Most people agree that Au Cheval has the best burger in Chicago, the only problem is that it is next to impossible to get a table. Today I am sharing my list of the best burgers in Chicago – because waiting 5 hours for Au Cheval isn’t always an option.
Au Cheval – Eating at Au Cheval is all about luck and timing. The burger is out of this world amazing, but you need to either get there 30 minutes before they open, go late night on a weeknight, or be very very lucky to score a table.
The Au Cheval burger is the best because beef patties are just the right size and thickness for stacking, cheese is perfectly melted over each patty, and the dijonnaise, chopped onions, and thinly sliced pickles are the perfect compliment to the beef. You are given the option to add bacon and/or a fried egg on top. It’s everything you ever wanted from a burger.
Don’t forget, the single is really a double, and the double is really a triple stack of patties. Similar burgers are available at Au Cheval’s sister Small Cheval restaurants.
Longman and Eagle – I think that Longman and Eagle’s Slagel Burger with cheddar and bacon is the #2 best burger in Chicago. I first tried this burger years ago, and the first bite was so good that I practically shoved the burger in Charles’s face so he could taste it. L&E uses only the highest quality ingredients for their burger. The beef comes from Slagel Family Farm in Illinois, the sharp cheddar is from Widmer’s Cheese Cellars, and the bacon is Nueske’s.
The burger itself is a half pound of beef, cooked to your temperature preference, and simply topped with cheese and bacon. It’s a basic burger done right. And did I mention that it comes with beef fat fries? (I should mention that the burger joints that serve two thin patties do not take your temperature perference).
Unfortunately, Longman and Eagle doesn’t take reservations, so plan accordingly. Your best bet is to get there as soon as they open.
Pub Royale – I adore this restaurant which is a take on a British pub serving a mix of Indian food and pub food. The menu at Pub Royale features mostly Indian cuisine, with just a couple classic gastropub additions. It would be easy to overlook the burger, but that would be a mistake.
Like the Longman and Eagle burger, Pub Royale’s “Royale with Cheese” consists of one large single beef patty. The ingredients mimic those of the Au Cheval burger – it comes topped with finely diced red onion, house made pickles that are cut very thin, and aged cheddar. The thick beef patty puts the meat in center stage.
Cochon Volant – “Le Cheeseburger Royale” at Cochon Volant is very similar to the Au Cheval burger. It has two thin patties topped with cheese, onion, dijonnaise, bacon, and pickles on a soft brioche bun. Cochan Volant uses prime dry aged beef in their burgers, and this helps set it apart from other burgers in Chicago.
Cochon Volant is a popular destination for weekday power lunches, but they do take reservations – so you never have to wait for a table to get this burger. It’s pretty easy to walk in for dinner or brunch (yes, the burger is on the brunch menu too).
Shake Shack – You can’t go wrong with Shake Shack – the upscale fast food restaurant has fantastic burgers and equally amazing cheese fries. I love the Shack Burger, while Charles is a fan of the Shack Stack which is the beef burger topped with their veggie burger (which is made with a portabella mushroom that is stuffed with cheese and fried). The good news is that Shake Shack is a multinational chain so you don’t have to come to Chicago to try these burgers.
I would love your opinions – what do you think the best burger in Chicago is? I have heard the best things about the burgers at Smyth and Paradise Pup – but haven’t made it to those restaurants yet. Trenchermen used to be my go-to burger spot, and they just rebranded to become Trench Bar which has a new burger that I need to try. (Stay tuned).