It’s time to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day on Monday, September 18th. Chicago has so many great options when it comes to cheeseburgers. It’s as if every restaurant in town serves their own version of this classic meal. Burgers can be flat-fried, smashed, or flame-grilled. Many use different types of cheese, but a slice of American cheese is the one that started it all.
The first cheeseburger was invented in 1924 when a 16-year-old fry cook named Lionel Sternberger dropped a slice of American cheese onto a spicy burger patty. He worked at his father’s sandwich shop in Pasadena, California, called The Rite Spot; The rest is history. This was the beginning of a ninety-nine-year love affair with the classic cheeseburger.
What’s your favorite cheeseburger in Chicago? Are you still looking for “the one”? Here’s a list of restaurants where you can order a cheeseburger for the holiday. Where will you celebrate?
This local favorite known for its ‘more conscious’ burgers celebrated 15 years on Friday, September 15. The local chain currently has five locations but recently acquired six local locations in Meathead. It will be converted by December 1, doubling Epic’s size and offering its first-ever drive-thru locations. That means more delicious cheeseburgers to enjoy all over Chicagoland. For more information, visit epicburger.com
Known for its elevated American cuisine, The Smith Restaurant is located in the heart of River North at 400 N. Clark St. In Chicago, it serves The Smith Burger. This burger features cheddar cheese, bacon jam, shallots, crispy onions, house pickles, TSB sauce, and a brioche bun, served with a side of french fries. For more information, visit thesmithrestaurant.com or call 312.312.5100.
We went fishing and found the Double Barrel Burger at Lure Fish Bar, 616 N. Rush St. In chicago. This amazing burger features two American cheeses, secret sauce, fried onions, and sliced pickles with Parmesan truffle fries for $23. To celebrate National Cheeseburger Day, Lure Fishbar is opening a one-day-only carryout window for its “Haute Happy Meal,” featuring shaved truffles as an added topping to honor the holiday. For more information, visit lurefishbar.com or call 312.660.6180.
Executive Chef Aaron Koshyeri is known for creating a melting pot of flavors throughout his menu at The Dearborn, located at 145 N Dearborn St. In chicago. The restaurant was voted one of the 100 Best Restaurants of 2022 by OpenTable. The chef created a classic cheeseburger called the Dearborn Burger made with CDK Farms beef, Wisconsin cheddar cheese, special sauce, dill pickles, and bibb lettuce on a brioche bun. For more information, visit thedearborntavern.com or call 312.384.1242.
He created this new West Loop location at 802 W. Randolph St. Chicago’s menu offers unique and reimagined classic Mediterranean dishes with a touch of local nostalgia. The Prime Bar serves a double burger with mustard aioli and pickles on a brioche bun. Crush this burger during their happy hour for only $14, available Monday through Friday from 4pm-6pm For more information, visit nisoprime.com or call 872.204-5353
Boulevard Steak House
Chef Joe Flamm, winner of Season 15 of Top Chef, shares the beauty and elegance of Old Hollywood at BLVD Steakhouse at 817 W. Lake St. In chicago. Chef Flam created the BLVD Steak Burger. It’s a classic steak burger topped with cheddar cheese, pickles and house sauce on a sesame seed bun. For more information, visit blvdchicago.com or call 312.526.3116.
Lírica is located on Chicago’s famous Navy Pier at 900 E. Grand Ave. Set in Chicago, it offers Iberian and Spanish-inspired influences. They took the classic burger and added a surprising twist. The short rib burger is made with smoked cheddar cheese, saffron aioli and crunchy jam on a buttery brioche bun. For more information, visit liricarestaurant.com or call 872.710.5750
Michael Jordan Steakhouse Chicago
Are you ready to slam dunk? Michael Jordan’s Steak House Chicago is located at 505 N. Michigan Ave in Chicago and serves the Wagyu Big Mike burger. The burger features 10 ounces of ground Wagyu beef, grilled and served on a toasted sesame bun with aged cheddar cheese, grilled sweet onions, dill pickles, shaved iceberg, and special sauce. They are as legendary as goats. Himself…Michael Jordan. For more information, visit michaeljordansteakhouse.com or call 312.321-8823.
And truth be told
This British gastropub located at 1227 E. 60th St. Chicago has delicious and traditional cuisine. They serve the House Burger with a blend of aged meats, sharp cheddar cheese, smoked bacon, Brooklyn brine pickles, and Churchill sauce. You’ll feel like royalty after your first bite. For more information, visit Truthbetoldtavern.com or call 872.315.1319
Hamburger Hop at Chicago Gourmet
This is the ultimate event to try some of the best burgers in Chicago. It will be held Friday, September 22, at the Harris Theater Rooftop at 205 E. Randolph St. There will be an all-star roster of chefs competing for the title of best burger. This event is hosted by Chef Stephanie Izard. For more information, visit Chicagogourmet.org or call 312.380.4137