1401 N. Main St.
East Peoria, IL (309) 694-9191
Any time we have an
away football game near Peoria my family likes to stop by the
burger barge. They serve awesome burgers and fried food.
In fact, my motorcycle club makes a couple trips to the Barge
every riding season. My favorite burger is the "Captain's
Burger" which comes with pastrami piled high on top of the
810 East Grove
Street, Bloomington, IL (309) 829-6841
When we first moved
up from Florida in 1998, this was the only place in town to get
Chicken Wings. On St. Patrick's Day they serve Corned Beef
and Cabbage and Irish Stew. They serve the best Rueben in
town and my personal favorite is the Batter Dipped Butterfly
Pork chop Sandwich. Freakin awesome!
Rural Route 165 &
Fort Jesse Rd, Merna, IL (309) 726-2400
There are a handful
of area pubs with FANTASTIC burgers, drinks, and specials.
Merna Tap, aka Merna Bar & Gill is one of those places. They
have week night and weekend daily specials (e.g. $1.50
cheeseburger Saturday, $1.00 Taco Sunday, etc..). I
highly recommend their burgers and their "Combine Sandwich"
(i.e. grilled chicken breast with bacon, BBQ sauce, and all the
- Lake Road Inn
- 25106 N 1750 East Road,
Hudson, IL (309) 747-2558
- Another great pub with home
cooking and fantastic burgers. I love their gizzards,
pork chops, and bacon cheese burgers. I'm not a fan of
pork tenderloin sandwiches, but every pub I've listed serve
them and my buddies love them.
- Green Gables
- 174885 E 2500 N Rd, Hudson,
IL (309) 747-2496 (located across the street from the Lake
- Arguably the very best
burgers in the area. However, unlike the others listed
here, I have to go with a double bacon cheeseburger.
They tend to mash the patties flat much like Steak and Shake
and they're very good. This is the one place that
doesn't have an ATM or take credit cards, so bring cash or
be prepared to walk across the street to Lake Road Inn to
use their ATM ;-)...
- 1310 N. Main Street,
- Mugsy's is another good pub
with daily specials. My family loves their wings.
Probably the best wings in town (if you don't count Buffalo
Wild Wings, which are the best for a chain in town).
Pit Row (Heyworth, IL)
- 208 South Vine Street,
Heyworth, IL (309) 473-3535
- Great burgers, drinks, and
pub food... It's a NASCAR themed bar in Heyworth, IL.
My buddies and I like to ride our bikes out there from time
- 1301 N Western Ave, Bloomington,
IL (309) 829-6753
- This pub has been around for 70
years and a little off the beaten path. It was
recently renovated (2007) to look like an old west style saloon.
Very good burgers, daily drink specials, and very inexpensive.
The Western Tap has great atmosphere and the renovation made the
place look absolutely fantastic.
Chicago Dogs, Sandwiches,
Pizza, & Italian
- BooBoo's Dog House
- 3907 GE Road, Bloomington,
IL (309) 661-0877
- Todd owns BooBoo's Dog House
and if you love Portillo's (of Chicagoland), you'll love
BooBoo's. I eat lunch here weekly. They feature
Chicago style dogs made with Vienna Beef hot dogs and
Polish sausage. I love their "Combo" (i.e. Italian
Beef and Italian Sausage on French roll, dipped in au jus
and topped with hot
peppers). I also love their Jumbo Chili Dog. My
buddies love the Maxwell Street Polish (deep fried polish
sausage, served on a poppy seed roll with mustard and
- 607 Dale Street, Normal, IL
- Hands down the best Gyro's in
town. I also love their Challenger sandwich (grilled
chicken breast, mushrooms, peppers, onions, jalapeños, and
provolone cheese on a pita - I have them hold the BBQ sauce)...
Check out their Facebook Group:
The Rock Restaurant
- 116 East Market Street,
Bloomington, IL (309) 828-7521
- Lucca's has a hundred year
old, pizza oven and some of the best pizza in
town. It's an older establishment and you pretty much
need to eat there to fully appreciate the atmosphere and
food. Lucca's is much more than a pizza place, they
feature a traditional Italian menu.
- 203 N Prospect Street,
Bloomington, IL (309) 661-6575
- Roasati's is a chain
out of Chicago but if you're looking for a deep dish Chicago
style pizza, look no further. I've not had a bad
pizza and I've tried most of their specialties. Rosati's also makes one of the best Italian Beef sandwiches
- 1513 N Main St, Bloomington,
IL (309) 828-0410
- If you're looking for a
great pizza, Tobin's will take care of you. I love
their thin crust pizza with everything on it. They
feature a family special, one extra large pizza (at cost)
and a medium pizza for $1 more (the catch is the medium
pizza has to be the exact same as the extra large).
- 1501 N Veteran's Parkway,
Bloomington, IL (309) 661-8322
- If you're looking for a more
"upscale" Italian restaurant, Biaggi's is the place.
Hands-down this is my wife and my favorite place to go out
to eat. It's not terribly expensive but it looks and
feels like it is... And yes it's a chain but it's hands down my favorite Italian restaurant in town (not
for pizza though).
Mexican, Chinese, & Thai
Taqueria El Porton
- 901 N Main Street, Bloomington, IL
- This is my favorite place for
authentic tacos. We eat lunch here weekly and have been
there as many as four times in a single week. Yes, it's
that good... They have a full menu and with very big
portions, however, I stick with the tacos!
- La Mexicana
- 1416 South Main Street,
Bloomington, IL (309) 827-8904
- This place is part of a
Mexican Grocery store and a hole in the wall. I used
here weekly and sometimes several times a week until we
started going to Taqueria El Potron. I eat
the same thing every time, three taco's (2 carne asada & 1
al pastor, with all the toppings - onions, cilantro, tomatoes,
etc.). They have three
types of homemade salsa (HOT stuff) they serve in squeeze bottles to use
on your taco's.
Fiesta Ranchera (all locations)
- 2013 N Veterans Parkway,
Bloomington, IL (309) 665-0170
- I eat lunch here (primarily the
Circuit City or Best Buy locations) weekly and pretty much get
the same thing every time, I love their Fiesta Burrito (beer
simmered shredded pork, with pica de gallo, cheese, etc...) with
rice and beans. I also love their Fiesta Fajitas for two
(Chicken, Pork, Chorizo, Steak, Shrimp, and all the fixings) and
their Tamales are wonderfully delicious. I've not had a bad meal here in the 10
years I've been frequenting the place(s). There are
several locations in town and I've eaten at every one and
although there are minor variances in their menus, all are
- 108 West Washington Street,
Bloomington, IL (309) 829-5096
- Burrito's as big as your
head, enough said! This is a place you go when
the bars close ;-)...
- Red Sun
- 2205 E Oakland Ave, Bloomington,
IL (309) 661-7885
- Very high quality Chinese food.
We order delivery at least monthly, sometimes more often. I love
their Hot & Spicy Chicken, Black Pepper Chicken, and their fried
rice. They also make the best fried wonton's I've ever
had. I highly recommend eating lunch here. They give
you two main dishes, a rice side (fried or steamed), and choice
of egg role or spring role and a drink. Outstanding!
- 407 N Hershey, Bloomington, IL
- The very best Chinese buffet in
town. I like many of their dishes (Salt & Pepper Shrimp,
too many others to list) and the kids love the all you can eat
crab legs and ice cream machine.
- 106 Mall Drive, Normal, IL (309)
- My buddies and I eat lunch here
bi-weekly if not more frequently. We only go on Tuesday's
or Thursday's because that's "Hot & Sour" soup day. Their
lunch consists of a main dish, pork fried rice, soup, two
chicken wings, a dish of kim-chi and hot tea, I order the
Mongolian Beef every time. They make the best Mongolian
Beef I've ever had.
- 7 Currency Drive, Bloomington, IL
- Hyashi has the best sushi in the
area, if not the best sushi I've ever had anywhere. Kim
and I go here on our date nights and absolutely love it.
I'm craving it right now!
- Thai House
- 805 Morrissey Drive, Bloomington,
IL (309) 828-2600
- My wife and I love this place.
We love their Chicken Pad Thai and their Shrimp Fried Rice.
We eat lunch here regularly.
BBQ, Steaks & Fried Chicken
- Grandpa John's Rib Shack
- 200 West McClure Avenue, Peoria,
IL (309) 685-8902
- I've not
been to Grandpa John's Rib Shack (yet) but it was highly
recommended by an acquaintance, so I plan to swing by real soon.
“John” is the reference to “Big John” Monson, who had hands-down
the best ribs in town for years and years. His grandson is
selling bbq using the family recipe, he says.
- Longhorn Smokehouse
- 5 Currency Drive,
Bloomington, IL (309) 661-0433
- Longhorn makes the best beef
brisket in town. Due to the close proximity to my
office and their great daily lunch specials, we eat lunch
here regularly. I also take my turkey to Longhorn to
get it smoked for Thanksgiving. As long as its still
wrapped from the store, they'll smoke it for a
- 1503 E College Street,
Normal, IL (309) 454-7300
- This is a great place to eat
out with family and friends. You get to hand pick your
steaks and cook it yourself on grill tables (with a big beer
in hand;-))). A pretty decent salad bar as well.