The city that once was a meat-and-potatoes town has evolved into something of a burger-and-fries haven. From griddled masterpieces to massive hunks of locally sourced beef, the burger holds a special place on menus, and you can increasingly find restaurants offering over-the-top assortments of outlandishly topped creations alongside those that like to keep things simple. Here are our top 10 picks for the best in the area, based off your scores in the 2015 Burger Survey.
This is hardly the first time this griddled burger was at the top of a "best burger" list and it won't be the last. Two smashed patties get generously covered in cheddar and Dijonnaise. It's messy but you can't help but keep eating it.
Must-order: Single cheeseburger ($11), which is, in fact, a double.
800 W. Randolph St.; 312-929-4580
This metal-rock burger shop has kept fans satisfied for years with their over-the-top concoctions. From the fiery Slayer burger to the blacked Black Sabbath, they offer "everything you could want in a burger — with a fried egg on top, to boot."
Must-order: The original is topped with bacon, sharp cheddar and a fried egg ($14).
2900 W. Belmont Ave.; 773-604-8769
Quality meat is the key to this gastropub's burger success. Each one starts with a Slagel Farms beef patty that is "cooked juicy and pink in the center, like a good steak," and covered in caramelized onions. It comes with a side of "chips" with an English-inspired malt vinegar mayonnaise.
Must-order: The Slagel Farm beef burger ($16).
2700 N. Western Ave.; 773-235-2930
"The exciting choices make this a fun experience." Think a peanut butter, bacon and banana burger called Fat Elvis and the kimchi-covered Bootleg burger. The rock 'n' roll vibe can get a bit boisterous, but it's all part of this burger bar's appeal.
Must-order: The Warden ($16) rules the menu with a custom beef blend infused with bacon, leeks, garlic and shallots, stuffed with Merkts Cheddar.
1024 N. Western Ave.; 773-451-5625
Have it your way, assuming your way is gourmet with house-ground beef accented by custom seasoning and toppings. Choose from grass-fed beef or American bison with a dusting of "Grandma's onion soup" or "Umami" on an egg, whole wheat or pretzel bun.
Must-order: Personal preferences aside, you can't go wrong with the house beef blend ($9).
1021 W. Armitage Ave.; 773-697-3735
This South Side staple has been serving burgers and fries the same way since 1942. Burgers are "fresh ground and grilled to perfection," then finished a choice of cheese and caramelized onions. Fries take a hot beef-fat bath before being served on the side.
Must-order: The basic beef burger with sharp cheddar ($5) is a timeless classic.
2116 W. 95th St.; 773-445-7218
Guests can opt for the downright gluttonous Affoie to Remember, topped with a foie gras torchon and black raspberry mostarda, or stick with the classic lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and provolone. Bonus: "The beer that they suggested to go with the burger was the perfect combination."
Must-order: Experience the Slow Burn with stout-sautéed spicy chiles and onions, bacon and white cheddar ($11).
4300 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-360-8406
Will it be a single, double or triple? Either way, Edzo's satisfies with "simple burgers that taste great, and [are] not at all expensive." Each is ground fresh each morning and griddled to perfection with a finishing touch of ketchup, mustard, pickle and onion.
Must-order: The four-oz. griddled burger with everything ($5).
1571 Sherman Ave., Evanston; 847-864-3396
Whether it's late-night or afternoon-snack time, guests "couldn't ask for anything better" than these perfectly cooked and seasoned burgers, which can be ordered single or double and topped with cheese or a fried egg.
Must-order: Single Fatso with cheese, which is served a toasted bun and includes Fatso sauce, lettuce, tomato and a choice of grilled or raw onions ($5).
2258 W. Chicago Ave.; 773-245-3287