Best Wine Lists in Greater Peoria


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Peoria’s wine scene may be relatively small, but that doesn’t mean it’s uninspired. From classy spots with deep wine lists in Peoria Heights and East Peoria to lively hangouts pouring trendy bottles in Morton, Mackinaw, and Peoria, some of Greater Peoria’s best bars and restaurants are making high-quality wine more accessible for the region’s diners and wine lovers.

And they’re not going to leave you hungry, either—many boast fantastic food menus, so you’ll always have the perfect pairing at hand. Check out some of these top-notch Peoria Area wine lists.

Fusion 45 {Peoria Heights}   //   Chef Dustin Allen has constructed an astoundingly deep wine list that ranges from classic, approachable Assyrtiko to complex, muscular Mavrodaphne grown in pre-phylloxera vineyards. The menu focuses on light, refreshing flavors that allow the wine to shine. This is a white-tablecloth spot that’s anything but stuffy, refined yet still creative. For a nightcap, pop upstairs to The 12Bar Lounge, a rooftop cocktail lounge with a remarkable sunset view (if you can get a seat, that is).

Haynes on Main  {Mackinaw}   //   Haynes on Main offers an experience beyond what you might expect from a typical Mackinaw bar. This playful bar focuses specifically on quality. The seasonal menu and oft-refreshed wine list ensure there’s always something new to discover. Be sure to check out this spot on Thursdays for lady’s night!

Hearth Restaurant  {Peoria Heights}   //   Wine lovers should make their way to Hearth Restaurant to experience a list of progressive producers and new by-the-glass pours on a regular basis. The wine-lined walls and soft lighting of this intimate but bustling spot let you know you’re in for a treat before you even order.

Jim’s Steakhouse  {Peoria}   //   In Downtown Peoria, you’ll find Jim’s Steakhouse, which puts filet mignon—along with an incredible wine list—in the spotlight. The small, elegant space feels quite intimate, but also keeps things dramatic and lively with a sense of nostalgic tunes pouring from the speakers. This makes it the perfect place to branch out and try a small producer you’ve never experienced before—the knowledgeable staff is happy to chat about the bottles they have open, and can help find something that pairs well with your steak that’s been cooked to perfection.

Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse  {East Peoria}   //  Upscale but understated, Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse in East Peoria’s Holiday Inn & Suites is a steakhouse with an extensive wine library featuring bottles from across the globe. Don’t be overwhelmed by the list—the staff is happy to point you in the direction of the right bottle, regardless of what you’re looking for.  Polished and fashionable, the space provides an ideal backdrop for a first date and a business dinner alike.

Jonah’s Seafood House  {East Peoria}   //  This seafood-based menu offers a casual but delicious counterpart to the wine selection. Enhanced by the romantic, dimly lit space filled with river-side seating, you’ll encounter nothing but fun, fresh finds at this local hot spot. For those that love a deliciously spicy salmon, ask for a glass of their Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot from Napa Valley to pair with it; you won’t want to miss it.

Kemp 208  {Morton}   //   You must stop at bright, airy Kemp 208. This restaurant boasts some amazing food for sure, but you shouldn’t stop there when the wine list is such a treat. The by-the-glass list has more than enough interesting picks to choose from, but the expansive bottle list, featuring a slew of small-production winemakers, is even more exciting for those willing to do some searching for the perfect bottle.

Martinis on Water  {Peoria}   //   Martinis on Water is an unexpected treat for wine lovers. This waterfront spot focuses heavily on producers from France, Italy, and beyond, in addition to an impressive cocktail program. The wines pair beautifully with the local atmosphere, as the sun-soaked space acquires a sexy, backlit vibe as the sun sets on the Illinois River.

The Publik House  {Peoria Heights}   //   Publik House, a cozy English pub in downtown Peoria Heights, offers way more than your typical pub fare. The owners have also concocted an excellent wine list, featuring many impressive producers and an array of surprisingly affordable bottles from the traditional to the avant-garde. This local gastropub offers a classic twist in the hip and happening vibes of Peoria Heights.

Seasons GastroPub  {Morton}   //   Tucked into downtown Morton is Seasons GastroPub, which offers a constantly changing wine list brimming with natural wines and notable producers, plus a refined but casual vibe that feels both relaxing and upscale. Make sure you also check out the menu, familiar yet creative, from smoked brisket to a regional favorite: the horseshoe.

Sweetwater Kitchen + Cocktails  {Chillicothe}   //  Sweetwater offers a breathtaking view of the Illinois River that will truly allow you the feeling of transporting from the charming town of Chillicothe to an island in the Caribbean.  The owners curated a wine list studded with eco-conscious and forward-thinking producers from Chile, Argentina, and beyond. All this plus a bright atmosphere and buoyant river-side vibe are a recipe for a good time.

Discover Peoria
Discover Peoria

Discover Peoria, IL