Rockford Food Guide: 10 Must-Eat Restaurants & Street Food Stalls in Rockford

April 14, 2018 Flossie Demartino

Boasting 20,000 acres of green space, numerous golf courses, four rivers and the verdant Rock Cut State Park, Rockford is a haven for the outdoor adventurist. Tee off at the Aldeen Golf Club or relax in the splendor of the Anderson Japanese Gardens. In cooler weather, warm up at the vaudevillian Coronado Theater or visit Jane the T-Rex at the Burpee Museum of Natural History. Learn of the history of the area at Midway Village and Museum Center, a living museum with pioneer village and exhibits.
Things to do in Rockford

1. Social Urban Bar and Restaurant

509 E State St, Rockford, IL 61104-1016 Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Reservations American, Contemporary, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Dinner, Late Night, Drinks SGD 12 - SGD 33 +1 815-708-0877
Excellent
80%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 139 reviews

Social Urban Bar and Restaurant

The Dinner Party is our inspiration. We have communal seating, chefs serving your food, and a group of bartenders creating innovative cocktails. Our passion is local foods; we work with many area farmers and producers to create a simple yet elegant menu featuring what's fresh from the area. Located in a historic district downtown, we have built our tables and bar from reclaimed wood that dates back to the 1850's. A warm urban restaurant dedicated to supporting local industry.

Reviewed By Bryn20142014 - Reykjavik, Iceland

Very cool place in the downtown area. It has great atmosphere and the food is tasty and even a bit inspiring. Great local seasonal food served with pride and a dash of courage of trying new combinations and tastes. The staff was great.

2. Franchesco's Ristorante

7128 Spring Creek Rd, Rockford, IL 61107-6826 Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Free Wifi Steakhouse, Pizza, Seafood, Italian, Healthy, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Drinks, Dinner, Late Night SGD 18 - SGD 39 +1 815-229-0800
Excellent
68%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
4%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 392 reviews

Franchesco's Ristorante

Franchesco's has a brand new location to serve you. Come and check out our spectacular dining room, night club, and banquet facilities. All of our menu items are made to order, with only fresh ingredients. From prime steaks and succulent veal to fresh seafood delivered daily , and over 20 different pasta options, we feature one of the largest menus in the Midwest. Our homemade dough and sauce is made fresh daily, for our award winning pizza. We deliver and have carry out or drive-up window service available. From dining to cocktails, our staff is qualified to accommodate your every need. Schedule your next event at Franchesco's. We have several options available for special events, parties, weddings, and meetings. Come visit us for the ultimate dining experience. Call today for your table or banquet reservations

Reviewed By Herbert M - Rockford, Illinois

Stopped in for an early Sunday evening dinner with friends. We all picked from their Specials menu and were delighted. My baked mostacholi was the best I have had.
Very slow in the restaurant, as was our waiter. Great food, but service didn't meet expectations for this place.

3. Lino's

5611 E State St, Rockford, IL 61108-2424 Takeout, Reservations, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Italian, Pizza, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Dinner, Late Night SGD 10 - SGD 26 +1 815-397-2077
Excellent
67%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
3%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 530 reviews

Lino's

Reviewed By SkipperBill2 - Belvidere, Illinois

We love this restaurant for its excellent Italian food. The pizza and pasta are wonderful. It draws a family oriented crowd with it's easygoing attitude, very reasonable prices, neat decor and prompt service. Only downside is the staff can lack energy and appear complacent.

4. Stockholm Inn

2420 Charles St, Rockford, IL 61108-1602 Television, Free Wifi, Takeout, Reservations, Buffet, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover American, European, Swedish, Scandinavian, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch +1 815-397-3534
Excellent
58%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
4%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 450 reviews

Stockholm Inn

Reviewed By Kathryn P

The food is very yummy here and the prices ate very good. The restaurant serves Swedish FOOD. A few years ago our coysins from Sweden visited here and they told us they felt Like they were at home and did not leave their country.

5. Tavern on Clark

755 Clark Rd, Rockford, IL 61107-6627 Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Free Wifi Steakhouse, American, Bar, Pub, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night +1 815-708-7088
Excellent
55%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 317 reviews

Tavern on Clark

Reviewed By firebird350 - Lake Villa, Illinois

We come every year for an Icehogs game and spend the night in town. We wanted to try a new place to have a late lunch so we decided to come here. It is tucked back off the main drag, but the building is beautiful on the outside. When we arrived we were seated promptly and served in great time. We ordered the deep fried bacon (just had to try it). It was so rich and delicious. Only problem was that there was a tortilla chip attached to one of the pieces of bacon (it had been fried and refried) you can see it in the picture below. Made me think how it was missed when they took it out. No big deal, because it was really good. At our table we had one who ordered the filet mignon, I ordered the sea scallops with risotto, and my husband got a hamburger. Wait staff was perfect in timing, and our food was really good except.... My risotto was like paper mache paste. It was so gross I could not eat it at all (you can see in my picture). The scallops were some of the best but 4 (on the smallish side) scallops (very tender) but the lemon butter sauce really had no flavor and mushy gross risotto for $25 was very disappointing. I left hungry. On the other side the steak and the burger were very good. The potatoes with the steak were outstanding. I would have given this an excellent rating if only my dish was better. I would go back but would stay clear of the scallops and order a steak.

6. GreenFire Restaurant Bar & Bakery

6795 E Riverside Blvd, Rockford, IL 61114-4429 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Television, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Accepts Discover, Reservations, Private Dining, Full Bar, Accepts Credit Cards Bar, American, Pizza, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options, Vegan Options Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Breakfast SGD 8 - SGD 33 +1 815-316-3473
Excellent
56%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
6%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 357 reviews

GreenFire Restaurant Bar & Bakery

Kitchen & bakery are open until midnight every day and we serve breakfast until 4PM everyday. Wood Fire Pizza-Burger-Steaks-Seafood-Crepes-Pasta-Oysters-Cakes-Pies-Cupcakes-Craft Beers-Wine Juice and Coffee Bar. GreenFire's dishes are cooked in our wood burning and state of the art brick fire Woodstone ovens! We have no microwaves, no grill tops, stoves or deep fryers. Only the freshest and the best ingredients for our guests. GreenFire is a bustling American contemporary farm restaurant. Serving breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner focusing on simple, seasonal cuisine. Seasonal cooking classes & demonstrations.We are kids friendly, we have a children menu and kids love the restaurant. Many children ask their parents to bring them back. They love watching the wood fire and seat at the chefs counter. Chef and owner Philippe Forcioli brings you the worlds best foods from some of the best kitchens around the world. Jean-Georges NYC, Cipriani Venice, Cafe Patou and the famed Orient Express train to name a few.

Reviewed By Lynz D - Madison, Wisconsin

I am glad that my sister and I stopped here on a trip to Rockford because the food was very tasty and fresh. We both had a chicken breast with seasoning (chipotle for me and garlic blend for my sister) and a double serving of vegetables which included golden beets (unique and yummy), broccoli, green beans, and shredded Brussel sprouts. Our waitress Sherry was vey friendly, helpful and attentive to our needs, we both recommend.

7. Thunder Bay Grille

7652 Potawatomi Trl, Near the Intersection of Potawatomi Trl and North Bell School Road/Argus Drive, Rockford, IL 61107-5265 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Free Off-Street Parking, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Reservations, Private Dining, Accepts Credit Cards American, Bar, Seafood, Cajun & Creole, Gluten Free Options, Vegetarian Friendly Lunch, Dinner, Brunch SGD 7 - SGD 39 +1 815-397-4800
Excellent
47%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
3%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 352 reviews

Thunder Bay Grille

Thunder Bay's spacious interior seamlessly melds contemporary elements in warm lodge setting; combing the natural beauty of light and dark woods, sparkling glass and soft-colored stones. Thunder Bay's innovative menu, warm hospitality and engaging atmosphere give it a fresh twist to casual dining. Thunder Bay's menu lends itself to choices from rich classic steaks and spectacular seafood to spicy Cajun entrees. Our chefs have created signature entrees like Drunken Steak, Cedar Plank Salmon or Sesame Thai Mahi Mahi. Spice things up with a touch of Cajun, Seafood Jambalaya or our Bouillabaisse. Finish with a decadent dessert of an after dinner cocktail. Try one of our many selections of craft beers. We pride ourselves on our commitment to our guest's experiences with service and want each guest to feel relaxed and cared for while dining with us. We Thunder Bay with comfortable soft seating areas meant for gathering, relaxing and socializing with friends. Memories are made from time spent sharing food and drink, laughter and good times. Thunder Bay invites you to come in and enjoy relaxing casual dining at its best. Invite Thunder Bay to your next event; whether you are planning a rehearsal dinner, wedding reception, private patio party at your home or a corporate event at your office; planning has never been easier. Contact us we can create customized menus to suit your event.

Reviewed By dragonbythetail - Madison, Wisconsin

We decided to give this place a try based on the reviews we read and we were not disappointed. My husband ordered the Bouillabaisse with a Caesar side salad. The salad had way too much dressing. He didn't enjoy it because of that. However, he absolutely loved his main dish. It contained shrimps, scallops, clams, mussels and whitefish in a spicy, delicious broth. I tried a few bites and very much agreed with him. The scallops were especially good as they were cooked to perfection- not rubbery at all. I had the 6 oz top sirloin prepared Alaskan style. I ordered it medium. It was a bit over cooked as there was no pink in the middle at all, but it didn't matter. It was tender and very flavorful. Our server, Brenda, was wonderful. And the dining area was beautiful. We visited on a bitter cold day and very much enjoyed sitting by the fireplace. Give this place a try. I think you'll be glad you did.

8. Five Forks Market

6565 Lexus Dr, Rockford, IL 61108-3015 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Reservations, Accepts Credit Cards American, Wine Bar, Spanish, Gluten Free Options, Vegetarian Friendly Dinner, Lunch +1 815-229-5500
Excellent
67%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
2%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 174 reviews

Five Forks Market

Reviewed By Greg D - Rockford, Illinois

We have been to Five Forks many times and always found the service to be top notch and the food excellent. Normally we have the beef and bleu, and it melts in your mouth and it deicious. There is a help wanted sign on the door, and many new people since our last visit. After trying to cut into the beef, it was apparent something is different. The steak was very chewy. Not inedible, but certainly not what we have come to expect from this place. Not sure if they changed meat sources or if the new guys cooking aren't as talented as the girl we had before, but this was just not a good steak. We are going to have to hear that they are back to amazing again before we head that way. Too many choices to have a tough steak. The service was top notch as it always was. Hope they get this back to normal soon.

9. Machine Shed

7475 E State St, Rockford, IL 61108-2678 Takeout, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol American, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch +1 815-229-3276
Excellent
43%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
17%
Poor
5%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 468 reviews

Machine Shed

Reviewed By TheMaddBulldog

All the lunch & dinner meals are Home-Made and served Family-Style. What makes this restaurant so popular is the Farm-Theme carried thruout yhe establshment. They have a huge "Corner Store", where you can purchase baked goods, various hard-to-find Retro Candies, and much in the way of Trinkettes & Souvenirs! Whenever I travel to the Rockford area, I make a point of eating a meal at this EXCELLENT restaurant!

10. Capri

313 E State St, Rockford, IL 61104-1012 Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Italian, Pizza, Vegetarian Friendly Lunch, Dinner +1 815-965-6341
Excellent
68%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 101 reviews

Capri

Reviewed By BenDillow - Redlands, California

So...late afternoon December day in Rockford. The temperatures hover around zero...with wind it feels much colder.

A family gathering of more than 50 descend upon the Capri following a longish Morning Memorial Service, followed by a half hour drive to a Rockford Cemetery for burial. An outside graveside Service in blowing and absolutely frigid weather brings the family to the restaurant’s warm interior hungry, cold, and emotionally drained. Not an ideal set of conditions for sure. The private room was prepared, folks quickly, but not hurriedly, seated, drink orders quickly taken and delivered, and food, preordered, delivered piping hot.

Warmed and fed, stories flowed, and guests were left unhurried, by staff.

Hard to imagine the gathering being better served. And the food? As good as the service.

ThingsTodoPost © 2018 All rights reserved.