From delicious slim griddled patties to juicy bacon-burgers topped with a fried egg, here are 10 must-try burgers in Chicago.
1. Top-Notch Beefburgers
"Beefburgers" may be no different than hamburgers, but regardless of name, you'll find none better than those at this friendly diner-style restaurant way down in Beverly on the South Side. The slim griddled patties, made from fresh-ground beef, sport a beautiful crust and smart, minimal toppings.
2. David Burke's Primehouse
While some high-end burgers seem like gimmicks, every trick employed in David Burke's prime steak burger is in the service of flavor—from the 40-day-aged beef to the spinach and caramelized onion on top.
Few Chicago burger shops have the following of Edzo's, the work of onetime fine-dining chef Eddie Lakin, who grinds beef fresh each day for gently formed patties griddled to an appealing crust. While possible toppings include sautéed mushrooms and a fried egg, the plain double grilled cheeseburger might be the best of all.
4. Au Cheval
This diner-styled restaurant doesn't believe in lonely single burgers: Order a single cheeseburger and you'll get two patties; a double, three. In either case, they're seared on the griddle, melted over with cheese, and topped with Dijionnaise and pickles.
5. Kuma's Corner
One part metal bar (with tatted-up bartenders and Jack Daniel's on tap—yes, tap), one part burger destination, Kuma's announces a new specialty burger each month, supplementing a standing menu of 15. Any choice will be a two-handed monster, a ten-ounce burger on a pretzel bun piled high with toppings.
Leadbelly's burgers are topping-heaped, and the meat is ground in-house daily in a proprietary blend that includes smoked pork belly as well as beef. The Midnight Special comes with chili-cheese Fritos, pico de gallo and chipotle cream sauce, which is exactly as ridiculous as it sounds.
7. Owen & Engine
For a burger that's all about the beef, it's hard to beat this Logan Square pub that grinds a blend of Slagel Farm beef from ground chuck, short rib and brisket. Patties arrive on a housemade potato bun with caramelized onions—no cheese required.
8. Mindy's Hot Chocolate
Known as a pastry chef and dessert queen, Mindy Segal nonetheless makes a showstopper of a burger starring freshly ground Slagel Farm beef stacked with bacon, Widmer four-year-aged cheddar, house pickles, and—should you fancy—a still-runny egg.
A sleek restaurant with a tasting menu isn't where you'd expect to find one of Chicago's best burgers, but chef Ryan McCaskey has created a superior beef blend for the double-pattied burger on his bar menu. Toppings are housemade applewood bacon, double cream gouda and special sauce. It's worth every penny of the admittedly steep price tag.