Illinois Beach Hotel – Restaurant and Bar Review

We were looking for something fun to do on our date night. It was a Wednesday evening and we wanted to stay close to home. I had received a notice on a car show taking place at the Illinois Beach Hotel in Zion, Illinois.  The hotel is located in the Illinois Beach State Park on Lake Michigan.  Seeing as it was a short drive of 10-minutes and we love old cars, it seemed like a great event for this lovely summer evening!  Little did we know the evening would be one of the most memorable date nights ever.

We arrived at the car show to find out the car show was free.  We then stopped at the bar to get a Seabreeze for me and a beer for Mr. Witte’s World.  The bartender was chatty and told us that they were having a special at the Illinois Beach Hotel restaurant of 2 Filet Mignons for $25.00.  We thought, what a great deal free car show and a budget gourmet meal all set on the lovely Lake Michigan!

Clouds and bar

We wandered the car show and was thrilled with all the amazing cars in the show.  All the owners were local and we met and talked to several nice people. We actually found a couple that lives just blocks away.  The show had many classic cars from trucks to El Caminos.   They even had a homemade motorcycle.

Chevy Classic Truck

Homemade Motorcycle

As we wandered the car show we reminisced and dreamed of owning a 1969 Buick Skylark. We would love to find one!  It would have to be red with a white top and white leather interior. This is the car Mr. Witte’s World owned when we first met. This car took us on many fun adventures in our first years together and holds a special place in our hearts.  Maybe someday we will find one for sale at a price we can afford…back to reality!

Illinois Beach Hotel Entrance

After we viewed all the amazing cars, talked to the owners, and the company running the car show, we walked to the Illinois Beach Hotel for dinner.  When we entered the lobby of the hotel, we were cheerfully greeted by a wonderful young lady. We asked for an outside seat and laughed, it looked like it was going to rain any minute.  She cheerfully sat us outside and told us that if it started to rain we could move inside.

View from Balcony at Illinois Beach Hotel Restaurant Lake Michigan

Cabernet Wine and Old Fashion at the Illinois Beach Hotel by Lake Michigan

I can’t even describe the beautiful view from our patio table!  Lake Michigan is as close to the ocean as you can get in the Midwest.  The Illinois Beach Hotel is the only hotel on Lake Michigan in the state of Illinois.  Who knew this treasure was so close?

The waiter, Oscar, came and took our drink orders and was more than happy to find out the brand of Cabernet they had and came back quickly with an answer.  Mr. Witte’s World ordered a Sweet Old Fashion. (As a side note, generally when you arrive the busboy will bring you water and homemade potato chips, but there was a lot going on when we arrived and we did not get the chips or water.  When we realized the oversight, Oscar offered to get them for us and we happily declined, dinner would be here soon. However, they looked amazing and what a great perk!).

Oscar delivered our drinks to the table and relayed that the bartender used to work at a country club and was used to making Old Fashions.  He then waited to make sure both drinks were acceptable.  My wine was good and Mr. Witte’s World was thrilled with his Old Fashioned and stated, “It is the best one I have ever had”, and he meant it (he actually had two). We ordered the dinner special of two Filets for $25.00.  We didn’t have high hopes that the steaks would be good, or cooked correctly. We were distracted from our thoughts when it started to rain.  We quickly moved into the restaurant from the patio without any problems. Oscar and the hostess were very accommodating.  

When the Filet came, we were happily surprised by the size of the filet.  They were actually 8 ounces of juicy, perfectly cooked, tender meat. I cannot remember the last time I had a filet at a restaurant this perfect!  In addition, it came with a baked potato. Way too much food for me! Mr. Witte’s World ate his and most of mine…but that is the way it usually goes.  

Filet Mignon at Illinois Beach Hotel in Zion Illinois

The night was so perfect, After the delicious dinner, we moved to the Illinois Beach Hotel bar area for another drink.  We sat and talked and enjoyed our view of the lake.  I wish I had found out the bartenders name, she was such a personable young lady. We actually sat there for about an hour enjoying our time at the lake.

The bar at The Illinois Beach Hotel

All in all, we had a perfect dinner and enjoyed the evening! I would definitely recommend the Illinois Beach Hotel restaurant for dining!  The beautiful view of the lake, the very friendly and accommodating staff, and outstanding food! We will definitely be back in the near future.  


The Illinois Beach Hotel is located midway between Chicago and Milwaukee at the Illinois Beach State Park.  Its claim to be a hidden treasure is true.  If you are looking for a wedding venue with a beautiful view of the Lake Michigan, this is your place. 

At the time I am writing this post, the restaurant at the hotel has two great specials: 2 Filet Mignon Dinners for $25.00 Special every Wednesday and a 2 Prime Rib Dinners for $25.00 Special on Saturdays.  Guess where we are eating this Saturday…

Have you ever stumbled upon a deal that you couldn’t believe was true?  Tell me about it!

Illinois Beach Hotel – Link to the Restaurant

You can read about more of our dining adventures in Illinois by clicking these links:

The Backyard Steakpit – Gurnee, Illinois

Chicago Woodfire Pizza – Gurnee, Illinois at Gurnee Mills Mall

Choppers Bar and Grill – Antioch, Illinois

Route 41 Roadhouse – Wadsworth, Illinois

Kumas Corner- Burgers and Bands – Chicago, IL

After the Fox – McHenry, Illinois

Stonecreek – Beach Park, Illinois


This post may contain Amazon and other affiliate links and I earn money from qualifying purchases. For further information see our Disclosure Policy.

4 thoughts on “Illinois Beach Hotel – Restaurant and Bar Review

  1. How exciting to find a wonderful adventure so close to home. The scenery looks amazing. It isn’t too far from me either so I will keep this in mind.

    1. If you are ever in the area contact me and I will take you there! It is amazing!

  2. I truly believe that those impromptu destinations turn out to be wonderful places. Beautiful views of the lake!

  3. What a wonderful find! I always love discoveries like these-it’s sometimes tempting to keep them a secret, tho. ??

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