WARNING: This post contains graphic images of painfully delicious burgers. May induce involuntary salivating, stomach growling, and in some cases arousal.
It’s simple. Sometimes, you just… need… a burger.
We believe that there really isn’t anything else on Earth that can satisfy you the way that a good burger can. The savory meat seasoned to perfection, the melted layers of cheese, the fresh, fluffy bun – the beauty is almost too much to behold.
As is the case with many classic eats in Chicago, this city doesn’t mess around when it comes to burgers. We created a failsafe (and sexy) guide to the absolute best burgers in Chicago. Some of these burgers are even considered to be among the best in the nation, so rest assured, you’re getting the real deal.
Make it an indulgent bucket list, of sorts, to try out each burger place near you on this list, if you haven’t already. Think there’s another burger in town that we overlooked? Let us know in the comments.
Photo Credit: Bombo Bar
View the Best Sweet Tooth Satisfying Desserts in Chicago
Craving something sweet after having one of these mondo burgers? We’ve got you covered.
415 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60654
The Drop-In, a newcomer to River North, serves a burger that has many talking: the NADC Burger ($16). The NADC Burger is ⅓ lb of Iron Table Wagyu Beef, topped with American Cheese, and finished with onions, pickles, and a secret sauce; consider it the “backyard dad burger,” that fathers would take pride in (and probably stare at the grill for way too long). The simplicity of the burger is one reason why every bite is so flavorful, but adding to the chuck’s flavor is how The Drop In cooks it.
The NADC Burger is a smash burger made by smashing the ground beef onto the grill resulting in a sear on the outside of the meat and locking in all of the juices and flavor. Also, it has its own Instagram account!
1500 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60610
Located in Old Town, 80 Proof gives guests a unique dining-to-nightlife experience with three full bars & delicious burgers to try. The 4C Smash Burger is made with two Angus beef patties, American cheese, lettuce, pickle, red onion, dijonnaise, and a brioche bun. The Plant-Based Smash Burger is made with two plant patties, American cheese, lettuce, pickles, dijonnaise, and fries. For National Burger Month, 80 Proof also offers Free Burger Fridays where diners get a free burger with any beverage purchase starting ar 4 p.m. while supplies last.
Image Credit: LG’s Bar & Kitchen
1525 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60610
LG’s Bar & Kitchen located in the heart of Chicago’s Old Town is the perfect place to enjoy a variety of tasty burgers. The menu includes: Irish Whiskey Burger cooked to order whiskey glaze, caramelized onion, aged cheddar, greens, tomato, brioche bun. Turkey Burger grilled tomato, caramelized onion, herb mayo, butter grilled brioche bun. A customer favorite is the Drive Thru Burger cooked to order: double cheeseburger, caramelized onion, secret sauce, greens, tomato, pickle, brioche bun.
Image Credit: The Dearborn
Voted in the Top 100 Restaurants of 2022 by OpenTable, this Chicago Loop and Theater District hotspot, is known for creating a “melting pot” of flavors throughout their menu. Executive Chef Aaron Cuschieri has created a dinner menu perfect for out-of-town travelers and locals alike, blending traditional American cuisine with new and unique twists. A classic on their menu is the Dearborn Burger made with CDK Farms beef, Wisconsin cheddar, special sauce, dill pickle, bibb lettuce on a brioche bun.
Image Credit: Chicago Burger Company
Treat yourself to one of the juiciest burgers in the city at Chicago Burger Company, located at Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk Hotel. This popular spot offers a variety of delicious beef and alternative burgers, like salmon, turkey and vegetarian burgers, sourced using the freshest, seasonal and locally available ingredients. Guests are encouraged to bring their pups as Chicago Burger Company offers a specialty pup menu featuring the CBC Bark Burger. Come for the burger and stay for the gorgeous views of the Riverwalk and Navy Pier Fireworks.
Photo Credit: Little Bad Wolf
Photo Credit: Theory
9 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654
Known normally as a sports bar and lounge, Theory can also serve up some delicious food. We recommend trying the Hole in One Burger from this restaurant in Chicago. This dish features an egg placed in the center of a patty and is served on a buttery brioche bun. If you’re looking for that bold combination of meat and eggs, this one is surely ‘on par.’
Photo Credit: Owen & Engine
2700 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Mostly known as a British Pub that serves fish and chips, Owen & Engine offers one of the best burgers in Chicago. Made with caramelized onions, chips, malt vinegar mayonnaise and served on a house potato bap, this burger is definitely worth a try, and you don’t even have to get on a plane to get that flavor you crave. What a delight!
Photo Credit: Mott Street
1401 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
This Asian restaurant can really make a great burger. There Mott Burger is made with sweet potato shoestrings, miso butter, hoisin aioli, pickled jalapenos, and American cheese. With this unexpected blend of ingredients, the flavor profile is a unique one for burgers, and we mean that in a good way
Photo Credit: Maillard Tavern
494 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60654
This burger place near you in Chicago won the Hamburger hop contest in 2018 and we can see why. The burger is made with not only beef but foie gras, black truffle pesto, and crispy prosciutto di parma. Any true city slicker will be attuned to the goodness of Maillard Tavern’s City Slicker.
Photo Credit: The Loyalist
177 N Ada St #001, Chicago, IL 60607
Named one of the three best burgers in American in 2017 by Bon Appetit, The Loyalist Cheeseburger will not disappoint. The patty is made of short rib, chuck and ground bacon. Don’t worry, you won’t lose your ‘Merica points for ordering The Loyalist.
Photo Credit: Au Cheval
800 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607
Whether you decide to get a single or double cheeseburger, Au Cheval has long been known as one of the best and most popular burger places near you in Chicago. You can customize your burger by adding an egg and bacon, which is absolutely your prerogative, but these burgers hold their own even as classics.
Photo Credit: Old Irving
4419 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60641
You typically wouldn’t expect a brewery to have the best food but Old Irving Brewing Company’s OIB Burger hits the spot. This burger place near you in Chicago keeps it pretty simple with white cheddar aioli and caramelized onions. Pair it with a craft beer to take your burger experience to new heights.
Photo Credit: The Bad Apple
4300 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
You can find a ton of variety and unique burger options at Bad Apple. One of the most unique and delicious is Elvis’s Last Supper made with bacon and peanut butter. Sounds like a dream to us. (Disclaimer: No Elvis’s were hurt in the making of this menu item.)
Photo Credit: @chicagoburgerbattle
415 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60654
The Signature Swill Burger is definitely The Swill Inn’s most popular menu item and one of the best burgers in Chicago. It includes two Angus beef patties, pimento cheese, pickles and served on a brioche bun.
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Featured Image Credit: Au Cheval