So you’re at a street fest. You’re clutching a frothy beer, browsing craft booths, and bobbing your head to a cover band. Chicago loves the reason to hang outside in different hoods, but come midsummer the street fests begin to blend together. Chicago is the “City that Works,” however, so combine a street fest with a pursuit like uncovering the best burgers in town and we’re on a mission.
Roscoe Village Village Burger Fest beckons Chicagoans to come armed with an appetite to achieve the simple goal of finding your new favorite burger. With over ten grills to navigate this year, I took it upon myself to find the best five creations on a bun. Veggie-friends beware: mine is a beef-only endeavor.
Rockit Burger Bar – Truffle Mushroom Burger
The pronounced truffle and savory mushroom flavors of this kobe beef burger took top honors in my book. The firm red onion brioche bun kept the gooey wonder of melted brie, fried shallots, and Medjool date aioli from oozing all over my face mid-chomp.
Goose Island Brewpubs – Stilton Burger
Spicy German mustard and roasted garlic cloves provided enough kick to overshadow the Stilton cheese on this Goose Island offering. The pumpernickel bread anchoring the pepper-crusted burger was the most unique of the day.
Cortland’s Garage – Cortland Street Burger
The most buzzed about burger of the day had meat lovers waiting in half-hour lines and double-fisting patties. White cheddar cheese, smoked bacon, crispy onion strings, lettuce, tomato, and mayo provided great taste and texture, but Cortland’s lost points for forgetting the avocado on my sample.
Hamburger Mary’s – Fiesta Burger
The flavor-packed fiesta burger was a party on a bun. Although the chorizo taste was lacking from the stuffed burger, the cilantro-heavy pico de gallo proved a refreshing topper. Pepper-jack cheese and chipotle ranch brought the zing.
Butcher & the Burger – House Prime Blend Burger
Let’s not go calling this burger “standard,” but onions, cheddar, and truffle mayo made for a more traditional topping than other fest contenders. The subtlety of truffle and unmelted cheese left something to be desired, but Butcher & the Burger’s house burger is a sure thing for satisfying appetites.
Who serves up your favorite burger in the city?