Should you find yourself planning a trip to Southern Illinois, perhaps to visit the Shawnee National Forest or the Shawnee Wine Trail, make sure you work around the Yellow Moon Cafe's schedule. They are that good.
We have a personal connection to the family that owns the cafe, but it makes it more impressive how much we liked this restaurant, as it exceeded our hope for a friend's success. Located in downtown Cobden, this is a good hub to explore the Shawnee Wine Trail (12 Illinois wineries) along with the surrounding state parks and National Forest.
We stopped in for lunch, which focuses primarily on sandwiches (make sure to try the roast beef, not only because it's an amazing sandwich, but because it features the family's grass-fed beef), with soup and salads available as well. Local beers and wines are available (along with national brands, but why would you?), along with locally made desserts (we recommend the lavender cheesecake and pecan tarts, if they are available, along with the hand-churned ice cream). The food is sourced as locally and as sustainably as possible, which means you're not only eating healthier, but you're supporting the local economy as well.
A funky, comfortable vibe makes this an excellent place to hang out, chat with the many locals housetop by (the family knows everyone, it is a small town after all), and look at a revolving gallery of artists hung on the walls, most of which you can buy to take home. Weekends include an option for dinner and occasional live music.
Open (at this time) for lunch Wednesday-Saturday and dinner Friday-Sunday; check out the cafe's website to make sure they're open before you go.
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