There’s nothing more satisfying than a delicious burger. Whether large or small, whether simple or fancy, whether cooked on a flat top or over an open flame, there’s something about a juicy, perfectly crafted burger that speaks to our soul. We’ve selected some for every taste in our list of the best burgers in America, so join us on a quick but burger-filled ride and see which one speaks to you.
You’ll feel right at home in thus wood-paneled, worn-floored, seasonally-decorated relic that opened a grocery store in 1937 before being converted into a restaurant forty years later. The freshly ground half pound patties get a nice crust from the griddle and ooze juices down your sleeve, so T-shirts are the best attire. Twenty different permutations are offered, topping the burgers with everything from Frito pie to macaroni and cheese.
You can get them as singles, doubles or triples, and you can get them as early as 7:00 AM when Lankford’s opens for breakfast. Crisp, thick battered onion rings hit the spot, especially after a dip into some refreshing cilantro cream sauce. Picnic tables outside offer more space and another vibe altogether, but no matter where you sit, you’ll be getting a Texas-sized burger with flavor to match.
One man’s overwrought toppings nightmare is another man’s heaven between two grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches. For those in the latter camp, we recommend Bernie’s Burger Bus, a recent brick and mortar offshoot of the wildly popular food truck. But back to the burger in question: the crunchy, melty, juice dripping delight known as The Detention packs two Angus patties, along with “tipsy” onions (cooked in bourbon), pickles, shredded lettuce, slow roasted garlic tomatoes, mustard, ketchup and homemade mayo. It’s messy and it’s monumental. Since your diet is already shot, supplement this bad boy with Honor Roll Fries topped with smoked brisket. Bombast aside, this is a joint that does everything right, like using only fresh ground beef, preparing condiments in small batches and sourcing bread made daily by an artisan baker.
Another mainstay from the 1940s, Christian’s is a roomy bar that serves loosely packed, highly stacked burgers.
The perennial best-of-Houston burgers can be had with all the usual toppings, but the crunchy, spicy jalapenos and smooth green chili add some extra heat, napkins and beers to the equation. For an even bigger upgrade, go with the Bacon burger whose namesake ingredient forms the ground patty as well as the topping. This is a full-service bar with all the requisite pub fare, so hot wings, jalapeño poppers, potato skins and nachos are ready – as are a bevy of TVs – for your sports viewing enjoyment. If going this route, sliders have your burger covered in miniature fashion.
We love chef-inspired burgers with avant garde compositions, ingredients and sensibilities, but we’re also suckers for an old time burger without any of the pretensions. Such a burger can be had out in Beverly at a throwback restaurant that’s been around since World War II. Made from fresh beef ground in house, burgers in three different patty sizes get smashed down on the griddle for maximum contact that yields maximal crust, with an interior still gentle to the bite. To complete the experience, top it with grilled onions and pair it with hand-cut fries cooked in beef tallow; both are musts. Also worth a look here are the patty melts with a near-perfect alignment of beef that reaches all the way to the perimeter of the expertly griddled rye bread. Thick, hand-spun shakes are just as simple (only a few flavors) but just as delicious as the burgers.
Leather booths, high ceilings and a second level balcony bring a rare mix of sophistication and approachability at this hip new eatery in Lower Greenville. Go for the fried house-made bologna sandwich all you want, but we’re sticking with the respectable Kansas City kobe beef burger available at both lunch and dinner. The luscious, well-seasoned patty is joined by American cheese, house dill pickles, sweet onion, shredded lettuce, Texas tomato and creamy mustard on a griddled challah bun that’s as silky as French toast. And with all the juices, it’ll feel like French toast in your hands.
Head to this eclectic West Loop bar/diner mash-up for vintage cocktails and a nationally recognized burger that bacon lovers are guaranteed to love. Opt away for the optional bacon that adds a thick slab with a one-two punch of maple and black pepper; it might just be the best bacon you’ve ever had. This is one time where the toppings (fried egg is another option) can overwhelm the beef, but that detail is more than mitigated by the all-around high quality. The thin griddled patties showcase premium beef, perfectly intermingled with the cheese, bacon and eggs. For optimal enjoyment, we recommend sharing two burgers: a double with both toppings and a single with none. Okay, maybe a third one with just bacon. Discuss.
Here’s another blast from the past, still chugging along on the strength of its signature “Combo,” a griddled burger topped with a foot-long hot dog halved and butterflied to resemble a miniature, greasy life raft. Made with hand-formed patties and Vienna beef dogs, this appealing creation doesn’t just rely on novelty of concept; the bite derives its greatness from the quality and handling of the ingredients – none of which are frozen. Whether used on meats or shoestring fries, the chili draws raves for its flavor intensity as well as the quality of the meat. If the bright blue and orange colors of the building and picnic tables in back don’t lift your spirits, the burgers and dogs (also sold separately) surely will.
Let’s swing the pendulum back toward simplicity with a burger whose austerity never belies its ambition. At this British gastropub in Logan Square, the local beef from Slagel Farms is made up of brisket, short rib, and chuck; the thick patty gets crusted to perfection while still leaving plenty of gentle countertexture within. The richness and complexity of the beef are enough to get the job done without any silly toppings used as crutches or diversions; a pile of caramelized onions is all it really needs. The bun (“bap”) and extra tangy ketchup are homemade, the fries (“chips”) are hand-cut and the malt vinegar mayo for dipping extends the British theme. When every component of the burger is as magnificent as what Owen and Engine puts forth, you can get by on the fundamentals. It’s a phenomenal burger.
This badass burger joint in North Chicago rocks heavy metal music at high volumes to match the high volume of its 10-ounce burgers named after bands like Slayer, Metallica and Iron Maiden. The flavor levels are just as high, thanks to unique toppings like prosciutto, grilled pineapple, poblano corn relish and bacon fat aioli. You can’t go wrong with any of the selections, but we gravitate to Lair of the Minotaur: caramelized onions, a disc of crisp pancetta and creamy melted brie, with bourbon poached pears further sweetened on the griddle. If you’re really hard core, go with the Slayer, served on a bed of fries instead of a bun; the complementary flavors include cherry peppers, chili, caramelized onions and sliced Andouille sausage – cooked in beer, melted jack cheese “and anger.”
This Houston delicatessen with New York sensibilities is sensible enough to source its grind from meat rock star Pat LaFrieda in New Jersey – the butcher behind the Big Apple’s most heralded burger creations. Heighten that building block with a layer of jigglingly fresh corned beef lusciousness, along with creamy Russian dressing, tangy sauerkraut, sharp Swiss and a challah bun, and you have a recipe for a Reuben/burger hybrid that you’ll remember for a lifetime. As tempting as that sounds, your best bet if dining as a duo is to split it, saving enough room for Ziggy’s other mandatory New York specialty: melt-in-mouth pastrami on rye.
The owner, Ann Price, was a local legend who always seemed nonplussed by the outsize attention that her restaurant amassed. Success never changed her; she was every bit a sweetheart to guests who entered with a smile as she was a grouch to people who broke her rules or came in with bad manners. She passed away last year, but her family still runs the joint, selling the enormous, sloppy ghetto burger that Ann made famous, and which was celebrated in The Wall Street Journal as the finest in the world. The burger cooks slowly and people take their time eating the big, messy things. A lunch hour here will quickly become two. The staffers continue to smile and enjoy conversations with most guests while narrowing their brows at people silly enough to offer a credit card to make a payment.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t include one of the classics on our list, so what better place to start than this family-owned West LA lunch counter that’s been going strong – even with the outdated plaid wallpaper and archaic cash register – since 1947? The burgers arrive in mini wax paper bags, the way some retro places do it, but here that’s how they’ve been doing it all along. Two burgers are available: the Steakburger with relish and the Hickory Burger with a top secret tangy-sweet hickory sauce. Both burgers also include mayo, pickles and crisp iceberg lettuce; Tillamook cheddar is optional and highly recommended. There are no bells or whistles here but the simplicity, execution and balance collide wonderfully to make it all work. Rookie mistake: skipping the banana pie that’s as velvety as pudding.
At this artisanal butcher expansion into Downtown’s Grand Central Market, the head turner is a dark brown bun densely glittered with sesame seeds. It’s filled with “delicious, organic, and humane meat you can feel good about buying and eating.” We also feel good about the blend of Wagyu-Angus chuck, sirloin and brisket in the composition, the prowess on the griddle, the juiciness of the end result, the fresh baked brioche bun from BreadBar and the depth of flavor in the fries cooked in beef tallow. All of the condiments - vinegar slaw, ketchup and aioli – are homemade, making the burger taste like it was made by Mom – that is, if Mom had access to her own grass-fed cows.
This Franklin Village specialty market is a destination for fine wines, hard-to-find beers and snackage from international cheeses to gourmet chocolates, but they also have one of the city’s finest burgers. Served on a delicate brioche bun, the loose and bumpy patty brings flavor galore from dry aging, augmented by taleggio cheese standing in magnificently for the humdrum American or cheddar. Black forest bacon may be the true star of this ensemble; it’s thick, crisp, chewy and sweet. Rounding things out is the requisite roughage and a smoked jalapeño and pineapple compote that ties everything together without upstaging the major players. The good news: you can enjoy the burger onsite in comfortable seating. The bad news: you can’t drink any of the beers until you take them home.
If you’re a fan of bacon and of ultra rich burger blends, you’re in for a double payoff with the wood grilled Ground Bacon Burger that forms the patty with 30% ground bacon. The juiciness is heightened and the complex flavor is surreal, nudged along even further by Vermillion blue cheese, special sauce and shoestring potatoes closer to paper clip thickness. The flavor/texture tandem is the stuff dreams are made of, so don’t even consider the Burger Monday special. Do, however, consider the tater tots with pimento cheese drizzle as a pre-event lead-in. And since they don’t serve shakes but do serve some of the finest cocktails in the Windy City, we like to end the meal with a Hot Cocoa Azteca made with Crème de Cacao, Chile de Arbol and marshmallows.
Enter the culinary playground of James Beard award winner Chef Chris Shepherd at this game changer in Montrose. Sure, you’ll want to explore the vinegar pie and the Korean braised goat with dumplings, but the smoked burger is a must try at lunch. It’s also available full-time – and stacked as a double, with twice the cheese – at its sister beer bar The Hay Merchant next door. Utilizing all of the funky cuts left over after steak cutting in the back-of-house butcher shop, this burger brings deep beef flavor in a hand-sized, old fashioned format. Up the ante with a fried egg, and try the sweet and spicy pig ears for a makeshift dessert.
The thinking man’s choice for burgers, this trio of LA eateries is the most unique entrant on our list. Masterminded by executive chef Ernesto Uchimura, previously of Umami Burger, the signature Plan Check Burger (PCB) brings exciting innovations like dashi cheese, schmaltz onions and dehydrated “ketchup leather” formed into strips that add flavor without making the bun soggy. All this innovation is just the icing on the cake; the underlying burger is hardly a slouch. Made from wagyu beef, it exudes tremendous flavor, gentle texture and scintillating seasoning. Other burgers present “cheese two ways” (in slice and disc form), “bacon two ways” (in strip and condiment form) and “pig candy” (bacon cooked in brown sugar). The fries cooked in beef tallow and sweet potato waffle fries with peach ketchup are both winners; the smoky fried jidori chicken sandwich is as much of a draw as the burger. These restaurants get crowded very quickly, so early arrival assures the most relaxed experience.
San Francisco is a city of hills, so let’s start off at the top, at least pricewise, with this $20+ offering from James Beard award winning chef Michael Mina. Available only in the lounge at his steakhouse in the Westin St Francis, this burger will bring you to your knees – if the sticker shock hasn’t already – with its profound beefiness and dichotomy of crusty surface and buttery interior. Perfectly melted water buffalo cheese puts the exclamation point on the beefiness; tomato relish and garlicky aioli complete the picture while fully yielding the stage to the glorious house-ground blend. If the fries cooked in duck fat don’t make you feel guilty enough, splurge on a dessert of hot and crispy beignets served with a bourbon caramel sauce for dipping.
Available on a limited basis at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, Ryan Farr’s “Best Damn” cheeseburger might just grab your attention before you even order it, as the homemade sesame and scallion bun catches your eye on its way to another customer. But that English muffin on steroids isn’t where the fun ends; the thin grass-fed beef patty looks like it came out of fast food central casting but tastes like so much more. Drippy, high quality Gruyere coats it wonderfully before secret sauce adds that something extra without getting in the way. Caveat: this is a smallish burger, so know that going in and consider making it a double. Heaters keep the environs manageable in the colder months, so don’t let the weather separate you from burger glory.
This Mission District bar made a name for itself by doing what we’ve been doing at home for years: serving up a burger that’s shaped like a hot dog, nestled in a hot dog bun. Gimmick? Not quite; the house-ground blend of chuck and brisket really stands out and the clamped bun keeps the steady stream of juices under control. Lettuce, onion, pickles, cheddar and house sauce are bit players supporting the surprisingly first rate beef. If the experience leaves you craving an actual hot dog, go one better with the smoked all-beef corn dog enveloped in johnnycake batter. Pair either one with Trick Dog’s thrice cooked fries that experts insist are 50% crispier than twice cooked fries.
Come for the bowling and stay for the burger with roots in an earlier Danny Bowien and Anthony Myint enterprise. It’s a favorite of Bay Area chefs and food geeks who dig the “granular patty” technique that grinds the beef into a log shape to align the “grains” in the same direction; the result is a more tender patty that feels right on the tongue. The flavor keeps its end of the bargain with complexity from aging and a caper aioli that adds a salty, briny quality. The fries are so thin and crisp, they’re practically potato sticks. Accompany your burger with a beer flight whose glasses are served in a halved bowling pin.
A legend for its organic wood-fired cuisine, Nopa boasts one of the city’s best burgers. We’re not so high on the bulk of the bun, but the glistening grass-fed beef patty still manages to shine through triumphantly, thanks to some thickness of its own and the smoky notes from the grill. The heaviness is balanced by homemade ketchup and the acidity in the pickled onions that brightens the whole affair; this is a tasty burger that won’t weigh you down. Eat it at the bar to nibble on snacks like crispy duck tenders as a prelude.
Some of Grindhouse's peers in the gourmet burger market quickly set their sights outside Georgia for expansion, but this very good concept is so far only located in Georgia, with three outlets in Atlanta (more are planned) and one in Athens. The owner, Alex Brounstein, was among the first vendors to set up shop in the historic Sweet Auburn Curb Market after Pam Joiner was hired as its manager. Joiner was looking for unique concepts that would bring customers back for lunch again and again, not just once in a while for some groceries. This attracted restaurateurs who had big ideas but not a lot of capital. The Grindhouse counter, with its small but tasty burgers, boozy
milkshakes, and screenings of awful horror and sci-fi movies on the wall, was hugely successful and everybody's been waiting to see what
would come next and what regionally-inspired burger variety would be the next special.
With all the celebrated places inside the perimeter to get a good burger, Stockyard is the dark horse on this list. It's in a hidey-hole about a block off the Marietta Square, but it shouldn't be missed. The meat-lovers menu also includes pork chops and ribs, but it's the big gourmet burgers that are the main draw, especially when paired with fries and an array of great dipping sauces. Owner Scott Kinsey runs a few other restaurants nearby, so he's got a good feel for what the community wants and what this location has lacked for a while.
The big boy. The Vortex's burgers are legendary. So is the gigantic skull on the front of their original location. So is the take-no-prisoners list of rules meant to shut down silly and selfish behavior from guests. The restaurant is so well-known and perhaps so overexposed that over the last decade, it seems as though more tourists come here than locals, but it really doesn't matter.Regardless whether you live here or are visiting, you'll get very good service and even better burgers. Some of them go so far over-the-top with unhealthy or super-spicy toppings or that only the silliest (or drunkest) customers, the ones looking for a stunt, would order them, but get one simply dressed with lettuce, tomato and mayo and see what regulars have known for years: a Vortex burger doesn't need a TV camera and a fried egg to be fantastic.
Chef Todd Ginsberg has worked at several restaurants. You can get his astonishingly good burger at three of them. At Fred's Meat and Bread in the Krog Street Market, the burger stands out among all the terrific sandwiches. It's my favorite in the city, a double-stack served on a lightly buttered bun. The patties have crispy, crumbly edges, with pickles, melted American cheese, and house-made mayo. Not mustard, oddly. Once upon a time, a basic burger had pickles, onions, and mustard, as you'll find in deliberately throwback fast food places like Sonic or Krystal, with mayo best served with lettuce and tomato as a "deluxe" or "glorified" burger. But this is mayo, pickles, and cheese with those two perfectly-seasoned patties, and it works
This narrow East Village eatery is hard to spot unless you’re paying attention, but the bold flavors and textures in its legendary lunchtime-only burger are attention-grabbing enough to wake you from a sound sleep. The deliciousness starts with a beef blend that uses scraps leftover from steaks butchered at sister restaurant Sebastian’s Steakhouse across the river in New Jersey. Particularly key are that some of it is dry aged and some of it is "beef deckle" removed from the perimeter of the ribeye. The result is a well marbled six-ounce patty that gets a formidable crust in a cast iron pan. The salty, peppery crunch of the initial bite unleashes a tidal wave of juices within, along with an exhilarating beef flavor that’ll have you contemplating a second burger while you’re barely halfway through your first. It’s enough flavor that the simplicity of cheddar and caramelized onions is more than enough adornment. The simpler white roll knows its role: catch all the juices, but stay out of the way. What sometimes gets lost in the burger euphoria here is that the crisp, well salted thick cut fries are some of the best around.
On the unlikely chance that you’ve found a burger that taste more like a steak than the Brindle Room burger, it’s likely that you’ve found the Black Label Burger at Minetta Tavern. Created by beef rock stars Pat LaFrieda Meats, the proprietary blend includes dry aged prime cuts that dial the beefiness to an eleven on a scale of ten. With beef this pristine, you don’t need to do much with it, and they don’t. Minetta skips the cheese altogether and top the patty with nothing but caramelized onions, whose intense sweetness is the yang to the beef’s ying. This pricy patty will set you back nearly $30, but it’s a bucket list item that must be tried at least once by any self respecting burger snob. The more affordable Minetta Burger ($21) might not pack the same beefy wallop as the sexier Black Label, but it’s the lack of packing – namely, the extremely loose patty construction – that makes it equally silky, and this time cheese joins the party. This is a high maintenance lunch that requires advance reservations, patience and high tolerance of tight quarters, as the neighbors to your left and right will be mere inches away. These are perhaps a higher price than the actual tariff, but fully mitigated by the burger excellence.
This Upper East Side time warp from the early 1970s dispenses what we like to think of as a burger that’s just as timeless: a simple and satisfying snack that brings all the beefy goodness you really need without grandstanding in order to do so. The beef is ordinary chuck or sirloin, with no exotic cuts or dry aged components, but it’s packed loosely, handled very well, seasoned modestly and griddled to achieve a noble crust outside while preserving a moist interior with a pinkish hue. With simple toppings and a toasted bun just as ordinary, it feels and tastes like the best burgers from an era before the current wave of gourmet burgers began. Grab a stool in front of the griddle, watch the magic being performed and know that you’re about to dig into a favorite burger of Bobby Flay, Michael Bloomberg and Danny Meter. The fries are interesting: hand cut using the same tool that gives crinkle cut fries their crinkle, but formed as discs instead. JG Melon’s décor is interesting too, with watermelon-related art on the walls.
This sentimental pick might be a bit dated now that Shake Shack’s gradual worldwide expansion has made its iconic burgers more commonplace and more susceptible to the compromises that expansion brings. But the original in New York City still represents all that is good about a burger. It’s a throwback to the all American burger stand, with small patties, crinkle cut fries and their custard-based version of a shake called a concrete. It might be the most affordable luxury in New York City, because it’s a great burger – made so because every component is great. The beef, another Pat LaFrieda product, is perhaps the most sophisticated blend ever offered on a $5 burger (slightly higher now). It’s aggressively salted and smashed down on the griddle to increase the surface area, ensuring the crunchiest crust possible. Simple American cheese melts into a rich near-liquid. Greenleaf lettuce and plum tomato are impossibly fresh for an over-the counter operation. And the soft, pillowy potato rolls that have been copied a thousand times over hold everything in perfectly. When that first bite hits all of these components, you’ll know you’re not in Kansas. Going with a friend? Copy our move and get two Shackburgers and one Double Shackburger, splitting the larger one and leaving a whole smaller one for yourself.
Just around the corner from Brindle Room, this two-level burger eatery in the East Village does a little bit of everything – burgerwise, that is – and does it all quite well. They’ve got a stuffed burger in the Juicy Lucy (shortrib patty, as are all others unless indicated otherwise) that oozes creamy pimento cheese from the center rather than the American used in the Minneapolis original. They’ve got a blue cheese version called The Bluicy.
They’ve got a very respectable dry aged burger in The Mangold (brisket patty), a supple and supremely seasoned number that uses cheddar and horseradish cream as a foil for the beefy funk. They’ve got a Patty Melt, essentially an excellent grilled cheese sandwich that just happens to have a good burger along for the ride. They’ve got a burger topped with peanut butter and bacon, just for fun. They’ve got The Spicy Patty burger that combines shortrib with brisket, habaneros and other hot peppers in the blend. And they’ve got The Hound, with shortrib and ground bacon in the blend. The beauty of Whitman’s is that the burgers are executed as well as they’re conceived; the designs are borne from ambition, not gimmickry. So many burgers, so little time.
Dine at this Dupont Circle hipster hang and you’ll feel like you’re lounging in your coolest friend’s living room – only with better food. The sandwich driven menu changes daily, based on what’s available, but one of the dependable mainstays is the Proper Burger that’s become one of DC’s favorites. It starts double-stacked patties made with ground Angus beef from Creekstone Farms, the Cadillac of beef suppliers. The capable supporting cast of Gouda, dill pickles, charred red onion, Thai sweet chili sauce, arugula and garlic aioli hits you from every possible flavor angle while letting the beef hit you hardest – all within the softness of a fresh brioche bun. It’s not the biggest burger around, even as a double, but that just leaves you more room to try the truffled mac and cheese. As good looking as the burger is, the people watching is even better in the summer if enjoyed on the recently added outdoor patio.
The only thing we love more than burgers, smoked meats and Seinfeld is a burger that combines all three. At this Columbia Heights pub, ribs are only a part time thing (Tuesday and Friday), but the smoker churns out brisket, pulled pork, pastrami, jerk goat, pulled duck and even BBQ falafel on a daily basis. It’s the pastrami – the most sensual of all the salted cured meats, natch – that goes into the Costanza burger. Literally, in fact, because it’s blended with the ground Angus chuck to yield the most sensual of all burgers. That is, until Kangaroo Boxing Club one-ups it by three-upping it: the Big Bad Wolf burger that tops a Costanza with pulled pork, bacon and peppered ham. Additional toppings, should you need them, are available a la carte. Only four beers are offered on tap, but well selected bottles and cans achieve a good local selection.
Spike Mendelsohn's Capitol Hill burger restaurant is a nostalgic look at Americana using its favorite sandwich as a medium. The basic burger inserts a griddled, farm raised beef patty into a freshly baked Pennsylvania Dutch bun with the standard tomato, lettuce, thinly sliced onion and pickles; cheese and bacon are optional. It’s a soft, hand-held package with just the right amount of crispness, beefy juices and bun to hold it all in. For those who think the bun is just a little too much, Good Stuff’s signature Big Stuff Bacon Meltdown burger doubles the dosage on the beef. Other creations round out the menu with riffs on cheeses, onions, mushrooms and burgers named after the president and first lady. The fried onion petals are better in theory than execution, but the crisp fresh cut fries are reliably good, made great by the variety of dipping sauces. Hand spun shakes bring some fun flavors, too, like salty Caramel Kiss and Vietnamese Coffee.
This Northeast “gastropub with a healthy Belgian fetish” doesn’t have as many burgers as they do beers, but they do have three good ones. Our pick is the locally raised bison burger seasoned heavily and topped with Dijonnaise to accentuate the gaminess. Round it out with your choice of cheese, along with a plate-tipping pile of some of the most potatoey twice-fried frites you’ll ever have (those Belgians know more than just beer). At brunch, the star of the burger is a runny fried egg that tops the same bison patty. The double burger available only on the dinner menu doesn’t get as much love as its buffalo-breath sidekick, but there’s a lot to love about its creamy porcini aioli. Not to be missed: a few different treatments of mussels, all supplied with bread for dipping. The appealing brininess will have you reaching determinedly for your Belgian.
Yes, it’s a French restaurant, but get over it; at least they had the decency to name their prized grease bomb The Burger Americain. And they show additionally reverence by planting a mini American flag into the dome of this twin pattied creation whose beef is as soft and jumbly as a Sarah Palin campaign speech. The cheese is American all the way, fully melted into silky luxury as only American can; the interplay between it and the crunchier Maillard-kissed patties is evident on every bite. Innate juiciness gets amplified with a creamy condiment similar to Thousand Island, and all of it is gathered in a house-baked bun. Some have compared the construction to a glorified Big Mac, but this one trumps it with the ratios as well as with the overall quality. The frites are as crispy as can be, upstaging the American icon yet again.
This counter service hot dog joint in Deep Ellum bridges Chicago and Texas with post oak red hots served up Chicago style – poppyseed bun, sport peppers and all. But Dallas burger die-hards head straight to the Uncle Herky burger, a ground beef offering that stacks two local wagyu beef patties from McKinney’s, American cheese, prepared mustard, fresh mayo, grilled onions and horseradish pickle on a seeded bun. It’s a symphony of texture and flavor that hits you with crunch, juice flow and cheese meltage while assaulting the taste buds with char and deep beefiness contrasted by the sweetness in the onions and the tart-hot tandem in the pickles. It’s tender, it’s messy and it’s addictive. Peppered bacon takes it to another level, but it’s more of a luxury than a crutch. Upgrade your burger to a “basket” with hand-cut fries and creamy Napa slaw. Other add-ons like giardinara and caraway kraut are more for the hot dog crowd, but a viable option for your inevitable second visit. The Luscher’s funky space has aged brick walls, all-natural wood booths, punk art and bicycles hanging from the ceiling. Outdoor picnic tables are great for people-watching in the summer.
Feel like you’ve crashed a lavish cocktail party by slinking into this swanky new downtown lounge famous for its oysters and $300 caviar service. But don’t worry, the cheeseburger will run you only $12 – crisp fries included. It’s topped with lettuce, tomato, garlic pickles and an aioli with anchovy notes; it’s close enough to Caesar dressing that you can claim you had a salad that just happened to have a house-ground burger along for the ride. Wash your burger – er, salad – down with creative gin cocktails and martinis as you gaze at the splendor of the Mitchell’s lavishly decorated space and ponder a nap on the blue alligator sofa. The Mitchell offers a daily happy hour from 5:00 to 7:00 PM on weekdays.
If Bob’s Big Boy had an evil twin, it would be the menacing chubster in the Pints and Quarts logo that’s equal parts irreverence and homage. But Pints and Quarts minds its p’s and q’s when celebrating the burger palaces of the 1950s in its industrial space converted from a historic gas station. The retro look is matched with retro pricing that won’t break the bank on the Brooke’s Burger named after owner Brooke Humphries, a veteran of the Dallas restaurant scene. It’s a simple affair with secret sauce, American cheese and a “standard set” of Boston lettuce, tomato, pickle and purple onions, presented on a fluffy potato bun. More adventurous burgers up the ante with applewood smoked bacon, guacamole, crispy onion strings and fried green tomatoes. Chili, fries and grilled hot dogs emulating Chicago dogs and banh mi sandwiches are also on offer. Mixology leans toward bourbons, vodkas and tequilas, with spiked milkshakes upholding the modern retro vibe.