Contact Us

5 Burger Chains We Need in Chicago

Chicago Retail
    5 Burger Chains We Need in Chicago

    Chicago has some killer burger joints (yes, if the line is long at Kuma’s you do have other options). But there’s always room for improvement. Here are some top spots we’d like to see in the Windy City. (Hint: Most are from the meat lovers in California.)

    1 of 6


    California’s first drive-thru in 1948, In-N-Out is famous for its Not-So-Secret Menu and Animal Style burger (which includes lettuce, tomato, a mustard-cooked beef patty and its proprietary “spread”). Today the family business is run by Lynsi Synder, only granddaughter of founders Harry and Esther Synder. The five-state chain (California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Texas) is rumored to be Anthony Bourdain’s favorite fast-food meal, but that's Kitchen Confidential.

    2 of 6

    Bobby's Burger Palace

    Developed by Food Network star Bobby Flay, New York-based Bobby's Burger Palace has some original offerings, including the Crunchburger. That's right, chips on the burger. The chain offers other unique burger creations, including the New Mexico with queso sauce, roasted green chiles and pickled red onions. Burgers are named after places, and we'd like to see a Chicago one (the bun could be deep dish pizza), not to mention a Chicago location.

    3 of 6

    Carl’s Jr.

    Perhaps most famous for its Paris Hilton ad campaign (featuring her catchphrase, “That’s hot.”) in 2005, Carl’s Jr.’s precursor was founded in 1941 by Carl Karcher in Anaheim, CA. (It’s a relative of Hardee’s, which you’ll find in a few Chicago ‘burbs.) If you’re super hungry, we’d suggest the half-pound Texas BBQ Thickburger, which includes smoked brisket along with your Black Angus beef patty.

    4 of 6


    If you haven’t seen Whataburger’s orange-and-white-striped roofs, you haven’t driven through the American South. Chicago could use a taste of that Southern hospitality, along with its Avocado Bacon Burger, charmingly served on Texas Toast. Like all the best joints, Whataburger has been around since the ‘50s (its first location was in Corpus Christi, TX) and has stayed in the Dobson family.

    5 of 6


    Another California burger, baby. Fatburger was founded in LA in ’47 and its food is cooked and made to order. Celeb partnerships have included Magic Johnson, Queen Latifah and Kanye West, who opened two Chicago locations in ’09 in Orland Park and Beverly. Both shuttered, a burger tragedy, and you heard it here first that we’re lobbying for their reopening. (And wouldn’t be opposed to a lifetime supply of XXXL Fatburgers.)