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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Monday, July 22

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cd / September 28, 2004 12:25 AM

No Wendy's in Chicago, but Moody's up near Rogers Park puts some good burgers down on the plate... Maxwell Street stands are good if you're on the road. The Blue Line does some good burgers, too. I ain't been everywhere, though.

Derek Erdman / September 28, 2004 4:35 AM

I'm a big fan of Moody's as well, the atmosphere and prices there are fantastic. But recently I happened upon Illinois Bar & Grill at 1421 W. Taylor St. They have a bacon cheese burger made with the thickest slices of bacon on the largest patty I've ever eaten. By the time I was done, the paper plate it was served on was made useless from becoming soggy with "juice". It's the best burger I've ever had, and the best burger I ever will have.

amyc / September 28, 2004 5:46 AM

Kopi's tempeh burger and Earwax Cafe's black bean/quinoa burger are the tastiest not-meats I've found in the city.

Joe / September 28, 2004 7:03 AM

Wonderburger at 111th and Kedzie in Mt. Greenwood.

Pop's, right down the road at 103rd & Kedzie. That place is always jammed with people.

Mt. Greenwood is the real 'hood.....

Dawson / September 28, 2004 7:10 AM

Garrett Ripley's. Mmmmm

Roni / September 28, 2004 8:23 AM

Busy Burger on Taylor Street has the best turkey burgers. Of course, I'm always willing to try others! :)

Mike / September 28, 2004 9:01 AM

Realburgers: The Billy Goat (The real one, in the murky underbelly of Michigan Ave.)

Fakeburgers: The Heartland Cafe

jennifer / September 28, 2004 9:06 AM

"Wonderburger at 111th and Kedzie in Mt. Greenwood."

Oh my god. Totally agree. I grew up eating those burgers. I see a trip to the South Side coming up soon.

miss ellen / September 28, 2004 9:17 AM

ditto on the wonderburger! wassup up, southside!?

also, how bout another southside gem --- top notch beefburger (original on 95th street in beverly). an uncle used to work at the library across the street & i have many good memories of that stretch. the milkshakes are also great!

margot / September 28, 2004 9:18 AM

Twisted Spoke on Clark always has a consistently amazing burger and you can add as many ingredients as you want for the same price. My personal favorite: cheddar cheese, smoked bacon and bbq sauce.

The patti melt at Granny's Diner is worth staying up until 3am for (b/c diner food of this kind just isn't as good at standard eating hours).

heather / September 28, 2004 9:19 AM

A friend of mine was doing a 'best burgers' piece for Chicago Magazine a few months back - which meant a blissful month of free burgers for her and a tagalong dinner companion...we determined the best burger in Chicago to be at erwin. and yes, we tried every damned place people could think of to send us, from Moody's to Billy Goat to Boston Blackies... but seriously. you gotta go to erwin.

pat / September 28, 2004 9:22 AM

moody's is right up there. I love their outside eating area, but i'm always mildly frightened of eating *inside* moody's. it's so dark, and the tables are just a little too close to each other, and it just seems mildly nefarious yet cavernous.

In the Loop, Millers Pub or Boston Blackie's serves up a good burger.

Glad to hear about Earwax's black bean burger... I've been jonesing for one for a while.

Carly / September 28, 2004 9:27 AM

Moody's and Darwin's.

I've heard good things about the burgers at Weber Grill too.

margot / September 28, 2004 9:33 AM

Good call, Heather....pretty much everything on erwin's menu could qualify for a "best of." Love that place.

JJZ / September 28, 2004 9:53 AM

Paradise Pup in Des Plaines.

steve_sleeve / September 28, 2004 9:55 AM

cd, what do you mean no wendy's in chicago? there's one at the intersection of western and addison. but their burgers are unfortunately not that good.

around my neighborhood: riverview tavern makes a good burger, but it's pretty standard bar-burger fare.

anyone ever had a burger from dick's in seattle?

Dan / September 28, 2004 9:56 AM

Gotta go with Moody's again. I don't know what they do there, but it makes for a damn satisfying burger.

Though I gotta say the Salt and Pepper's is a pretty good thin burger, and Al B's (the greasy joint across from Moody's) is good if ya like your burgers greasy and with the works.

Maggie / September 28, 2004 10:12 AM

Harlo's in Melrose Park - bonus - phenomenal fries as well.

Krissy / September 28, 2004 10:15 AM

Jury's on Lincoln Ave, just south of Montrose.

Phillip / September 28, 2004 10:35 AM

Mrs. Parks Tavern on Mies Van Der Rowe (near the Hancock) has good mini burgers. You have to tell the bartender to make sure the cook smashes them flat. Otherwise you'll get a meatball on a bun that is impossible to fit in your mouth.

P.J. Clarke's on Illinois also has good mini burgers.

Corcoran's on Wells in Old Town has a good 1/2 pounder that's only $4 on Tuesdays.

Andrew / September 28, 2004 10:55 AM

O'Donovan's on Irving Park has a pretty good dollar burger night, although it's a misnomer. The burger itself is a dollar (and it's nice and thick and juicy) but all the toppings are each 50 or 75 cents extra. Even tomatoes are a quarter.

Steve / September 28, 2004 10:58 AM

Have to second the shoutout for Jury's. Love the Saturday "burger and a beer" special, especially as a warmup during college football season.

Chief O'Neill's also does a pretty good one, though I tend to get the fish & chips when I'm there because it's the only place I'll eat fish.

Benjy / September 28, 2004 11:04 AM

Boston Blackie's are pretty good. So are RJ Grunt's. But the best... well, I'm always holding out hope I'll find a better one out there. Now I've got a few new places to try!

Charlie Beinlich's in Northbrook is supposed to have the best in the area according to many sources, but the one time I went about 5 years ago, they weren't that good. Should give them another try sometime, I guess.

Craig / September 28, 2004 11:18 AM

Maybe it's the massive beer garden, maybe it's the Germanesque pub decor, or maybe it's the sangria talking, but Moody's does make a tasty burger.

I also recommend Big Kahuna Burger. That's that Hawaiian burger joint. I heard they got some tasty burgers. I ain't never had one myself.

Ray / September 28, 2004 12:14 PM

Coming from the nw 'burbs, I offer up Superdawg Drive-In at Milwaukee and Devon for your carnivorous pleasure. It makes a hearty, fortifying meal before or after a bike ride through the forest preserves just north of there, if you don't have a car. If I recall correctly, the sandwiches are served with a pickle and a picked tomato.

In my current hometown of Des Plaines, I recommend Paradise Pup on River Rd, south of Oakton for adults, where burgers are flame broiled and they offer a choice between raw or grilled onions. For kids, it's the Choo Choo, on Lee St north of the Northwest line railroad tracks, where the grilled heart-stopper burgers come to your table on a model train, and they have amazing onion rings.

All three destinations will clog your arteries further with rich chocolate milkshakes.

Naz / September 28, 2004 12:17 PM

Big Kahuna burger - they're in Tarantino's films, they always look good being eaten by bad ass mofos.

steven / September 28, 2004 12:38 PM

margot mentioned the twisted spoke on clark, but the best burger i've ever had was at the spoke on ogden. juicy, juicy, juicy. duke of perth on clark also has some damn good burgers as well.

rob / September 28, 2004 1:30 PM

Moody's, ya, pretty good stuff. Helps to be propped out there on their beer garden sharing a pitcher. This, as important as ketchup or mustard to the experience.

Also gotta plug The Saloon Steakhouse, little known emporium of beef on Chestnut behind the Hancock. Full disclosure: I work there. It should be known, though, we've got a smashing good burger -- more often than not my choice of employee meal for a given shift. Also, perfect for snackies: wagyu sliders!

Thurston / September 28, 2004 2:22 PM

For those who like greasy burgers, the kind that demand to be devoured in less than three minutes, I recommend you check out the snack bar at Diversey River Bowl, where Logan jogs north for a block and meets with Diversey. Unfortunately, after the roof cave-in and subsequent repairs, the snack bar has not yet reopened, which is a shame because league bowling is just not the same with out a double bacon cheese burger for less than $4. Never fear however; management has confirmed that the snack bar and all its greasy wonder will be resurrected soon.

Lacey / September 28, 2004 3:58 PM

Let us not forget Huey's on Balmoral and Clark. That is all.

Cside Playa / September 28, 2004 4:02 PM

White Castle

Phillip / September 28, 2004 4:36 PM

I did not like the darkness of the Moody's Pub dining room. A lightbulb or a window would do wonders.

I also use pop quality when judging a burger joint. Moody's serves RC and Diet Rite instead of Coke or Pepsi products. I asked for a Diet Coke and the waitress brought me this flat crap. I told her that the pop was flat and she said, "Yep. That's why we bring our own".

Eamon / September 28, 2004 4:39 PM

I'm going to go out on a limb and say the burgers at McGee's on Wednesdays-- dollar burger night. They're crap burgers, but hey! Only a buck!

Eamon / September 28, 2004 4:52 PM

Phillip, Moody's isn't a burger joint. It's a bar that happens to have fantastic burgers. Don't expect clean silverware, prompt service*, side dishes, or seats sans bird crap. It's for drinkin', eatin', and maybe even pukin'. "Quality soda"-- the word "quality", period-- is entirely beside the point.

* We don't blame you, you fine, fine waitpeople! We know you're understaffed! We love you!

Alex / September 28, 2004 6:18 PM

Portillo's, w/ extra cheese & mayo.

Shyport / September 28, 2004 6:47 PM

Last night, I went to Rockit -- new, hip -- on Hubbard and I ordered a $19 kobe beef hamburger with foi gras, (why not) medium rare, of course, and the kitchen incinerated it into a $19 kobe beef with foi gras briquet.

J-Lo / September 28, 2004 7:46 PM

The Come Back Inn on Lake Street, I think in Melrose Park. Big. Juicy. Mmmmm.
Go West, young men & women!!

mike / September 28, 2004 8:57 PM

Redmonds on Sheffeild & Roscoe serves up a pretty mean char burger, and it is half price on tuesdays.

brian / September 28, 2004 9:05 PM

The Come Back Inn is no more. It is a sad, sad thing.

paul / September 28, 2004 11:36 PM

Yet another vote for Moody's.

Celtic Crown on Western has an awesome $1 burger (2 bucks with cheese and fries) on Mondays.

Gotta mention the Hubs 1/2 pound burger too.

Mo'Joe / September 29, 2004 9:23 AM

As long as we're allowing suburban recommendations, I gotta throw out Myron & Phil's in Lincolnwood. Get the Burnt Onion Burger and DON'T forget to ask your server to have the kitchen to "char" it. It'll come steaming to your table with a salty, crispy crust and a moist, perfectly pink interior.

Look at me, I'm drooling just thinking about it...

Dan / September 29, 2004 9:36 AM

Since we're talking suburbs as well, I'm surprised there hasn't been mention of Hackney's.

Moody's is still my fave, but if you want to eat a burger as an event, rather than a meal, I think Hackney's is worth trying.

Add on their monumental pile of onion rings, and it's pretty imposing, yet tasty.

aimee / September 29, 2004 10:02 AM

Oh. My. God. Top Notch Beefburger on 95th is the best, hands down. Pair it with a milkshake and you've made my evening.

Eamon / September 29, 2004 10:12 AM

I'll agree with Hackney's. Ask 'em to put an egg on there and you've got yerself one tasty burger.

Kris / September 29, 2004 11:56 AM

Carly heard right. The burgers at Weber Grill are excellent. And I used to work there, so trust me.

Michael / September 29, 2004 9:46 PM

I am surprised that I am the first to mention Burton Place at Burton and Wells. It is where the beautiful people go to get ugly but they rarely have more than ten folks in there for lunch.

Also, there is actually one delivery place that gets burgers right to my satisfaction - Zig Zag. They season the meat really well and they also have amazing garlic fries.

Mia / October 13, 2004 10:11 PM

Hells yeah on Hackney's (on Lake in Wilmette). I may be biased because I used to work there but before my employment I went 11 years without eating beef. After serving those burgers and smelling the delicious goodness that is a Hackney burger , I decided I had to try one. By my 50th burger I was convinced that these were real gems. With that said, I might have to send them my Weight Watchers bill.

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