17 Best Restaurants in Peoria, Illinois to Try Today (2024)

Peoria, IL.

With its prime location along the Illinois River and its ranking as one of the top 10 biggest cities in the state, it’s no wonder that there are so many great places to eat in Peoria!

Whether you’re in town for work, play, or anything in between, we’ve got you covered on where to go during mealtime.

In fact, these 17 best restaurants in Peoria will make you want to stay even longer so you can try them all!

1. 2 Chez

Photo credit: 2 Chez Facebook page

Indulge in a memorable culinary experience at 2 Chez, a fine dining establishment that easily tops the list of the best restaurants in Peoria, Illinois.

From the moment you step inside, you’ll be greeted by an elegant yet cozy ambiance that sets the stage for a truly exceptional meal.

In the mood for seafood? Try the fried calamari to share, or the buttery scallops as an entree.

Ribeye steak is the perfect choice for anyone with a heartier appetite, or opt for the more budget-friendly chicken piccata!

The expert bartenders will wow you with their cocktails and friendly service, and you’ll definitely want to stay for dessert – try the créme brulee!

If you’re looking to treat yourself to an exquisite meal while in Peoria, 2 Chez is the place for you!

2. The Blue Duck Barbecue Tavern

Photo credit: Blue Duck Barbecue Tavern Facebook page

Located right between the train tracks and the Illinois River, The Blue Duck Barbecue Tavern is the perfect place for a taste of Illinois culture – and food, of course!

You’ll know you’re in the right place when you spot the tavern’s blue duck logo on the historic River Station building.

This old train station houses the casual pub of The Blue Duck Barbecue Tavern, as well as a great little martini and cocktail bar next door!

Try the pub’s signature banh mi sandwich, which stars a delicious brisket in a flavor-packed soy garlic sauce.

Friends or family can’t agree on cuisine for the evening? This tavern’s got it all!

With tacos, sandwiches, chicken, ribs, and more, you’ll have no problem finding something for everyone in your dining party.

This is a great option for dinner after visiting the Peoria Riverfront Museum, right across the street!

Or, hop over to the next block and check out the next place on our list…

3. Rhythm Kitchen Music Cafe

Photo credit: Rhythm Kitchen Music Cafe Facebook page

Looking for an evening of southern cooking with live music?

Rhythm Kitchen Music Cafe is the place for you!

Fill up on a good ol’ fashioned southern gumbo, jerk chicken, or crawfish dinner – or opt for a more familiar fare of burgers, pizza, or salad.

As you dine, you’ll feel like you’re in a dream, sitting amidst the eclectic decor which creates a warm and lively vibe.

And of course, when the local artists grace the place with their unique sound, you’re in for a night to remember!

4. Alexander’s Steakhouse

Photo credit: Alexander’s Steakhouse Facebook page

This beloved local chain is the best place to get steak in Peoria!

At Alexander’s Steakhouse, you’ll make sure to have your steaks just the way you like them – by grilling them yourself!

Select your cut, then head over to the huge indoor grill and get the feeling of a backyard barbecue no matter the weather!

Not super confident in your grillin’ skills?

Don’t worry; there will be an expert around to do it for you (free of charge).

Create your own custom side at the salad bar (included with your steak dinner), and don’t forget to save room for dessert!

Reservations are required for this unique steakhouse (one of only three locations in the world), so be sure to plan ahead!

5. Childers Eatery

Photo credit: Childers Eatery Facebook page

Not sure where to eat in Peoria, IL for breakfast?

Childers Eatery has four locations to choose from, and is open for breakfast as early as 7:00 AM!

This Peorian breakfast and lunch destination is locally adored, with delicious options that are sure to satisfy everyone in your party.

From the classic American diner fare, to health-conscious quinoa bowls and fresh squeezed juice, to six different types of eggs benedict, you’ll want to come back several days in a row to try a new way to start your mornings in town!  

Or, stop by before 3:00 PM for an equally satisfying lunch of salads, burgers, tacos, and more!

6. Gebby’s Family Restaurant

Another one of the best places to eat in Peoria for breakfast and lunch is Gebby’s Family Restaurant.

This old-fashioned American diner may not look like much from the outside, but a world of comfort food and friendly service awaits indoors!

The fireplace in the dining area creates a wonderfully cozy atmosphere, and the fluffy pancakes are a great reason to wake up in the morning.

If savory is more your thing, try one of their omelets, or the classic biscuits and gravy!

Their opening time of 6:00 AM is perfect for early risers, and their fair pricing is even better!

Don’t have much time? Stop by and pick up some coffee and a fresh muffin or cinnamon roll to go!

7. Fairview Farms Restaurant

Photo credit: Fairview Farms Restaurant Facebook page

Bring the kids to one of Peoria’s best restaurants for families!

Fairview Farms Restaurant is located in the middle of a quaint neighborhood, and truly feels like stepping into a family home.

The old fashioned wallpaper and decor will transport you to a time when neighbors actually knew each other – it isn’t hard to believe that this charming family establishment has been around since the 1950s!

From corn fritters, to fried chicken and scrumptious gravy, to delicious pies, you’ll be reminded of grandma’s cooking at every part of your meal.

Order from the family style menu to save big, or let everyone choose their own entrees if you just can’t agree on what to get!

8. Mariachi Mexican Restaurant Bar and Grill

Photo credit: Mariachi Mexican Restaurant Facebook page

Some of the best Mexican food in the area is at Mariachi Mexican Restaurant Bar and Grill.

This local eatery has just two locations, one in Peoria and another in Washington, IL, so you don’t want to miss out on this rare delight!

The colored tile and dark wooden booths give the place a warm and lively atmosphere, and the flavored margaritas are the talk of the town!

Right at the start, the freshly made chips and salsa will satisfy your cravings and leave you eager to try one of their delicious entrees.

Their fajitas are the star of the show, but don’t shy away from the equally amazing options of tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and more!

Kids with picky appetites will be happy with chicken tenders, cheeseburgers, or a grilled cheese sandwich, while curious adults might want to order several plates between themselves so they can try more flavors.

If you’re staying at one of the nearby hotels, you’ll be just a short walk away – though you might want to do a few laps around the building to walk off that meal!

9. Hearth Restaurant

Photo credit: Hearth Restaurant Facebook page

Looking for Peoria’s best restaurants for dates?

Treat your partner to dinner at Hearth Restaurant!

You can’t spell Hearth without Heart, and this restaurant is the perfect place to light a romantic spark in yours and your beau’s!

Located along the idyllic North Prospect Road in Peoria Heights, this little eatery is big on charm.

The presentation is like something out of a movie, with plates so beautifully adorned with food you almost won’t want to destroy it by eating it!

But, of course, when you do eat it, you’ll understand why Hearth is so highly rated.

Try the filet mignon, or opt for the more budget-friendly pork chops or lacquered salmon.

When you’re done, you’ll definitely want to share an exquisite dessert with your date, like bourbon vanilla ice cream, or a chocolate espresso torte.

Their selection of wine is sure to impress, whether you’re a wine aficionado or not, and there’s also plenty of beer, whiskey, and cocktails to choose from.

10. SLÉ – Seasoned Little Eatery

Photo credit: SLE Facebook page

SLÉ (pronounced “slay”) is a Seasoned Little Eatery full of flavor and friendly service!

Owned and operated by passionate local chef Michael Little, this is the place to be if you’re looking for comfort food with a Southern flair.

They’ve also got the best Sunday brunch in Peoria!

Stop in any day of the week for some craveworthy food and a unique atmosphere.

Check out their Facebook to find out what the weekly specials are when you’re in town!

11. Agatucci’s Restaurant

Photo credit: Agatucci’s Facebook page

Fresh, hot pizza awaits at Agatucci’s Restaurant in Peoria, IL!

One of the oldest restaurants in the city, Agatucci’s has been family-owned and operated since its opening in 1926.

Vincenzo Agatucci, an Italian immigrant to the US, settled in Peoria in the early 1900s, and his family has continued his legacy for generations.

With so much experience in the business, it’s no wonder that Agatucci’s has been recognized in multiple articles as one of the best pizzerias in Illinois.

Come in for classic pizzas, pastas, and more, and be sure to try their special “Tiger” sauce!

12. Sombrerito Mexican Restaurant

Photo credit: Sombrerito Facebook page

One of the best places to eat in Peoria on a budget, Sombrerito Mexican Restaurant serves up flavor for a reasonable price!

Whether you’re craving tacos, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, nachos, or any other Mexican delicacy, you’ll be more than satisfied here.

Order a handcrafted margarita (choose from five special flavors, or stick with the classic), an imported Mexican beer, or the usual sodas.

Not sure how to pronounce something? Their menus have a special page explaining what various terms mean (like “chalupas” and “tostaguac”) and how to say them.

This is a great option for families with young children who need a lot of visual stimulation to keep them occupied; the colorful decor is sure to satisfy even the most restless kids!

13. Khoury’s Cuisine

Photo credit: Khoury’s Cuisine Facebook page

Looking for a great place to eat with your friends, family, or coworkers, but no one can agree on a cuisine?

Khoury’s Cuisine is the place for you!

This Mediterranean restaurant has all the gyros, hummus, and falafel a person could want, but they also have a diverse menu of other offerings.

Their hot Philly sandwiches are sure to please, as well as their refreshing subs.

Why not try a blend of American and Mediterranean with their unique Gyro Burger?

If the weather’s nice, you’ll definitely want to sit on the cute patio out front, but you’ll also find comfortable seating indoors if you’re visiting in the winter.

14. The Publik House

Photo credit: The Publik Facebook page

Atmosphere or food?

You’ll get the best of both worlds at The Publik House!

This popular pub is modeled after the Old World-style of many English pubs, but serves American comfort food and cocktails.

Don’t worry, you’ll still find fish and chips if that’s what you’re looking for!

But you’ll also have the options of classic American burgers, tri-tip sirloin, and some of the best mac n’ cheese you’ll ever find!

Be sure to order a basket (or two!) of their bacon and bleu cheese fries to share with the table!

15. Rizzi’s Italian Restaurant

Photo credit: Rizzi’s Italian Restaurant Facebook page

If you’re looking for great atmosphere, friendly staff, and some of the best Italian food in Peoria, you’ll find yourself at Rizzi’s Italian Restaurant.

Family-owned and operated since their opening in 1995, this local establishment serves up authentic Italian dining with a welcoming smile.

Whether you’re in the mood for chicken, seafood, or mouthwatering pasta dishes, Rizzi’s has you covered!


Sit at the bar and sip on a cocktail while enjoying your meal.

If you’re in town for a family reunion or other gathering, why not order a to-go pan to share with everyone? (Be sure to order 48 hours ahead of time!)


Photo credit: Kabab-G Facebook page

KABAB-G may be unassuming on the outside, but it’s got some of the best food in Peoria on the inside!

Stop by this Lebanese restaurant for some authentic shawarma, falafel, and fresh hummus.

And, of course, there are the kebabs!

Buy a skewer or two (or three!) and you’ll understand why locals love this place.

For dessert, you’ve got to try the baklava!

This honey nut pastry is an absolute delicacy, and it’s light enough to satisfy your cravings without having to worry about being too full.

17. Lou’s Drive-In

Photo credit: Lou’s Drive-In Facebook page

Want a classic All-American dining experience?

Park at Lou’s Drive-In and listen to your car radio while you enjoy one of their delicious burgers!

This local drive-in diner is hard to miss, with its big retro sign and red picnic tables out front.

Eat in your car, or get out and sit at one of the tables if the weather’s nice.

Their root beer floats are the perfect treat for a summer day, and locals will drop by just to fill up on their fresh popcorn!

Of course, if you’re looking for a real meal, they’ve got you covered.

From classic burgers and hot dogs, to tenderloin and chicken, to fish and even tamales, you’re in for a delicious lunch or dinner from this hidden gem!

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