From its meteoric rise to fame at the 1904 World’s Fair, the seemingly humble hamburger now inspires cravings that put us on the hunt to find the best between the bun. Thick or thin patties of juicy perfection, toasted brioche or pretzel variations and a dizzying range of toppers and condiments, the heavenly combos created by North Shore restaurants beckon. Sample from stand-outs on the list below or branch out with Where to Eat on Chicago’s North Shore.
Edzo's Burger Shop, Evanston
Edzo’s Burger Shop
1571 Sherman Ave., Evanston
Edzo’s in Downtown Evanston is a destination for burger aficionados. Pair the BBQ Bacon Cheddar Burger with Crazy Fries or The Spicy Sconnie with a Chocolate Milkshake, half the fun is switching up your combos. Upgrade your burger to grass-fed and Single, Double or Triple Griddled …or even Double-Double Animal-Style with two two-ounce, mustard-grilled freshly-ground beef patties, American cheese, grilled onions, Edzo sauce, pickles, lettuce and tomato. Name your fresh-cut fries style: cheesy, garlicy, crazy, loaded, truffled, Cajun or angry?
Bar Louie, Skokie
Hanger Two by Tangled Roots Brewing Co.
Hangar Two, Glenview
Peckish Pig, Evanston
723 N. Milwaukee Ave, Wheeling
Spears Bourbon Burgers Beer is a hip, all-natural, gourmet burger eatery with a sophisticated bourbon and craft beer bar. Their beef is 100% grass-fed, grass-finished and antibiotic/growth hormone-free. The eponymous Spears Burger dazzles with toppings of bone marrow, Merkts cheddar cheese, crispy onions and parsley vinaigrette on a brioche bun. Or catch a buzz on the Bacon Coffee Burger where the beef is coffee rubbed and topped with bourbon bacon, cheddar cheese, homemade Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce, arugula, onions and tomato on a pretzel bun.
Epic Burger, Evanston & Skokie
1622 Sherman Ave., Evanston & Old Orchard Rd. & Skokie Blvd., Skokie
Epic Burger is on a mission to offer non-processed, all-natural food at a reasonable price for “A More Mindful Burger.” The Epic BYO is a classic build-your-own opportunity with your choice of patty, cheese and toppings on brioche, wheat bun or bed of lettuce. So terrifically tasty they named it twice, the Epic Epic stacks Double Black Angus beef, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, pickle grilled onion with Epic sauce on a brioche bun. Add-ons are primo, too, with premium Wisconsin cheese, thick-cut bacon, fried egg or avocado.
The Happ Inn, Northfield
The Happ Inn
305 Happ Rd., Northfield
Customize to your heart’s content with The Happ Inn Build a Burger on your choice of brioche, pretzel or wheat oat bun. Their Pick a Half Pound Patty can be Prime Beef, Mexican Turkey, Grass-fed Beef or Roasted Veggie & Black Bean. Select from five cheeses and inspired toppings like Applewood-smoked bacon, sunny side up egg, guacamole, grilled serranos or jalapenos or giardiniera. Then ponder which sauce will crown your dream burger: Horseradish, Blue Cheese Dressing, Chipotle Mayo, Poblano Crema or BQ.
Fred's Garage, Winnetka
574 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka
Hailed as a top outdoor dining spot, Fred’s Garage boasts a drool-inspiring Griddle Burger of a double patty, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and remoulade on a brioche bun. Must-try specials crop up regularly like the Bacon & Blue Cheese Burger with sauteed mushrooms and onions, crispy onions, Dijon aioli and fries. The Salmon Burger stacks a house-made Atlantic salmon patty, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion and grain mustard aioli on a brioche bun. Side up with fries, Mixed Greens or Fred’s Slaw.
Grill House, Northbrook
3061 Dundee Rd., Northbrook
Armed with a super fresh focus of homemade recipes and an extensive menu for the whole family, popular Grill House makes all their burgers with 100% certified Black Angus Beef. The Grill House Burger sports Merkts cheddar cheese, BBQ sauce, award-wining Nueske’s applewood smoked bacon, grilled onions and pickle. Definitely leave room for the Hand Spun Milk Shakes (Nutella, Vanilla, Oreo, Strawberry or Chocolate), Saganaki Cheese Curds and your pick of four (four!) kinds of Waffle Fries.
Guildhall Restaurant, Glencoe
694 Vernon Ave., Glencoe
Working with local and artisanal purveyors to source the highest quality ingredients, Guildhall raised the bar for the American bistro experience channeling a European flair. Enjoy their crisp, modern dining room, greenhouses or patio with the Guildhall Burger, a juicy prime beef (or Impossible Burger) garnished with Havarti, grilled onion, house pickles and a legendary roasted garlic aioli on toasted brioche with house-made chips, fries or salad. Get some Avocado Dip for the table, too, with crudites and taro chips.