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The 10 Best Restaurants In Bloomington
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The 10 Best Restaurants In Bloomington

Picture of Shay Lee
Updated: 9 February 2017
Illinois has one of the richest histories in the United States. The beautiful state was the first to abolish slavery and had two other capitals before choosing Springfield: Kaskaskia and Vandalia. The state also witnessed the Chicago fire, where only two buildings survived: the Water Tower and Pumping Station. Aside from a rich history, Illinois offers some great restaurants. When visiting Illinois and stopping at Bloomington, check out this list of the 10 best restaurants to grab a bite in the city.
Downtown Bloomington Ad | © Paul Sableman/Flickr
Downtown Bloomington Ad | © Paul Sableman/Flickr
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Ephesus Restaurant

Ephesus Restaurant represents the beautiful city of Ephesus, a city filled with ancient architecture, which is reflected in the design of the restaurant. When guests visit this vintage-style eatery, they will feel as if they had stepped into the popular city and were welcomed by Turkish culture. The restaurant’s outside also represents the ancient buildings of Ephesus. Each dish here is prepared in Turkish and Mediterranean style. They are famous for their dessert, baklava, which usually leaves patrons wanting more.

Address & Telephone Number: 1456 E Empire St, Bloomington, IL, USA +1 309 585 0514

Epiphany Farms Restaurant

Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Vegan
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Ken, a farmer with a crop
Ken, a farmer with a crop | © Kelsey/Flickr

Epiphany Farms Restaurant

Epiphany Farms Enterprises, also called Epiphany Farms Restaurant (EFR), is known for its environmentally-friendly policies. To sustain the restaurant, EFR practice permaculture and intensive pasture rotation. The goal of the restaurant and farm is to connect Illinois residents to the sources of the food they eat. They serve great dishes such as their signature Confit Duck Leg.

Address & Telephone Number: 220 E Front St, Bloomington, IL, USA +1 309 828 2323

More Info
Tue:
4:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Wed:
4:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Thu:
4:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Fri:
4:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Sat:
4:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Ken, a farmer with a crop | © Kelsey/Flickr
Ken, a farmer with a crop | © Kelsey/Flickr

Taqueria El Porton

Restaurant, Mexican, $$$
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Smothered Beef with Wild Rice
Smothered Beef with Wild Rice | (c) Yi-Liang Liu/Flickr

Taqueria El Porton

The beginning of this restaurant can be traced to Palmar Chico, Mexico, the home of the owner, Adolfo Navarrete. Navarrete spent his childhood watching his father cook and he decided to follow in his footsteps. From that moment, he knew he wanted to open a restaurant which would showcase his culinary skills. This led to the birth of Taqueria El Porton. The restaurant serves the famous dishes of Central Mexico, such as carnitas and barbacoa. The goal of this place is to blend the cultures of Mexico and the USA.

Address & Telephone Number: 901 N Main St, Bloomington, IL, USA +1 309 820 1625

More Info
Sun:
9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Mon:
9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Tue:
9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Thu:
9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Fri:
9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Sat:
9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Taqueria El Porton dish
Smothered Beef with Wild Rice | (c) Yi-Liang Liu/Flickr

Lucca Grill

Market, Restaurant, Italian, $$$
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Lucca Grill

Lucca Grill is an Italian and American-themed restaurant. The place is decorated in a rustic style, with unique ornate patterns adorning the walls. In 1936, brothers Fred and John Baldini decided to create a place where they could feel as though they were at home in Lucca, Italy. Their apartment sits atop Lucca Grill and is a popular tourist attraction. When tourists aren’t viewing their home, they are enjoying their delicious thin crust pizza, ‘A la Baldini’. A la Baldini was the restaurant’s first pizza and has remained the favorite dish for decades.

Address & Telephone Number: 116 E Market St, Bloomington, IL, USA +1 309 828 7521

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Sun:
3:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Mon:
11:00 am - 12:00 am
Tue:
11:00 am - 12:00 am
Wed:
11:00 am - 12:00 am
Thu - Fri:
11:00 am - 1:00 am
Fri - Sat:
11:00 am - 1:00 am
Sat - Sun:
11:00 am - 1:00 am

Thai House

Diner, Restaurant, Thai, $$$
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Thai House of Bloomington
Thai House of Bloomington | © Taole Zhu/Flickr

Thai House

The mission of Thai House in Bloomington is to bring Thailand’s culinary culture to America without losing its roots. When guests visit the famous restaurant, they’ll feel as though they were visiting the beautiful country. The diner is a perfect place for dates and family gatherings. The most popular dish is the fried banana with ice cream. Many customers rave about the way the dish has a similar taste to banana split.

Address & Telephone Number: 805 Morrissey Dr, Bloomington, IL, USA +1 309 828 2600

More Info
Sun:
11:30 am - 9:00 pm
Tue:
11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Tue:
4:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Wed:
11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Wed:
4:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Thu:
11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Thu:
4:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Fri:
11:00 am - 2:00 pm
Fri:
4:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Sat:
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Thai House of Bloomington | © Taole Zhu/Flickr
Thai House of Bloomington | © Taole Zhu/Flickr

Beningo's

Restaurant, Italian
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Beningo’s

This Italian-styled restaurant offers something different from the previous restaurant. Its roots lead to Sicily, Italy, where the owner, Joe Beningo, spent most of his childhood. In 1972, he decided to bring Sicily to Bloomington. He ensured his restaurant featured made from scratch recipes, personal attention and friendliness. Beningo’s specializes in authentic Sicilian favorites: lasagna, fresh seafood, pizza and sandwiches.

Address & Telephone Number: 610 W Chestnut St, Bloomington, IL, USA +1 309 829 1025

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Bandana's Bar-B-Q

Bar, Restaurant, Barbeque, $$$
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Bandana's Bar-B-Q
Bandana's Bar-B-Q | © Bandana's Bar-B-Q/Flickr

Bandana’s Bar-B-Q

Bandana’s Bar-B-Q isn’t a regular Southern-styled restaurant. Its mission is to bring family and friends together in a cozy atmosphere. The wood pit smokers are burning 24 hours a day, which allows visitors to smell the smoke from the meat. The meat is hand rubbed before it goes into the smoker and is covered in a dozen herbs and spices. Once the meat leaves the smoker it is hand cut before it’s served. Bandana’s specialties are Southern-styled smoked barbecue pork, beef, chicken, ribs, turkey and sausage.

Address & Telephone Number: 502 IAA Dr, Bloomington, IL, USA +1 309 662 7427

More Info
Sun:
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Mon:
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Tue:
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Wed:
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Thu:
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Fri:
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sat:
11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Bandana's Bar-B-Q | © Bandana's Bar-B-Q/Flickr
Bandana’s Bar-B-Q | © Bandana’s Bar-B-Q/Flickr

Shannon's Five Star

Diner, American, $$$
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Shannon’s Five Star

Shannon’s Five Star encompasses history, community, culture, family, food and friends. Visit the beautiful diner and taste the sweetness of the South.

Address & Telephone Number: 1305 S Mercer Ave, Bloomington, IL, USA +1 309 664 0808

More Info
Sun:
6:00 am - 12:00 pm
Mon:
6:00 am - 8:00 pm
Tue:
6:00 am - 8:00 pm
Wed:
6:00 am - 8:00 pm
Thu:
6:00 am - 8:00 pm
Fri:
6:00 am - 8:00 pm
Sat:
6:00 am - 8:00 pm

Rasoi Indian Restaurant

Restaurant, American, Indian
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Rasoi Indian Restaurant's menu
Rasoi Indian Restaurant's menu | © Ross Bruniges/Flickr

Rasoi Indian Restaurant

Rasoi Indian Restaurant has brought different Indian meals to Bloomington. The eatery was designed to introduce the people in the city to Indian culture. When patrons eat at this marvelous place, they will experience the thrill of its authentic flavors. In their dishes they use spices such as cumin, mustard seeds, turmeric, fenugreek, coriander, red chili powder and asafetida. Come here and enjoy the lunch buffet.

Address & Telephone Number: 2303 E Washington St, Bloomington, IL, USA +1 309 808 1349

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Rasoi Indian Restaurant's menu | © Ross Bruniges/Flickr
Rasoi Indian Restaurant’s menu | © Ross Bruniges/Flickr

Garden of Paradise

Restaurant, American, Greek
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Garden of Paradise

This restaurant values family over everything else and their belief is apparent at all times. Garden of Paradise has blended Greek and American culture to create a beautiful community in Bloomington. The interior is designed in a fashion that represents vintage American restaurant life. Walking into this place makes customers feel as though they have traveled in time.

Address & Telephone Number: 1412 E Empire St, Bloomington, IL, USA +1 309 828 8080

More Info
Sun:
6:00 am - 3:00 pm
Mon:
6:00 am - 10:00 pm
Tue:
6:00 am - 10:00 pm
Wed:
6:00 am - 10:00 pm
Thu:
6:00 am - 10:00 pm
Fri:
6:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sat:
6:00 am - 10:00 pm