Food & Drink

The Best Burgers in the Chicago Suburbs

Published On 10/14/2016 Published On 10/14/2016
Flickr/Kurman Communications, Inc

Prairie Grass Café

Northbrook

The sirloin burger with mild Amish blue cheese is the stuff of legend around these parts, a feat made even more remarkable due to the fact that this burger is served WITHOUT A BUN. On purpose. That ups the pressure on the expertly cooked thick patty, seasoned to perfection, to do all the heavy lifting. For those who can’t fathom the idea of a burger without a bun, you can request one without issue, but you won’t need it.

The Assembly, American Bar & Cafe

The Assembly

Hoffman Estates

This northern suburban burger powerhouse has been delighting crowds with its hand-packed 10oz burgers since 1978. These days it's best known for fresh, never frozen ground beef patties set up in dazzling creations, like the Bionic Burger, with bacon, sautéed onion, and your choice of Swiss, cheddar, or mozzarella cheese. There’s also a Parmesan Burger, Bloody Mary Burger, and Jack Daniel’s Burger, all of which come with a side of mushroom onion sherry wine sauce. You can also opt for tots instead of fries, which you should definitely do.

Paradise Pup

Des Plaines

This classic cash-only, counter-service joint will make a burger impression to end all burger impressions with the Char Cheddar Burger, served with Merkts cheddar cheese and awesome crinkle-cut fries (to which cheeseheads can also add Merkts). The simple, delicious, charred flavor pairs well with a chocolate malt, but plan on getting here early to escape lines that often wind around and around.

Sean Cooley/Thrillist

Edzo's Burger Shop

Evanston

The '70s-style burger joint from fine-dining chef-turned-burger flipper Eddie Lakin offers up a top campus burger in Evanston. Get in on the flawlessly griddled patties (ground in-house daily) and feel free to spring for a Slagel Farm beef burger with some added bacon.

Abigail's American Bistro

Highland Park

The burger here is served with Wisconsin sharp cheddar and red onion marmalade to create a flavor so full that it requires no additional condiments. All you need is a side of the addictive fries, which you should definitely order with truffle aioli if you know what’s good for you.

Vie

Western Springs

Long before Perennial Virant launched him to Chicago stardom, Paul Virant had Vie, an award-winning farm-to-table restaurant tucked away in the western suburbs. Once only available as an off-menu item, the $19 wood-grilled Vie burger is worth every penny, with Hicks Ranch pasture-raised ground beef served on a beer-battered, house-made bun with a side of butter pickle slices. Come for the burger, stay for the pickles (and another burger).

"New Pigs on the Block" burger | Bulldogs Grill

Bulldogs Grill

Wauconda

They’ve got mac & cheese burgers. They’ve got burgers topped with Fritos. But for the ultimate in gluttony, they've got The Big Lebowski: a 9oz beef patty in an unholy alliance with Italian beef, bacon, and horseradish cheddar that you damn sure better abide.

Country House Restaurants - Clarendon Hills, Geneva and Lisle, Illinois

Country House

Clarendon Hills/Geneva/Lisle

This rustic west suburban spot gets its name from the two-story wood frame “country house” in its Clarendon Hills location, from which you can dig into its award-winning Country Burger: a 1/2lb of fresh ground chuck charbroiled and served on dark rye. Its Geneva location mimics the original design, and wherever you go, you can indulge in additional meaty offerings such as elk, buffalo, and a Top Drawer burger made with a killer blend of ground brisket, short rib, and whole chuck.

Labriola Bakery Cafe

Labriola Café

Oak Brook

The inventive burgers at this Neapolitan pizzeria feature 8oz Black Angus hand-formed patties like the Maytag Blue Cheese Burger served on a pretzel bun and the Three Cheese Burger with Merkts cheddar, Emmental Swiss, and American cheese on thin-cut brioche with truffle aioli fries. But our favorite is the simple Richie Burger with white cheddar, lettuce, and tomato served on the wonderfully delicious pretzel bun.

"The Waldorf Burger" | Back Alley Burger

Back Alley Burger

Elmhurst/La Grange

It’s all about the burger at this small west suburban chain, where you can build your own from scratch with your choice of patty (1/2lb, 1/3lb, or two 1/3lb patties), bun, cheese, and toppings, or go with ready-made options that include a taco-spiced Mexicali burger with nacho cheese and pico de gallo or a Knead a Big Burger topped with pastrami and egg. It also has hand-spun shakes and craft beer on tap, so you’re pretty much set for the afternoon.

Burger Antics

Brookfield

Burger Antics takes the term “homemade” to insane new levels, even going so far as to make its own ketchup and mustard. A 150+ whiskey wall is featured alongside creative burgers of the week/month, in addition to everyday menu items with 9oz hand-packed beef patties including a 4 Cheese Burger (provolone, Muenster, pepper jack, and fried mozzarella) and a Hotter Than Hell Burger with grilled jalapeños, house-made chipotle mayo, and optional grilled habaneros. Looks like you’re gonna need that whiskey after all.

Tom & Eddie's

Tom & Eddie's

Lombard/Naperville

Who the hell are Tom and Eddie? Only the dudes behind one of the 'burbs' newest burger kingpins, unfurling a heavy arsenal of meaty delights such as the famed Ampersand Burger with applewood smoked bacon, Wisconsin smoked Gouda cheese, smoky BBQ sauce, and handmade haystack onions topped with a sunny-side-up egg served on a gourmet sesame seed roll. They’ve also got a Burger Primavera with spinach and basil pesto if you feel like ordering “healthy.”

Fatso's

Oak Lawn

Not affiliated with Chicago’s Fatso’s Last Stand, this far south suburban favorite’s homemade, never-processed offerings feature juicy charbroiled Angus patties that include a Triple Fatso Burger, a Gyro Burger with gyro meat and a 1/3lb patty, and an all-pro patty melt served quick-service-style with plenty of taste and no BS. In keeping with its namesake, you can also add a patty to any of the deliciously waist-expanding burger offerings.

Burger Moovment

Burger Moovment

Elmwood Park

Formerly known as The Burger Boss, Burger Moovment's name change hasn’t altered the flavor profile of the casual eatery’s 100% Midwest Angus beef patties and fresh-cut Idaho potatoes. Burger options hit you almost to the point of overload, led by the signature Poutine Burger, topped with fries, cheddar cheese curds, sautéed mushrooms, and rich gravy along with the 8am Burger (with cage-free fried egg and applewood-smoked bacon).

Brandt's of Palatine

Palatine

There’s nothing too fancy about this cozy family favorite, just solid burgers made the right way with preservative-free, fresh-ground 1/2lb burgers served on butter, pretzel, rye, sesame, or sourdough buns. It does offer a Quesadilla Burger and Pizza Burger, but stick to the basics with an expertly seasoned Black & Blue Burger and you’ll do just fine.

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1. Prairie Grass Cafe 601 Skokie Blvd, Northbrook, IL 60062

This Northbrook restaurant serves upscale American food, and though the menu is heavy on meat (chicken, duck, beef, and lamb), there are plentiful creative vegetarian and fish options, as well as rich but simple sides like brown sugar glazed acorn squash and mashed Yukon golden potatoes. The real star of the menu, however, is the sirloin burger, a thick patty with mild Amish blue cheese and served without a bun because the juicy, seasoned-to-perfection beef speaks for itself.

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2. The Assembly American Bar & Cafe 2570 Hassell Rd, Hoffman Estates, IL 60169

This northern suburban burger powerhouse has been delighting crowds with its hand packed 10-ounce burgers since 1978, and these days is best known for its fresh, never frozen ground beef patties set upon dazzling creations such as the Bionic Burger with bacon, sautéed onion, and your choice of Swiss, cheddar or mozzarella cheese. There’s also a Parmesan Burger, Bloody Mary Burger, and Jack Daniel’s Burger, all of which come with a side of mushroom onion sherry wine sauce. You can also opt for tots instead of fries, which you should definitely do.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. Paradise Pup 1724 S River Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60018

This classic cash-only, counter-service joint will make a burger impression to end all burger impressions with the Char Cheddar Burger, served with Merkts cheddar cheese and awesome crinkle-cut fries (which cheeseheads can also add Merkts to). The simple, delicious charred flavor pairs well with a chocolate malt, but plan on getting here early to escape lines that often wind around and around.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. Edzo's Burger Shop 1571 Sherman Ave, Evanston, IL 60201 (Lincoln Park)

Edzo 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 that's pressed, griddled, then topped with extras like fried egg or giardiniera relish. The menu includes elevated French fry options -- order them "Crazy" to get a topping of chili, cheese, and chopped onion or "Angry" with four kinds of spices. Edzo's is also known for its milkshakes, which are made the old-fashioned way -- on a slow-mixing spindle machine -- to yield an extra-smooth and creamy texture.

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5. Abigail's American Bistro 493 Roger Williams Ave, Highland Park, IL 60035

This Highland Park bistro is known for its burger, served with Wisconsin sharp cheddar and red onion marmalade to create a flavor so full that it requires no additional condiments. All you need is a side of the addictive fries, which you should definitely order with truffle aioli if you know what’s good for you.

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6. Vie 4471 Lawn Avenue, Western Springs, IL 60558

Vie's fireplace is enough to keep you happy, super warm during the negative-degree Winters, and their cocktails are seriously strong and innovative.

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7. Bulldogs Grill 122 S Main St, Wauconda, IL 60084

They’ve got mac & cheese burgers. They’ve got burgers topped with Fritos. But for the ultimate in gluttony, they've got The Big Lebowski: a 9oz beef patty in an unholy alliance with Italian beef, bacon, and horseradish cheddar that you damn sure better abide.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
8. Country House 241 55th Street, Clarendon Hills, IL 60514

This rustic west suburban spot gets its name from the two-story wood frame “country house” in its Clarendon Hills location, from which you can dig into its award-winning Country Burger: a half-pound of fresh ground chuck charbroiled and served on dark rye. Its Geneva location mimics the original design and wherever you go, you can indulge in additional meaty offerings such as elk, buffalo, and a Top Drawer burger made with a killer blend of ground brisket, short rib, and whole chuck.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
9. Labriola Bakery & Cafe 3021 Butterfield Rd, Oak Brook, IL 60523

This pizzeria might be known for its wood-fired pizzas made in the Neapolitan D.O.C. tradition, but its burgers are just as notable. The menu features 8 oz. black angus hand-formed patties like the Maytag Blue Cheese Burger served on a pretzel bun and the Three Cheese Burger with Merkt’s cheddar, Emmental Swiss, and American cheese on thin-cut brioche with truffle aioli fries. Whichever route you choose -- pizza, burger, or if you know what you're doing, both -- you'll be back for more.

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10. Back Alley Burger 609 W St Charles Rd, Elmhurst, IL 60126

It’s all about the burger at this small west suburban chain, where you can build your own from scratch with your choice of patty (1/2 pound, 1/3 pound, or two 1/3 pound patties), bun, cheese, and toppings, or go with ready-made options that include a taco-spiced Mexicali burger with nacho cheese and pico de gallo or a Knead a Big Burger topped with pastrami and egg. They’ve also got hand-spun shakes and craft beer on tap, so you’re pretty much set for the afternoon.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
11. Burger Antics 3740 Grand Blvd, Brookfield, IL 60513

Burger Antics takes the term “homemade” to insane new levels, even going so far as to make its own ketchup and mustard. A 150+ whiskey wall is featured alongside creative burgers of the week/month, in addition to everyday menu items with 9 oz. hand packed beef patties including a 4 Cheese Burger (provolone, muenster, pepperjack, and fried mozzarella) and a Hotter Than Hell Burger with grilled jalapenos, house-made chipotle mayo, and optional grilled habaneros. Looks like you’re gonna need that whiskey after all.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
12. Tom & Eddie's 348 Yorktown Shopping Ctr, Lombard, IL 60148

Who the hell are Tom and Eddie? Only the dudes behind this suburban burger kingpin, unfurling a heavy arsenal of meaty delights such as the famed Ampersand Burger with applewood smoked bacon, Wisconsin smoked gouda cheese, smokey BBQ sauce and handmade haystack onions topped with a sunny-side up egg served on a gourmet sesame seed roll. They’ve also got a Burger Primavera with spinach and basil pesto if you feel like ordering “healthy.”

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
13. Fatso's 6035 W 95th St, Oak Lawn, IL 60453

Not affiliated with Chicago’s Fatso’s Last Stand, this far south suburban favorite’s homemade, never processed offerings feature juicy charbroiled angus patties that include a Triple Fatso Burger, a Gyro Burger with gyro meat and 1/3rd pound patty, and an all-pro patty melt served quick service style with plenty of taste of no BS. In keeping with their namesake, you can also add a patty to any of their deliciously waist-expanding burger offerings.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
14. Burger Moovment 7512 W North Ave, Elmwood Park, IL 60707

Formerly known as The Burger Boss, the name change hasn’t altered the flavor profile of this casual eatery’s 100% Midwest angus beef patties and fresh cut Idaho potatoes. Burger options hit you almost to the point of overload, led by the heavy-hitters like Poutine Burger and the breakfast-appropriate 8am Burger topped with a cage-free fried egg and applewood smoked bacon. If the Moovment's signature creations don't do it for you, you can create your own with between-the-bun options that range from a half-pound triple patty to a black bean veggie burger.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
15. Brandt's Little Cafe 807 W Northwest Hwy, Palatine, IL 60067

There’s nothing too fancy about this cozy family favorite, just solid burgers made the right way with preservative free, fresh ground half-pound burgers served on butter, pretzel, rye, sesame, or sourdough buns. They do offer a Quesadilla Burger and Pizza Burger, but stick to the basics with an expertly seasoned Black & Blue Burger and you’ll do just fine.

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