Slideshow: Staff Picks: What's the Best Burger in Chicago?

Double Cheeseburger at Edzo's
Double Cheeseburger at Edzo's

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

"I'd bet that the Pizza Cognition Theory holds true for burgers, too. For me then, that means thin, griddled patties topped with American cheese, raw onions, mustard and ketchup, and plenty of pickles. In short, a McDonald's cheeseburger. I'm not ashamed to admit that I succumb to a few of these a year still, but I'm proud to admit I've moved on to the Double Cheeseburger at Edzo's, which takes all the McStalgia of my youth and applies it to well sourced, properly cooked ingredients. I'm an adult now, so I get both caramelized and raw onions on mine. I know we can't all answer Edzo's, but can you blame us if we all answer Edzo's?" Joe Roy

"I love all burgers, but find the taste for double griddled burgers hits me the most. Thus Edzo's Lincoln Park is my stop when I'm on the North Side. It's an instant classic." Titus Ruscitti

Double Cheeseburger at Redhot Ranch
Double Cheeseburger at Redhot Ranch

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

"I like big and juicy grilled burgers just fine, even if I only crave them approximately twice a year. But burgers smashed on a blackened griddle until thin and crispy? That's more my style. So it's unfortunate that for so many years Chicago didn't have a stellar option, requiring me to make a suburban trek to Schoop's to get my fix. That's all changed in the past few years, as more and more places are getting behind the griddle. I have a few favorites, but no place gets its griddled burgers as deliriously crispy on the edges as Redhot Ranch's second location in Lakeview. The only fault I had on my first visit was the questionable absence of dill pickles, which would have added a triumphal crunchy layer. I'm not sure if I should be telling anyone, but I now know they have secret pickles available for the asking (you didn't hear it from me), which officially bumps this burger into the top position for me." Nick Kindelsperger

Single Cheeseburger at Au Cheval
Single Cheeseburger at Au Cheval

[Photograph: Daniel Zemans]

"Everyone's probably going to choose the famous Au Cheval burger as their favorite, but that's because this burger really is one of the best you can find in the city. The upscale diner uses thin, prime-beef patties, so a double is a single, a triple a double, and so on. It's smothered generously in melty cheese and cradled in a lightly toasted bun that supplies just the right bun-to-meat ratio. Slap on a mild Dijonnaise and some housemade dill pickles and you have a masterpiece. If you get it "au cheval" it comes with a fried egg and thick-cut bacon, which is really the only way it should come. Trust me." Tessa McLean

Burger at Mindy's Hot Chocolate
Burger at Mindy's Hot Chocolate

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

The burger that caught me by surprise the most is the one at Hot Chocolate. I'd already been to Hot Chocolate for dessert plenty of times, but when I went for an actual meal, I thought I'd give the burger a try since people kept talking it up. The patty is simple and as beefy as can be, it already comes with bacon and cheddar by default, and since my favorite condiment is cholesterol, I highly recommend adding the fried egg. I even even had a burger for lunch today and I'm craving the burger from Hot Chocolate as we speak. And if you're on a date, you might as well enjoy one of their beautiful desserts, which can only mean your date will end well. Real well. Dennis Lee

Char Burger at Edzo's in Evanston
Char Burger at Edzo's in Evanston

[Photograph: Daniel Zemans]

"I always order my char burger at Edzo's in Evanston medium rare and love the juiciness of the patty. The quality of the meat really shines. I keep it simple with mustard, lettuce, and tomato, with maybe a fried egg if I want to get really messy. Market burgers are amazing when they are available, but will have you stuffed for the entire day. Cancel dinner plans, especially if you get a milkshake and fries on the side, which I always do." Amber Gibson

Slagel Farm Beef Burger at Owen & Engine
Slagel Farm Beef Burger at Owen & Engine

[Photograph: Daniel Zemans]

"Narrowing down my favorite burger in Chicago is a bit of a Sophie's Choice nightmare for me, but here it goes. While Au Cheval comes in at a close second, along with the curiously underrated similar version at Dillman's, my favorite burger is at Owen & Engine. That's primarily due to the bun, a peerless house-baked potato bap, as warm and soft as a thermal sleeping bag, with the perfect doughy consistency and chew to support the hefty, succulent beef burger. Without any excessive accoutrements, this burger stands on its own merits, and with every element polished to a tee, it makes for a mighty fine burger." Matt Kirouac

Sliders with Cheese at State Fair
Sliders with Cheese at State Fair

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

"If you know me, you might know about my griddle obsession. As in, I own a 4 foot commercial outdoor griddle and a pair of spatulas to go with it. And no, I can't do the flaming onion volcano or make the 'egg roll.' When I'm not slinging tacos, I'm cooking Detroit/New Jersey sliders for anyone who'll eat them. Thing is, griddle set up and tear down is a real pain in the ass, so I'm much more likely to head over to State Fair these days to get what just might be the only authentic sliders in the city. Squishy rolls, plentiful pickles, and mustard only—these tide me over until I can slot in some time to play short order cook for my friends." Joe Roy

Bad Apple Burger at Bad Apple
Bad Apple Burger at Bad Apple

This is the Slow Burn from Bad Apple. [Photograph: Daniel Zemans]

"Bad Apple burgers are proof that where your meat comes from truly makes a huge difference. The Pat LaFrieda meat is something special, and you can get it at this awesome bar in Lincoln Square. Burgers are on the thick-side and there are plenty of inventive combinations to choose from. To really taste the flavor of the meat, make sure to try the Bad Apple Burger, it's a classic, but you'll understand why people flock to this spot for a quality patty. Plus, they've got one of the best beer selections around." Tessa McLean