In the back of a weathered general store, hungry travelers line up for juicy Moonburgers. It’s a bit of an anomaly: Moonshine (the city) sits 25 minutes off the freeway between Effingham, Illinois, and Terre Haute, Indiana. Yet, its only business, The Moonshine Store, draws a big crowd via word of mouth.
The town’s only resident, Helen Tuttle, owns the circa-1912 country store and sells an average of 140 burgers per day. Diners dress unfussy burgers—topped with bacon, perhaps—with condiments, order a bag of chips and a bottle of pop, and then head outside to one of the picnic tables to trade banter along the lines of “So how did you end up here?” and “Isn’t this place remarkable?”
And suddenly, this off-the-beaten-track venture feels less like a novelty and more like a family picnic.
4 things to know before you go
1 How to find it You could just punch the address (6017 E. 300th Rd., Martinsville) into your GPS. But it’s more fun to follow the handmade wooden arrows labeled Moonshine and hammered into trees beginning at the Interstate-70, Exit 129 near Casey, Illinois.
2 When to go Hours are 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The grill shuts off at 12:30 p.m. Sharp.
3 What to bring Cash or checks. No credit cards accepted.
4 Plan ahead Take a pit stop before you arrive unless you want to use the port-a-potty across the street.