Tuesday, September 27, 2011

**Best Burger Bulletin**

The following compilation of the Country’s Best Burgers is the DEFINITIVE, know-all-end-all list. In fact, you will never have to seek out another list for hamburgers for as long as you live. After years of cross country travel I have assembled the following 25 spots from all around America and smooshed them down into one consolidated resource so that you don’t have to think about such controversial matters ever again. Instead you can spend your time worrying about stupid things, like where the best hot dogs can be found. I don’t know hot dogs, but I DO know Hamburgers...That being said, this was the hardest list to rank, EVER...because it had to be completely, 100% accurate. The only rule was that popular chain locations had to be omitted, so don’t be insulted In n’ Out and 5 Guys fanatics...You are great and all, but only when McDonalds and Burger King are used as a basis of comparison. Enjoy...

25.) Pearl’s Deluxe Burgers 708 Post Street SF, CA 94109 (415) 409-6120

San Francisco’s favorite greasy-spoon diner delight offers an array of bitching burgers. The go-to has got to be the Spicy Sly, featuring spicy pumpkin-habanero sauce and topped with grilled peppers and spicy Jack cheese. Upgrade the patty to Kobe-status for a few bucks more worth of delectability.

24.) Rocky’s Crown Pub 3786 Ingraham Street San Diego, CA 92109 (858) 273-9140

The best pub style burger in the West. Simple, greasy and to the point. Surf’s up.

23.) Grüner 527 SW 12th Avenue Portland, OR 97205 (503) 241-7163

Portland has really come up in the food scene and their Grüner Burger is the best the city has to offer. A juicy delight of salty, savory satisfaction, it’s served on a poppy-seeded potato bun with pickled red onions, aioli, arugula, smoky bacon and melted fontina cheese.

22.) Rustic Canyon 1119 Wilshire Boulevard, SaMo, CA 90401 (310) 393-7050

Often voted Los Angeles’ best, the Breakfast Burger is 8 ounces of organic, Niman Ranch beef spruced up with thick cut bacon confit (that’s cooked in frickin’ duck fat), sharp cheddar, a fried egg and arugula, nestled into a perfectly-toasted Rockenwagner brioche.

21.) Shake Shack 11 Madison Avenue # 1, New York (212) 889-6600

Danny Meyer’s chain of high-end, fast-food style burgers has taken over Manhattan in the past few years. The patties are thin, yet still juicy and they may or may not contain crack, considering the unfathomable lines that people put up with in waiting for one. If you’re gonna wait, why not go for the best? The ‘Shroom Burger is a psychedelic treat that boasts a breaded, deep-fried portobello mushroom stuffed with Meunster and cheddar cheese. Heady.

20.) Blazer Burger 440 RT 22 North Salem, NY 10560 (914) 277-4424

Full disclosure: I grew up on the Celsus Burger served here so I’m a little biased. But even the most impartial observer would understand the intoxicating combination of coarse, fatty ground beef, seared to perfection on a fresh kaiser roll with crisped bacon, greasy-grilled onions and meticulously-melted swiss. Home is whenever I’m with you.

19.) Kua ‘Aina 1200 Ala Moana Blvd # 665, Honolulu, HI - (808) 591-9133

Huge, juicy beef patty, fluffy buns, and superb add-ons such as grilled pineapple and fresh avocado. I gotta get back to the island! Aloha no ka oi!

18.) Corner Bistro 331 West 4th Street New York, NY 10014 (212) 242-9502

The best pub style burger in New York is also the best value anywhere in Manhattan--by far. For around 10$ you can enjoy a decent beer and a greasy, coarsely ground, no frills bacon cheeseburger. Not organic, not fancy, just damn tasty.

17.) Squeeze Inn 5301 Power Inn Rd Sacramento, CA 95820 (916) 386-8599

Yes, the burger itself is very tasty and pretty large as well. But what makes this place stand out is their unique style of applying a large sheet of cheese--eclipsing the patty itself--and allowing it to fry to a satisfying crisp on the griddle.

16.) Village Whisky 118 So. 20th Street Philadelphia, PA 19103 (215) 665-1088

Philadelphia is a city that likes to eat. When your claim to fame is obesity, you know you must be doing something right when it comes to food. The Whisky King is their Rocky of burgers. Using naturally raised Maine beef--seasoned sensationally--and topped with oregon bleu cheese, applewood smoked bacon and seared foie gras, this is the closest feeling an Eagle’s fan can get to the unmitigated joy of seeing their team win a Super Bowl.

15.) Minetta Tavern 113 MacDougal St. NY, NY 10012 Bleecker St. 212-475-3850

Made with Pat La Frieda’s peerless Black Label ground beef blend, this hip Greenwich Village eatery can get away with charging close to $30 for a hamburger cause it’s just that damn delicious.

14.) 900 Grayson 900 Grayson St Berkeley, CA 94710 (510) 704-9900

Berkeley has many good burgers but none as good as the Grayson Burger. Using natural, organic beef and triple-smoked bacon is a good start. Adding a touch of house made BBQ sauce and a slew of fried onion strings puts it over the top.

13.) Kuma’s Corner 2900 West Belmont Avenue Chi, IL 60618 (773) 604-8769

This Metal Bar names most of their burgers after Heavy Metal legends. Whereas I will always be partial to Led Zeppelin, here I go with the original Kuma, featuring bacon, cheddar and a fried egg atop an impossibly large 10 oz. patty and sandwiched in between a rugged, salted pretzel roll.

12.) 5-8 Club 5800 Cedar Avenue So. Minneapolis, MN 55417 (612) 823-5858

The Juicy Lucy was made popular here. Your choice of cheese melted in a molten core INSIDE of the patty. Be careful when you bit into it, you might get scalded by deliciousness.

11.) Sparky’s BBQ 115 FRANKLIN ST. HATCH, New Mexico 575.267.4222

Green Hatch Chile Burger. A New Mexican sensation, and nothing like it anywhere else.

10.) Burger Bar 3930 Las Vegas Blvd So. #121A Las Vegas, NV 89119 (702) 632-9364

This place is all about choices. All-star chef Hubert Keller delivers the goods in a variety of high-end kobe beef, buffalo and turkey meat and lets you choose from a list of amazing add-ons, such as lobster tails or even black truffles. Build your own masterpiece.

9.) Peter Luger 178 Broadway Brooklyn, NY 11211 (718) 387-7400

The undisputed heavyweight champion of New York Steakhouses also makes a damn good burger during the afternoon. No surprises, as the Luger Burger uses some of their world-famous porterhouse in the chuck. The brioche is fresh and delicious and the bacon is thick cut and sinful enough to terrify the hordes of hassidim that populate the surrounding neighborhood.

8.) Le Tub 1100 North Ocean Drive Hollywood, FL 33019 (954) 921-9425

This Key-West style dive bar makes you wait upwards of an hour for what has got to be the biggest pub-style burger I’ve ever eaten. Nearly 3/4th a pound of beef that is the perfect blend of salty, savory and juicy.

7.) Spruce 3640 Sacramento Street SF, CA 94118-1710 (415) 931-5100

San Francisco’s best is brought to life with perfectly seared ground chuck and house-made pickles and pickled onions.

6.) Umami Burger 850 South La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles -(323) 931-3000

LA’s obsession with this popular series of burger joints is well-founded. The Manly Burger packs so much flavor in between the bun, it’s ri-goddamn-diculous. Bacon lardon, beer-cheddar cheese and smoked onion strings will help with that. This burger is many things, but unfortunately it is not oversized.

5.) Holeman & Finch 2277 Peachtree Road NE#B ATL-GA 30309 (404) 948-1175

This stylish Atlanta gastropub only serves around 20 of these masterful double-cheeseburgers every night at around 9:30, at the ringing of a bell. Don’t miss out. It’s like an In-n-Out double double on some serious Barry Bonds juice.

4.) Radius 8 High Street Boston, MA 02110 (617) 426-1234

Boston’s boss of burgers is the Radius Burger--a 9 oz. patty perfectly engineered by renowned chef Michael Shlow to seal in the juiciness of the beef: lightly char the exterior on a grill before placing the burger into a salamander so that it doesn’t dry out. Top it with cheddar cheese, mild horse-radish and a healthy dose of crispy fried onions...Proceed to devour.

3.) DB Bistro 55 W. 44th St., New York, NY 10036 212-391-2400

The World’s Original Gourmet Burger is $32, which is actually a value when you consider that it’s stuffed--gloriously--with savory, braised short ribs and seared foie gras. When introduced in 2001, The DB Burger elevated hamburgers to a whole new stratosphere. It’s no less delicious now than it was then.

2.) Spotted Pig 314 West 11th Street New York, NY 10014-2369 (212) 620-0393

The best burger in New York is all about the best meat--like steak on a bun...a cross-charred, buttered brioche bun. Made with an insane amount of pungent blue cheese and served with an even more insane amount of outstanding rosemary garlic shoestring fries.

1.) Father’s Office 1018 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, CA (310) 736-2224

The top of this list was by far the easiest choice. The first-rate FO Burger is a proprietary blend of aged ribeye smothered in a heavenly compote of bacon and caramelized onion reduction with gruyere and maytag blue melted on top. Absolute perfection. No condiments allowed (much to Mike's chagrin).

Well, there you have it. Think anything is missing, or that this list is fundamentally flawed? Well, I think you're fundamentally flawed. But this is America, damnit, so feel free to chime in...


  1. nice, 900 Grayson right here in my hometown, Berzerkeley! and I don't even eat burgers! (i loved their mussels there one day though!), thanx, Bradley!

  2. Note: Some of the above pictures were provided by AHamburgerToday.com A fantastic burger site that is a must read for all burger lovers.