Chicago is known today as the Windy City.
But it wasn’t too many years ago that it was known as the “Slaughter House of the World” and the stockyards stood proudly beside the lake.
This dedication to all things meaty and delicious is expressed today in these four delicious hamburgers. Some of them are from fancy upscale restaurants — some are from downtown joint. All of them are just exactly what a hamburger should be — big, meaty, juicy and absolutely delicious.
And not a one of them has a “Mc” before their name.
In no particular order:
1. The Top Sirloin Burger at Prairie Grass Cafe.
Recently picked as the #1 burger in Chicago by Jeff Ruby in Chicago Magazine, this charbroiled hunk of prime beef is simply amazing. After the beef is grilled to perfection, a generous helping of Amish Blue Cheese is melted on top and a couple of slices of tomatoes and onions are thrown on the grill. The entire creation is a thing of beauty and absolutely delicious.
Prairie Grass Cafe is at 601 Skokie Blvd in Northbrook. The burger is $15 and worth every penny.
2. Kuma Burger at Kuma’s Corner
Perhaps the most famous “burger joint” in Chicago, Kuma’s Corner does not disappoint despite the buildup. You can expect a very long wait and blaring punk music — but, believe me, the burger is worth it. The menu has started to include many creative additions lately, but the Kuma Burger is still tops. Ten ounces, with cheddar cheese, applewood-smoked bacon and a sunny-side-up egg on a thick roll is worth even the occasional split eardrum.
Kuma’s Corner is at 2900 W. Belmont Ave and the protein monster is $10.
3. The Deluxe Beefburger at Top Notch Burgers
This little dingy diner in Beverly is not a place you might ever discover by accident. But the Beefburgers are well worth a special trip. As the name implies the beef is the star here and the 1/2 pounder is rich, juicy… and only $7.25.
FInd Top Notch Burgers at 2116 W. 95th St.
4. Wagyu Beef Burger at Yoshi’s Cafe
After Top Notch maybe you want something a little more upscale and closer to downtown. I have just the place. Marbled wagyu beef makes a beauty of a pattie. And at 10 ounces there is plenty of this burger to enjoy. This is easily the thickest burger in Chicago. But it is tender and melt in your mouth delicious.
Yoshi’s Cafe is in Boystown at 3257 N. Halsted St and the Wagyu Beef Burger will set you back $18