Tracks Bar & Grill
Best Bar/Pub and Best Burger: McHenry County
If you were to visit Tracks Bar and Grill every day for a month and try a different burger every day, you’d still be a few burgers short after 31 visits.
Located next to the railroad tracks in downtown Cary, Illinois, Tracks has an extensive menu of appetizers, sandwiches and salads. Burgers, however, are the star attraction. Each begins with 10 ounces of hand-packed, fresh Angus beef. From there, the nearly endless possibilities divide into 18 classic and 17 gourmet varieties, including the Fat Elvis Burger, complete with bacon, peanut butter and cheddar on two slices of Texas Toast.
The burgers might be reason enough to visit Tracks, but the restaurant’s renowned fish fry on the daily menu is also worth trying. And, if you happen to go on a Friday, don’t miss out on the all-you-can-eat battered cod and potato pancakes.
Built in 1897, the two-story gray frame structure has housed a saloon, a real estate office and a hair salon, before returning to its tavern roots as Tracks in 1970. In 1981, Leo Florio purchased the business.
Since then, Florio has expanded the venue to accommodate up to 170 diners, served by a staff of 42. The most recent improvement was to install plastic panels and ceiling heaters so the beer garden stays “warm all winter long – even when it’s zero degrees,” Florio says.
These days, Florio tends to the restaurant in the morning before his son Joey and daughter Marie take over. Florio returns in the evening to walk around and talk to his customers.
“Customers want to talk to the people who run the place,” he says. “They get a comfort zone.”
Location: 108 W Main St, Cary, IL
thecarytracks.com | 847-639-6064