Small Cheval

  • Restaurant: Small Cheval
  • Location: Bucktown, 1732 N Milwaukee Ave.; Old Town 1345 N Wells St.
  • Website: Small Cheval
Small Cheval Burger – Chicago – Bucktown

The Score

BaseBurger qualifier50 pts.
MeatSeasoned well, a little on the tougher side9/10
ToppingsDijonnaise, pickles, onions, bacon (extra)9/10
TasteGreat quick burger, but not a WOW17/20

Overall rating: 92/100 A-; SUPERB

Burger notes

When Au Cheval hit the burger scene, it created a frenzy in a city that was still growing as a burger Mecca. Even though they are known for many other types of food, the burger was what it became so well known for. To the point where you had to wait 3+ hours for a table to even get a taste of it!

Then came along Small Cheval: a small shack-like structure serving up a slightly smaller version of the real deal at Au Cheval. However, the wait is almost non-existent on most days due to no wait-staff and the fast casual atmosphere. You can walk up to the register, put in your order, and be scarfing down one of the best burgers in Chicago in a matter of minutes.

This buttery goodness features well seasoned beef, a zingy dijonnaise, and a nice crunch from the pickles and red onion. Placed on a soft brioche bun, this burger just melts in your mouth. While it is secondary to the original at Au Cheval, you can save time and money by coming to one of their few locations for a quick, amazing burger and pair it with fries, beer, shakes and draft cocktails.

Small Cheval in Bucktown

Supplementary notes

Atmosphere rating: πŸ‘ Come when the weather is warm to enjoy the outdoor patio. It feels like a picnic in the city with one of the best burger bangs for your buck.

Value: πŸ‘ $10.95 (including the $2 bacon) You can’t argue with this. $11 for a 92 point burger. Because of the fast casual nature of this restaurant and no wait staff, you can get an incredible burger at a solid price.

Final thoughts

Unless someone in my group is dying to go to Au Cheval, most of the time I would choose Small Cheval to save the wait time. Perhaps you can swing by Au Cheval to see what the wait is like and then take the 10-15 minute drive to one of the Small Cheval locations if the wait is too long. Either way, you can’t go wrong!

Kuma’s Corner – The Yob

The Yob Burger Review

  • Restaurant: Kuma’s Corner
  • Location: 2800 W Belmont Ave
  • Website: Kuma’s Corner

The Score

BaseBurger qualifier50 pts.
BunPretzel Bun9/10
MeatMedium rare, thick, good, a little chewy8/10
ToppingsBacon, roasted red pepper, smoked gouda, garlic mayo10/10
TasteAll working together very well, nothing overpowering19/20

Overall rating: 96/100 A; EXCELLENT

Burger notes

Kuma’s Corner is the OG of massive, delicious burgers in Chicago. They’ve been slinging them since 2005, at the original location of Belmont and Francisco. They have since expanded to multiple locations throughout Chicago and the country.

Music notes

Burger notes

Supplementary notes

Atmosphere rating: πŸ‘ Back patio is great in the summertime, but if you prefer the heavy metal, the inside is an experience. It’s not everyone’s cup o’ tea, but it definitely gives this place an unforgettable character.

Value: πŸ‘ Easily worth the cost. Priced right if you go with a normal menu item. The burger of the month (#BOTM) is generally overpriced. It’s rare to have one that’s better than some of my favorite menu items. Stick to the regular menu for the value.

Final thoughts

This place is the original burger joint in Chicago that changed the game. It is my favorite place to get a burger in the city. I think that’s different than saying it’s the best burger in the city. While it’s one of my favorites, I come back for the atmosphere and nostalgia of the burger. I’ve tried every burger on the menu and you can’t really go wrong.