If we’re being honest, we’re here to tell you that Restaurant Week in Champaign County is pretty amazing. Frankly, we’re wishing it was MUCH LONGER THAN ONE WEEK. (Hint, hint).
For those who aren’t familiar, Champaign County Area Restaurant Week is back for its sixth year. It’s actually over a nine-day period, starting on Friday, Jan. 28 and going through Saturday, Feb. 5. After an all-takeout edition in 2021, Restaurant Week returns to in-person dining this year, although many restaurants are also offering takeout options as well.
Since we have to pack in SO MUCH EATING in such a short order of time, we figured we might do our research in advance and plan out how we want to attack.
A few tips:
1. One of the highlights of restaurant week is the special deals and menu items at each participating establishment. (All menu offerings are located on the Restaurant Week website).
2. Love to Instagram your food? Or maybe Twitter is more your cup of tea. Regardless, share your pictures and experience with the hashtag #CCRestaurantWeek for a chance to win a $100 gift card to a participating restaurant of your choice.
3. A total of 38 restaurants are participating this year, across five cities/villages. What’s new: The Literary, the new bookstore/eatery on North Neil Street; and The Main Scoop, an ice cream specialist on East Main Street in Mahomet.
4. There are TONS of vegetarian options, and not just at the vegetarian restaurants.
Champaign County Restaurant Week Picks
We’ve highlighted nine options for restaurant week, one for every day of the event. There are so many delicious items to choose from, but these were ones that stood out to us for a variety of reasons – value; ingenuity; or both! (DISCLAIMER: Of course our taste buds may be limited. Don’t forget to look at the broader list of Restaurant Week options for more ideas).
Sticky Rice, Champaign: I recently had the opportunity to go to Sticky Rice with an expert on Southeast Asian cuisine, and was introduced to the wonder that is Khao Poon. The perfect dish for a cold winter day, this curry brings a touch of sweet and a touch of spice. Be sure to bring a doggy bag; there’s no way you will finish this dish in one sitting. This woman-owned restaurant is one of the most underrated in town. Two courses plus a Thai specialty drink for $29, lunch or dinner.
E.T.’s, Rantoul: E.T.’s, located in downtown Rantoul, is a best-kept secret to many in Champaign-Urbana. We have mixed feelings about the secret getting out (we kid, we kid). This offer is one of the best deals on the Restaurant Week docket — appetizer, entree and dessert for $15 (lunch or dinner). We recommend the crack chicken, but there’s also a brisket and pulled pork option. Maybe put this one on repeat.
Have a date night/family night at The Main Scoop, Mahomet: We love the creativity shown by many restauranteurs this Restaurant Week, and The Main Scoop is a great example. Swing on over to this new shop in Mahomet with family or friends and enjoy these group options. Get soda floats for two for $13, or an ultimate flight sampler for $12; another option is a pint of ice cream and four waffle bowls for $12. The Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup is calling my name. (Or eat it all yourself. who says we have to share?)
Maize Mexican Grill (Campustown location): We heard recently from our friends at Smile Politely that Maize was serving breakfast, and we were thrilled to see someone fill our community’s breakfast burrito/taco void. That’s what we plan on trying during Restaurant Week at Maize. Options include a breakfast burrito combo for $13; or two breakfast tacos combo (includes a drink) for $7. Maize is also offering all-day specials.
A Taste of Both Worlds, Urbana: Full disclosure: We’re not an expert on Filipino or Cambodian food, but luckily for us, A Taste of Both Worlds is! The Cambodian menu options piqued our interest, especially the stuffed chicken wing meal — wings with steamed rice, stuffed with ground chicken, lemon grass and bean thread noodles — for $10.50. In Broadway Food Hall.
Hamilton Walker’s, Champaign: Downtown Champaign’s high-end restaurant is offering $29 in-person dinners featuring three entree options, all of which sound delicious (sirloin strip; wild cod; atlantic salmon). Or choose a carryout-only family pack. Either way, you can’t lose.
Big Grove Tavern, Champaign: A three-course dinner for $19 — you gotta be kidding! You have choices, of course, but we know from personal experience you can’t go wrong with the Steak Frites. And the choices for dessert — chocolate cake, or fried Pecan Hand Pie — are mouth-watering.
Neil St. Blues, Champaign: This is a taste of New Orleans: “Crawfish and shrimp Etouffee, fresh crawfish tails and shrimp simmered in a homemade country brown roux with garlic, bell peppers, onions and celery served over white rice.” All for $19. And you won’t even have to pay for the airfare to Louisiana.
Wood N’ Hog BBQ, Downtown Champaign: We’re always game for some good barbecue, and Wood N’ Hog certainly fills that bill. Our order is likely to include the half-slab of ribs ($13), “hand-tossed in our original rib rub before being double cherry and hickory log smoked.” Oh, yeah.
Looking for more food options around Champaign-Urbana?
- Where to Find Boba Tea Around Champaign-Urbana
- Champaign-Urbana Area Ice Cream Trail
- Donut Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Pizza Trail around Champaign-Urbana (And Beyond)
- Cookie Trail Around Champaign-Urbana
- Where to Eat Sushi in Champaign-Urbana
- Wing Trail: 30 Places to Eat Chicken Wings In Champaign-Urbana
- Soup Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Taco Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- French Fries Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Chocolate Dessert Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Hot Chocolate Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Grilled Cheese Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Salad Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Mac and Cheese Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Slushy Cocktail Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Pie Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Guacamole Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Cinnamon Roll Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Nacho Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Hot Dog Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Pretzel Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Cocktail Trail ‘To Go’ around Champaign-Urbana
- Cheese Curd Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Burger Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Donut Trail around Champaign-Urbana
- Barbecue Trail around Champaign-Urbana