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Photograph: Nick Murway

The best new burgers in Chicago

We searched high and low for the best new burgers in Chicago at the city's bars, breweries and steakhouses

Written by
Elizabeth Atkinson
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Following Time Out Chicago's tradition of picking the best new burgers year after year (check out our 2013, 2014 and 2015 coverage), we scoured the city for great new patties, finding them at bars, breweries and steakhouses. Go ahead and try to read through this enitre list without salivating.

RECOMMENDED: Find more of the best burgers in Chicago

Best new burgers in Chicago

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Lake View
  • price 1 of 4
A burger pairs perfectly with a pint of beer, and at Sidecar at LR, it's pretty much a necessity. This burger from Beard & Belly has two thin but substantial patties with butterkäse cheese, pickles and special sauce. The pickle-filled bites are the best, but given how tender the meat is, it's easy to demolish the whole thing in a matter of seconds. $10. — Elizabeth Atkinson
  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Streeterville
  • price 3 of 4
Cooking the meat correctly is crucial to constructing a good burger, and GreenRiver puts together a mean one. It sports a thick patty, with just the right amount of pinkness in the middle, melting cheddar cheese, briny pickles and a house sauce to tie the whole thing together. $21.EA
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  • 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
  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • Rush & Division
  • price 3 of 4
You have to walk through the downstairs bar at Maple and Ash to get up to the second floor lounge, or you could just stop there and settle for a limited menu and drinks. If you do the latter, you can order the Downstairs Burger, piled with gooey cheese and onions—you should add some thick and tender bacon, too. You may feel classy sitting at Maple & Ash, but this burger is messy enough to bring you back down to earth (be careful not to stain your nice clothes). $14. — EA
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  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • East Village
Topped with aged cheddar, a hefty helping of crunchy giardinera mayo and a bread and butter pickle, the burger at Forbidden Root is unique but familiar. The perfectly salty eight ounce beef patty is tempered by all the toppings. Don't forget to eat the crispy fries that come with it—we almost ordered seconds. $14. — EA
  • Restaurants
  • Hamburgers
  • Loop
  • price 1 of 4
Our current favorite on M Burger's lineup has to be the Chicago Double. It's a simple combination, with two juicy patties covered in American cheese, grilled onions, pickles and mustard. Are we in heaven? M Burger just put all of our favorite things on a single bun and now we don't know what else to eat for lunch. Seriously. $5.99 — EA
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  • Bars
  • Pubs
  • Ukrainian Village
  • price 1 of 4
Named after the infamous Pulp Fiction line, this British-Indian pub's Royale with Cheese is fantastic, despite sticking out like a sore thumb on the menu. Doubts are quickly dashed when this juicy hunk of a burger comes out with spicy pickles and melting cheddar. You'll want to order everything at Pub Royale, but you might want to include the burger near the top of that list. $14. — EA
  • 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. — EA
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  • Bars
  • Gastropubs
  • Humboldt Park
  • price 2 of 4

Haywood Tavern’s double cheese burger isn’t exactly groundbreaking (what burger is?) but it’s an extremely solid rendition of the venerable dish, boasting two Slagel Farm beef patties, a tangy dijon aioli and just the right amount of crisp pickles. Served with fries, it’s the right size for a not-overly-hearty meal or a late night snack, leaving you with enough room for a beer or cocktail at the Humboldt Park bar. $14. — Zach Long

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  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • West Loop
  • price 3 of 4
The cheapest item on the entrée menu (to no one's surprise) at Swift & Sons is the Fulton Burger. It's paired with a serving of dijonnaise and a heap of caramelized onions. While it may not replace that bone-in ribeye you've been eyeing, it'll certainly hit the spot if you've got a hankering for some beef. $16. — EA
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  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • North Center
  • price 2 of 4

Served on a potato roll, this griddled patty covered in butterkäse, pickles and dark onions pairs well with a dry cider, a drink that is more abundant at the Northman than anywhere else in the city. It comes with fries and curried ketchup, which we would order again, even without the burger. $10. — EA

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Logan Square
  • price 1 of 4

Here's a little known fact: most vegetarians only eat veggie burgers because it's the only thing on Chicago’s meat-heavy menus. Same Day Cafe’s Amazing Kale Burger patty is the exception. Not too dry, not too mushy, it does everything a burger does without trying to taste like a slab of ground beef. Served on a bun or between two slices of house-made rye bread, this is one of the freshest burgers you can get in Chicago. Period. $10. — Nick Kotecki

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The 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, one year cheddar, pickles,red onion and a side of house frites, it's bigger and well worth the extra scratch. $16. — EA
  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Lake View
There are five burgers on the menu at this Midwestern burgers—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, no matter what kind of interesting toppings it comes with. $13-$16. — EA
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