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Route 66 News

Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket wins state tourism award

Ladies and Gentlemen:  Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket!

The historic Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket restaurant in Willowbrook, Illinois, received a Delicious Destination honor from Illinois Tourism, according to a news release.

The Illinois Office of Tourism and DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau reported that Dell Rhea’s is among a small group of Illinois establishments to receive this designation from the state tourism bureau.

“From family-owned restaurants with long and storied histories to the hottest new cuisines in the world, Illinois has emerged as a premier culinary destination for both domestic and international visitors,” said Illinois State Travel Director Jen Hoelzle in a press release. “The Enjoy Illinois: Delicious Destination award honors those restaurants that are authentically Illinois, making a trip to the state unforgettable.” […]

To be considered for an award, restaurants must be nominated by a convention and visitors bureau, community member or Enjoy Illinois social media fan. The nominee must be a one-of-a-kind restaurant that is authentic to Illinois and an established part of its community.

The Chicken Basket opened in 1946 on Route 66, right next to its original location that dates to the late 1930s. Since then, the restaurant has been featured in countless television programs and magazine articles.

It also was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.

I asked Illinois Tourism whether other Route 66 restaurants had won the award. Brian Rehme emailed this reply:

As of now, there haven’t been any additional Route 66 restaurants that have been honored. However, it’s worth nothing that this program just recently launched and additional restaurants will be honored in the coming months, so we’ll keep you updated on any additional Route 66 restaurants.

So stay tuned.

(Image of Dell Rhea’s Chicken Basket by Jenny McG via Flickr)

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