Eckert’s Belleville Country Store and Farms ~ Belleville, Illinois

A common place that many St. Louisans love to visit is Eckert’s farm. It is always particularly popular among those who like to pick fresh apples, peaches, or strawberries, as well as pumpkins in the fall. Located about half an hour outside of the city, they’ve established quite a complex at their Belleville location.

When we visited the Belleville Country Store, we went on a Saturday evening. We had no intent of picking any apples as I’m the only one who eats fruit in our family. We first visited the store area which is just wonderful. It is like a giant farmers market. They have fresh baked goods, deli meats and cheeses, fresh fruit and vegetables, and also several house made goods such as their famous apple butter and several types of dips and salsas. What’s really nice is that they have several samples out to taste to know if you want to purchase their dips.

After buying some salsa as a gift for my dad, we made our way over to the restaurant. It was quite busy, but after a short wait we were shown to our table. It’s fun because the tables are covered in white paper and you can color with crayons while you wait. They also start you off with some biscuits served with their apple butter.

We decided to start off with an appetizer of cheese curds, and I’m so glad that we did as they were the highlight of our meal. They had a slight kick to them. I’m not sure what the exact seasoning was, but it made them some of the best cheese curds I’ve ever had. Just look at that cheesy goodness inside!

I had read online that Eckert’s had some amazing chicken and dumplings. I was envisioning something along the chicken and dumplings you receive at Cracker Barrel restaurants, but it turned out to just be chicken dumpling soup. Andrew decided to go with a St. Louis special and ordered the toasted ravioli.

While we both agreed that our “main courses” were good, they weren’t anything that special either. However we would most definitely visit again just to have those cheese curds!

It should be noted that Eckert’s is also known for their family style meals. That seemed like way more food than we would want for two people, but the options did sound delicious!

Eckert’s also has their own frozen custard stand which we had planned to try for dessert, but we were both really full from our dinners, so we decided to do without dessert.

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