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Oct 14, 2010 06:26 PM

Driving from Michigan to Moline Quad Cities IL via I-94 and I-80

Planning a quick weekend road trip from Canada through Michigan and Indiana to Moline IL. Planning a stop for takeout Lou Malnati's deep dish in Tinley Park near the I-80. Where should we stop to buy interesting beers, cheese, and other food souvenirs to take back across the border? Any good shopping besides Trader Joe's?

Where should we stop to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner en route (e.g. no more than a 5-10 minute detour from the highway)? e.g. early Sunday breakfast in Moline area or meals along the I-80 and I-94 in Illinois, Indiana or Michigan? Are there any other must-eat regional specialties such as beef dip sandwiches, unique drinks or desserts, etc. for road trip nourishment?

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  1. Zingerman's roadhouse in Ann Arbor is about a 1 minute drive off I-94, well worth a stop for any meal.

    1. when in Detroit, coney dogs and/or Middle Eastern would qualify as regional specialities.

      1. In southwest Michigan, near New Buffalo, are a winery or two that have showrooms off the highway. One is in a former Stuckey's building.
        Redamak's in New Buffalo has burgers that the crowds line up for. They close for the winter, but I think they are still open now.
        Stop at Tiebel's in Shererville or Rodini's in Michigan City Indiana for breaded, broiled and buttered yellow lake perch. There's nothing like it anywhere!

        2 Replies
        1. re: jmcarthur8

          if you miss zingermans you really have missed out (ann arbor, michigan). Then I would be the type of guy that would have to drive up to Chicago for Dougs (make sure you get the fries, they are amazing and the dogs rock hard).

          There are a ton of great places in Chicago, A little drive but if I am within 50 miles of that place I have to get into the city and stop at one over several places I enjoy there.... Detroit is out of your way I assume but there are some fine places in Dearborn for arab food.

          1. re: jmcarthur8

            >> In southwest Michigan, near New Buffalo, are a winery or two that have showrooms off the highway.

            You can find maps and more information at

          2. Here's a place just off I-80/94 in Indiana where you can get good food and nationally-famous beer:


            1. Food Tourist, it looks like you posted on the Great Plains boards too. I am just realizing that now that the Midwest is broken up, the Quad Cities are half on Great Lakes and half on Great Plains!

              I like Ganson's for breakfast -
              They have good egg dishes and good coffee if you stay away from the special coffees.

              Ross's Family Restaurant in Bettendorf (first exit off of the I-74 bridge in Iowa, about two blocks up the road if you go straight) uses only local, Amish eggs, and other fresh ingredients when possible, and is famous for their "Magic Mountain" - a pile of texas toast, fries, cheese, chili, etc. I think their cinnamon rolls are where it's at. I also like Cafe Fresh in Moline but they no longer serve breakfast. Jim's Ribs, if you eat meat, are really good but you should go to the East Moline location. The hours are not as good as the Rock Island location, but the food is much better. The tapas and desserts at Star Bar, which is part of Le Figaro French restaurant in downtown Rock Island, are good - and if you call ahead the chef will prepare his native Moroccan cuisine for you.

              Other good places in the area include Trattoria Tiramisu in Bettendorf, La Flama and Primavera (mexican places in Moline), Cafe Indigo in Davenport.

              Cafe Fresh
              1231 5th Ave, Moline, IL 61265

              La Flama
              1514 5th Ave, Moline, IL 61265

              Le Figaro
              1708 2nd Ave, Rock Island, IL 61201

              2 Replies
              1. re: aquapacata

                Definetly good places. Also, take advantage of the regional breweries in the quad cities, especially Bent River. Their menu is really good. On paper it looks basic, but every item is as close to "made from scratch" as possible. When we stopped in the chef came out to us and talked for a minute. Cool people and the Beale St. burger is awesome, and the turkey with raspberry mayo is kick ass.

                1. re: aquapacata

                  Le Figaro is probably my favorite place in the QC. The food is good, but more so it is one of the few restaurants on either side of the river that is *quiet*. No brick walls, hardwood floors, and exposed ceilings for sound to bounce off of so that it's 90db with 5 people in the place. :)

                  Plus they often have table service, especially for the "for two" items on the menu, which is rare in these parts.