Peoria has many great restaurants, cafes and shops to visit for a great meal or just a hot cup of coffee. My favorite part of traveling is trying all the great food a town or city has to offer. Some places you can't help visiting more than once, others are a one time treat. There were several restaurants I visited in Peoria. From homemade ice cream to classic Italian, it was a pretty well-rounded culinary experience. Check out a few below:
The Spotted Cow
The Spotted Cow is an old school creamery. They sell homemade ice cream along with a cafe menu for lunch and dinner. The decor is reminiscent of a Friday night teen hangout from the '50s. There are a ton of flavors to choose from, you can have sundaes and specialty creations, milkshakes and more. The sky is the limit and everything is absolutely delicious. The Spotted Cow is outside of the city but still in Peoria, just about a ten minute drive, and totally worth the adventure.
Rizzi's Italian Ristorante
Our first night there, I knew we would be hungry after a long drive so I wanted to eat somewhere that was filling and familiar. Naturally, an Italian restaurant spoke to me being with my Italian grandmother. There is a local restaurant practically around the corner from The Spotted Cow that has a fantastic menu. It's a cozy spot in a small strip mall with only about 20-30 tables at most. We luckily grabbed the last available table on a Friday night. My noni ordered the Cheese Ravioli which was delicious and I got the Linguine con Pollo (chicken sauteed in a white wine garlic sauce with fresh basil tossed in linguine). It was incredible. Nothing beats a large bowl of pasta after a long drive. Unfortunately my pictures did not turn out because the restaurant was dimly lit but if you have a chance to try this restaurant while in Peoria, I strongly recommend it.
Table 19 is a farm-to-table restaurant located inside the Mariott in downtown Peoria. It's an elegant restaurant located just off their lounge. I especially wanted to visit this restaurant because I am a huge supporter of the farm-to-table movement and genuinely enjoy the food because it just tastes so good! We ordered the Margherita Flatbread (tomato, marinara, a blend of cheeses, balsamic glaze and basil) as a starter. This could have been a meal in itself. It was probably my favorite thing I ate while in Peoria. The balsamic glaze really made the flatbread. The flavors were outstanding.
I had the Meatloaf (bourbon onion sauce, mashed potatoes, green beans, crispy onion strings) as my entree. It comes with two mini meatloaves, super creamy and fluffy mashed potatoes and fresh green beans. I never enjoyed meatloaf so much in my life. The onion bourbon sauce was out of this world. My Noni ordered the Mediterranean Chicken (wild rice, green beans, bruscetta tomato, onion and balsamic glaze) which she really enjoyed. I had a taste as well and equally loved it. Table 19 is great for an intimate or group setting. It's casual enough to not feel overly sophisticated but elegant in an understated way. The food is on point and the service was very friendly.