Chicago's Best Breakfast Burgers
It’s no surprise that burgers dominate the comfort food landscape during lunch and dinner, but why wait more than an hour after waking up to indulge your cravings? Breakfast burgers have been on the rise in Chicago lately, and we’ve mapped out several spots where you can scratch that itch in the a.m.
The decadent “Les Cheeseburger Royale” just got a breakfast upgrade at the Loop’s Cochon Volant Brasserie. It’s a dish that has amassed considerable renown in the downtown area, thanks to chef Matt Ayala’s culinary dexterity and talent. Now he’s adjusted it for the morning set by offering it on an English muffin for a bun, piling it all up with two patties, thick-cut bacon, onion confit, American cheese, Dijonnaise, and house pickles. An over-easy egg can be added for a supplemental charge. The breakfast burger is an off-menu treat, so just ask your server about it when you dine at the restaurant in the morning.
One of the coolest, most unique, breakfast-iest burgers in town can be found at Latinicity. The massive Latin food hall recently added brunch to its repertoire, which includes the end all-be all of breakfast burgers served on Belgium-style waffles in lieu of buns. The patty itself is a choriburger, adjoined by bacon, chipotle cheese sauce, and pico de gallo.
If biscuits are your preference, Beef & Barley fits the bill nicely with their rendition of a breakfast burger. The beef is served on a buttery biscuit from Southern France Patisserie in Lakeview, accompanied by beer cheese, caramelized onions, pickled red onions, pickles, a chicken fried onion ring, and optional egg and bacon. Pro tip: order it with a side of maple syrup for drizzling/dunking. It adds a nice little splash of sweetness to compliment all that savory.
From waffles to biscuits, there’s no shortage of outre bun choices when it comes to burgers in Chicago. At Rockit Burger Bar, they up the ante substantially with their BFD Burger, which boasts a glazed donut as a bun. It’s sliced cross-wise and sandwiched around a combo of black angus beef, fried egg, applewood-smoked bacon, and aged cheddar for an added dose of sugar to contrast the salt. It’s served with seasoned curly fries, in case the burger itself wasn’t filling enough for you.
Come hungry to South Water Kitchen, where chef Roger Waysok serves a mean half-pound breakfast burger. This thing is a beast, and especially fitting if you’ve got a hangover to cure. The patty itself is a mix of beef and pork, and it’s heaped with an egg, bacon and hollandaise sauce on a chewy pretzel roll.
The “4 A.M. Burger” at Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap gets its name from the fact that such things are exactly what you need after a long night of boozing. This thing has got the whole package, as a 9 oz. burger patty is topped with cheddar, house-smoked bacon, hashbrowns, fried egg, lettuce, tomato, onion, and housemade Bloody Mary ketchup. It’s basically a whole brunch meal in one convenient handheld package.
West Loop newcomer Green Street Local is wasting no time jumping headfirst into Chicago’s ravenous egg-topped burger scene. With unusual toppings like broccolini and pico de gallo, it’s a refreshing addition too. Dubbed the “Continental Club,” the burger is served on a toasted English muffin along with melted Merkt’s cheese, garlic aïoli, and house-cured bacon. Hashbrowns are served alongside.
— Matt Kirouac