By Kimberly Ashbrook
According to my discerning 6-year-old, the Main Street Belly Deli has “the best ham sandwich in the world.”
And my kid knows his way around a ham sandwich.
Located in the Village of Homer, Main Street Belly Deli serves up deli sandwiches, soups, salads, gourmet coffee, ice cream concoctions, and is also the original home of Homer Soda Company, with more than 250 unique glass bottled sodas for sale.
If the Main Street Belly Deli sounds familiar, we featured it as one of the Nine Great Small Town Places to Eat. It’s also at the center of Homer Soda Fest, one of the largest glass bottled soda festivals in Illinois.
But back to the food.
Main Street Belly Deli has delicious sandwiches. They range in price from $5.95-$6.95. These are the kind of sandwiches that make a die-hard “I’m just not into sandwiches” kind of person stop and take notice. I’m a salad for lunch type, until I tried the Sammy Davis Jr. (the menu items are named after stars of yore). This sandwich has the best pastrami, cream cheese, and swiss cheese, all on some kind of delicious wheat roll. With just the right amount of spicy mustard, it’s complete sandwich alchemy — and totally worth it.
If you’re not tempted by the sandwiches, because you have an iron will, they also have very fresh salads. I’m a fan of their chicken caesar salad, the Johnny Cash. The small is a good size at $4.25. The large salad is $6.25. The soups are also very good. My teen recommends the clam chowder, or the Audrey Hepburn. Even the potato chips at Belly Deli are extra good. As my 11-year-old put it “the chips have extra flavor.” We recommend the Sour Cream and Onion. YUM.
Belly Deli also offers kid-sized sandwiches, or Little Rascals. With turkey, ham, American cheese, and assorted toppings on a small white roll, it’s just the right size for my 6-year-old. My older boys all order the “grown-up sized” sandwiches, which the Belly Deli will make for them custom to avoid anything like deli mustard or cajun mayo or heaven forbid … tomatoes.
The staff at Main Street Belly Deli is very friendly, and it has a fun and welcoming atmosphere. You’ll often find kids (or adults!) camped by the old school video game machines. Clean and comfortable, the deli is great for families.
But what to drink with your delicious lunch or dinner? I can personally vouch for the iced tea (brewed fresh) and their cappuccinos and lattes (crafted with care). And of course, they also have a selection of 250 glass bottled sodas which might just tempt you. You can buy the soda by the bottle, or in a six pack. With flavors like Nehi Orange and Kitty Piddle, your kids will love picking out a soda with their meal.
If you’re in the mood for ice cream, the Main Street Belly Deli has that too. Hand scooped cups, sugar cones, and cake cones, they offer eight different flavors of ice cream. They also serve up milkshakes, banana splits and some of the best ice cream floats around. The Clark Gable is a “Cherry Glazed Chocolate” float, and features Dang Italian Cherry Soda over chocolate ice cream. The closest thing I’ve found to this deliciousness is an ice cream float I had at Fitz’s Rootbeer in St. Louis. An ice cream float at Main Street Belly Deli is a lot closer, less expensive, and just as indulgent. All floats, including custom floats, are $4.25.
The Main Street Belly Deli offers sliced meat and cheeses to go. If you are my 10-year-old, you’re walking out with a bright green bottle of Toxic Slime soda after a yummy lunch break. If you are my 6-year-old, you’re leaving with a bag of ham.
You can find the complete menu and prices here. They accept cash and credit cards.
118 S Main St, Homer
Tuesday- Friday: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Closed on Sunday and Monday
Kimberly is the mother to four boys and works for Chambanamoms. She helps put The Beyond in the Champaign-Urbana and Beyond. Her son asked her if they could eat at Main Street Belly Deli as she was writing up this review. Her answer: “Of course!”