Kankakee has a population of about 27,000. The elevation of Kankakee is a little below 700 feet above Sea Level.
The major industries of the Kankakee area are health care, higher education, manufacturing, and retail trade. The Kankakee Area is the regional retail market center for the area South of the Chicago suburbs, with a strong reputation as a City of Restaurants serving Interstate Highway 57 travelers, from Interstate Highway 57 Exit 308, Interstate Highway 57 Exit 312, Interstate Highway 57 Exit 315, and Interstate Highway 57 Exit 322. Suburban Bradley is the retail hub serving Interstate Highway 57 Exit 315.
Kankakee is served by the Illinois Central Railroad, a Canadian National Railway subsidiary, which provides Amtrak passenger service to Kankakee Depot and freight service. The Amtrak Station ID is KKI. In addition, one can use the University Park Metra Station, located approximately 18 miles north, on Governor's Highway (Route 50). This station is operated by the Regional Transportation Authority, and facilitates travel to the city of Chicago, terminating at the Randolph Street Subway.
Kankakee is located on Interstate Highway 57, from South to North served by Exits 308, 312, and 315; United States Highway 45; United States Highway 52; Illinois State Highway 17; Illinois State Highway 50; Illinois State Highway 113; and Illinois State Highway 115.
With its reputation as a City of Restaurants the Kankakee area has a greater share of restaurants, and of fine restaurants, per capita than its population would suggest. The restaurants are located throughout the city and the adjacent suburban villages. A trip to the nearby city of Momence can also reward the traveler looking for fine dining.
Interstate Highway 57 Exit 308
The Great American Grill at the Hilton Garden Inn, 455 Riverstone Parkway (just north of the Interstate 57 Exit 308), 815-932-4444. Carlos Chagoya, Kankakee's foremost chef, is the Executive Chef. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served.
Interstate Highway 57 Exit 312
Uncle Johnnis Restaurant & Pancake House, 1940 East Court Street, 815-933-1022, offers a very large menu of American, Greek, and other cuisines. It offers quality, quantity, and variety, including full breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus, and also pizza. Drive west from I-57 Exit 312, about 1/4 mile. Unfortunately, Uncle Johnnis burned down in March, 2008, and has not yet been rebuilt.
Illinois Route 17
Poor Boy Restaurant, 1514 East Court Street, 815-939-1880, offers fast food: American, Greek, and Mexican. Drive west from I-57 Exit 312.
Central Business District
Johnny's Pizza, 265 South Schuyler Avenue, 815-939-2333, offers pasta, soups, sandwiches, salads, and pizza, a rich and varied Italian cuisine. Open for lunch and again for dinner, but sometimes closed in mid-afternoon. Drive north from I-57 Exit 308, South Schuyler Avenue; or drive west from I-57 Exit 312 Court Street, then left into South Schuyler Avenue.
Lori's Diner, 364 East Court Street, 815-939-3790, offers home style cooking. Open for breakfast and lunch. Drive west from I-57 Exit 312 on Illinois 17, Court Street.
Soul Da Soul Barbeque Restaurant, 559 East Court Street, 815-932-3663, barbeque. Drive west from I-57 Exit 312, Court Street.
5 Wings Buffalo Style, 545 South Washington, 815-212-7840, chicken wings, and only chicken wings. On routes 45/52, just north of the river. Very small, white trailer. Walk-up/Carry-out only, no tables. Known for the multiple flavors available: Mild, Medium, Hot, X-treme, lemon peppered, italian, honey BBQ, hickory smoked, sweet & sour, teriyaki, "Mama's Fried", and more. Slogan: "More Flavors Than Life Savers"
Blue's Cafe, 1190 West Station Street, 815-933-5315, offers a fine selection of home cooking and the best pie in the Kankakee Area.
Central Business District
Out on a Limb, 139 South Schuyler Avenue, 815-939-9421, is attractive and unique.
The Landing Bar and Grill, 575 South Schuyler Avenue, 815-935-5454, offers a complete bar & grill menu, is a popular gathering place, and has an excellent view of the Kankakee River.
Hilton Garden Inn, 455 Riverstone Parkway (just north of the Interstate 57 Exit 308), 815-932-4444, . The city's finest inn, this is a modern new house with all sorts of conveniences. The guest rooms have refrigerators, irons and ironing boards, king size beds or two double beds, and work desks with speakerphones and high speed wireless Internet connections with remote printing available from the rooms to a 24-hour Business Center. The Riverstone Conference Center is available for banquets and various events.