Grafton has a lot of places to satisfy your thirst or hunger. While most offer some variation on the bar food theme, most do it well, so it’s hard to make a bad choice. Here are few places to consider.
If you brought a cooler along (and who doesn’t travel with one?), pick up some freshly caught river fish at Beasley Fish Stand (1512 W. Main; 618.786.3697).
You won’t find a better view than at The Winery at Aerie’s Resort atop the bluff (600 Timber Ridge Dr.; 618.786.7477) and you can enjoy it with a glass of wine or a beer. They also serve food, most of which is light fare like flatbread, salads, sandwiches, and small plates.
At the Grafton Winery & Brewhaus (300 W. Main St.; 618.786.3001) you can enjoy their house-made wine and beer on a large patio overlooking the river; they also have a full menu featuring burgers, wraps, and salads.
The historic Ruebel Hotel (217 E. Main St.; 618.786.2315) has an elegant wood bar that was salvaged from the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. Besides the standard burger and sandwich menu, the hotel also serves schnitzel, catfish, and pasta.
The Loading Dock (401 Front St.; 618.786.3494) serves a few items of traditional bar food that are best enjoyed on the riverside patio.
The unique Fin Inn (1500 W. Main St.; 618.786.2030), built with stones gathered and placed by the original owner, James Seib, is best known for the aquariums in the restaurant. As you might guess, they serve mostly seafood and fish dishes, including local favorites like catfish and buffalo fish.
The Grafton Oyster Bar (215 Water St.; 618.786.3000) features New Orleans-inspired Cajun and Creole dishes, including fresh oysters, po boys, and blackened meats.
Upriver a bit, the Pere Marquette Restaurant (13653 Lodge Blvd.; 618.786.2331) in the historic park lodge serves pleasing dishes that lean toward comfort food.