Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Chicago Area >
Mar 19, 2007 02:26 PM

Absolute best burger in Chicago?

Can someone please help me find the best burger in Chicago?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. For a great burger at a great price in an unexpected location, try Rosebud Steakhouse, just east of the Drake Hotel. Burger, bun and fries are perfect. Atmosphere is city clubby, but the price is very reasonable, and you'll be super satisfied with the whole experience.

    2 Replies
    1. re: parzakonis

      I've never had their burger, but I'm glad you mentioned this Rosebud. I've eaten there three times, and each time was truly memorable. It's a bit pricey for me, but they give good value for the money. Their bone-on filet is amazing. I'll make a point of trying their burger at lunch sometime soon. Thanks.

      1. re: parzakonis

        If this is anything like the Rosebud next to the Omni Hotel, skip it.
        Bland, poorly made food in large quantities.

      2. I was pleasantly surprised by the burger at Smith & Wollensky. The Rosebud burger was pretty good.

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. I've been waiting for someone to ask this question :)

            A friend and I spent ~1yr dedicated to finding the best burger/cheeseburger in the city. Here's are some of our finds(no particular order):

            1. Beinlich's in Northbrook (cheap)
            2. Grand Luxe Cafe downtown (slightly pricier)
            3. Houston's downtown (attached to a hotel, but great burger)
            4 Green Door Tavern downtown (must try the lil pups appetizer if you go)
            5. Moody's Pub northside 5000-something north broadway i think
            6. Illinois Bar and Grill on Taylor Street - almost too much meat (if that is possible)
            7. Pete Miller's in Evanston (pricey)
            8. Boston Blackie's is okay

            The Rosebud burger won much praise 1-2 years ago and revitalised the burger at downtown pricey establishments. IMHO, that review was written by someone who didn't look far and wide enough to find a good burger, and so settled for what he could find in the loop or thereabouts.

            There is one more place which I haven't been too yet... Top Notch Beefburger on the South Side. I've heard people rave about it.

            11 Replies
            1. re: caliking

              I'm not sure what you mean by "pricey". For example, Pete Miller's charges $8.99 for their excellent burger, and $9.99 for the versions with cheese. That's not INexpensive, to be sure, but it's comparable to or less than most other fine dining venues. For example, Rosebud is $8.95, Gibson's charges $8.50/9.50, and the Saloon charges $11.95.

              The recent Tribune article on the best burgers in town is at

              1. re: nsxtasy

                Rosebud Steakhouse charges $11.95 for their burger at lunch, $12.95 with cheese. Their online menu does not list it at all for dinner. I had heard that they actually weren't real happy about the "best burger" article, as it filled tables with people ordering a cheaper alternative to their steaks and seafood.

                1. re: YoYoPedro

                  Sounds like they raised their price since the Tribune article appeared. That's one way of dealing with the problem you mentioned!

                  1. re: YoYoPedro

                    In fact, Rosebud does offer their burger for dinner. That's one of the things I respect about their restaurant. If f they wanted to get people from order cheaper alternatives all they'd have to do is stop serving it after lunch (like Capital Grille and a bunch of other places do.)

                    1. re: YoYoPedro

                      For dinner service I believe that the burger is found only on the bar menu, and is meant only to be served at the bar.

                      Now, that's no drawback as far as I am concerned. Sitting at the bar, being set up with a white linen napkin "tablecloth" and proper silver, and with the dregs of my ice-cold Gibson in the shaker at arm's length... I'll take that over the County Fair carney scene at Kuma's any day.


                  2. re: caliking

                    BTW, Houston's closed a few years ago, although I will agree that the burgers were good.

                    I'm also a fan of the burgers at the Pepper Cannister on Wells St. - its an Irish bar, but they have very creative food for a bar. My favorite is "The Unrepentant Sinner" which is a burger with, blue cheese, bbq sauce, and green olives. Sounds odd, but its quite good. They have more traditional options as well. Excellent fries too. They're just outside the loop, so convenient for an after-work meal. If you work in the loop that is.

                    1. re: caliking

                      I think Pete Miller's burger is a bargain! Made from Prime beef (trimmings from their steaks) and served up with live music! It's a great deal :) We used to live across the street from there, and it's one of the things I really miss about living there.

                      1. re: caliking

                        Top Notch Beefburgers are not bad - but the best burger, hands down in Chicago is That's A Burger 2134 E. 71st street. Its worth the drive for anyone here in the city. They have turker as well as beef and the chili is better than anything else i have ever tasted

                        1. re: erik c

                          Top Notch burgers are really good. They have another location 2116 W. 95th St.

                          1. re: erik c

                            At last somebody mentioned Top Notch!!! It's like you guys never get south of Chinatown. Top Notch Beefburgers have been The Standard on the South Side and SW suburbs for decades. The Beverly location at 2116 W. 95th is the original, but there's also one in a strip mall on the NE corner of 95th and Cicero Ave. in Oak Lawn and another on 159th St. in Orland Park. However, the Beverly location is still the best. Excellent homemade onion rings and fries, too (second-best onion rings in the city).

                            Hackney's in Glenview and in Palos Park still makes a good burger, ditto Charlie Beinlich's (which also makes great chili) and so does Moody's Pub on Broadway -- but I'll put up the burger at Fox's on 93rd and Cicero in Oak Lawn next to those any day -- and Fox's has THE BEST batter-fried onion rings in the metro area!

                            Now if only I could get a batch of Fox's rings with Top Notch's burger ...

                          2. re: caliking

                            Moody's is a great place to have a burger and a beer in the summer because their patio is great, but I disagree about the burgers. They aren't bad, but they are not tops in Chicago. They are pretty average and sometimes on the overwhelmingly greasy side.

                          3. Moody's is one of my favorites. Especially in the summertime when you can enjoy their beer garden, It's on the Corner of Thorndale and Broadway. More like 6000 N.

                            I just had the *best* patty melt in my entire life at Charlie's Ale House on Clark St. Note: not a burger and not in your typical patty melt way ie. not served on rye bread. But it was fantastic. Juicy and perfectly medium rare. It was like the most perfect grilled cheese sandwich that happened to have the juicest, moist burger inside of it. Homer drool....