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South Peoria’s Moja Southern Kitchen is The Talk of the Town

Moja-Smothered Chicken; Photo courtesy of Moja Southern Kitchen & Creamery

Fried catfish. Smothered chicken. Collard greens. Grilled pork chops. Candied yams. Is your mouth-watering yet? Banana pudding. Red velvet cake. Sweet potato pound cake. How about now?

Moja Customers

If you’re one of the few people who hasn’t heard about Moja Southern Kitchen & Creamery located at 301 N. MacArthur in South Peoria, then it’s time you find out what all the fuss is about. Moja, which means “Number One” in Swahili, opened its doors in June, and has quickly become the place to eat in Peoria, with repeat customers coming from as far away as Champaign.

Moja serves up Southern-style cooking daily, opening its doors for breakfast at 7am, closing at 7pm, Monday through Saturday. And “Soul Food Sunday” kicks off at 8am, closing at 4pm. “We take a great deal of pride in our Soul Food Sunday,” says restaurant owner, Pat Robinson, who hails from the Mississippi Delta, and has been a Peoria resident for over 25 years. “People leave church and come right over for our Sunday specials, which have included oxtails, Cornish hens and dressing. And we offer some of the best breakfast choices in the city, at a price you can’t beat. Of course, we have our specialties, but people asked for a ‘toast, egg, sausage and coffee’ meal for under $5, and we listened. We call it ‘The Blessing.’”

Peoria’s 61605 area code has made national headlines for poverty, crime, and high unemployment. “My partners and I wanted to bring truly authentic Southern cooking to Peoria,” says Robinson. “But it was important to us that we invest in this community, specifically – help restore, and try to stimulate growth – in this part of town. Ten of our employees are from this neighborhood.”

Within shouting distance of the Carver Center, and in Bradley’s backyard, Moja offers more than a quality dining experience. Customers can dine-in or use the Moja app to order online and carry-out. Bring in your church bulletin on Sunday, and get 10% off. Bradley students get 10% off with their student ID.

And with an ice cream parlor, a daily all-day menu that features chicken and waffles, and shrimp and grits, in the words of one repeat customer, “It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Follow Moja Southern Kitchen and Creamery on Facebook, and on Instagram at Mojapeoria. To cater your next event, or host your private party at Moja, visit or call 309-839-2086 today.