Downtown Galena is one of the most charming places I've ever been. The historical feel and levels of streets makes you feel like you're in a movie. You'd never know that Illinois, which is supposed to be flat as a pancake, has so many hills and cliffs. It's really evident in the downtown area as well. Each street is literally on a different level of the city. It's incredible. The city is filled with artisan stores, restaurants, wine shops, cafes, antique stores and more. Every business is completely different from the other bringing an originality to the city that is hard not to appreciate. I've managed to document some of the spots I experienced, all of which are located on Main Street.
Galena Canning Company
This gem was one of my favorite shops on Main Street. It's filled with everything you could think of. Homemade pasta sauces and salsas, jams and jellies, honey, salad dressing and more! I picked up quite a few treats, mainly jams. I love getting freshly canned jam and jelly. It tastes so much better than anything you could buy at the store.
Galena Garlic Company
Galena Garlic Company is a shop with a bunch of tasty goods. They have a great variety of spices, spice blends, oils and vinegars. I bought the Italian Tuscan Herb Extra Virgin Olive Oil and love using it for roasting veggies, especially potatoes. It's packed with flavor that is clear just by tasting a drop. They have some interesting combinations like Orange Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Cranberry Pear Balsamic Vinegar. Taste as many flavors of oil or vinegar as you like before you make a decision on what to bring home.
Gobbie's Sports Pub & Eatery
Gobbie's is a fun, casual spot for lunch or dinner. They have anything you can possibly think of on their menu from sandwiches to pizza. I had the Robes Cajun Chicken Sandwich with sweet potato fries. I swear, you can feed me fries for the rest of my life and I'll be completely content. Probably a thousand pounds but content nonetheless.
Kaladi's Coffee Bar
Kaladi's came with a recommendation so of course I had to stop in. The inside is super laid back and comfy with places to sit and chat or sit and work. It's a nice retreat from the hustle and bustle of Main Street which is always nice. Because it was hot during my time in Galena, a hot coffee was not the first thing on my wish list. Instead, I ordered an Iced Latte and I was pleasantly surprised. I'm not normally a fan of iced coffee but this latte was pretty darn good!
Massbach Ridge Winery
Massbach has a vineyard and tasting room in Elizabeth, IL just a few towns over but they also have a tasting room in downtown Galena. You can try all their latest varietals including the very interesting, Apple Wine. It's tart, sweet and crisp...everything you want in a wine only it's made with apples! The staff at the tasting room was very friendly. This is one of the first places I'll return to when I head back to Galena again. The olive oil from the Galena Garlic Company is in the middle of the two wine bottles in case you're curious.
Vinny Vanucchi's Italian Ristorante
Another recommendation, Vinny Vanucchi's is a pride and joy of Galena. Have a "taste of the old neighborhood" in one of the restaurant's four dining areas. The garlic bread is to die for. You must allow yourself to indulge in the garlic bread and naturally, you should order pasta to accompany it. I had Auntie Nancy's Manicotti and man was that a satisfying dish. They're also open for lunch where I'm told by a local is about half the price but still a ton of food. Say hello to leftovers for the week.