It’s National Burger Month, but we don’t need a reason to celebrate this all-American staple. Forbes Travel Guide rounded up 10 of the country’s best burgers—from fine dining restaurants to hole-in-the-wall eateries. Here are 10 of our favorite burgers across the country.
1.Bourbon Steak, Washington D.C. Inside the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Four Seasons Hotel Washington, D.C., chef Adam Sobel has created a refined burger menu that draws even bigwig politicos. This upscale steakhouse serves burgers such as the oak-fired prime steak burger — topped with housemade pickles, Cabot cheddar and a secret sauce. This month, Sobel is rolling out a new burger each week — think The Forager, with dry aged beef, mushrooms and foie gras topped with a fried egg and pickled ramps.
2. Holeman and Finch Public House, Atlanta. You have to be lucky to taste the burger at this Southern hotspot. At 9 p.m. every night, the restaurant blows a bullhorn and a crowd vies for just 24 double-patty cheeseburgers, made from grass-fed beef (a blend of brisket and lean chuck) and complete with a housemade bun, homemade ketchup, mustard and pickles, all topped off with a slice of American cheese. Some nights the burgers sell out in under a minute, so they are also served at Sunday brunch, when the kitchen makes a whopping 72 burgers.
3. Burger Lounge, San Diego. This fast-casual chain uses sustainable ingredients such as American grass-fed, single-source beef for the Lounge burger and free-range Shelton Farms turkey for the turkey burger. The chain also uses organic ketchup and cheese, and all dressings and buns are made in-house, using a blend of organic wheat and white flour. Choose from local draft beers on tap or housemade cane-sweetened fountain soda to wash down your burger.
4. Port of Call, New Orleans. Winner of many “best burger” awards, this French Quarter hole-in-the-wall offers up straightforward, no-fuss burgers. You’ve got four options: hamburger, cheeseburger, mushroom burger and — you guessed it — a mushroom cheeseburger. Each fresh-ground, extra-large patty comes with the usual fixings: lettuce, tomato, onion and a pickle on the side. There are a few surprises here — fries are switched out for a baked potato and the cheese on the burgers isn’t melted. Adventurous diners order their burgers with a strong punch cocktail, the Monsoon.
5. Marquee Grill, Dallas. Top Chef alumni Tre Wilcox’s Dallas restaurant serves up a decadent, indulgent spin on a burger. Stuffed with foie gras and short rib, this rich patty gets topped with 24-karat gold leaf aioli and housemade pickles and is served alongside parmesan truffle fries. Don’t miss the brunch menu burger either, made with bourbon-ancho sauce, caramelized cipollini onions, Nueske’s bacon and smoked cheddar and served with Cajun-Parmesan fries.
6. Burger, Tap & Shake, Washington, D.C. The grass-fed burgers at this sustainable joint come in original iterations such as the Southern Comfort, which gets a decadent finish of pimento cheese and fried green tomatoes, or the Badger, a blend of pork and veal topped with sauerkraut, beer mustard and baby Swiss Cheese. Chef and owner Jeff Tunks grinds a custom blend of 30-day aged, naturally raised Pineland Farms beef chuck and brisket on-site daily, where they also make their own buns, pickles, ice cream and booze-infused milkshakes.
7. Rouge, Philadelphia. This city may be best known for their cheesesteaks, but don’t miss the opportunity to try the Rouge burger from this Parisian-American bistro in Rittenhouse Square. The 12-ounce, flavorful beef patty (a blend of sirloin, rib eye and filet tip) comes piled high with Gruyère and caramelized onions, all sandwiched on a challah roll and served with pommes frites.
8. Louis’ Lunch, New Haven, Conn. Since 1900, Louis’ Lunch’s signature burger — a hand-rolled, proprietary blend of five meat varieties — has been grilled to perfection on an antique cast-iron broiler from the 1800s. An insider tip: Don’t ask for ketchup. Owners the Lassen family believe the meat can speak for itself, and cheese, tomato and onion are the only garnishes available. To sound like a regular, order a cheeseburger, medium-rare with tomato and onion by asking for a “cheese works.”
9. Harry’s Bar and Burger, Providence, R.I. Using 100-percent-Hereford beef, Harry’s offers up a wide range of sliders in combos including the Fungus Among Us, made with cheese, portobello mushrooms and truffle aioli, or the pastrami burger, composed of cheese and black pastrami, all served on potato rolls grilled to order alongside 50 draft beer selections — the list boasts that there’s “No crap on tap.”
10. Chuck’s, Raleigh, N.C. Opened last fall, Chuck’s is the creation of Raleigh restaurateur (and Iron Chef contestant) Ashley Christensen. The different versions feature ingredients such as seared peppers, truffle cheese and kale to accent the half-pound, house-ground, all-chuck beef used in the burgers. The menu offers a plethora of unique burgers, all with fun names such as The High and The Valley, which comes with avocado, bacon-onion jam and blistered red peppers. Fat, golden fries are served with dipping sauces including green peppercorn-dijon and malt vinegar aioli.
Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Washington DC