2056 N. Lincoln Park West 773-929-5363
There are plenty of things to love about this neighborhood standby—the cartoony menu, the milkshakes, the salad bar—but the burgers top the list. Options range from a basic cheeseburger to the Yowza Burger, a peppercorn patty topped with pepperjack cheese, spicy ketchup and smoked bacon.
Rocks Lincoln Park
1301 W. Schubert Ave. 773-472-7738
The juicy patties and plentiful pick-your-own toppings make this sports bar a standout when it comes to burgers. Competitive eaters can sign up for the Rockstar Burger Challenge, a quadruple patty burger piled high with cheese, bacon, onion strings. It's $30 if you don't polish it off in 30 minutes—and free if you do.
1578 N. Clybourn Ave. 312-255-0055
Meat-on-meat burgers called stackers—with short ribs, pulled pork or prosciutto piled on top of the beef patty—are the ultimate indulgence for carnivores at this eatery. Or customize your own burger with toppings such as pickled red onions, pesto aioli and avocado.
666 W. Diversey Parkway 773-472-2666
At this Lincoln Park sibling to the original heavy metal-themed Avondale burger bar, the crowd might not be quite as edgy, but the patties are just as thick and the toppings just as plentiful. Purists should opt for the Famous Kuma with bacon, cheddar and a fried egg; masochists should order the Slayer, a 10-ounce patty on a plate of fries smothered with chili, peppers and cheese.
2031 N. Clybourn Ave. 312-800-9010
New to the Chicago area with this Clybourn Corridor location in Lincoln Park, Smashburger beats its counter-service competition with choice alone. Griddled patties (in two sizes, the 1/3-pound Smash and 1/2-pound Big Smash) are served on your choice of bun (classic egg, multi-grain, chipotle or a lettuce wrap) with toppings ranging from crispy onion strings to grilled mushrooms to guacamole.
Butcher & The Burger
1021 W. Armitage Ave. 773-697-3735
Thanks to five bun choices, 10-plus patty options, a dozen or so spice blends and 20-plus toppings, the potential burger combinations at this corner shop are dizzying. Fries made from heirloom Kennebec potatoes are addictively crispy.