THE BLOG
07/11/2014 09:07 am ET Updated Sep 10, 2014

Eat Well, Illinois!

A few weeks ago, we shared with you the 30 top-rated restaurants in the biggest metropolitan areas of the state, and you said you wanted to hear about some restaurants in downstate Illinois. Here are 30 more of the top-rated restaurants within the moderate price range ($$) in six of the biggest communities in southern Illinois, based on Yelp reviews.

Metro East St. Louis


Cleveland-Heath (Edwardsville)


Type: American

Rating: four-and-a-half stars

Sample review: " I started with their Deviled Eggs app, seasoned with just the right amount of hot sauce, parmesan, and paprika. Next I chose their Beet Salad. Mixed beautifully with baby beets, grilled scallions, sesame yogurt, pistachio, and candied lemon. (Yes, pistachio!) It all worked to create great flavors."

Peel Wood Fired Pizza (Edwardsville)


Type: Pizza

Rating: four stars

Sample review: "We went twice. Ordered maple bourbon wings, Caribbean wings and the brie pizza. The second time we got Alfredo wings, Thai wings and a BBQ pineapple pizza. Both times everything was great. The pizza is a little limp in the middle but otherwise good.  The brie pizza was clearly the stand out."

Sushi Tatsu (Fairview Heights)


Type: Sushi

Rating: four-and-a-half stars

Sample review: "Don't be turned off by the exterior. The sushi there is great and the quantity and quality is top notch. This will be our go to sushi spot from now on."

The Egg & I (O'Fallon)


Type: Breakfast & Brunch

Rating: four stars

Sample review: "Had the corn beef hash. Awesome! Served very hot. Take your time eating this. Had my eggs basted & they were perfect. They have Apple Butter for my English Muffin...wow. The Jalapeño sauce is great alternative to Tabasco."

Osaka Sushi Cafe (Granite City)


Type: Sushi, Japanese

Rating: four stars

Sample review: "The rolls are well prepared, you can tell the chef/owner has been making sushi for a very long time. The place is small and cozy, the service isn't very fast, but the wait in 100% worth it. Fresh fish, good Miso soup, great ginger dressing on the salad."

Quad Cities


Lemongrass Cafe (Moline)


Type: Asian fusion

Rating: four-and-a-half stars

Sample review: " I always get the tom yum with shrimps, and the gra pow which is a minced chicken stir fried with basil and veggies, then topped with this super crispy fried egg. The cool part is, the yolk still runs though the edges are so crispy. The gra pow is really hot!! My mouth will burn and stomach will be on fire each time! So good!!"

Blue Cat Brewpub (Rock Island)


Type: Pub

Rating: four stars

Sample review: "The food here is really great. The cheese dip in particular is delicious and very unique. The menu is big and has a lot of creative offerings. So I definitely recommend coming here for dinner. However, their beer is just awful. We've tried almost every kind, on several different visits, and without fail they have all been flat, warm, and completely unlike whatever style they claim to be."

Osaka Buffet (Moline)


Type: Japanese

Rating: four stars

Sample review: "Osaka Buffet has so many choices for sushi, it is phenomenal for the price you pay to eat here. They even have sashimi! The fish is really fresh and delicious, unlike other buffets that have poor, sketchy sushi."

La Rancherita (Rock Island)


Type: Mexican

Rating: four stars

Sample review: "The service staff is quick, the food is good and the prices are reasonable. This isn't Americanized Mexican food, rather this is more authentic."

Cafe Fresh (Moline)


Type: Sandwiches

Rating: four stars

Sample review: "The food was very good. We ordered the strawberries berry salad. It came with grilled chicken, cranberries, cashews, but I didn't find one strawberries in the salad. Also asked for tomatoes on just one and neither of them had tomatoes on them. Over all it was a good salad though."

Bloomington/Normal


Ephesus (Bloomingotn)


Type: Turkish

Rating: four-and-a-half stars

Sample review: " I tried their Soslu Patlican, a cold appetizer made out of eggplants and the Lahana Dolmasi for dinner (cabbage stuffed with lamb, beef, and rice). The appetizer was delicious with their pita bread. Their Turkish tea is also great. It's served hot, unsweetened and has a wonderful spiced aroma/taste."

Thai House (Bloomington)


Type: Thai

Rating: four stars

Sample review: "The Thai red curry chicken that comes with noodle was really awesome! Fried wonton was not so great so would not order that again.  No biggie. Gyoza was very good!!!! Definitely will go back."

Destihl Restaurant & Brew Works (Normal)


Type: American, Brewery

Rating: four stars

Sample review: "My fiance and I ordered the pretzels to start off, and man oh man were they good pretzels.  I know, pretzels sound like a weird thing to get at a restaurant but I was really satisfied with them. I ordered the jumbalaya for my entree and it was good, too.  Not my favorite dish ever but definitely well done in my opinion.  She got the steak salad and really loved it."

Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano (Bloomington)


Type: Italian

Rating: four stars

Sample review: "The food is great, but the soup spoons are to die for. So many reviewers focus on the food. That's too bad because Biaggi's has the best soup spoons around. Their spoons just don't get the attention that they deserve."

Lucca Grill (Bloomington)


Type: Pizza

Rating: four stars

Sample review: "Classic Bloomington Normal restaurant and bar. Seating downstairs or up and lots of nostalgia on the walls to look at. Italian theme and great appetizers, stuffed ravioli, antipasto plate. Thin crust pizza is the best you will find anywhere."

Decatur


Il Forno


Type: Italian

Rating: four-and-a-half stars

Sample review: "Best pizza in Decatur, by FAR.  Everything is fresh, authentic Italian toppings, and can't beat a pizza crust from a wood oven.  Forget other midwest "pizza" joints in town and go straight to Il Forno."

Fuji Japanese Steakhouse


Type: Sushi bar

Rating: four stars

Sample review: "The ONLY place you should be eating Sushi at in Decatur, IL.  Service is a bit slow but overall the staff is very nice. The sushi is fresh and portions are great! The lunch specials are really good and definitely try the Ramen noodle soups, those are excellent and very filling!"

Beach House


Type: Seafood

Rating: four stars

Sample review: "Most of the dishes are dressed up versions of American classics, but are much improved by the use of fresh, highest quality ingredients. The seafood menu is extensive and delicious. Truly gourmet seafood options are available (in addition to the standard options, such as tilapia, salmon, and crab cakes)."

Jasmine Thai Restaurant & Sushi Bar


Type: Sushi bar

Rating: four stars

Sample review: "Peaceful dining environment with a lovely water feature. Fresh rolls were crisp cool and tasty. Both dishes were cooked to order and served piping hot.  Ingredients were fresh and colorful."

Paco's Sol Bistro


Type: American

Rating: three-and-a-half stars

Sample review: "My "go to" meal is the shrimp tortilla (chipotle-glazed shrimp, avocado spread, jack cheese, corn salsa) which is wonderful. The chicken wrap is good, but it has gotten a little heavy on spice the past few times I have tried it so I have shied away from it as of late. I absolutely LOVE the chipotle glaze they put on their burgers. Also, their chips, salsa, and guac are awesome!"

Belleville


The Wine Tap


Type: Wine bar

Rating: four-and-a-half stars

Sample review: "I think you've got to get the baked brie if you find yourself there. Good pastry/bread crust with a small wheel of brie inside.  Add honey, nuts and dried fruit and it becomes amazing."

Eckert's


Type: American

Rating: four stars

Sample review: "Though it's an overused term, there really is something for everyone. Pumpkin patches, apple orchards, berry fields... and a tractor trailer to pull you around the sprawling property in charming fashion. And just when you think you've experienced it all, the smells of home-cooked comfort food beckon you to one of the two restaurants on the property. The best part of our meal? The housemade biscuits with Eckert's own apple butter! Seriously - I couldn't put them down."

Tavern on Main


Type: Bar

Rating: four stars

Sample review: "Lunch buffet is $9 and consists of soups, salads, pastas, pizza, and desserts. The soups were okay (I tried the corn chowder and the tomato bisque)...they were nothing to write home about, but the pizza really hit the spot. They are thin crust, and they put out a medley of offerings from veggie to sausage to cheese to pepperoni."

Korean Garden Grill


Type: Korean

Rating: four-and-a-half stars

Sample review: "We had Yaki Mandu, Fried Korean Dumplings for an appetizer.  They were served with two slices of cooked, seasoned tofu, seasoned zucchini, and kimchi on the side. Entrees were bulgogi (beef) and dak bulgogi (chicken).  Everything was served fresh and hot and very prompt.  The owner also served us a kimchi pancake since it was our first visit.  Everyone working there seemed interested in making sure we enjoyed ourselves."

Papa Vito's


Type: Pizza

Rating: four stars

Sample review: "Such a good place to get an excellent pizza.  The service is the only thing that keeps this place from getting a full five stars from me.  And I don't think that's a reflection on the wait staff, rather they always seem to be incredibly busy.  We always tend to have to wait for drinks.  But, the pizza always comes to our table piping hot, and good, hot pizza is why we're there."

Danville


Monical's Pizza


Type: Pizza

Rating: three-and-a-half stars

Sample review: "Unique thin crust pizza is what Monicals is all about. Get a salad with their French dressing or their light French dressing. But watch our-- it's and Unbelievably addictive flavor."

Buffalo Wild Wings


Type: Sports bar

Rating: three stars

Sample review: "Buffalo Wild Wings is THE PLACE to eat in Danville. I love going here with my friends to enjoy great tasting wings and beer. "

Red Lobster


Type: Seafood

Rating: four-and-a-half stars

Sample review: "We eat here a few times a year and almost never disappointed. I ordered the tilapia and my wife got 3 types of shrimp.  our food was cooked to order with fast and courteous service. My wife didnt care for her coconut shrimp but i loved it (and ate it all off of her plate to prove the point)."

Deluxe Restaurant


Type: American

Rating: two-and-a-half stars

Sample review: "The food was passable.  I have chili and a philly steak sandwich, both were average.  Good portion sizes and reasonable prices."

Garfield's Restaurant and Pub


Type: Salad

Rating: two stars

Sample review: "Typical chain restaurant.  Food is good, nothing spectacular.  Restaurant is clean and management interacts with the guests."

NEXT ARTICLE: Let's eat: What's your favorite restaurant in Illinois? (Part I)

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