Who makes Chicago’s Best Burger?

Who makes Chicago’s Best Burger?

Who makes Chicago’s best burger? The debate continues.

For over a decade Chicago Gourmet’s Hamburger Hop has been fanning the flames of this ongoing debate with their annual Hamburger Hop.

The ‘Hop’ a popular part of Chicago’ Gourmet’s annual September Food Festival pits 15 of Chicago’s best chefs against each other to see who makes the best burger.


This year, with the pandemic overshadowing everything, the folks behind Chicago Gourmet and the Hop went full speed ahead with the newly themed “Can’t Stop the Hop”–a 13 day competition with more than 100 chefs firing up their grills in a very hot competition.

From September 1-13, the chef competitors presented tasty burgers for dine-in, delivery or carry out. Food lovers were encouraged to hop around town, or visit the DoorDash app or website, and try as many burgers as possible. Based on flavor and overall presentation they voted for their favorite at chicagogourmet.org.



Sam Toia, Illinois Restaurant Association; Chef Jose Rivera, Black Barrel Tavern; Lin Brehmer, 93XRT

The WINNER of this year’s newly envisioned Hamburger Hop is Chef Jose Rivera of Black Barrel Tavern (1061 W. Madison St.; Chicago).

Chef Rivera’s impressive Black Barrel Burger featured two (2) black Angus patties, flattop-grilled, and topped with white American cheese, caramelized onions, tomatoes and spring mix. The burger was dashed with house spread sauce and served on a brioche bun.

In being crowned the winner, Chef Rivera received a personal visit on Tuesday, September 15 from long-standing Hamburger Hop judge and media personality Lin Brehmer of 93XRT, and Illinois Restaurant Association President and CEO Sam Toia. He received a winner’s trophy, magnum of fine wine from wine sponsor Josh Cellars, a Yeti cooler filled with premium meat and seafood from Buckhead Meat of Chicago…and bragging rights for a lifetime.


The CHICAGO GOURMET Food Festival cintinues through September 30 with GO GOURMET.

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