If you're looking for a bite in Wrigleyville that's not necessarily jammed with a fist-bumping bro-dawg vibe, Goose Island makes for a good oasis with lots of beer choices and some solid bar food.
The Wednesday burger special is a great value for $10—you get kettle corn, a weekly chef-driven cheeseburger, chips, and a 12-ounce pour of beer—but the execution could use work.
The pigs ears rule! The burgers? Not so much.
If you're in the neighborhood and you're craving a burger, 25 Degrees puts out a reliable option.
If you're interested in experiencing a Japanese and American burger mashup, stop in at Gabutto Burger.
The Anthem's Jucy Lucy is a decent novelty burger worth trying if you're watching a game on one of the projection screens while pounding down malt sodas with your bros, but it doesn't live up to the original Jucy Lucy from Matt's Bar in Minneapolis.
There's something about this little mom-and-pop shop that's charming enough to forgive the averageness of their burger.
The ingredients are solid, but the beef in these burgers is just too dense.
Little Goat's All American burger is good for traditionalists, but if you're willing to explore, definitely try the Korean Burger with a goat patty, kimchi, bacon, fried egg, and spicy mayo.
Order the Ace Burger easy on the bacon jam, and it's one great burger.
Maid-Rite is all about the loose meat sandwich, an interesting regional take on a hamburger that should be experienced at least once.
After I moved into Wicker Park about eight years ago, I would drive by Choppers and see its sign, proudly stating that it was "Home of the Choppak." Every time I passed it, I wondered what the hell a Choppak was. My imagination ran wild. I had visions, imagining that a Choppak was a thing, an amazing food invention involving unicorn meat, rainbow sauce, french fries (everyone loves french fries!), and flakes of pure gold. A few years later, when I finally visited for lunch, I was sorely disappointed to find out that a Choppak is really just a combo meal consisting of a double char burger, steak fries, and homemade coleslaw. Oh well. Can't win them all.
Like Edzo's, Phil's Last Stand serves elevated fast food (with slightly elevated prices), uses skinny patties, and draws deep inspiration from California-style fast food burgers like In-N-Out. But what really makes this burger unique is the smoky flavor. This is a char burger, Chicago-style, in a city where most char burgers are made from frozen pucks of beef.
Back in 2006, GQ's food critic Alan Richman unveiled a list of The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die. Poag Mahone's is seated at #18 on the list, which isn't too shabby for a place who's name loosely translates into "kiss my ass" in Gaelic. And now, I finally have a reason to say "kiss my ass" in a review without getting in trouble. Dreams do come true! Wait, was 2006 really six years ago? Damn, I'm really late with this review.
During my three years of covering Chicago for A Hamburger Today, I had the pleasure of eating an impressive array of the area's burgers. Some were good, some were not so good, and more than a few were simply outstanding. Here's a reminder of the 15 best.
The toppings here are strong, but the beef just can't bring the noise. At least the toppings bring the funk.
All too often, steakhouses serve burgers unworthy of a restaurant thoroughly devoted to beef. At Chicago Cut Steakhouse, that is decidedly not the case. The massive burger, made from a blend of dry-aged beef, is worthy of one of the better steakhouses in Chicago.
Wiener and Still Champion is known for four things: great old school char burgers, an insane collection of fried foods, creative sauces, and stellar fries. The Faux Poutine Burger brings all of that together in one over the top and extremely messy meal.
The reinvention of street food by chefs with a fine dining background continues at The Peasantry, the new restaurant from the team behind Franks 'n Dawgs. The entire menu consists of low-brow classics, from chicken wings to pigs in a blanket to, naturally, burgers. While the lamb burger didn't knock my socks off, the intensely flavorful beef and bone marrow burger is unquestionably a winner.
From the West Randolph Street location to the upscale diner menu, almost everything about Au Cheval is textbook 2012 trendiness. But the burgers, genuine throwbacks to the days before custom beef blends and overindulgent toppings, star some of the best griddled patties to be had in Chicago.