Brilliant Stories

Celebrate Local Foods

February 14, 2022

Farms large and small surround our micro-urban community, providing fresh ingredients for local chefs to incorporate into their menus, and for us to prepare at home. Here’s where you can pick up the freshest ingredients of the season to support our local food system.


Farmers Markets

Seven farmers markets across five days—from Urbana’s Market at the Square, the largest area market with over 70 regular vendors to the Sustainable Student Farmers Market held on the University of Illinois campus—make it easy to pick up seasonal produce, meat, eggs, flowers, bread and more.


Several area farms have on-site sales of products, including U-Pick, or have Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares available. Head to the Farm Stand at Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery to pick up their award-winning goat cheese alongside a variety of local ingredients from area farmers.

On-site and U-Pick


Eat like a local

With the richest soil around, sourcing local ingredients is top of mind for area chefs looking to stand out. Check out some local eateries that have made eating local a priority.

  • The Wheelhouse—Located off the Kickapoo Rail Trail in St. Joseph, the Wheelhouse has not only fully embraced a bike theme, they’ve embraced the use of sourcing local ingredients from a variety of sources, including the local Willow Creek Farm. They’re regularly evolving menu has something for every palate, including the kids!
  • Watson’s Shack & Rail—Working towards a sustainable and transparent food system, Watson’s Shack & Rail specializes in Nashville Hot Chicken and Fried Chicken and Waffles. Check out their adult slushies for an extra treat.
  • Timpone’s—A perfect spot before a night out at Krannert Center, Timpone’s farm to table philosophy matches the seasons for dishes that are refined and approachable. Their contemporary spin on Italian cuisine will have you coming back for more time and again.
  • Courier Café & Silvercreek—Sister restaurants, the Courier Café and Silvercreek, both on Race St. in Urbana, built the Courier Urban Gardens in 2015 to put the focus on fresh, quality ingredients. They harvest these gardens daily for use on their menus and at Courier’s salad bar. They also now have bee hives on the roof to harvest their own honey.
  • Pekara Bakery & Bistro—It’s all about the fresh baked bread at Pekara’s two locations in Champaign. Sourced from the Central Illinois Bakehouse, you can pick up a loaf of their popular sourdough or their buttery crescent rolls to enjoy at home. Or, dine in and enjoy any number of their hearty sandwiches served atop a range of the locally-baked breads available.



Ready to experience our local foods?

Check out our Experience Guide to learn all there is to see and do in the greater Champaign County area, then plan your visit!

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