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Best Waterfront Dining

Top 5 Waterfront Dining Spots, ranked.

1. Broken Oar, Port Barrington, Lower Fox River

  • The view: Some of the most scenic views found on the lower Fox River, including extraordinary sunsets. The “Oar Life” is all about boaters, brews and live music with several outdoor dining options from the upper-level sky deck to the lower-level patio.
  • Try this: A half-pound Angus beef burger with waffle fries or tater tots and an iced-cold beer; and the jerk chicken sandwich pairs well with a tropical drink (souvenir cup included).
  • Hours:  11 a.m.- 2 a.m., Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.- 3 a.m., Friday; 9 a.m.- 3 a.m., Saturday; and 9 a.m.- 2 a.m., Sunday. Phone: 847.639.9468.
  • What people are saying:  “If you’re a boater, what more could you ask for than to pull up and dock to listen to live music?” –Rob L., Chicago


2. Vickie’s Place, downtown McHenry, Upper Fox River

  • The view: Watch boats float by from the island-themed outdoor seating area. Children enjoy feeding the ducks popcorn on the pier.
  • Try this: House-made jerked Malibu chicken sandwich and rum punch.
  • Hours: 11 a.m.- 10 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-1o:30 p.m., Friday-Saturday; 11 a.m.- 9 p.m., Sunday. Phone: 815.385.2014.
  • What people are saying:  “If you find yourself boating up the Fox, or driving the back roads of Northern Illinois, Vickie’s is worth a stop.” –Peter T., Chicago


3. Kief’s Reef, McHenry, Lower Fox River

  • The view: Fox River shoreside dining with live music, beach bar and sand volleyball.
  • Try this: Friday fish fry (beer-battered cod) and rum buckets.
  • Hours: 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 a.m. daily. Phone: 815.455.1444.
  • What people are saying: Kief’s Reef is my favorite weekend spot! From the food to the service, you can’t go wrong.” –Megan P., Woodridge


4. The Snuggery, McHenry, Upper Fox River

  • The view: A panoramic river view from the largest riverside patio and deck on the Fox.
  • Try this: Jamaican grilled mahi-mahi sandwich and a refreshing hand-crafted cocktail.
  • Hours: 11 a.m.- 11 p.m., Sunday-Thursday (kitchen till 10 p.m.); 11:00 a.m.- 2:00 a.m., Friday- Saturday (kitchen till 11 p.m.). Phone: 815.578.9600.
  • What people are saying: “The atmosphere of beer and boats would be sure to please your senses!”–David M., Detroit 


5. Cabana’s On the Chain, Johnsburg, Pistakee Lake

  • The view: Patio dining with a gorgeous lake view. 
  • Try our: Chicken wings tossed in the sauce of your choice and an Over-the-Top Bloody Mary.
  • Hours: 11:00 a.m.- 1:00 a.m., Monday- Sunday. Phone: 779.704.2903.
  • What people are saying: “From their burgers to their wings to their fish fry and everything in-between, the food is outstanding.  The atmosphere inside is really nice, and love the outdoor deck and bar.”- Justin G., McHenry

Details are subject to change at any time – always call ahead! 

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Broken Oar
BROKEN OAR MARINA-BAR & GRILL, Rawson Bridge Road, Port Barrington, IL, United States
Vicki's Place
Vickie's Place, North River Road, McHenry, IL, United States
Kief's Reef
Kief's Reef, South Wright Road, McHenry, IL, United States
The Snuggery
The Snuggery McHenry, North River Road, McHenry, IL, United States
Cabana's On the Chain
Cabana's On the Chain, West Bald Knob Point, Johnsburg, IL, United States

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