3 Destinations for Farm to Table Dining in Illinois

Illinois is full of great farm-to-table restaurants, and some offer cuisine so exquisite that it’s worth taking a day trip to try the food. Check out these three options throughout the state the next time you’re craving a fresh, memorable meal.

Bacaro in Champaign

Bacaro is a fine-dining establishment that serves New American dishes. However, the prix fixe menu is always changing. The restaurant works with local farmers, so what’s available for your meal depends on what’s in season. In addition to excellent dishes made with fresh market ingredients, Bacaro features a comprehensive wine selection. Come by for dinner or try what’s on the seven-course tasting menu, which comes with wine pairings.

You’ll find this eatery at 113 N Walnut St. in Champaign, Illinois. The shop is in the heart of town, so you can shop or visit the Champaign County History Museum or the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum before or after your meal. The Art Theater is also nearby, which is a 1913 theater showing art, foreign, and cult films.

Barley & Rye Bistro in Moline

Image via Flickr by kevin dooley

Barley & Rye Bistro is a top-rated bistro in Moline, Illinois. The restaurant gets its ingredients from 25 farmers and providers in the local area. Virtually every item on the menu provides a farm-to-table experience. Burgers, sandwiches, and a cod fish-and-chips plate are available during the day, and you can visit after 4 p.m. for ribs, steak, and seafood options such as Alaskan salmon and scallop macaroni and cheese.

The bistro is at 1320 5th Ave., which is just a few blocks from the Mississippi River. Enjoy a stroll along the water before your meal, or check out the John Deere Pavilion. This museum is within walking distance of the restaurant and features a collection of tractors and other heavy farming machinery. You’ll also find plenty of local shops and a few Moline hotels within a few blocks of Barley & Rye Bistro.

Harvest Café in Delavan

Harvest Café is located at 317 S Locust St. in Delavan, which is a city with a population of a few thousand people. It’s easy to pass by the small area without realizing you’re missing one of the best farm-to-table options in the state. The Harvest Café is a New American restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Menu items range from egg platters to pizzas, burgers, ribs, and catfish. The restaurant sources ingredients from 10 local suppliers, including one mushroom farm and an apiary.

Delavan is a small city with a few shops along its main street. Lake Park is nearby, which is perfect if you need a good walk after your meal. Thomas J. Vonachen Memorial Park is close to the restaurant, as well.

These restaurants serve farm-fresh food from across the state, so dining at any of these locations is a wonderful way to experience Illinois culture and community. Plus, each restaurant is in the city’s downtown area. If you decide to take a day trip to try one of these eateries, you’ll have no problem finding hotels and things to do nearby.

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