Food and Drink in Kankakee, IL
Local and regional cuisine usually defines an area and Kankakee is no different. Residents and visitors can enjoy a variety of restaurants in Kankakee and the surrounding region, some featuring local flavors and farm-to-table recipes as well as wines and beers from around the State of Illinois.
The 142-year-old City Tavern in Kankakee is the most beautiful bar south of Chicago. Not only does the building retain its original woodwork and tin ceiling, but it also has a colorful history‚ having served as a brothel many years ago. The building can seat 400 people in both the downstairs and upstairs bar areas. The upstairs is designated non-smoking and has a separate air filtration system. This area is open on Friday and Saturday nights and for private parties and special events like Cinco de Mayo.
Kankakee County is home to some delicious Southern cooking, even though Kankakee is in the northern half of the United States. Three popular Southern-style restaurants in the county are Savannah’s Southern Bistro, Jimmy Jo’s BBQ, and Bulls Pit BBQ & 5 Star Wings.Savannah’s Southern BistroHere’s a salute to Savannah’s, which is owned by two National Guard officers. Frank Hayden and Mark Ray not only operate the restaurant but are soldiers who served in Iraq and are currently in the Illinois National Guard.
Mexico is a thousand miles from Kankakee County, but top Mexican restaurants are within close reach for area residents. In fact, spice is the variety of life at nearly a dozen Mexican restaurants thriving in Aroma Park, Bourbonnais, Bradley, Kankakee and Manteno. Among the newest eateries to join the taco, burrito and enchilada lineup is El Mexicano, which opened in December 2009 on Riverstone Parkway in Kankakee.