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Rockford's Best Bars

Rockford's Best Bars

Rockford Buzz

Posted On: June 4, 2024


Hey everyone! I'm on a mission to find the best bar in the 815 area. Whether you love the cozy neighborhood pub, the trendy cocktail spot downtown, or the lively sports bar with the best game-day vibe, I want to hear from you!

What's your favorite local bar in the 815? Help me find the top spot to hang out, relax, and have a good time. Your favorite bar needs your vote! 🍻

Best Bar in the 815

Ending June 24, 2024

8th Ward Pub

Aero Ale House

Attitudes Bar & Grill

Baseball Tap Bar & Grill


Bourbon Street Lounge


Carlyle Brewing Co.

Casey’s Pub

CJ’s Public House

Crazy Times Pub & Grub

District Bar and Grill

Dusty Boots Saloon & Eatery

Ernie’s Midtown Pub


Forest City Pub

Fozzy’s Bar & Grill

Garret’s Restaurant & Bar

GreenFire Restaurant Bar & Bakery

Izakaya 88

Jax Pub

Jojo’s Pizza & Pub

Kishwaukee Tap

Legends Sports Bar & Grill

Louie’s Tap House

Mary’s Place


Mortimer’s Roadhouse

Mr J's Blues & Jazz Lounge

Mulligan’s Pub & Grill

Murphy’s Pub

Neighbors Bar & Grill

Oasis Micro-Pub

On State Bar & Restaurant

Onyx Bar and Grill

Oscar’s Pub & Grill

Pig Minds Brewing Co.

Poison Ivy Pub

Prairie Street Brewing

Rascals Bar & Grill

Rock-A-Bago Hall

Rocky’s Bar & Grill

Rookie’s Pub and Grill

Rue Marche

Rural On Tap


Scoreboard Bar & Grill

Screw City Tavern

Shooters Tap Room

Sips In The Park

Social Urban Bar & Restaurant

Souse’s Lounge

Stadium Lounge

Stockyard Rock Burger Bar

Stumpy’s Pub

Tad’s on the Rock

The Detour

The Filling Station

The GOAT Pub & Grill

The Hope & Anchor

The Mill Saloon

The Office Niteclub

The Olympic Tavern

The Top Rooftop Bar & Lounge

The Victory Tap

True Colors

Whiskey’s Roadhouse

Wood & Brick Tavern

More Stories

Summer Line Up at RVC Starlight Theatre

Summer Line Up at RVC Starlight Theatre

Food is not the highlight of this week's review, instead, it's the outstanding line up at RVC Starlight Theatre!The summer session at Starlight Theatre has begun and we had to check out the first show, Legally Blonde, for ourselves! Returning in August, this is one to see and share with friends.There isn't a bad seat in the house at Starlight Theater. With stadium seating you never have to worry about an obstructed view, and the intimate setting gives you a great view of the stage no matter your seat.Legally Blonde follows Elle, a fashion major turned law student as she pursues love and finds herself along the way. The Director, Clarissa Dahlhauser, has this to say, "This musical asks us to check our initial (often judgemental) perceptions of others, and in the same breath, find our own self-confidence in who we know that we can be despite other's clouded perceptions of us and our capabilities. It's for everyone that's ever felt judged, felt self-conscious in their chosen field or identity, felt pressure to be something they were not, and to anyone that's ever been told, 'you will never make it'."The sets are stunning and detailed, really transporting you to each scene. The highlight of this show was truly the people involved. Elle, played by Chanel Black, was truly inspirational, with a voice that enchanted the whole audience. The Delta Nu girls kept cheering our main character along her journey with fun songs that will keep your toe tapping. Every crew member hit their mark during incredibly tough choreography that left us completely impressed.  If you are a fan of the movie, you'll love this stage rendition which didn't miss a beat. We got Paulette's charming side story and were endeared by the furry cast members.If this show is setting up the rest of the Starlight Theater season, we are in for a summer filled with excellent performances and great entertainment!Don't miss the rest of the season, featuring Guys and Dolls, The Color Purple, Disney's Newsies, and Disney's Beauty and the Beast.See you there, Rockford!



Tikka Masala at House of India Restaurant

Tikka Masala at House of India Restaurant

When I think of spice, I instantly think of Indian food. While the spice that traditional Indian dishes are famous for adds a ton of flavor and life, it doesn't always mean heat. Even those with a milder temperature tolerance can enjoy the beautiful tastes of House of India, located at 6430 E Riverside Blvd, Loves Park, IL 61111.Levels of spiciness are controlled by chilis, which can easily be added to or omitted from recipes. At House of India, they have three levels to choose from: mild, medium, and hot.We ordered two entrees: Tandoori Chicken and Lamb Tikka Masala; as well as the accompanying sides: Saffron Rice and Garlic Naan.Tandoori chicken is marinated in yogurt and spices in a tandoor (clay oven). While this ranked mild on the spice level, the spices used to marinate the chicken were phenomenal. The chicken was cooked so tender that it practically fell off the bone and the flavor is just delicious. Who knew yogurt could be a marinade and nail the job?! Served piping hot with a large lemon wedge and on a bed of onions, this is a dish that can please the whole table.We decided on the Lamb Tikka Masala because it is a fan favorite. The dish is bite-sized pieces of lamb in a spiced curry sauce. The curry is creamy and orange-red. This is where the saffron rice comes in! You ladle the Tikka Masala over the rice and create your own dish. I ordered the medium spice, and I feel like this is safe for milder temperature tolerances (unless you let leftovers sit and marinate for 24 hours). I will definitely be ordering this hot next time. I can't get enough of spicy food and I think this dish can only get better with additional heat!Let's talk about the Naan... You are in for a treat! House of India has multiple flavors of Naan, and you definitely want to order some for the table (or yourself) to enjoy. It arrives at the table freshly prepared and so wonderfully warm.No matter what you choose from their extensive menu, it is sure to please! Step out of your box and try something new!



Dog's Day Out 2024

Calling all dog lovers! 🐶 Join Meyer's Tails Up Farm for a fun-filled afternoon where you can spend quality time with your dog! 🎉📅 Date: Sunday, June 9🕐 Time: 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM📍 Location: Meyer’s Tails Up Farm, 5390 Irene Road, Belvidere, ILThis FREE event is fun for the whole family! 🎈 Here’s what you can expect:🐾 Training Demonstrations🍔 Food Trucks🛍️ Vendors and Shopping🎶 Entertainment🚜 Tours of the Farm📸 Photo OpportunitiesAnd that’s not all! Your furry friends will have a blast too! 🐾 They can:🏊‍♂️ Swim in our pool with one of our staff (don’t forget to bring a towel!)🐕 Test their speed on the Fast Cat course🎉 Enjoy tons of fun activities and special treatsHungry? Cantina Taco will be there in their food truck, and they’ll also have an ice cream truck with tasty treats! 🌮🍦Plus, here’s your chance to give back: with a cash donation to the Belvidere Police Department K9 Unit, you can take a spin on the prize wheel! 💰 100% of the donations go directly to supporting our local police department.All dogs are welcome and should be secured on a leash. It'll be a day to remember with your four-legged friends! 🐾



Ribs and Brisket at Smokin Coop BBQ Pit

Ribs and Brisket at Smokin Coop BBQ Pit

Smokin Coop BBQ Pit, located at 2022 US-20 BUS, Belvidere, IL 61008, is the perfect place to embrace patio season! Order from their delicious menu and grab a seat inside or outside for a fabulous summer meal.With everything from chicken, pulled pork, ribs, brisket, and more, you may have a hard time deciding what to order! They also have a variety of bbq sauces and sides to make your meal the perfect match. Don't forget to order pie or pick up a cookie for dessert, if you still have room!We tried the rack of ribs with macaroni and cheese, potato salad, and cornbread. The ribs come basted in Smokin Coops original bbq sauce, and are smoked to fall-off-the-bone perfection. You can dive in with two messy hands for this delicious main course. The meat is tender and juicy and the sauce enhances that smoked flavor to leave you craving more.We couldn't leave without trying the brisket! Served with no sauce so that you can choose your favorite flavor, this generous portion is tender and filling. We chose more mac and cheese (duh), and baked beans with pork to accompany the cornbread. The brisket is a popular dish and sometimes sells out, so come early and often to get your share!Smokin Coop's macaroni and cheese is worth living for! The penne noodles are coated in thick and creamy cheese. We ordered two for a reason, you won't want to share yours either 😂. Their potato salad is fresh and delicious with a hint of mustard. The baked beans are loaded with pork and the sauce is perfect for adding to your meat of choice.  You can't go wrong with bbq at Smokin Coop. We look forward to going back to try even more! See you there, Rockford.



Mr. Goodwater's Full House

Mr. Goodwater is a Full House full of funny and kind staff members! 🤗 This family business has been serving Northern Illinois for over 25 years. The Rosecke family has used their experience to grow it into a well-known and respected company. They specialize in Northern Illinois and the Western Suburbs. 🏠Your home is one-of-a-kind, so they don’t use generic systems that might not work for you. In fact, most of these “off-the-shelf” systems aren’t effective for the water conditions around here. 💧 They design and engineer their systems to meet each customer’s specific requirements. 🔧If you need service on any brand of equipment, Mr. Goodwater offers low-cost service calls and expert technicians. All their techs are factory-trained to handle most makes and models, and they’re always improving their service with ongoing training. 🛠️Their office staff is always friendly and ready to help. 😊 Plus, their delivery team will inspect your water treatment equipment with each delivery to make sure everything’s working perfectly. 🚚Thank you for letting me run around your warehouse and office, Butch! Every day is a good day at Mr. Goodwater ❤️



Summer at the Coronado!

The Coronado has a bunch of super cool, varied events this June! 🎉Tonight, June 1st, Josh Gates, from Expedition Unknown, will be here to tell stories about his adventures, close calls, and boring month-long trips that are edited down into exciting 40-minute episodes. 🌍✨On June 7th, the Ancient Aliens cast will be here discussing thought-provoking extraterrestrial theories on fan-favorite topics. 👽🛸Comedian Kevin James will be bringing the laughs on June 14th with his new special, “Owls Don’t Walk.” 😂🦉On June 16th, we’ve got one for the Kids… drumroll please… Blippi is coming to town! Grab your kids and get ready to shake those wiggles out and OJ Twist your way through this brand-new musical party! 🥳🎶Head over to to purchase your tickets today! 🎟️👾



Fish Fry Friday at Bourbon Street Lounge!

Every Friday Bourbon Street Lounge cooks some of the best Fish Fry I've ever had! Whether you want a classic fried cod sandwich, fish tacos, or a whole fried fish dinner; they've got you covered! 🐟❤️



Hand-crafted Favorites at Trop Club

Hand-crafted Favorites at Trop Club

Trop Club, located at 6282 E Riverside Blvd, Loves Park, IL 61111, is serving up handcrafted burgers and cocktails in a fun, upscale pub atmosphere. We stopped by to try a little bit of everything on the menu.We started with a Guava Island Tea cocktail: bourbon, guava, and lime juice come together in a delicious combination. The guava puree makes this feel like a beach resort cocktail, and is just in time for your summer vibe.  For an appetizer, we dove fork first into the Poutine: fries, cheese curds, and gravy. This shareable dish is hot and flavorful. This is a great table dish that brings everyone together to fight for the last fry.Next up, the breaded shrimp. These large shrimp are served piping hot and with your choice of dipping sauce. Classic cocktail sauce is always on the list, but you can also try 7 other sauces like the Trop Fire, a spicy and creamy dip to fire up your shrimp. Prepared perfectly, Trop Club is known for its shrimp and other seafood options!We couldn't leave without trying a hand-crafted burger. The French Onion burger features french onion sauce, swiss cheese, deep fried onions, and pickles on a pretzel bun. Prepared to your preferred temperature, these thick burgers are loaded with toppings to make sure you don't leave hungry. Served split, you can dive right in to this massive burger. With 15 gourmet burgers on the menu, you are guaranteed to find your favorite flavor while enjoying your favorite game on their large tv's.Trop Club has their kitchen open until midnight on Friday and Saturday for your late night dinner needs. Stop in for hand-crafted classics and an awesome cocktail. See you there, Rockford!



Introducing PICKLEFEST!!!

This Saturday, June 1st, brings the first-ever celebration of all things sour and pickle-y... PICKLEFEST 2024! 🥒🎉 It's kind of a big dill!The Olympic Tavern will have pickle-centric food and drink features like pickle pizza 🍕, frickles (fried pickles) 🥒, pickleback shots 🥃, and lots more pickled food and drink features. Plus, FlexCourt is setting up a few pickleball courts 🎾 in the parking lot between noon and 5 pm, and there will be prizes for the top pickleball teams 🏆.Grab a pickle lover or invite them to this event! It's free to play, register here: 🥒😊



Midwest Kayak Fishing Symposium

If you have fished from shore but are looking for more, a kayak may be what you are looking for. 🚣‍♀️ Want to make the dive into Kayak Fishing? Are you leery of making beginner mistakes? Having a hard time finding dependable information to help get you started? Looking to take your kayak fishing game to the next level? Then you will want to join Rocktown Adventures at the Midwest Kayak Fishing Symposium. ✨This is an interactive informational and educational event for all levels of kayak anglers. People just getting involved in the sport to more seasoned anglers, there will be something valuable for every angler. 🎣For more details or to register please visit



Spicy Dishes at El Pueblo Restaurant

Spicy Dishes at El Pueblo Restaurant

El Pueblo Restaurant, located at 1527 Broadway, Rockford, IL 61104, is serving up fresh authentic Mexican cuisine that comes to your table hot and fresh. We headed over for an amazing dinner and to try one of the spiciest items on the menu. Keep reading to see if we survived the heat!Before we get to the hot takes, we have to talk about the margaritas. We tried the classic lime and mango margaritas and these bad boys will keep you coming back for more. These were light and refreshing while packing a punch! The mango was sweet and delicious and the classic lime is a crowd pleaser.Next up, we tried the flautas, filled with chicken, topped with sour cream and cheese, and served with rice and refried beans. This classic dish was simple perfection and served a satisfying crunch. The shredded chicken had a great flavor, and this mild dish is perfect for the whole family.  We finished off with the Diabla Shrimp, a spicy shrimp dish served with tortillas, rice, and beans. When they say spicy... they mean spicy. This dish is not for the faint of heart and will make you sweat. If you love heat, this is the dish for you! The heat builds on itself with each bite and the flavor is a testament to the authentic flavors. If you think you are up to the challenge, bring on the heat!Next time you are craving a great margarita and authentic Mexican cuisine, head over to El Pueblo and explore their menu. See you there, Rockford!



Friday Night Flix is Back!!

Rockford's biggest outdoor movie theater is getting ready, and so should you! This year Friday Night Flix is featuring 3 movies. 🎬🧞‍♂️Aladdin on May 31st🫏 Shrek on June 28th🤠 Toy Story on July 26thADMISSION IS FREE TO ATTEND!Pre-movie activities begin at 6:30 PM.The movie begins at dusk.More details about the movies, pre-movie programming, presenting sponsors, food truck announcements, and parking information will be announced soon!In the event of inclement weather during Friday Night Flix, announcements will be posted on the Friday Night Flix and Davis Park Facebook pages.



Affordable Healthcare To Keep Your Lungs Strong

There are Doctors out there who believe taking care of your health shouldn't break the bank! 🏦👩‍⚕️ Dr. Nafsi has been a pulmonologist for over a decade and in that time she saw patients struggle with overly large bills and hidden fees. So about a year ago, she decided to open her own practice where she could control the price. The Rockford Pulmonary Clinic is a small, pulmonary office, where Dr. Nafsi uses her low-overhead and direct-to-patient billing to keep costs low. By billing directly with her patients, they know exactly how much each service will cost before they even leave the building. No hidden fees are waiting to pop up a month later! When doctors bill through insurance first, there is often a heavy markup that Dr. Nafsi can avoid by not going through that process first. Her office will submit to their patient's insurance for the patient's reimbursement upon request. You also don't NEED a referral or even insurance to be seen!She has a membership plan for $725 a year. This plan gives you UNLIMITED visits to the office and it covers everything. The average cost to see a pulmonologist in Illinois is $104. If you or your family member needs to be seen at least once a month, this would run you at least $12,000 a year just to be seen,Also, she provides lung cancer screening through a partnership with Forest City Diagnostic Imaging for only $125. This can cost $800 through most large corporation healthcare centers. Dr. Nafsi is the only pulmonologist in the US who uses direct-to-patient billing to keep her patients healthy without breaking their bank. She focuses on affordability and accessibility, providing specialized services and treatments for respiratory and sleep conditions. As a fee-for-service clinic, she can offer her patients a more affordable alternative to traditional healthcare options, without the burden of insurance policies or complicated referral processes. She believes every patient deserves access to the highest-quality medical care and is dedicated to providing just that. I hope more doctors follow in her footsteps!You can learn more at



Alchemy at Aldeen

Alchemy at Aldeen

Alchemy at Aldeen on 1902 Reid Farm Rd, Rockford, IL 61107, is fine dining with a beautiful view of the golf course. We ventured out to enjoy the view and the menu!First off, shout out to the amazing staff. We had the best service and a wonderful experience. We dove right into dinner with the Filet Sliders, served with your choice of side and a garlic aioli, these generous filets were served on a sweet bread that blended the flavors perfectly. Prepared to a medium temp, these are a great spin on the classic slider elevating the flavor and experience. The fries came out crisp and hot, topped with parmesan cheese.  Next up, the Parmesan Chicken Tower. A tower indeed, they stand two large chicken breasts on top of each other with marinara, mozzarella, and fresh basil and serve it on top of the cheesiest alfredo pasta you've ever tried. This generous serving is perfect for taking home, or making sure you don't leave hungry. Pair it with a glass of your favorite wine or a specialty cocktail to complete the experience.  Be sure to check out there amazing dessert menu to end your night with a touch of sweet. Enjoy the smooth ambiance, beautiful views, and delicious menu at Alchemy at Aldeen. See you there, Rockford!



Rockford's Home for Vintage Pieces

Too often people find themselves in the middle of the grief process having to plan a funeral and estate sale with little time or warning. And often, it's just not possible to run an estate sale from your own home. So Deb and Kurt started the Estate Sale Shop, took in all the estate sales they could, and kept them running as long as possible. This gave the grieving families time to part ways with their loved one's estate.The Estate Sale Shop has stunning, well-cared-for, vintage furniture and so much more. It's like a treasure trove of pre-owned vintage items. I could get lost in here every day, finding new pieces that catch my eye. 👁️🏴‍☠️They are open Wednesdays through Sundays at 320 N Alpine Rd Suite 300. Go check out their stuff soon!



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