Chicago may be known for its hot dogs and deep dish pizza, but locals know that burgers are also the unsung food heroes of the city. You can get them grilled, charbroiled, wood-fired, smashed, griddled, and yes – even deep fried. In honor of National Burger Month, we’ve rounded up the places with the biggest, best and juiciest burgers to treat yo’ selves.
Where: Chicago (West Loop)
You’ve likely passed this eatery on the corner of Randolph and Halsted, and wondered if, judging by the line, they are giving away food. Nope, just another average day for Au Cheval, which serves about 500 single and double-patty burgers a day. Named the best burger in America by Bon Appetite, these burgers are all about the way they are dressed: dijonnaise, house-made pickles and optional thick-cut peppered bacon, fried egg or three-ounce slab of foie gras.
Where: Chicago (Avondale & West Loop), Schaumburg and Vernon Hills
Takeout options: Order through the app at Chicago locations
It started as a small hole-in-the-wall burger joint with a cult following in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood. Now that others have gotten wind of it, Kuma’s has spread throughout the city and to the suburbs with three additional locations. With more than 15 gourmet burgers with names like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, it’s hard to choose just one. But simplicity shines in “The Famous Kuma,” topped with Applewood smoked bacon, sharp cheddar, lettuce, tomato, red onion and a farm fresh fried egg.
Takeout options: Order through their website
Made from chuck that is ground in-house every morning and cooked to your choice of doneness over a live fire, the 8oz char burger from Enzo’s packs the perfect punch. Regulars say the best way to order it is “with everything” — ketchup, mustard, pickle, onion, lettuce & tomato. Add ons include cheese (cheddar, American, Swiss, blue, pepper jack), jalapeños, giardiniera, garlic butter, bacon, sautéed mushrooms and a fried egg. Save room for parmesan and truffle salt fries and one of Enzo’s famous $5 milkshakes.
Where: Chicago (Old Irving Park)
Takeout options: Order via Upserve or call 773-916-6421
Also known as the “killer burger,” the OIB, made from a combination of chuck and brisket, is cooked to juicy perfection on a wood fire grill to enhance the smoky flavor. It’s topped with wood fire grilled onions, aged white cheddar, thick-cut wood fired bacon and beer vinegar aioli. Our favorite part? It’s sandwiched in a house made rosemary bun. Old Irving Brewery is also a great place to take kids, as the atmosphere is noisy and there are tons of board games available that can be played at the table.
Where: Chicago (West Ridge)
Takeout options: Call 773-274-7999 for delivery
The Black Hawk Burger was born in 2013 when the Blackhawks were in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The season was not just a win for the team, but also for VPT owner Ivan Resendiz, whose deep-fried burger became famous. Stuffed with American cheese, a secret spice blend and jalapeños, the burger is battered in a homemade beer batter before being dunked into the deep fryer. The patty is topped with avocado aioli, pickles and a bun stamped with the signature VPT logo.
5754 N. Western Ave., Chicago
Where: Chicago (Ukrainian Village & Lincoln Park)
Takeout options: Order curbside pickup and delivery via GrubHub
Open until 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, the Super Ooey Gooey Burger at Fatso’s Last Stand is arguably the best late night eat in the city. The Ukrainian Village outpost takes this burger seriously. Consisting of two smash patties stuffed with cheddar, bacon and giardiniera, it’s finished with lettuce, tomato, onion and Fatso sauce – a thousand island, mayo mixture that’s to-die-for. Insider tip: order a side of cheese spread and dump it on top of the burger.
Where: Chicago (North Center)
Takeout options: Order curbside pickup and delivery via DoorDash, UberEats or call 773-360-8406
Boasting the most unlikely topping for a burger, Elvis’s Last Supper at the Bad Apple features peanut butter. That’s right, a burger with peanut butter. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Featuring house-made peanut butter and thick-cut bacon, this combination is surprisingly delicious and hearty. A close second to this burger is the Even Cowgirls Get the Blues Burger, packed to the brim with malt vinegar and onion jam, bacon, arugula and triple crème blue cheese.
Follow Chicago Parent on Instagram.
This article recently published on May 6, 2019. It has been updated with the most recent information.