Edzo’s Burger Shop

edzo's burger shop chocolate malt

What’s not to like about Edzo’s Burger Shop? Imagine a hamburger joint that offers not one, but two different options for sustainable and humanely raised beef. Or “Old Fries” for those that like our frites extra-crispy. Or Angry Fries, dusted with “four kinds of spicy.”

Although next time, I’m getting the Garlic Fries because when the pile landed on the table next to us, drizzled with garlic-parsley butter, me and my dining pal Louisa both turned and began engaging our neighbors in a conversation, perhaps with the hidden agenda that they’d be so kind as to offer us a bite. She and I never said anything, but the looks passing between us made me pretty certain she was thinking exactly the same thing that I was thinking.

fryer baskets fries menu

Imagine a neighborhood burger joint, completely unpretentious but using quality ingredients like Marcona almonds and Nutella in their milkshakes. Or blending peanut butter cups, bananas, and chocolate together, creating an Elvis shake. Edzo’s is exactly the kind of place I like – and wish I lived closer to. (Yet it’s probably better that I don’t.)

Having worked in upscale restaurants for a number of years, jovial chef/owner Eddie Lakin starts each shift by trimming and grinding his own beef every morning, then lords over the vaguely vintage dining room, taking orders and chatting with customers at a leisurely pace. And no one was complaining because the burgers and fries are worth any wait.

2 edzo's burgers

A few folks have mentioned that I should be enjoying the more upscale places in Chicago, of which there are many. And I’m sure they’re really good. But I don’t fly 4128 miles to eat croissants, French onion soup, or even a salad with baby greens. (Although after working my way through various burgers, carnitas tacos, chips and guacamole, a nice salad is beginning to look a little more appealing.)

hamburgers edzo's beef upgrades

But what’s neat is how Chef Lakin has simply modernized the food of the traditional American burger joint, keeping all the classics (even offering four vegetarian options plus a turkey burger) yet updating them with top-notch ingredients without one whiff of elitism. Can’t argue with that.

We split two burgers; a 4 ounce griddled Swiss cheese burger, lightly pressed down to crisp up the corners of the bun – and makes the burger come out a bit more cooked than rare – and a heftier 8 ounce char burger stacked with raw onions and pickles. I always forget how much I like raw onions, which aren’t often served in France; they’re always cooked or marinated. But there’s something especially wonderful to me about vinegary pickles and breath-busting raw onions and you can hold the mayo and other sauces – it isn’t a burger without them.

milkshake containers cheese fries

The shakes were great, too and next time, I’m goin’ with Elvis, although I wasn’t complaining with my chocolate malt. I didn’t see it, but thinking about it a day later, I’m now dreaming of a chocolate-mint shake. I offered to come back during the summer and blend up shakes with the chef during their annual A Taste of Chicago event, so perhaps I’ll be back. After this trip, however, I’m stocking up on Spanx for Men.

The only drawback is that Edzo’s is in Evanston, a 40 minute “L” (subway) ride from Chicago. That said, if it was in Chicago, there would be lines around the block, day and night. Just be sure if you go, you get there before 4pm, as that’s when the kitchen closes. But you can arrive as early as 10:30am, which would give you plenty of time to come back later in the day.

Edzo’s Burger Shop
1571 Sherman Avenue
Evanston, IL
Tel: (847) 864-EDZO (3396)

Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10:30am to 4pm

Related Posts and Recipes

Kuma’s Corner

Chocolate Milkshake with Coffee and Almond

Where to Get a Great Hamburger in Paris

Behind the Scenes at Edzo’s Burger Shop (Sky Full of Bacon, Video)

Joe’s Cable Car Burger

Edzo’s Burger Shop (Facebook)

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  • March 28, 2011 7:51pm

    OMG – I was sold when you said “nutella” and “milkshake” in the same sentence. those cheese fries don’t look too bad either :)

  • March 28, 2011 7:51pm

    A chocolate mint shake! Yum. Please go back and try it for us. Sounds perfect.

  • March 28, 2011 7:59pm

    gahhhh, for a while there i thought you were writing about this amaing place…located in paris! i was gonna have to visit my favorite city for JUST that reason – REAL, good burgers and shakes. (oh, how i miss those) now i’ll have to wait till i’m back in the good ol’ usa. thanks for getting me excited for nothin’. ok, ok, kidding aside, this place looks awesome!

  • SoireeChef
    March 28, 2011 8:14pm

    Home sick for Chicago…..thanks for reminding me of all the things I love about home.

  • heather_kaye
    March 28, 2011 8:19pm

    Oh, man! So sorry that I missed that when I was there last – definitely added to the Eat List.

  • Haley
    March 28, 2011 8:56pm

    I love this burger joint! Awesome stuff. In the summer the chef creates farmers’ market specials (both a burger and a shake) every Saturday with whatever is on hand at the local farmers’ market. Plus he is super friendly, even to those of us who aren’t celebrities. :)

    I’m so glad that you made it up to Evanston – as a Northwestern grad student it feels almost like you came to my home. It was great meeting you at the book signing, by the way!

  • March 28, 2011 9:08pm

    now that i’ve sated my mexican craving, I might do a more methodical hunt for good burger in Paris. I miss great spots like this in the US. And, while the garlic fries sound up my alley, what’s the story with the crazy fries?

  • Deborah
    March 28, 2011 9:09pm

    What I like best about your blog is that you have a distinctive and interesting voice. So many food blogs now have the same style and there’s something about their syntax and cadence that seems really solipsistic to me. Your writing is refreshingly crisp and solid.

  • March 28, 2011 10:06pm

    The two upgrade options are funny – first one is tasty, second one is beneficial with omega 3. By the sound of things I guess both are super tasty and contain omega 3

  • March 28, 2011 10:13pm
    David Lebovitz

    Cooking in Mexico: I am sure I gained some weight. Unfortunately I was given bum information about where the Spanx are available, so I will have to wear my belly (er..badge) of dishonor back in Paris.

    Three-Cookies: Funny that someone eating a burger, in spite of the fact that it’s humanely raised, would be concerned about Omega-3s. But when someone finds out that French fries are healthy, please let me know : )

    Deborah: Thanks! I try~

    Haley: What a cool idea. He’s really a great guy and I would really love to go back and scoop ice cream with him. (I’ll let him get up early and prepare all the beef, however..)

    Erin: No such luck, I’m afraid. But it’s amazing how many cafés and places in Paris have burgers now. It’s a pity so few are good (and I’ve not seen any that use humanely raised or sustainable beef), but hopefully that’s something we’ll see more of in the future. And Angry Fries, of course.

  • March 28, 2011 10:14pm

    Is it possible for you to travel and not put on weight? I came back from my last trip with a few more kilos than I left with. At least we don’t have to pay the airlines for extra personal baggage yet …


  • RussC
    March 28, 2011 10:31pm


    It’s funny – I read your blog religiously when I decided to stay in Paris last summer for two months. Your insight was dead on and I thought that one day I would like to repay the favor and offer up some suggestions on the outside chance you were ever in my town. Well, I just realized you’ve been in Chicago and although I moved to Minneapolis last fall (right after Paris), I had spent my adult life eating my way through the great food spots in Chicago. I would offer up some suggestions but I’m sure your current food guide – Louisa Chu – will steer you in the right direction. I’m also a fan of hers and if anyone can show you Chicago, it’s her. Enjoy your time in Chicago.


  • Bill Seliger
    March 28, 2011 10:32pm

    Next time try the spicy chocolate shake – it’s amazing!

  • March 28, 2011 11:03pm

    My oh my, those burgers look fine. Edzo’s just went on the bucket list.

  • Caryl
    March 28, 2011 11:21pm

    You shoulda tried the truffle fries. Truly great

    Caryl in Evanston

  • March 29, 2011 12:25am

    looking at the fry menu all i can see is “angry, old fries” lol
    sorry, had too.
    good post though (I did read it all, I swear) ;-)

  • Elizabeth
    March 29, 2011 12:29am

    I wonder if they will measure you for those Spanx? (Having taken a look at the “3D pouch,” I rather not think about HOW they’ll measure you.)

    On a blessedly separate issue, the difference I noticed between the humane beef was that the second choice was both grass fed and grass finished. The first beef was possibly finished with grain or possibly has its diet supplement with grain during the cold season.

    As for the omega 3 issue, grassfed beef is supposed to have higher levels of it than salmon. Eating it will improve your “good” cholesterol levels. (I’m not a big believer in food science but this is a selling point.)

  • March 29, 2011 1:05am

    Gosh, I can’t even find Marcona almonds in fancy stores here, let alone at a burger shop! Phwoar!

  • ron shapley
    March 29, 2011 1:54am

    Great to watch a true, culinary genius, at work !!!


  • March 29, 2011 1:55am

    I’ve never visited Chi-Town… You’ve given me one more reason to go, besides my dad’s stepbrothers living there. =P

  • Susan H
    March 29, 2011 2:01am

    I think of all the times I’ve driven through Evanston on my way to Chicago and I weep, for not knowing about this place. Thank you…

  • March 29, 2011 2:02am

    Probably my all time favorite burger joint. Please tell me you tried some of the fries, the buffalo? the truffle? the cheese? If not, next time get the garlic (they really are to die for) and the others, bring a couple extra friends so you don’t eat them all yourself. I’ve been known to order the buffalo fries and nothing else. Eddie (chef Lakin) is a real gem too, hard not to really like him.

  • MCG108
    March 29, 2011 2:20am

    I think you skipped the truffle fries… Ggggggaa (I’m excited just thinking about them)! They’re phenomenal.

  • March 29, 2011 3:59am

    Chicago is one of my favorite cities and I love reading all of your experiences. Since Louisa bought you here it must be worth the trip, I will put this on my agenda for next time. I will get Elvis and think about you and this post.

  • March 29, 2011 6:43am

    oo i LOVE the look of that pinky beef! and angry fries would just hit the spot right now. thanks for the nice post!

  • March 29, 2011 11:12am

    My mouth is watering. That looked so great! We need more burger joints in the world, as in my neighborhood, like that.

  • KateA
    March 29, 2011 2:20pm

    Ohhhh, it all looks so very tasty! And very funny to me that I read your blog, enjoy your travels, and see Tallgrass Beef on a Chicago/Evanston menu. Tallgrass is one of two beef producers I buy from (Kansas City area). I had been using bison for my beef recipes for years. Last year I tried a Kansas City area grass fed Longhorn beef. So much more flavor and tender than grain fed. (Bison and cattle go from the pasture to the slaughter facility, packaged and back to the rancher, no finishing needed.) David, have you been able to taste a difference between grass fed and grain fed?

  • craigkite
    March 29, 2011 2:48pm

    Wow, three food bloggers in one dining room. Unfortunately, Louisa and Ed don’t post much at all, anymore. Ed’s blog detailing his opening was pretty good. Louisa has gone too long without commenting on Moveable Feast. One can NOT survive on ONLY a Parisian Dessert Artist’s writing. Can’t you get these two back to the keyboard, David?

  • March 29, 2011 4:26pm

    Cool article, the burgers look fingerlicking delicious! But for a real sustainable burger look at this picture, ghehe ;) http://noms.icanhascheezburger.com/2010/12/29/funny-food-photos-sustainable-burger/


  • March 29, 2011 4:59pm

    I’m from St Louis and have spent a fair amount of time both in Chicago and points between the two and you have reminded me of a reason to be a bit melancholy. I love Denver but I’m now wishing I had a burger and truffle fries for breakfast.

  • March 29, 2011 5:08pm

    Oh yeah,
    I’m all about those fries…

  • March 29, 2011 5:08pm

    I’ll have a small fries. YUM!

  • March 29, 2011 5:08pm

    I want the shake too.

  • March 29, 2011 5:13pm

    now what are “Old Fries”??? That caught my eye…one day old fries???

  • March 29, 2011 5:17pm

    Did you check out Spice House when you were in Evanston?

  • March 29, 2011 5:25pm

    “A few folks have mentioned that I should be enjoying the more upscale places in Chicago, of which there are many. And I’m sure they’re really good. But I don’t fly 4128 miles to eat croissants, French onion soup, or even a salad with baby greens.”

    I definitely agree with this approach when I’m back in the US and usually look forward to pizzas, burgers, bagels, Mexican, etc. (things difficult to find in London/Europe) and end up skipping most of the high-end places (which to some degree are becoming the same the world over), although I would disagree when you bring up the point about salads. I really miss the variety of main-course-sized, loaded-down-with-calorific-toppings salads that are easily found in most of the US and that are pretty rare in London.

  • Claire
    March 29, 2011 5:46pm

    Metal milkshake beakers! Any possibility of a slice beetroot on the 8oz. char to satisfy my Australian taste? Although it looks pretty near to heaven as it is.

  • March 29, 2011 5:59pm

    Ahhhh. . .excellent choice by Ms. Chu. BUT – next time you’re here and need to go north from downtown, take the UP North Line Metra train. You’ll save a TON of time, and it’s a much more pleasant and scenic trip, IMO. (Plus the Davis St. station is within a block of Edzo’s.) File for future use!

  • bonnie
    March 29, 2011 6:01pm

    Only takes someone living in Paris to tell me of a place I didn’t know. I’ll be going there soon. I will be in Paris in a couple of months, and will not be eating their idea of burgers and fries. So I understand one wanting to have what one can’t get at home.
    Enjoy all our “drive-in” food and the great Mexican cuisine we can find all over the city. Just doing Mexican can take you all over the region.

  • kathy
    March 29, 2011 6:14pm

    “her and I”??????? how about she and I….. You are forgetting your english! Sorry for the need to correct, but that is a particularly grating english error. You might as well be saying “youse guys.” Love you otherwise.

  • March 29, 2011 6:34pm
    David Lebovitz

    sundevilpeg: I did take the EL up there and got off at the Davis stop. Is the Metra the regular train? I only walked one block after I got off – but I hear the other trains run on a more regular schedule.

    kathy: If I’m not mistaken, “english” should be capitalized and written as “English” in both instances. And multiple question marks aren’t used repeatedly, a loose rule which applies to most punctuation marks. Only one question mark is necessary if asking or posing a question. (However I would concur with those who feel that comments, Tweets, blogs, and text messages adhere to looser rules about grammar due to their informal nature.)

    Also sentences generally begin with capital letters. I am not sure that would apply to your first sentence, but I am pretty sure that would go for the word “How” in sentence number two. Since it’s the beginning of a sentence, the “H” should be capitalized.

    An American in London: I always gorge on all that stuff when I’m in the states but generally have to pay for it when I return!

    Didi: “Old Fries” are French fries that are well-cooked and crispy. It perhaps doesn’t sound as good, but it’s all part of the fun.

  • Steve S
    March 29, 2011 6:38pm

    Lighten up on the grammar critique, please. I am sure David was a little delirious from the food. Did you see the gorgeous picture of that beautifully cooked, freshly ground burger? Even the bun looks to die for! Makes I want to get to Chicago now!

  • March 29, 2011 7:08pm

    David….bless you!
    I’m ashamed to say I’ve lived in Evanston for 17 yrs & never knew about Edzo’s. Headed out the door toute de suite!!!!
    I’m coming to Paris in September. If I can get it through customs, do you want me to bring the garlic fries to you? :) I’d bring the Elvis too, but it wouldn’t last the trip….

  • Mellissa Summers
    March 29, 2011 7:17pm

    keep the lowbrow joints comin’ David! These are the kinds of places we can go as a family and enjoy! I’m looking forward to college hunting for my daughter just so I can go eat!

  • Truffle Fries. Your friend Luisa mentions Truffle Mustard on her blog. Oh, man. Must
    find recipe for that mustard! It couldn’t be too difficult….. Yup, gotta do it!

  • Gavrielle
    March 30, 2011 4:15am

    Looks diviiiiiine. Last year I went to New York, David’s recommendations clutched in my hand. This year I hope to be in Paris, David’s recommendations etc etc. Now I’m thinking about adding Chicago as a stopover…

    It’s really odd seeing grass-raised and finished beef offered as a luxury option. In New Zealand, that’s the only beef we eat! Good for them for offering it.

  • lizzie
    March 30, 2011 6:22am

    So what are you doing in Chicago? Where should I send my family to say hi?

  • March 30, 2011 6:43am

    I’m still completely bummed that I missed seeing you in Chicago this week (had a family wedding to attend in Florida, though, not a bad excuse). Only heard of Edzo’s in a cursory fashion, but will definitely stop in for lunch or dinner one day this week. I love that they grind beef fresh every day; one reason I don’t really eat burgers is the mystery ground beef they’re usually made of (how many cows are in one burger?), but this is a refreshing change. Thanks for the review!

  • March 30, 2011 7:28am

    Um, yum! I’ve been meaning to go and when a friend called yesterday for lunch, I had a plan. The garlic fries were delicious because isn’t that what fried potatoes really need? A good dose of garlic butter? Oh, where have they been all my life? And what a great guy Eddie is. Just lovely.

    And you know what really drives me nuts? Grammar correctors. Arrrggghh. Nice reply.

  • March 30, 2011 8:54am

    Hamburger envy here.

    (I better keep it short, fewer “english” less miss-takes.)

  • March 30, 2011 10:44am

    Glad you mentioned the ‘old’ fries just being extra crispy ones, I was wondering about that! Not as unappetising sounding perhaps as traditional English things, like Shepard’s Pie (a dish made with minced lamb, not actual herders) or Mincemeat (a confection made of dried fruits, suet and spices and can be vegetarian) or Spotted Dick ( a steamed pudding with dried fruits). I seem to remember Jerry Springer appearing on a UK daytime TV show where the presenter cooked that. He (Springer that is) just collapsed laughing, got himself into all sorts of trouble!

  • March 30, 2011 10:50am
    David Lebovitz

    Merisi: I think living in a foreign country makes you realize all the errors people make are kind of funny and charming. I know when I goof up French, and vice versa, we all tend to be pretty forgiving. When someone leaves a comment who is a non-native English speakers, I find the “miss-takes” cute.

    English is a hard language…even for us English-speakers – obviously! : )

  • March 30, 2011 1:44pm

    We need more sustainable and humanely raised beef in UK, and even more in the mainland europe, most of the countries like spain and italy still very healthy food but they need to improve in how they rise the beef.

  • March 30, 2011 4:25pm

    I love the idea of classy food, I am talking about the beef upgrades, without being too high class. This should be the norm. Decent meat, it is all about the burger, right? Make it count. The old fries are right up my alley.

  • March 30, 2011 7:07pm

    David – the Metra and El stops at Davis in Evanston (as well as at the stop at Main St., my turf) are literally only a few yards from each other. Both make a great transfer point, should you want to journey farther north. Interestingly, there is a good new French market downstairs at the downtown Metra terminal, too. Worth a short visit, if for nothing more than a well-made bahn mi from Saigon Sisters. Keep this in mind for your next visit – i think you’d enjoy the food-centric neighborhood at Main St., particularly Piron Chocolatier, and perhaps the kooky charm of the Lucky Platter restaurant. It’s an easy walk to the beach, too. File for future use – it’s particularly lovely up here in early October. (of course, so is Paris, I suppose. . . )

  • Sirugue Yvonne
    March 30, 2011 8:33pm

    My daughter does’nt live fare from Lincoln park ,she loves bread and didn’t know about “Floriole”She might go today.I’m in Paris so she was really surprised when i told her .She’ll probably buy one of your books now.When your french you really miss bread if you live abroad .Y.S

  • Annie
    March 31, 2011 7:12pm

    I am glad you came to explore Chicago’s food scene, but I must admit that your comment about being able to find “croissants, French onion soup, or even a salad with baby greens” in Paris gave me pause.

    I think you will find that, with the likes of Grant Achatz, Stephanie Izard, and, yes, Rick Bayless (and many unfamous others), Chicago is one of the leading cities in the world when it comes to contemporary cuisine and offers experiences you won’t find anywhere else.

    Chicago isn’t just about hamburgers and hot dogs and deep-dish pizza anymore.

    I understand your interest in these classic American foods after living overseas, but please come back and see how much more Chicago has for you to explore!

  • March 31, 2011 7:18pm
    David Lebovitz

    Hi Annie: I was on the waiting list at Alinea and didn’t get in, unfortunately. I wanted to eat there very much but obviously I’m not the only one ; )

    I did eat at Blackbird, and had a really nice meal there. I also had lunch at Rick Bayless’s place too. I had a big bowl of Pozole that was delicious!

  • April 1, 2011 5:19pm

    @David: thanks for clarifying. hahaha. I really thought they were really OLD fries :) So that’s what you call well-cooked – crispy fries :) I learned something new today

  • April 1, 2011 9:54pm

    This place sounds good, but I am kind of addicted to Meatheads Burgers right now http://www.meatheadsburgers.com

  • Victoria
    April 2, 2011 11:21pm

    Edzo’s is good, but I sure hope you had time to check out Hummingbird Kitchen Truck/Union Pizzeria/Campagnola, the low-to-high axis of crazy good foodstuffs reigning lately in Evanston. I’ve never eaten anything even close to merely delicious at Campagnola–it’s all spectacular, and the lamb-eggplant-kalamata pizza at Union is moan-worthy. My husband and I fight over the last slice every time! Our Asian fusion scene is surprisingly lively, too.

    Glad you came by. Evanston and Chicago are definitely destinations for foodies. If only you’d come by my house, I’d have made you my pralined bacon maple ice cream…

  • Annie
    April 5, 2011 12:59am

    @ David. I’m glad to see you were in town long enough to try many other places, besides the few you blog about. Thanks for coming to our great city!

  • Rich
    April 9, 2011 6:51pm

    I’ve been going to Edzo’s since it opened and it’s hands down one of my favorite burger joints anywhere. I love that he has both a thick char burger and the thin griddle burgers available. In a pinch, I choose a double griddle burger and Old Fries. The Hot Fudge shake is great too. I have to admit that the picture of the medium rare char burger on this page makes me want to order my burger that way (which is how I did as a kid). And I wouldn’t even call it a typical char burger that you get around Chicago. It’s not overly charred on the outside at all. It’s just amazing!

    One thing to note – you can also take the Union Pacific North Metra Train line to Edzo’s. It’s just a block or so from the Davis St station. It’s much faster from downtown Chicago than the L. About 25-30 minutes faster!