Epic Burger lives up to the name as an innovator in the fast casual restaurant world

Since opening in 2008, Epic Burger has carved out a place as a creative innovator in the fast casual restaurant world. The team at Epic Burger recently invited Your Chicago Guide to visit and sample some of their most popular menu items.

Double Epic burger with fries
Double Epic Burger with fries and drink. Photo by Neil Burger.

epic: (ep-ic, adj.)
1. Surpassing the usual or ordinary, particularly in scope or size; 2. Heroic and impressive in quality.

Since opening in 2008, Epic Burger has certainly surpassed the usual and ordinary, making them one of the most impressive options in the quick service realm in the Chicago region. Among the many accomplishments and accolades are the following:

  • In 2017, the first fast casual restaurant to offer Beyond Meat™ in Chicago
  • The use of non-GMO ingredients
  • Halal-certified preparations
  • Expansive vegetarian options
  • Packaging made from plants
  • Named the “Best Local Food Chain” by Time Out Chicago
  • Featured among the nation’s “Hot Restaurant Brands To Watch” by CNBC
  • Named one of “America’s Hottest Startup Fast Casuals” on QSRs 2020 40/40 List

As if that were not enough, Epic Burger also won Chicago Gourmet’s 2021 Hamburger Hop with their Jalapeño Cheese Bomb Burger – two hand-smashed, all beef patties stacked with jalapeño cream cheese, fried shallots and bacon built on a bed of organic veggies and fiesta ranch. 

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Jalapeño Cheese Bomb Burger. Photo by Neil Burger

On a recent visit, I asked the manager to suggest some of the best and most iconic menu items and I sampled four delicious options:

  • Classic Epic (Single Black Angus beef patty, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, pickle, grilled onion, and Epic sauce, served on a brioche bun) This is your standard classic cheeseburger to which I added bacon because . . . bacon! When you bite into a burger that has been freshly-made from high-quality beef that has never been frozen, you can tell the difference. If you are looking for a fantastic classic bite, this is a perfect option and it comes in double and triple sizes as well. They also have a ‘build your own’ option so there are nearly endless permutations for your own special burger.
  • Beyond Burger (Plant-based Beyond Meat patty, avocado, lettuce, tomato, pickle, raw onion, and vegan mayo, served on a wheat bun) When I ordered this, I realized that I had never before had a Beyond Burger. I have an allergy to raw onions, so I left those off – but I had them load all the rest on and I must admit – this was my favorite of everything I tried. I surprised myself because I love a good solid bacon cheeseburger (see the Classic Epic above), but this Beyond Burger clearly won the day – juicy, excellent layers of flavor, great texture. I would go back for this any day.
  • Honey Hot Chicken (All-natural Cajun fried chicken breast, honey hot sauce, pepper jack, pickle, and Epic sauce, served on a brioche bun) It may seem counterintuitive for a burger-centric restaurant, but this Honey Hot Chicken sandwich was only slightly below the Beyond Burger on my list of ‘best items.’ The combination of sweetness and just a hint of heat was perfect and like all of the items, the brioche bun was a standout.
  • Cookies and Cream Shake – If you’re going all-in on a comfort food meal, you might as well order one of Epic Burger’s fantastic shakes. I was torn on what to choose – Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Nutella, Cookies and Cream, or Peanut Butter. At the advice of the manager, I went for the Cookies and Cream. Oh, my! Take my advice, save room for a shake – you will find that it’s one of the freshest and tastiest milkshakes you have ever tried.
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Beyond Burger at Epic Burger.

For the seriously adventurous (and hungry) eater, Epic Burger has a special promotion to celebrate their opening year of 2008 – their new Epic AF Challenge.

The Challenge includes Two double Black Angus Beef Epic Burgers stacked with Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Pickles, Grilled Onions and Epic Sauce served with a double order of Epic Fries, an order of Sweet Potato Fries, an order of Onion Rings, a 3 Piece order of Chicken Tenders and an Epic Shake. Those with dietary restrictions can choose the Halal or Vegetarian option too! 

  • The Challenge: Consume all items within the time limit. 
  • Cost: $20.08 
  • Time to complete: 20 Minutes 08 Seconds 
  • Rules: Must be 18 years or older to participate, No assistance with competition, Must complete all food and milkshake within 20 minutes and 08 seconds. Must sign a waiver. 
  • Prizes: Gift Card for $20.08, EPIC AF Shirt, Name/Photo in a social media post.
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Epic AF Challenge at Epic Burger. Photo by Neil Burger.

There are seven Chicagoland locations for your own Epic Burger adventure:

  • River North – 407 N Clark St
  • Lincoln Park – 1000 W North Ave
  • South Loop – 517 S State St
  • Skokie – 4999 Old Orchard Shopping Center 
  • Gold Coast – 40 E Pearson 
  • West Loop – 550 W Adams 
  • Evanston – 1622 Sherman Ave 

For more information, visit the Epic Burger website.

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