Galena is a Midwestern hub of activities, history, and international cuisine. From local American food to traditional Japanese cuisine, Galena has authentic flavors from around the world. This article offers our suggestions for fare from select countries and where their foodie counterparts can be experienced in Galena.
FRANCE AND GERMANY: FRITZ AND FRITES
If you like German and French food, then you’ll love Fritz and Frites. This local Galena restaurant was created by Fred Grzeslo and his wife Karyn with the goal of bringing German and French cuisine to Galena Country. With French wine from the Rhône Valley and Bordeaux to German Riesling and traditional German beer, the drinks are sure to take you to a different country right from the start. This restaurant also offers traditional French, German, and bistro cuisine to add to your experience of an out-of-country experience. Pair your French wine with one of their authentic appetizers or go for the Poulet Rôti (Garlic Chicken with potatoes). If you went with the German drinks, you couldn’t go wrong choosing their Wienerschnitzel to combine those authentic and famous German flavors. Open Tuesday – Thursday from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. – 9 p.m., and Sunday from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m., you can find them on Main Street in downtown Galena.
AMERICA: SUNSET GRILLE
Sunset Grille is the place to go for traditional American food with a view. Located high on a bluff overlooking the Upper Mississippi River Valley. You can enjoy dinner on their 1,400 ft dining deck to watch as the sun sets over Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin. The dinner menu begins at 5 p.m. with an array of fine dining entrees. Choose from meat options such as their Iowa Angus beef Filet Mignon or New York Strip or head for the seafood route with their Chilean Sea Bass or Norwegian Salmon entrée. With so many filling options, you are sure to enjoy dinner AND an unforgettable view.
GREECE: LOG CABIN STEAKHOUSE
Located in the heart of downtown Galena, the Log Cabin intermingles traditional Greek flavors with the best steaks Galena has to offer. With Grecian chef and owner, Foti Rigopoulos, the Log Cabin Steakhouse has its own personal connection with the authentic Greek food spread. The menu has a variety of the biggest and best hand-cut steaks and seafood that you can choose from. Their most popular dish is a Greek favorite: Flaming Saganaki served with scorching “Opa” flourish. Their international wine list features over 100 selections from across the globe, including Greece. You won’t leave this steakhouse hungry or disappointed. As the Rigopoulos family says, “the name may get you in the door, but the quality of your experience will bring you back.”
Get transported to Italy when you visit Vinny Vanucchi’s in downtown Galena. Located on a cobblestone road, this restaurant encompasses the entire aesthetic that is Italian. From made-from-scratch Italian food that comes from recipes handed down across 5 generations to their amazing wine list (a classic in Italy), this restaurant is the perfect place to spend time if you’re in need of a getaway. Vinny Vanucchi’s has 3 main floors with differing ambiances that create their restaurant. When you walk up the hill, you’ll see their outdoor cappuccino garden atop the cobblestone bricks, however, it is closed for the winter season. Walk inside and you’ll be greeted with a bistro feel full of wine and dressings. The 3rd level is where you’ll be able to dine in an authentic fine-dining Italian space that comes complete with red-checkered tablecloths and wood furnishings. The top-level has an open feel that overlooks downtown Galena while bringing you to a café straight from Italy. Vinny Vanucchi’s is the place to go for an Italian lover’s getaway.
FRIED GREEN TOMATOES
This multi-level restaurant offers some of the best fine Italian and American dining in Galena. Serving USDA Choice steaks and fresh seafood, they have a variety of amazing meat, vegetarian and vegan choices. Their award-winning wine list is also sure to satisfy your thirst. If you have a wine that is your absolute favorite, you are welcome to bring it in to enjoy with your meal. Note: there will be a $15 corking fee for the wine you bring in. While they are closed on Monday and Tuesday, you can call ahead and host a private party in the restaurant with enough notice. Another accommodation they offer for large parties is a shuttle service. While it isn’t a party bus, this shuttle will take up to 24 people to and from the restaurant. Call their number in advance to get access to this service. Another way to eat the delicious food from Fried Green Tomatoes with a large group is by ordering one of their dinner pans to go. The pans require 48 hours of notice and include one entrée, salad and breadsticks or dinner rolls. With so many accommodations to make their guests feel at ease, Fried Green Tomatoes is sure to win your heart.
Cannova’s Pizzeria and Fine Italian Cuisine offers delivery for all of Galena and Galena Territory daily starting at 4 p.m. Offering a variety of Italian cuisine, from starters and sandwiches to pasta and pizza, Cannova’s has something for everyone. Create your pizza or pick from a specialty right off the menu. They offer gluten-free crust as well so those who can’t eat gluten still have the option of a warm, cheesy pizza. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu at Cannova’s. So, get online, look at the menu and order take out or head into their Main Street location to enjoy the food fresh from the oven.
MEXICO: CAMPECHE RESTAURANT
Campeche Restaurant has been serving authentic Mexican food since the late 1970’s all around Chicagoland and Illinois. The original Founder was from Campeche, Mexico, which is a city located on the Gulf of Mexico. She brought recipes handed down for three generations with her to Chicagoland to open her own restaurant. Some of these recipes include their homemade margaritas and Pico de Gallo. With a great outdoor patio and upcoming rooftop patio, this is the perfect warm-weather hangout spot. So, head over to Campeche any day but Monday to get a refreshing dinner in the heart of the Midwest.
JAPAN: LITTLE TOKYO
Deemed the finest Japanese restaurant in the tri-state area, Little Tokyo is the perfect place to enjoy Japanese food whether you’re a beginner or expert in Asian flavors. The menu consists of more than just raw fish, although they are known to have the freshest sushi in the area. With signature rolls, traditional rolls, and specialty rolls, there will be an array of options for the sushi lovers out there. Not into seafood? No worries – Little Tokyo has plenty of meat options. They use fresh Midwestern beef to create the perfect beef teriyaki every time; you have the option of ordering a hibachi dinner filled with filet mignon, chicken, or other meat options, and they have the same options in fried rice and noodle form. While they’re closed on Tuesdays, this is the perfect place to head to on a night out on the town.