Chicago knows its meat.
And we know a good burger when we see one. There are so many around town that it was hard to narrow down our favorites.
We narrowed it down to seven, which range from all-American classics to chef-driven marvels. Here, in no particular order, are the patties we'd like to sink our teeth into.
① Au Cheval in West Loop
Despite its name, the Single Burger ($11) is stacked with two juicy griddled beef patties and smothered in melted cheddar. When asked if you'd like to add a fried egg and thick-cut bacon, the answer is always "yes."
② Dusek's in Pilsen
Inspired by an iconic Minnesota burger, Juicy Lucy ($14) is a colossal cheese-stuffed beef patty topped with butter lettuce and preserved tomato, nestled on a pretzel bun, slathered in red onion-bacon marmalade and paired with supremely rich duck fat fries.
③ Owen & Engine in Logan Square
A ground chuck, short rib and brisket blended patty so delectable that the only accoutrements necessary for the Slagel Farm Beef Burger ($14) are caramelized onions and a pillowy house-made potato bap. No wonder it's a cult favorite.
④ Kuma's Corner in Avondale
Caramelized onions, pancetta, Brie and bourbon-poached pear top Kuma's signature patty. The Lair of the Minotaur ($14) toes the line between sweet and savory and goes great with a cold beer and a "rock on" attitude.
⑤ DMK Burger Bar in Lakeview
#2 ($9) is a grass-fed number with a serious heat factor (hello, chili-rubbed onion strings and chipotle ketchup) that's balanced with funky Amish blue.
⑥ Portillo's in Lincoln Park
Always made to order, what this under-the-radar charbroiled Double Burger ($7) lacks in glamour, it makes up for in unadulterated all-American appeal. Order it fully loaded and wash it down with a chocolate cake shake.
⑦ Nightwood in Pilsen
With two wood-grilled patties, eight-year-aged cheddar, onion rings, pickles, mustard, a garlicky "special sauce" and a sturdy ciabatta bun, the jaw-unhinging Nightwood Cheeseburger ($16) delivers flavors as profound as its mass.
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