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10 Must-Try Secret Burgers in Chicago

By Sarah Freeman
August 26, 2014

We've got a secret that involves a bun, beef and the ability to make all of your dining companions very envious. It's the most elusive off-menu burgers around Chicago, reserved for the chosen few who know to ask for them. Time to spill the beans on these sacred patties.

25 Degrees

The last name of owners (and 30 Under 30 honorees) Mac and Joe Boumaroun provided inspiration for the Boom Burger, a sirloin burger with smoked mozzarella and burrata cheeses, portobello mushroom, red onion, arugula, garlic Parmesan aïoli and roasted tomatoes and red pepper.

Price: $12

III Forks

When a steakhouse does an off-menu burger, you know they're not skimping on the beef. Chef Billy Caruso uses a 10-oz. certified Angus beef patty for his "Grand Daddy Paddy Melt.” It's covered with Hook's five-year white cheddar, fried red onions, crispy pork belly and saffron horseradish mayo and served on toasted marble rye.

Price: $25.95 

Lillie’s Q

Added to the secret menu after Rachel Ray could not stop raving about it at South Beach Food & Wine’s Burger Bash, The Q Burger starts with two thin griddled beef and pork patties. The meat is slathered in housemade pimiento cheese, chow-chow, collard greens, tomatoes and red onions.

Price: $12.00.


M Burger

Did you know that the secret burger menu at M Burger is longer than the regular menu? It's neatest trick: ask for any burger “Roman Style” to get it served up between two grilled cheese sandwiches.

Price: Add $2.25 to burger cost

M Burger recently spilled the beans on its entire secret menu, the meatiest of which is the Barnyard Burger. It contains a burger patty topped with a chicken breast and finished with bacon. This mountain of meat is served with lettuce, pickles, onions, American cheese and special sauce.

Price: $5.29

Municipal Bar + Dining Co.

Ok, it's not quite a burger, but we can't resist: the Cuban slider was created as a by-request-only menu item. Roasted pork, ham and Swiss cheese and topped with pickles, mustard and mayo on toasted Cuban bread. Each order comes with two sliders.

Price: $8

Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse

Though it's hardly a secret anymore, this cult classic at Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse, served at the bar after 10 PM only, is a bacon cheeseburger served on two slices of garlic bread and slathered with blue cheese fondue.

Price: $19


Rockit Burger Bar

This burger comes with a challenge — can you finish it? The Cinco burger is made with five, count ‘em, five patties, each with a slice of habanero cheese. The burger is topped with lettuce and tomato on a brioche bun with a side of fries. Rise to the challenge and be rewarded with a specially designed T-shirt.

Price: $21

For those who prefer heat in their meat, the Wrigleyville burger bar has a second off-menu burger called The Punisher. A ghost chile pepper-infused Black Angus patty provides the first layer of heat, while a jam topping made with more ghost pepper and grapefruit adds extra scorch. It's served on a toasted pretzel bun with a side of fries and a waiver.

Price: $12

Stout Barrelhouse & Galley

The Stoutastic Classic is a massive, diner-style burger that consists of two quarter-pound beef patties seared on a flat-top and served with lettuce, tomato, special sauce and fries. Order it to show your friends how in-the-know you are, and also how much of a burger-eating beast you can be.

Price: $12

Places Mentioned

III Forks

Steakhouse • The Loop

Food23 Decor24 Service23 Cost$62
M Burger

Burger • Streeterville

Food20 Decor11 Service19 Cost$10
M Burger

Burger • Magnificent Mile

Food20 Decor11 Service19 Cost$10
M Burger

Burger • The Loop

Food20 Decor11 Service19 Cost$10
M Burger

Burger • River North

Food20 Decor11 Service19 Cost$10
Lillie's Q

Barbecue • Wicker Park

Food24 Decor20 Service21 Cost$28
Municipal Bar + Dining Co.

Sports Bar • River North

Atmo.- Decor- Service- CostM
25 Degrees Chicago

Burger • River North

Food24 Decor20 Service21 Cost$30
Stout Barrel House & Galley

American • River North

Food24 Decor22 Service23 Cost$37
Rockit Burger Bar


Food22 Decor18 Service20 Cost$25
Michael Jordan's Steak House Chicago

Steakhouse • Magnificent Mile

Food23 Decor22 Service23 Cost$56
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