Kitty Corner That Is Kuma’s: Growl Or Just Meow?

With Chicago so loaded with burger joints, would one of the original burger places that helped put Chicago on the burger food map live up to it’s astounding hype?

Well, that is what I am here to talk about: my experience at Kuma’s Corner. First off, Kuma’s has received wide praise for their heavy metal inspired burgers, decor, drinks and service. It has been featured on many of the local outlets and a spot on Diner’s Drive-Ins and Dives. Even an old acquaintance of mine, Chicago/Lockport native and self-proclaimed “Best In The World” pro wrestler C.M. Punk tweeted me, “Eat at Kuma’s dude”.

So eat at Kuma’s I did. I endured the 45 minute drive to the Northside in 92 degree heat. I outlasted the 2-hour-long wait. I wrestled with the stress of my parked car being smashed and totaled while I waited for my table. Yes, my parked car was totaled – all for what people claim is the best burger in Chicago or maybe even the Midwest. After filing out the police report and arguing with the lady that smashed my car, I finally got a table and sat down. My goodness, finally having a seat felt good. Our server took our order as I stepped out of the restaurant for a moment and the fellow Taste Buds ordered me the Kuma Burger.


Jesus, I am too exhausted for another period of play. We are informed that we have to wait nearly an hour for our food to arrive. We ordered some craft sodas to help pass the time by. “Death to corporations” seems to be the motto here, along with “hipsters enter through the back”. Kuma’s refuses to serve corporate beer and soda. All the beverages are craft, and it is one of the most complicated, yet, exquisite line up. This is a burger bar that rides against the grain with their in-your-face attitude and rebel against what the media shoves down your throat swagger. Though the menu boasts burgers named after some of the most iconic heavy metal bands (Slayer, Metallica and Black Sabbath – to name a few), the music they play overhead is that of local favorites I hear from time to time. But all that aside, where is my food? it has been over an hour.


Oh my Gods and Deities. Our server came to our table with an apologetic smirk on her cute face to let us know that our order slip was dropped in the fryer and it will be another 20 minutes or so before they bring out our food because it wasn’t made, but they will expedite it. “Am I being punk’d?” I asked. Maybe I was being C.M. Punked. Who knows at this point. I lost my car, lost my time, lost my patience, lost my appetite, and pretty sure I lost my mind.

After 20 minutes of mental pain and anguish, our food arrived. I was too exhausted to be excited. I was ready to just take it to go. I sat and looked at my burger for a moment and my appetite came back. This burger was huge. It’s thick cut bacon and cheese with fried egg glory, all on top of a medium-rare thick ground chuck patty. I survived my own Trail of Tears to get here, and this was my moment to enjoy. I have suffered so much for this not to be good. I took one bite, and in an instant, all was forgotten. All was forgotten, and most importantly, all was forgiven. This is as good as everyone claims. Over hyped? Not at all. For about $12, you get this huge metal-head burger with fries that are so good, I can confidently call it one of the best burger meals I have ever had.

Owner Enrique Smith has something special here. If you haven’t tried Kuma’s, I highly suggest you put it on your priority list and allow the allotted time required to enjoy.

And lastly, thank you to the wonderful staff that was very compassionate for my totaled car and the giving us free drinks to make us feel better.

– Jais