Hungry people wouldn't cross the river to Alton, Ill., for a tavern/restaurant unless it were something special. "We have cheap, good food and a fun atmosphere, and I gotta get back to work now," says our harried and honest server, whose lunch shift is still going strong at 2:30 p.m. on a weekday.
1. Fast Eddie's Bon-Air 2. Malmaison 3. Blue Owl Restaurant & Bakery 4. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 5. Lambert's Café 6. American Bounty 7. Big Boy 8. Elsah Landing