Sterling Food Guide: 10 Must-Eat Restaurants & Street Food Stalls in Sterling

April 14, 2018 Cedrick Jardin

Sterling is a city in Whiteside County, Illinois, United States. The population was 15,370 at the 2010 census, down from 15,451 in 2000. Formerly nicknamed "Hardware Capital of the World", Sterling has long been associated with manufacturing and the steel industry.
Things to do in Sterling

1. Kelly's Irish pub

218 Locust St, Sterling, IL 61081-3537 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Television, Serves Alcohol Mexican, American, Bar, Pub Lunch, Dinner +1 815-625-7969
Excellent
59%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 66 reviews

Kelly's Irish pub

Reviewed By Monte B

McMex? Boring Midwest style no flavor food with limited beverage choices. Very disappointing.

Worse yet I walked by a nice looking restaurant that didn't appear on trip advisor.

Normally I love trip advisor for finding the best place in town. In small towns it can be a crap shoot. I guess they handed out enough free tacos to get the free reviews. I would have rated it a 2, but it needs the average pulled down. 1 is normally reserved for dead animals in the food.

Enjoy the pics.

2. Air Play Espresso & Bakery

115 E 3rd St, Sterling, IL 61081-3610 (Formerly Air Play Sports & Espresso) Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Street Parking, Free Off-Street Parking, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Accepts Discover, Seating, Accepts American Express, Digital Payments, Accepts Credit Cards Cafe Drinks, Breakfast, Brunch SGD 5 - SGD 13 +1 815-585-4327
Excellent
87%
Good
10%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 28 reviews

Air Play Espresso & Bakery

2017 - Voted the most favorite place for coffee past 3 three years running in the entire Sauk Valley. We are an independent eclectic, little coffee house and bakery, family owned and operated since 2010. We use high quality beans, roasted weekly, and serve espresso-based beverages, fruit smoothies, frappes, loose-leaf teas, and more. Our micro-bakery provides scones, muffins, cookies and other delights, all baked FROM SCRATCH. There is seating for 30. Come in and relax, meet friends or log on with our free WiFi. You won't be disappointed.

Reviewed By Jim D - Sterling, IL

Although I do not drink coffee or expresso, I usually visit Air Play two or three times a week for some freshly baked items. Whether it is cookies or scones or some other items, they are always freshly baked and different each day. Two of my favorites are the chocolate chip and cranberry orange scones. Sometimes I take the food with me and other days I will relax for awhile, read the local newspaper, and talk with other customers.

Air Play is very low key and for some a regular meeting place. The owner and his staff are friendly and always make people feel welcome. After a few visits they usually remember your preferences.






3. Candlelight Inn Restaurant

2200 1st Ave, Rock Falls, IL 61071-1251 Outdoor Seating, Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Television, Free Wifi American Dinner, Drinks, Lunch +1 815-626-1897
Excellent
59%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
2%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 168 reviews

Candlelight Inn Restaurant

Reviewed By ClintTraveler - Geneseo, Illinois

We stopped after a basketball game knowing how good their Chicken George is. We've eaten it many times over the years and their Chicken George (breaded chicken strips) are know in the area as the best. However, we were blown away with the two entree salads we had. (Crispy Power and Crispy Chopped) The soup was average- cream of broccoli - nothing to write home about. The service very good and the restaurant and bathrooms very clean.

4. Folsom's Bakery

319 1st Ave, Rock Falls, IL 61071-1241 Wheelchair Accessible Breakfast +1 815-622-7870
Excellent
63%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
7%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 13 reviews

Folsom's Bakery

Reviewed By John S - Detroit, Michigan

We were gathering from out of town and ordered a half sheet cake over the phone with some custom decorations for the birthday of one of our group. The cake was exactly as ordered, and it was delicious. The half cake provided enough for 30 people with some left over for the kids the next day. Very friendly and helpful staff and reasonable prices.

5. Flip Side Coffee & Espresso Bar

116 W 2nd St, Rock Falls, IL 61071-1246
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 4 reviews

Flip Side Coffee & Espresso Bar

Reviewed By emmalie007

Just off the Rock River you will find this little hole in the wall coffee and espresso bar..

What I love about this place is that you can tell this local business owner wants to be here. The amount of work already put into this space since opening, is incredible. They say your vibe attracts your tribe, and I can see a lot of people feeling at home walking into this place for years to come.

There is a book shelf with board games, books, and a variety of music that plays in the back ground.. Like a blank canvas, this place has potential for solid success.

:)

Rock on,

Em

6. Arthur's Garden Deli

2312 E Lincolnway, Sterling, IL 61081-3048 Takeout, Seating, Wheelchair Accessible American, Soups, Vegetarian Friendly Lunch, Dinner +1 815-625-5566
Excellent
62%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 36 reviews

Reviewed By tim p

Arthurs was opened up in the 1970s. They are known for having high quality deli sandwiches and deserts.Arthurs is one of those places that's all about quality. You won't be disappointed eating at Arthurs. It's just a little bit more than McDonald's and do much better.

7. Angelo's Pizzeria

608 12th Ave, Rock Falls, IL 61071-1508 Delivery, Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible Italian, Pizza Lunch, Dinner, Late Night +1 815-625-5163
Excellent
73%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
5%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 55 reviews

Angelo's Pizzeria

Reviewed By RitaMaker - Rochester, New York

Really enjoyed trying Angelo's pizza - had the special and one with sausage and cheese. Both were cooked to perfection, and were not too greasy. Also, on another evening, we tried the 'bucket of spaghetti' with meat sauce and meat balls. It was really good. The accompanying Italian Bread was warm and fresh. We will be back.

8. Beans Coffeehouse & Music Cafe

121 E 3rd St, Sterling, IL 61081-3610 +1 815-590-2752
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 3 reviews

Reviewed By David W - McFarland, Wisconsin

Nice place to enjoy a cup of coffee, dessert and tunes! They have several coffee varieties, not your typical Starbucks blends, most are roasted right here!!! The desserts are also made right here, no frozen or boxed treats. The "drink all night cup" is a great value and the way to go!!

9. La Familia Restaurant

201 W 2nd St, Rock Falls, IL 61071-1247 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol Mexican Dinner, Lunch +1 815-626-0158
Excellent
67%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 41 reviews

La Familia Restaurant

Reviewed By Melaney R - Chicago

We enjoyed our lunch at the restaurant--the food was very good and authentic, the prices were very low, the service good, the restaurant clean.
BUT the best part is that you are able to buy Dave's coffee cakes there! We had heard of the cakes and were very disappointed to find that the bakery is closed on Saturday.
I e-mailed to the address on the website and received a very nice fast response (turns out that it was from the owner of the bakery and te restaurant) that I could purchase them at the restaurant.
Our server was even so nice that she offered to run to the bakery if we wanted different flavors!

10. Angelo's II

2525 E Lincolnway, Sterling, IL 61081-3051 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Delivery, Reservations Italian, Pizza Lunch, Dinner +1 815-625-5451
Excellent
51%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
7%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 68 reviews

Angelo's II

Reviewed By davidlI5106MM

We often come here with friends, we all like it. It is a nice newer building, well-lit with interesting decor. I like the historic old Chicago pictures and old horse racing forms. We always have good service, our waitresses are always fast and helpful. We usually get a pizza with sausage, pepperoni, sausage and mushroom. I know, pretty boring, but we all like it. They have a very nice salad bar, but a drawback is you pay full price for it even in combination with a pizza, so you have to pick one or the other. We have been around long enough to have frequently gone to the original Angelo's, where patrons could bring their own containers to be filled with spaghetti for a very inexpensive price. So we are fans of Angelo's and have been for 50 years.

ThingsTodoPost © 2018 All rights reserved.