Top-Notch Beefburger Shop in Chicago has been a fixture in the south side’s Beverly neighborhood since 1942. Surviving the onslaught of fast-food burger chains for 86 years is a testament to their staying power. This old-school place sports wood paneling and booths with tan Naugahyde. The place is well-worn, but clean and sports a friendly, lived-in vibe, like having a burger at your aunt’s house.
Choose from the Basic or Deluxe Beefburger. The Deluxe adds lettuce, tomato and pickles. Either can be had in ¼, ½ or larger versions. I ordered the half-pound Deluxe with cheese ($8.10). My wife had the quarter-pound Basic cheeseburger $3.75. The deluxe came with a nicely toasted sesame bun. The basic had a plain white bun. Both buns were fresh and spongy.
The beef, which is US choice ground round, rather than chuck, was very flavorful. The thick patty on the deluxe was juicy, despite the lower fat content of round. Both burgers were cooked well-done, but did not seem too dry. I had the onions grilled on my Deluxe, a good choice that added to the enjoyment of the burger. There was a small container of mayo with the plate, which I slathered on the bun. Pickle slices were abundant. There was a mound of lettuce and two big fresh tomato slices. The whole thing was very good, and I wolfed mine down without hesitation. Pat equally enjoyed her Basic, which she ate plain.
The onion rings ($2.60) were heavily battered. The crunchy exterior wrapped itself around the moist breading and sweet onion on the inside. Pat’s fries were unusual, as stated on the menu. They appeared very brown and a little limp, signs that they are fresh cut on site. They were very tasty and we enjoyed the thin cut morsels.
I also ordered a small chocolate shake ($2.40). It was very thick and came stacked over the rim of the small glass. Barely suckable through the little straw, the shake was very creamy and very chocolaty.
We really enjoyed our trip to Top-Notch. I hope they last another 68 years at least.
Burger 4.5 spatulas out of 5
Fries 4 spatulas
Onion rings 3.5 spatulas
Top-Notch Beefburger Shop
2116 West 95th Street
Chicago, IL 60643
Scott R. Kline is a photographer, father, traveler, husband and burger-lover based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He loves road trips, Burning Man, scotch whiskey, mid-century furniture, his dog Rex, building houses in Mexico, and seeing what comes next in life.