A guide to the best burgers in Chicago. It seems like most Chicago restaurants have a burger on the menu, but these are the best of the best. Some are hidden gems, getting to try others might require strategic planning or waiting for hours.
This list includes restaurants that specialize in burgers and have several on the menu, plus restaurants that have just one terrific burger on the menu.
Last updated: July 2022
The Best Burgers in Chicago:
You might not expect an Asian American restaurant to have one of the best burgers in Chicago, but the Mott Street burger is spectacular. This burger came about after Eater challenged Chef Edward Kim to add a burger to the menu. The result is a burger made with two quarter pound ground chuck patties topped with American cheese, hoisin aioli, pickled jalapeños, dill pickles, butter miso onions, and sweet potato shoestrings. It manages to blend American and Asian flavors and sweet and spicy tastes. This burger has made many lists of best burgers in Chicago and is considered to be one of the best burgers in the country.
*The Mott Street Burger is available at the bar all night but it only served at the tables until 7pm each night.
In addition to the restaurant in Wicker Park, there are two Mini Mott locations that serve the Original Mott Burger, a few extra burgers, plus fries and shakes. Mini Mott is located within the Time Out Market food hall in the West Loop and in Logan Square.
Au Cheval is an elegant diner in the heart of the West Loop neighborhood. This is an example of a restaurant that has one wonderful burger on the menu. You have the option of a single cheeseburger, which is really a double, and a double cheeseburger, which is really a triple. You can add bacon and a fried egg if you like. Fries are a separate order, but they come with mornay sauce, garlic aioli, and a fried egg – making them a must-order. This restaurant is extremely popular and wait times can be up to five hours long. We recommend going for weekday lunch or for a late dinner.
Au Cheval has two Small Cheval locations that serve the burger, fries, shakes, and shots. Small Cheval is located in Bucktown and Old Town.
An absolutely exceptional 10-ounce Wagyu double cheeseburger topped with American cheese, pickles, onions, and tavern sauce. This is a gourmet version of a classic burger. It’s so wonderful that it’s worth its $32.95 price.
The Loyalist is a casual yet romantic neighborhood pub located below fine dining restaurant Smyth. The cheeseburger is the most buzzed about item on the menu at The Loyalist. The patty is made with a blend of short rib, chuck, and bacon. It’s topped with American cheese, charred onions, pickles, and an onion mayo and served on a sesame seed bun with a side of fries.
Three House is the only restaurant on this list that isn’t open for dinner. The hours are 8 am to 4pm Wednesday through Sunday, but the burger is only served from 11 am until close at 4 pm. The burger is a smashburger with cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, and garlic aioli.
Gretel is owned by the same group that owns Little Bad Wolf, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to see the restaurant on this list. The menu at Gretel is a bit all over the place – it has everything from ramen to prime rib French dip – but the burger is something that can’t be missed. The Gretel Griddle Burger is made with two patties, American cheese, red onion, pickles, and garlic aioli – many of the same elements as the burgers at Little Bad Wolf.
Owen & Engine
Owen & Engine makes their burger with Slagel Farms Farms beef topped with a thick layer of caramelized onions on a house baked potato bap bun. You can opt to add cheese. It comes with fries and malt vinegar mayonnaise. This burger makes a case for thicker juicier burgers as opposed to the thin patties and smashburgers that are so popular.
Little Bad Wolf
Little Bad Wolf has a two patty burger, a three patty burger, and a slider trio on the menu. All come topped with American cheese, red onion mayo, and house made pickles. In addition, the triple patty Wolf Burger has bacon, fried onion straws, and a fried egg. And if you get thirsty, this bar serves over a hundred different beers.
3 Arts Club Cafe
This beautiful cafe located within Restoration Hardware has a wonderful classic burger topped with American cheese, pickles, onion, and dijonnaise. This restaurant was originally developed by the same group that owns Au Cheval and this burger is somewhat similar to the Au Cheval burger.
Lux Bar is an upscale bar that is a sister restaurant to Gibsons Steakhouse. The menu has four burgers, and the Lux Royale Burger made with two patties topped with American cheese, caramelized onions, ketchup, mustard, and pickles is arguably the best.
This craft brewery is an ideal place for a burger and a beer. Their burger is made with a thick single patty topped with aged cheddar, sauerkraut, bread and butter pickers, and giardiniera on a sesame bun.
Wazwan is a small counter service restaurant in Wicker Park that serves a menu of casual modern Indian cuisine. The fried chicken sandwich is considered one of the best in the city, but the burger is just as noteworthy. The Duxelle Burger is made with a blend of Angus and brisket that is topped with smoked gouda, mushrooms, Napa cabbage, and fermented scallion aioli on a brioche bun.
Here we have an example of a classic American burger made with high quality ingredients. The single patty is made with Pat LaFrieda blend beef and its dressed with cheese, shredded lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, mayo, and mustard. The Perch lets you choose your cheese – you can opt for classic American or cheddar, but we love to pair this burger with tangy creamy goat cheese.
Kuma’s has locations in Avondale and the West Loop. The restaurant is known for burgers, beer, and the heavy metal music playing over the speakers, so, it isn’t the place for a romantic meal. The menu offers a dozen different burgers, many of which are named after metal bands like Iron Maiden and Slayer.
The Region specializes in Indiana-style griddled burgers. An Indiana style burger is a smashburger that is crispy around the edges and juicy on the inside. Each burger is formed by hand and topped with a mayo-based secret sauce. In addition to six burgers, the menu has all beef hot dogs, a few sandwiches, a variety of fries, onion rings, and fried pickles. Lunch and dinner is served Wednesdays through Mondays.