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.
'Illinois' on Serious Eats
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.
The latest union between burger and mac-and-cheese: a burger with fried mac and cheese patties for buns, available until October 6 at Rockit Burger Bar in Chicago.
I tried almost every burger at this year's Hamburger Hop, a battle of the burgers between 15 restaurants in Chicago. Check out all the burger action in the slideshow.
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.
The Roscoe Village Burger Fest is still going strong after six years, and as Chicago's current AHT correspondent, I had to check it out last weekend. Head to the slideshow for snapshots from the fest!
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.