Illinois

Chicago Skyline – I took this off of Navy Pier

Illinois, home sweet home, for now. As such, I really know the food scene. My playground and the place I first sunk my teeth into is Chicago. Chicago is known as a foodie town, the third Best Foodie Cities in the USA, according to US News, and for good reason. It is the home of deep-dish pizza, fully loaded hot dogs, Garrett popcorn, and Italian beef. They have some of the best chefs in the world working there. But not all things are Chicago, downstate has a few culinary surprises as well. Let me introduce you to a few of my favorites.

Bloomington:

Best Farm-to-Table: Epiphany Farms.

Best Atmosphere: Medici.
Must haves: Salmon Brulee! Smoked Gouda Mac-n-Cheese! Italian Butternut Squash Gnocchi!

Champaign:

Best barbecue: Black Dog.
Must haves: Burnt ends! They run out fast so get there early.

Best gyro: Niro’s.

Best sliders: Seven Saints.
Must haves: Salmon Slider! Black Jack Slider! Goat Cheese & Sweet Potato Fries!

Best sushi: Ko Fusion.
Must haves: Sushi! Seaweed Salad! Bul Go Kee!

Best bar food (that isn’t): Big Grove Tavern.

Best pizza: Papa Del’s.
Must haves: Original Sicilian Crust!

Chicago:

Best cheese sandwiches: Cheesie’s Pub & Grub.
Must haves: The Napoleon! The Popper! The Edgar! The Balboa!

Best authentic Greek food: Head to Greektown’s Greek Islands. Must haves: Keftedakia! Kontosouvli! Spanakotiropita!

Galena:

Best “home cooked” meal: Market House.

Best Mexican: Campeche Mexican.

Best mix of cuisines: Fritz + Frites.

Most romantic: Goldmoor Restuarant.

Best local farm-to-table: One Eleven Main.

Best Italian: Vinnie Vanucchi’s.

Peoria:

Springfield:

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