Homecoming chaos calls for restaurant relaxation


Aki Akhauri

Customers enjoy Black Dog Smoke & Ale House in Urbana on April 30. The restaurant has locations in both Champaign and Urbana.

By Shivali Shukla, Contributing Writer

The onset of Homecoming weekend is the perfect time to invite friends and family to spend time sharing in the University’s popular traditions. Between your morning tailgate, cheering on Illinois as it plays Wisconsin and attending the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts’ evening Homecoming concert, here are some of the best places to take your family to enjoy a nice meal (or snack) in between the frenzy of Homecoming events.

Black Dog Smoke & Ale House

Located at 320 N. Chestnut St. in Champaign and 201 N. Broadway Ave. in Urbana, Black Dog offers classic American barbecue dishes for lunch and dinner. It offers both takeout and seating with parking available, a full bar and is wheelchair accessible. Some notable items on its menu include its sweet potato fries, burnt ends and mac and cheese. Known by many as the best barbecue in town, it is unlikely this joint will disappoint even the most avid barbecue fan.

Destihl Restaurant & Brew Works

Destihl is another restaurant to find delicious American cuisine. Located at 301 N. Neil St. in Champaign, Destihl is a gastropub and brewpub that also offers vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. It has both indoor and outdoor seating, private dining, takeout and more. Destihl has a huge variety of menu items bound to satisfy the whole family.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

Brewlab Coffee

Brewlab is a quaint cafe located at 630 S. Fifth St. in Champaign that offers a menu of coffees, teas and pastries. Known for its aesthetic atmosphere, Brewlab is a great place for your family to take a break among the Homecoming festivities and reenergize to make sure you get the most out of the day. Grab a cappuccino or even an almond croissant, and Brewlab’s very friendly staff will not disappoint. You’ll enjoy unwinding in a relaxing environment with your friends and family.


Located at 403 E. Green St. in Champaign, Sakanaya offers authentic Japanese cuisine and sushi. It has vegetarian options, such as its vegetarian ramen, as well as gluten-free menu items. The atmosphere is posh, and the sushi is fresh. This is a great place to grab a nice dinner with your family at the end of the day, and you can expect to be met with a great variety of both creatively inspired sushi rolls and traditional Japanese dishes.

Maize Mexican Grill

Maize has two locations in Champaign. Its takeout location, at 60 E. Green St., is frequently seen with lines out the door. It is a great place to grab carryout to enjoy at one of the nearby parks or in a relaxed setting back in your apartment. The takeout option allows you to get away from the hustle and bustle of students and visitors crowding the local streets. Maize has a sit-down location as well at 100 N. Chestnut St. in downtown Champaign called Maize at the Station with parking available. It offers vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options as well. Its menu provides the option of ordering common yet flavorful items, such as burritos, tacos and nachos, as well as some more unique and authentic choices such as queso fundido or tlacoyos.

Regardless of what cuisine suits your fancy, there is a huge variety of high-quality restaurants in the Champaign-Urbana area. Among all of them, at least one is bound to appeal to your family’s tastes. If none of the aforementioned restaurants pique your interest, try strolling through downtown Champaign. As the streets are lined with countless eateries,  you might find something new that fits your craving for this busy Homecoming weekend.

Shivali is a junior in AHS. 

[email protected]