Captain’s Cove Bar and Grill – Ottawa, IL

After enjoying the Illinois Visitor Center on the Illinois River, we were looking for that special local eatery. We asked the person at the visitor center for recommendations and one was especially appealing – a local joint on the river. We headed upriver in search of Captain’s Cove.

Captain’s Cove is definitely a local diner with lots of atmosphere. It is very nondescript from the outside and located upstairs over Weeta’s Boutique and Starved Rock Adventures. Upon entering you get the island feeling and the view is amazing. Choosing a table by the window with a river view, we were ready to enjoy our lunch.

seating area

Laurie ordered the Cousin Grouper Sandwich served with fries and slaw. The grouper was hanging over the sides of the sandwich and fried perfectly. It was tender and lightly coated and served on marble rye bread. John ordered the Texas BLT served on Texas Toast with fries and slaw. It was loaded with bacon and dressed.



There is nothing like relaxing, sipping a cold brew, eating a great lunch, and watching a waterway meander by in a lazy sort of way. The view was fantastic. In fact as we were eating we watched the tow from the locks push upriver to destinations unknown. There was also a tow making crew change from the marina. The river was somewhat busy so we were entertained during our entire lunch.

American Progress heading upriver to parts unknown

Captain’s Cove was everything we look for in a local food venue — great food, vistas of the river, constant river activity, good beer, and good service. It’s hard to image, with the rest of the US to visit, we’ll be back in this area again. But if we do, we’ll return to Captain’s Cove.

Brew and a View

Tow making crew change

Come on down – what fun

Bar area


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