The 10 Best Burgers in Chicago

The beefiest crave-worthy American classics around town

April 2, 2024 6:36 am
burger with knife stabbing through the middle

Choosing a list of top burgers is no easy feat. Sure, there are plenty of spots that are widely known to be among the best restaurants for beefy burgers dripping with fried eggs and cheese. But there are also some under-the-radar hangouts serving handcrafted burgers with inventive toppings, as well as perfected tried-and-true flavor combinations. Smashed or griddled and topped with layers of cheese, pickles, aioli and more, here are our picks for the best burgers in Chicago.

Little Bad Wolf


When you’re in the mood to truly indulge, Little Bad Wolf has you covered. Part beer and whiskey bar, part burger and taco joint, LBW has been consistently griddling burgers that are worth a trip to the north side. Opt for the Bad Burger with two patties, two slices of American cheese, red onion mayo and house-made pickles. A side of mac and cheese is an unconventional but delicious pairing, while LBW’s thin-cut fries prove bigger isn’t always better.

1541 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.

a burger topped with pickles and cheese
Mott Street
Mott Street

Mott Street

Wicker Park

Chef Edward Kim’s Asian American fare has been enticing hungry Chicagoans for the last decade — and while we’re still mourning the loss of Mini Mott and Second Generation, you can enjoy Mott’s Street OG burger. Taking a bite of the Mott Burger sets off an umami bomb in your mouth, thanks to the miso butter onions and showstopper hoisin aioli, plus two chuck patties. This burger’s also loaded with plenty of crunch from sweet potato shoestrings, pickled jalapeños and dill pickles. A gooey slice of American cheese binds everything together on the soft brioche bun.

1401 N. Ashland Ave.

Au Cheval

West Loop

Au Cheval firmly holds a spot on every best burger list for good reason. Sure, it’s a tourist attraction, and there are plenty of other standout dishes on the menu, but the real appeal are the cheeseburgers. The single cheeseburger (which actually features a double patty) is a must-order, topped with thick-cut, maple-glazed and black pepper bacon, a fried egg and plus Dijonnaise. Pair it with a side of fries and their addicting garlic aioli for dipping. Plus, with several Small Cheval spinoffs in the city and suburbs offering a similar take on the classic Au Cheval cheeseburger,  you don’t always have to wait hours for your burger fix.

800 W. Randolph St.

The StopAlong


With two locations, one in Bucktown and a newer locale in the former Boiler Room space, you have double your chances of enjoying The StopAlong’s double patty smash burger. The nostalgia-heavy spot is the perfect backdrop for enjoying The Stop-In Burger with two thin and crispy-edged patties, American cheese, caramelized onions, pickles, lettuce, tomato and special sauce on a brioche bun. If you want the full experience, pair your massive burger with a side of Animal Style fries, topped with thousand island dressing. 

1812 N. Milwaukee Ave.

The Loyalist

West Loop

Beneath the three Michelin-starred Smyth, you’ll find a dark, more casual hangout known for its burger. But husband and wife team Karen and John Shields put a Michelin-level of craft into their burger all the same. The Loyalist OG Cheeseburger’s sesame seed bun canvas is unique compared to other well-known burgers in the city, and it’s topped with a single chuck and short rib patty, trio of pickled and charred onions, onion aioli, two slices of American cheese, pickles and a secret “beef sauce.” Each order comes with a hefty serving of house-made frites.

177 N. Ada St.

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Community Tavern

Portage Park

This husband-and-wife-led neighborhood spot has been serving drool-worthy dishes for nearly a decade, including its take on a classic double cheeseburger. Community Tavern’s version uses two hearty patties sandwiched between melted American cheese and topped with caramelized onions, pickles and a secret “Community sauce” on a brioche bun. Upgrade your fries to the Kim-Cheese Fries with kimchi, Merkt’s cheddar and scallions.

4038 N. Milwaukee Ave.

BiXi Beer

Logan Square

While Owen & Engine shut its doors last year (RIP), you can still get its signature burger weekly at Bixi Beer: Chef Bo Fowler brought back the burger as part of a residency at her Asian-inspired brewpub. The ground-in-house Slagel Farms patties are topped with caramelized onions and malt vinegar mayonnaise and served on a house-made bun with a side of fries.

2515 N. Milwaukee Ave.

burger with lettuce, tomato, cheese, stick in the middle, side of fries
Butcher & The Burger
Butcher & The Burger

Butcher & The Burger

Lincoln Park

This neighborhood butcher-shop-meets-burger-counter has been crafting house-ground burgers since 2011. Here you’ll find a menu that allows you to build your own burger creation with your preferences of proteins and toppings. Opt for the house blend prime beef burger with classic toppings, including lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles, or level up with premium toppings like BBQ pork belly and black truffle mayo. 

1021 W. Armitage Ave.

burger with egg inside
Bianca’s Burgers
Bianca’s Burgers

Bianca’s Burgers

Ukrainian Village

What started as a stall inside Revival Food Hall has led to a second flagship location in Ukrainian Village. One of the top sellers at this brother and sister-backed restaurant is the towering double bacon burger with two smashed beef patties that’s loaded with grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, pickle, mayo, mustard, cheddar and bacon. Another favorite burger is the Memory Lane burger, a nod to the Big Mac with its usual toppings (lettuce, tomato, raw onion, pickles, American cheese), plus thousand island dressing 

2525 W. Division St.

Redhot Ranch


When you’re in the mood for a no-frills burger, Redhot Ranch has you covered for far less than most of the burgers around town. Three locations of this Chicago institution, from the north to the south and west, are griddling double cheeseburgers with all the fixings. For about seven bucks, you’ll get two griddled beef patties with caramelized edges, melty cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, special sauce and a side of house-cut fries. 

3057 N. Ashland Ave.


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