1449 West Taylor St.
Chicago Illinois 60607United States
Head to Little Italy for some of Chicago's best burgers served with vintage flair.
This Little Italy/University Village neighborhood bar goes above and beyond what you'd expect from, well, a neighborhood bar. With shiny red curtains, violet hues, elegant chandeliers and leather banquettes, Vintage Lounge is true to its vintage name -- to a degree. The martini menu is a bit more varied than you might expect from a Prohibition Era lounge -- Italian Wedding Cake and Key Lime, for example. And while the Gothic undertones give a certain mystique to this brick-walled bar, the flat-screen televisions, pool table and open floor plan manage to make it feel like a fancy sports bar or upscale Irish pub. Vintage disparities aside, it works. This place makes for a great group hangout or a romantic date. And then there's the food. Or, more specifically, the burgers -- oh, the burgers. Hands down, they rank among the best in town. The 10-ounce perfectly seasoned Angus or Kobe beef patties come on a picture-perfect brioche or pretzel bun. The Southwest burger has the just-right amount of South-of-the-Border spice and comes topped with fresh guacamole, mole verde, Chihuahua cheese, sliced jalapenos (fresh, not pickled) and pico de gallo. Other burgers excel at one-upsmanship, each outdoing the last. For instance, the Old Chicago Burger with bacon, cheddar, a fried egg and a fried onion haystack matches up against the Rush Burger, with Kobe beef, Brie cheese, baby greens, roasted red peppers and sun-dried tomato mayo. Each comes with perfectly cooked steak fries --golden crisp but not too crisp. And if you still have room, try the doughnut dippers for dessert: doughnut holes served with chocolate ganache and strawberry sauce. It's hard to say which martini they best pair with -- Banana Split, maybe? -- but there's no doubt that they stand up just fine on their own.