15 Best & Fun Restaurants in Princeton (IL)

The pleasures of food are among the greatest in life. When food,  a leisurely vacation, and a beautiful destination are combined, it results in an unforgettable experience. All these and more are what the beautiful Princeton city offers.

Princeton city is the county seat of Bureau County, Illinois state, United States. The city had a population of 7,716 in 2021. This little city is perfect for a weekend getaway because it provides shopping plazas, parks, golf courses, festivals, and more.

When it comes to food, Princeton is a paradise. There are countless excellent Princeton restaurants. So whether you’re a foodie looking for new experiences or just someone who enjoys a good meal, Princeton, IL, is the right destination for you.

Are you planning an exploration of Princeton? Check out the best restaurants in Princeton, IL.

Restaurants in Princeton, IL

1. Spoons Restaurant and Bar


Compared to other restaurants in the vicinity, Spoons has seen more business transactions, making it an essential part of history in Princeton and Bureau County.

It was known as the Greasy Spoon from the 1960s to 1983, where people came to enjoy good food and mess around with pinball machines and pool tables, and then it was remodeled in 2015 by Stephen and Greta Kelly.

All your favorite foods, such as Moroccan stew, chicken and waffles, pot roast sliders, mac and cheese, watermelon bruschetta, pear tart salad, and hamburgers, are offered on the menu, but with a unique twist that makes them even more delectable.

For instance, the chicken and waffles are produced with a crispy fried chicken breast and a waffle flavored with maple syrup.

Spoons also serves energizing and tasty beverages. The cocktails are beautifully made, and the beer selection is superb.

Operating hours are Tuesdays to Saturdays from 11 am to 8 pm.

Address: 541 S Main St, Princeton, IL 61356, United States. Phone: +1 815-872-9001.

2. Prime Quarter Steak House

Prime Quarter Steak House

With locations throughout Wisconsin and Central Illinois, The Prime Quarter Steak House offers grill-your-own steaks. Its headquarters are in Columbus, Wisconsin, and three restaurants are now open. It’s one of the best places to eat in Princeton, IL.

Customers that appreciate having fun and a wonderful dinner at the same time frequent Prime Quarter. Where else can you eat a sizable USDA Choice steak while mingling with loved ones over a live hickory fire grill? None other than Prime Steak House!

The steaks at Prime steak house restaurant are cooked to perfection. You can specify the level of doneness for your steak, which will be prepared to your preferences. The steaks are juicy and tasty, and they will sate your desire for a satisfying steak dinner.

The Prime Steak House restaurant also features a fantastic assortment of side dishes and excellent steak options. The sides are equally delicious as the main course, and they will go nicely with your steak.

Operating hours are from 5 pm to 10 pm on Tuesdays through Fridays, 4 pm to 10 pm on Saturdays, and 4 pm to 9 pm on Sundays.

Address: 250 Backbone Rd E, Princeton, IL 61356, United States. Phone: +1 815-872-3500.

3. Myrtle’s Cafe and Pie

Myrtle’s Cafe and Pie

Mrytle’s Cafe and Pie is one of the best restaurants in Princeton, IL, specializing in pies. They have a vast selection of pastries, including savory, fruit and cream pies. They also provide a wide range of other foods, including sandwiches and soups.

The pies at Myrtle’s are unquestionably its highlight. Each one is freshly prepared from scratch with premium ingredients. The fruit pies are properly cooked fruit and have a crispy, buttery crust. The cream pies are also excellent, with delicious fillings.

In addition to pies, Myrtle’s sells a wide range of other foods. The sandwiches are excellent since they are cooked using handmade, freshly baked bread, and the soups are perfect for a chilly winter day.

Overall, Myrtle’s Cafe and Pie is a great place to go for a casual meal. Make a stop today and enjoy delicious pies with your family and friends.

They are open on Mondays to Fridays from 7 am to 2 pm and on Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm.

Address: 927 N Main St, Princeton, IL 61356, United States. Phone: +1 815-915-8397.

4. Alexander Park Tavern

Alexander Park Tavern

Alexander Park Tavern, established in 1934, is a family-owned and operated eatery offering good food to the community.

The eatery includes a sizable patio where patrons may enjoy outside dining during the warmer months. It is housed in an ancient brick structure on the corner of Park and Main streets.

The menu at the Alexander Park Tavern includes classic American dishes such as burgers, soup, onion rings, coleslaw, grilled shrimp salad, and chicken wings, as well as a few Mexican-inspired dishes such as nachos and quesadillas.

In addition to having a full bar, The Alexander Park Tavern also hosts a happy hour with deals on food and drinks.

Visit Alexander Park from 11 am to 1:30 pm and 4:30 pm to 9 pm every day. They are closed on Sundays.

Address: 815 Park Ave W, Princeton, IL 61356, United States. Phone: +1 815-872-9091.

5. Flour House Bakery

Flour House Bakery

One of the best places to eat in Princeton, IL, is Flour House Bakery. They are famous for baking fresh, delicious bread and pastries.

The bakery’s interior is little and charming, with a few tables and chairs where guests may sit and enjoy their delicacies. The counter is constantly filled with fresh, mouthwatering-looking sweets, and the walls are loaded with shelves full of baked products.

All baked items created at Flour House Bakery are handcrafted from scratch with premium ingredients. The end product is a variety of scrumptious and freshly baked delicacies sure to please everyone.

White, wheat, rye bread, and specialty bread like focaccia and ciabatta are available at the bakery. Pastries such as cookies, cakes, pies, and tarts are also available in the bakery.

The Flour House Bakery is the perfect spot for a quick bite or a special treat.

Operating hours are from 7 am to 2 pm on Thursdays to Saturdays and Sundays from 7 am to noon.

Address: 950 N Main St, Princeton, IL 61356, United States. Phone: +1 815-989-8700.

6. Big Apple

Big Apple

In the heart of Princeton, IL, you’ll find Big Apple restaurant, a family-owned and operated eatery serving delicious food for quite some time.

From their famous Applewood-smoked ribs to their hand-breaded chicken tenders, Bug Apple is guaranteed to leave you satisfied. Not to mention their renowned handmade apple pies!

They have an extensive menu that features an array of cuisines like corn beef hash, gyro plate, omelet, steak dinner, hot roast beef sandwich, chicken and shell soup, Menudo, tortellini, and yakisoba.

Opening hours are from 6 am to 3 pm on Sundays through Thursdays and 5 am to 9 pm on weekends.

Address: 2136 N Main St, Princeton, IL 61356, United States. Phone: +1 815-875-3637.

7. Culver’s


Among the top restaurants in Princeton, IL, is Culver’s. It is a family-friendly restaurant chain known for its ButterBurgers and frozen custard. The first Culver’s opened in Sauk City, Wisconsin, in 1984, and today there are over 700 locations nationwide.

As one of the chain’s older restaurants, the Princeton franchise opened in 1991. It is situated on the town’s north side, not far from Highway 34. The restaurant offers a drive-through and a sizable parking area.

Burgers, strawberry fields salad, cheese, fries, chicken, and fish make up most of the menu items at Culver’s.

The iconic ButterBurger is a 1/4 pound beef burger on toasted bread with Wisconsin butter. Visitors can select from a selection of toppings and sauces while building their burger using Culver’s website feature.

Culver’s is renowned for its frozen custard in addition to its hamburgers. The eatery offers a daily flavor and a variety of mix-ins that can be used to make a unique dessert.

Culver’s runs through the week from 10 am to 10 pm.

Address: 224 Ace Rd, Princeton, IL 61356, United States. Phone: +1 815-875-3131.

8. Niel and Shorty’s BBQ Company

Niel and Shorty’s BBQ Company

Niel and Shorty’s is regarded as the best barbecue joint in Princeton. The eatery has garnered numerous accolades, including “Best Ribs” and “Best BBQ Chicken.” They have a loyal following of local customers, as well as visitors from out of town.

Neil and Shorty, two seasoned BBQ chefs, are the owners and operators of this barbecue joint. BBQ chicken, ribs, and pulled pork are the restaurant’s signature dishes, and here, provision of sides and a choice of sauces and seasonings are made available.

The restaurant is also well-known for its Kansas City-style barbecue, which is slow-smoked over hickory wood and seasoned with a unique blend of spices.

Niel and Shorty’s BBQ Company offers patrons a relaxing environment to unwind in after a long day at work.

They operate from 11 am to 2 pm and 4 pm to 9 pm on Wednesdays through Saturdays.

Address: 646 S Main St, Princeton, IL 61356, United States. Phone: +1 815-303-6435.

Also check out our list of things to do in Rosemont , and cool things to do in Evanston if you are planning a Florida road trip.

9. Los Ranchitos

Los Ranchitos

For three generations, Los Ranchitos has been owned and operated by the same family. This eatery is famous for its freshly prepared, genuine Mexican food.

The dining room is decorated with vibrant paintings and sculptures in a traditional and festive style.

Mexican cuisines like tacos, burritos, quesadillas, tostaguac, chimichanga, chicken fajitas, flan and enchiladas are top favorites in the restaurant. Los Ranchitos also provides cuisines like peanut chicken, salads, and cheesy fries.

The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, and it is always a good idea to make a reservation ahead of time, especially on weekends.

Opening hours are from 11 am to 10 pm weekly.

Address: 1204 W Peru St, Princeton, IL 61356, United States. Phone: +1 815-875-1200.

10. Oriental Garden Restaurant

Oriental Garden Restaurant

Chinese food is the specialty at Oriental Garden, one of the best Princeton restaurants. The family-run restaurant has been in operation for more than ten years.

There are numerous Chinese items on the menu, including Hunan chicken combo, hot and sour soup, grilled dumplings, sweet and sour chicken won ton, crispy seaweed, beef teriyaki, and Szechuan chicken.

In addition, Oriental Garden has takeout options and a lunch buffet.

A beautiful and peaceful environment awaits you at the Oriental Garden restaurant in Princeton, Illinois, where you may savor a delectable dinner. The restaurant has an outstanding garden with a waterfall and is furnished with lovely Asian-inspired artwork.

They are usually open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 11 am to 9:30 pm, on weekends from 11 am to 10 pm, and on Sundays from 11 am to 9 pm.

Address: 428 S Main St, Princeton, IL 61356, United States. Phone: +1 815-875-2560.

11. Skoonerz Grill and Bar

Skoonerz Grill and Bar

The dining experience at Skoonerz is a truly remarkable one, and that is what makes it a top place to eat in Princeton.

The aroma of freshly caught seafood greets you as soon as you enter Skoonerz. Although it is a small restaurant, it is comfortable and ideal for a date night.

The restaurant is very stylish and modern, with a sleek black-and-white color scheme and an open floor plan that allows you to see the kitchen and bar area from anywhere in the restaurant.

Despite the menu’s modest size, every dish is created from scratch and is superb. A few of their offerings are cheddar cheese cubes, tossed salad, jalapeño popper dip, and of course, the very famous Skoonerz fries.

Enjoy the beautiful sight of the sun setting over the river while you de-stress with a glass of wine.

Visit Skoonerz from 11 am to 1 am on Wednesdays and Thursdays and weekends from 11 am to 2 am.

Address: 912 N Main St, Princeton, IL 61356, United States. Phone: +1 815-875-9464

12. The Coffee Cup

The Coffee Cup

Our health is significantly impacted by what we consume. While a bad diet can result in weight gain, obesity, and other health issues, it can also help prevent several diseases and illnesses.

You might find it interesting that every dish served at The Coffee Cup is prepared with unadulterated, natural ingredients, most of which are sourced directly from their natural habitats.

The Coffee Shop excels in the neighborhood because they put the needs and satisfaction of their patrons as one of their top concerns.

For optimal health, a balanced diet is essential. This entails consuming a range of food types in the appropriate amounts and ensuring that you have all the nutrients your body requires.

So stop by The Coffee Cup while you’re in Princeton for a healthy, loving meal!

They are open on Mondays to Saturdays from 6 am to 8 pm and on Sundays from 6 am to 3 pm.

Address: 628 W Railroad Ave, Princeton, IL 61356, United States. Phone: +1 815-875-1233.

13. Paisano’s Ristorante

Paisano’s Ristorante

The world’s most well-known and popular food is Italian. It is renowned for its quality-driven approach, use of seasonal, fresh ingredients, and simplicity.

Italian food is served at Paisano’s Ristorante. It is one of the top restaurants in Princeton, IL. Their menu items are frequently very full and hearty, and the flavors are exciting, sophisticated, and delicious. This is due to the use of fresh ingredients and the large serving sizes.

The mainstay of this eatery is pasta. They also offer Italian beef, garlic Parmesan wings, stuffed pizza, and grilled chicken salad.

Operating hours are 4 pm to 9 pm on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays and 4 pm to 10 pm on weekends.

Address: 1007 N Main St, Princeton, IL 61356, United States. Phone: +1 815-915-8727.

14. Monical’s Pizza

Monical’s Pizza

Monical’s Pizza is a family-friendly restaurant that offers a casual dining experience.

In the small Illinois hamlet of Tolono, the Monical family began manufacturing pizza in 1959. They quickly saw that many local acquaintances and neighbors liked their dish. Thus, Monical’s Pizza was created, a brand that, over time in the area, came to stand for the best thin-crust pizza.

In a highly competitive business environment, Monical’s Pizza has succeeded in not only keeping up with but also outperforming many of its more established rivals.

The company internalizes the “People Pleasing People” philosophy of Monical’s Pizza. Their third consecutive “Best Practices” nomination and low management turnover rate of less than 20% are the results of this strategy, both of which have earned them recognition from the restaurant sector.

Dinner and lunch are both served at Monical’s Pizza. The restaurant also provides takeout and delivery services.

Hours of operation are 11 am to 9 pm on weekdays and 11 am to 10:30 am on weekends. Delivery hours are from 4 pm to 9 pm on weekdays and 4 pm to 10 pm on weekends.

Address: 302 S Main St, Princeton, IL 61356, United States. Phone: +1 815-872-0090.

15. Subway


The small-town atmosphere and welcoming residents are probably the first things that come to mind when considering Princeton, Illinois. Subway restaurant, though, is one undiscovered gem in this town that is worth visiting, as it’s one of the outstanding Princeton restaurants.

Every day, Subway offers happy customers fresh, daring flavors and time-tested classics. They take great pride in providing a difference from the usual quick food with freshly cut vegetables and toppings, including options for protein.

Subway offers drive-through, takeaway, dine-in, and curbside pickup service options.

A selection of fresh, made-to-order sandwiches, salads, and wraps are available on the menu. There is a large assortment of meats, cheeses, and veggies to choose from, and the sandwiches are served with freshly baked bread.

Subway operates from 9 am to 9 pm on weekdays, 10 am to 9 pm on Saturdays, and 10 am to 8 pm on Sundays.

Address: 2247 N Main St, Princeton, IL 61356, United States. Phone: +1 815-879-7827.

Map of The Top Restaurants in Princeton, IL

To get around during your trip to Princeton, here is a map of the top restaurants in Princeton with markers of the top places to eat in Princeton, IL.


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Plan a Visit to Princeton

The experience of sampling different foods is one of the best parts of traveling. It’s the ideal time to venture outside of your comfort zone and attempt something new, and who knows, you might just find your new favorite dish.

Nothing encourages you to explore new ideas and widen your horizons more than a trip to a new place. So make sure to leave room in your itinerary for exploring Princeton restaurants as you enjoy the city.