Readers' Favorite Burgers


Over on Serious Eats burger site A Hamburger Today, there was some serious discussion last week about readers' favorite local burger joints. There are some serious-sounding places submitted by AHT readers. After the jump, all 61 recommendations. If you have your own to add to the roster, feel free to do so in the comments, and we'll include it in later revisions of this list.

Burgerama!My favorite burger is at the James Joyce Public House in White Plains, New York. My mouth is watering just thinking about them! —Dan Bruno

Burgerama!I'm all about the burger at Charlie Beinlich's in Northbrook, Illinois, just north of Chicago. —AlexG

Burgerama!I grew up in Havre, Montana, home of Rod's Drive-In's Ugly Burger. It's a moist, crumbly patty of beef covered in pickles, lettuce, and a "special sauce" that is definitely not just Thousand Island dressing. Best enjoyed with a side order of "gems" (greasy-in-a-good-way tater tots) and the flavored soda of your choice. (When I was 14 it was the fruit-punch Mountain Dew, but I have a feeling that much sugar would kill me now.) Haven't had one in about ten years, but I know they're still pretty much the most famous burger in Northcentral Montana. How's that for obscure? —Jess

Burgerama!My favorite place is Ruby's. —Jim Richvalsky [But where, Jim? Where?—Adam]

Burgerama!Hunter House in Birmingham, Michigan and Detroit. —gorilla

Burgerama!Norm's Old Homestead in Brewster, New York. Great Bloody Marys, too. Norm himself is no longer among us, but he was the best blind bartender ever. —gratefulted

Burgerama!My favorite burger joint here in scenic St. Louis has to be Carl's Drive-In in the suburb of Brentwood. Small burgers, grilled in front of you, crispy edges, melty cheese. Accompany with a large mug of house-mixed frosty root beer.

The preferred high-end burger in my house is the Bill's Burgermeister Burger at Cardwell's at the Plaza. A large patty, with bacon, bleu cheese, and house-made barbecue sauce. Accompany with sparking lemonade and follow with cappucino ice cream filled profiteroles. Yum! —Ms. B

Burgerama!Hamburgers in Sausalito, California. I just moved here and they serve excellent flame-broiled burgers, all fresh and 'juicy'. —amino

Burgerama!My hometown, Peculiar, Missouri, has a little place called the Peculiar Drive In. I just went back at Thanksgiving time last year to see if it was still as good as I remembered, and it was. Big hand-crafted patties with just the right blend of produce/cheese/condiments. They also still hand crank their fries. The grease was oozing through the plain-brown paper sack before I even made it to the car. The true sign of burger nirvana. I can't recommend it enough. —Eric Braun

Burgerama!I have two favorites—both home to fresh ground dive-bar burgers at their finest. In Wichita, Kansas, it's Ty's. In my new home of North Carolina, Abbey Road Grill in Cary is one of the best burgers around. I wonder if John T. has tried it? —Chad Ward

Burgerama!When I was in college at RPI in Troy, New York, we used to drive to this little place called Jack's Drive-In in Wynantskill (a short drive). Perfect sliders and delicious cheese fries. —egads04

Burgerama!The best place in Jacksonville, Florida, is Col. Mustard's. Great burgers and also fantastic breakfast menu. He lines up all his meatballs and flattens them as they are ordered. Adds special spice blend and secret sauce, and whatever specials for your particular order. If you're a guy, prepare to be ragged on; women and children are angels, however. Photos on flickr (Col Mustard). —Buzz

Burgerama!Weber's Burgers in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. Weber's has been in business since 1963 and is one of the provinces most famous burger restaurants. The place is quite historic because it is on the main highway to cottage counrty—so generations of people have stopped at Weber's during the cottage commute. Check out this video: v=CNOaavuTuyI —RJ Pauloski

Burgerama!When I was in Boston, I was a slave to Mr. & Mrs. Bartley's. And in San Francisco, it would have to be Hot 'n' Hunky. They are fried but absolutely delicious. —Sam B

Burgerama!J. G. Melon in New York City. Bacon, cheese, sautéed onions and some cottage fries on the side. Christ, I'm having a heart attack just thinking about it. Yummmmm. —Anthony

Burgerama!We love to go to the Hot Grill in Clifton, New Jersey. —tom

Burgerama!I went to college in Bloomington, Indiana, and had two favorite burgers there—for regular burgers, there was a bar just off campus named Opie Taylor's. They had amazingly good fries and damned good burgers—not huge, but cooked to order and well seasoned. When I was in a mood for something more local, I would get a Steak 'n' Shake burger—thin, crispy burgers—there's nothing like them back here on the East Coast. —Rob

Burgerama!Pie 'n' Burger (Pasadena, California); Kirk's Steakburger (Campbell, California) —J. Scott

Burgerama!In New Mexico it's Blake's Lotaburger! The made to order Green Chili and Cheese burger can't be beat. If you are traveling through NM on I-40 be sure to treat yourself! No fancy decor but who cares? One of their recent billboards reads, "Do you know the infield fly rule?.... You're a Lotaman! —Elaine

Burgerama!You'll find no better burger than the ones at Frisko Freeze in Tacoma, Washington. A Tacoma institution since the '50s, it's the first stop for former Tacomans when they visit their old hometown. Order at the window and mingle in the parking lot until your name is called over the loud speaker. Great fries, shakes and cherry and vanilla Cokes made old-style. —GregWA

Burgerama!Krekel's Custard in Decatur, Illinois. Other burgers have no clue. Mentioned by Sufjan Stevens, (not in a wholly positive light) in the song "Decatur, or, Round of Applause for Your Stepmother" from his Illinois album:

"Chickenmobile with your rooster tail,

I had my fill and I know how bad it feels.

Stay awake and watch....."

Here's a photo of the famed "Chickenmobile":

We now return you to your program regularly scheduled program. —Gottfried

Burgerama!Here in Boston, it's definitely Bartley's Burger Cottage. —hdaemon

Burgerama!In the suburbs of Chicago, there's nothing better than a Country House burger. Pretzel roll or rye, it's tops in my book. Plus...they have a great URL: —Jake P.

Burgerama!The best burger I have ever had came from Hungry Herb's in Medford, Massachusetts. They have since closed, but I still dream about the teriyaki cheeseburger with double grilled onions. —Sarah

Burgerama!Manhattan's Corner Bistro has cute waitresses, a great jukebox, and the juicest slab o' beef you could ever slap on a bun. The ideal thing to slurp down before heading home after a long night. Also, the place is apparently like Brigadoon: You can only find it when you really, really need it. (It's on the corner of Fourth and Jane if you must cheat.) —Bully

Burgerama!Philadelphia: Good Dog — For a "gourmet" burger, this is hard to beat anywhere in the country. Roquefort cheese and onion nestled INSIDE the burger. You get that Juicy Lucy thing going on. Served on a brioche roll inside one of the best bars in the city. $10 is more than fair. Worth making up excuses for meetings in the city. They open late on the weekends (4 p.m.) so this is a mid-week lunch for those of us working stiffs with young-uns to attend to on the weekends. —Marc

Burgerama!The one that wins all the accolades is Zips in Mount Lookout [in Cincinnati]—I have no idea why, the burgers there are average at best—but the really good burger is at Arthur's in Hyde Park —Anon

Burgerama!I admit it. I've been distracted by Jamaican food here and Malaysian food there, and I've neglected my burgers. I haven't done nearly enough research to find the best burger in the area and it's been a long time since I've had any burger at all. I do have fond memories of burgers at Yours Truly. I like the club (bacon, cheese) and the patty melt (swiss, onions on rye). —Stuart [And Yours Truly is where, Stuart? Inquiring minds want to know.—Adam]

Burgerama!The Vortex in Atlanta is my favorite. They have a "coronary bypass burger" (among other equally interesting combinations), which consists of a fried egg, cheese, and bacon on top of a delicious hearty meaty slab of beefy goodness. Mmm ... *drool* ... —Ellen

Burgerama!Vancouver, B.C., Canada: Vera's Burger Shack —Darren Enkin

Burgerama!White Mana, Hackensack, New Jersey. Hands down the best. —davey

Burgerama!D.C. has its share of good burgers (from the chain Five Guys to haute Cafe Burger at Cafe Atlantico, to the legendary at Ben's Chili Bowl), and I've eaten my share of them all. But my current favorite is Cheff Geoff's D.C. burger. It's a simple affair, just bacon, cheddar, pickles, a chipotle mayo and soft buttery bun, but it is heaven. And it's $5 at happy hour! —David P.

Burgerama!Dan's Hamburger's in Austin, Texas, and the sister store, Fran's are most excellent! —Frank M.

Burgerama!Geneva's on Harper Avenue on Detroit's eastside. Small sliders with grilled onions. Still doing business after many years. If memory serves when I was a kid they used to be five for a buck. When ever I'm back in town I always stop by. —Colorado Jim

Burgerama!My favorite burger is right around the corner from me. Mike's at the Crossroads in Cotati, California. —Mike Henkel

Burgerama!I'm partial to Falls View Grill in Pequannock, New Jersey. Keith W.

Burgerama!Five Guys is a great burger place in Orlando, Florida. They have the best burgers, and they don't skimp on the meat. —Amanda Helle

Burgerama!Calamity Jane's in a nearby Dundee, Oregon. Large non-traditional burgers, with tasty fries, to boot. —Peter Crackenberg

Burgerama!Next time you're in Brooklyn, you must stop by my favorite place in Sheepshead Bay/Marine Park, Perry's Restaurant. Just the right amount of char, perfect size, needs nothing but cheese and an order of their fries. Yumminess abounds! —Patrick

Burgerama!Willie Mae's Kitchen in McGehee, Arkansas. All homemade, all the time. Cooked on a well-seasoned grill by a true southern gem of a cook. —Sandy Hammond

Burgerama!If ever in Norfolk, Virginia, you need to look up Dog & Burger. Always freshly cooked to order and delicious. Combo #1 best deal around. dogandandburger.html —Monty

Burgerama!Kathy's Carryout in the South Valley of Albuquerque has The Kathy Burger. Double Meat, flat grilled with American cheese, thick cut bacon, onions and tomatoes and topped with either green or red chile sauce both guaranteed to toasted your taste buds. Only $4.75 and they have hand cut fries, too. —JFoote

Burgerama!Born and bred New Yorker here. The one burger I've never seen on any of the best-burger-in-New York lists is the one at Joe Allen. It's on the lunch menu; you can have it for dinner but you have to ask for it. Truly superb. I've dragged a lot of friends there over the years, and they've have all (!) agreed with me. —BaHa

Burgerama!I grew up in the UK, and the defining burger for me was The Great American Disaster, a chic chain of restaurants in trendy neighborhoods now long gone. Can I pick White Manna instead? —Nick

Burgerama!Monk's Pub in Chicago is a great place for a burger. —Eric

Burgerama!There's a great place in Breese, Illinois (about 20 miles east of St. Louis), called Dairy King that has GREAT cheeseburgers. Bonus: the Excel Bottling Company, just a few blocks away, is the local bottler of Ski, one of the greatest pops ever created. Hence, the Ski flows freely at the Dairy King. In fact, the popularity of Ski with a shot of cherry syrup at the Dairy King prompted the Double Cola Company to manufacture Cherry Ski in cans, bottles, 2 liters, etc. If you don't like the burgers at Dairy King, head across the street to Wally's for a Wallyburger. Another great burger. You can't go wrong in either place. —Jeff

Burgerama!Dangerous Dan's is another great Toronto establishment. Dangerous Dan's specializes in HUGE multi-topping bugers. A great photo of one of their special burgers is here: http:// The best choice is the "Quadruple C": 24oz burger served with a quarter pound of cheese, a quarter pound of bacon, and 2 fried eggs. Also comes with a large shake (flavor of your choice) and a small poutine. A Toronto LEGEND! The restaurant's URL is —RJ Pauloski

Burgerama!Naps Grill in Hamilton, Montana, has the best burger I've ever eaten. —Elyse

Burgerama!So many good choices out here in the Bay Area, but I have to say "Just Burgers and Q" on El Camino/Scott in Santa Clara. A tiny hole in the wall that does burgers and, well, barbecue. It seats no more than 6. The kindly gent grills 1/4 burgers over an open flame, and serves them over a lightly grilled sesame with american cheese -- the PERFECT bread to meat ratio. They come with lettuce, tomato, onion and a special sauce, but feel free to custom order. I swear I can taste the subtle, smoky residue of the Q going on in this patty. Best with just cheese, special gooey sauce (with dots of relish in it?), onion, and a dollop of extra yellow mustard. Last time, I just sat in my car and went to heaven. —Tim

Burgerama!Mugs Ale House in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. favorite. Not a giant burger like Dumont's (which I also like) but has great bun to meat ratio. Also the fries are lightly sprinkled with Old Bay seasoning. One of the only places I actually clear my plate! Plus it's $7.95! —Carissa

Burgerama!Yes, it is a chain, but Culvers Butter Burgers are wonderful and really don't get enough attention in my opinion. —CKOne

Burgerama!Gotta go for Riverside Grill in Charlottesville, Virginia. "Flat Out the Best Burgers in Town" motto and truth. —Walker Travis

Burgerama!You can't beat Lindburgers in Delray Beach Florida, for just about any burger you want. If it isn't on the menu, they will create it for you. —Charlie Slee

Burgerama!Schoops and Red Robin in northwest Indiana and I love to grill a good burger, either beef, turkey or chicken. —margsie

Burgerama!"Burger Joint" in the The Parker Meridian Hotel in New York City beats J. G.Melon and Shake Shack for two major reasons: consistency and price. —Sebastien L.

Burgerama!I'm from Calgary, Alberta, and there really is only one place up here that it can possibly be: Peter's Drive-In. It's the kind of place where everything is done by hand, including the milkshakes and the math on your bill. Ordering a single burger will often get you a full patty plus at least half of a second. If you order a double, you can expect almost three full, delicious tasty patties. People kept trying to convince Peter to go chain, but decades later it's still the one, the only, the fabulous. Mmm - I think I know what I want to eat this weekend. —Morgan

Burgerama!Despite all the recent hype about Ann's Snack Shop and her Ghetto Burger on Memorial Drive, I second the nomination of The Vortex as the best burger joint in the ATL. Now if only Mulligan's would resurface with the Hamdog and the Luther Burger.. —Jack Regan

Burgerama!Tessaro's in Pittsburgh. Yum. As a kid my oral surgeon (who i had to see on a regular basis) was right next to Tessaro's—I looked forward to the oral surgeon. Come on, that's a good burger! —Phox

Burgerama!I'm from Michigan and was raised on burgers. My favorite is actually my mom's (steamed buns finishes it off nicely), but since moving down to the Dearborn/Detroit area I have become pretty fond of the burgers at Miller's Bar. This is the only pub I know of where the line extends outside the bar, not for dancing, not for entertainment, not even for booze! It is the burgers that put (and keep) Miller's on the map. Thanks for the chance to tout them. —Bob [Awww. Nice shout-out to your mom, Bob, but not all of us have access to your mom's burgers. Thanks for giving us the Miller's recommendation. —Adam]

Burgerama!Metro Diner, 100th and Broadway on the Upper West Side of New York City. Yes, it's a "diner burger", but it's the PERFECT diner burger. —PJ

Burgerama!Wetson's [in Queens]? The one on Northern Boulevard near Francis Lewis Boulevard was a big fave for my family in the 60's, as it was a little closer than the nearest White Castles at Bell Boulevard or Union Turnpike. One night in the earlyn 70's I saw Wetson's scion Errol Wettanson grabbing a couple of cones in an East Side Baskin-Robbins with his squeeze Margaux Hemingway. Damn, that girl was tall. —FM Fats

Burgerama!In Buffalo, New York, the best burger can be found at The Sterling Pub, a modest neighborhood bar on a street that is full of jazzier looking places to eat. The Sterling burger is thick, cooked to order, and dressed to order. It is juicy, with a perfect crust, and a bun that holds together and soaks up the flavor. It doesn't hurt that the Sterling takes its taps seriously—I like my burger with a Burning River pale ale. —Bill Altreuter

Burgerama!Dan's Hamburgers. Formerly four locations in Austin, Texas, became two when Dan and Fran got a divorce. Now Dan's is two and Fran's is two. I still like Dan's more, though. Yep. —intheyearofthepig

Burgerama!Cisco Burger in Long Beach, California! American Kobe beef, lightly charred taste but buttery with really crispy lettuce and nice organic vegtables. The bleu cheese burger is *amazing*...onion rings crispy NEVER soggy. Great tasting bun-not dry. And I gotta agree with you, Morgan, about Peter's Drive In in must be the Alberta beef. Brought home a dozen burgers to freeze. —Trish

Burgerama!Thurman's in >Columbus Ohio, just awesome! Best Burgers! —Jeff Jones

Burgerama!Boston specializes in big, pub-style burgers (all the Irish bars, etc.). My favorite of those is ... R.F. O'Sullivan's in Somerville, Massachusetts. —Weekly Journalist