Double Trouble

New sources for Chicago favorites: Pizza and burgers

Lincoln Park's two newest openings, both from former Levy Group chef John McLean, are major players in the comfort-food game.

Urban Burger Bar is of the Kuma's Corner school of hamburger thought (read: piled high). "Stackers" are topping-heavy, like a pork burger with bacon, ham, cheddar, and apple-cabbage coleslaw (The High Hog; $12). Half-pound burgers ($9) can be piled to the ceiling with toppings like caramelized onions, poblano peppers, avocado and arugula for no additional charge.

Buns are soft and buttery, fries are thin, crisp and dark, and the list of craft brews is mostly regional. For dessert: thick shakes ($6), and a granita-like float made with Goose Island root beer ($5).

The centerpiece of Burger Bar's next-door neighbor, Sono Wood Fired, is the mosaic-lined Italian wood-burning oven. Fourteen pizzas emerge from its oak-stoked fire, half rosso (with tomatoes), half bianco (without), and all with a thin, chewy crust.

McLean tasted 25 types of tomatoes before deciding on California pear tomatoes, which make an excellent base for a classic margherita ($13). White pizzas shine too, especially the finocchi, with braised fennel, caramelized onions, goat cheese and mascarpone (pictured; $14).

Other highlights: lightly battered and fried artichoke leaves, served with a tart lemon aioli ($6), and the budget-minded international wine list, with few bottles over $40.

Urban Burger Bar, 1578 N. Clybourn Ave., 312-255-0055 or burgerbarchicago.com; Sono Wood Fired, 1582 N. Clybourn Ave., 312-255-1122 or sonowoodfired.com