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Gordon Ramsay Burger
Photograph: Zach Long

8 things to expect when you dine at Gordon Ramsay Burger

The celebrity chef’s River North restaurant delivers solid burgers (and dawgs) with some British flair.

Zach Long
Emma Krupp
Written by
Zach Long
&
Emma Krupp
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Chicago is a city that already boasts some amazing burgers, but that didn't stop Gordon Ramsay from opening a River North restaurant that specializes in stacks of beef. Since it opened in December, Gordon Ramsay Burger has been introducing local diners to the British chef's take on a dish that has become nearly synonymous with American cuisine. “There’s something quite unique about a competitive city that houses so many great gourmet burgers,” Ramsay told Time Out Chicago in a recent interview.

We stopped by Gordon Ramsay Burger to put the TV chef's culinary creations to the test—including a hot dog that he's stubbornly decided to serve topped with Chicago's least-favorite condiment. Here are a few things that you should know before you sit down inside of Ramsay's first Chicago restaurant.

The loaded burgers are good—and a little expensive

You can’t go to a place called Gordon Ramsay Burger without trying the burger—and with a thick, flavorful patty, slightly seared edges and tons of topping options, the restaurant’s signature dish doesn’t disappoint (we were especially fond of the saucier variations, like the blue cheese, onion and aioli-smothered Blue Cheeseburger). Even so, at $15–$19 a pop, it’s definitely one of the pricier burgers you’ll find in Chicago, so budget accordingly.—Emma Krupp

The menu boasts some British touches

From the slab of Stilton atop the Blue Cheeseburger to the UK-based brand of gin (from Hepple Spirits) used in some of the cocktails, Ramsay's British roots are on display throughout his burger joint's menu. The influence sometimes goes beyond mere ingredients and extends to the recipes that the restaurant prepares, including kettle chip nachos that are drenched in an English cheddar sauce (very different from the Velveeta-based sauce you'll find on Tex-Mex fare) and a sticky toffee milkshake that replicates the flavors of the popular English dessert. There's a Union Jack flag hanging over the kitchen for a reason!—Zach Long

Gordon Ramsay Burger fries
Photograph: Zach Long

Fries are NOT included

You might imagine that a $15-plus burger might come with a side or two to warrant the price. Think again! Fries delivered in a Euro-style cone will cost you another $7–$10, whether you opt for “Just fries” that are accompanied by both chipotle and regular ketchup, or the more luxe truffle fries.—EK

You can commemorate your meal with souvenirs

Big Gordon Ramsay fans will be pleased to discover a miniature gift shop lining one of the restaurant’s walls, where you can score everything from Ramsay's various cookbooks ($32) to T-shirts emblazoned with the chef’s face (a fairly reasonable $25), if you’re into that kind of thing.—EK

Gordon Ramsay Burger hot dog
Photograph: Zach Long

The hot dawg is pretty good (and ketchup is optional)

People raised a bit of a fuss when Ramsay began serving a hot dog at his River North restaurant dressed with an ingredient that's traditionally omitted from Chicago-style hot dogs. That's probably why our server made a point of asking "Do you want everything on it?" when we ordered the Standard Dawg, a not-quite-foot-long dog that comes on a sesame seed-coated bun that's topped with onions, mustard, sweet pickles and housemade ketchup. The hot dog itself has a great snap and tasted appropriately beefy, and I could barely taste the ketchup. The only questionable ingredient is the sweet pickle chips tossed atop the condiments—relish or a dill spear seem like a better fit.—ZL

Your bill will be more than $20 per person

Gordon Ramsay Burger might be fast casual, but you won’t find much in the way of budget eats on the menu. Unless you’re not very hungry and are willing to split a hot dog with your dining partner, expect to spend north of $20 per person, and potentially even more when you tack on drinks and sides.—EK

Gordon Ramsay Burger
Photograph: Zach Long

There’s a bar equipped with TVs

While it serves some respectable pub grub, Gordon Ramsay Burger isn't a sports bar... though it does boast a sizable bar with TVs that were tuned to the Bulls game during our visit. If you're looking for something a bit more subdued than the typical River North taverns festooned with flat screens, Ramsay's restaurant isn't a bad place to have a beer and an onion ring tower while cheering on your favorite Chicago teams (and maybe watch some Kitchen Nightmares in the off-season).—ZL

The place feels a little like a Gordon Ramsay shrine

I mean, his name is on the door (and all the menus, and the coasters, and the glasses), but I wasn't prepared for exactly how much the fact that this is a Gordon Ramsay restaurant would be reinforced during my visit. We were seated at a table near the bar, which is overseen by a gigantic photo of Ramsay. Whenever I looked up from my meal, Ramsay was gazing back at me with a smile on his face. I half expected to hear recordings of him yelling piped over the sound system.—ZL

Gordon Ramsay Burger
Photograph: Zach Long
Gordon Ramsay Burger
Photograph: Zach Long
Gordon Ramsay Burger
Photograph: Zach Long

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