Sometimes, you just need a home-cooked meal. We’re talking stick-to-your-ribs, calories-don’t-count, classic comfort food. This you won’t find at a chain restaurant or fine-dining establishment; but rather, a family-owned, mom-and-pop style spot. While unassuming and humble, it’s these hidden gem restaurants that dish up some of the most satisfying and delicious food. Here are 9 mom & pop restaurants in Illinois where you can get a hot, home-cooked meal.

What is your favorite Mom & Pop Restaurant in Illinois? Where do you go when you’re craving comfort food? Share your foodie favorites with us in the comments below!

And while many of these mom & pop restaurants are under the radar, Illinois has some famous restaurants that have put The Lincoln on the culinary map!

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Mom & Pop Restaurants in Illinois

What are some of the best diners in Illinois?

Throw a stone and you'll hit a diner in the Land of Lincoln -- our state has some seriously amazing diners! Smokey's Diner has some of the best barbecue and ribs in the state; the diner is also known for its classic breakfast dishes. Cozy Dog Drive-In is another must-visit diner; since 1946, this well-loved diner has been serving generations of Illinoisians, and their "hotdog on a stick" belongs on any foodie's bucket list. And The 50's Diner is perhaps the most delightful diner in Illinois; it's a newer restaurant with an old-school diner vibe. The interior is bright and colorful with booth seating that will make you feel like you've walked right into an old diner -- or the set of Happy Days. Serving breakfast and lunch, this eatery is known best for its brunch items like eggs, pancakes, sausage, and toast. It's a total dining experience!

What food is Illinois known for?

Illinois lays claim to some of the most ubiquitous foods in the country: Chicago-style hot dogs, deep-dish pizza, gyros, pierogies -- these are classic dishes that people everywhere can thank Illinois for! And if you're craving these dishes, check out this list of restaurants that serve up some of the best, most iconic Illinois food!

Where can I get some great comfort food in Illinois?

If you're craving comfort food in the Land of Lincoln, definitely check out Country School Restaurant. Located near Rockford, this schoolhouse-themed restaurant is best-known for its fried chicken, sausage gravy biscuits. If you're feeling extra hungry, Yoder's Kitchen is your best bet. Open for lunch and dinner, the Amish restaurant features an epic buffet piled high with savory and sweet delights that are all homemade. And in Maple Park, Kane County Country Market specializes in classic comfort fare like biscuits with gravy, hearty breakfast plates, and fried chicken. This country restaurant also has some of the best sweets and treats in the state: old-fashioned donuts, cinnamon rolls, cookies, sweetbreads, and more are made fresh on-site, and we advise grabbing a box of treats for the road!


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