The Bad Apple
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One of the greatest things about America is that you can always get a relatively cheap burger in a fun setting, and that's exactly what you'll find at The Bad Apple. The Bad Apple is a bar and restaurant hybrid that serves everything from the classic burger to the mystical El Chupacabra complete with goal chili and guacamole. Who needs a fancy night out when you have El Chupacabra.
The Bad Apple is a laidback place with creative burgers that actually taste good (rather than just impressing you with their weirdness). You’ll find things that sound strange but really work - like the “Elvis’ Last Supper” (with housemade peanut butter and bacon). But our top choice here is the Slow Burn, topped with spicy chilis, sauteed onions, bacon, and white cheddar cheese. It might burn your face off, but it’s worth it.
And the practical thing to do is hit up The Bad Apple in Ravenswood. Let’s be clear: this isn’t some generic burger stand hiding in the middle of nowhere. Bad Apple is an excellent and popular neighborhood spot to grab a burger and beer - Ravenswood just isn’t as popular as the West Loop. There’s a whole menu full of burgers that has something for everyone, from a classic cheeseburger to Elvis’s Last Supper with bacon and peanut butter to The Cowboy Killer with egg, cheese, jalapeño, and baked beans on a pretzel bun. You really can’t go wrong, and even though The Bad Apple is often crowded, there won’t be a crazy wait.
Chicago has a lot of creative burger places, and many of them are really good. But Bad Apple is our go-to for a double date. It has interesting burgers (among them one with peanut butter and bacon), plus a chill neighborhood atmosphere. It’s busy without feeling slammed, so it’s perfect if you want to be able to have an actual conversation.
Looking for a local spot to grab a burger and a beer with friends? If you’re in Ravenswood, go to The Bad Apple. Keep things simple with their regular Bad Apple burger, or try something more creative like a Chupacabra with goat chile or a Grizzly Adams topped with braised short rib and jalapeño. This place is consistently busy, so prepare to wait (there’s a large bar area where you can do that).