1. Top Notch Beefburger (2116 W. 95th St., 773-445-7218) There’s a reason they’ve been in business for more than 60 years: they buy a quarter of a cow at a time, grind the beef on-site, toast their buns, offer deluxe fixin’s and fresh-cut fries cooked in pure beef fat.
2. David Burke’s Primehouse (616 N. Rush St., 312-660-6000) The ground chuck from the burger comes from pieces of meat that have aged for 40 days; ‚ on top, garlic spinach and‚ crispy shallots, plus a potato bun slathered with a bacon-mayo spread.
3. The Twisted Spoke (501 N. Ogden Ave., 312-666-1500) The Fatboy reigns supreme here: a hand-formed half-pounder, offered with a range of excellent toppings (bacon, BBQ sauce, gouda, among others) served on a garlic toasted egg bun with incredibly tasty fresh-cut fries. 4.‚ DMK Burger Bar (2954 N. Sheffield Ave., 773-360-8686) Grass-fed burgers, pounded thin, served on the best (potato) buns anywhere in town; homemade condiments are de rigueur.
5. Kuma’s (2900 W. Belmont Ave., 773-604-8769) They have their rules and their in-your-face servers, but the burgers are still pretty solid, despite the fact the pretzel buns and superfluous proteins (bacon, pulled pork, pancetta?) can overwhelm the beef. ‚ Don’t even think of asking them to turn down (or, God forbid, change) the ear-splitting music. They’ll probably throw you out on your ass.