Restaurant Review – Small Cheval

In the continued search for the best burger in the city, this week took me to Small Cheval. Small Cheval is the sister restaurant to Au Cheval, a popular West Loop spot with a nationally famous cheeseburger. Small Cheval has been called “the faster and more accessible version” of Au Cheval. We got to the restaurant around 7:30 on a Monday night. The space is small, with long wooden tables, benches, and a small window bar. Since they don’t take reservations, we were worried it might be very busy, but there were plenty of seats available. The menu is simple- you can order a hamburger for $8.95 or a cheeseburger for $9.95. Each burger comes “Housestyle”, with dijonaisse, pickles, and onions. You can add lettuce and tomato for free and/or bacon for $2. An order of fries is just $2.95. Beer is available on tap or in pitchers, as well as cocktails, shakes, and shots if you’re feeling adventurous. You order at the counter and are given a number. We had a group of four and each ordered a burger, with two orders of fries. They threw in an extra order of fries for free, which was an unexpected treat! I had the housestyle cheeseburger and it 100% lived up to my expectations. The burger was perfectly cooked, the dijonaisse was creamy and subtle, and the pickles and onions were crunchy and zingy. My friend ordered his burger with bacon and he said it was well worth the $2! The orders of fries were gigantic, we could barely get through two orders with all four of us chowing down. Two of my friends ordered the vanilla and chocolate milkshakes as well. They praised them highly! We will most certainly be back, this burger has rocketed to the top of my Chicago list!

Small Cheval has three locations: Wicker Park (1732 N Milwaukee), River North (150 N Riverside Plaza), and Old Town (1345 N Wells St). The Old Town location (where we went) is open Mondays through Thursdays from 11 am to 11 pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 11 am to 1 am, and Sundays from 11 am to 10 pm. Find more information here.