6 Great Places To Eat In The Peoria, Illinois Area


Chicago is the first place everyone thinks of when they think of amazing food in Illinois. Deep dish pizza, real Italian sandwiches, real Chicago-style hot dogs, the list goes on and on. The truth is, there are great places to eat in downstate Illinois as well. The city of East Peoria and surrounding areas have a lot to offer your taste buds too.

Fine Dining

Jonah's Seafood House -
Jonah's is a popular seafood restaurant in East Peoria. Their menu has offerings from both land and sea as well as choices from the oyster bar. They have an amazing clam chowder that is very popular with the locals. It is a favorite of mine as well. The atmosphere is classy and upscale. In addition, they also offer a bake shop and market which offers baked goods, seafood, deli,etc.

Seven On Prospect - Ten minutes across the McCluggage bridge you will find Seven On Prospect. Seven is a fine dining establishment in Peoria Heights. It has a very classy ambiance with low lighting and linens. They offer a varied menu as well as a full bar. The stuffed chicken with goat cheese is amazing. The prices are above average but not outrageous. After your meal, you may want to take a stroll and visit the various unique shops up and down the street that surround it.

Delectable Italian

Avanti's
- Italian food in a casual, family-friendly atmosphere. This is a family owned operation that always serves wonderful Italian food. They are most famous for their delectable Italian bread and their sandwich, The Gondola. If you order a salad, you have to get their homemade ranch dressing, it is a taste bud show stopper. Avanti's also offers daily specials at very reasonable prices.

Good Burgers

Cerberus Burger Bar -
Looking for a good burger or melt? Then Cerberus is where you want to be. The atmosphere is very casual and laid back. The menu has a creative twist with most sandwiches being named after Greek gods. The Perseus melt is very good. Another unique offering is their adult milkshakes like Athena (Cappucino Kaluha Milkshake) or Artemis(Mint Chocolate Absolut Milkshake). Cerberus offers memorable food and drinks at great prices in Peoria, IL.

Casual Dining

Publik House -
The Publik House is a casual dining restaurant also found in Peoria Heights. They offer sandwiches, salads and entrees. The Mac n' Cheese is phenomenal, made with white cheddar instead of yellow. Publik House is a well lit, laid-back place. They have a varied clientele and good prices.

Steak n' Shake - Even though it is a chain, Steak n' Shake still comes highly recommended. I have had a love affair with this restaurant since I moved here 20 years ago. If you haven't been to a Steak n' Shake, they are famous for their burgers made from steak, hence the name steak burger. Another favorite that they serve is chili mac. Chili Mac Supreme is my personal favorite. If you love milkshakes, this is the place to be. They serve a wide variety including classics (chocolate, vanilla, strawberry), specialties (mint Oreo, Nutella, Cookie Dough) or side by side (chocolate/banana, vanilla/strawberry). Another thing I love about the East Peoria location is the view of the Riverfront. If you are lucky , you can get a booth by the window and look out across the scenic view of the Illinois River.

So stop by in your travels and see what great tastes downstate Illinois has to offer.

Carrie Lowrance is a freelance writer and author and has lived in Illinois for twenty years. She has been published on Huffington Post, She Is Fierce, and The Frugal Farmer. She has also published two books of poetry and one children's book and she writes her own personal finance blog.