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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.


PopSugar NYC's Pop 5 Burgers

  1. 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.
  2. Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien: Says reader Angie G, "The burger miraculously balances greasy and fresh in a really mind-boggling way."
  3. 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.
  4. J.G. Melon: It's a close replica to Corner Bistro's version — juicy, super simple, and hearty to the max.
  5. 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!

PopSugar Chicago's Pop 5 Burgers

  1. Epic Burger (pictured below): The beef is all natural and cooked to order, buns are freshly baked, and ingredients come straight from Mother Nature.
  2. DMK Burger Bar: The loft-like space is minimal, but its menu is anything but. /li>
  3. M Burger: The menu only has seven items, but the lack of options doesn't equal an underwhelming experience.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

PopSugar LA's Pop 5 Burgers

  1. Irv's Burger: Started in the '50s, it's had a long time to perfect its delectable burgers, like the popular double cheeseburger.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The Oinkster: Choose from a classic 1/3-pound hamburger from fresh Nebraska Angus beef and the royale with bacon, chili, and pastrami.
  5. 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.

PopSugar SF's Pop 5 Burgers

  1. 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.
  2. Zazie: This romantic, quintessential French bistro serves up a sophisticated burger with white cheddar and tomatoes provençal on a crispy, buttery bun.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Source: Flickr User troxel317 and Epic Burger