Restaurants in Illinois

$22 for $40 Worth of Hibachi Food and Sushi at Domo 77 and Japan 77

Domo 77 and Japan 77

Multiple Locations

$40 $22

(221)

Seasoned chefs sear steak, chicken, and seafood on a hibachi-style grill, served alongside classic and specialty sushi rolls

$11 for $20 Worth of Mexican Food and Drinks at Bahia Mexican Restaurant

Bahia Mexican Restaurant

Northeast

$20 $11

(11)

Seafood specialties such as octopus in spicy sauce and whole red snapper complement classic tacos, enchiladas, and drinks

One or Three Groupons, Each Good for $20 Worth of American Pub Food at Mcbride’s On 52 (Up to Half Off)

McBride's on 52

Joliet

$20 $10

(11)

New Joliet location features a home-style selection of Angus burgers, wings in six different sauces, and other classic pub comfort foods

Mexican Food and Drinks for Two or Four at Zapatista (Up to 44% Off)

Zapatista

Multiple Locations

$40 $25

Shrimp or skirt steak fill fajitas served in heated lava-stone; tacos and enchiladas brim with chicken tinga, beef, or sauteed vegetables

Up to 50% Off Mexican Cuisine — Chorizo Grill

Chorizo Grill

Grant Park

$20 $10

Local businesses like this one promote thriving, distinctive communities by offering a rich array of goods and services to locals like you

$14 for Two Groupons, Each Good for $14 Worth of Breakfast and Diner Food at IHOP

IHOP

Waukegan

$14 $7

The national brand delivers pancakes, eggs, and bacon in varying combinations alongside burgers, sandwiches, and other diner fare

Eastern European Meal for Two, Four, or Six at Klas Restaurant (Up to 54% Off)

Klas Restaurant

Cicero

$40 $21

(38)

Bohemian platter features choice of Eastern European meat dishes; soups, salads, sides, beers, and desserts complement entrees

$22 for $40 Worth of Supper-Club Dinner Fare at Palm Court Arlington Heights

Palm Court - Arlington Heights

Arlington Heights

$40 $22

Hospitality-driven owners check in with diners between courses as piano tunes fill friendly cocktail lounge

$22 for $40 Worth of Hibachi Dinner at Todoroki Hibachi + Sushi

Todoroki Hibachi + Sushi

Evanston

$40 $22

Hibachi-grilled steak, scallops, lobster, and chicken accompanied by grilled shrimp, rice, salad, and soup

The Dinner Detective Chicago in Chicago or Schaumburg (Up to 50% Off)

The Dinner Detective Chicago

Multiple Locations

$92.09 $46

Amateur sleuths dig into delectable multi-course meals while trying to solve a mysterious murder perpetuated by disguised actors

Concert and Meal Package for Days of the New or Sponge at Tailgaters Sports Bar & Grill (Up to 52% Off)

Tailgaters Sports Bar & Grill

Bolingbrook

$71.99 $39

(26)

Concertgoers enjoy appetizers and beers along with live rock music from Days of the New and Sponge

$21 for $40 Worth of Sushi and Japanese Cuisine at Sushi-Ai

Sushi-Ai

Palatine

$40 $21

Wide selection of fresh maki, specialty combinations, and Japanese entrées such as seared tuna or spicy tofu steak

Steak and Seafood at Café la Cave (Up to 50% Off). Two Options Available.

Café la Cave

Des Plaines

$50 $25

Chefs carve entrees and sauté steaks tableside amid cavernous rocky walls and rippling lights

$20 for Two Groupons, Each Good for $18 Worth of Italian Food for Carryout at Palermo's ($36 Total Value)

Palermo's

Multiple Locations

$18 $10

(22)

Classic thin crust, deep dish or stuffed pizzas with signature sweet sauce; Italian sandwiches, pasta dishes, and entrées

$20 for Two Groupons, Each Good for $18 Worth of Italian Food for Carryout at Palermo's ($36 Total Value)

Palermo's

Multiple Locations

$18 $10

(22)

Classic thin crust, deep dish or stuffed pizzas with signature sweet sauce; Italian sandwiches, pasta dishes, and entrées

$16 for $30 Worth of Sushi and Drinks at Sushi Thaime

Sushi Thaime

Sushi Thaime

$30 $16

Sushi rolls with fresh yellowtail, eel, or salmon; marinated Korean-beef short ribs charbroiled to perfection

Two or Three Groupons, Each Good for $10 Worth of Sub Sandwiches at Tonini's Italian Market (40% Off)

Tonini's Italian Market

Berwyn

$10 $6

Sub sandwiches assembled from Italian deli meats such as salami, capicolla, and prosciutto

Hibachi-Style Steak and Seafood at Kampai Japanese Steak House (Up to 50% Off). Four Options Available.

Kampai Japanese Steak House

Mount Prospect

$40 $22

(143)

Japanese food cooked on hibachis tableside; at sushi bar, rolls float atop wooden boats

Pub Food at Stella's Pizza and Pub (Half Off). Two Options Available.

Stella's Pizza and Pub

Wheaton

$20 $10

Situated inside Fox Bowl, the restaurant serves thin-crust pizza, giardiniera-topped italian beef, and other pub-style eats

Thai Cuisine for Dine-In or Takeout at Jaded Thai (Up to 47% Off)

Jaded Thai

Hoffman Estates

$20 $12

(91)

Savory and spicy curries; chicken in housemade peanut sauce; spicy basil fried rice

Indian Food for Dine-in or Carryout at Klay Oven Restaurant (Up to 45% Off)

Klay Oven Restaurant

Oak Park

$40 $22

(106)

Traditional Indian specialties served in an ornate dining space

$20 for $30 Worth of Modern Latin Food or Five-Course Latin Barbecue or Oaxacan Dinner for Two with Tequila Tastings at Barbakoa Modern Latin

Barbakoa Modern Latin

Downers Grove

$30 $20

(144)

Modern Latin cuisine such as short-rib tacos on housemade tortillas or Latin barbecue or Oaxacan dinner with tequila, music, and giveaways

Steak and Seafood Dinner for Two or More or Four or More at Porter's Bistro (Up to 52% Off)

Porter's Bistro

Glenview

$30 $15

New york strip steak, cedar-plank salmon, and veggie panini at this bistro with upscale food and casual vibe inside Wyndham Glenview Suites

$22 for $40 Worth of American Food for Two or More at The Silverado Grill

The Silverado Grill

Elmhurst

$40 $22

(92)

Family-friendly restaurant serves up Texas-style hand-cut steaks, fish and chicken dinners, and hearty burgers

Steak-House Food for Dine-In or Takeout at Cedar Rock Grill (Up to 45% Off)

Cedar Rock Grill

Rock Valley

$20 $11

(7)

Steak-house invokes the outdoors with its taxidermy wild animals and hearty steak and seafood meals

Indian Cuisine at Viceroy of India (Up to 50% Off)

Viceroy of India

Multiple Locations

$20 $11

(174)

Sizzling morsels of lamb vindaloo and tandoori chicken tikka mingle with fluffy naan on expansive north and south Indian menu

Thai and Pan-Asian Dinner for Two, Four, or Take-Out at Oishii Thai (Up to 40% Off)

Oishii Thai

Buffalo Grove

$20 $15

(67)

Eatery uses only fresh herbs, such as cilantro, lemon grass, and Thai basil for classic curries and sushi rolls that pack a punch

$12 for $20 Worth of Chinese Food at The Golden Bowl

Golden Bowl

Bartlett

$20 $12

Chinese dishes for takeout and delivery, from staples such as spring rolls to original creations like breaded chicken with apricot sauce

Barbecue for Two at Crystal Lake Rib House (Up to 50% Off)

Crystal Lake Ribhouse

Crystal Lake Rib House

$30 $15

Baby back ribs, chargrilled burgers, and chili served at restaurant praised by the Chicago Sun-Times

Italian Dinner for Two or More at RoccoVino's Carol Stream (Up to 47% Off). Two Options Available.

RoccoVino's

Carol Stream

$30 $15

(26)

Italian cuisine such as rigatoni vodka, stuffed eggplant, seafood risotto, and signature pizzas

$15 for $30 Worth of Japanese Cuisine at Aodake Sushi & Steak House

Aodake Sushi & Steak House

Multiple Locations

$30 $15

(99)

Chefs create more than 40 traditional and specialty maki rolls in additon to Japanese favorites such as tempura, teriyaki, and hibachi

Mexican Food for Parties of Two or Four at Delicia Mexican Grill (Up to 46% Off)

Delicia Mexican Grill

Plainfield

$25 $14

(18)

In a bright restaurant, diners enjoy chef's specialties such as marinated skirt steak, seafood-stuffed pineapples, and fried ice cream

Two-Hour Cooking Class with Wine for One or Two at Affresco Pizzeria/Lounge (Up to 55% Off)

Affresco Pizzeria/Lounge

Park Ridge

$55 $27

Groups of up to 20 guests make, then eat, Sicilian entrees such as ravioli and marinara sauce, all while sipping included wine

Sushi and Stir-Fry at Wok ’n Fire (Up to 50% Off). Two Options Available.

Wok 'n Fire

Multiple Locations

$30 $15

(69)

Japanese, Thai, and Chinese specialties include grilled mango mahi-mahi, teriyaki chicken, and spicy Hong Kong scallops

Japanese Steak-House Cuisine for Two or Four at Kabuki Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi (47% Off)

Kabuki Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi

Glendale Heights

$30 $16

(62)

Hibachi entrees such as filet mignon, lobster, sesame scallops, and vegetable fried rice

Hibachi Cuisine for Dinner on Friday–Sunday or Monday–Thursday at Kegon (Up to Half Off)

Kegon

Northbrook

$40 $20

(32)

Filet mignon, scallops, and swordfish steaks seared on hibachi grills

$30 for $50 Worth of Steak and Seafood at St. Charles Place Steak House

St. Charles Place Steak House

St. Charles

$50 $30

(116)

Choice cuts of filet mignon and charred prime rib complement classic seafood dishes amid vintage supper-club decor

Two Groupons, Each Good for $10 or $12 Worth of Chinese Food at Wonton Deli (Up to Half Off)

Wonton Deli

Multiple Locations

$12 $6

Chinese food such as barbecue pork, shrimp roll, and wonton lo mein

$13 for $20 Worth of Pizza for Delivery or Takeout at Mike's Pizza

Mike's Pizza

Gages Lake

$10 $6.50

Create your own deep dish or hand tossed pizza from 15 toppings, 3 crust flavors, and sauces such as alfredo or barbecue

Mediterranean Food at Restaurant Ararat (45% Off). Two Options Available.

Restaurant Ararat

Mundelein

$20 $11

(23)

Diners can dig into more than 70 dishes with roots in Armenia, Georgia, and Russia, including a wide variety of shish kebabs

Burgers, Beers, and Appetizers for Two or Four at Scoreboards Pub & Grill (Up to 54% Off)

Scoreboards Pub & Grill

Oswego

$37.97 $18

(20)

Friends gather to watch games and pound pub food, choosing from an ever-evolving beer menu to complement their bites

$22 for $40 Worth of Italian Cuisine at Mandile's Italian Ristorante

Mandile's Italian Ristorante

Algonquin

$40 $22

Homemade pastas made daily, with gluten-free and whole-wheat options available; brick-oven pizzas paired with wine from Italy and California

Pub Food and Drinks at The Howard Street Inn (Half Off). Two Options Available.

The Howard Street Inn

Niles

$20 $10

(35)

Menu includes deli and grilled sandwiches, Angus burgers, pizza, craft and domestic brews, and speciality drinks

Mexican Cuisine for Two or Four at La Casa De Isaac (Up to 44% Off)

La Casa De Isaac

Multiple Locations

$45 $25

(191)

Hailing from the Mexican city of Huitzuco, Isaac and Moishe Nava serve the dishes they learned from their mother, Florencia

$10 for $20 Worth of Mexican Cuisine at Fajitas Mexican Restaurant

Fajitas Mexican Restaurant

Burbank

$20 $10

(10)

Traditional Mexican cuisine includes homemade chips and salsa, tacos and burritos chock-full of meats, and huevos rancheros

Pizza at Dream's Pizzeria Bar and Banquet (Up to 52% Off). Two Options Available.

Dream's Pizzeria Bar and Banquet

Oak Forest

$25 $12

Expansive menu goes beyond just pizza, with pastas such as spaghetti with meatballs and hot sandwiches such as the sausage and beef combo

$9 for $15 Worth of Grass-Fed Beef Burgers Served by Train at Veteran-Owned 2Toots Train Whistle Grill

2Toots Train Whistle Grill

Multiple Locations

$15 $9

Nitrate-, preservative-, and hormone-free 100% grass-fed beef hot dogs, burgers & chili delivered on toy train tracks at veteran-owned diner

Dine-In or Takeout Breakfast or Lunch at Olde North Pancake House (Up to 50% Off). Three Options Available.

Olde North Pancake House

Olde North Pancake House

$15 $7.50

(45)

Cozy, family-friendly restaurant serves up 13 varieties of pancakes, along with waffles, sandwiches, and comfort-food entrees

Italian Food and Pizza for Dinner at Marzano's Wood Fired Italian (Up to 48% Off). Three Options Available.

Marzano's Wood Fired Italian

McHenry

$35 $19

Wood-fired oven cooks certified-authentic neapolitan pizzas; other dishes include baked ziti, gnocchi with vodka sauce, and seared scallops

Italian Food at Aliano's Ristorante (Up to 53% Off)

Aliano's Ristorante

Batavia

$15 $7

(107)

Housemade veal, chicken, and seafood dishes evoke the flavors of Italy; New York– and Chicago-style pizzas nod to American traditions

Lunch or Breakfast at 9 East Coffee (Up to 47% Off)

9 East Coffee

Freeport

$20 $11

(12)

This family-owned shop serves Intelligentsia coffee, and scratch-made sandwiches, soups, and pastries in a quaint 19th century building

$11 for Two Groupons, Each Good for $10 Worth of American Food at Pete's Tom & Jerry's ($20 Value)

Pete's Tom & Jerry's

Multiple Locations

$10 $5.50

Self-proclaimed "king of the gyros" also cooks up charbroiled burgers, steak sandwiches, pure-beef hot dogs, and other American favorites

$34.10 for $60 Worth of Generations-Old Italian Cuisine at Philly G’s

Philly G's

Vernon Hills

$60 $34.10

(213)

Owner draws on recipes from his grandmother and great-grandmother to build a menu of refined Italian cuisine

Sushi and Japanese Food at Inari Sushi (45% Off). Two Options Available.

Inari Sushi

Elmwood Park

$40 $22

(100)

Entrees of teriyaki steak and seafood udon alongside maki rolls made with toasted eel, sweet potato tempura, and soft-shell crab

$24 for 2 16" One-Topping Thin Crust Pizzas and One 2-Liter Soda for Takeout at Rosati's Pizza ($38.77 Value)

Rosati's Pizza

Multiple Locations

$38.77 $24

Thin crust pies topped with pepperoni, bell peppers, mushrooms, bacon, black olives, hot giardiniera, jalapenos, and more

$9 for $15 Worth of Café Food at Juicy-O Pancake House

Juicy-O Pancake House

Multiple Locations

$15 $9

Classic breakfast and lunch food supplemented with complimentary house donuts and fresh fruit juices

$17 for $30 Worth of Irish Pub Fare at TomKelly’s Chophouse and Pub in New Lenox

TomKelly’s Chophouse and Pub

New Lenox

$30 $17

(36)

Irish pub boasts 14 plasma TVs, 15 craft beers on tap, and a menu of hearty edibles such as deep-fried, breaded tilapia

Indian Dinner Cuisine for Two or Four at Taj Indian Cuisine (50% Off)

Taj Indian Cusine

Edwardsville

$30 $15

(53)

Sit-down dinners of tandoori chicken, fish, and lamb simmered inside a traditional clay oven

$13.25 for $25 Worth of Pub Food and Drinks at Parkside Pub

Parkside Pub

Huntley

$25 $13.25

(42)

Housemade burgers, chicken sandwiches, and deli treats washed down with frosty brews in cozy bar or tree-lined garden

$12 for $20 Worth of Mexican Fare at Pepe's Mexican Restaurant in Homer Glen

Pepe's Mexican Restaurant

Homer Glen

$20 $12

(24)

Burritos, enchiladas, and other Mexican favorites with vegetarian options

Mexican Food and Drinks Monday–Thursday or Friday–Sunday at Grande Jake's Fresh Mexican Grill (Up to 45% Off)

Grande Jakes Fresh Mexican Grill

Multiple Locations

$20 $11

(166)

Salsa bar with ten types of salsa, along with dinner plates that include chicken enchiladas, fajitas, tacos, and flautas

$10 for $20 Worth of Pub Food at Town Hall Lounge

Town Hall Lounge

Town Hall Lounge

$20 $10

Diners chow down on hearty American pub dishes, such as pizza and steak; eatery offers live-music nights and themed pub crawls and contests

Two or Four Pub Entrees with Drinks or $25 for $35 Worth of Pub Food for Carryout at Island Sports Bar and Grill

Island Sports Bar and Grill

Blue Island

$70 $35

Customers dine on buffalo chicken wraps, rib sandwiches, and wings dressed in 11 sauces

Mediterranean Food for Dine-In or Carry-Out at Rayan (42% Off). Three Options Available.

Rayan

Morton Grove

$24 $14

(15)

Begin with smoked-eggplant baba ghanouj before digging into plates of fattoush salad with cucumbers and mint or sizzling beef shish kebabs

Appetizers for 2, 4, 8, or 10 People at Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery (Up to 50% Off)

Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery

Roselle

$20 $11

(65)

Waitresses clad in mini kilts ferry burgers, Dublin-inspired stew & ice-cold Guinness to tables with views of HD sports games

Surf-and-Turf Meal for Two or Four with Drinks at Chinn's 34th Street Fishery (Up to 41% Off)

Chinn's 34th Street Fishery

Lisle

$105.90 $65

(149)

Chefs sear filet mignon to pair with snow crab or lobster tail, as well as cocktails, craft beers, or glasses of wine

$12 for $25 Worth of Eastern European and American Cuisine, Valid Monday–Saturday at Old Vilnius Cafe

Old Vilnius Cafe

Darien

$25 $12

Pierogi, sausages, sauerkraut, and even beef tongue populate a menu of Lithuanian and Polish eats

Japanese Dinner for Two or Take-out at Sushi Bar (Up to 45% Off)

Sushi Bar

Bloomingdale

$20 $11

(75)

Rolls filled with creamy avocado and salmon, teriyaki combos with deep-fried pork, and plates of ginger-sauteed squid

Three or Five Groupons, Each Good for $5 Worth of Café Food and Drinks at C U Latte Cafe

C U Latte Cafe

Villa Park

$5 $2.50

Surrounded by local artwork and decorative reeds, café visitors enjoy a menu of coffee drinks, frozen lemonade, and sandwiches

Mexican Food and Drinks for Dine-In or Takeout at Sergio's Cantina (Up to 50% Off). Three Options Available.

Sergio's Cantina

Geneva

$25 $13

(94)

Mexican eatery with tropical decor houses made-from-scratch family recipes and margaritas made with hand-squeezed limes

Burger Meal and Beer Flights for Two or Four at 12 Handles Ale House (Up to 51% Off)

12 Handles Ale House

Crest Hill

$32.90 $17

Fully loaded 10-ounce burgers served on brioche buns wash down easy with sips from a flight of refreshing beer

Two or Three $10 Groupons for Hot Dogs, Burgers, and Sandwiches at Slott's Hots

Slott's Hots

Libertyville

$10 $6

(22)

Classic hot-dog joint food, including hot dogs, polishes, burgers, italian beef, and gyros, pair with creamy shakes and cheese fries

$16 for $30 Worth of East Asian Cuisine and Drinks at Sesame Inn

Sesame Inn

Sesame Inn

$30 $16

Traditional food from China, Japan, and Thailand with sushi combos and 17 types of stir-fry

Dinner for Two or More at Kobe Japanese Steakhouse & Seafood Sushi Bar (Up to 50% Off)

Kobe Japanese Steakhouse & Seafood Sushi Bar

Lake Zurich

$30 $15

(12)

Chefs cook entrees such as steak, veggies, and teriyaki chicken at tableside grills

Pizzeria Cuisine for Dine-In, Pickup, or Both at Mama & Me Pizzeria (Up to 50% Off)

Mama & Me Pizzeria

Homewood

$20 $11

Thin-crust, stuffed, or pan pizzas covered in customizable toppings alongside homemade pasta, baked sandwiches, and salads

Cajun Cuisine at Vetavia's Cajun Cafe and Bar (Up to 50% Off). Three Options Available.

Vetavia's Cajun Cafe and Bar

Matteson

$30 $15

Southern favorites such as catfish nuggets, shrimp po-boys, jambalaya, and candied yams at a chandelier-clad spot that's open late

Pub Food at Off Broadway Pub (Up to 45% Off). Two Options Available.

Off Broadway Pub

Brookfield

$20 $11

(32)

Pub serves award-winning hot wings, build-your-own pizzas, and hamburgers along with draft beers

Italian Dinner for Two or Four at Gianni's Ristorante & Pizzeria (Up to 54% Off). Groupon Reservation Required.

Gianni's Ristorante & Pizzeria

Franklin Park

$48.85 $23

(24)

Chefs prepare pizza bread, bruschetta, and rustic Italian pastas such as stuffed shells, lasagna, and linguine with scallops in vodka sauce

$15 for Three Vouchers, Each Good for $10 Off Your Bill at Tony's Subs ($30 Value)

Tony's Subs

Deerfield

$10 $5

(22)

Sandwiches crafted with Gonnella-brand bread, meats, cheeses, and veggies can be paired with chips, salads, and drinks

Select Local Merchants

Before moving to Chicago, Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh began their culinary careers in New York as a way to support themselves while they looked for work as actors. It wasn’t their acting that brought the duo to stardom, however. Against odds of 10,000 to 1, they sent a tape into the Food Network and, to their surprise, became the first-ever winners of the Next Food Network Star contest, landing their own show on the cable channel. That success enabled them to grow their catering business’s small café into a full-fledged restaurant serving up brunch, lunch, and dinner.

"Our focus is on what we love, which is mid-century food and the American culture of dining, and that kind of collective memory we have . . . taking those recipes and updating them for a modern palate," Steve says. For example, they top sweet potatoes with black-thyme-pepper marshmallows and create corn dogs with rabbit sausage in red-velvet butter. Steve says that they love creating conversation at their tables, especially as guests reminisce about memories evoked by dishes such as tuna noodle casserole and their Hearty mac ‘n’ cheese. "For Dan and I, that's a major part of the dining experience," he says. "If we can get their heads moving as well as their mouths, we feel pretty successful." Their efforts have paid off. "The duo is making magic by keeping it simple," said Phil Vettel in a review on WGN. "There's at least one wow ingredient on every plate. A simple burger is brightened with triple-cream cambozola cheese, sugar-cured bacon, and garlic aioli. Bacon-wrapped shrimp arrives on a pile of wonderful white cheddar grits . . . It's fun and delicious."

Dan heads the kitchen, while Steve forges many of the signature cocktails, aiming to discourage the intimidation that often surrounds craft cocktails. He and Dan even authored a book whose 200+ drink recipes include every cocktail made at Hearty, proving that everyone can make the drinks at home. Steve's even been known to chat up tables in hopes of introducing them to a new drink. "It's amazing, the amount of people who don't think they drink gin—so I have to force them," Steve says. "Once you have a gin that is different than that gin that you drank in the 1980s that was so harsh and juniper-heavy, once you're having one of these new American gins along with just simple fresh citrus and the other spirits… you understand what the fuss is about." He's also curated an exclusively American wine list with bottles from unexpected sources—including Dr. Frank's Salmon Run rkatsiteli from the Finger Lakes in New York, which he calls "floral and highly acidic . . . Everybody loves it."

3819 N Broadway St
Chicago,
IL
US

Today, Colonial Cafe & Ice Cream may have seven full-service family-friendly restaurants, but when it started in 1901, it was only a single small ice cream and dairy store. Now guests can settle into breakfast, lunch, and dinner at each of the eateries –and still enjoy the ice cream that put them on the map. They have garnered particular attention for their signature dish, the Kitchen Sink Sundae, which features two whole bananas, six scoops of ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry), whipped cream, chocolate, and chopped almonds with a cherry topper. It’s served in a large dish shaped like a kitchen sink with a S-pipe as the handle. And when diners finish it, they receive a bumper sticker that reads, “I Ate a Colonial Kitchen Sink.”

While ice cream reigns supreme, their breakfasts have also earned praise. They were voted “Best Breakfast” by the Elgin Courier News, Aurora Beacon News, and Naperville Sun. Favorites among the regulars include the stuffed very berry French toast and cinnamon roll French toast. Come dinnertime, they continue serving comfort foods including fresh baked meatloaf and a mac and cheese bacon melt, as well as sandwiches such as the pot roast French dip. The restaurant has also earned plaudits for its popularity with its littlest diners, grabbing the "Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant" designation in the Kane County Chronicle Reader's Choice awards.

1961 W Galena Blvd
Aurora,
IL
US

Originally opened as the Top Hat Drive-In in 1953, Sonic has grown into a burger-franchise mecca that today operates out of 3,500 locations across the country, making it the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants. Sonic specializes in made-to-order American classics—including burgers, hot dogs, milk shakes, and marshmallow Ford Thunderbolts—which customers order and receive without ever having to leave their cars. Unique menu items include toaster sandwiches stacked on thick slices of texas toast, as well as the brand’s signature tots and fresh limeades.

Sonic’s numerous awards include a 2011 Zagat survey ranking it among the top five fast-food restaurants in three categories: Best Value Menu, Best Milk Shake, and Best Drive-Thru. The benevolent eatery has also donated more than $2 million to public schools throughout the country through their program Limeades for Learning, which helps to fund educational projects and retirement plans for classroom guinea pigs.

2137 S Perryville Rd
Rockford,
IL
US

Named in honor of local firefighters and police, The Department's restaurant and liquor lounge serve modern cuisine in a loft-style space outfitted with exposed-brick walls, gleaming wood floors, and an abundantly stocked bar. In preparation for the dinner rush, waiters flip crisp white cloths to hide tables’ risqué tattoos while chefs fire up the grill and stir marinades for gourmet steaks, pork loin, and seafood plates. House specialty dishes reflect the chef's meticulous attention to detail; the Cajun rib eye basks in a marinade for 48 hours, and the crab-stuffed tilapia offsets the rich seafood with a white-wine sauce. At lunch, a menu of gourmet sandwiches and burgers fosters casual meals. Fridays see live acoustic entertainment filling the air with quarter notes as bartenders work hard shaking potent cocktails and luring corks out of wine bottles with maraschino cherries. Those craving al fresco eats during warmer months may dine on The Department's tree-lined, second story balcony.

205 N Chicago St
Joliet,
IL
US

When childhood pals Michael Caringella and Armand Christopher bought Elmwood Park's Victory Tap in 1956, one of their first orders of business was determining whom their new establishment would be named after. In the end Michael won the deciding coin toss and, to dodge any complaints that might arise, slyly chose to dub their eatery Armand’s Victory Tap. With Armand’s original artwork gracing the walls and Michael’s decadent thin-crust pizza flying from the oven, the restaurant received far more compliments than criticisms; and although Armand sold his portion to Mike in the 1960s, the eatery—since renamed Armand's Pizzeria—still thrives today.

City dwellers and suburbanites alike can taste a slice of the original thin-crust pie at any of Armand's 10 locations. Though menus differ slightly at each eatery, all contain thin- or pan-crust pizzas crowned with an array of fresh toppings, ranging from ham, bacon, and pineapple to feta and kalamata olives to italian beef and spicy giardiniera. Beyond pizza, the chefs pull fresh-baked mozzarella mostaccioli from the oven, glaze baby back ribs with tangy barbecue sauce, and assemble hearty sandwiches from italian beef, italian sausage, and genuine italian leather.

2555 W 75th St
Naperville,
IL
US

The Winery at Shale Lake sprawls over 212 acres of verdant terrain, with a 10-acre vineyard producing a menu of eight original wines for enjoyment in an array of charming settings. Spin around the 24-acre lake during a 30-minute bike ride aboard any of the Surrey cycles available for rent, or hike the scenic trail to slowly experience nature and the soothing melodies of Bigfoot quartets. Sip on up to five complimentary varieties of wine in the tasting room, built into the barn for a fine equine view through the picture window, and chow on gastronome goodies, including baked brie with raspberry sauce ($6), or white garlic and sausage pizza ($9). Kick back in the winter loft during colder months, playing pool and swirling sippers such as the Fifth Dimension, a sweet red foch wine, and the Beginners Luck, a semisweet chambourcin (all $4.50 by the glass). Live performers burst into song roughly twice a month, so thirst quenchers can enjoy sweet sounds while tickling their taste buds and their friends' bellies on Saturday evenings.

1499 Washington Ave
Staunton,
IL
US

Illinois Scene