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Photograph: Anthony Tahlier

Battle of the Burger's best burgers

We got your votes for the best burgers in Chicago. Meet the best burgers in town, as voted by you guys!

Written by
Elizabeth Atkinson
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Just about a month ago, we invited you to vote for the best burger in the city. Now, we're presenting you with the contenders, from fine dining burgers to the best new burger on the scene, as decided by our readers. These will duke it out at our Battle of the Burger on Monday, July 25 at the Museum of Contemporary Art. You'll get to try them all out, cast your vote for the very best burger, drink some Guinness Draught and Guinness Blonde and maybe even check out some of the museum's awesome art installations and a silent disco during the 8–10pm session. Check out our list and see if your favorite rose to the top.

RECOMMENDED: Our guide to the Battle of the Burger

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Near South Side
  • price 4 of 4

With three cuts of beef (chuck as the base, brisket for juiciness, Wagyu scraps for fat), two types of cheese (Gruyère, Mornay sauce) and a bottomless reserve of umami (bacon-onion jam, house-made pickles), it's clear this burger has been obsessed over by chef Ryan McCaskey. All those delicious details are what make diners obsess over it, too. $18. —David Tamarkin

  • Bars
  • Gastropubs
  • Lake View

This is a burger that you truly can't set down for a few reasons. It's on a biscuit, making any chance of reassembly nearly impossible and it's also probably the cause of your impending heart attack. Topped with Merkts cheese, two fried onion rings, red onions, caramelized onions and pickles, it's a mouthful, but it's also the ultimate comfort burger. $10. —Elizabeth Atkinson

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Ground Bacon Burger at Bottlefork
  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • River North
  • price 2 of 4

“It’s 70-percent beef, 30-percent bacon,” our server proudly proclaimed of the patty. Honestly, I couldn’t care less whether the bacon infusion was responsible for the patty’s dripping juiciness or distinct umami flavor. All I know is, the burger, topped with micro shoestring potatoes, pungent blue cheese and a “special sauce,” is eyes-roll-back-in-your-head good. — Laura Baginski

Natural & Local House Blend Beef at Butcher & the Burger
  • Restaurants
  • Hamburgers
  • Lincoln Park
  • price 1 of 4

Allen Sternweiler’s adorable burger joint doubles as a butcher shop. It’s a DIY affair: Customers pick their meat, bun, spice rub and toppings before the burger is made to order. If you stick to beef, go with “Grandma’s onion soup” rub and flank your burger with an order of the accomplished fries—you’ll be glad you did. Tack on a scoop of the house-made custard, and you’ll be even happier.

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Double Cheeseburger at Community Tavern
  • Restaurants
  • Pan-Asian
  • Portage Park
  • price 2 of 4

There are two burgers on the menu at Community Tavern, the bacon cheeseburger on the bar menu and the double cheeseburger on the dinner menu. Order the double cheeseburger, because while it (appropriately) doubles in price, it's leaps and bounds above the bar burger. With two beef patties, Hooks cheddar, pickles, caramelized onions and a side of house frites, it's bigger and well worth the extra scratch. $16. —EA

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  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Lake View

There are five burgers on the menu at this Midwestern spot—the Classic, the Barnyard, Three Sisters, Harvest and Trippel. They range from the weird (the Three Sisters has popcorn on it, giving it a crunch not normally associated with burgers) to the expected (the Classic boasts lettuce, tomato, onion and cheddar). Regardless of which one you pick, the burger will be cooked nicely, and you'll leave pleased. $13-$16. — EA

  • Restaurants
  • Hamburgers
  • Loop
  • price 1 of 4

When DC Top Chef alum Spike Mendelsohn opened the first Chicago outpost of his casual burger joint, he airlifted the menu straight from DC. That explains the name of the Prez Obama burger, which made its Chicago debut last fall when it won the Hamburger Hop contest at Chicago Gourmet. And this is a winning burger—it hits all the right notes and textures, from sweet onion marmalade to salty bacon to sharp Roquefort and pungent horseradish mayo.$7.25. —Amy Cavanaugh

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  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Streeterville
  • price 2 of 4

Cultures collide to make this burger great: Kimchi (Korean) provides the acidic bite, pickle aioli (French) offers creaminess, Gouda (Dutch) lends it a gooey, smoky flavor and the patty (we’re gonna go with American) is perfectly cooked. Hooray for globalization. —LB

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Logan Square
  • price 2 of 4

Double patties are a constant throughout this list, but the cheeseburger at Johnny's Grill departs from thin patties and instead stacks two medium patties with cheddar cheese dijonnaise, pickles and onion. It's a traditional diner burger, but with a bright saltiness that brings out the best in those huge hunks of meat. $9. —EA

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Ukrainian Village
  • price 2 of 4

Serving brunch by day and burgers by night, Whisk is a spot from brothers and chefs Rick and David Rodriguez. It's bright and lively with a sunny atmosphere—and the patio is littered with Ron Swanson memorabilia. Try the Chicago Avenue Burger, two thick patties topped with brisket, LTO, pickles and an onion ring.

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