These Donuts Are the Pride of Hawaii
DryhopAddress and Info
While it may not be shocking to learn that a brewery knows a thing or two about burgers, The Burger at Dryhop is shockingly good. The custom-blend patty packed with brisket and short rib is rounded out with a supporting cast that includes ancho-chili tomato jam, arugula, pickled sweet onions, and a gooey, flavorful raw milk Cheddar that naturally flows into all of the burger’s nooks and crannies like a glorious river of cheese. And for another not-so-shocking bonus: there’s lots of beer here to pair with your meal.
Owen & EngineAddress and Info
Hot damn, does this hip British pub know how to do a burger or what? The beloved, simply named "burger" at Owen & Engine packs a Slagel Farms beef patty that blends brisket, short rib, and chuck into a flat-out knockout of a burger with caramelized onions, house-made potato bap (aka, a beautifully toasted English-style bun), and malt vinegar mayonnaise with a side of chips (aka fries). Regarded by many as the best burger in the city (if not the country), stop by and digest your meal afterward at the movie theatre across the street.
Kuma's CornerAddress and Info
Recently expanding to several locations to help accommodate the overflow traffic that is common at its original Avondale location, if this heavy metal burger bar is forgotten by any list-maker, they would immediately have to recuse themselves from the business. Pairing loud music with burgers before it was a thing, the iconic Neurosis at Kuma’s gets right down to business in a deliciously ballsy way, with a backing band of sharp Cheddar, Swiss, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, horseradish mayo, lettuce, tomato, and red onion.
Mindy's Hot ChocolateAddress and Info
You might not expect to run smack dab into one of the best burgers in the city at a spot most famous for desserts and chocolate, but then again, Mindy Segal has never been about doing what you expect. She keeps things interesting with the low-key named "hamburger" that packs a serious punch, topping a Slagel Farm beef patty with Nueske's bacon and Carr Valley aged Cheddar on a house-made sesame seed bun with pickle and house chips. You can add a sunny side egg for $1. Just order it and thank us later.
Ground bacon burger
BottleforkAddress and Info
This wood-grilled burger keeps its porkapalooza bona fides firmly in check with a hearty 30% bacon patty which blends so seamlessly with the meat, it might as well be the Lennon-McCartney of handhelds. Dressed up and looking sexy with Vermillion blue cheese, shoestring potatoes and special sauce, its umami kick offers a juicy diversion from the typical run-of-the-mill burger, which this gloriously artistic endeavor most certainly ain’t.
Au ChevalAddress and Info
So yeah, it’s that point in the article for the obligatory listing of the universally acclaimed single cheeseburger at Au Cheval. In an era in which we can’t seem to agree on anything, Chicagoans have reached a remarkable consensus around declaring this one of the best burgers in the city (and country). There is a reason for this, of course, namely the fact that the immaculately curated combination of its two thin patties layered with American cheese, pickles, dijonnaise, and optional (but mandatory) thick-cut bacon and fried egg is the closest thing your mouth will experience to nirvana.
Top Notch BeefburgersAddress and Info
Before there were internet lists (and color televisions, for that matter), there was this classic burger joint on Chicago’s far South Side slinging heaping piles of meaty delights with no frills and even less fanfare. Since 1942, this Beverly diner has been attracting old men and area burger seekers drawn in by offerings like their simple yet delicious half-pound Beefburger with chuck ground in-house daily served on a toasted sesame seed bun. Everything you need, nothing you don’t.
Dusek'sAddress and Info
Pilsen may be known for Mexican food, but Michelin-starred venue-adjacent hang Dusek’s is putting the burger on the hood’s radar with their cheese-stuffed Juicy Lucy that combines Slagel Farms beef with American cheese, red onion bacon marmalade, heirloom tomato, and butter lettuce on a brioche bun. The beef fat fries are no joke either, helping to fuel you up for a night of rocking out with your you-know-what out at Thalia Hall next door.
Char burger with everything
Edzo's Burger ShopAddress and Info
By now it should be no secret that we have a soft spot in our hearts for old-school diners like classic Evanston institution Edzo’s, a comfort food mainstay for everyone from freshman college students to grizzled old-timers. What brings them together is the char-grilled glory of offerings like the 8-ounce char burger with everything -- which, in this case, means ketchup, mustard, pickle, onion, lettuce, and tomato. You can add toppings like cheese, jalapeños, and sautéed mushrooms, but why mess with perfection?
Grange Hall Burger BarAddress and Info
With a certain Sodikoff-owned French diner located just a few doors down, this charming little hideaway often gets overlooked by both burger hunters beating a path toward Au Cheval and local burger list-makers. Just as overlooked when it comes to burgers? Muenster cheese. Grange Hall’s Ultimate burger makes a strong case for rethinking the equation with its 100% grass-fed chef burger topped with Muenster, arugula, caramelized onions, and horseradish aioli served on a griddled brioche bun. Opt for the optional farm fresh egg and consider yourself a happy human.
Moody's PubAddress and Info
Even if you’re not in the mood for a burger, walking into the medieval knight’s dungeon-esque digs of Moody’s will get you there with the help of a roaring fire in winter, a beautiful outdoor patio in summer, and the standout Moodyburger any day of the year. This half-pound char-grilled beauty keeps it simple with your choice of American, Swiss, or Cheddar, and if you want to add extras like bacon, sautéed mushrooms, and pimento olives, no one’s gonna stop you. Whether you’re there with a date or hanging with friends, the no-frills Moodyburger enhances any social experience.
Johnny's GrillAddress and Info
While most people have likely experienced Johnny’s in a fit of late-night breakfast cravings after a long night at the bars, this diner for cool kids also keeps it real with a double cheeseburger that requires little more than melted sharp Cheddar cheese, dijonnaise, pickles, and onion to make you stand up and pay attention. It’s not just good -- it’s you-need-to-eat-this-before-you-die good. If you want to build your own, add Irish back bacon and avocado to take things to the next level.
VieAddress and Info
Typically we avoid going to the suburbs at all costs. But when the Vie burger is involved, a trip to Western Springs suddenly doesn’t sound all that crazy. Making your Eisenhower driving experience significantly more palatable is this wood-grilled stunner from Paul Virant, showcasing 21-day dry-aged Angus ground beef with butterkäse cheese and bacon, dijonnaise, and alarmingly addictive bread-and-butter pickles served with fries.
Mott StreetAddress and Info
As our national burger critic discovered when he went on a tour of Chicago, this funky little Asian-inspired eatery punches well above its weight. You can only order the burger in the bar area of this date-worthy Michelin Bib Gourmand spot, so belly up and dive into the show-stopping Mott burger. It assembles double chuck patties, sweet potato shoestrings, hoisin aioli, pickled jalapeños, dill pickles, miso butter, and American cheese: With a spicy Asian kick that’s inventive without being overwhelming, welcome to your newest obsession.
Little Bad WolfAddress and Info
While the Quad burger at Chopper’s features a ridiculous five patties of artery-choking overload, just three patties will suffice at happening Andersonville spot Little Bad Wolf. With a lively crowd and some of the finest bar food in the city, the Wolf burger is an intimidating sight, piled high with bacon, American cheese, onion straws, house-made pickles, mayo, and a fried egg. The crispy fries are as on point as the burger, but you’re gonna need a buddy to help you polish off this monster.