The 17 Best Burger Joints in Chicago

Where's the beef?

Hot dogsItalian beef, and deep-dish might get all the hype, but true Chicagoans know that the City of Big Shoulders is a burger town through and through. From cheap burgers and under-the-radar burgers to ranked burgers and Chicago’s very own “L” burger map, here at Thrillist we’re always down to beef it up. Because seriously, when is a burger ever a bad idea? Here’s where to find Chicago’s greatest and greasiest.

Gretel
Gretel

Logan Square
Move over Au Cheval, there’s a new kid in town vying for best burger accolades. Despite opening last fall at the height of the pandemic, it’s taken less than a year for this emerging Logan Square darling to make its mark on the local scene. If you have not yet had the pleasure, now’s the time to familiarize yourself with the Gretel Griddle Burger starring two patties topped with white and yellow American cheese, red onion, garlic aioli, and pickles on a sesame seed bun. Yes, please.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out and delivery via ChowNow.

Marz Community Brewing
Marz Community Brewing

Bridgeport
As if Ed Marszewski and the team at Marz needed even more honors, they’ve seamlessly made their way from best breweries to our best burgers with the standout addition of the Mom’s Burger at the Bridgeport taproom. The Slagel Family Farms short rib burger topped with American cheese, spicy mayo, and pickles on a furikake milk bread bun is no ordinary run-of-the-mill beef sandwich. When ingested with a side of nori fries and one of the aforementioned housebrewed beers, it’s one of the finest pairings in all of Chicago.
How to book: Reserve via Tock and order take-out via Toast.

Little Bad Wolf
Little Bad Wolf

Andersonville
You might need to crank up Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like the Wolf” to get amped up for your date with this Andersonville icon’s massive Wolf Burger, a gargantuan assemblage of three patties outfitted with bacon, American cheese, fried onion straws, house made pickles, red-onion mayo and, of course, a gooey fried egg. Strap on a feed bag and YOLO your meal by subbing fries for a side of mac and cheese. Just don’t plan on making any sudden movements afterwards.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out and delivery via ChowNow.

Edzo's Burger Shop Evanston
Edzo's Burger Shop Evanston

Evanston
Patty meltsFriesGrilled cheeseEvanston icon Edzo’s Burger Shop is no stranger to the Thrillist listage treatment, and for good reason. Whether you're seeking a killer bargain or one of the best burgers in Illinois, old-school Edzo’s can always be counted on for a reliable arsenal of meaty delights from char to Double-Double Animal-Style. But in the end, why complicate things? Stroll in, order the classic single griddled burger, and walk out a happy human.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out and delivery online.

Pub Royale
Pub Royale

Wicker Park
Anglo-Indian neighborhood favorite Pub Royale isn’t just a great place for beer and soccer. It also houses one of the most distinctly excellent burgers in the city, in the form of its Pulp Fiction-riffing Royale With Cheese. The subtly spiced and expertly charred beef is paired with aged cheddar, aioli, and impossible to ignore spicy pickles. Hit up Monday Burger Night and get yours alongside a can of Hamm’s and a shot for just $12.
How to book: Reserve via Resy or order take-out and delivery online.

Beverly
Nostalgia plays a starring role in the classic no-frills diner-style experience at Beverly institution Top Notch Beefburgers, which has been slinging gut-busting burgers since 1954. Ground daily in-house and griddled in its own juices, options range from the classic 1/4 pound basic beefburger to the slightly more adventurous 1/2 pound Western packed with three slices of cheese, three strips of bacon, grilled or raw onions, grilled green pepper, and BBQ sauce plus a bounty of fries.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out and delivery via GrubHub.

Au Cheval
Au Cheval

West Loop
Trying to pry Au Cheval loose from a list of best burgers in Chicago is like trying to encourage moderate drinking at a post-pandemic Cubs game. Ain’t gonna happen. So instead of relentlessly swimming against the tide, embrace this legendary West Loop eatery’s predictable rhythms as you dig into the much-lauded burger featuring two four-ounce patties griddled to perfection and topped with American cheese, a smear of piquant dijonnaise, pickles, and onions.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out via Toast and delivery via DoorDash and Caviar.

Mott St
Mott St

Wicker Park
This Michelin Bib Gourmand joint’s unique Asian-accented Mott Burger has become something of a city staple—not to mention one of the top 10 burgers in America. Tender double chuck patties, sweet potato shoestrings, tangy hoisin aioli, pickled jalapenos, dill pickles, miso butter, and ooey-gooey American cheese comes together to form a zesty, spicy, and totally craveworthy pile of deliciousness. Pair that with an order of Everything Wings and a bottle of sake and consider dinner is served.
How to book: Reserve via Tock or order take-out and delivery from Toast, DoorDash, and Caviar.

The Loyalist
The Loyalist

West Loop
Named Chicago’s best burger pretty much everywhere that matters, this upscale West Loop spot’s once-mythical Dirty Burg can now be yours whenever you please. The thick and juicy OG comes loaded with pickles, two slices of American cheese, and saucy onion-infused mayonnaise on a sesame seed while the Dirty Diane Burg steps it up a notch with maitake mushrooms, capers, black pepper, and a dousing of Cognac for good measure.
How to book: Reserve via Tock or order take-out and delivery via Tock to Go or Caviar.

RPM Steak
RPM Steak

River North
In the age of super-thin smash burgers and old-school griddled patties, a good steak burger truly stands out. And while many dive-y purists will stick up their noses at the mere mention of a posh local chain, that doesn’t change the fact that this unapologetically polished River North chophouse serves up one of the city’s finest. A sizable hunk of dry-aged beef gets the sharp cheddar, horseradish cream, and plump onion roll treatment, completed by a side of French fries and the glib satisfaction of power lunching like a boss.
How to book: Reserve via Tock or order take-out and delivery via ChowNow.

Hyde Park
This Southside stalwart has been keeping UChicago students, staff, and Hyde Park locals alike in quality all-day fare since 1962. Among the cinnamon rolls, salads, deep dish pizza, and milkshakes that make up its impressively large menu lurks a handful of decadent burger options. The pick of the litter is the Garbage Burger: a half pound of 100% Angus beef layered with cheddar, bacon, sautéed onions, and jalapeños, finished with a side of zesty BBQ sauce.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out and delivery online.

The Region
The Region

Roscoe Village
An homage to Indiana’s beloved smash burgers, this four-year-old Roscoe Village cult favorite has captured the heart of Northsiders with mountains of crispy-edged patties ordered by the single, double, or triple and stacked with pickle relish, onion, and the ever-addictive mayo-based Region Sauce. Simple, delicious, and served without a fuss—what’s not to love?
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out and delivery via Toast.

Avondale, West Loop, Schaumburg
This hard-rocking Chicago-based mini-chain has blossomed into a veritable burger empire since opening its Avondale flagship in 2005, serving carnivorous heavy metal fans in locales as far reaching as Indianapolis and Denver. Of the zillion or so burgers to choose from, you can’t go wrong with the signature Famous Kuma, a fist-sized patty topped with applewood smoked bacon, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and a bright and sunny fried egg.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out and delivery online.

Fatso's Last Stand
Fatso's Last Stand

Ukrainian Village
Westside night owls know all too well the joys of a 3 am Fatso’s run. There’s nothing quite like perching on a rickety picnic table along Chicago Avenue while devouring a Super Ooey Gooey (two smash patties bursting with bacon, cheddar, and spicy giardiniera) and wiping Fatso sauce from your chin. Just don’t be a noob and forget the cheesy tots. 
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out and delivery online.

West Loop
This swanky cocktail lounge has a bona-fide hit on its hands with its signature Swill Burger, one of the most coveted late-night bites in Chicago not named Weiner’s Circle. Two succulent 80/20 ground chuck patties are kissed by a hearty scoop of house-made pimento cheese and pickles before being plopped onto a buttery soft brioche bun. Get after it, kid.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out and delivery via Toast.

Dusek's
Dusek's

Pilsen
16” On Center’s Pilsen gem is back in action with a full bill of hangover-curing standbys at the ready. Chief among them is the cheeseburger, a patriotic assemblage of tender beef patties, beer pickles, American cheese, lettuce tomato, and special sauce piled onto a classic sesame seed bun. A side of beef fat fries and it’s a wrap (well, technically it’s more of a sandwich, but you get it).
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable.

Maillard Tavern
Maillard Tavern

River West
It’s all about the beef inside this Westside gastropub, specifically dual griddled four-ounce patties outfitted with fried onions, dreamy bacon and onion jam, cheddar cheese, pickles, and dijonnaise served on a toasted potato bun alongside a heap of duck fat fries. Too basic for your sophisticated palate? Don’t fret—there are six other varieties on the menu including a particularly handsome Swiss cheese and black truffle pesto-topped number crowned with 1.5 ounces of foie gras. Bon appetit.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out and delivery online.

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Jay Gentile is a contributor for Thrillist.