Not just for people with small, Dinklage-y hands who can't commit to a full burger, sliders are also for people with normal-sized hands who can't commit to a full burger. That in mind, here're the 10 sexiest slider options in Chicago.
Chicken Cordon Bleu Slider
The Beer Bistro (address and info)
Culinary school, Arby's sandwich, and now a slider at The Beer Bistro -- is there anything the Chicken Cordon Bleu can't do? Maybe last more than a minute, but that's about it.
Oyster Po' Boy Slider
GT Fish & Oyster (address and info)
Near North Side
If these came in a crave case, we'd buy it. There's no question as to why fried oysters with kimchi and peanuts are a favorite of James Beard editors. Two words: flavor explosion.
Dr. Feelgood Bloody Mary
Rockit Bar & Grill (address and info)
Near North Side
This is actually a $32 Bloody Mary, but it makes the list because of the amazing toppings (and bottomings?). If you're up on your Bloody Mary goings-on (exhibit A and exhibit B), you'll know that this 32oz Bloody is garnished with a slider (and also shrimp, bacon, peperoncini, grape tomatoes, blue cheese-stuffed olives, and a pickle spear).
Housemade Hot Dog Sliders
Old Town Social (address and info)
Near North Side
Think outside the bun? No thanks, we'll just change the shape. OTS is serving up classic Chicago dogs and Detroit coneys in tiny form (which we're gonna say still qualifies them as a slider). The no-ketchup rule still applies.
Mana Food Bar (address and info)
These mushroom and brown rice mini-burgs are topped with spicy mayo and not what God gave the Israelites during their travels in the desert.
Filet Mignon & Lobster Slider
Luxbar (address and info)
Near North Side
Sliders are never a classy meal... unless, of course, you make them from filet mignon and top them with lobster and fancy butter. Hard to expect anything less from lunch in the Gold Coast, honestly.
Sriracha Buffalo Chicken Slider
The Slide Ride (info)
Buffalo-style: horrendous for a football team, great for a slider. This pulled chicken in a Sriracha sauce with carrots, celery, and ranch could very well spell the end for Franks' Buffalo dominance.
Double-D Grilled Cheese Slider
The Fifty/50 (address and info)
If sliders existed when we were kids, this is what everyone would've ordered. Fifty/50 has several great choices, but sometimes a simple, itty-bitty grilled cheese is the only way to go.
White Castle (address and info)
Okay, so maybe it's cheating, but a slider list without White Castle is like a slow jams mixtape without Boyz II Men. They're the world's best sliders for approximately 13 minutes.
Colin Joliat is a freelance food and booze writer who loves sliders because they make him feel like a big, strong man. Follow him @FlintSkinny.
1. Sable505 N State, Chicago
2. Beer Bistro North1415 W Fullerton, Chicago
3. GT Fish & Oyster531 N Wells St, Chicago
4. Rockit Burger Bar3700 N Clark St, Chicago
5. Old Town Social455 W North Ave, Chicago
6. The Fifty/502047 W Division St, Chicago
7. White Castle3212 W Addison St, Chicago
8. Mana Food Bar1742 W Division St, Chicago
9. LuxBar18 E Bellevue Pl, Chicago
Sable's a 153-seat dark-hued, brightly lit, open-kitchened dining room and lounge whose haute cuisine-meets-comfort menu is designed to marry with a cocktail program crafted by a Violet Hour alum, who can in turn help you graduate beyond your usual schnapps and soda.
The former Small Bar Fullerton has changed hands, but will remain craft-centric now that it's BB North, a second location for the West Loop bar that flaunts more than 160 taps, and sports a menu aided by the kitchen's smoker, which'll flavor up everything from ribs to wings.
Helmed by Michelin-starred chef Guiseppe Tentori, this fine dining restaurant in River North is the place to go for anything seafood-related. GT serves fish shack-style eats like lobster rolls, fish and chips, and oyster po' boys alongside way more luxurious items like caviar and seafood towers. The beautifully-designed space includes a date-worthy oyster bar and a private dining room with a whale mural. Though Friday and Saturday nights are GT's peak hours, the restaurant has stellar weekday lunch and weekend brunch service.
This is the only time you'll hear "Come see what's between our buns," and not be freaked out. Rockit Burger Bar offers some badass burgers, including gems like the huevos rancheros burger and a chicken breast patty aptly named "The Motherclucker." If you're craycray and burgers aren't your thing, flatbreads and small bites are also served.
Old Town Social is setting out to seamlessly infuse turn-of-the-century elegance into its classic neighborhood bar confines. The upscale, spacious, high-ceiling'ed gastropub is as good a place to watch the game as it is to enjoy a nice dinner out on the town. Nestle up to the marble bar top for front row seats to the flat screens, cozy into the front room's fireplace and sip on signature cocktails, gather a group and dine on a slew of contemporary American share plates (don't skip the mac 'n cheese), and stop by the vintage shoe shine station on your way out, of course.
The 50's a tri-level sports temple serving gluttonous fare like in-house smoked meats (ribs, pulled pork, wings), mac 'n' cheese toppable with everything from chicken to chili, and the "Double-Secret Probation"-esque "Triple Secret:" a tri-meat fatburger with a classified recipe.
Sometimes you just can't beat a boat-load of sliders and fries from White Castle. The chain that made mini-burgers famous started in Kansas but made its way to Chi-town in the '30s. As the story goes, White Castle's first slider was created by accident when a short-order cook slammed down a meatball in frustration. While the greasy originals might have amassed a cult following, the chicken breast sliders are seriously underrated and thus, worth a try.
"Mana" translates to "the life force in nature", and apparently for the creators that force is meatless. Yup, Mana is a vegetarian restaurant in Wicker Park, but it still has a great slider -- it's just made with brown rice and a mushroom burger.