25 Degrees

(Photo: Idea Kitchen)

Grown-up burgers and malts

By Tommy Hensel

For some, the search for the perfect burger is a religious quest—and for those intrepid burger pilgrims, 25 Degrees is a must-visit destination. Adventurous foodies have their choice of ground sirloin, turkey, or a handmade veggie burger. Add an extraordinary selection of optional ingredients and you have (literally) thousands of possible combinations. We’re not talking about your generic burger—the daring menu features the kind of dazzling array of artisanal cheeses you would expect to find in a gourmet cheese shop, along with toppings like jalapeño bacon, prosciutto, and tarragon remoulade. And what goes better with a burger than a good old traditional milkshake? 25 Degrees has concocted decadently delicious takes on your childhood favorites, but the stars of the intoxicating soda fountain—the Spiked Milkshakes—get a decidedly adult twist. Don’t miss their variation on an orange creamsicle, the Orange Whipped (orange soda, Grand Marnier, vanilla ice cream), or best seller (for good reason) the Salty Caramel (Makers Mark, butterscotch, vanilla ice cream, red Hawaiian sea salt). Sweet, salty, savory, alcoholic… what more could you want?

the crowd

The eclectic lunchtime crowd in River North runs the gamut from wandering tourists to power lunch brokers to work-from-home yuppies on their way back from their “second office” at the local coffeehouse.

... on the side

eye for design
This “bordello meets burger bar” is decorated with French red toile wallpaper and black crystal chandeliers, creating a swanky atmosphere with old Hollywood ambiance. The barstools look like vintage soda fountain stools, adding a quirky feel. Don’t miss the wallpaper in the restrooms. Funky and fun!

what’s in a name?
Ever wonder how restaurants get their names? This one has a clever backstory. Chain restaurants have long bowed to Big Brother and won’t serve a burger less than well-done. Burger connoisseurs know, however, that the true flavor is lost once you progress past medium rare. Voilá! Twenty-five degrees is the temperature difference between well-done (overcooked) and medium-rare (perfectly prepared). Chew on that for a while.

Low for lunch and dinner, but definitely on the high side when the bar heats up for late night fun


Sun–Wed 11 AM–11 PM; Thu–Fri 11 AM–2 AM; Sat 11 AM–3 AM

price range

$8 (grilled three cheese) to $12 (signature burgers)