Kuma’s Corner

Review by: Roadfood Team

Kuma’s Corner is a special place: heavy metal music, elaborate beer selection and, most importantly, some of the best tasting and most creative burgers known to man. A melting pot of hardcore rockers and demanding foodies, Kuma’s always has a crowd; if you don’t time your visit well, expect to wait at least an hour. Few burger-lovers would argue that the reward is not worth the wait, however.

What should I eat at Kuma’s Corner?

Named after heavy metal bands, the burgers are remarkably unique. Each is served on a delicious pretzel roll that is well equipped to hold the mass of ingredients together. The original Kuma burger is topped with a fried egg, cheddar, and bacon. Relatively simple compared to some of the other options, the original is a great introduction for a Kuma’s newbie.

Examples of other burgers include the Mastodon (topped with fried onions, bacon, and barbecue sauce), the Led Zeppelin (topped with pulled pork, cheese, and pickles), the High on Fire (topped with ham, pineapple, and peppers), and the Goblin Cock (a burger topped with a Chicago-style hot dog). Truly adventurous appetites are drawn to the Slayer (a pile of waffle fries topped with a burger, chili, Andouille sausage, jack cheese, and hot peppers), which should require the customer to sign a waiver.

As though the burgers were not enough, Kuma’s offers appetizers that are similarly enticing. The barbecue pork fries are well-executed, with crisp waffle fries and tender pulled pork. A build-your-own mac ‘n’ cheese option allows patrons to mix in both meats and vegetables. Perfectly textured, the outcome is a vat of deliciousness large enough to share among several people.

With its combination of quality ingredients, amazing creativity, unique atmosphere, and solid service, Kuma’s Corner receives my strongest Roadfood recommendation.

*original post by John W*

What To Eat

Kuma Burger

High on Fire

Goblin Cock

Led Zeppelin

Barbecue Pork Fries

Mac ‘N’ Cheese




Behemoth Burger

Fried Pickles


Kuma’s Corner Recipes


What do you think of Kuma’s Corner?

One Response to “Kuma’s Corner”

Patricia Beninato

September 29th, 2009

Scenario: you head to a restaurant that’s been highly recommended for having the best burgers in the city. However, when you get there it’s in a sketchy area of town, heavy metal music is blasting so loud the floor is shaking, and the waitresses look like refugees from the Suicide Girls website. Do you turn your back and flee, or do you throw the horns and plunge into the madness?

If you’d do the latter, welcome to Kuma’s Corner, Chicago’s—and the world’s—first metal burger joint, where rockers and foodies gather together to destroy their eardrums and chow down.

Kuma’s is not for the faint of heart or the impatient. Unless you arrive on a weekday afternoon around threeish you’re going to wait to get in, probably over an hour. If you’re not a fan of heavy metal you’re going to have a problem with the background music. But there’s some cool-looking if somewhat disturbing artwork around, not to mention a staggeringly huge beer menu that will keep you occupied until your food arrives.

As stated before, Kuma’s is a burger joint. In keeping with the metal theme their burgers are named after bands, and the toppings can be quite interesting. There’s the Lynyrd Skynyrd (fried green tomatoes, cheese grits, and Canadian bacon), the Iron Maiden (avocado, cherry peppers, pepper jack, chipotle mayo), the Motorhead (goat cheese, kalamata olives, oregano, tzatziki, onion, tomato) and the one that brings out the giggling five-year-old in all of us, the Goblin Cock, which combines the burger with a fully dressed Chicago-style hot dog. They’re also famous for their “do it yourself” macaroni and cheese where you can add various meats and vegetables.

Having not eaten all day (and my husband being somewhat strange in not liking mac and cheese) we opted to start with the calamari. What sets this apart is the battered, deep-fried calamari being combined with equally battered and deep-fried hot peppers and rosemary sprigs. Seriously, if someone made an appetizer that was only battered deep-fried rosemary sprigs they’d have a customer for life in me; it was unbelievably good.

I went with the original Kuma burger, topped with bacon, cheddar, and a fried egg, cooked perfectly rare. My husband opted for the Kaijo burger with bacon, fried onions, and blue cheese. The burgers are served up on fluffy pretzel rolls with either crisp, salty homemade potato chips or equally crisp, salty homemade waffle fries. The portions are positively humongous—I could only eat half my burger, but it made for an awesome snack later on. The many beers tempted me mightily, though I finally went with a cream soda from Sprecher’s, a gourmet Milwaukee brewery—the first time I’ve ever seen cream soda that held a beer-like head.

Kuma’s was featured on the Food Network last year, which upped the crowds and made the locals grumble, but it was well worth the forty minutes on El and bus to get there. Sitting out on the back patio with a well-mixed crowd of tattooed hipsters, khaki-clad tourist families, cops and construction workers, everyone bobbing along to old KISS and new Metallica while enjoying great food and beer, it was a quintessential Chicago experience.


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