Starved Rock Country is home to some of the top-rated burger stops in the state. From classic pub burgers to artisan farm-to-table offerings, from supper club patties to veggie burger alternatives, there’s a lovingly crafted burger awaiting you. Here are five can’t-miss destinations for delectable burgers.
Morris Chop Shop
701 Liberty St., Morris
The Morris Chop Shop is renowned for its high quality, perfectly seared steaks or chops – but it’s also home to some of Starved Rock Country’s finest artisan burgers. The offerings at Morris Chop Shop are made with locally raised beef, produce and organic antibiotic-free pork and poultry. They make everything from scratch in their kitchen to ensure the food incorporates as many local ingredients as possible, and to ensure you receive the best dining experience. Everything at the Chop Shop is cooked over an authentic wood-burning char grill and rotisserie, infusing their tasty food with a natural smoke and char.
Honest Abe’s Tap & Grill
3585 Route 47, Morris
Since 2011, Honest Abe’s Tap House & Grill in Morris has been paying loving tribute to the great emancipator through its name, decor and a stable of giant craft burgers. These award-winning Lincoln-themed burgers include The Gettysburger (American cheese, bacon, over-easy eggs and a side of mayo) and The Rail-Splitter (Swiss cheese, cheddar cheese, grilled ham, pickles and honey mustard). The Lincoln Poor Boy, another popular pick, features a homemade garlic pork poor boy with provolone cheese, served on a grilled garlic-butter hoagie roll. You’ll find more than 25 burgers, loaded mac and cheese bowls and signature sandwiches on the menu, alongside some great appetizers such as battered green beans, fried portabella and a filet mignon quesadilla.
The Lone Buffalo by Tangled Roots Brewing Co.
812 LaSalle St., Ottawa
The Lone Buffalo by Tangled Roots Brewing Company is a great place to grab a plate of farm-to-table food and an artisan craft beer. You can indulge in The Lone Buffalo’s self-proclaimed “slow food,” savoring the tastes at one of their many outdoor tables when weather allows. This relaxed, airy brewpub offers hearty pub classics and new American fare, conveniently located right off Ottawa’s downtown LaSalle Street. Be sure to try their signature Brewmaster Burger, made with Bourbon cherry barbecue sauce, applewood smoked bacon, aged cheddar, house pickles, frites aioli and crispy onions, or the fan-favorite Cease & Desist burger, a house-made ground beef and bacon patty with aged cheddar cheese, applewood smoked bacon, chipotle aioli, tomato and arugula.
Back Door Lounge at Starved Rock Lodge
2688 E. 875th Road, Oglesby
If you’re looking for a cool and convenient spot to grab a drink or two, nestled right inside Starved Rock State Park, the Back Door Lounge can’t be missed. The Lodge’s artisan burger is made with a grilled Angus beef patty and is served on a brioche bun with lettuce, tomato, onion and a side of bar chips. The hearty and delectable burger pairs perfectly with the Back Door Lounge’s rustic decor. With its walls lined with canoes, taxidermy and vintage beer ephemera, you’d be hard pressed to find a watering hole with more atmosphere. Outside the bar, you’ll spot one of the best views Starved Rock has to offer: a sprawling veranda that provides a cliff-side panorama of the Illinois River.
Thyme Craft Kitchen
405 Fifth St., Peru
Thyme Craft Kitchen founders Rob and Anthony met while serving as the general manager and executive chef at The University of Chicago’s famed Quadrangle Club. Parlaying years of experience in some of the city’s most respected kitchens and social clubs, the two have created a restaurant that truly exemplifies the spirit of farm-to-table dining. Partnering with over 25 local farms and businesses, Thyme offers ultra seasonal menus and craft cocktails infused with regional flavors. You and your travel partners will find an inviting and accommodating menu full of unexpected delicacies, all incorporating ingredients from the partner farms that are proudly highlighted on the walls at Thyme. The house burger at Thyme is a premium 100% grass fed offering, served with cheddar cheese, butter-braised onion, house pickles, remoulade, egg bun and crispy potatoes on the side. Feeling extra adventurous? Add a duck egg for a small up-charge.