Personally, I don’t abide by burgers that ain’t made from beef. In fact, I don’t abide by eating anything that ain’t got beef in it somewheres. Let’s face it, there’s only one way you should eat a burger: raw and bloody, between two pieces of white Wonder Bread, with a three-inch-thick slice of pepper jack cheese.

Sound good, don’t it?

Not everyone is like you and me though. Some people are lame. It is for these lame people that I went on out in the world and found five of the best non-beef burgers that exist in the Chicago-land area.

You’re welcome.


You don’t need beef when you have Vincent’s grilled lamb burger. This burger, which originated at Vincent’s mother restaurant HB Home Bistro in Lakeview, is stuffed with roasted garlic butter, melted edam, roasted tomato, aioli, and frites. I don’t know what half a them fancy ingredients are (what the heck is a tom-a-toe?), but it tastes good when you mix it all together.


So I wouldn’t feel guilty about ignorin’ beef, I went ahead and ate one of Boundary’s turkey burgers, AKA Gobblers, for Thanksgiving (the only acceptable, non-beef day of the year). I was, of course, alone. Just like every Thanksgiving. The Gobbler, with its mozzarella, avocado, and cranberry aioli, was so good that it made me forget I’m a lonely sonuvagun with nobody to love during the holidays.

That’s pretty darn good.


Usually, I associate the word “alt” with those young women who dress in black, have lotsa tattoos and wear dark eye-shadow (boy do they give me the heebee-jeebies). The alt burgers section of Burger Bar’s menu don’t resemble these young ladies though. Despite its lack of beef, the alt burger offerings seem pretty freakin’ wholesome: veggie burger, chicken burger, turkey BLT burger; all great burgers. So go ahead

Longman + Eagle

Longman + Eagle

Wild boar sloppy joe … Yeesh … The only way to make this non-beef non-burger enjoyable is to imagine you killed the wild boar you’re eating yourself, armed with nothing but a spear and your bear hands (cooler than “bare hands”), while wearing nothing but a loincloth.

For those of you who don’t take pleasure in killing your own dinner, the great taste of crispy sage, onions, pickled jalapeno and beef fat fries–not to mention the amazingly tasty wild boar–might just do it for ya.

And yeah, I realize a sloppy joe ain’t exactly a burger, but I don’t really give a toot.

And for those of you wondering, I do in fact have bear hands. I got them from a bear.

It’s odd, for a place that has “beef” in their name, Top Notch sure does got some great non-beef burgers. Their turkey meat, for example, has as much care given to it as their impressive beef. Sometimes I like to chew on some of their deluxe turkey and pretend it’s as good as beef. It helps to convince me of this if I close my eyes. And it works! It really works! That’s how good their turkey is, friend.

Well, those are the top five. The best of the best. According to me (and I’m who matters). You got a problem with it? There’s a comment section for a reason!

And, since winning ain’t winning without a few losers, here are some very good, very awesome notable mentions:

DMK Burger, English, and South Water Kitchen!

Mason Johnson, CBS Chicago