Top Restaurants in Ottawa, Illinois


Tasty burgers, sushi and beer… there are lots of great food and drinks to try in Ottawa, Illinois.

Whether you’re road tripping from Chicago or settling down for a weekend in Ottawa, Illinois, we made it a point to check out the top places to eat and drink in this Midwestern city. I have to admit that I’ve become a food snob from all of my world travels. I’ve been spoiled by amazing cheese in France, authentic Cantonese cuisine in Hong Kong, Michelin-star restaurants in Belgium, fresh sushi in Hawaii and more. This means that when I, as a traveling foodie, along with our crew like a place, it’s good.

Check out these places we like and what we recommend you try when traveling to Ottawa, Illinois.

#1 Red Dog Grill

At the Red Dog Grill at the Heritage Harbor Marina sit outside and watch the boats float in and out, while you dine on great American dishes. Tasty pretzels, burgers, steak salads, quesadillas and a classic kids menu can be consumed on the patio by the water or indoors in the cooler months by wood-burning fireplace. This restaurant is laid back and friendly. How could it not be with “dog” in the title. For those who don’t like to sit still for too long, the restaurant boasts a seasonal tiki bar, live music and there are kayaks, pontoon and stand-up paddle boards available on-site.

Out on the patio about to dig in at the Red Dog Grill after boating with Jeremy Fowler.
Great apps, big burgers, colorful seafood tacos and hot dogs… it’s classic American and fresh here.
Get this appetizer– the warm pretzel with beer cheese dip!

#2 B.A.S.H

Have you ever been in a group where someone wants something all-American and savory, like a burger, and someone else wants fresh seafood or sushi? Normally, those are not found in the same restaurant. Meet B.A.S.H. Burger and Sushi House located right downtown in Ottawa. This restaurant has both good sushi and burgers, but is also a hipper spot to visit during your time in Ottawa. Burgers come loaded with the works, ranging from the Foxy Roxy with pulled pork, bbq, coleslaw and habanero jack cheese to the healthier Greek, a turkey burger with tomato, red onion and tzatziki. What’s not to love?

Sushi galore in the heart of Starved Rock country.
Diving into spicy salmon and more at B.A.S.H.
Burgers here are loaded with innovative ingredients and combos. What’s your pleasure?!?!

#3 The Lone Buffalo

Those of you who like to sample local beer on your travels should put The Lone Buffalo and Tangled Roots Tap Room on your list. Beer is brewed right onsite with local ingredients. The brewery even offers special brewery tours and tastings. This sleek restaurant is popular with locals and travelers alike. Visit for a double IPA with lighter fare, like Bavarian soft pretzels, kale Caesar salad or baked spinach and shrimp dip or entrees ranging from bone-in ribeye steak to grilled fresh salmon topped with maple bourbon glaze. The Lone Buffalo is located right downtown, so a good spot to take a break after walking around Ottawa to check out the murals and shops.

Behind the scenes on our filming at Tangled Roots Brewing Company, The Lone Buffalo.
The restaurant and brewery are all under one roof. Using hops from their farm, beer is crafted with traditional methods.

These are not all of our food recommendations for Ottawa. Check out our Ottawa, Illinois & Starved Rock Country Trip Itinerary for our coffee shop, golf course with awesome pizza and bakery recommendations, and watch this episode on your location PBS TV station and Amazon Prime.


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