Top 10 Best Burger Joints in the U.S.

The burger, America's quintessential comfort food, can now be enjoyed in an impossibly endless number of ways. There are round-the-clock burgers at 24-hour-roadside joints and ephemeral late-night burgers sold out in mere minutes; burgers grilled in hundred-year-old cast-iron broilers and burgers steamed in state-of-the-art ovens; burgers crafted from Kobe beef imported from Japan and burgers made with Black Angus beef from just down the road. It's clearly a great time to love the burger. Here, we've singled out the 25 best burgers around the country.


California: In-N-Out Burger


Signature Burger: Cheeseburger.

Even superstar chef Thomas Keller is a fan of the West Coast chain—and with good reason. The cooked-to-order burgers are made from Harris Ranch beef and served with hand-cut fries. For a messier, more indulgent experience, order your burger "Animal Style" for extra sauce and chopped grilled onions.


New York City: Minetta Tavern


Signature Burger: Black Label Burger (topped with caramelized onions).

Minetta Tavern's excellent burgers use a beef blend—dry-aged rib eye, skirt steak, brisket and short rib—from famed purveyor Pat La Frieda, and buns from Balthazar Bakery.


Atlanta, GA: Holeman & Finch


Signature Burger: Burger.

Star chef Linton Hopkins announces "burger time"—10 p.m.—with the ringing of two bull horns; that's when two dozen grass-fed beef burgers are up for grabs and consistently sold out within minutes. The burgers are also available on the Sunday brunch menu.


Arlington, VA: Ray's Hell Burger


Signature Burger: Basic Beef Burger (served in a brioche bun).

There's no sign, yet dedicated fans—a certain president included—come here for the freshly ground burgers with and complimentary toppings like grilled onions and mushrooms sautéed in sherry and Cognac.

Photo © Robyn Lee.

Go to Arlington, VA: Ray's Hell Burger restaurant


Boston, MA: Craigie on Main


Signature Burger: Beefburger.

Star chef Tony Maws adds bone marrow and dehydrated miso to his Bar Burger, and cooks it in a low heat CVap oven, followed by a quick char on the plancha.

Photo courtesy of Craigie on Main.

Go to Boston, MA: Craigie on Main restaurant


San Francisco: Zuni Café


Signature Burger: House-ground hamburger (served in a grilled rosemary focaccia).

Instead of traditional cucumber pickles, legendary chef-owner Judy Rodgers accents her burgers with thin-cut zucchini strips pickled in apple cider vinegar, mustard seeds and turmeric.

Photo © Bill Holmes.

Go to San Francisco: Zuni Café restaurant


New Haven, CT: Louis' Lunch


Signature Burger: The Original Burger (prepared with a combination of chuck and sirloin beef).

Many restaurants claim to be the birthplace of the hamburger. Louis' Lunch, in New Haven, Connecticut, since 1900, is a leading contender. The meaty hand-shaped patties are grilled on antique cast-iron broilers over an open flame.

Photo © Michael Franzman.

Go to New Haven, CT: Louis' Lunch article


Memphis, TN: Dyer's Burgers


Signature Burger: Dyer's Cheeseburger.

The legendary patties here are pounded thin before they're cooked in a cast-iron skillet filled with grease for a deliciously crisp exterior.

Photo © Tracy O'Connor.

Go to Memphis, TN: Dyer's Burgers restaurant


Chicago, IL: Custom House Tavern


Signature Burger: Custom House Burger (short rib, sirloin and ground pork patty topped with aged cheddar cheese and shaved onion, served in a sourdough brioche bun).

The "Custom House Burger"—available only on the lunch and bar menu—comes with house-made steak sauce.

Photo © Tuan Bui

Go to Chicago, IL: Custom House Tavern restaurant


Miami, FL: Michael's Genuine Food & Drink


Signature Burger: Black Angus Burger (served in a brioche bun).

An optional topping for star chef Michael Schwartz's Harris Ranch Black Angus beef burger: house-smoked bacon.

Photo courtesy of Michael's Genuine Food & Drink.

Go to Miami, FL: Michael's Genuine Food & Drink restaurant




By Lena Sullivan 08/10/2011 08:49:00

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