Restaurants in Illinois

Slow-Cooked, Steel-Cut Oatmeal with Customizable Toppings and Optional Drinks at Jamba Juice (Up to 44% Off)

Jamba Juice

Multiple Locations

Kick-start your day with 100% organic, whole-grain oats slow-cooked with soymilk and topped with your choice of 36 topping combinations

$3.49 $2

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Food and Drink at Pearl (Up to 40% Off). Two Options Available.

Pearl

Northeast Rockford

Brick-oven pizza, Italian beef sandwiches, and inventive cocktails in an inviting atmosphere with glass waterfalls and granite fixtures

$20 $12

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$5 for $10 Worth of Casual American Fare at Jody's Hot Dogs in Joliet

Jody's Hot Dogs

Joliet

Cooks prepare Chicago-style hot dogs, cheeseburgers, french fries, and a variety of sandwiches inside a casual ‘50s-inspired setting

$10 $5

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$14 for Two Specialty Pizzas at Bricks Wood Fired Pizza & Cafe (Up to $26 Value)

Bricks Wood Fired Pizza & Cafe

Multiple Locations

Wood-fired pizzas in specialty combinations that feature artichokes, barbecued chicken, italian sausage, or even eggs

$26 $14

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Mexican Dinner Cuisine for Two or Four at Sammy's Mexican Grill & Bar (Up to 47% Off). Three Options Available.

Sammy's Mexican Grill & Bar

Sunset Park

Mexican specialties—such as mole poblano or cheesy chilies rellenos filled with ground beef—served in Sammy’s colorful dining room

$30 $16

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Hibachi Lunch or Dinner Buffet for Two or Four at Hunan Buffet (Up to 31% Off)

Hunan Hibachi Buffet

Waukegan

Chinese favorites such as pork dumplings and General Tso’s chicken served alongside dishes ranging from buffalo wings to sushi

$14.58 $9.99

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$12 for 2 Groupons, Each Good for $10 Worth of Grill Food at The Lucky Dog ($20 Total Value). 4 Locations Available.

The Lucky Dog

Multiple Locations

Vienna hot dogs, gyros, made-to-order burgers, italian beef, and other generously portioned Chicago favorites at a family-run local chain

$10 $6

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$20 for $40 Worth of Sushi at Wildfish

Wildfish

Arlington Heights

Tropical-hued eatery named one of the top 10 sushi restaurants in Chicago by Gayot; rolls with maki, black rice, and soft-shell crab

$40 $20

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$12 for $25 Worth of Spanish Tapas at Tapas Barcelona

Tapas Barcelona

Evanston

Tapas spot featured on WGN’s Chicago’s Best serves up Spanish classics like grilled mussels or bacon-wrapped dates

$25 $12

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Specialty Drinks and Artisan Foods at Argo Tea (Up to 40% Off). Two Options Available.

Argo Tea Café

Multiple Locations

Sip specialty tea drinks such as Teappucino and Carolina Honey while snacking on brie-and-cherry paninis and cranberry cinnamon muffin

$25 $15

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Mexican Cuisine for Two or Four at Los Arcos Mexican Grill (Up to 45% Off)

Los Arcos Mexican Grill

Palatine

Traditional assortment of tacos, burritos, tortas, fajitas, tostadas, chimichangas, and more

$20 $12

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

Café la Cave

Des Plaines

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

$50 $25

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Dao Sushi and Seafood for Lunch or Dinner at Dao Restaurant & Bar (Up to 50% Off)

Dao Restaurant & Bar

Orland Park

Asian-American fusion dishes, including 40+ maki rolls, served in a unique setting featuring palm trees and giant kabuki masks

$10 $6

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Italian Cuisine at Parmesans Station and Parmesans Wood Stone Pizza (Up to 50% Off). Three Options Available.

Parmesans Station and Parmesans Wood Stone Pizza

Multiple Locations

Stuffed breads, pastas, and pizzas baked over wood in stone oven and paired with wine; new Tinley Park location also hosts parties up to 120

$20 $10

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

Sushi Thaime

Sushi Thaime

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

$30 $16

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$10 for $20 Worth of Asian Fusion Cuisine for Dinner at Chef Shangri-La in North Riverside

Chef Shangri-la

North Riverside

Asian and Polynesian recipes beget citrus-kissed meats, spicy stir-fry, and sweet and sour veggies amid tiki-style decor

$20 $10

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Burgers with Craft-Beer or Martini Flights for Two or Four at Emerson's Ale House (Up to 50% Off)

Emerson's Ale House

Mount Prospect

Craft beers or flights of martinis are paired with half-pound burgers on pretzel buns

$43.80 $22

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Japanese Cuisine at Hokkaido Sushi Hibachi Steak House & Lounge (Up to 50% Off).

Hokkaido Hibachi Sushi Steak House & Lounge

Oakbrook Terrace

Japanese cuisine such as tuna poke topped with grated parmesan cheese & shrimp shumai, a pan-fried Japanese-style shrimp dumpling with ponzu

$50 $25

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Indian Food at India House (Up to 48% Off). Two Options Available.

India House

Hoffman Estates

Award-winning Indian restaurant crafts Bombay- and Delhi-inspired cuisine, including lamb baked in a tandoor oven and chicken vindaloo curry

$40 $22

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

Juicy-O Pancake House

Multiple Locations

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

$15 $9

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$12 for $20 Worth of Healthy Eats at Fitness Cafe

Fitness Cafe

Glenview

Using guidelines set by National Heart Association, healthful dishes made from fresh ingredients offer scrumptious alternative to fast food

$20 $12

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American Cuisine at Valentine's Restaurant (45% Off). Two Options Available.

Valentine's Restaurant

Freeburg

White-clothed tables at this casual eatery hoist gigantic steaks, tilapia, and bacon-wrapped pork loins

$40 $22

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$22 for $40 Worth of Tapas-Style Cuisine at Flight 112 Wine House

Flight 112 Wine House

Elmhurst

Wine bar praised by Time Out Chicago and the Daily Herald focuses on Spanish wines and small plates

$40 $22

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

Cedar Rock Grill

Rock Valley

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

$20 $11

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Mexican Cuisine for Two or Four at Senor Jalapeno (Up to 50% Off)

Senor Jalapeno

Lombard

Eatery dishes out authentic Mexican food such as guacamole, chimichangas, steak fajitas, and stuffed peppers served with rice and beans

$20 $12

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

Oishii Thai

Buffalo Grove

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

$20 $15

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

Golden Bowl

Bartlett

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

$20 $12

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Barbecue for Two at Crystal Lake Rib House (Up to 40% Off)

Crystal Lake Ribhouse

Crystal Lake Rib House

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

$20 $12

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Sushi and Japanese Cuisine for Two or Four at Sakuma Japanese Restaurant (50% Off)

Sakuma Japanese Restaurant

Streamwood

Bite into pieces of deep-fried tofu in seasoned soy sauce before digging in to inventive and beautifully presented sushi rolls

$30 $15

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

RoccoVino's

Carol Stream

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

$30 $15

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

Aodake Sushi & Steak House

Multiple Locations

More than 15 specialty maki rolls served alongside hibachi-grilled seafood, chicken, and steak

$30 $15

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$17 for $30 Worth of American Food at John's Restaurant and Tavern

John's Restaurant and Tavern

Winfield

Burgers and sandwiches such as meatloaf and corned beef, grilled shrimp dinners, fish tacos, and banana cream pie

$30 $17

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Pizza and Italian Food at Wa-Pa-Ghetti’s Pizza (Up to 50% Off). Two Options Available.

Wa-Pa-Ghetti's Pizza

Wheeling

Diverse menu with handcrafted pizzas, classic American dishes, and items inspired by Italian and Mexican cuisines

$10 $5

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

Affresco Pizzeria/Lounge

Park Ridge

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

$55 $27

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Filipino and American Cuisine for Carryout at Barrio Fiesta Filipino Restaurant (Up to 45% Off)

Barrio Fiesta Filipino Restaurant

Calumet City

Filipino and American food includes honey barbecue wings, beef torta with rice, fried pork chops, veggie lumpia, pancit guisado, and lasagna

$20 $11

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

Wok 'n Fire

Multiple Locations

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

$30 $15

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$20 for $40 Worth of Steak and Seafood at Ki's Steak and Seafood

Ki's Steak and Seafood

Glendale Heights

Chefs prepare sirloin doused in bernaise sauce or bacon-wrapped scallops in a restaurant overlooking a rustic farm and fields

$40 $20

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$6 for $12 Worth of Pasta, Pizza, and Sandwiches at Jimbos Jumbos

Jimbos Jumbos

Pekin

Cooks serve hot Italian meatball sandwiches and bake pizzas available by the slice

$12 $6

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Sushi-Making Class for Two or Four with Dinner and Sake, or Japanese Food at Tensuke Market (Up to 52% Off)

Tensuke Market

Elk Grove Village

Learn to make sushi from a master with more than 20 years of experience before sitting down with a bottle of sake and eating your creations

$120 $59

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$30 for Two Groupons, Each Good for $30 Worth of Pizza, Salad, and Sandwiches at Blue & Gold Pizza ($60 Total Value)

Blue & Gold Pizza

Veedersburg

Taco salads, sausage sandwiches on 12" italian bread, and pizzas topped with housemade sauce and Grande Cheese Company cheese

$30 $15

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Healthy Meal for Two or Four with Sides, Appetizers, and Entrees at Muscle Maker Grill (Up to 48% Off )

Muscle Maker Grill

St. Charles

Healthy comfort food made from fresh ingredients including light sandwich wraps, Angus steak, and gluten-free salad dressing

$20.97 $12

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Mexican Meal for Two or Four at Los Arcos Mexican Grill (Up to 45% Off)

Los Arcos Mexican Grill

Woodridge

Classic Mexican tacos, burritos, and fajitas alongside spicy seafood creations

$20 $12

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Pizza Meal for Two or Four with Appetizer Sampler and Soft Drinks at Rocky's Pizzeria (Up to 54% Off)

Rocky's Pizzeria

Multiple Locations

Bite into your choice of three appetizers, such as chicken fingers, tater tots, and fried shrimp, plus handmade cheese pizzas

$21.72 $10

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

Mike's Pizza

Gages Lake

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

$10 $6.50

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

Restaurant Ararat

Mundelein

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

$20 $11

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Burgers, Beers, and Appetizers for Two or Four at Scoreboards Pub & Grill (Up to 58% Off)

Scoreboards Pub & Grill

Oswego

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

$37.97 $17

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$15 for Three Groupons, Each Good for $10 Worth of Mexican Food at Mr. Burritos and Los Lokos Burritos ($30 Total Value)

Mr. Burritos and Los Lokos Burritos

Multiple Locations

Tacos and burritos stuffed with various vegetarian and meat fillings, such as carne asada, carnitas, and coconut shrimp

$10 $5

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

Mandile's Italian Ristorante

Algonquin

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

$40 $22

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Italian Dinner for Two or Take-Out at Riggio's (Up to 46% Off)

Riggio's

Niles

Specialty sandwiches stuffed with meatballs or veal parmigiana; pasta entrees swimming in pesto or clam sauce; pizzas with 20+ ingredients

$25 $13.50

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$25 for $45 worth of Mexican Cuisine for Two or More at La Casa De Isaac

La Casa De Isaac

Multiple Locations

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

$45 $25

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

Fajitas Mexican Restaurant

Burbank

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

$20 $10

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Rib Meals at Kenny's Ribs & Chicken (Up to 35% Off). Two Options Available.

Kenny's Ribs & Chicken

Lansing

Barbecue joint dishes out meals of Chicago–style ribs prepared over an open flame, coleslaw, french fries, and bread

$14.99 $11

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$15 for Two Groupons, Each Good for $15 Worth of Dining at Lucky's Drive-In ($30 Value)

Lucky's Drive-In

Oak Forest

Whether you order from the comfort of your car or in the welcoming dining room, Lucky’s puts together top-notch Chicago-style eats

$15 $7.50

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$7.50 for $15 Worth of Burgers, Baby Back Ribs, and Barbecue at Alfie’s Inn

Alfie's Inn

Glen Ellyn

Famous burgers treated with special in-house seasoning and loaded with grilled onions at a family-friendly, medieval-styled eatery

$15 $7.50

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$18 for $30 for Sushi and Japanese Food at 153 Akira

153 Akira

153 Akira

Specialty maki and classic rolls, as well as udon and teriyaki dishes

$30 $18

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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

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

$15 $7.50

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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

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

$35 $19

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$23 for $40 Worth of Sushi and Contemporary Grill Cuisine at Swordfish

Swordfish

Batavia

Special-ordered fresh fish used in artfully presented seafood entrees, sashimi, and sushi rolls, served in room illuminated by fireplace

$40 $23

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

9 East Coffee

Freeport

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

$20 $11

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$10 for Two Groupons, Each Good for $10 Worth of Comfort Food at Happy Cow ($20 Value)

Happy Cow

Caseyville

Cow-themed restaurant whips up generous portions of home-spun comfort food including burgers

$10 $5

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Italian Cuisine and Drinks for Two or Four at Danny's (Up to 50% Off)

Danny's

Melrose Park

Homestyle Italian cuisine including pasta, steak, and house-special neckbones

$25 $13

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Belgian-Chocolate Fondue Treats at Melt n Dip (Up to 50% Off). Two Options Available.

Melt n Dip

Vernon Hills

Dark, white, and milk Belgian chocolate cover fruit and crepes at fondue shop

$10 $5

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Brisket, Chicken, or Pork Meals with Slaw, Fries, & Drinks for Two or Four at Russell's Barbecue (Up to 44% Off)

Russell's Barbecue

Elmwood Park

An Elmwood Park institution since 1930, the eatery churns out classic barbecue once featured on the Food Network

$23.96 $14

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$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

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

$38.77 $24

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$19 for $40 Worth of Indian Food and Drinks During Dinner at Saffron

Saffron

Westmont

Sample Indian food staples such as saffron chicken and lamb in spinach puree

$40 $19

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$75 for Two $50 Gift Cards for Wine and International Cuisine at Robust Wine Bar & Café ($100 Value)

Robust Wine Bar

Multiple Locations

Cheese or charcuterie, salads, small plates of seafood, pork, or steak, and dessert, accompanied by wine at an award-winning wine bar

$100 $75

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

Parkside Pub

Huntley

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

$25 $13.25

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Take-Out Pizza from Donati's Pizza of Rolling Meadows (Up to 43% Off). Two Options Available.

Donati's Pizza of Rolling Meadows

Rolling Meadows

Signature thin or thick dough transforms into bacon-strewn Southside pie or supports custom arrangement of 20+ toppings

$20 $12

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

Town Hall Lounge

Town Hall Lounge

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

$20 $10

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$11 for $20 Worth of Thai Food and Drinks for Two or More at Rosded Too

Rosded Too Thai Cusine

Morton Grove

Chefs blend sweet and savory Thai flavors and customize spice levels to diners’ preferences

$20 $11

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

Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery

Roselle

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

$20 $11

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Baked Goods and Lunch Food, or Catering at John Dough Bakery (50% Off)

John Dough Bakery

Lisle

Pastries and chocolate-covered confections accompany a casual lunch menu kicked up with components such as fresh goat cheese

$10 $5

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$10 for $25 Worth of Eastern European and American Cuisine, Valid Monday–Saturday at Old Vilnius Cafe

Old Vilnius Cafe

Darien

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

$25 $10

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

Sushi Bar

Bloomingdale

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

$20 $11

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Two or Four Groupons, Each Good for $10 Worth of Chicago-Style Grill Fare at Beef Villa (Up to 50% Off)

Beef Villa

Multiple Locations

Classic "hot and fast" fare such as Italian beef sandwiches, broasted chicken, and Italian sausage

$10 $5.50

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$12 for $30 Worth of Sushi, Japanese, and Thai Food at Dao Sushi and Thai Restaurant

Dao Sushi and Thai Restaurant

Oakbrook Terrace

Specialty sushi rolls and sake arrive at tables amid chic decor of hanging pendant lights and a Buddha motif

$30 $12

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Sicilian Food at Corleone Sicilian Restaurant (50% Off). Two Options Available.

Corleone Sicilian Restaurant

Linn

Mussels steamed in a white-wine and lemon sauce, fresh fettuccine tossed in a creamy garlic sauce with broccoli, and classic veal piccata

$30 $15

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One or Two Groupons, Each Good for $30 Worth of Sushi and Drinks for Dinner at SakeZake Sushi & Rolls

SakeZake Sushi & Rolls

Grayslake

Creative specialty sushi rolls with soy paper, cream cheese, jalapeño, and tempura crunch

$30 $14.50

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American Fare for Dine-In or Carry-Out at 12 Handles Ale House (Up to 58% Off)

12 Handles Ale House

Crest Hill

Wings tossed in sauces ranging from barbecue to sweet habanero, as well as burgers, pasta, and pizza

$20 $8.50

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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 75th Street
Woodridge,
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

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