We are suckers for a good burger—which means we eat a whole bunch of them. Here we lay out our new favorites from all over the city. And since we don't know how to stop there, you’ll also find truly amazing fried chicken sandwiches, BLTs and hot dogs to round out the list of the best sandwiches of 2016 (in no particular order).
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Chef Pete Coenen puts the core ingredients on a slice of tender brioche and tops them with Gruyère and tomato jam. The egg and cheese keep the sandwich savory, while the ham-jam combo provides a welcome blast of sweetness. $13.
You’ll love everything about this burger. It comes on a hearty brioche bun with a big tender patty, cheddar, pickled onions, a huge tomato slice and special sauce—and it’s the kind of burger that will have juice running down your arms. Dig into the delicious chips (fries) that come on the side: They’re soft in the middle with a nice crunch on the outside and make for the perfect sidekick. $15.
The Budlong is shaking things up in Chicago’s Nashville Hot Chicken scene, and their fried chicken sandwich is one we hope will become a permanent local staple. It’s available in different spice levels (we prefer the classic—just a bit of a kick but nothing too crazy) on a brioche bun with roasted garlic aioli and coleslaw. The shattering crunch of the skin combined with its juicy meat has us hooked. $12.
Served with a side of fries, Finch’s delicious burger consists of two griddled beef patties with just the right amount of char, bread and butter pickles and a malt aioli. The bun is toasted, making this burger one that’s hard to set down once you pick it up for two reasons—one, it’s salty and delicious, and two, it’s gotten rather messy. $14.
Pickles on a burger will always rocket that bad boy toward the top of our list, but this one is great all around. The patty comes on a sesame seed bun with house-made American cheese, pickled cucumbers and onions and is finished off with a blob of mayonnaise. The burger itself is juicy and rich, made with a mix of short rib, bacon and chuck that gives it it a fattiness we can’t get enough of. $16.
What elevates the classic (but potentially boring) BLT is the quality of its ingredients—piling up the right ratio of delicious tomatoes, bacon and lettuce. The braised bacon in the Winchester’s version is thick and juicy and the team doesn’t skimp, beefing up the sandwich to feel like it’s a full meal. Bright red tomatoes come from Mightyvine, and Werp lettuces round out the sandwich. $9.
Food Network Sandwich King Jeff Mauro opened his first restaurant in Chicago in January 2016—a fast-casual concept serving killer barbecue meals and (yes!) tater tots. We love the Pastramindy sandwich, with house-made pastrami, pickles and Pork & Mindy’s mustard sauce on a marble rye roll. $8.
The news that the Publican Tavern at O’Hare would be doing a collaboration with former Hot Doug’s proprietor Doug Sohn ensured we’d get to the airport early for our next flight. A Chicago-made bratwurst with Emmental cheese and bourbon mustard topped with fried shallot, it’s a sausage worthy of its name. $14.