Sometimes you get this idea that, in order to get quality food, you have to travel elsewhere. But sometimes the best cuisine is right under your nose, down the block, at a local joint. These 11 restaurants in Illinois specialize in being fantastic restaurants that just so happen to be right down the street.
1. 9th Street Cafe
This is an awesome place for breakfast and lunch. Large portions of things like smoked pork chops will make you become a regular. 900 Laurel St, Highland, IL 62249.
2. The Purple Onion
The Purple Onion specializes in country cooking. People absolutely rave about their meatloaf. 311 W Front St, Annawan, IL 61234.
This diner hasn't changed since about 1970. That's a good thing. They serve diner food that is to die for. 801 St Charles St, Elgin, IL 60120.
4. Townee Square Restaurant
Prepare to rub shoulders with plenty of locals. It's a great breakfast joint, but people do come later to enjoy their fine sandwiches and soups. 508 N Milwaukee Ave, Libertyville, IL 60048.
5. The Verdict Restaurant
The verdict is in: people love the food here. 12 hangry men give this Greek-American cuisine 2 thumbs up. 600 S County Farm Rd #100, Wheaton, IL 60187.
6. Courier Cafe
This is an institution in Champaign-Urbana, and always packed on weekends. They do excellent burgers, and surprisingly have some decent vegetarian fare. 111 N Race St, Urbana, IL 61801.
7. At's a Nice Pizza
Everyone goes for the deep dish and the big name places, but this place might be serving the best pizza in Illinois. Great crust and sauce make this pizza a winner. 334 N Independence Blvd, Romeoville, IL 60446.
8. Kiki's Bistro
Guess what? You can get fantastic French food right around the corner. Authentic French cuisine transports you to a Paris cafe. 900 N Franklin St, Chicago, IL 60610.
9. Castle's Patio Inn
This place is definitely more of a local watering hole, but the food is good. They are known for their cheese spread. Really, it's amazing. 802 W Loucks Ave, Peoria, IL 61604.
10. The Newell House
This looks like your neighborhood joint selling American food. But the food is modern American food, a little more upscale. 201 E Main St, Carbondale, IL 62901.
11. Omega Restaurant
From large omelettes to Greek-style chicken, there is something for everyone here. And no one can miss the obscenely large dessert case when you enter the restaurant. 9100 W Golf Rd, Niles, IL 60714.