Having the word “busy” in your restaurant’s name comes with certain expectations. Opened in 1991–and recently revamped–Little Italy/University Village’s Busy Burger more than lives up to those promises. Fast, jam-packed and with killer menu items (made fresh daily with natural ingredients), its busyness is a no-brainer.
If you go
1120 W. Taylor St., Chicago
Owner Joe De Vito decided to streamline the menu (which formerly featured the Chicago staple Italian beef and other items of that ilk) to focus on the burger. After all, “it’s right there in the name!” De Vito, having been in the restaurant business since he was 14, opened the original Busy Burger at 18. He’s also the owner of celeb-fave Jellyfish.
Efforts to focus on the burger have paid off in spades: The burger stuffed with Wisconsin cheddar, BBQ sauce and bacon is a challenge my husband gladly accepted. I stuck with the classic cheeseburger, which came on a butter-toasted bun and featured an incredibly delicious spicy sauce. (My kids dug their perfectly portioned kiddo meals, but note to self upon our return: the 2-year-old doesn’t enjoy sharing those cheese fries. Order two.)
The “new” Busy Burger is De Vito’s nod to the college vibe of the neighborhood.