Edzo’s Burger ShopThe small storefront is modeled after a greasy-spoon burger shack, but owner Eddie Lakin grinds his own meat—sourced from Slagel and other local farms—to make a thin-but-rich cheeseburger that melts into its soft bun. 2218 N Lincoln Ave (773-697-9909); 1571 Sherman Ave, Evanston (847-864-3396).
DMK Burger Bar Creative (but never overdone) toppings make these smashed-patty burgers sing; try the No. 4, with roasted hatch green chili, Sonoma Jack cheese, smoked bacon and a fried egg. For $3, make it a double. 2954 N Sheffield Ave (773-360-8686).
Epic Burger Bye bye, burger coma: Epic’s thin patties are the perfect portion. Punch up your lunch with add-ons like horseradish Havarti, buttermilk blue or one-year-aged cheddar. Better yet, the ingredient-conscious local chain bans anything with hormones, antibiotics, preservatives, nitrates and a ton of other scary words. Multiple locations.