19 Best Restaurants in Rockford, Illinois to Try Today (2024)

Rockford, Illinois has a thriving dining scene and is home to a diverse range of restaurants, from laid back eateries to fine dining establishments.

You’ll also find a multitude of different cuisines on offer in this bustling city, from Asian and European to classic American and plant based options.

Whether you’re in the mood for a quick and easy dinner or you want to celebrate a special occasion with a superb and memorable meal, here are the 21 best restaurants in Rockford, Illinois.

1. GreenFire Restaurant Bar & Bakery

💻: website | 📞: 815-316-3473 | 📌: 6795 E Riverside Blvd, Rockford, IL 61114

Photo credit: GreenFire Restaurant Bar & Bakery Facebook page

GreenFire Restaurant Bar & Bakery is a farm-to-table restaurant which specializes in using locally sourced and organic ingredients throughout their extensive menu.

The menu caters to various dietary preferences, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.

Some popular menu items include their wood-fired pizzas, burgers served with salads, seafood and organic wines.

If you’re looking for an alcohol-free beverage, their homemade iced teas are also a popular choice.

GreenFire is one the best-rated restaurants in Rockford, Illinois for a relaxed yet high quality meal.

2. Alchemy

💻: website | 📞: 815-987-1662 | 📌: 1902 Reid Farm Rd, Rockford, IL 61107

Photo credit: Alchemy Facebook page

Alchemy is an upscale restaurant with open air seating that is perfect for groups and those celebrating special occasions.

The menu has a range of different cuisines and the focus is on sourcing local and high quality ingredients.

Some popular menu items include their artisanal pizzas, gourmet pasta and cooked to order steak.

There’s also an extensive cocktail and wine list, making it the perfect place to spend a leisurely few hours while soaking up the sunshine.

3. Lino’s

💻: website | 📞: 815-397-2077 | 📌: 5611 E State St, Rockford, IL 61108

Photo credit: Lino’s Facebook page

Lino’s is one of the most popular restaurants in Rockford, Illinois.

With a delectable menu of Italian cuisine, from pizzas, pasta and lasagne, along with seafood and vegetarian options, you’ll find a dish to suit any palette here.

The restaurant is famed for its atmospheric Italian style decor, inspired by the Leaning Tower of Pisa itself.

There are two locations but the flagship is on East State Street, and very worthy of an advance booking.

4. Abreo

💻: website | 📞: 815-968-9463 | 📌: 515 E State St, Rockford, IL 61104

Photo credit: Abreo Facebook page

Abreo is a modern American restaurant with a menu that features both classic and globally inspired small plates.

There is both indoor and outdoor seating, and the atmosphere is typically lively with soft music adding a gentle background accompaniment to your meal.

While the menu changes frequently, some popular items include duck nachos, cheese curds and chicken dumplings.

Their cocktail list is inventive and you’re sure to have a great time here, whether you’re visiting in a group or on an intimate date night.

5. Prairie Street Brewing Co

💻: website | 📞: 815-277-9427 | 📌: 200 Prairie St, Rockford, IL 61107

Photo credit: Prairie Street Brewing Co Facebook page

Overlooking the majestic Rock River, the Prairie Street Brewing Co is a restaurant and microbrewery located in a historic building with old world ambience.

You can choose from a selection of craft beers which are brewed on site, while ordering from their full in-house restaurant menu.

Popular food items include their smash burgers, cheese curds and other pub dishes.

If you’re visiting Rockford on a warm day, grab a beer and tuck into some small plates while you enjoy the scenic waterfront for a leisurely and enjoyable afternoon.

6. JMK Nippon

💻: website | 📞: 815-877-0505 | 📌: 2551 N Perryville Rd, Rockford, IL 61107

Photo credit: JMK Nippon Facebook page

Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Rockford, Illinois is a highly rated local secret, the hibachi-style Japanese restaurant, JMK Nippon.

Here you can sit back and be enthralled as the chefs prepare your meal right at your table, serving up both entertainment and deliciously grilled Japanese meats with style.

As your meal is cooked to order, you can make requests for modifications, and the chefs will be happy to accommodate where possible.

For those with a penchant for sushi, you’ll also find a wide selection of fresh and high quality rolls here.

7. Pho 815

💻: website | 📞: 815-708-8587 | 📌: 7437 E State St, Rockford, IL 61108

Photo credit: Pho 815 Facebook page

For those who prefer a more laid back eatery, Pho 815 is a highly rated go to Vietnamese spot for locals.

Here you can order a range of different flavors of Pho, including seafood, meat and vegetarian options, in addition to other Vietnamese specialities.

Other popular menu items include Bahn Mi sandwiches, noodles and rice based dishes.

Among restaurants that provide quick and fuss free dining, Pho 815 has some of the best casual food in Rockford, Illinois.

8. Giordano’s

💻: website | 📞: 815-398-5700 | 📌: 333 Executive Pkwy, Rockford, IL 61107

If you’re wondering where to eat in Rockford, Illinois that serves classic deep dish pizza, you’ll want to head straight to Giordano’s.

A Rockford, Illinois community favorite, Giordano’s is well known for their delicious and decadent Chicago-style deep-dish pizza.

Here you’ll find hearty pies with flaky buttery crust, tangy tomato sauce and layers of melted cheese.

The pizzas alone will easily feed a small group but there are also appetizers available if you want to snack on some sides, from crispy fries and the house salad.

If you’re looking for a classic Chicago style deep-dish pizza experience, Giordano’s is your best bet in the Rockford area. 

9. Olympic Tavern

💻: website | 📞: 815-962-8758 | 📌: 2327 N Main St, Rockford, IL 61103

Photo credit: Olympic Tavern Facebook page

The Olympic Tavern is a long running local pub, with over twenty five craft beers on their menu, in addition to a generous all day menu with steaks, sandwiches, seafood and other light bites.

There’s plenty of both indoor and outdoor seating available, so you can usually pull up some chairs and enjoy the selection of beers and snacks in the sunshine, making for a leisurely way to spend an afternoon.

10. Thai Hut Restaurant

💻: website | 📞: 815-395-8330 | 📌: 701 Highgrove Pl, Rockford, IL 61108

Some of the best Asian food in Rockford, Illinois can be found at Thai Hut.

Thai Hut is a traditional restaurant, serving authentic cuisine in its bright and airy dining room.

You’ll find classic dishes such as pad Thai, green curry, seafood and rice based dishes.

There are also vegetarian options available, and staff can recommend items based on other dietary restrictions.

Be sure to also try their iced teas and fruit based drinks, providing delicious refreshment on a warm day.

11. Woodfire Rockford

💻: website | 📞: 815-904-6422 | 📌: 408 E State St, Rockford, IL 61104

Photo credit: Woodfire Rockford Facebook page

Woodfire Rockford is one of the most popular restaurants in Rockford, Illinois for thin, crusty woodfired pizzas.

Using their high quality ingredients and offering a range of toppings, from traditional to unique, this is a popular institution amongst locals who seek fresh and tasty pizzas.

In addition to the pizzas, you can also feast on sides such as dough balls, side salads and desserts including cheesecake and creme brulee.

Gluten free pizzas are also available for those on specific diets.

Woodfire is often a busy spot however, so make sure to book in advance or come early.

12. Primo’s Pizza

💻: website | 📞: 815-226-0641 | 📌: 1710 Rural St, Rockford, IL 61107

Unlike other more trendy pizza joints, Primo’s Pizza positions itself as your local, neighborhood take away pizza shop.

However it’s the high quality ingredients and fresh toppings that makes Primo’s Pizza one of the best kept secrets in Rockford, Illinois.

This humble joint serves up delicious, hot pizzas to crowds of hungry locals, including patrons at the bar next door.

Those on a vegan diet don’t have to miss out either, Primo’s Pizza can also make vegetarian and vegan pizzas using dairy-free cheese on request.

13. Capri Restaurant and Pizza

💻: website | 📞: 815-965-6341 | 📌: 313 E State St, Rockford, IL 61104

Photo credit: Capri Restaurant and Pizza Facebook page

One of the best places to eat in Rockford, Illinois when you want that classic, old school Italian dining experience, complete with cozy booths, wooden decor, dim lighting and delicious pasta based dishes is Capri Restaurant.

Here you’ll find both classic menu items along with more modern cuisine, from traditional thin crust pizzas to pizzas with a stuffed base.

You can choose from a large variety of toppings, or you can opt for a pasta, seafood or lasagna main.

Thanks to its intimate setting, this place is perfect for a special occasion or date night.

14. Thunder Bay Grille Rockford

💻: website | 📞: 815-397-4800 | 📌: 7652 Potawatomi Trail, Rockford, IL 61107

Photo credit: Thunder Bay Grille Rockford Facebook page

This family friendly local restaurant is best known for serving classic American favorites through its extensive menu of steaks, seafood and Cajun inspired fare.

Some of the most popular items here include the Sunday breakfast brunch, the salmon fettuccine and the Cajun chicken pasta.

You’ll be dining in a rustic ranch style setting, so you can get a true taste of classic Illinois dining while enjoying your delicious and hearty dinner.

15. Lucha Cantina

💻: website | 📞: 815-977-4319 | 📌: 1641 N Alpine Rd, Rockford, IL 61107

If you’re looking for where to eat in Rockford, Illinois when you’re craving both American and Mexican flavors, Lucha Cantina is the place to go.

Here you’ll find a medley of innovative fusion dishes, from burgers, tacos, fajitas and the ever popular Oaxaca cheese sticks.

The flavors are bold and the service is energetic.

If you’re not sure what to try, the staff are happy to recommend dishes based on your personal taste and spice tolerance.

16. Stone Eagle Tavern

💻: website | 📞: 815-316-3636 | 📌: 6445 E State St, Rockford, IL 61108

Photo credit: Stone Eagle Tavern Facebook page

One of the top Rockford, Illinois restaurants if you’re wanting a casual, outdoor venue is the Stone Eagle Tavern.

This is a gastropub that serves American classic dishes, but with a twist. Some of the most popular items ordered include wood fired pizzas, the sirloin steak and the fresh seafood, including oysters.

You can also choose from their large variety of craft beers, many of which are available on tap.

The owners are known to frequent the tables and ensure guests are having a good time, so keep an eye out for their friendly and authentic hospitality.

17. Sahara Palace Mediterranean Restaurant

💻: website | 📞: 815-227-0270 | 📌: 5890 E State St, Rockford, IL 61108

Photo credit: Sahara Palace Mediterranean Restaurant Facebook page

One of the best places to eat in Rockford, Illinois for traditional Mediterranean cuisine is the Sahara Palace Mediterranean Restaurant.

With sharing style plates, a large range of options to suit different dietary preferences and a casual setting, this is an ideal option if you’re looking for a filling meal without spending too much money or having to dress up.

Some of the most popular items ordered here include the falafel platter, the chicken shawarma and the mixed dips.

With typical friendly Mediterranean hospitality, the serving staff will be more than happy to recommend plates if you’re not sure what to order.

18. Beef-A-Roo

💻: website

For a classic yet upscale American burger dinner, it is highly recommended to give the burgers at Beef-A-Roo a try.

This large family friendly space has an extensive menu, with both classic options and inventive dishes and flavors.

Beef-A-Roo is also great for groups and offers a range of menu items to suit all palettes, from their signature burgers, to sandwiches, wraps and sides including chips, salads and other small bites.

19. Texas Roadhouse

💻: website | 📞: 815-227-1283 | 📌: 7240 Walton St, Rockford, IL 61108

Photo credit: Texas Roadhouse Facebook page

Texas Roadhouse is a lively Texas style steakhouse, serving delicious and filling Southern inspired cuisine in a country ranch themed setting.

Some of the most popular menu items include the burgers, steak, ribs and variety of sides from the Ceasar salad to potato mash and ribs.

For a truly unique dining experience, book a table and settle in where you’ll be treated to a hearty meal while enjoying the quirky decor.

Even if you haven’t booked in advance, you can also pull up a seat at the bar and enjoy a house Margherita while you wait.

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