One of my favorite seasons is upon us- holiday party season. Fall themed parties, Halloween parties, beer tastings, Thanksgiving gatherings and the holiday office parties are starting to come together; and if you haven't started planning yet, it's best to do it now.

Don't know where to have it? Finding a place to accommodate your large, and often times rowdy but fun and respectful group of friends and family can be a big task; but thanks to some inspiration from Thrillist, I might be able to help.

I've done some research, asked around and put together this list of the best restaurants in Rockford for large group dinners and parties.

1. JMK Nippon

My friends say JMK is amazing with beautiful decor and a relaxing atmosphere. According to their website, "Guests love our relaxing dining atmosphere. Enjoy our beautiful, serene koi ponds and rock gardens as you dine on great food at great prices."


2. Shogun

I just got an invite to a birthday party at Shogun this Saturday. Whether it's a birthday, Homecoming, or a corporate event, Shogun has the space and the ambiance.  One reviewer said, "Rockford rolls, Maui rolls, you can't go wrong here. I like Shogun because they have many different areas to sit. You do not have to sit in the traditional Japanese grill station seating. They have a great seating in the sushi bar area and even more private rooms for groups. Most of the time you can get seated right away. Great place!!" Book your party here.


3. Lino's

Who wants to help me pop my Lino's cherry and throw a big party to do it? Lino's is the perfect choice for meetings, receptions and parties. They have delicious authentic food with old world charm. There are very few places you can go to eat these days where you have the combination of the best people and the best food.


4. Lucha Cantina

This is one of my personal favorites for dinner parties. I've been to several here and have enjoyed it every time. The food is delicious and reasonably priced and they're pretty good about accommodating large parties. The staff is friendly and attentive; and their PB&J Jalapeno poppers are the best. Take a look at some of their testimonials and see for yourself on their website, here


5. Giovanni's/Alchemy

One of the best meals I've ever had was during the Teacher of the Week luncheon we had at Giovanni's earlier this year. Great starter salad, tender sirloin, perfectly roasted veggies and mouth-watering; whipped mashed potatoes. The conference rooms are perfect for banquets, receptions and holiday parties; and the staff was on top of it. Plus it's a great value, the best option for anyone looking for a great dining and lounge experience in Rockford. Take a look at their beautiful gallery of photos from events here.


6. Casey's Pub

Are you looking for something a little more laid back and casual for your get-together? Then Casey's is it. My friend Tina had her fiance's 40th surprise birthday party in their backroom; they gave her affordable food and drink options and were very accommodating.  See what more Casey's has to offer, I'm thinking it would be the perfect place for a Super Bowl party, on their Facebook page.


7. Prairie Street Brewing Company

My girl Tina, who works at Prairie Street, sums it up best when it comes to having your next group dinner or party here, "We have 4 diffrent rooms available. All the way from a meeting in our Peacock room, to a bigger gathering in out Petritz room. Weddings and very large events in our Barrel room and with the barrel room comes part of out amazing dock that looks over the Rock River. All of our beer is made IN HOUSE and hand crafted. Here's the HUGE kicker that not a lot of people know. OUR BEER IS PRETTY MUCH GLUTEN FREE! Our brewers put something in our beer that eats all the GLIADIN, so people with even Celiac Disease can drink our beer without any problems. Oh and the staff is amazing!" Does she need to say more? Read and see more on their website.


Don't see your favorite place to throw a party on the list? Tell me about the party or special dinner you had and where it was so I can be sure to a. check it out and b. spread the word.

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