Jurassic Park III taught us tons of important stuff. Namely, that there are two kinds of people: astronauts, and astronomers. Astronomers are people who observe from a safe distance, while astronauts explore space for themselves. And if you apply the same analogy to the world of eating burgers, Kuma’s Corner is best left to Neil Armstrong types.
There’s nothing safe about Kuma’s. We’re not exaggerating—it looks dangerous in there. Metal music blasts at an ungodly decibel and the griddle is right off the bar, so visibility is low. As far as we know, no one’s gone deaf or otherwise been injured, and for the past 10 years, they’ve been serving the most outrageous burgers in Chicago.
There are literally no rules at this place when it comes to burger toppings. Fried egg? That’s obvious. Pulled pork? Of course. Red wine reduction and an unconsecrated communion wafer to represent the body and blood of Christ? Wait… what the f*ck? Yeah, that happened, and the Catholic Church was in uproar. But as you could’ve guessed, Kuma’s didn’t care. We respect the hell out of their toppings, their creativity, and most of all, their gumption.
For all you Johnny Cubs-fans, you should know Kuma’s only serves craft local beers, they won’t put sports on the TV, and you can’t wear your baseball hat inside. There’s no real reason for this—they just don’t like guys like you. So why subject yourself to this brutal atmosphere if it’s not your style? Because every bite of a burger is a reminder that it’s all worth it.
Lady Gaga waits in line here, and you will too. You’ll want to complain, but trust us, that’s a bad idea. Make like Scott Kelly over to Kuma’s, and settle in with the feeling of deep intimidation and discomfort.
If you’re at Kuma’s, just assume your body is going to hate you afterward. Go all in and start with the Mac & Cheese concoction of your dreams.
Expect every burger to be enormous, and perfectly cooked. This is their classic with bacon, sharp cheddar, fried egg, lettuce, tomato, and onions.
Choosing a burger here is a hard decision. Beer battered tamale, brie, Andouille sausage, bourbon poached pear—these are actual things they’re putting on burgers. The decision is extremely personal, and there’s no right choice. Go with your gut feeling and try them all.
It’s fair to give your doctor a heads up before you come here.