Illinois April 14, 2017
9 Irresistible Restaurants That Define Illinois
There are a lot foods that Illinois is known for, but what about the restaurants that make them famous? Known and loved for decades, these hole-in-the-wall diners and dives (and some better known chains) are legacies to everyone who knows their names.
From pizza to Italian beef, here are all the best places to get your favorite eats.
1. Gene & Jude's
This award-winning red hots stand has been serving up dogs since 1946. Located in River Grove, it claims to have the best hot dogs in America.
Illinois' best fast food chain first opened its doors in Villa Park in 1963. Today it is known for its Italian beef and has tons of locations throughout the state. Additional, irresistible eats include cheeseburgers, hot dogs, cheese fries, salads, shakes, and chocolate cake.
3. Paradise Pup
Since 1983, this tiny dive has been serving up the cheesiest burger around: the Cheddar Burger. During dinner and lunchtime, there's almost always a line at this Des Plaines joint.
With locations in both Morton Grove and Chicago, this restaurant bakes up thick-crust pizza with a caramelized crust. Though it's been around for years, it's not well known outside the state.
5. 17th Street Barbecue
Down in Southern Illinois, you can get a barbecue feast Texas would be proud of. Known for its ribs, this restaurant serves up its award-winning food in Murphysboro.
6. Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket
Located right on Route 66 in Willowbrook, you can enjoy southern fried chicken without leaving the Midwest. The only thing better than the chicken might be the sides, which include mashed potatoes, green beans, onion rings, and mac n cheese.
7. The Shanty
Enjoy rustic dining at this seafood and steak restaurant. With over 100 years of history, the restaurant was most recently reopened by locals in 2010.
8. Lou Malnati's
We can't talk about iconic Illinois food without mentioning its most famous pizza. With many locations throughout the state, this restaurant serves up classic Chicago deep-dish, which means the toppings are on the bottom with cheese and then sauce baked on top.
9. Cozy Dog Drive In
Opened in Springfield in 1946, this famous hot dog stand is a Route 66 classic. It bills itself as the home of the "Famous Hot Dog on a Stick."
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What other restaurants define Illinois? Let us know in the comments below!