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Absolute best burger in Chicago?

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

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  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. 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 http://metromix.chicagotribune.com/di...

            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....

                          1. The best and overlooked burger I've had in years was at The Grill On the Alley on Michigan Ave. I believe it was priced between $10-$12 w/cheese.

                            1. Well, a humble suggestion...

                              It's probably not the best burger in Chicago, but it's a durn good burger in the 'burbs...

                              There's a little burger joint in Westmont called The Onion Grill- it's just south of the Burlington tracks on Cass Avenue. You would not want to choose it for your wedding anniversary dinner - they seat about sixteen - but for a lunch, they have a well-crafted 1/3 lb. burger with a REALLY nice crust and a medium-rare interior, all the necessary trimmings, and it's ... three bucks. Got other nice stuff as well.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: MikeLM

                                my favorite is twisted spoke, on ogden and grand. they have these burgers called "fatboys" and theyre really yummy. i think they consistently get ranked in the top 5 burgers in chicago. cheap too-- under 10 bucks-- with good fries.

                                1. re: elnora

                                  The Spoke does make a decent burger, but a I've never been served my burger the way I ordered it (they can't seem to figure out what 'medium' means). The seasoning was often excessive, masking the flavor of the meat.

                                  About Pete Miller's being expensive, I guess I meant that in a total bill sense (i.e. drinks/cocktails, appetizers, etc). Grand Luxe falls in the same category - you can't hear the description of the molten lava chocolate and not order it!!

                                  If you're feeling flush, I think Grand Luxe is both the better burger and experience (ambience, etc).

                                  1. re: caliking

                                    Regarding getting a burger the way it's ordered, I feel the same way about the "best burger place" as I posted yesterday about the best steakhouse:

                                    "One of the hallmarks of a good steak house, IMHO, is the ability to make a steak *exactly* the way the customer requests it, on the first try. If they can't make it the way you specify, or the way I specify, or the way anybody else specifies, then they don't deserve a great reputation."

                              2. I don't think anyone has mentioned it, but the burger at Sweets and Savories is damn tasty. Made from Wagyu beef, topped with truffle mayo and "duck liver pate", served on an excellent brioche. On Wednesday's it's a steal at $10 (it's normally $17).

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: jesteinf

                                  While $10 might be a good price for a burger with an interesting house mayo on brioche, am I the only person who has an viscerally negative reaction to claims of hamburgers "made from Kobe beef", or even just the idea of Kobe beef being driven through a meat grinder and fried up like chuck?

                                  1. re: tqbf

                                    If it were actual Kobe, I probably would. But it's not. It's American Wagyu, certainly not superior enough to save from the meat grinder. Plus it makes a damn tasty burger.

                                    1. re: tqbf

                                      You have to do something with the meat trimmed off the Kobe steaks, etc. Why not burgers? Only a small percentage of the carcass is going to be the finest cuts. Trust me, they aren't taking the finest cuts and putting them through the grinder.

                                      1. re: tqbf

                                        Chuck isn't a kind of beef, its a cut of beef that comes from the shoulder area. So the Kobe burger isn't just fried up like chuck, it most likely really is chuck - just of a higher quality. I imagine it could be quite good, although I had a "Kobe" burger at West Town Tavern once that I found quite disappointing.

                                        In fact, I wonder what happens to all the lower end cuts from the American Wagyu steers - I bet a "Kobe" pot roast would be great. How about fajitas made from Kobe flank steak?

                                        1. re: wak

                                          Speaking of Kobe beef... some time ago I saw this program on TV talking about exotic/specialty foods where they had this bit about specialty beef in Japan. The cows are bathed, brushed, and massaged by hand in serene, tranquil settings so that they stay calm and happy and grow up to be good steaks. It sounds like a great plan!

                                          1. re: caliking

                                            For a great burger a bit off the beaten path and not really in CHICAGO but in the burbs is Paradise Pups. It is a little stand on Desplaines River Road, no seating inside, just great burgers, cheese fries and shakes.

                                    2. Love the burgers and fries at Blackie's downtown on Monroe!

                                      1. Check out Jury's 4337 N. Lincoln Ave. We used to go there all the time. And on Wednesday nights they have a special on burgers. They have terrific burgers and a very good selection of wines. It's a small neighborhood hangout, but not a dive. Well worth a visit.


                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: sgwood415

                                          I second Jury's. The burgers are not fancy, just really really good. The waitstaff is also really friendly and accomodating; just a nice neighborhood place.

                                        2. Moody's pub wins that distinction EVERY YEAR. It has been around forever. In the summer, there is a great outdoor eating area/beer garden. As an added bonus, it is very reasonably priced, and unlike some of the other mentions, it is very, very informal. I am a local, and I frequent moody's, because I have been to the others, and I think their burger is best.

                                          It is not downtown, and if downtown is what you are looking for, I would suggest Ditka's

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: jkap910

                                            I love Moody's..esp in the summer, outside. A few other places a lil north of there.

                                            1. Poochies (Skokie)...great char burger with the good cheddar and cheap
                                            2. Cross Rhodes (Evanston) Good flavor
                                            3. Wiener and Still Champion (Evanston) Med rare 1/3lb burger and really good fries,,can't beat that.

                                          2. Try Dunlays, on Clark in Lincoln Park (2600 N. Clark). Go on Wednesday, when the special is 1/2 price cheeseburgers w/fries (do ask for the unseasoned fries though). Moody's is good too (5910 N. Broadway), in fact, go to their website (www.moodyspub.com), print a coupon for 1/2 price off the second sandwich, grab a pal, and hang out in the beer garden on a nice warm afternoon. Forget Houston's too...they've been closed for a couple years.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: mrsgus

                                              The Dunlays 1/2 price burger is great- however, if I were to pay full price for the burger I would feel ripped off. The burger tastes great and if you ask they will even grill the onions for you. However the portion of meat served is pretty small.

                                              We go the the Logan Square location.

                                            2. If you're willing to drive out to the NW burbs, try the Bionic Burger (no its not a burger with a mechanical bun) at the Assembly in Hoffmann Estates. Take I-90 past the point where I-90 is no longer lit (Roselle Rd. to be exact) to Barrington Rd. south. It's on the left side at the first light (Hassell Road).

                                              Just remember two things.
                                              1) You need to get the sherry mushroom sauce on the burger and on the side. That's what makes the burger so great.
                                              2) IT'S A MESSY BURGER! With all that sauce, don't be surprised if you need to enlist your fork and spoon.

                                              Happy eating.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: u.of.c. eddie

                                                if u need to use a fork and a spoon, then that isn't a burger.

                                                1. re: nu_sue

                                                  Then it's a brilliantly concocted meal of a half pound hamburger patty, bacon, three cheeses (Sw, Ch, Mz), grilled onions, and a mushroom sherry sauce inside a sesame seed bun or between two slices of marble rye.

                                                  Ignore the fries. They're frozen just like most other places.

                                                  1. re: u.of.c. eddie

                                                    why do places ruin a good sandwich with bad fries???

                                                    1. re: nu_sue

                                                      By the way, went to The Weiner and Still Champ. Got the cheese fries. Fabulous. Would you recommend the Argentinian fries on the menu?

                                                      Lastly, it's too bad they fry the meat products in the same oil as the fries. My wife's a vegetarian and she would enjoy them.

                                                      1. re: u.of.c. eddie

                                                        Yes, the Argentine fries are excellent. It is in the same vein as Cross Rhodes Greek Fries. It is garlic and herbs, tangy, salty and quite addicting. They also have a creamy argentine sauce as well so you can get a cup of that to sample, That is what i get to dip the fries in.

                                                        As for the fries, i like the cheddar fries...the reg cheese sauce is good but nothing like the real merkts cheddar.

                                              2. Poag Mahone's
                                                333 S. Wells St.
                                                Chicago, IL 60604

                                                A client and I have been trying places for almost a year, comparing and contrasting. Poag's is still at the top of the list. Kuma's Corner (after Monday's lunch) and Smith & Wollensky coming in tied for second. Kuma's gets extra points for metal music and general bad attitude (in a good way). But Poag's still wins. Just a real bad location for parking, if you come by car.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: YoYoPedro

                                                  Agreed, Poag's is one hell of a burger. I visit there every time I come to Chicago. I am yet to have a better burger!

                                                2. I actually think Gibson's has one of the best burgers in the city.

                                                  I've found it's very difficult to actually receive a medium rare burger when you ask for it. However, Gibson's gets it right every time.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: poigirl

                                                    these kinda questions really bug the BEJEZUS out of me.

                                                    how can one compare the fine burger @ Paradise Pup against a sit-down steakhouse burger @ S&W?

                                                    not even TOC was able to eliminate all the fine burgers down to "Best" burger. They still divied up the entire burger family into categories such as "fast food", "steakhouse", "dressed up", etc. (not verbatim, but close enough).

                                                    I'm a huge fan of S&S's kobe burger as well.. but I wouldn't turn down a Jury's burger either. Kuma's buns offer more support than a sports bra, but Darwin's burger can't be beat at $3. The list goes on and on.

                                                    1. re: TonyC

                                                      "Absolute best burger" sounds easy enough to understand. If Paradise Pup's burger doesn't stand up to another burger (in someone's opinion), it must not be the "absolute best". It wasn't a qualified "absolute best" that was requested by the OP, it was an absolute "absolute best". Which of those that you mentioned would you say is the "absolute best"?

                                                      1. re: TonyC

                                                        Valid point that afflicts many discussions. The responses mix different categories food products. For the basic burger...I like a char version such as CrossRhodes in Evanston.

                                                    2. Don't know if it's the best, but Horan's Snug in Forest Park makes a fine burger.

                                                      1. I had a most excellent burger and fries at the Park Grill (the inside one) in Millennium Park. Chig Trib had it on their list of the best burgers in 2005. I didn't try their kobe burger, just their regular one. The fries are cooked in tallow - not healthy, but certainly yummy.

                                                        1. The trouble with all these responses is that they don't differentiate between the burgers at burger joints and the burgers at white tablecloth restaurants. Nor the fact that many of the white tablecloths serve burgers at lunch but not at dinner.

                                                          In the white tablecloth category, nobody mentioned my favorite -- Joe's Stone Crab etc.

                                                          In the burger joint category, Moody's is the winner, especially if they're not too busy to grant my 2 usual requests -- grill the onion, toast the bun. BTW, in case you didn't know, Moody's runs a coupon every Friday in both Chicago dailies, offering half off on the second burger. However, it's a bargain even without the coupon.

                                                          1. Not mentioned and my fave: The kobe burger with foie gras on a broiche bun, with arugula and truffle mayonnaise at Sweets & Savories. Go on a wd and it is only $10. Have a side of duck fate frites.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: ljero

                                                              Are they still doing the foie gras on top?

                                                              1. re: leek

                                                                You get a choice of either bleu cheese or "pate".

                                                            2. THE KUMA BURGER at Kuma's Corner on Belmont about 1 block west of Elston: One of the very best! Not your average bar food here. It's served with a tiny pile of warm greens, a fried egg, a light viniagrette, and avocado. Unique and delicious!

                                                              The Celtic Crown on Western just south of Montrose has a very good Pub burger and steak for bargain prices.

                                                              For a great fast food burger try Mister J's on State and Pearson in the Goldcoast or Muskies on Lincoln and George in Lincoln Park.

                                                              I recall a fine burger at Ditka's as well.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: amoncada

                                                                KUMA'S hands down. Yes, you will wait FOREVER for a table but it is so worth it. every burger we have had has been awesome. every burger we have tried so far has been awesome but for favs thus far, my husband likes the Kuma and I like the Kaijo. the beer selection is also rock star.

                                                              2. SideBar on LaSalle, south of Wacker

                                                                1. If anyone said Hackney's I would have--and will--smash my computer. Read about their wondrous concoction and made a trip out there on a Sunday. If you are "known" for your burger how do you profoundly screw it up? Twice. I was pis*ed (not literally). After reading the Trib piece I too went to Rosebud and while everyone had traditional fare, here I am ordering a hamburger. Not too enchanted with the pretzel bun. Overall not my favorite, but a good effort nevertheless. Two little joints out south: Vito and Nick's (definitely not white cloth) and Deja Brew (has a esoteric spice). Oh and a super tiny place: Wonder Burger on Kedzie (southside). Top Notch ain't going to win my Top Notch award.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: Insatiable Pig Porky

                                                                    I have to agree wuth you on the Hackney burger. All my relatives from my mom's side are in Glenview so many family functions tend to gravitate that way, I was dissapointed with their burger and would take a Byron's triple cheese any day

                                                                  2. This is a long thread so Wildfire may have been mentioned. I've had their burger a couple of times for lunch, big burger with a nice and meaty flavor. Maybe not the best in the Chicago area but good.

                                                                    1. I have to say the best burger comes out of the Calumet area of Indiana. Closest to Chicago would be Bloomingdale or Cal City. Schoop's cannot be beat. Fat Willy's makes the closest thing to it. Trust me, take the drive.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: tudorj31

                                                                        Schoop's Hamburgers are awesome! They are located in the south suburbs and Northwest Indiana. The burgers are different in that they are all big and thin with crispy edges. Get a Mickey with bacon and wash it down with a Green River. I go to the one in Hammond on Indianapolis Blvd off of 80/94 near the Cabela's. Started in Hammond (not this location) 60 years ago so they must be doing something right.

                                                                      2. Monk's Pub, on West Lake Street, Downtown, has a very good burger. It's a quiet homey little place under the el, perfect for an after work beer, burger, and handful of peanuts. The shells go on the floor, of course.

                                                                        1. Hackney's makes a pretty great burger. They're a Chicagoland chain so that have a bunch of locations.

                                                                          I haven't had this myself, but I've seen it written up many a time and I hear about it a lot too, but Charlie Beinlich's is supposed to have a fantastic burger. They're located in Northbrook (Northwest suburb 30 min outside of Chicago.)

                                                                          And, this may sound strange but I happen to love the burgers at Cheesecake Factory. They have two; I'm not talking about the factory burger, but the classic one. It is delicious and juicy.


                                                                          Enjoy your burger search!

                                                                          1. For a good family spot, in the western burbs, Alfies in Glen Ellyn, on Roosevelt road is a hidden jem. You step in and think you've gone back to the '70s with the red checked table cloths and dark wood everywhere. They have incredible 1/2 lbers made to order. Better than Hackneys ever was. And, I think the cheesburger with fries is ~$7.

                                                                            For an upscale Burger, in addition to some of the others mentioned, the Weber Grill restaurants is hard to beat.

                                                                            1. The best burger in town is NOT to be found at Uber Burger. The new place in downtown EV.
                                                                              They use an egg bun with cornmeal that stays moist and soft (nice).
                                                                              The angus burger is good but not seasoned and a little overcooked (not so nice).
                                                                              They were skimpy with the grilled onions and cheddar cheese (not nice at all). I got a double bacon cheeseburger. They gave me only one slice of cheese UNDER the patties and a smallish mound of grilled onions on top. The shame is that they charge for the cheese.

                                                                              Also bordering on shameful is the service. There were two servers for eight tables and a counter, and they were constantly behind. I wasn't greeted for about ten minutes and it's a very small place. I think all they need is a runner/busperson and the floor will run much smoother.

                                                                              And for the fries. They're hand cut (nice, kinda) but cooked only once so they get very soft five minutes later and you end up with a pile of mushy fried potatoes that taste faintly of burnt starch. Sorry, I know we're not talking fries here but they are an integral part of the hamburger experience.

                                                                              Therefore, in the town of Evanston, Weiner and Still Champ is still champ. Now they serve fries to write home about.

                                                                              1. The burger at Sweets and Savories is pretty darned amazing

                                                                                I also have to say that I love the burger at Leona's. Yes, Leona's. I think it has something to do with the bun, and they deliver

                                                                                1. Speaking of Leona's - they own HopHaus, on Franklin, where they serve 'zoo food' burgers - ostrich, wild boar, kangaroo, venision, lamb, duck. I've had the boar, venision and roo - all very good, but not quite good enough to jump up and down about. The boar being the best.

                                                                                  The new Paramount Room at 415 N. Milwaukee Ave. has the best burger I've had so far in town (seconded by many mentioned here like The Park Grill's 'Kobe' burger, Hackney's etc.) The Paramount burger is topped with an 'optional, complimentary' hunk of Bourbon cured Foie Gras (in order to be legal) and the meat is grass-fed Argentine. The bun could use a bit more substance and for $16, they realy should throw in some fries (which they charge 6 bucks for!). Still I'd pay 16 bucks for that hunk of foie (if it was legal to do so).

                                                                                  Poochie's and Wiener and Still Champion are my favorite burgers north, Medici's in Hyde Park, my favorite south.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: kiplog

                                                                                    I've been to Hop Haus at Clark & Howard Sts. a couple of time, the most recent being last weekend. I've been impressed with the meaty flavor of the burgers - and the size. I've had to cut the burger (with trimmings) in 4 pieces to eat it, though - and that's just a little too large for my preferences. You can have fries or mac and cheese with your burger and of the two I've enjoyed the mac and cheese the most. Hop Haus also has some good beers, both on draught and by the bottle. The burgers I've had were in the approx. $10 range.

                                                                                  2. Glad to say I've got one no one has mentioned here. My NEW favorite burger is at J. Alexanders on Clybourn. It is a GREAT burger! They cook it on the rare side for those who like that. Comes with mustard and mayo so make sure to say "without" if that's not your thing. Also have really excellent thin cut fries.

                                                                                    P.S. Best "order in" burger: CW Napkin. Good size burger, very delicious.

                                                                                    P.P.S. My favorite USED to be Blackie's on Grand, but that burger is TOO big and TOO rich if you can believe it. I always get bad heartburn after eating it. Plus they have mushy steak fries which I don't like. But if you're looking for a big burger, go there.

                                                                                    I too agree that Houston's used to be one of the best. I miss it.

                                                                                    1. My current favorite "splurge" burger is at Custom House (500 S. Dearborn). A blend of different cuts of beef (and I believe, a small percentage of pork), perfect bun and bacon (both house-made), and incredible house-made steak sauce make for a great burger. It has supplanted Naha for my favorite fine-dining hamburger. It's $14 or $16 (with fries) and worth every penny--and I think available only at lunch. For a cheap burger, Paradise Pup is Des Plaines is still my all-time fave (except for Kua Aina on Oahu's North Shore).

                                                                                      1. Schoop's Hamburgers are awesome! They are located in the south suburbs and Northwest Indiana. The burgers are different in that they are all big and thin with crispy edges. Get a Mickey with bacon and wash it down with a Green River. I go to the one in Hammond on Indianapolis Blvd off of 80/94 near the Cabela's. Started in Hammond (not this location) 60 years ago so they must be doing something right.

                                                                                        1. The best!!!
                                                                                          Paradise Pup. Paradise Pup. 1724 S River Rd. Des Plaines, IL 60018

                                                                                          1. even better is Flub-a-Dub Chubs in Lakeview, on Broadway, between Barry and Wellington...Yes their hot dog's are awesome, but their burgers are the best- 1/2 pounders on a pretzel bun for $6.95.....inconveniently located underneath Monsignor Murphy's so it's easy to miss....but the best...Lakeview's little secret

                                                                                            1. If in the NW burbs, "At the Tracks" makes an awesome burger. Located near the Cary train station

                                                                                              1. Perhaps it's already been said, but the "Moody Bleu" from Moody's Pub and the burgers at Jury's are phenomenal, and a shout out must go to the doublecheez at Billy Goat Tavern, but only if you load it up with plenty of their sliced pickles. I'm soooo hungry now...


                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: parnellsf

                                                                                                  My last visit to Moody's was less than spectacular, it was dirty and the baskets the food was served in had food residue from other meals! The food itself was just OK

                                                                                                  I also agree with swsidejim that Billy goat may the worst of the famous burgers in Chicago. Blackies is just OK, slightly overrated by many on this thread.

                                                                                                  Hackneys however is still the grand daddy of Chicago style pub-burgers and holds a special spot in my heart (not colesterol!) maybe not as the best, but darn good one. I do know that as with many Chicago area institutions location can make a difference and I have found that the original on Harms is still better than the downtown, Wheeling & Glenview locations for example.

                                                                                                  1. re: abf005

                                                                                                    I have not been to the original Hackneys up north, just the location in Palos Park. The onion loaf was good, but the burger just didnt do it for me. Perhaps a road trip to the original is in order.

                                                                                                    As for Boston Blackies, after a couple of bad visits, the most recent being this past Monday, I doubt I will return. Flavorless burger, no pickle spear on the side, and fries are extra. . I have had better burgers at Portillo's

                                                                                                    1. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                      The best burgers up north are found at Mickey Finn's in Libertyville, in my book they are in a league all their own in this category.

                                                                                                2. Best:
                                                                                                  Kuma's Corner

                                                                                                  Boston Blackie's
                                                                                                  Billy Goat

                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                    Whoa, which Boston Blackies did you have such bad experiences at? The one in Naperville makes the best burger anywhere close to us, and is packed all the time - - with a lot of competition nearby. Have been there at least 8 times, with great burgers every time. Sure, fries are extra but the burger is only $6.99.

                                                                                                    1. re: Hensley

                                                                                                      I have eaten at the Chicago locations, and just Monday night the Naperville/Fox Valley location for the second time(very few customers, even for a Monday night.). I keep getting dragged there by people who think their burgers are good.

                                                                                                      Just like my experiences at their other locations, the burger was cooked to the correct temperature(medium rare), but the beef had zero flavor.

                                                                                                      The burger I get, the Corleone(diced olives, and provolone), was $7.49. Like I said I have had better burgers @ Portillo's for $3.50, and much better burgers @ Country House. They did have a good selection of cold beer though. I have given Boston Blackies there last shot

                                                                                                    2. re: swsidejim

                                                                                                      Kuma's burgers are outstanding

                                                                                                      Also fab are the burgers at the Cobra Lounge. Better than Kuma's I think.

                                                                                                    3. Paradise Pup is definetely the best burger in chicago. After seeing it on the food network program Diners, Drive Ins and Dives I was really excited to check it out. It exceeded my expectations, the burger was absolutely amazing and so were the cheese fries with sour cream. Such a cute place with an authentic feel. I had heard the burger at Park Grill on Mich Ave was on of the best, I am gonna say it was even below average. It was totally dry. I think that place is just a tourist trap due to the ice rink location.

                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: nonibear

                                                                                                        I just had the kobe burger at Park Grill a couple of weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised! I expected the place to be a tourist trap bc of the location, like you said, but the burger I had was fantastic. Big, juicy burger with tasty meat, melty gorgonzola and grilled onions on a soft pretzel bun. The sweet potato fries were just ok (my friends enjoyed them, I'm just not a fan), but the burger - fabulous. Maybe you just caught them on an off night?

                                                                                                        1. re: basilb

                                                                                                          yeah basil that was the same burger I had. I didn't like it at all, and trust me I am a huge fan of gorgonzola, i just thought it was so dry...maybe it was an off night !!! :(

                                                                                                        2. re: nonibear

                                                                                                          Remember, there are 2 restaurants there - one has touristy fare, the other is actually decent.

                                                                                                          1. re: leek

                                                                                                            oh - didn't realize that. That explains the discrepancy.

                                                                                                        3. Patty's Diner, on Main St., in Skokie. House-made bun, fresh hand-formed patty, great char on the burgers - and a decent priced-offering. Hands-down the best burger I've had in a very long time in Chicago, or anywhere else.

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: gomexico

                                                                                                            +1 to Patty's. Important to note that Patty actually cooks to your order. In this day and age of so many places insisting on not serving a burger anything less than medium-well to well done it's refreshing to be able to get the burger cooked YOUR way (medium rare for me).

                                                                                                            1. re: Original Kman

                                                                                                              I stopped at Patty's last Sunday late-morning and had one of her char cheeseburgers. Divine! There may be a handfull of places serving-up "best of the best" burgers in the Chicagoland area, but I doubt there's one serving better than Patty's.

                                                                                                              Patty's Diner
                                                                                                              3358 Main St, Skokie, IL

                                                                                                          2. I read the Chicago magazine review of the burger at Duchamp (2118 N. Damen, www.duchamp-chicago.com) and immediately discounted the endorsement, given Chi mag's penchant for plugging its advertisers and places that are "hip" and "now" (read: "loud" and "overrated"). However, after dining at this Bucktown gastropub last weekend with two girlfriends, I have to eat my hat: that review was right on the money. This high-end blend of three meats (including filet mignon) was so appealing that all three of us went for the burger, served with a reasonable portion of pommes frites. The dill bun is the perfectly crusty on the outside, pillowy on the inside. The meat was juicy and prepared correctly to order (rare, in my case). The price -- $12 -- seemed reasonable for a burger of this quality, and is substantially less than most of Duchamp's other items. Really, my only complaint was the restaurant's need to describe one of the accoutrements as "tomato remoulade". I'm pretty sure they meant Heinz ketchup.

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: Kaelin

                                                                                                              The burger at Duchamp used to have some sort of tomatoey mayo-esque substance on it. They may have changed it out for ketchup recently :)

                                                                                                            2. twisted spoke for dine in
                                                                                                              superdawg for a drive inn
                                                                                                              both are great any time of year

                                                                                                              1. Landmark Grill bacon cheeseburger. $14 and worth it.

                                                                                                                  1. Rosebud has a great burger, but I am a HUGE fan of the burger at RL, the seasonings are amazing and the atrmosphere is an added bonus.

                                                                                                                    1. Have the NorthSiders forgotten about the Southport City Saloon?! Served on a kaiser roll(optional) out on the back patio w/ a pint of your favorite ale on a warm summer night...! Man, it just can't get any better than that! Meaty, juicy w/ great fries & a crisp kosher wedge...even in the winter inside by the fireplace...! Man! Almost makes me want to take a drive all the way from my SW side home right now!

                                                                                                                      1. I really like Dublins burger!!!

                                                                                                                          1. MATISSE -tastes great - comes with fries on mon for 3.00
                                                                                                                            THE COUNTER ----kick ass- pricey but a slurge if u luv burgers
                                                                                                                            HAMURGER MARYS----fun atmosphere as well
                                                                                                                            ROAdHOUSE 66- good burgers, tots and fries

                                                                                                                            white castle ---- lol kidding. or am i

                                                                                                                            1. It may not be in the city, and I didn't see a mention of it here, but no mention of Brandt's in Palatine? Where's the love? I used to LOVE this place! Wish I had the time to get there this past week! -mJ

                                                                                                                              1. Rootstock in Humboldt Park has a Black Earth organic burger, bacon-scallion aioli, red onion, tomato, Fiscilini cheddar, w/ mezclun greens & house pickles. It's $9, and cooked mid-rare, is rock my socks amazing.

                                                                                                                                1. Is Miller's Pub still in the city over near the DePaul loop campus? Used to love this place! Wonder if their burger is worth a darn still! -mJ

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. After all these years hearing about how good the burgers were at Charlie Beinlich's my wife and I ate there on St. Patty's day. What a huge disappointment! I ordered the cheeseburger deluxe for $9.50, comes with fries and coleslaw. It was just a plain greasy burger cooked on a griddle. What is everybody talking about? If I wanted a diner burger I could have went to Steak and Shake and not only saved money but I would have gotten better fries. They only have two beers on tap Michelob and Miller. They don't even have a good beer list in bottles. I should of went next door to the hole in the wall.

                                                                                                                                    Charlie Beinlich's Food and Tap
                                                                                                                                    290 Skokie Rd, Northbrook, IL

                                                                                                                                    1. If your looking for something to do on the weekend there's a little place out west of Chicago down Hwy 38 in Creston, IL called "Smoking Harry's. The interior is awful, the seating is lousy but Harry's hamburger was voted Rockford 's best. Be sure to come with an appetite, the burger is huge and if you order fries plan on taking some home. The burger is absolutely the best I've had in northern Illinois. Just don't expect atmosphere and ambiance with your meal. It's quit the dive but Harry has put many years of work into creating the perfect burger and its paid off. If its an excellent burger you seek you wont be disappointed.

                                                                                                                                      1. Very surprised nobody has said DMK Burger Bar at Sheffield and Wellington. The best burger in Chicago in my opinion. I eat a lot of burgers.

                                                                                                                                        Love the #6 with avocado and chorizo. DMK smashes their burgers so they retain their juices

                                                                                                                                        I prefer DMK over Kuma's. Thought the burger was more flavorful and liked the setting better. I don't care for the hard rock they play at Kuma's

                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: wiscowalt

                                                                                                                                          >> Very surprised nobody has said DMK Burger Bar

                                                                                                                                          Almost all of the posts in this topic are from 2009 or earlier, before DMK opened towards the end of that year. So it's not surprising at all!

                                                                                                                                          If it weren't for the age of the posts, the omission of Edzo's would be even more surprising. Edzo's has some of the best burgers on the planet, and they give you a choice between burgers that are smashed down on the griddle, or plumped up for flame broiling. They also have some of the best milk shakes on the planet, and your $4 includes the leftover in the milk shake machine can that doesn't fit in your cup. Edzo's is frequently named as Chicago's entry in various "best burgers in the country" articles in the media*, and deservedly so.

                                                                                                                                          Edzo's is owned/run by Eddie Lakin, whose training is as a fine-dining chef. He wanted to open a restaurant which would permit him to eat dinner at home with his family every night, which is why the Evanston location still closes at 4 pm every day. It's very popular so you can expect to wait a little while in line during the lunchtime rush (and when there's a line, don't take a table until after you've placed your order).


                                                                                                                                          1571 Sherman Ave.
                                                                                                                                          (847) 864-3396
                                                                                                                                          10:30am-4pm Tuesday-Sunday, closed Mondays

                                                                                                                                          2218 N. Lincoln Ave.
                                                                                                                                          (773) 697-9909
                                                                                                                                          10:30am-8pm Tuesday-Sunday, closed Mondays


                                                                                                                                          1. re: nsxtasy

                                                                                                                                            I still don't understand Lakin's reasoning in opening the Lincoln Park location and not having the char-burgers available. I know he claimed the spot couldn't accommodate a flame grill, but that's like opening a steakhouse and only serving one cut of meat. Big mistake. The place is good if small, shakes great, fries awesome, but the char-burger beats the griddled ones (folks, you don't fry a burger -- not ever, not anywhere) any day of the week. Not really worth a visit otherwise.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: wiscowalt

                                                                                                                                            Not a burger expert when it comes to Chicago but I have to agree DMK makes a really good freakin' burger!

                                                                                                                                          3. Illinois Bar and Grill on 47th made some meant and tasty burger too.