The Best Burger in Chi City

August 13, 2011

One Sunday morning I came up with the genius idea of heading over to Kuma's Corner before they even opened for business. Fully knowing the popularity of this Chicago burger palace, I figured by going early enough, most were recovering from their Saturday night hangovers. Boy was I right! The BF and I arrived at 11:30am just short of the 12 noon opening and joined the other 30 or so patrons in line. Thirty minutes before opening and there were still people waiting in line! Having gone to Kuma's before and leaving because of the 2.5 hour wait, I knew the next time I went, I had to have a strategic plan.

The one, the only
Thirty minutes before opening
The Burger Bible

To our surprise, the folks at Kuma's decided to open their doors early that day so we headed in with the rest of the line and scored the last seat at the bar. Kuma's has a limited number of tables inside, but they also have a nice-sized patio in back when weather permits. I highly recommend sitting at the bar for the full Kuma's experience. Nowhere else in the place affords you the opportunity to mingle with other burger lovers, both at the bar, and waiting for a table. With a bar seat you are close to all the action and can easily make friends with the extremely friendly staff. I have to say I was a bit shocked at just how awesome and friendly the staff was. You'd think sitting on a gold mine of a restaurant would make these people a little stuck up, but that was not the case at all.

Our view at the bar
So sad. So True.
Mmm. Meat.
If you don't already know, the theme at Kuma's Corner is metal, as in heavy metal or metal heads. Heavy metal music blasts over the speakers and the staff is covered in tats. If you're looking for an intimate meal, don't come here. Also, leave the kids behind. This is the type of place you bring out of town guests, girlfriends, buddies, etc.

Now onto the food...We started with a couple beers to wash down that red meat. I can't even remember what I ate for breakfast yesterday so do you expect me to know what beer we had? Sorry.
Our server was more than patient while we browsed through the extensive list of gigantic burgers. Ultimately, we made a decision. The BF went with the classic Kuma's Burger. A juicy combination of cheddar, bacon and a fried egg. Having had many burgers with fried eggs, that was a delicious selling point for him. After much debate, I went with the Mastadon, complete with bacon (duh), bbq sauce, aged white cheddar and friend shallots. Both burgers were served on a delicious pretzel bun, because, let's be honest, that's probably about the only bun that could handle the massive size of the burger.

The kitchen at Kuma's is quite small so waiting for your burger is a given. However, once that burger is plopped down in front of you, the minimal wait time is worth it. I must have stared at my burger for a good 30 seconds with intimidation. The BF and I cut our burgers in half--there was no way we could demolish this thing in its entirety! I ordered mine medium, but it was definitely cooked medium well. However, after biting into it, I was not disappointed. It was the juiciest, most flavorful burger I have ever tasted in my life. The gooey cheese and barbecue sauce was the perfect pairing and the pretzel roll soaked up all of those wonderful juices. I tried some of the BF's burger, and it was just as juicy and delicious! That fried egg really makes all the difference! 

The fries...oh man, the fries. Let me preface this by saying I am not a huge fry lover. These were the most delicious fries I have ever had. Perfectly crispy, possibly double fried (you can't go wrong). They certainly give you enough of them, probably at least a pound, I'd say!

Next time, I'm coming back to try their famous mac 'n cheese. 

Kuma's Corner gets 5 stars for having the best burger in Chicago, awesome people watching, and down-to-Earth staff. Make sure you plan your trip during off-peak hours, or you may be waiting awhile! I hope you don't mind smelling like grease!

The Famous Kuma Burger- Bacon, Cheddar, Fried Egg
The Kuma Burger
The Mastodon- Aged White Cheddar, Bacon, BBQ Sauce, Fried Shallots
The Mastadon
2900 W Belmont Ave
Chicago IL.

Kuma's Corner on Urbanspoon

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