By Mason Johnson

Big boy burgers are great and all, but sometimes you just want some little, itty-bitty baby burgers to share with some friends (or greedily stuff your own face with).

And please, don’t ask why they’re called a “sliders.” I don’t want to have to explain it. Chances are, you’ll find out for yourself.

Here are five of the best places to get sliders in the entire slider-friendly city known as Chicago. Just remember, it’s not the size of the burger that matters…

It’s the taste of it.


(Also, I hope you like Game of Thrones, because I’ve littered this article with references to it.)

Kuma’s Corner

2900 West Belmont Avenue
Chicago, IL
(773) 604-8769

Firstly, Kuma’s is about to have a benefit for Sam Thompson. Why? Because Sam’s had cystic fibrosis most of his life and could use a hand. Easy as that. Check out Kuma’s website, or this facebook invite, for more info. If you decide you’re too cool to help Sam out, I’ll have to send my direwolf after you.

On with the article…

Yeah, I know, everyone knows about Kuma’s. The metal bar’s burgers are famous and hip and cool and all that and a bag of chips, I get it. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be on this list, does it? You wouldn’t say, for example, that Jaime Lannister is a bad fighter because he’s famous, would you? No. You wouldn’t. Because he would stab you. The best is the best, even if everyone knows about it.

So, for the three of you that have no idea what Kuma’s is, it’s a loud bar that often takes about two hours to get into and just so happens to have the best burgers in the city. They also have three choices for sliders, Dark Castles, Buffalos, and Mini Pig Destroyers, which are my favorite. I love BBQ pork.


Hop Haus

7545 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60626
(773) 262-3783‎

Up North in Stark territory, we have Hop Haus! A gigantic restaurant/sports bar, Hop Haus has more TVs than any other establishment I can think of.

It’s not the TVs we’re interested in though, is it?

I could list all the types of sliders you could get, or I could be blunt: in order for me to count the many kinds of mini-burgers they offer, I’d have to take off my shoes and socks. You want a fried egg on it? Sure, done. Sautéed mushrooms? No problem. Ostrich? Lamb? They got it all.

So many options, you just might lose your head.


Rockit Bar & Grill

22 West Hubbard Street
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 645-6000‎

Most of these places are too cool for me, and Rockit Bar & Grill is no exception. Don’t worry though, I’m quite lame, I doubt they’re too cool for you, dear reader. Rockit’s sleek, River North atmosphere aside, they have great sliders. They’ve got the expected, black angus sliders, and, more importantly, they’ve got BBQ pork sliders. Have I mentioned that I love BBQ pork?

As long as they’re not wild boar sliders, I’m happy. I still haven’t gotten over what happened to King Robert…

(credit: MANA Food Bar’s facebook)

Mana Food Bar

1742 West Division Street
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 342-1742‎

The bad news: their sliders have no meat.

The good news: they still taste surprisingly good.

I’m a strident meat eater, it has to exist in every meal I have, but Mana is one of the few places I can forgo this requirement. Their sliders–brown rice and mushroom burgers with spicy mayo–are just that good. Their potato pancakes are also tasty, and their sake cocktails are sweet enough for the khalessi herself.

Taverna 750

750 West Cornelia Avenue
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 904-7466‎

One of just a handful of ZAGAT rated restaurants in Chicago, Taverna’s great sliders and wonderful cocktails are so good they could make Tyrion Lannister forget about women. Briefly, at least. Their Mini Italian Cheeseburgers, which come on a pretzel bun (very Chicago!), are topped with bacon, buffalo mozzarella, red pepper coulis, housemade giardiniera and herb salad.

I don’t know what coulis is, but it’s on these sliders, and they taste good, so there.

Those are my five picks. Invariably, I forgot your favorite place. Please, let me know in the comment section!

Mason Johnson, Winter is coming