Chicago's best kept secret
Credit: George Motz

Top Notch Beefburger


Top Notch is a classic old diner from the 1930s that should be in guidebooks. But because it's about a 30-minute drive south of downtown, the diner isn't even on the radar of most Chicagoans – Motz has to drag natives there himself when he visits. He says the success of this particular burger lies in its size and unparalleled freshness. "They have sides of beef in a walk-in cooler, which was once pretty standard," Motz says. "You became your butcher."  His favorite is the super king-size, which is a flat but juicy three-quarter-pounder with a pile of onions and American cheese on a classic bun. "Fresh ground beef that goes from the back to the front in a few minutes makes a huge difference for flavor."

Top Notch Beefburger
2116 W 95th Street, Chicago, IL 60643