When it comes to comfort food, the all-American burger is king. Such a staple is perfect fodder for inventive chefs, as evidenced by the seemingly endless onslaught of new burgers popping up on menus all over town. For all the latest and beefiest, here are some new burgers to feast your eyes on (and then your mouth) across Chicago.
Cafe Marie-Jeanne: Is there anything this place can’t do? From donuts and omelets to boulevardiers and roast duck, Humboldt Park’s most beloved eatery is a real crowd-pleaser at all hours of the day. Here’s something else to love: the Thursday-only burger. This little-known menu secret features a dry-aged beef patty with aioli, Dusseldorf mustard, butterkase, smoked tomato jam, pickle chips and red onion on a housemade “everything” butter bun. Available from noon until close Thursdays only, the delectable burger is served with hand-cut fries and a beer for only $20.
Maillard Tavern: The most decadent burger in Chicago and OUR CURRENT FAVORITE can be found at River West’s new Maillard Tavern, an ode to Americana comfort food from the folks behind Piccolo Sogno across the street. Naturally, burgers play a big role in that, and none are as jaw-dropping as the City Slicker, an indulgent offering that layers seared foie gras atop a beef patty with Swiss cheese, black truffle pesto, caramelized onions, foie gras mayo and crispy strips of prosciutto.
Taylor Gourmet: In case you needed incentive to linger around the Loop past office hours or on weekends, the double-stack burger at Taylor Gourmet should do the trick. A sleeper hit on the menu of the hoagie-focused eatery, the burger is only available after 4 PM on weekdays and all day on weekends. Taking it all-American approach, it’s made with two all-beef patties, peppery “Boom Boom” sauce, yellow American cheese, griddled onions, shredded iceberg lettuce, red onions and a buttery sesame seed bun.
Marshall’s Landing: This Merchandise Mart hot spot has been a real game-changer for the River North lunch and happy hour crowds since it emerged last year, thanks to its cool vibes, unique space and “something for everyone”-style menu. The ML Burger is a particular winner, featuring succulent grass-fed beef, crispy bacon, charred red onions, chipotle ketchup and blue cheese or cheddar on a pillowy brioche bun.
The Shelby: From kimchi-topped beef to turkey burgers with feta and tzatziki, the selection at The Shelby is surprisingly adventurous and eclectic. The casual Humboldt Park eatery and bar offers a refined take on classic comfort flavors, with the lamb burger in particular standing out as a must-try. The patty comes topped with Manchego, piquillo pepper, arugula and quince mustard for a medley of salty, spicy, peppery and tart flavors all in one hefty bite.
The Moonlighter: Burgers are the focal point at this Logan Square newcomer, with contemporary options running the gamut from blackened beef patties to vegan options. Dubbed the Portland Burger, the vegan burger is an impressive option made with a Beyond Burger™ patty that gets grilled and heaped with iceberg lettuce, pickles, fresh tomatoes, raw onions, vegan American cheese and creamy “special” sauce.
Bite Cafe: In case you needed more reason to visit Ukrainian Village’s beloved Bite Cafe, swing by for the veggie burger. A sun-dried tomato tapenade lends a bit of Mediterranean flavor to the mushroom-oat-vegetable patty, which gets enriched with cheddar and aïoli.