As much as I love traveling to Chicago for sporting events, concerts, or fun-filled weekends, there are other times when I'm just not up for it.

As in, I'd prefer to take it nice and slow.

Sometimes, I like a nice and easy cruise. I won't have to worry if I am going at the appropriate speed on the Kennedy Expressway or if I grabbed enough hard currency for a restaurant still "Cash Only" in the 21st century.

Both have occurred since my wife and I moved out of Chicago some years ago.

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While Chicago has always been my preferred destination for almost everything in life, some things are just as good (if not better) outside of the Windy City.

Chicago skyline
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It's shocking (I know), but USA Today listed 47 (47? That's a strange number) of its 2024 Restaurants of the Year.

Expecting to see a Chicago representative, I was pleasantly surprised to see a town other than the Second City on the list.

The restaurant is called Ardor Breads and Provisions, and TripAdvisor folks are wild about this joint.

Reviewers call Ardor the "best find in years" and the restaurant itself a "beautiful place."


I raised an eyebrow when I read this one from Rudypea, who called their time at Ardor Breads and Provisions "mind-blowing" and "incredible." Another review said they had "high expectations" and were "still wowed."

However, not all notoriety is for the better, as lkschmidt55 on TripAdvisor said they can do without the "snobbery" and "small servings without the hefty price."


Snobbery and small plates at high prices? Sounds like Chicago to me. I'm in, and I'll bet this joint takes credit and debit cards.

Ardor Breads and Provisions is at 301 South West Water Street in Peoria.

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