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The Best Burger in 27 Different Chicago Neighborhoods

Because you've already eaten all of the best burgers in Chicago, and well, the best under-the-radar burgers in Chicago (it's not that many burgers… right??), it's time you took down a new burger list, so here it is: the best burger in TWENTY-SEVEN different Chi 'hoods. God speed.

Sean Cooley
Best Burger: Kuma's Corner ()
The Venn Diagram of folks who like pounding metal music and red meat is damn near a perfect circle. So Kuma's clientele knows what to expect when walking in: tatted servers, bacon-loaded mac, and the city's best use of a pretzel bun in a burger.
Best Burger: Big Jones ()
Even if you aren't in the mood for NOLA-style cuisine, Jones' pimiento double cheeseburger can still satisfy like a fist-full of bead necklaces. Bonus second-burger move: the sloppy burger comes with griddled onions, house-made pimiento, a steamed bun, and a side of beef fat fries.

Best Burger: Top Notch Beefburgers
 (address and info)
A classic neighborhood fixture dating back to 1954, the eponymous Top Notch burgers are ground daily in-house and griddled in their own juices. Match the sizable beefburgers with fries cooked in lard and thick chocolate malts because, obviously.

Best Burger: Pleasant House Bakery
The only drawback with the Bridgeport meat pie masters' Bakery Burger is it's only available on Tuesdays. The upside with the Bridgeport meat pie masters' Bakery Burger is house-ground chuck, house-made pickles, and a side of their incomparably addictive chips (side note: you should also go here on Fridays for fish 'n chips).
Mindy's Hot Chocolate
Best Burger: Mindy's Hot Chocolate
 (address and info)
To become a standout on a menu that features Mindy Segal’s desserts is no easy task, but this fairly straightforward-yet-still-totally-perfect combo of Slagel Family Farms beef, organic bacon, aged cheddar, house pickles, and a garlic-toasted sesame bun is un-improve-able (unless you spring for the sunny-side-up egg).

Best Burger: Moody’s Pub
 (address and info)
Moody's has great burger ambiance, whether the weather is cold (a pair of fireplaces) or hot (back beer garden), to take in its half-pound, charcoal-grilled Moodyburger, which can be topped with blue cheese, bacon, sautéed mushrooms, and pimento olives.

Best Burger: A10 
This new spot from the folks at Yusho and Billy Sunday houses an immaculate burger topped with crispy pork jowl bacon (seeeeee!), Taleggio cheese, and tangy mustard jam served on a potato bun. And at $12, you'll get the high-end dining with cash leftover for draft palomas.
Best Burger: Dryhop Brewers
As if beer by the growler and a well-stocked whiskey wall weren't enough to draw you in, the ninja-geniuses at Dryhop also produce a beautiful blend of brisket and short rib in their burger. Layered on is chile-tomato jam, arugula, pickled sweet onions, smoked bacon, and raw, milky cheddar cheese (suck it, Louis Pasteur).

Best Burger: Edzo’s
The Lincoln Park location of the '70s-style burger joint saved plenty of beef aficionados the trip up to Evanston. Get a perfectly griddled double topped however you tend to like your burgers topped. Upgrade so Slagel Farms' patties if you're feeling fancy. Get some fresh-cut fries no matter what.

Best Burger: Gather Chicago
For the wino who also enjoys mawing tasty burgers, Gather supports your life choices with a wine bar and a juicy burger topped with white cheddar, caramelized onion, roasted red pepper aioli, and house-smoked bacon.

Best Burger: Three Aces
At Three Aces, the trump card comes in the form of a hulking beef patty with cheddar and bacon jam.
Sean Cooley
Best Burger: Owen & Engine
Enjoy the trifecta of a generous helping of caramelized onions ("caramelised" on the menu, because they're British), a pillowy-yet-sturdy house-made potato bap (aka, a bun), and a flavor-rich patty made of brisket, short rib, and chuck sourced from a Slagel Farms. They also come with crisped chips (aka fries, because, the British thing) with malt vinegar aioli.

Best Burger: Poag Mahone's
(address and info)
Show up on a Monday, and you'll get this Loop institutions grass-fed beef burger and fries for $5 after 3pm (dine-in only). That's just sound financial planning.

Best Burger: The Bad Apple
Sure, grabbing The Bad Apple burger with provolone is a wise choice, but if your Bitcoin stock is on the rise, why not splurge on a $26 Wagyu Wednesday burger? So priced for its 45-day, dry-aged prime rib Wagyu, citrus butter, arugula, and comically oversized options.

Best Burger: Old Town Social
High-quality beef from Q7 Ranch in Marengo, IL is ever-present in the burger lineup at Old Town Social, as are savory toppings like a sunny-side-up egg, house-made bacon, and Gruyere. Pro tip: add them all.
Sean Cooley
Best Burger: Dusek’s
With a vintage rec room punch bar, a menu from Longman & Eagle’s Michelin-starred Chef Jared Wentworth, and a newly opened, two-tiered concert space, Dusek's is giving you every reason to spend the night in one location. Add one more: the stuffed Jucy Lucy covered in bacon marmalade.

Best Burger:
Leadbelly ()
They've got rock-inspired burgers galore, but the one to go with is the Gallow’s Pole, a 7oz house-ground beef & pork belly burger with caramelized mushrooms, onions, smashed taters, Swiss, and Béarnaise sauce, all on a house-baked sesame seed bun. Oh, and save room for the diced pork belly fries, Sriracha pickles, and butter cookies.

Best Burger: David Burke’s Primehouse
(address and info)
The ground chuck for the Primehouse burger is aged for 40 days, picking up hints of blue cheese and mushroom flavor, and leading to perfectly tender meat. The char-broiled burger comes equipped with garlic spinach and crispy shallots, and -- while it might be sacrilege to say this in the Midwest -- doesn't really need any cheese.
Best Burger: BopNGrill
The kimchi burger offers an on-point blend of Korean and American food: house-made kimchi, shredded cabbage, a fried egg, bacon, and peppery gochujang aioli, but don't overlook the Father -- not that you could with it's double patty, fried egg, beer-battered onion rings, bacon, sharp cheddar/American, BBQ sauce, and mayo.

Best Burger: Meatheads
(address and info)
This mini-chain’s Roscoe Village outpost is its only Chicago location, meaning it doesn’t get the same fanfare within city limits as the M Burgers and Epic Burgers of the world. But it should -- the fresh-griddled Angus patties are done to perfection, and the range of topping options is pleasingly robust, though you honestly don’t even need the cucumber wasabi sauce or sauerkraut to make the burger taste fantastic (but it doesn't hurt, either).

Best Burger: Acadia
Acadia does fancy fare with the best of them, but they're also on their game when it comes to burgers (get 'em at the bar). Chef Ryan McCaskey's latest is a double-pattied creation with double creme Gouda, house-made applewood bacon, special sauce, and garlic dill pickles.

Best Burger: That’s-A-Burger
This under-the-radar hamburger is the South Side's definitive carry-out double cheeseburger -- a flavor marriage of high-quality beef, melted cheddar, and grilled onions.
Sean Cooley
Best Burger: M Burger
You have to hand it to any burger joint that's willing to go off-menu to replace buns with a pair of grilled cheeses. With topping options like avocado, secret sauce, and Jack cheese, it's the closest you'll get to In-N-Out-caliber fast food in the city.

Best Burger: Lockdown Bar & Grill
This hard-rocking burger joint locks down Ukrainian Village with the likes of the Hawaii 5.0 (pineapple, red onion, carnitas, BBQ), The Lockdown Warden (stuffed with Merkts cheddar), and their signature Fat Elvis with peanut butter, bacon, and flambéed bananas, caramelized in Grand Marnier, butter, and brown sugar.
Kari Skaflen/Hogsalt
Best Burger: Au Cheval
Not much needs to be said about Chicago's kingpin burger. If you're making burgers in the West Loop, the bar is quite, quite high.

Best Burger: Twisted Spoke
When an establishment's burgers are dubbed Fatboys, that’s usually a good sign, but these beefy, perfectly spiced half-pounders are appealing to all genders and waistlines. Bonus points for the garlicky brioche bun. Double-bonus points if you’re eating it on their rooftop.

Best Burger: Trencherman
When you’re dealing with juicy, house-ground, farm-raised chuck covered in a liberal layer of Tillamook Cheddar and house-made pickles, and the star of the show is the bun, you know you’re dealing with a damn-good bun (which is also made in-house).

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Sean Cooley is Thrillist's Chicago Editor and he knows how to properly ration his pepper while playing BurgerTime. Follow him @SeanCooley.

Matt Lynch is a Senior Editor at Thrillist who will have to change his Twitter handle if he ever moves to another city, because it’s @MLynchChi.
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1. Big Jones 5347 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

Big Jones' Southern-inspired fare is enough to keep you coming back for lots more. Start out with some complimentary beignets, move to the fried chicken, shrimp burger, or the Voodoo Salad, and end with a rich slice of red velvet cake.

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2. Kuma's Corner 2900 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

Kuma's does burgers, and a lot of them. With its bloodthirsty bear paintings and Slayer-grade metal on repeat, you’ll know you’ve stepped into carnivorous territory long before a tatted waitress brings you one of several hunks of meat like the Neurosis, a massive, juicy beef patty smothered with sharp cheddar, Swiss, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, and horseradish mayo.

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3. Pleasant House Bakery 964 W 31st St, Chicago, IL 60608

Pleasant House Bakery is a family-owned establishment that specializes in traditional and modern savory pies and specialty sweets. They are also BYOB establishment. YES!

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4. Mindy's Hot Chocolate 1747 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Don't be fooled, there's hot choco errrwhere at Mindy's but there's also good food like whole roasted market fish, Roman gnocchi, and steak. If you have a giant sweet tooth, we suggested you get that checked out but also order a housemade doughnut with some Mexican hot cocoa.

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5. A10 1462 East 53rd St, Chicago, IL 60615

A10 is one of the best places to indulge in creme brulee, on-tap cocktails, and awesome brews. Not particularly in that order.

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6. Dryhop Brewers 3155 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60657

Dryhop Brewers is more than just a great brewery; it's also an American-style brewpub that serves bacon-wrapped scallops and other crazy fare to go along with their awesome brews.

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7. Edzo's Burger Shop 2218 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

Edzo's isn't the name of a creepy clown, but of an awesome burger joint with a serious 70s vibe. The patties are made from house-ground chuck, then pressed and griddled (you can throw on fancy extras like a fried egg or giardiniera). There are nine different varieties of french fry combos and $5 milkshakes (that are actually $4).

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8. Gather Chicago 4539 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625

A seamless infusion of European cuisine with American touches, Gather boasts a strong wine list and cultivates a warm, open vibe with their Sunday Dinner events. They've got a can't-miss brunch, serving up some of Chi's best Bloody Marys.

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9. Three Aces 1321 W Taylor St, Chicago, IL 60607

A rock-inspired gastropub filled with secluded black leather "gangster booths" and black glass chandeliers, TA's bringing the flavor with bar snacks from pork-fried nuts to farm-raised jerky, and Italian-influenced eats like wild boar sausage.

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10. Owen & Engine 2700 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Named partly for the owner's nephew and partly for the four cask engines pouring small-batch beers, O&E's a 60-seat Anglopub covered wall to wall in dark wood & leather and serving flavors from all corners of the Isles, from England, to Scotland, to Ireland.

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11. The Bad Apple 4300 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

From the team behind Menagerie and Cooper's, TBA is a comfortable neighborhood tavern decked with stained glass, murals of wintry trees, and a dim game room/lounge (shuffleboard, pinball, and so forth).

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12. Old Town Social 455 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60610

Setting out to seamlessly infuse some turn-of-the-century elegance into your classic neighborhood bar, OTS mixes luxurious touches like marble bartops, a fireplace, and a vintage shoe shine station with a menu crafted by a Blackbird vet.

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13. Dusek's 1227 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608

Dusek's, from the Thalia Hall folks and helmed by Longman & Eagle's Jared Wentworth, serves up hearty food (think burgers with bacon marmalade on a pretzel bun) from a FOUR-PART menu. Choose your adventure!

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14. Leadbelly Burgers 5739 W Irving Pk Rd, Chicago, IL 60634

Leadbelly is an inventive burger joint, taking its name from legendary bluesman Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter. The burgers are meant to give you your own lead belly and include patties topped with crab cakes, slathered in bearnaise sauce, fries topped with pork belly, and 40+ craft beers.

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15. bopNgrill 6604 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60626

bopNgrill is a Chicago Korean fast-casual joint with killer kimchi fries, umami-tinged burgers, and more.

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16. Acadia 1639 S Wabash, Chicago, IL 60616

Because commuting outside of the city doesn't have much upside other than cheap gas and the classy sensuality of Polekatz billboards, the chef who most recently helmed suburban standout Courtright's is taking his fine-dining chops to Acadia. Tucked away in his own South Loop 'hood, it's appointed with a cozy, up-front lounge backed by a high-ceiling, creamy-toned dining room and open kitchen, which is totally cool with your frequent trips to Polekatz.

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17. That's A Burger 2134 E 71st St, Chicago, IL 60649-2116

It shouldn't come as a surprise that TAB has a menu loaded with quality meat discs (the turkey burger gets rave reviews). But they also offer up tasty chicken, hot dogs, wings, fries, and more.

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18. M Burger Water Tower 835 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

The latest outpost of the burger hotspot is also its largest, a 50-seat oak-paneled hideout tucked away in Water Tower Place where they're using the extra elbow room to pour Goose Island Green Line on draft, and offer up expanded ice cream options, from espresso sundaes to cones dipped in crunchy peanut butter sauce, which should harden into a shell in a Jif.

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19. Lockdown Bar & Grill 1024 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

Lockdown's a compact, steel caged, prison-themed temple to hard rock, outfitted with metal bars, smoke machines, skulls, and wall-to-wall flat-screens billing itself as a "virtual venue".

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20. Au Cheval 800 W Randolph, Chicago, IL 60607

Au Cheval is one sparkling spoon. Like, it's your grandma's sterling silver soup ladle. With an open kitchen and a bar hugging it, this European-flared diner-style grubspot is doling out impressive meals and Chicagoans are lapping it up.

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21. Twisted Spoke 501 N Ogden Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

This popular West Loop bar/resto boasts some of the best burgers in town, and they also serve a host of brews and whiskeys, as well.

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22. Trenchermen 2039 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

This once-Turkish bathhouse now serves up eclectic American cuisine by the Sheerin brothers. We're talking about pickle tots, octopus pozole, and fried chicken with grits. Also: 30-plus beer taps. Need we say more?

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