Chicago Burger Week: So, Who Does It The Best?

Chicagoans love their dogs, but that doesn't stop them from craving burgers as well. We asked a selection of the city's most notable writers, artists, designers and media figures which burgers rate highest in their little black books.

Christen Carter of Busy Beaver Button Co.

Even though I don't eat a lot of beef (or pork), the #4 green chili burger at DMK is incredibly tasty. I like thin patties because they play well with other ingredients and I don't feel comatose after eating 'em. This one is topped with green chili (which puts this burger into a whole other zone), egg and bacon and the texture and flavor combination is addictive. If I were veggie, this would be my kryptonite.

Alison Cuddy of WBEZ

At Leadbelly Burgers in Portage Park, they grind a little smoked pork belly into their patties. You can really taste the difference — or is that decadence? The burgers come topped with everything from a crab cake to a Leon's Polish, but I'm generally satisfied by the cheeseburger, with an extra helping of their Sriracha pickles. Get there early: when the homemade buns run out, this joint goes dark.

Joe Meno, author

Mana's sliders are the best burgers I've had, vegetarian or not. These small dynamos are a sophisticated take on White Castles, made of savory brown rice and hearty mushroom, with a spicy mayo on top, served with a side of perfectly tart pickles. Amazingly, you can buy two sliders with a beer or glass of wine as part of Mana's Happy Hour special for $7.50.

Cody Hudson, artist, of Struggle Inc. and Land and Sea Dept.

I'm more of a hot dog guy than a burger nerd, but for those days when I happen to be under the weather, nothing snaps me back into normalness like a Fatso with cheese (no onions) at Phil's Last Stand. Simple flavors, cheese, a perfect amount of grease, some sauce — you can't go wrong with that.

Rick Kogan of the Chicago Tribune

The hamburgers at the Billy Goat Tavern, as well as its so called "cheezeborgers" have been a constant in my life for decades — since discovering the place was within easy stumbling distance from the Sun-Times/Daily News building where I began my career in newspapering. They are the perfect [meal], slapped on the grill and ready in an instant. Nothing fancy but also unique, in both flavor and presentation...a tasty oasis as time flies by with increasing speed.

Jason Teegarden-Downs & Billy Baumann of Delicious Design League

Jason: Duke of Perth's Scotch Egg burger! Yum! When I first moved to Chicago in 1997, Duke of Perth became my first go-to place for fish and chips, or the vegetarian leek pie. But, years later when I finally tried a burger here, wow! Out of the places I've eaten at around the city, this is hands-down the best burger in town!

Billy:  My favorite burger is the veggie burger from Burger King. I know that may sound crazy, but when we first started Delicious as a full-time gig in 2008, Jason and I were quite poor. To cut costs and to get the business off the ground, I moved in with Jason and his wife at their house in Humboldt Park, our tiny studio was crammed into the basement, and about three days a week we would pick up burgers from Burger King. We went there so often we even made up a theme song for them that we would sing when it was getting close to lunchtime. So, for sentimental reasons, Burger King is my pick for best burgers in Chicago.

Miss Alex White, musician, of the band White Mystery

Lula Cafe dresses up as another restaurant every Halloween. One year they made a Kuma's Corner menu with a "White Mystery" burger that was two double-stacked sliders with frizzled beets to honor the band! Ed. Note: White Mystery released its "Telepathic" cassette on Burger Records

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