Let’s face it – the Windy City’s isn’t exactly famous for its health food. After all, this is a town where famous foods include deep-dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs without ketchup.
As the weather cools and more people seek comfort food, warm up at one of the city’s most well-known burger spots. Order a side of fries, loosen your belt and prepare to slip into food coma. Here are a few places to try.
Au Cheval | 800 W. Randolph St., West Loop
Located on Randolph Street in the city’s “restaurant row,” people wait for hours to try the burger, which was named best in the U.S. by Bon Appetit. It’s no-frills — two griddled patties, Kraft American cheese, Dijonnaise and pickles – but the end result is awesome. Add a fried egg and thick-sliced bacon and start loosening your belt.
Billy Goat Tavern | 430 N. Michigan Ave. (lower level,) The Loop
First-timers to Chicago should add a stop here to their must-do lists not only for the food, but for the iconic atmosphere. Established in 1934 and made even more famous by a “Saturday Night Live” skit, you’ll find simple single, double or triple cheezborgers on kaiser rolls. And remember, there’s, no Pepsi, just Coke. And there’s no fries, just cheeps.
Johnny’s Grill | 2545 N Kedzie Blvd., Logan Square
After being shuttered, the Logan Square diner reopened last year with new, foodie-inspired items, but long-time favorites such as the double cheeseburger are still a staple. Johnny’s version layers two patties with sharp cheddar, Dijonnaise and a mound of sweet pickles.
Kuma’s Corner | 2900 Belmont Ave., Avondale
The heavy-metal-themed burger bar has made a name for itself by offering patties with creative topping combos. There’s a rotating burger of the month (November’s the “sleep burger,” a turkey burger with a tempura fried stuffing patty, gravy, cranberry jelly and fried sage.) Not feeling adventurous? Opt for the original Kuma’s burger with bacon, sharp cheddar and a fried egg.
DMK Burger Bar | 2954 N. Sheffield Ave., Lakeview
Since 2009, this this restaurant/bar has served grass-fed burgers of almost every kind – beef, turkey, even salmon and lamb. The creativity also extends to the fries, which can be topped with parmesan and truffle cream or lemon tobacco aioli. Themed specials are also regularly added to the burger offerings.
Lockdown Bar and Grill | 1024 N. Western Ave., Ukrainian Village
Here’s another place where loud music and beefy burgers combine. Choose a craft beer and a gourmet burger where the toppings run the gamut. Your options range from the savory Lockdown Warden — a beef patty with bacon, leeks, garlic and shallots in the mix and stuffed with Merkts Cheddar – to the sweet Fat Elvis, where the burger is topped with bacon, peanut butter and carmelized banana.