What makes a hamburger a hamburger? We could ponder the question for days, but wouldn't you rather bite into a juicy burger?
But not just any burger: we've taste-tested our way around the country to find 25 amazing hamburgers you shouldn't miss. Whether you're a local or a tourist, it's certainly worth seeking out these must-have hamburgers.
YumSugar's Top 5 Burgers
- Shake Shack, New York, NY: Danny Meyer's burger empire has the beast down to a science, with cloud-soft buns, subtle "shack sauce," and meltable American cheese for a creamy experience every time. For us, this cheeseburger sets the standard.
- Spruce, San Francisco, CA: This cloth napkin burger doesn't come cheap, but it's one of the juiciest we've ever had, and its piquant accompaniments — house-pickled onions and zucchini, duck fat fries — lend it a distinct point of view.
- Radius, Boston, MA: Chef Michael Schlow is no stranger to good burgers. His ideal involves fried onion rings, melted cheddar cheese, and a spicy and smooth horseradish sauce — pretty much our ideal, too.
- B Spot, Strongsville, OH: Michael Symon's burger joint, B Spot, serves beef on a bun that's as close to perfection as we've ever had. His Yo! burger is filled with fried salami slices, coppa, hot peppers, provolone, and "shasha" banana pepper sauce.
- Rosamunde, San Francisco, CA: Rosamunde is known for its sausages, but it serves cheeseburgers every Tuesday at lunch. Be prepared to wait in line for the flavorful, medium-rare burgers, which are some of the city's best.
Check out 20 more favorites from New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, after the jump.
- Corner Bistro: The meat masterpiece (pictured above) is piled high with melted cheese, bacon, and onions. At $6.75, it's one of the cheapest (and best) burgers you'll eat in this city.
- Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien: Says reader Angie G, "The burger miraculously balances greasy and fresh in a really mind-boggling way."
- Bill's Bar and Burger: The bacon and cheddar burger is pink in the middle, just slightly greasy, no holds barred on the fixings, and, oh yeah, order those disco fries.
- J.G. Melon: It's a close replica to Corner Bistro's version — juicy, super simple, and hearty to the max.
- Jackson Hole: Specializes in burgers and is famous for its seven-ounce whopper. Warning: the burgers are so big, you may need a fork and knife!
- Epic Burger (pictured below): The beef is all natural and cooked to order, buns are freshly baked, and ingredients come straight from Mother Nature.
- DMK Burger Bar: The loft-like space is minimal, but its menu is anything but. /li>
- M Burger: The menu only has seven items, but the lack of options doesn't equal an underwhelming experience.
- Kuma's Corner: There's a reason people wait for hours for a table, and it's not the heavy metal. The burgers, named after metal bands, are overwhelmingly delicious.
- Burger Bar: Features a carefully curated craft beer list and out-of-this-world creative burgers. Try the Burgh with American cheese, fries, coleslaw, and pickles and the truffle fries.
- Irv's Burger: Started in the '50s, it's had a long time to perfect its delectable burgers, like the popular double cheeseburger.
- Umami Burger: The brioche bun and small size isn't for everyone, but those who love that slightly sweet taste are loyal fans to this joint.
- Father's Office: The burgers here aren't cheap, but the quality of meat, perfectly caramelized onions, arugula lettuce, and sweet potato fries are all worth it.
- The Oinkster: Choose from a classic 1/3-pound hamburger from fresh Nebraska Angus beef and the royale with bacon, chili, and pastrami.
- Miru 8691: More than 10 innovative burgers to experiment with, from the seven with tempura shitake; the surf with beef and shrimp; and the unagi with eel, beef, and guacamole.
- Nopa: On a crispy brioche bun with basil aioli, grass-fed beef, which has been cooked over a wood-fired grill, is topped with pickled onions and a hint of iceberg lettuce. Lathering this one with ketchup is simply sacrilegious.
- Zazie: This romantic, quintessential French bistro serves up a sophisticated burger with white cheddar and tomatoes provençal on a crispy, buttery bun.
- Roam Artisan Burgers: Choose between a beef, turkey, bison, or veggie patty. From there, you can DIY with your pick of sauces, cheeses, and artisan toppings.
- Zuni: The well-seasoned house-ground hamburgers are recognized by their grilled rosemary focaccia buns, but aioli, heirloom tomatoes, and homemade pickles are equally effective ingredients.
- Spruce: Yep, it's so good it's on this list twice! Impeccably executed with a delicate English muffin bun, pickled ribbons of zucchini and red onions, and Niman Ranch beef. Indulgent optional toppings like pancetta, gruyère, and a fried egg contribute dangerously to the "melt in your mouth" factor.