Our Stories

Top Spots to Enjoy Spring’s Flavors

March 9, 2022

Farms, large and small, surround our micro-urban community, providing fresh ingredients for local chefs to incorporate into their menus and for us to prepare at home. Here’s where you can enjoy or pick up the freshest ingredients of the season to support our local food system.


Dining Out with Local Ingredients

The Wheelhouse & Homegrown— Just off the Kickapoo Rail Trail in St. Joseph, the Wheelhouse incorporates local ingredients into their seasonal menus—a perfect excuse to go back. Chef Ryan Rogiers opened his second restaurant, Homegrown, at the Atkins Golf Course, this winter. The name says it all. Ingredients are locally sourced, leading to monthly menu changes so you can get what’s in season at that moment in time. 


Riggs Beer Company— Following traditional German brewing, the Riggs brothers utilize just four ingredients in all of their beers. Utilizing grains from their own family farm, and those grown on property, a typical month uses about 1500 pounds of their own grain. They also proudly run off 90-100% solar power. Take a tour of the brewery and enjoy your brew in their popular taproom and beer garden.


Timpone’s—From the family that originally brought pizza to Central Illinois, Timpone’s serves up authentic Italian cuisine, made from fresh ingredients. Their evolving menu means you can take your date there over and over again.


Silvercreek— Off the Boneyard Creek in Urbana, Silvercreek offers classic fine dining. Utilizing local ingredients from their gardens at their sister restaurant down the street, this restaurant is sure to charm you and your date.


Don’t miss these other must-tries while in our community!


For Date Night

Hamilton Walker’s—This spot is all about the service. Experience their exceptional hospitality while you enjoy steaks, seafood, and delectable desserts on what will surely be a date night to remember.


For a Hearty Burger

Crane Alley—Although they have several burgers as part of their regular menu, it’s the special burgers that always grab our attention. Go often to try them all out.


For Some Comfort Food

Wood N’ Hog—The mac n’ cheese at the BBQ joint is always a favorite, but the family recipe used at Wood N’ Hog always has people going back for more.


For Some International Flavors

Sticky Rice—This mother and daughter-owned spot in downtown Champaign offers flavors from Laos and Thailand. The Thum Muk Hoong (Papaya Salad) brings a combination of sweet and spicy flavors. Eat it with your hands with a side of sticky rice.


For Dessert

Flesor’s Candy Kitchen—Owned by sisters Ann & Devon, this candy shop and restaurant will send you home with their hand-dipped candies, or serve you their daily homemade ice cream.


Want to cook at home?

Outdoor markets kick off early May, with a market nearly every day of the week. Bringing ingredients from area farms and locally-made products, our markets are a haven for supporting local.  Check out these farmer’s markets to bring home our locally grown and raised ingredients. 

Seven farmers markets across five days:

TuesdaysChampaign Farmer’s Market

WednesdaysRantoul, Homer, and Sullivan Farmers Markets

ThursdaysMonticello Farmers Market and Sustainable Student Farm

FridaysMahomet Farmers Market

SaturdayUrbana’s Market at the Square, Arcola Market


Ready to plan your foodie weekend? 

Check out our Experience Guide to start planning!


We use cookies to ensure that you get the best experience on our website, although the cookies we use do not contain personally identifiable information. By continuing on this website or by clicking “ I Accept Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device. You can learn more about our privacy policy, how we use cookies, or how to disable cookies by clicking on the " Learn More " link at the end of this statement. Learn More.

I Accept Cookies