Edzo’s V. Muskie’s! Chicago’s “Classic Hamburger Stand” Burger Battle!

best cheeseburger in the world

Behold The Greatest Cheeseburger Ever Made!

How can you argue it – that is one gorgeous cheeseburger! So where did it come from? Well, that question is answered differently by ANYONE who has a taste for a good burger…because we’ve all held a cheeseburger that looked just about flawless, haven’t we?

best cheeseburgers

Yes, that is one great looking cheeseburger! There is, however, a bit of a controversy in the burger world:

Is “bigger” always “better?”

nine patty cheeseburger

Can a burger ever be “too” big? They are fun to advertise, and enjoyable to observe, but are they really for eating?

Big Bacon Cheeseburger

Today we aren’t here to discuss “mega burgers”…instead, it time’s to go back to the basics, and nobody does “basic beef” better than the Windy City!

Chicago skyline

Chicago’s “Basic Burger Battle”!

Time to check out two places in Chicago that don’t go “big”, they go “basic”…burgers that are straightforward and delicious…let’s start at a local favorite located in the Windy City’s Lincoln Park neighborhood…

Muskies burgers Chicago

Muskies Chicago

Welcome To Muskie’s!

Welcome to a classic “hamburger stand” – Muskie’s has been on Lincoln avenue for almost twenty years, serving up great burgers to a ravenous neighborhood…in a setting that feels like the 60’s…

Muskies Chicago counter

Muskies Chicago menu

I love the “traditional” hamburger stand – Muskie’s doesn’t try to do anything more than serve up “char-broiled” burgers on a small grill…along with hot dogs, a fish sandwich, and a few other surprises…in a setting that says “basic, good hamburgers”…

Bacon cheeseburger and fries

I ordered Muskie’s “bacon cheeseburger” with fries…and while this bun looks a bit wrinkled, it wasn’t – it held up just fine, tasted good and was perfect for the burger’s needs….and at Muskie’s you don’t have to worry: they put two meaty strips of freshly cooked bacon on top…

Muskie's bacon cheesebuerger

Muskie burger closeup

The meat tastes char-broiled, with strong “beef” flavor…and the condiments are added sparingly – to enhance the burger, not camouflage it…lettuce, tomato, onion, ketchup, muster and a hint of secret sauce – OK, something in the thousand island family – and it works – it’s a straightforward, delicious burger…

Muskies burger taste

The french fries come with skins on, freshly made to order, and a slight crunch and soft interior…

Chicago's best french fries

Muskie’s offers a few items loaded up – like a variety of cheese fries, plus milk shakes and floats as well – like I said, a great “hamburger stand”…

Muskie's chargrilled burger

Now, time to head to a “hamburger shop”…Chicago’s more modern approach to a hamburger stand…

Edzo's Chicago

Chicago's best burgers

Welcome To Edzo’s!

Edzo’s is also in the Lincoln Park neighborhood – and as you can see, Edzo’s also has a “hamburger stand” vibe inside…although they call themselves a burger “bar”…

Edzo's burger bar

best burgers in Chicago

Edzo’s Modernist Take On Things!

One thing you notice immediately: while Edzo’s offers the traditional burger, they also have some really fun “modern” takes on the staples:

Edzo's menu

Grass Fed AND Lobster Fries!

That’s right, you can upgrade your beef to grass fed, along with other upgrades – and yes, you can also order “lobster fries!” And of course, for the purpose of this review, I did just that:

Edzo's Chicago Lobster fries

But first, I ordered a bacon cheeseburger with the works, just as I did at Muskie’s…

best Chicago bacon cheeseburgers

As you can see, this bacon cheeseburger also came loaded up with fresh, crispy bacon…and cheese that just couldn’t wait to melt…

Chicago's best cheeseburgers

As with Muskie’s, the beef was juicy and flavorful, and the burger wasn’t loaded up so much that you couldn’t taste the meat…

America's best cheeseburgers

It’s All About The Price Point!

One thing to point out: these are NOT fast food burgers…they are not mass produced, frozen patties plopped down on a massive sheet of hot metal – these are char-broiled burgers, made to order…and you can taste the quality! Plus, at both places, you can watch them cook it too!

Best Chicago hamburgers

These burger and fry combos were both around $7, and they were very filling – Edzo’s and Muskie’s aren’t the “mega” burger joints that can charge $10 or more just for a burger…these are straightforward “hamburger stand” places that serve fresh burgers that taste great for a good price….

John Rieber burger review

Gaze Upon My Lobster Fries!

Well as I said, Edzo’s had a few modern takes, including Lobster fries covered with an aioli sauce…and yes, they were as flavorful and delicious as they look…fresh fries topped with chopped Lobster, then laced with green onions and aioli…

Lobster fries recipe

The Verdict?

Both places are great, and the lobster fries were terrific at Edzo’s – but I enjoyed the Muskie’s burger just a bit more…perhaps the thousand island sauce made the difference, but both will satisfy your burger itch!

Make sure to check out Edzo’s as well as Muskie’s – for “traditional” burgers that deliver flavor and value…and if you were wondering about what kind of burger I love best, one of my favorites looks like this:

John Rieber Frosted Flake Chicken Sandwich

Behold Badhappy’s Frosted Flake Burger!

Yes, look costly: those are frosted flakes….

Frosted Flake Chicken Sandwich

The legendary Badhappy Poutine shop in Chicago made this baby – until they had to close…but Chef Tom Kern is popping up all over Chicago, so I will update you as soon as I can on his Badhappy status…in the meantime, I can always bite down hard on one of these:

world's best burgers

Big Vs. Bagged!

This entire discussion has been based on how you like your burger: do you want something MONSTROUS? Would you rather have straightforward? I like them both, and they are easy to find, like this Kuma’s burger!

Kumas burgers Chicago

Read my look at two Chicago institutions – one who goes BIG, and other who goes BAGGED, by clicking on my story below:


So find out if some burgers are better BIG or BAGGED, and let me know what your favorite type of burger is!

Chicago's best burgers

Categories: BACON, chicago, cookbooks, Exotic Travel, Food, Food Review, Hamburgers, Memoirs, Recipes, Restaurants, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, Uncategorized, Wacky Food

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