Welcome to Where The Locals Eat, your guide to the best restaurants in America , emphasizing local restaurants rather than chains. We won't be showing you every single restaurant in a city because — let's be honest — you can walk down the street, drive down the block or check the Yellow Pages and find "just any restaurant." No, we'll tell you where the real best burger is in town and where to find that authentic Northern Italian trattoria. Both  and our mobile app LocalEats include thousands of restaurant listings, from pizza parlors and delis to the finest steakhouses and sushi bars.

How do we choose our restaurants, you may ask? We do what you would do. We call our friends to get their opinions, we ask the local food bloggers, we check what the local alt weekly is saying, and we read online ratings. We put it all together and then we tell you where we would eat in each city.

In other words:

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So leave the chains, the readers' polls and the oudated information to the other guys. If you fancy yourself a discerning diner — the frequent business traveler, the honeymooner, the traveling foodie — we're your guide.

IllinoisTimes, »

BEST BURGER Krekel’s Custard and Hamburgers 2120 North Grand Avenue, 525-4952. What do you get when you take a ball of fresh ground beef, place it on a sizzling hot griddle, smash it until nearly paper thin, and cook it until the edges are crispy? According to IT voters you get a “Krekel burger”—the best burger in town.

Krekel’s began serving up hot, delicious burgers in Decatur in 1949, opening the Springfield establishment in 1993. Most diners describe Krekel’s as a “blast from the past.” To fully understand where they are coming from, you must grab a bite inside. The retro décor will have you looking around for Fonzie, Richie and the rest of the “Happy Days” gang.

Though it’s been quite awhile since we’ve seen the Krekel vehicle — a big 1970s Cadillac, with a rooster head on the roof and a paint-job resembling a chicken — thousands of Springfieldians and out-of-towners continue to flock to Krekel’s for a good old-fashioned burger.