Winter Comfort Foods

It's cold outside and that chill in your bones could use a hearty shake-up!

Are you craving something steamy and savory? Something that will warm you down to the tips of your toes and help you stave off the shivers and hangry winter cravings?

12 of the Best Places To Find Great Soup

There's a reason it's called "Soup for the Soul"! Below are 12 of the best places in southwest Illinois to spoon up a bowl- broth, bisque, chowders, stocks, chili, ramen, and more- these locations have the soup-du-jour!

Sample Food A Fare's homemade soups

Food A Fare -- East Alton

Family owned and operated, Food A Fare’s menu steams with wholesome soups and entrees perfect for a busy schedule. Choose from Chef Mike’s generous list of every-day soups like tomato basil, stuffed bell pepper, loaded potato, cheeseburger chowder, chicken noodle, and vegetable beef or try one of Food A Fare’s specials including chicken and dumplings, cream of mushroom, Brunswick stew, Tuscan sausage stew, classic French onion soup, shrimp chowder, and more!

The many options available on Food A Fare’s menu will provide a fresh experience with every visit! Pair your selection with a tasty grilled cheese sandwich, salad, or entrée. Soups come with all the fixings to make the bowl shine- baked rolls, garlic bread, cheese, and toppings- with options like those, you’ll be craving Food A Fare every time the weather turns cold!

My Just Desserts -- Alton

Delicious smells are just the tip of the iceberg at My Just Desserts- located in the historic Ryder building, My Just Desserts has a rotating menu of over 150 home-cooked recipes. Famous for its amazing pies and desserts, the restaurant is just as well known for its savory options including an ever-changing variety of bowls like chicken pot pie, stuffed spud, and cabbage patch soup, casseroles, sandwiches, and daily specials.

You won’t find the same menu items twice in a row- My Just Desserts prides themselves on providing comforting meals made fresh in their first-floor kitchen daily. Be sure to come early! The restaurant often sells out before close!

Morrison's Irish Pub -- Alton

Have a Guinness and try Morrison’s family recipe of Bubble and Squeak- a unique cream soup made with ground beef, cabbage, and onion- or warm up with a European classic bowl of leek soup paired with Irish soda bread. A bright dish of Irish stew, made with steak, fresh vegetables, and mashed potatoes- made to whether the chilly temperate forests of Ireland- is just the thing to fill your belly on a brisk day near the rivers.

Signature Irish-inspired sandwiches and menu items like cottage pie, boxty potato pancakes, corned beef, bangers and mash, and fish and chips all culminate to bring a piece of Ireland to southwest Illinois and a unique culinary offering to downtown Alton.

Soup is a winter comfort food!

Josephine's Tea Room -- Godfrey

Long known for its extravagant salads, sandwiches, and desserts, Josephine’s tea Room and Gift Shops is a popular brunch and shopping location and they have great soup options!

Peruse the gift shops before or after lunch and settle into the classic tea room setting for a bowl of lobster bisque, broccoli cheese soup, or a daily specialty soup. Soups are made from fresh ingredients daily and are wonderful paired with one of Josephine’s sandwiches or signature salads.

Every dish from Josephine’s is elegantly served and presented- each meal is a delicate work of art- try the lobster bisque with Josephine’s special Crystal Bowl Salad as a unique treat and treat yourself to a gorgeous dessert after!

Old Herald Brewery & Distillery -- Collinsville

Hot off the presses, Old Herald Brewery & Distillery is located in the historic Collinsville Herald newspaper building. Serving as both a distillery and a full-service restaurant, Old Herald offers sandwiches, bar food with a twist, craft beers including their signature ‘Printer’s Ink’, and delicious ‘Printer’s Ink Onion Soup’- one of their own unique recipes.

Find soup specials like clam chowder or Irish seafood chowder paired with fresh-made focaccia or Irish soda bread and a crisp salad.

After finishing a heaping portion from the restaurant menu, try out Old Herald’s craft beer tour- considered one of the best destination craft distillery tours in the country!

Ravanelli's -- Collinsville

Go out for a classy evening at Ravanelli’s Italian Steakhouse and Wine Bar in Collinsville and treat yourself to a night of steak, top-notch pasta, and gorgeous entrées. Every entrée comes with your choice of soup AND salad- with fresh bread on the side!

Try a hot bowl of hearty tortellini, vegetable beef barley, creamy potato, and more! Pair your soup with a glass of wine or house cocktail and finish with an elegant dessert. Date night, friend dates, and family dinners all get better with an evening at Ravanelli’s!

Enjoy hot soup with a sandwich at Blackbird Bakery in Staunton.

Blackbird Bakery -- Staunton

The bake case at Blackbird Bakery in Staunton is what dreams are made of- bountiful, beautiful, professional- It will take you ten minutes to decide which baked good to try!

Blackbird’s professional bakers make all of their bread and pastries in-house. Every menu item is created with care at the family-owned restaurant.

Try one of Blackbird’s amazing sandwiches on their house-made bread- popular chicken salad on flaky croissants and turkey pesto pair perfectly with their hot broccoli cheese soup or bowl of the day. Small business- small town- huge flavor!

Jubelt's Bakery and Restaurant -- Litchfield

For 100 years Jubelt’s family-owned and operated bakery has been in business providing fresh-baked bread and groceries to the community.

In the 80’s the business grew to accommodate a full-service restaurant and now serves American favorites, all-day breakfast, and house-made soups- and they’re not just for eating in! Jubelt’s has their soup available packaged and frozen too so you can bring it home for later or serve it to the whole family!

Soups on offer include broccoli cheese, creamy potato, vegetable beef, chicken noodle, chili, ham and bean, and specials that vary daily. Make it a combo with a grilled cheese, club, wrap, salad, or fresh slice of bread and enjoy a little piece of Litchfield’s history with every bowl!

Have you tried 3rd Chute's Famous Kettle Chili?

3rd Chute -- Grafton

Ever heard of Insayne Wayne’s Famous Kettle Chili?

It’s a legend at 3rd Chute in Grafton. Boiled hot in a kettle and made with a secret recipe, Wayne’s Chili fills the belly and the soul! 3rd Chute also has a pulled-pork chili- pair it with a sandwich, salad, or slice of pizza and sit on 3rd Chute’s eclectically decorated outdoor deck for great views overlooking the river!

Spoon up a taste of Voodoo Chowder

Foundry Boat House -- Holiday Shores

The Foundry Boat House in the community of Holiday Shores is a country-club public restaurant serving flatbreads, sandwiches, and bar favorites.

Try the Foundry’s special Voodoo Chowder made with andouille sausage, shrimp, roasted peppers, Yukon gold potatoes- all in creamy secret-recipe Voodoo sauce. Voodoo Chowder goes down smooth with a cold beer or Foundry burger. Warm yourself with a Cajun bowl of Voodoo this winter with extra spice!

Oriental Spoon -- Edwardsville

Indulge in traditional Korean fare at Oriental Spoon with a variety of dishes including marinated meat and vegetarian bulgogi noodles or rice, bulgogi soup, and one of few locations to eat authentic ramyun (ramen). Top your Korean broth ramyun with fresh veggies, rice cakes, and choice of noodles and sauces.

Egg rolls, savory crab Rangoon, Korean mandu dumplings, and more set this unique restaurant apart from other Asian cuisine in southwest Illinois. Have a cup of Korean tea, imported liquor, beer, or a soft drink with your order and savor the edamame flavors of Oriental Spoon!

Be sure to try Cleveland-Heath's French Onion Soup

Cleveland Heath -- Edwardsville

Bonding gourmet and comfort food, Cleveland Heath takes the ordinary and consistently flips it on its head. Steak, duck breast, specialty sandwiches, and small plates like deviled eggs, mac and cheese, and house-made biscuits shine on the restaurant’s menu- paired with a steaming bowl of warm soup is a match made in heaven!

Cleveland Heath’s Mexican posole soup- made with braised pork, hominy, and pork chili broth puts a twist on the soup game and specials vary daily including ham and lentil, French onion, bacon potato corn chowder, black bean and dumpling, broccoli cheese, local veggie chowder, and more. With so many specials, there’s sure to be something delicious on the menu to warm your bones on a chilly evening in downtown Edwardsville!

About the Author

Kayla Howland

Kayla Howland is a local writer and artist who lives in Alton, IL with her Cairn Terrier, Ripley. She enjoys fiction and non-fiction writing, graphic design, painting, drawing and photography. Kayla is a graduate of Southwestern High School and Lewis & Clark Community College. She has worked doing freelance graphic design, photography and commissioned paintings since 2012.