Chain restaurants can be boring, and fine dining places can be pricey. But luckily there are loads of restaurants right in the middle. We’re talking about those classic mom and pop restaurants. These are the ones that are family-owned, not so flashy exteriors, and fair prices. The cooking is typically simple but filling. Here are our top 11 mom and pop restaurants in Illinois.
1. Hovey's Diner
This is your classic old-school burgers and fries place. It's got that '50s charm, down to the tables and the vanilla cokes. 412 E Main St, Olney, IL 62450.
2. Eppel's Restaurant
Nestled in the bustling streets of Chicago, this diner has a true down home feel. Any place that does grits the right way is good in my book. 554 W Roosevelt Rd, Chicago, IL 60607.
3. Red Apple
Large portions keep people coming back for more--this place can be pretty crowded on the weekends. And whoa, check out how awesome their pies look. 2625 N Center St, Maryville, IL 62062.
4. Sycamore Parkway
This charming family restaurant has delicious food at affordable prices. People rave about the fried chicken. They even have a bison burger. 605 E State St, Sycamore, IL 60178.
9100 W Golf Rd, Niles, IL 60714. This Greek-American diner has both American classics and Greek specials (just check out this chicken). They also have a super huge dessert case. 9100 W Golf Rd, Niles, IL 60714.
6. Merry Ann's
For anyone in Champaign-Urbana, this is a must-try. It's your typical greasy-spoon place with an awesome breakfast--especially at 2 in the morning. 701 S Gregory St, Urbana, IL 61801.
Any place that serves chili and ice cream is a winner. Both the chili and ice cream are great, but we can't stop talking about the chili. 100 W Commercial St, Morris, IL 60450.
8. Just Like Italy
It's always a treat to go into an old-school Italian joint. This place serves up traditional Italian fare, and they do a really good thin crust pizza. 1810 N Delany Rd, Gurnee, IL 60031.
This place has been around since 1978 and it feels like it has been around longer than that, even. It's a wonderful stop for hot dogs and fries. 147 N Milwaukee Ave, Libertyville, IL 60048.
10. Dell Rhea's
This unassuming joint has the best fried chicken in all of Illinois. This is not hyperbole. 645 Joliet Rd, Willowbrook, IL 60527.
11. The Shanty
This all-wood everything place gives you that classic feel. They do steaks and seafood perfectly. 38985 US-41, Wadsworth, IL 60083.