For the most complete listing of area restaurants, visit the Champaign County Convention and Visitor's Bureau website.
Urbana-Champaign is home to incredible pizza places, whether you are looking for New York style, Chicago style or Chicago stuffed. Try hometown favorite Monical's known for their thin crust; Papa del's is widely known for their stuffed pizza; Vinny's is perfect New York style. There are many, many great pizza chains and small pizzerias around including, Jupiter's Pizzeria and Billiards, Pizza Hut, Domino's, Papa John's, Manolo's, Papa Murphy's Take n Bake and Little Ceasar's.
Campus and Campustown
Campustown continues to grow and change, so here are some excellent standbys. There are many more restaurants to discover on your own! The Red Herring Vegetarian Restaurant at 1209 W. Oregon is underground and offers exclusively vegetarian cuisine. This co-op makes incredible soups, entrees, sandwiches, salads, and baked treats for lunch. The Herring boasts a cheerful staff and gets crowded during its limited hours. The Bread Company at 706 S. Broadway features homemade soups and fresh breads for lunch, with a nice selection of baked goods for dessert. At night, the lights dim and the tablecloths come out. The Jerusalem Restaurant at 601 S. Wright offers all your Middle Eastern favorites like hummus, falafel, couscous, dolmeh, and tabouli. A popular lunch spot is the Y Eatery in the University YMCA on Wright St. It is open daily for lunch and serves a limited selection of Thai food with daily specials. It’s warm, filling, and cheap and provides great seats for group discussions. Mia Za’s Italian Cafe at 629 E. Green delivers inexpensive but good paninis, pastas, and pizzas. They can usually accommodate their large lunch crowds. The new El Charro at 55 E. Green offers authentic and delicious Mexican food; it is also a grocery store. Maize at 60 E. Green is always packed and has incredible authentic Mexican. We also have a Chipotle Mexican Grill at 528 E. Green. At 710 S. Goodwin, Timpone’s is in campustown, but the gourmet Italian restaurant is not of the campustown variety. It is a local tradition and they offer nightly specials and have a long wine and dessert list.
The Courier Café at 111 N. Race in downtown Urbana is one of the few restaurants in town that seems to please everyone! This local favorite opens every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Their breakfasts, burgers, salad bar, and amazing shakes are very popular. Up the street lies the much more expensive Silvercreek 402 N. Race. The setting can be romantic, and the food seems to be worth the price. Siam Terrace presents traditional Thai dishes and features several weekly specials. The staff is attentive, the atmosphere is relaxed, and the food is superb. While there are several good restaurants that serve Tex-Mex and Mexican fare, Toro Loco at 1601 N. Cunningham Ave. continues to be popular for its good service and reasonable prices.
Downtown Champaign has a wonderful mix of eclectic and American restaurants including Big Grove Tavern with a midwestern cuisine, Dublin O'Neil's Irish food and pub; and Destihl Brew Works which has high end pub food. For finer Latino cuisine try Escobar's. Radio Maria, long considered extremely hip and apparently quite popular, at 119 N. Walnut, perhaps should be tried and judged for oneself. Manzella's Italian Patio, just 2 blocks east of downtown at 115 S. First Street offers a nice variety of genuine Italian cuisine, and just across the street from them is Fiesta Cafe at 216 S. First. Fiesta is well loved by locals for it's Mexican fare and margaritas.
The newly opened Bacaro at 113 N. Walnut has been receiving rave reviews for fine dining, while the just-as-recent Pekara at 116 N. Neil has been doing well as a bistro and bakery. Merry-Ann’s Diner, a local favorite,is an informal, traditional diner with a new location at 1 E. Main. It is one of the few places in town open 24 hours. Kamakura Japanese Restaurant at 715 S. Neil serves freshly prepared sushi and teppanyaki among other delectable items.Oishi Hibachi Steakhouse at 2501 N. Prospect is known for the tabletop hibachi service of Pan-Asian sushi and Chinese dishes.
Champaign has the great majority of chain restaurants, including such standards along the North Prospect strip as Red Lobster, Chili’s, Ruby Tuesday, Applebee’s, Outback Steakhous and Bucca di Beppo. A little further afield, is an absolute staple of locals is The Ribeye at 1701 S. Neil Street. They are known for their huge salad bar and, of course, ribeye steaks cooked to perfection. Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano at 2235 S. Neil with a large menu of fresh pastas, soups, and salads and Panera Bread at 1765 W. Kirby with great bakery items. Atlanta Bread Company at 1905 S. Neil offers fresh, quality sandwiches, salads, soups and pastries. Billy Barooz Bar & Grill at 2521 Village Green Place boasts being the #1 sports bar in town - always great food and fun. Minneci's at the Crossing - 2501 Village Green Place- is known locally for their impeccable Italian faire.