Restaurants, Hamburgers Portage Park
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 (Photograph: Erica Gannett)
Photograph: Erica Gannett


 (Photograph: Erica Gannett)
Photograph: Erica Gannett

Leadbelly burger at Leadbelly with lettuce, tomato, red onion and housemade sriracha pickles

 (Photograph: Erica Gannett)
Photograph: Erica Gannett


 (Photograph: Erica Gannett)
Photograph: Erica Gannett

Leadbelly burger and garlic parm fries at Leadbelly

 (Photograph: Erica Gannett)
Photograph: Erica Gannett

Midnight Special burger at Leadbelly: chili-cheese fritos, jalapeno-jack cheese, pico de gallo and chipotle-cream sauce

 (Photograph: Erica Gannett)
Photograph: Erica Gannett

Garlic parm fries at Leadbelly

 (Photograph: Erica Gannett)
Photograph: Erica Gannett


 (Photograph: Erica Gannett)
Photograph: Erica Gannett

Midnight Special burger, Leadbelly burger and garlic-parm fries at Leadbelly

The second coming of Kuma’s it’s not, despite Leadbelly’s striking similarities in theme (photos of rock bands all over the walls, Pearl Jam concert playing on the TVs), fare (burgers, fries), emphasis on craft beer (three rotating local brews on tap, many others in bottles) and location (Far Northwest Side, specifically Portage Park) to its predecessor. Unlike Kuma’s, though, Leadbelly will not see people flocking from all over the city and suburbs to queue up for three-hour waits. But for a quick neighborhood option, this tiny, counter-service-only spot is a solid alternative.

The bulbous buns, made in-house, stand up well to the insane mess that is the Midnight Special, a somehow-delicious heap of chipotle-cream sauce, jalapeno-jack cheese and pico de gallo sprinkled with, yes, Chili-Cheese Fritos. But when bookending the more straightforward Leadbelly burger—lettuce, tomato, onion, Sriracha pickles and choice of cheese—the thick bun renders the whole thing far too dry. That boring burger at least allows you to appreciate the meat, a thick patty made of a ground-in-house beef blend mixed with pork belly, which lends a noticeable smokiness. The double-fried fries, served in a cute little metal fry basket, manage to stay crispy underneath a mound of fresh Parmesan and garlic. And all burgers come with a forgettable, brittle butter cookie—another cute touch, but the thick, rich chocolate shake is a far better dessert.

By: Laura Baginski


Venue name: BRGRBELLY
Address: 5739 W Irving Park Rd
Cross street: between Major and Menard Aves
Opening hours: Tues-Thurs 5pm-9pm; Fri, Sat 5pm-10pm; Sun noon-7pm
Transport: Bus: 80, 85.
Price: Average main course: $10
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Average User Rating

4.9 / 5

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A great place for a tasty burger. Superior ingredients, cool atmosphere!

The food is so good! No matter which burger you get you will not be disappointed! You can substitute a portabella or chicken for the beef and it still tastes great! The fries, oh the fries you can't stop eating them

LITERALLY the best burger I've ever had. My favorite and I usually try all the burger joints in the city, born and raised Chicagoan and BRGRBELLY beats 'em all by miles! They even have the most delicious homemade cookies included with every order. They're always playing great classic rock concerts too which is so refreshing from the sports bars or other restaurants playing the news. One of a kind, fantastic ownership, superb food that can't be beat in the best hood in the city.

Easily one of the tastiest, most inventive burgers I've had in the city. It's well worth the trip west on Irving Park Road.

Gourmet burgers and fries at it's finest!  Several burgers to choose from using fresh, local ingredients.  Vegetarian and chicken options for all the varieties.  Fries are handcut with a variety of toppings.  Portion sizes are large - so come hungry!!!  Lots of microbrews to choose from and they even have boozy shakes.  Customer service is great with counter service ordering.  There are 2 locations - both with music memorabilia and flatscreens showcasing musicians and concerts.