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Last updated on December 1, 2022 by Wandering our World

Alton sits on the Mississippi River in Madison County and is a city rich in history. Filled with beautiful parks, attractions and a beautiful marina, there is lots to see and do here. And thankfully there’s plenty of restaurants in Alton, IL to enjoy too.

This city, which boasts plenty of live music and was in fact home to the legendary jazz musician Miles Davis, has good food aplenty thanks to the many local small family-run businesses.

Find an array of traditional Italian restaurants, late-night eateries and fine dining establishments, amongst many others in a city that has a surprisingly good cuisine scene.

And if you’re looking for some inspiration about where to dine in Alton then you’re in the right place. Why? Well below we share with you our ten favorite restaurants in Alton, IL. Bon Appetit!

Photo for illustrative purposes only: Unsplash+

The Ten Best Restaurants In Alton, IL: Fantastic Food, Views & Fun!

1. Mac’s Downtown

Since 1983, Mac’s has served up all kinds of delicious food in a fantastic multi-functional space. You’ll find a great vibe here with music playing, sports on the TV, and a unique Biergarten to enjoy. There’s even a convenience store within this establishment, plus free parking at the back of the building!

Head out into the four-sided garden bar in the evenings and you’ll still be able to order from the full menu, as well as enjoy off-track betting. There’s always lots happening, and Mac himself is fully involved and makes for a friendly host.

The menu here consists of hand-breaded appetisers, high-quality steaks, and in-house desserts with everything in between. Regulars will tell you that the steaks are the best value for money here, with many favouring the Jack Daniel’s glaze as the perfect accompaniment. In addition, the option to “build your own burger” is a nice touch that you don’t usually find in many restaurants.

If you’re having dinner out with friends or want to catch the game, this is easily one of the best restaurants in Alton, IL for you.

Opening times: Mon-Thurs 11:00-02:00, Fri-Sat 11:00-03:00, Sun 09:00-02:00

Address: 315 Belle St, Alton, IL 62002, United States

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/karandaev

2. Bluff City Grill

This successful woman-owned business is a stand-out restaurant, bar and banquet. At the centre of broadway, you’ll find that Bluff City Grill does it all and has so much to keep you entertained. Owner Cathy Gross is community focused and loves to get involved in Alton often partnering with local groups.

The Grill itself has a bit of something for everyone. Choose from a sports bar, lounge bar, dining room or outside patio with lovely views of the river and Clark Bridge.

You’ll find fourteen TVs in the lounge and sports bar (you read that right – 14!), as well as darts, pinball and video games to keep everyone entertained.

The dining room provides a more date night/family feeling, and you’re sure to find something for everyone while served by friendly and attentive staff. There is two-story parking, plus on-street parking available making this restaurant easily accessible if traveling here by car.

You’ll find the menu as varied as the venue with choices of seafood, wings, salads, burgers, sandwiches pasta and more. The kids’ menu provides a selection of some of the best options in Alton for children, including burgers and pasta marinara. In addition, you will find gluten-free options and veggie stir fry for vegetarian diners. 

There is often live music happening, and with so much on offer, this is sure to be one of the best restaurants in Alton, IL for any occasion.

Opening times: Tues-Sat 11:00-00:00

Address: 424 E Broadway, Alton, IL 62002, United States

3. State Street Market

State Street Market is a favourite with locals and can be found just off West Broadway. It’s a cliche, but this is a true hidden gem.

This bar and restaurant specialises in wines from around the world and caters to everything from light bites to dinner dates. You’ll be served creative dishes by lovely, accommodating staff who do all they can to provide you with the best experience possible.

Dine in unique surroundings outside either in the European style seating in the front courtyard, the New Orleans style in the back courtyard or in the homely dining room. All areas create a lovely atmosphere to dine in.

It’s best to call and see what the latest offerings are on the State Street Market Dinner menu but you can expect the chef’s creative take on dishes that include beef fillet, pork loin chop, pasta dishes, seafood, and roast chicken.

For one of the best restaurants in Alton, IL with a laid-back setting perfect for a dinner date, State Street Market will be just the thing.

Opening times: Tues-Thurs 11:00-20:00, Fri 11:00-21:00, Sat 10:30-21:00

Address: 208 State St, Alton, IL 62002, United States

Photo for illustrative purposes only: Unsplash+

4. Tony’s Steakhouse and Bar

Owned and operated by the Ventimiglia family since 1954, Tony’s Steakhouse and Bar is a traditional Italian-style steakhouse, serving fine meals old-school style. As the business has grown over the years it has stayed in the family and gone from strength to strength.

The restaurant itself is a classy low-lit space perfect for dates, celebratory occasions and any other soirée you may have planned. Parking can be found close by and the staff are accommodating and will go above and beyond to ensure the comfort of their diners.

Aside from the dining room, there is a more laid-back whiskey bar that offers pizza alongside the full menu. Tony’s offers a premium selection of whiskeys as well as creative cocktails and a varied wine list.

Here you’ll find their Alton-famous Pepperloin Steak, a beautiful beef tenderloin saturated in Tony’s secret marinade. If steak isn’t your thing, aside from this melt-in-the-mouth classic, you can choose from a range of traditional Italian dishes such as Toasted Ravioli, Chicken Provolone and Fettuccine Alfredo.

Salads, soups, steaks and seafood adorn this menu too, ensuring every party member finds something to enjoy. Veggie options include a Teriyaki Vegetable Bowl, Toasted Artichoke Hearts, Caesar salad, and Strawberry Spinach Salad.

Older generation locals will tell you this is one of the best restaurants that Alton, IL has to offer and that the food still tastes just as good as it did in the 70s, and many newer visitors agree.

Opening times: Sun, Tues-Thurs 15:30-21:00, Fri-Sat 15:30-21:30

Address: 102 W 9th St, Alton, IL 62002, United States

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/lisovskaya

5. Santino’s

Steak & pasta lovers, this one’s for you. Santino’s Italian kitchen takes good care of its customers old and new.

Established by Chef Sonny Asani who takes great pride in his food, this restaurant seeks to serve. Asani can often be found talking to customers and personally ensuring they are enjoying their meal. The staff here follow suit providing a welcoming atmosphere for all diners and there is a cosy, romantic feel to this dine-in restaurant. Situated right next to the shopping mall, it’s very easily accessible with parking available.

Santino’s serves traditional Italian dishes and antipasto with wine and cocktails to complement your meal. Enjoy authentic Italian food, including mouth-watering Fettuccine and other flavourful pasta dishes.

The menu consists of a variety of traditional Italian appetisers, salads, steaks and pasta. Popular with locals is their seafood pasta and ribeye steaks, making Santino’s an excellent choice for Italian cuisine.

Opening times: Sun-Thurs 11:00-2100 Fri-Sat 11:00-22:00

Address: Alton Square Mall Dr, Alton, IL 62002, United States

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Rawpixel

6. Don & Penny’s Restaurant

Night on the town? This place will sort your late-night cravings, no problem. Just off west broadway near the river is a family-friendly restaurant and bar serving food late into the evening. In fact they close at 2am!

Don & Penny’s is welcoming and fun with a traditional American bar/diner style. Its laid-back, casual atmosphere with music playing and attentive staff make for an all-around great experience. There is plenty of seating inside as well as pool tables, dart boards and a jukebox. Parking can be found around downtown Alton.

The menu is varied and some items are influenced by Cajun and Mexican cooking, so you’ll find much to choose from.

From pizza and pasta to filling starters and sandwiches, you can tuck into all the expected late-night offerings.

However locals recommend branching out and experiencing dishes such as the Crawfish Étouffée, Gumbo and Jambalaya. Furthermore, the veggie options include Greek Salad, Feta Pasta, and Mediterranean Pizza.

It’s been said you’ll find the best Cajun food outside of New Orleans right here at Don & Penny’s.

Opening times: Tues-Sat 16:30-02:00

Address: 306 State St, Alton, IL 62002, United States

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/JulyProkopiv

7. Bossanova

Just a block away but still a short walk from the river is this world-menu-inspired restaurant and martini bar. For 15 years, Bossanova has been serving global tastes late into the evening.

Staff are friendly, and the bartenders take good care of you with a bond-themed martini list that will grab your attention. Whether sitting inside in the low-lit setting or outside on an adorable street, it is a cosy and romantic restaurant and lounge. Rest assured, parking is available throughout downtown Alton.

Bossanova isn’t shy of an occasion either, find their latest cocktail specials via their social media and indulge yourself over dinner.

The menu has a range of options from pizza and incredibly tasty wings to Asian-inspired dishes such as blackened salmon, fried rice and noodle bowls. Veggie options include a Classic Caesar salad, Crostini and Feta, and customisable Asian bowls.

Locals rave about the food here and will often tell you that the star of the show is the in-house hummus, thus making the Hummus Platter a simple favourite.

Bossanova easily earns its status as one of the best restaurants in Alton, IL and is the perfect place for romantic dates and indulgent evenings. In the past they’ve even had live music or guest speakers in, so do keep an eye on their social media for any potential upcoming events.

Opening times: Mon-Thurs 16:00-01:00, Fri-Sat 16:00-03:00

Address: 112 W 3rd St, Alton, IL 62002, United States

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/DronG

8. Riviera Maya Restaurant

Serving authentic Mexican food since 2010, this family-run restaurant is a fantastic choice for families especially those with young children and this establishment certainly attracts a sense of community.

Riviera Maya Restaurant provides fantastic service and is a great choice for family dinner. Often buzzing in the evenings, Riviera Maya has been around for just over a decade, and whilst often busy it’s still easily accessible with parking right by the door.

Enjoy great-tasting food that is always fresh. Choose from a range of Mexican classics such as fajitas, enchiladas, burritos, and quesadillas. Their kids’ menu provides a range of options including fries for your fussy eaters, and the veggie options include vegetarian fajitas.

In particular, locals rave most about the Carnitas Tacos, Fajitas and huge traditional margaritas. It’s worth getting your family dinner plans set for a visit to one of the best restaurants in Alton, IL.

Opening times: Sun-Thurs 11:00-21:00, Fri-Sat 11:00-22:00

Address: 2704 Corner Ct, Alton, IL 62002, United States

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Elihu Castillo Ramirez

9. Gentelin’s on Broadway

At Gentelin’s you will experience fine dining in a relaxed atmosphere. Whether dining inside or outside, you are sure to enjoy your time here.

Owner and Chef Ryan Gentelin takes pride in this establishment that offers fine dining and lovely views of Alton Bridge, as well as a private room and a banquet room available for special occasions. You will be served attentively and enjoy a laid-back fine dining experience. It should be noted that parking cannot be found on site but for those able, it isn’t too far to walk from the nearest parking on broadway.

At Gentelin’s you can expect weekly specials in addition to the incredible menu. Locals will tell you that the Oven Roasted Half Duck is perfectly brown and crispy and the Scallops and truffled wild mushroom risotto is superb.

Veggie options include Wild Mushroom Ravioli and Black Bean Cakes. Speaking of cake, if you have room for dessert the Warm Gooey Butter Cake is the star of the show and makes for a melt-in-the-mouth treat. 

If you want to treat someone special to one of the best restaurants in Alton, IL, Gentelin’s on Broadway is a lovely date night treat.

Opening times: Tues-Weds 16:00-20:00, Thurs-Sat 16:00-21:00

Address: 122 E Broadway, Alton, IL 62002, United States

Photo for illustrative purposes only: iStock.com/Kuzmin

10. Castelli’s Restaurant at 255

Established in 1937, Castelli’s is now owned, operated and managed by the fourth generation of the Castelli family. This family-friendly American supper club-style restaurant is considered a favourite among locals and is a real Alton institution. There is parking on-site, and you can dine inside or outside while enjoying exceptional service and delicious food. 

Serving steak, seafood and Italian specialities, Castelli’s has a vastly varied menu. A popular dish for decades is the fried chicken, a house-secret, trademarked recipe that has been passed down the family line to reach your plate. Don’t miss out on the chance to taste it!

Vegetarians can choose between dishes like the fettuccine, ravioli and tortellini, while homemade specialities include “roman” house salad dressing and toasted ravioli. 

Castelli’s is one of the best restaurants in Alton, IL for young and old to get together and enjoy good food.

Opening times: Sun, Weds-Thurs 11:00-21:00, Fri-Sat 11:00-22:00

Address: 3400 Fosterburg Rd, Alton, IL 62002, United States

Photo for illustrative purposes only: Unsplash+


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