu upstairs. On the other hand, The Loyalist offers a casual meal and great cocktails found on the very flavorful menu. The focus on hospitality is big in this restaurant, seeing as it delivers fantastic service to every visitor.
Abreo - a restaurant you should not miss in a historic town
Abreo is a wine bar and small-plate patio which is sure to surprise you with its inventiveness. Chef Paul Sletten is the head of this restaurant. It is found right in the historic part of Downtown Rockford. While the menu is generally seasonally driven, some meals are staples. These include:
• Duck nachos
• Asian noodles
• White chocolate-blueberry bread pudding.
The fact that you can follow up this fabulous food with a stroll through the beautiful Downtown Rockford makes it an unskippable addition to this list of restaurants you should not miss.
Montarra Grill is a restaurant sure to give off a look and feel of a swanky Chicago hotspot, even though it is actually located in Algonquin, IL. This modern-American restaurant decorated with an authentic Chihuly chandelier is one you should not miss. If you are not sure what to order, you definitely can't go wrong with one of these:
• wet-aged steaks
• seared lamb lollipops
• bacon-wrapped dates
• triple-cream brie and black truffle fondue
Zenwich - a twist Korean restaurant you should not miss
With a different take on Korean BBQ and Asian cuisine, Zenwich is one of the top restaurants you should not miss in Illinois. It offers made-to-order Asian sandwiches filled with Korean BBQ beef, chicken satay, and Panko-crusted crab cakes. This unique experience is sure to make a trip to the Western suburbs worthwhile. However, the Famous Remus sandwich is made with Thai-style marinated grilled pork tenderloin, pickled daikon & carrot relish, and sweet & sour mayo, all on a freshly toasted ciabatta roll is what makes it an unmissable restaurant.
Basil’s Greek Dining
While visiting Greece is a beautiful and exciting opportunity, if you find yourself in Illinois, you will not have to travel to Greece to experience the joys of Greek cuisine. Aurora, IL, might not have the beaches and historical sights of Greece, but it does have one of Illinois's top Greek restaurants you should not miss. The foods you can not skip are the grilled octopus and the gyros. Both of these are considered the staple of Basil's.
Gene and Jude’s - even a hot dog stand can be an exciting culinary stop
What any lover of the hot dog will tell you about Gene and Jude's is that it is fast food that is worthy of a spot on our list. This is a suburban hot dog stand that claims to have the best hot dogs in the United States. The most iconic dog they have to offer is the "Double Dog," which is topped with mustard, relish, onions, sport peppers, and even fries.
Black Dog Smoke & Ale House
You will want to visit the Black Dog Smoke & Ale House if you're craving meat. Their burnt ends with red Carolina BBQ sauce make them a restaurant you cannot miss. And you will benefit from getting them fast because they sell out quickly. Of course, if you are of legal drinking age, you can wash all of that down with a beer from the rotating craft beer selection. Or you can even opt for some whiskey from Prichard's Distillery.
D’Arcy’s Pint - an Irish tavern you should not miss in Illinois
This is a restaurant you should not miss because of its unique signature dish. D'Arcy's is an Irish tavern-style restaurant that prides itself on a dish called "Horseshoes." This signature meal is a unique, regional specialty. They make it from your choice of meat (ham, corned beef, turkey, bacon, Buffalo chicken) served over Texas toast, piled with fries, and topped with homemade cheese sauce. It might sound crazy, but you should not let it scare you since people from all over come to taste the Horseshoes.
Going back to Chicago, the restaurant Avec offers modernism paired with Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Avec has been marked as a restaurant you should not miss while in Chicago. It is one of the favorite restaurants among both locals and visitors. The communal seating and a contemporary, wood-paneled room make the dining experience fun and eventful.
Although Chicago has many fine restaurants, you will miss out on many exquisite eateries if you restrict yourself to eating only in your local neighborhood. If you are moving here, experts from moving companies such as Golans Moving and Storage strongly urge you to venture outside of Chicago and visit other culinary landmarks such as this tiny Mexican dining room. Even if the ambiance is not the one of a big fine-dining Chicago establishment, Bien Trucha has some of the best tacos West of the city. You should not miss this restaurant if you find yourself near Fox River Valley. Our advice is to get some guacamole del dia, fresh watermelon or blueberries, and adobo-marinated pork tacos.
One World Cafe - the one cafe you’ll ever need
Visiting this popular spot found across the street from Bradley University is the perfect idea for getting sustenance in the shape of coffee and decadent desserts. Do not for a second, however, think that you will only find sweets here. The One World Cafe also offers fantastic food for all times of the day.
Restaurants you should not miss when in Illinois
Planning a trip is essential, and you'll need to consider where you will have your meals. Everything should be accounted for, even ideas on how to cool down in the summer heat. We hope that this list of restaurants you should not miss has helped you plan out at least the culinary aspect of traveling to Illinois.