Grafton is the oldest city in Jersey County, Illinois, United States. It is located near the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. As of the 2010 U.S. census, the city had a total population of 674. Prior to the Great Flood of 1993, Grafton had enjoyed a stable population of nearly 1,000 residents.
Things to do in Grafton
4 based on 227 reviews
Situated in the heart of historic Grafton along the "Great Rivers Scenic Byway", we are truly a winery designed for all seasons. Sit back and relax while sipping your wine as you take in the view of the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers from one of our spacious patios or from our glass enclosed seating area. No matter what time of year, we provide the view, the ambiance, and of course the wine. Enjoy watching the eagles soar in the winter, the wildlife and surrounding vegetation coming to life in the spring, beautiful sunsets and pleasure boats on the river in the summer, and of course the famous changing of the leaf colors in the fall.
The Grafton Winery & Brewhaus is an impressive facility on West Main Street in Grafton, with owners that clearly know how to establish & run a full-service business. The ground level space has a gift shop focused on wine & wine-related products, and a brewhouse with an on-site brewing room that can be viewed through glass. The facility has a relatively small free parking lot just above street level adjacent to the building, and more free spaces slightly further up the hill behind the building. My wife parked one block down the hill in a free public parking lot adjacent to the Grafton marina for our convenience in exploring the town that afternoon.
Up one flight of stairs from ground level is their main dining & drinking area, with ordering of food & alcoholic beverages at separate counters (which helps speed service) and a huge dining space footprint with both enclosed areas & open patio decks. Most larger groups of patrons grab a menu then a table (it's a seat yourself routine), and send a delegate or two back to the ordering counters after everyone chooses their meal. Your dining order will be delivered to your table when ready, according to the order number on the condiment rack you carry back to your table. The counter & table service are both efficient and friendly, the food prices are competitive with an increasingly wide variety of options (including fresh fruit & veggie & cheese platters to accompany the many wine drinkers), and the serving sizes are generous.
This was our third visit to Grafton Winery & Brewhaus since their expansion in 2013, and we've experienced consistently good service & high food quality. My wife visited a couple of other times in summer with a group of friends, and they have enjoyed sitting out on one of the patios to eat & sip wine & soak up some sunlight on a warm day. It's become a popular stopping place for tourists traveling the Great River Road during all four seasons of the year, and the owners have done a very good job of keeping their menu fresh while accommodating the shifting tastes and values of their clientele. In a small town with an increasing variety of competitors, Grafton Winery & Brewhaus remains one of the best choices for a meal or a liquid refreshment in Downtown Grafton.
4.5 based on 39 reviews
Grafton fudge and ice cream’s primary business is homemade fudge, premium chocolates, Edy’s Premium ice cream
I was hoping it was going to be homemade hand-dipped ice cream, but it was just big tubs of Edy's. They also had some candy and nuts for sale, I got some salted caramel candy and some candied almonds. Prices were high to me, but to be fair, consistent with other small shops. A handful of table to eat at.
4 based on 194 reviews
Stopped by for the amazing view of the convergence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers and went in for a drink and dinner to catch up on each other. It was a very breezy cool afternoon and the windows were open so it was uncomfortable. They had a musician at the time and we had to shout to one another to be heard. So we went outside on the deck, a little quieter, colder, but still a great view. Didn't stay for dinner.
4 based on 42 reviews
The whole scoop is a fun destination right on Main Street in the river town of Grafton Illinois. Always a smiling face and of course excellent ice cream. And don't forget the corndog.
4.5 based on 75 reviews
Great meal at Oyster Bar. View, on river in eagle season, was memorable. Food was so good, P.O.- Boy and lobster Pot Pie. Both award-winning. Fries also so fresh and good. Looked around on a Sunday afternoon, seemed everyone had smile on their face. Our waitress, Kenzie, was so good. My wife and I started on deck outside to see Eagles. Kenzie was freezing in her “ inside” outfit, kept smiling, took care of us. Got too cold for us,our waitress adjusted so effortlessly, was nice.
Menu is special, food more than special. Go!
4 based on 141 reviews
The location is great! Wonderful commons area with large fireplace and view. We were in the 'historic' section and while the room was quiet - it was badly in need of updating. Tiny bathroom! Staff was unhelpful with answering questions. Food in restaurant was sub par. Overpriced for the average quality. Lots of potential but needing an overhaul.
4 based on 217 reviews
Our party of six, with two kids in tow, barged into a raucous free for all on a Saturday afternoon at the Loading Dock Bar & Grill in Grafton, IL. I say free for all because it was like walking into controlled mayhem. Mayhem in which everybody seemed to be enjoying themselves to the fullest.
This was, at one time an actual loading where barges and other river traffic would heave to. It sits on the Mississippi River just downstream from its confluence with the Illinois River, and not too far upstream of its confluence with the Missouri River.
The huge area where all of the partying takes place, on a nice afternoon, is room enough for somewhere in the neighborhood of 80 patio tables with umbrellas. It provides a healthy view of the river so you can watch the boats and barges move up and down as you knock back a cold one or two.
What they in the way of food offerings is a drinkin menu. This is food that you can hold in one hand while holding your drink in the other. Stuff like hamburgers, hot dogs. chicken strips, nachos, and other such things including catfish fritters. These are actually bit-size chunks of breaded catfish that simply melt in your mouth. Far and away the best catfish I have put in my mouth.
And as busy as it was on a sunny Saturday afternoon the service was excellent. Within 5 minutes of finding a table (seat yourself) a waitress was there to take our drink order and tell us where we had to go and order or food. Twenty minutes later we were eating.
The place was raucous, but everyone was friendly. We enjoyed both the food and the atmosphere. Great place to spend a nice afternoon.
4 based on 58 reviews
Two couples from the St. Louis side of the Mississippi, on a sunny Sunday drive up the Great River Road. We chose Ruebel to stop for a late lunch based on my wife's two previous visits with a group of friends. The service was extremely friendly & efficient & helpful from the time we walked in the door to the time we left. Two of us ordered angus burgers, the other two ordered the pond-raised catfish, and we split plates of sweet potato fires & onion rings, all for a very affordable price. My angus burger was cooked well done to order, without burning. I tried a chunk of my wife's catfish fillet, and it was very tasty. The fries & rings were a good start to a good meal. The menu is small but with sufficient variety to satisfy most tastes.
The restaurant interior is pub-like, with a long bar & dark walls and ceiling & lots of wooden tables of varying sizes. They also have a large outdoor patio dining space on the north side of the building, with a couple of covered areas for sunny or rainy days. Parking is along Grafton's Main Street, or behind the building on a gravel lot (when it's not flooded) with an outdoor stair climb up to the deck & pub side entrance.
We will definitely return to Ruebel for another weekend lunch. It's a worthy competitor to the few other Grafton eateries, while you're on a Great River Road outing.
4.5 based on 28 reviews
My wife & I ate a quick Saturday lunch at Beasley's fish stand during an autumn weekend stay in Grafton. It's an order-at-one-window & pick-up-at-the-next sorta place, with several wooden picnic tables on a covered porch that wraps around front & side of the small building (which also houses their fish market). My wife ordered the lightly breaded tilapia with hush puppies, while I had the catfish fritters (pond-raised breaded nuggets) with a bag of chips. Soft drinks & bottled water comprise the liquid menu. Both of our meals were freshly prepared and tasty.
Beasley's is a Grafton favorite on the northern edge of town along the Great River Road. You shouldn't expect more from Beasley's than a good simple meal served by friendly locals, but that's an increasingly rare combination these days.
4.5 based on 23 reviews
The decor and the emphasis on giving to the community make this place a must for breakfast or lunch in this small historic town. The rooms are decorated with cheery colors, down to details like the color striped water glasses and the speckled purple plates. The service was excellent and the food yummy.
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