Even though Chicago and other towns in Illinois might be famous for their hot dogs, the state is also home to some of the best burgers in the world, too. And, you won’t just find them in the bigger cities. They’re all over the state.
From the drive-in style burger to the gourmet burgers that people wait hours and hours just to taste, the best burgers in Illinois vary a lot in flavour and style. But, that’s what makes them so great! No two are the same.
And, that just means that you’re definitely going to have to try all 50 of them. Tough work, we know. But, it’s a tasty task that’ll take you all over the state. Explore our list of the best burgers in Illinois for 2020 and let the drooling commence…
Best Burgers In Illinois 2020How do these rankings work?
It’s easy to see what makes the burger at Au Cheval one of the best burgers in Illinois. First, they begin by sourcing on the best prime beef in the country. Then, they griddle it up to juicy perfection and gently place it between an airy bed of American cheese and toasted buns with a sunny-side-up egg. It’s so simple yet so flavourful. And, it’s got people lining up out the door and waiting for up to three hours just to get a taste.
We recently named Community Tavern on our list of the best burgers in the USA in 2020, so you know these are great. Here, it’s all about homegrown goodness. The husband and wife team who own the tavern put a lot of love and care into their dishes, especially when it comes to their mouthwatering burgers. They’re loaded up with hand-pattied beef and served with some tasty thin fries.
At Vistro they top a dry-aged, griddled CDK patty with bacon, griddled onions and pimento cheese. Then, they serve it on a house-made bun that’s just as flavourful as the beef and all the juicy toppings. They make their fries in-house and serve them alongside the burger for a truly tasty treat that’ll leave you craving seconds and perhaps even thirds before you’ve even taken the last bite of the burger.
More than a mere pub, we’d classify Farren’s as a gastropub of sorts, serving up elevated eats in a laidback pub-like setting. On the menu, you’ll find everything from tacos and wings to their iconic burger. While the traditional burger truly is a classic, we suggest opting for one of their creative concoctions. The Spicoli comes with bacon, sautéed mushrooms, sautéed onions and your choice of cheese. Delish.
With five locations all over Illinois, you’re never too far from the delicious Original Kuma Burger at Kuma’s Corner. It comes with a 10oz burger patty, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, fried egg, plus lettuce and tomato. If that sounds tasty then just wait for the kicker. It’s served on a Highland Bakery pretzel roll, giving it a unique flavour in each bite. You’ll be oohing and aahing after literally every bite.
This casual American eatery offers more than just great burgers. Their impressive beer menu is likely what will catch your eye first before you even dive into the long list of burger options. They serve everything from a PB & J plus bacon burger and even one with blue cheese crumbles and applewood smoked bacon. Not into any of their options? They’ll let you build your own burger. It doesn’t get better than that.
You might not initially realise that this little market and butcher shop sells burgers, but trust us, they make what are easily some of the best burgers in Illinois. Due to their expertise regarding meat and grilling, they’ve consistently won awards for being Home of Chicago’s Best Burger and Chicago’s Best Bacon Burger. It’s even said that the burgers here are so good they helped the Cubs win the World Series. Trust us, they live up to the hype.
The Loyalist is, at heart, a simple neighbourhood bar. Well, a neighbourhood bar that serves up some truly tasty eats. Fine dining foods are crafted here in a setting that is anything but pretentious, giving guests a spectacular experience upon every visit. For something even more spectacular, try the burger. The cheeseburger here is iconic, one of the best in Illinois. It’s served with onions done up three ways and amazing fries.
You’ll find Evanston’s best burgers at Edzo’s Burger Shop. This no-frills spot does burgers up to tradition. No crazy ingredients or toppings, just good old-fashioned American burgers. You know, the way everybody loves them. They’re just as famous for their fries and shakes as they are their burgers, so be sure to order them all to craft a full meal of the finest flavours you’ll find in Illinois.
The Cary Tracks has been recognised with numerous awards for having the best burgers, fish fry and Bloody Mary’s in the county. So, it’s safe to say they’re definitely serving one of the best burgers in Illinois. And, they offer guests lots of choices, too. With over 30 different burger options, you’ll find something you love here. Heading here with friends? Order a whole bucket of sliders on top of a big mound of fries.
Mott Street is famous for its Asian-inspired menu and a fantastic list of cocktails. But, you’ll also note that amongst their superb meat offerings, they serve a signature burger that’s absolutely mouthwatering. Visit for the Mott Burger, which comes with two chuck patties, sweet potato shoestrings, hoisin aioli, pickled jalapenos, dill pickles, miso butter and American cheese. It’s the American-Asian fusion burger you’ve always dreamed of.
As the name suggests, this trendy spot is dedicated to serving pure heaven in the form of their tantalising burgers. Pair their unique homemade sodas, craft cocktails, and an endless list of beer with any one of their nine different beef burgers. They come topped with delicious ingredients such as roasted hatch green chile, chilli-rubbed onion strings and even grass-fed bison and chorizo.
Cold beer and tasty burgers, what more could you ask for out of a mid-day meal? Ludy’s is the kind of place you’d go if you’re looking to meet locals and get a taste for what true local culture looks like. Pull a seat up to the bar, order a Budweiser and then prepare to dive into their famous hamburger (literally, that’s what it’s called). It’s got thick meat, a perfectly toasted bun and the perfect balance of lettuce and tomatoes.
Owen & Engine is one of the Chicago area’s best British pubs. Here you can indulge in everything from elevated pub fare to their impressive list of unique beers. Relax into the leather-clad and wallpapered surroundings as you prepare to indulge. The Slagel Farms beef burger comes with caramelised onion, house potato bap and malt vinegar mayonnaise. They do a fantastic job of balancing all of the flavours together, too.
The Clybourn Brewhouse has been serving fresh, local beers since 1988. And, after touring their brewery and sampling a few of their world-class beers, you’ll undoubtedly have worked up an appetite. Settle in and prepare for true foodie heaven. The burgers here are incredibly creative. They serve an All-American burger and a Stilton burger with roasted garlic confit. But, they also sometimes serve a mouthwatering seared lamb burger.
Head to this rustic-chic bar to enjoy an array of delightful, tasty treats. Their list of craft beer is a great way to kick off the evening before moving on to one of the creative burgers they’ve got on their menu. Currently, they’re serving up a March special that features their Relentless burger. It’s got pepper jack cheese, shrimp and pork al pastor, grilled pineapple and green onions. It’s just oozing with flavour.
Fine dining meets contemporary American cuisine here to craft one of Chicago’s best restaurants. In recent years, they’ve been voted as one of Chicago’s 50 Best Restaurants and as one of the Top 40 Restaurants in the US. Their world-class burger uses 21-day dry-aged ground beef, butterkase cheese, Vie bacon, and dijonnaise to create a unique mixture of flavours that burst into your mouth with each bite. It’s well worth a visit just to try it.
Even though the Labriola Bakery features an Italian-focused menu that showcases lots of great pizzas, their burgers are often cited as the reason why people travel near and far for a visit. They serve Black Angus hand-formed patties grilled to your specifications and topped with an array of delicious ingredients. From smoked bacon and Black Diamond cheddar cheese to Cajun mayonnaise, there’s something here for everybody.
There are so many delicious burgers to choose from at the Burger Barge that it’s almost too hard to decide where to start. They use a special “dock sauce” to add flavour to a few burgers that’s an absolute must if you’re looking to try something new. Or, order something inventive and unique such as their Steak & Egg burger or the Swiss and blue cheese topped Bluebeard burger. Definitely get them with their river chips.
Entering Davanti Enoteca feels as if you’re wandering into an authentic, hidden wine cellar on the streets of Rome or Florence. Rustic Italian dining is the main part of the allure of this restaurant, but the Davanti Burger is easily just as good as their pasta and pizza. It’s got bacon jam, roasted tomatoes, cheese curd, arugula and roasted garlic. Served with their special aioli parmesan fries, it’s a meal you won’t soon forget.
Interested in seeing what life in rural Illinois is actually like? Check out the Moonshine Store, a unique restaurant housed inside of an authentic old general store. Serving up some of the best burgers in Illinois, this quaint, charming diner relies on nothing but authentic, traditional flavours to craft their dishes. Burgers are simple…nothing but thick, quality beef sandwiched between toasted buns. You don’t need anything else when they taste this good.
Interested in dining with friends or scoping out a new date spot? The Burger Local is the place to be, with its inventive craft cocktails and gourmet burgers, it’s easy to fall into a food coma at this trendy, industrial-style loft of a restaurant. And, when we say gourmet burgers we truly mean gourmet. Their Short Rib Burger, for example, comes with a 10oz. beef patty, red wine braised short rib, gruyere cheese and caramelised shallots.
Fuller House is, as they call, it a “rustic chic tavern” that’s located in the heart of downtown Hinsdale. Craft beers and some of the state’s finest whiskeys ensure that you’ll have something superbly tasty to help you wash down the thick, juicy burgers here. Order a round of whiskey and tuck into a burger. They come with a patty that’s got a 1/2 lb. of certified Angus beef chuck, brisket and ribeye blend.
Abigail’s Bistro is a cosy neighbourhood restaurant serving comfort foods that they’ve taken and put a bit of a fine-dining spin on. In short, it’s the kind of food that tantalises your taste buds while feeding your belly and your soul. And, their burger is one of the best items on their menu. It comes with a thick patty, Wisconsin sharp cheddar and red onion marmalade. It sounds simple but it’s far from it.
Nicky’s really is the Real McCoy, at least when it comes to burgers and other classic American late-night eats. Burgers, rib tips, hot dogs and shakes are all popular here, and for a good reason. They’re absolutely dripping with rich flavours. And, the best part is that they keep things simple. They taste like what a Fourth of July burger might taste like at your local cookout if the dad grilling them up were a world-class chef.