Best Burger Joints in the U.S.
There's nothing as satisfying as a perfectly cooked, juicy hamburger. (Unless you're a vegetarian, of course.) Add some cheese, bacon, onion, pickles and any other toppings your little heart desires, and you're bound to have dreams about such deliciousness.
So, just where can you find these unreal, the-stuff-that-dreams-are-made-of burger creations in the U.S.? We're going to help you out.
The best people to find great burger suggestions from are other burger eaters on Yelp. As consumers like us, they are honest about food and have nothing to lose by sharing their favorite (or not-so-favorite) burger joints and menu items. So, we scoured the net for some of the highest-rated, best-reviewed burgers from across America.
Kalbi Burger from Corner Grille
Location: Panorama City, California
The owner of Corner Grille outside of Los Angeles has nearly 30 years of experience in the culinary and restaurant industry. That should come as no surprise when you browse the menu.
The Korean tacos and BBQ sound quite delish, but it's the burger selections that really impress. There's the Crazy Boy, loaded with pork cutlet, BBQ beef, cream cheese, parmesan cheese, shredded cabbage, tonkatsu sauce and special sauce.
And then there's the crowd favorite — the Kalbi Burger. This masterpiece has Korean BBQ beef, pickled onions, shredded cabbage, spicy mayo and special sauce. Clearly, the special sauce that is used on the burgers does make them something special.
Avocado Burger from Hippo Burgers
Location: Humble, Texas
Hippo Burgers started in a small yellow shack back in 2014. Years later, the burger joint is still pounding out its 1/2 lb. Angus beef creations at two different spots in Humble, Texas. Non-burger menu offerings include Hippo Chicken, the Hippo Mexican Hot Dog and the Hippo Chili Cheese Dog.
There are also a few tasty shakes and a variety of fries to choose from. But the real reason to visit is for the burgers. In particular, the Hippo Avocado Burger. It's got mayo, guacamole, grilled onions, tomatoes and white cheese.
It's like having a Cinco de Mayo party, right in your mouth. We'd love to be invited!
Pioneer Burger from Ground
Location: Franklin, Tennessee
This Tennessee restaurant is located just south of Nashville and specializes in burgers and sandwiches.
The real menu masterpiece is one of Ground's more simple burgers: the Pioneer Burger. It's about as classic as they come, made with lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, choice of cheese, mayo, mustard and ketchup. Cheese choices are American, Parmesan, Cheddar, Pepper Jack, Swiss, Provolone and Bleu Cheese.
If you're. apicky eater, you can go for the "design it your way" option that allows you to select your choice of burger or chicken sandwich, along with cheese and toppings. Or you can turn any burger into a bunless burger.
All burgers are cooked medium well (unless otherwise requested) and come with your choice of fries, baked potato, sweet potato or Caesar salad. Oh, and if you order a drink, you take home a cool complimentary signature cup. You'll definitely want something to remember this place by. Well, besides the lingering flavor of pioneer perfection that you hope will never escape your mouth.
Emmy Burger from EMILY
Location: New York City, New York
Emily and Matt Hyland are the founders and co-owners of EMILY, which has locations in Brooklyn and West Village, New York. The restaurant is mostly a pizza joint, modeled after the couple's love of pizza that stemmed from their personal relationship prior to opening EMILY.
Both locations use wood-burning ovens to make the pizzas but there is far more on the menu to enjoy. Case in point: the Emmy Burger. It's made from dry aged beef, Grafton cheddar, caramelized onion, cornichon and a special EMMY sauce, and then sandwiched between two pretzel buns and served with fries.
Enjoy The Emmy for lunch or dinner with a glass of wine, beer or a fruity cocktail. And if you're really impressed with your dining experience at EMILY, snag some swag with the restaurant's logo on it from the online shop. You can also recruit the team for private events or catering.
Bash-Style Burger from Lure Fishbar
Location: New York City, New York
New York's upscale Lure Fishbar offers fresh seafood, sushi and a rotating oyster bar. It's also one of the restaurants that serves one of the most highly-rated burgers in the U.S. You're probably wondering how a burger from a seafood restaurant made this list. All we can say is, don't knock it until you try it.
It's the only burger on the menu, which means it has to be good. The "bash style" creation has bacon, onion jam and pickles. Beer, wine and cocktails are available to complement your meal.
And if you want to recreate the burger at home, Chef Josh Capon actually shares the recipe with Loews Hotels for anyone to try. But first, head to Lure Fishbar to get the real deal.
Mushroom Cheeseburger from Port of Call
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
The Port of Call is a steakhouse located in the French Quarter in New Orleans. The restaurant was established in 1963 and today is known for its burgers and steaks. All of the 1/2 lb. burgers are ground fresh daily and come with a baked potato.
So, which one should you try? Well, there are really only two options: the hamburger or the mushroom burger, each with or without cheese. The one that's earned rave reviews is the Mushroom Burger. It comes with lettuce, tomatoes, onion and pickles on the side so you can enjoy it the way that you want to. Have it for lunch or dinner because the restaurant is open seven days a week for both. You don't need reservations and you can even bring the kids.
The only bad news about ordering the Mushroom Burger? If you want sour cream, cheddar cheese or mushrooms on your baked potato, it costs extra. And since that really has nothing to do with the burger itself, that means there's no bad news when it comes to ordering the burger.
Jucy Lucy from Matt's Bar
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Matt's Bar & Grill started as a neighborhood burger joint in 1954. Founder Matt Bristol has received numerous awards and appeared in multiple food & travel publications and on television programs. His claim to fame from the restaurant? The Jucy Lucy.
It all started shortly after the eatery opened, when a customer asked for two hamburger patties with a slice of cheese in the middle. When he proclaimed, "That's one juicy Lucy!" the concept for the burger was born. The misspelling of the word "juicy" is intentional and is the barometer by which to measure whether or not you're eating the real deal.
Many restaurants have created variations of the burger, but Matt's definitely gets credit as being the source of the original version.The secret to the Jucy Lucy is the hot molten cheese that fills the inside. Matt's Bar & Grill's motto is "Fear the Cheese," and when you order a Jucy Lucy, you'll understand why.
Pope Burger from The Pub on Passyunk East
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
This Philadelphia restaurant has a traditional pub menu that features dishes like chicken fingers, nachos, grilled cheese, meatloaf and tacos. And while all of those foods will cure a major case of hunger, it's the Pope (which stands for Pub on Passyunk East) Burger that possesses most of the magic.
It's an 8-ounce burger topped with cheddar cheese, fried tomato, grilled red onion and basil mayo. Choose from fries or a house salad on the side and rinse it all down with a cold beverage.
Passyunk East offers a 14-draft beer system and bottled beer selection that can both be savored on the outdoor seating area. The restaurant is open seven days a week and serves brunch and dinner.
Tattooed Moose Burger from Tattooed Moose
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
At Tattooed Moose, the burger by the same name gives you two 1/4 lb. patties topped with cheese. (Choose from American, Swiss, Smoked Cheddar, Bleu or Pimento.) Also on the burger are lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, garlic aioli and a special sauce- all on a toasted Kaiser roll.
Are you drooling yet? If not, you should know that the burger comes with a garlicky dill pickle and a sweet & spicy pickled green tomato. Add bacon or pork for a small charge if you want your burger even more loaded. Beer, wine and other beverages are available to accompany your meal. And if you somehow manage to have room for dessert once you've devoured your moosey feast, the restaurant offers featured desserts for customers.
Vault Burger from Rankin Vault Cocktail Lounge
Location: Asheville, North Carolina
Since 2008, the Rankin Vault Cocktail Lounge has been serving the Asheville community. The North Carolina restaurant is known for its house margarita and Cucumber martini but the meny is also full of farm-fresh favorites.
Among those favorites is the award-winning Vault Burger. The popular pick is made with Hickory Nut Gap ground beef, bacon, white cheddar, red onion, arugula and spicy mayo. It won Best Burger in Asheville at the WNC Battle of the Burger in 2014, the People's Choice award at the 2015 Battle of the Burger and took home the prize for a third time in 2016.
Needless to say, the Vault Burger has got it going on. That's not to say that the rest of the menu doesn't. It features other burgers, sandwiches, salads and tacos. If you're feeling especially hungry, try the Double Vault Burger. It's all the goodness of the original, but doubled.
Seamus from Gabby's Burgers & Fries
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
It should come as no surprise that a place called Gabby's Burgers & Fries sells a highly-rated burger. After all, that's what this Nashville eatery specializes in. There are a handful of inventive variations on the menu, including the vegan Coreen Burger made with black beans, brown rice, beets and oats, and the Gabby Burger. Simply put, Gabby is a classic cheeseburger with a cooler name.
But it's her little brother, Seamus, who deserves the attention. The Seamus burger is five ounces of grass-fed beef with your choice of American, Swiss, Pepper Jack, Cheddar or Bleu cheese. Don't be discouraged by the simplicity of the recipe. Just like good things can come in small packages, sometimes the best things in life are the simple things.
And since burgers and milkshakes go together as perfectly as peanut butter and jelly, Gabby's sells strawberry, vanilla and chocolate shakes that you can choose from to pair with your special Seamus.
Trick Dog from Trick Dog
Location: San Francisco, California
It's quite fitting that this San Francisco restaurant is called Trick Dog. That's because twice a year, the drinks menu completely changes. Not just the theme but the drink offerings as well. Talk about tricking customers into thinking you've got something good, only to change it on them months later. But apparently it's not a problem. In fact, in 2017, Trick Dog won the Spirited Award for World's Best Cocktail Menu.
But enough about Trick Dog drinks. Let's talk about the quick dog burger. It's the only one on the menu (besides the "beyond" version), so the pressure is on to make a good impression. And with a house-ground blend of chuck & brisket, lettuce, onion, pickles, cheddar cheese and house sauce, that's not hard to do.
If your appetite is robust, consider ordering a side to go with your burger, like the kale salad, fried green tomatoes and pickles or french fries.
Burger From Hell from Coyote Bluff Cafe
Location: Amarillo, Texas
If you enjoy a challenge — one that puts your taste buds to the test — try this half-pound beef patty that is sure to burn. Yes — burn like fire. The Burger From Hell is loaded with sautéed jalapeños, Coyote Hell sauce and Tabasco. The cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and grilled onions might tame the flavor a bit, but it's doubtful that you'll even notice those ingredients. Nevertheless, customers do rave about the burgers, some even calling them the most delicious burgers you could ever taste.
If you aren't so keen on spicy flavors, you could try one of the more mild burgers on the menu. The Mushroom & Swiss Burger has fresh mushrooms, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and grilled onions. The California Burger just has a slight kick with green chilies, guacamole, sour cream and the other standard toppings.
Then there's the Bacon Cheeseburger, which is exactly what you'd expect a bacon cheeseburger to be. Choose from white, whole wheat or onion bun and rinse down with a wine cooler or an ice cold beer.
Whiskey King Burger from Village Whiskey
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Known for its selection of over 200 whiskeys, Village Whiskey is a restaurant in Philadelphia owned by Chef Jose Garces. And while whiskey might be the focus, the Whiskey King burger is just as impressive. With maple bourbon glazed cipollini, rogue bleu cheese, applewood bacon and foie gras, this burger is a palate pleaser for sure. There are specialty burgers that are highlighted each month, but this one is a menu standard because it's too good to just offer sometimes.
The Whiskey King is served any time of day, so guests can enjoy it whenever they get a craving for something juicy and flavorful. And, of course, anyone who dines at Village Whiskey should most definitely try one (or more) of the whiskeys along with their meal.
PB & J Burger from WesBurger 'N' More
Location: San Francisco, California
The award for most unusual burger recipe should go to the PB & J burger from San Francisco's WesBurger 'N' More. Created by Jeremy Fish, the 6 oz. burger is made from an interesting combination of peanut butter, onion rings, jalapeno strawberry jam and sharp cheddar cheese. Talk about flavor explosion. This, along with The Hot Wes burger, is what makes WesBurger 'N'More such a popular Bay Area restaurant.
The Hot Wes has its own unique food formula, blending onion rings with queso and pickled jalapenos. Either burger is worth trying, as the eatery notes on its website, "Because burgers are fun." Add bacon to any burger for $2 and get free tots when you eat at WesBurger 'N' More during weekday lunch hours of 11:30-4:30.
The Tennessee Burger from Burger Republic
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
The aptly named Tennessee Burger from Burger Republic in Nashville is full of classic southern flavors. It's topped with Jack Daniel's honey glaze, American cheese, smoked ketchup, maple basted benton's bacon and Memphis dusted crispy onions. It has won the restaurant great accolades. One customer raved, "Burgers are hit or miss, but these ones nailed it! Juicy and flavorful with crispy in the right way buns."
In addition to gourmet burgers Burger Republic features appetizers, salads, chicken sandwiches and hand-spun milkshakes. The locally owned and operated food stop has been serving the Nashville area since 2012. There are currently four locations throughout the greater Nashville area.
Single Cheeseburger from Au Cheval
Location: Chicago, Illinois
If you've ever wanted to taste a burger that was so good, people are willing to wait three hours to eat it, head to Au Cheval in Chicago.
There's nothing extraordinarily special about the Single Cheeseburger, except for the fact that while it's called a single, it actually has two patties. Each patty is covered with a slice of American cheese, with Dijonnaise and housemade pickles added to the top patty. The buns are toasted to give the burger a crisp texture, and optional toppings include fried egg, peppered bacon or foie gras.
If you're feeling really hungry, go for the Double Cheeseburger, which is actually made with three patties. All the same goodness exists with this, you just get more of it.
Fat Smitty Burger from Black Hills Burger and Bun Co.
Location: Custer, South Dakota
With cheddar cheese, bacon, fried egg, lettuce, tomato and garlic aioli, the Fat Smitty from Black Hills Burger and Bun Co. has guests calling the burger joint "Possibly the best burger restaurant" they've been to. The family-owned restaurant focuses on offering good food with fresh ingredients that customers can afford to enjoy.
All burgers on the menu are made from USDA Choice chuck and are ground in-house daily. Choice of side for all burger orders includes fries, Granny's baked beans, coleslaw or sweet potato fries. There is also the option to make it a buffalo burger or add an extra patty.
Iron Maiden from Kuma's Corner
Location: Chicago, Illinois
It's hard to narrow down the best burger on the menu at Chicago's Kuma's Corner, but one that stands out is the Iron Maiden (the gourmet burger bar names most of the items on the menu after heavy metal bands).
Delight in the tastes of avocado, cherry peppers, pepperjack, chipotle mayo and red onions. With the variety of flavors and textures this burger offers, your taste buds almost won't know what to do with themselves.
The original Kuma's Corner is still standing in its original Chicago location. There are several others throughout Illinois as well. But since there's nothing quite like an original, we suggest hitting the "where it all began" spot first.
LPG Cheeseburger from La Petite Grocery
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
In 2014, La Petite Grocery's Executive Chef Justin Devillier was named "Chef of the Year" by New Orleans Magazine. Two years later, the culinary mastermind won the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the South. When guests taste the LPG Cheeseburger from the eatery's menu, it becomes apparent why Devillier was granted such honors.
Available for both lunch and dinner, the LPG is loaded with house pickles, onion marmalade, whole grain mustard, arugula, aioli and gruyere. Served on a brioche bun and hand-cut fries on the side, there are plenty of flavors to savor with this burger. And if you want to top off your dining experience with one of Devillier's sweeter concoctions, order the butterscotch pudding for dessert.
Donut Burger from Brooks Gourmet Burgers & Dogs
Location: Naples, Florida
Where dinner meets dessert. That's the Donut Burger. Adventurous eaters will love the unique flavor that's created by sandwiching American cheese and bacon between two glazed donuts. The burger is one of many specialty creations on the menu at Brooks Gourmet Burgers & Dogs in Naples, Florida.
The restaurant has been around since 2010 and has already been inducted into the Tripadvisor Hall of Fame for earning five consecutive certificates of excellence from customer reviews. There are three Naples locations, each offering a menu full of inventive burgers, sandwiches and beef dogs.
Cowboy Bro from Bros Sandwich Shack
Location: Avon, North Carolina
Health conscious diners needn't felt left out of the burger game. Thanks to Bros Sandwich Shack, owned and operated by brothers Matt and Josh in North Carolina, a "better for you" burger exists. The Quinoa Bro is made with a red quinoa patty, lettuce, tomato, pickles and onion. Enjoy a less healthy side like fries or onion rings to balance things out, or go with a side salad to help you stay on course.
With the brothers' culinary backgrounds, you can bet that no matter what your order at Bros Sandwich Shack, you won't be disappointed. Several other burgers are on the menu, each with their own special flair and flavors.
I'm Your Huckleberry Burger from the Burger Dive
Location: Billings, Montana
In Billings, Montana is where you'll find the award-winning I'm Your Huckleberry Burger. Not only has this original invention received top praise from food industry experts, several others from The Burger Dive menu have as well. And Tripadvisor reviewers agree that the burgers are delicious, declaring, "Let's just say these burgers are mouthwatering goodness."
So what makes the I'm Your Huckleberry Burger so flavorful? The 1/3 pound Angus burger is covered with Huckleberry Hatch chili barbecue sauce, bacon, goat cheese, arugula and roasted red pepper mayo. Sound good?
Guido Burger from Hodad's
Location: San Diego, California
The Guido Burger, found on the menu at Hodad's, was inspired by chef extraordinaire Guy Fieri. The "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" host has popped into the Ocean Beach restaurant on a few occasions, prompting the owners to create a special burger in his honor. It's served with Pastrami, ketchup, pickles, Swiss cheese, grilled onions and spicy brown mustard. Enjoy alone or with a basket of fries or onion rings.
There are several more burgers on the menu, ranging in size from mini to double. You'll also find a chicken burger, veggie burger and an un-burger (a cheeseburger without the meat). Wash down your burger of choice with a glass of wine or beer or a creamy milkshake.
Queso Burger from Grumps Burgers
Location: Dallas Metropolitan Area, Texas
Named after founder Collier Albright's granddad, Texas burger joint Grumps Burgers has won several awards across its five locations every year since opening. It's no wonder, with some customers raving about menu items like the Queso Burger, saying, "This is the best burger we have eaten, and not just in Granbury. We love the crispy bun, fresh toppings and meat."
The Queso Burger that they are talking about is topped with queso, mustard, lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion. It doesn't stray much from a traditional burger recipe, but there's something about that queso addition that makes this an unforgettable meal.