In the Windy City, food is taken seriously by chefs and eaters alike. But Chicago food goes beyond it’s famous hot dogs and deep dish pizza. The city is in the middle of a burger craze…they even have their own Burger Fest in the summer.
So the next time you’re on the prowl for a burger that won’t disappoint, consider one of these popular patty-topping combinations.
Edzo’s Char Burger
Eight ounces of fresh ground beef, skillet-charred, sandwiched between a toasted bun, and dressed with ketchup, mustard, pickle, onion, lettuce, and tomato. This describes Edzo’s famous char burger, available just two stops from AMLI Evanston on the Purple Line. While burgers are its namesake, Edzo’s Burger Shop is also renowned for its hot dogs and melts.
Edmond Fig-gerald Burger at The Bad Apple
For a mouth-watering burger full of taste, try the Edmund Fig-gerald at The Bad Apple in the North Center neighborhood. It’s topped with fig and bacon relish, goat cheese (about the size of a hockey puck), and smoked onion. Choose a regular or pretzel bun, upgrade your fries with a number of seasonings, and grab a craft beer from their extensive list. Bad Apple serves all natural ingredients for every item on their menu, they make their own ketchup and pickles, and all burgers are made from hormone free, all natural meat by famed butcher Pat LaFrieda.
Kuma Burger at Kuma’s Corner
Touted by Zagat as “the king of burgers,” Kuma’s Corner in the Avondale neighborhood (with a second location in Lakeview) has huge burgers (seriously big!) with delicious, creative flavors. They name their specialty burgers after metal bands – Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Slayer, and Pantera – to name a few. Long lines are the norm at this heavy-metal themed burger joint, but the wait is well worth it. Try the signature Kuma burger, which was named the top burger in the country by the Daily Meal in 2014, topped with sharp cheddar, bacon, and a fried egg.
M Burger’s Roman-Style Barnyard Burger
M Burger’s secret menu isn’t really a secret anymore. But it still exists, and it’s popular. If you like cheese and meat, indulge to the max by ordering the Barnyard Burger, which centers around a beef patty, chicken breast, and savory bacon. American cheese is melted on the burger at the last minute, before it is dressed up with the works with veggies and condiments. Going Roman-style means the burger will be served to you between grilled cheese sandwiches rather than buns.
M. Burger has several convenient downtown Chicago locations, but the one on Ontario Street is just a five-minute walk from AMLI River North.
40-Day-Aged Prime Burger at David Burke’s Primehouse
For a serious burger, go to David Burke’s Primehouse in River North and try the 40-day-aged prime burger. It’s juicy and full of flavor. Chef Rick Gresh experimented with different stages of dry aging and determined 40 days was ideal for this burger. It’s on a potato bun and topped with all the sides you’d want at a steakhouse: Bacon mayonnaise, pan-fried, garlicky spinach, and crispy shallots.
Acadia’s Specialty Burger
This South Loop restaurant, close to AMLI Lofts and AMLI 900, changes up it’s burger each year, but you can’t go wrong with whatever they have on the menu. Chef Ryan McCaskey’s lastest creation, the Hardee’s Burger, is opped with Gruyere and mushroom ragout. However, as of the writing of this blog, all three burgers are available, but we don’t know how long that will last! There’s the BK Burger, a double patty with double creme Gouda, house-made applewood bacon, special sauce, and garlic dill pickles; And the Original Burger patty is made with chuck, brisket, and Wagyu and topped with bacon-onion jam, and Gruyere. Fans will vote for their favorite and the winning burger will be on Acadia’s menu for the summer.
Monk’s Pub Chili Beer-Cheese Burger
The default option at Monk’s Pub is a half-pound, certified Angus beef burger, but a house-made black bean and quinoa patty option makes its burgers vegetarian friendly as well. Choose the burger of your choice, and ask to have it topped with Monk’s famous chili-and-cheese beer sauce. This sinfully stellar Chicago burger is just a ten-minute walk from AMLI River North.
State & Lake’s Butcher Burger
Another fantastic Chicago burger that can be ordered and devoured within walking distance of AMLI River North, State & Lake Chicago Tavern’s Butcher Burger offers an excellent base that can be tailored to your tastes. The Butcher features an all-natural wood-grilled brisket burger, romaine lettuce, onion, tomato, icebox pickles, and the tavern’s house mayo.
If you’ve got a strong (read: large) stomach, you can double the meat for a few extra bucks. State & Lake encourages patrons to personalize their burgers by choosing from “bells and whistles” that include sunnyside eggs, cherrywood smoked bacon, creamy havarti cheese, and house-smoked brisket. This wood-grilled fiesta comes with your choice of sea salt fries, dressed salad greens, and market fruit.
Rudy’s Mexican Burger
From the strips of chorizo and poblano chiles to the serrano mayo and avocado spread, every ingredient in Rudy’s Mexican Burger is inspired by Latin culinary traditions. The Mexican Burger is only one of several highly-reviewed themed burgers on Rudy’s Bar and Grille menu.
If you’re after size and not flavor, try the much talked-about Challenger Burger. The five-and-a-half-pound burger costs 5. But if you manage to eat the behemoth in one 30-minute sitting, you don’t pay a thing. In fact, you’re rewarded with a 00 gift certificate, a free t-shirt, and space on the wall for your signature.
Hopefully your exploration for the best Chicago burger has just begun. The next time you’re craving a healthy dose of comfort food, reward yourself with the burger on this list that most appeals to you.
Is your favorite Chicago burger on this list? If not, let us know what it is in the comments.
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