Chicago is home to dozens of superlative burgers.
But we maintain that the best burger in town is the one you cook and customize at home.
The Burger: Publican Quality Meats sells its burger blend in preformed, frozen patties ($8 per pound). Coarsely ground local beef is flavored with porcini mushroom powder for extra savor. These half-inch-thick specimens need only minutes on the grill or in a hot cast-iron pan to reach an ideal temperature of medium.
The Condiments: Snag piquant pickled red onions or pickled green chiles from Little Goat Bread ($5 each), available at its Randolph Street. and French Market locations.
The Cheese: Torn between the merits of a cheddar or a blue? Hit Pastoral's French Market counter for Red Rock, a Wisconsin cave-aged cheddar with blue veins ($24 per pound).