15 Best Restaurants in Kankakee, IL

Best Restaurants in Kankakee, IL
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The county seat of Kankakee County, Kankakee, is known for its rich history and charming downtown area.

As the city is located roughly 60 miles south of Chicago on the Kankakee River, its early residents were Potawatomi Indians, and its name is derived from a version of their name for the river.

There is so much to discover, with 57 miles of meandering rivers, pastoral and urban areas, a rich history, and stunning natural scenery.

The restaurants in Kankakee will satiate your appetite with delicious alternatives and distinctive flair, whether your tastes are simple, refined, or somewhere in between.

It's also a culinary destination with a diverse range of restaurants offering everything from Italian to Mexican cuisine.

Here are the best restaurants in Kankakee, Illinois:

Burgers & Beer

Tasty Hot Head
Burgers & Beer via Yelp.com

For badass burgers, craft beer, and a great overall dining experience, look no further than Burgers & Beer on West Jeffery Street.

The restaurant has been serving mouth-watering burgers since it was established in 2014.

The badass burgers served in Burgers & Beer are half-pound hand patties burgers made of Black Angus beef; these burgers are served with either chips or fries.

Choose from The Hottie, made with Pepper jack and jalapeno, or four kinds of cheese, including melted pepper jack, Swiss, cheddar, and American cheeses.

Sandwiches are also available for Burgers & Beer, including Grilled PB&J or the Pork Trio made of bbq pork, bacon, and grilled ham.

You can also create your own burger, where you could add on extras like mushrooms, bacon, fried egg, and more.

For drinks, Burgers & Beer offers a rotating list of craft beers on tap as well as bottled options.

Carlo's Restaurant

Sloppy breakfast
Carlo's Restaurant via Yelp.com

Home-cooked meals for the whole day and daily specials are the highlights at Carlo's Restaurant on West Station Street.

The soup of the day is made fresh daily, or you can order the Chili Mac or Chili-Mamma Carlo's Recipe for a heartier meal.

Breakfast is served in Carlo's Restaurant, with choices of light and tender Jumbo Hot Cakes, and depending on your appetite, you can order as many as three hot cakes.

For lunch and dinner, the restaurant offers sandwiches and Italian specialties, including lasagna, parmesan-encrusted tilapia, veal or chicken, parmesan, and more.

The beverages on offer include basic coffee, hot chocolate or tea, milk, and orange or tomato juice.

Rigo's Place

Food at Rigo's Place
Rigo's Place via Yelp.com

The dishes of Rigo's Place are renowned for their gastronomic excellence and global influences.

Start your meal with appetizers and choose Bleu Cheese Stuffed Portabella, Crab cakes, and the sautéed to perfection Escargot Catalan.

Dinner entrees are also must-tries, such as the Rigo's Special, a dish made of sautéed chicken breast topped with crab patty and champagne sauce.

The restaurant offers several choices for seafood lovers, such as the scrumptious Shrimp Deal Casa or the savory Shrimp Skewer Dinner.

Whether for lunch or dinner, Rigo's Place's calming, unpretentious, and family-friendly setting makes for the ideal eating experience.

You can find this restaurant on North Schuyler Avenue.

Paul's Place

Food at Paul's Place
Paul's Place via Yelp.com

Since 2005, Kankakee has been proudly served by the family-run American Paul's Place on South Washington Avenue.

It has always been to offer delicious meals to everyone looking for a unique dining experience that combines a lively atmosphere and expert cooking.

Paul's Place Restaurant & Bar serves homemade breakfast all day, modernizing old classics with a new spin, such as Biscuit and Gravy Supreme, which is made with sausage patties and eggs and comes with either potato or fruit.

Their sandwiches are also popularly ordered, such as the savory Italian beef made more delicious with roast beef and topped with au jus.

You can also grab a taste of the Pepper Steak Sandwich busting with an eight-ounce steak seasoned with pepper and comes with onions and green peppers.

The restaurant also offers burgers, salads, and dinner platters such as fried or grilled pork chops, country-fried steak, or ham.

Paul's Place offers more than 100 beers, such as Sam Adams, Goose Island, Leinenkugel's, and 3 Floyds.

Blue's Cafe

Butterscotch Cream Pie
Blue's Cafe via Yelp.com

Blue's Cafe, a staple of Kankakee's eating scene, hasn't seen many transformations in recent years.

The restaurant was co-owned by Debbie and Julie Chouinard.

They were a part of the family that founded it in 1954, until they sold it to Florin Ahmedoski and Nick Naksuti of Albia, Iowa.

Blue's Cafe still serves its well-loved handmade pies, despite the change in ownership.

The restaurant's salads are classics, as you can choose from Chef's Salad, Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad, or the Chicken Pecan Salad for healthy options.

For sandwiches, try out their Club House Grill Sandwich, made with ham and BBQ sauce, or the Italian Beef Sandwich, which comes with mozzarella and pepperoncini.

The cafe also serves wraps, burgers, and breakfast specials, so you have plenty of options.

Whether an early breakfast or a late dinner, Blue's Cafe on West Station Street offers value and quality that has become synonymous with its name in Kankakee.

Oliver's Bar & Grill

Boneless Wings
Oliver's Bar & Grill via Yelp.com

Established in 2003, Oliver's Bar & Grill has become a favorite spot for locals and tourists looking for contemporary American cuisine with tasty twists.

Choose your starter from its various concoctions, such as Irish and chicken nachos, quesadillas, bayou shrimp, and chicken wings.

Then, make your way to the entrees, and you can grab a taste of Romano Crusted Chicken, Fish N Chips, Authentic Fajitas, and Chicken Pot Pie.

Homemade pizzas, burgers, and sandwiches are available for those craving something lighter or more filling.

Paninis are also on the menu, so you can have your fill by ordering Italiano, Old-Fashioned Turkey, Patty Melt, or Chicken Americano.

Located on West Station Street, Oliver's Bar & Grill offers an enjoyable dining experience with a lively atmosphere and efficient service.

This is the perfect spot to gather with friends or family for a satisfying meal.

Crazy Joe's Diner

Taco salads
Crazy Joe's Diner via Yelp.com

You'll go loco when you try Crazy Joe's Diner on South Washington Avenue, a family-friendly spot with a fun atmosphere and tasty food.

Start your day with breakfast at Crazy Joe's Diner by trying out the From the Griddle offering of French Toast, pancakes, waffles, or Biscuits & Gravy.

For sandwiches and burgers, there's the uniquely delicious Jack Daniel's Burger, with onion rings, Jack Daniel's Sauce, and Cheese, or a Hobo Burger, which comes with hash brown, grilled onion mushrooms, and cheese.

Crazy Joe's Diner also offers wraps such as BLT Wrap, Breakfast Burrito, Barn Yard Burger, and Country Fried Chicken Biscuit.

If you're starving, try out their Eggs & Meat Special and feast on Country Breakfast, Heavy Belly Sandwich, and Any Way Eggs.

Kids can also enjoy meal options, such as bacon cheeseburgers or chicken fingers.

Crazy Joe's Diner offers an enjoyable atmosphere and delicious food, making it a must-visit spot in Kankakee.

Martinez Tacos

Martinez Tacos via Yelp.com

Perched on East Station Street, Martinez Tacos serves authentic Mexican cuisine that will bring you back for more.

Start your meal with appetizers such as Burrito or Bunuelos, and follow it up with tacos made of your choice of meat, BLT, and onion.

For your main meal, try out their specialties, such as the Carne Asada, Bistec A La Mexican, or Milanesa.

Favorite Mexican dishes are also available, such as the delectable Quesadillas and Pico De Gallo.

For something heartier, go for the meaty Chimichangas, Chilaquiles con Huevo y Carne and Tampiquena or skirt steak.

Martinez Tacos also offers a variety of soups, salads, and a combination of platters and specials.

Poor Boy Restaurant

Hot corned beef sandwich
Poor Boy Restaurant via Yelp.com

Located on East Court Street, Poor Boy Restaurant serves American and Greek cuisines, offering both familiar favorites and unique dishes.

Start your meal with Greek Salad, Buffalo Chicken Salad, or the Chef's Choice Julienne Salad to whet your appetite.

Then, dive into the main meals with options such as Gyro Sandwich, Philly Cheese Steak, Poor Boy Sandwich, or Pizza Puff.

For something lighter, you can choose from the Wrap options on the menu, such as the Mediterranean, Buffalo, Gyro BLT, or Club Wrap.

Deli Sandwiches are also offered for those on the go, with options such as Turkey, Ham and Reuben, Corned Beef Melt, and Gyro Sub.

The restaurant offers hearty platters such as Greek Platter, Gyro Platter, or a combination of Gyros and Chicken if you're feeling starving.

Poor Boy Restaurant offers tasty meals in a cozy atmosphere, making it the perfect spot for a satisfying meal.

Great Wall

Food at Great Wall
Great Wall via Yelp.com

Authentic Chinese fares are what you can expect at Great Wall, located in Riverstone Shopping Center on West Court Street.

The restaurant offers a variety of appetizers and soups, as well as beef, chicken, pork, seafood, and vegetable dishes.

Get a taste of their soup, including the Wonton Egg Drop, Hot and Sour, Vegetables, and Chicken Noodle Soups.

Favorites such as Shrimp with Snow Peas, Lo Main, Chicken Fried Rice, and Fried or Steamed Dumplings are available.

If you're feeling adventurous, try the unique dishes, including the flavorful Roast Pork Egg Foo Young, Chicken or Shrimp with Garlic Sauce, Orange Flavor Chicken, and General Tso's Chicken.

Special Combination Platters are also available at Great Wall, including the Chicken Chop Suey, Kung Po Shrimp, and Beef with Mixed Vegetables, all served with fried rice and egg roll.

Monical's Pizza

Pizza at Monical's Pizza
Monical's Pizza via Yelp.com

The original Monical's Pizza was founded in Tolono, Illinois, in 1959 and had several locations, including one in Kankakee.

Located on West Court Street, Monical's Pizza offers a variety of unique pizzas, such as the famous BBQ Chicken, Mighty Meat, Florentine, and Italian Special.

Specialty sandwiches are also available, from the Italian Beef, Turkey and Meatball Sub, to the Make it a Pleaser and Hot Sicilian sandwiches.

If you feel something different for your meal, the restaurant also offers Pasta dishes such as Spaghetti with Marinara or Meatballs, Lasagna, Baked Ravioli, and Tortellini.

If you want something light, why not try their salad offerings, including the Garden Fresh Salad, Pecan grilled Chicken Salad, Antipasto Salad, and Chef Salad?

Eddie's Bar & Grill

Grilled Chicken Salad
Eddie's Bar & Grill via Yelp.com

Ed and Sheri Gorman, both locals, are the proprietors and operators of Eddie's Bar and Grill on West Station Street.

It's the ideal location for a night out, a business lunch, or a weekend celebration with the family.

American cuisine is offered at Eddie's Bar and Grill in a relaxed eating setting.

In addition to selling a wide variety of domestic and imported beers, the restaurant is also known for its delectable pizza.

You can choose from their various pizza offerings, such as Cheese, Buffalo Bill, Trio, Italian Combo, and Serious Meat.

JR's Chicken

Food at JR's Chicken
JR's Chicken via Yelp.com

Located on East Bourbonnais Street, JR's Chicken is a full-service eatery that takes pride in offering some incredibly distinctive goods and a varied menu with something for every palate.

The restaurant prepares its food using a top-secret recipe, house-smoked meats, and homemade BBQ sauce.

Even the baby back ribs and pulled pork rib tips are smoked by the restaurant.

The BBQ sauce is JR Chicken's concoction and the succulent chicken's well-kept secret.

All of the salads are also pepared from scratch.

The macaroni salad they serve at almost every family gathering and holiday gathering is also well recognized.

In addition to its delicious food, JR's Chicken also offers catering services for events and parties.

Isidro's Tamales & Taqueria

Pastor tacos, chorizo tacos, and tamale
Isidro's Tamales & Taqueria via Yelp.com

One of the best Mexican restaurants in Kankakee is Isidro's Tamales & Taqueria on West Station Street.

It specializes in tacos, with different flavors, including carne asada or steak, pollo asado or grilled chicken, marinated pork, carnitas, or deep-fried pork.

After a full day of fun, you can visit Isidro's Tamales & Taqueria and fill your stomach with taco dinner, which comes with three tacos, rice, and beans.

Burritos are offered, with flavors ranging from caritas, cecina, pork spicy, and fish.

You can also try the tortes, which come with lettuce, cheese, and sour cream, and can be ordered with a filling of turkey ham, a combination of marinated steak and ham, and Mexican sausage.

Julio's Family Restaurant

Julio's Family Restaurant is a staple in the Kankakee community and has been serving delicious food since it opened its doors in 2018.

The restaurant on West Court Street offers a variety of American favorites, including sandwiches, burgers, and wraps.

You can also try their Lunch Specials offerings, including fish and chips, Monte Cristo, Tuna and Tenderloin Melt, Santa Fe Chicken, and Rodeo Burger.

If you're looking for sandwiches with a twist, you can try out their Fajita Melt, Fish Sandwich, Grilled Cheese, Tuna and Chicken Salad Sandwiches, and Club Sandwich.

Salads are also available at Julio's Family Restaurant, with the likes of Julienne, Greek Chicken, BLT, and Tossed ones.

Final Thoughts

Kankakee may not be known as a foodie destination, but the city has plenty of options for a delicious meal.

This place has it all if you're in the mood for Italian, Mexican, American classics, or BBQ favorites.

The next time you find yourself in this charming Midwest town, check out the best restaurants in Kankakee, Illinois—you won't be disappointed.

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