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Food & Wine's Best Burgers in the U.S.

Posted: 03/ 9/11 03:04 PM ET

2011-02-23-201010abestburgershakeshack.jpgThe 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.
Photo © William Brinson Photography.

More Great Burger Content from Food & Wine!
Food & Wine's 10 Favorite Burger Recipes
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  • California: In-N-Out Burger

    <strong>Signature Burger</strong>: Cheeseburger. Even superstar chef <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/thomas-keller" target="_hplink">Thomas Keller</a> 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. <em><a href="http://www.in-n-out.com" target="_hplink">in-n-out.com</a></em> <strong>You Might Also Enjoy</strong>: <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/thomas-keller" target="_hplink">Recipes by Thomas Keller</a> <em>Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/pointnshoot/" target="_hplink">Flickr: pointnshoot</a></em>

  • New York City: Minetta Tavern

    <strong>Signature Burger</strong>: Black Label Burger (topped with caramelized onions). Minetta Tavern's <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/minetta-burger-cocktails-2010" target="_hplink">excellent burgers</a> 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. <a href="http://www.minettatavernny.com" target="_hplink">minettatavernny.com</a> <strong>You Might Also Enjoy</strong>: <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/new-york-city-chef-recipes-made-easy" target="_hplink">Signature Dishes from Top New York City Chefs</a> <em>Photo Copyright Sylvia Paret.</em>

  • Atlanta, GA: Holeman & Finch

    <strong>Signature Burger</strong>: Burger. Star chef <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/best_new_chefs/linton-hopkins" target="_hplink">Linton Hopkins</a> 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 <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/brunch" target="_hplink">brunch</a> menu. <em><a href="http://www.holeman-finch.com" target="_hplink">holeman-finch.com</a></em> <strong>You Might Also Enjoy</strong>: <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/best_new_chefs/linton-hopkins" target="_hplink">Linton Hopkins</a> <em>Photo Copyright Jeff Moore</em>

  • Arlington, VA: Ray's Hell Burger

    <strong>Signature Burger</strong>: 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 <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/mushrooms" target="_hplink">mushrooms</a> sauteed in sherry and Cognac. <strong>You Might Also Like</strong>: <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/mushrooms" target="_hplink">15 More Ways to Enjoy Mushrooms </a> <em>Photo Copyright Robyn Lee</em>

  • Boston, MA: Craigie on Main

    <strong>Signature Burger</strong>: Beefburger. Star chef <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/best_new_chefs/tony-maws" target="_hplink">Tony Maws</a> 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. <em><a href="http://www.craigieonmain.com" target="_hplink">craigieonmain.com</a></em> <strong>You Might Also Like</strong>: <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/best_new_chefs/tony-maws" target="_hplink">Tony Maws</a> <em>Photo courtesy of Craigie on Main</em>

  • San Francisco, CA: Zuni Cafe

    <strong>Signature Burger</strong>: House-ground hamburger (served in a grilled rosemary focaccia). Instead of traditional <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/dill-pickles" target="_hplink">cucumber pickles</a>, legendary chef-owner Judy Rodgers accents her burgers with thin-cut zucchini strips pickled in apple cider vinegar, mustard seeds and turmeric. <em><a href="http://www.zunicafe.com" target="_hplink">zunicafe.com</a></em> <strong>You Might Also Like</strong>: <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/san-francisco-chef-recipes" target="_hplink">More Great Recipes from San Francisco Chefs</a> <em>Photo Copyright Bill Holmes</em>

  • New Haven, CT: Louis' Lunch

    <strong>Signature Burger</strong>: The Original Burger (prepared with a combination of chuck and sirloin beef). Many restaurants claim to be the birthplace of the <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/10-favorite-burger-recipes" target="_hplink">hamburger</a>. 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. <em><a href="http://www.louislunch.com" target="_hplink">louislunch.com</a></em> <strong>You Might Also Enjoy</strong>: <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/grilling-equipment" target="_hplink">Best Grilling Equipment for the Home Chef</a> <em>Photo Copyright Michael Franzman</em>

  • Memphis, TN: Dyer's Burgers

    <strong>Signature Burger</strong>: Dyer's Cheeseburger. The legendary patties here are pounded thin before they're cooked in a <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/cast-iron-pans" target="_hplink">cast-iron skillet</a> filled with grease for a deliciously crisp exterior. <em><a href="http://www.dyersonbeale.com" target="_hplink">dyersonbeale.com</a></em> <strong>You Might Also Like</strong>: <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/bobby-flays-5-burger-commandments" target="_hplink">Bobby Flay's Burger Commandments</a> <em>Photo Copyright<a href="http://ihatemymessageboard.com/" target="_hplink"> Tracy O'Connor</a></em>

  • Chicago, IL: Custom House Tavern

    <strong>Signature Burger</strong>: 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 <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/condiments/2" target="_hplink">steak sauce</a>. <em><a href="http://www.customhouse.cc" target="_hplink">customhouse.cc</a></em> <strong>You Might Also Like</strong>: <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/where-to-eat-drink-and-sleep-in-chicago" target="_hplink">Where To Eat and Drink in Chicago</a> <em>Photo Copyright Tuan Bui</em>

  • Miami, FL: Michael's Genuine Food & Drink

    <strong>Signature Burger</strong>: Black Angus Burger (served in a brioche bun). An optional topping for star chef <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/chefs/michael-schwartz" target="_hplink">Michael Schwartz</a>'s Harris Ranch Black Angus beef burger: house-smoked bacon. <em><a href="http://www.michaelsgenuine.com" target="_hplink">michaelsgenuine.com</a></em> <strong>You Might Also Like</strong>: <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/michael-schwartz" target="_hplink">Recipes by Michael Schwartz</a> <em>Photo courtesy of Michael's Genuine Food & Drink</em>

  • New York City: The Spotted Pig

    <strong>Signature Burger</strong>: Spotted Pig Burger. When the Pig opened in 2004, it was known mostly for its celebrity owners-Jay-Z and <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/mario-batali" target="_hplink">Mario Batali</a>, to name two. Now <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/best_new_chefs/april-bloomfield" target="_hplink">April Bloomfield</a> is famous in her own right for her excellent gastropub menu, which includes an excellent burger made with brisket, rump and chuck, topped with Roquefort cheese. <em><a href="http://www.thespottedpig.com" target="_hplink">thespottedpig.com</a></em> <strong>You Might Also Enjoy</strong>: <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/go-list-new-york-city" target="_hplink">More Restaurants to Visit in New York City</a> <em>Photo courtesy of The Spotted Pig</em>

  • California: Gott's Roadside

    <strong>Signature Burger</strong>: Ahi Burger (seared Ahi tuna burger topped with ginger-wasabi mayonnaise and Asian slaw, served in a toasted egg bun). Brothers Joel and Duncan Gott's witty, reimagined '50s diner recently changed its name from Taylor's Refresher, but it's still the undisputed favorite for <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/comfort-food" target="_hplink">comfort cravings</a>-especially burgers. <em><a href="http://www.gottsroadside.com" target="_hplink">gottsroadside.com</a></em> <strong>You Might Also Like</strong>: <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/california-chefs" target="_hplink">Recipes from California's Top Chefs</a> <em>Photo Copyright <a href="http://www.lamottestudios.com/" target="_hplink">Michael Lamotte</a></em>

  • Decatur, GA: Farm Burger

    <strong>Signature Burger</strong>: Farm Burger (topped with Grafton smoked white cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and a special house sauce). This farm-to-table burger spot grinds its grass-fed, dry-aged and locally sourced meat daily. The "build it" option includes unexpected toppings like cured lardo, oxtail marmalade and roasted <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/grilled-marrow-bones-with-rosemary-lemon-bruschetta" target="_hplink">bone marrow</a>. <em><a href="http://www.farmburger.net" target="_hplink">farmburger.net</a></em> <strong>You Might Also Enjoy</strong>: <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/farm-to-table-the-holistic-approach-at-long-meadow-ranch-in-napa-valley " target="_hplink">One Ranch's Farm-to-Table Story</a> <em>Photo Copyright <a href="http://www.sarahanna.com/portfolio/home.html" target="_hplink">Sara Hanna</a></em>

  • Los Angeles: Father's Office

    <strong>Signature Burger</strong>: The Office Burger (dry-aged beef patty topped with Gruyere cheese, Maytag blue cheese, arugula and applewood-bacon compote). <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/sang-yoon" target="_hplink">Sang Yoon</a>'s noodle bar Lukshon might be getting a ton of buzz, but the provocative chef first made his name with his dry-aged beef burgers. Among the finest in the country, they justify the strict no-ketchup policy. The 36 craft <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/ultimate-beer-guide" target="_hplink">beers</a> on tap change seasonally. <em><a href="http://www.fathersoffice.com" target="_hplink">fathersoffice.com</a></em> <strong>You Might Also Enjoy</strong>: <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/sang-yoon" target="_hplink">Recipes by Sang Yoon</a> <em>Photo Copyright John Lee</em>

  • New York City: Little Owl

    <strong>Signature Burger</strong>: Bacon Cheeseburger. Chef <a href="http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid5520701001?bclid=1842745301&bctid=1844687410" target="_hplink">Joey Campanaro</a> gets his beef from famed Manhattan purveyor Pat LaFrieda and tops each burger with pickles from Gus, but the buns are house-baked, with just a hint of molasses. <em><a href="http://www.thelittleowlnyc.com" target="_hplink">thelittleowlnyc.com</a></em> <strong>You Might Also Enjoy</strong>: <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/pickled-vegetables" target="_hplink">Make Your Own Pickled Vegetables</a> <em>Photo courtesy of The Little Owl</em>

  • Washington, D.C.: Palena Cafe

    <strong>Signature Burger</strong>: Palena Cheeseburger (Kobe beef patty topped with Sottocenere al Tartufo truffled cheese and garlic mayonnaise, served in a house-baked roll). Former White House chef Frank Ruta's much-lauded burgers can be had in the boisterous front room. <em><a href="http://www.palenarestaurant.com" target="_hplink">palenarestaurant.com</a></em> <strong>You Might Also Like</strong>: <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/best_new_chefs/frank-ruta" target="_hplink">Frank Ruta</a> <em>Photo courtesy of Palena Cafe</em>

  • Meriden, CT: Ted's

    <strong>Signature Burger</strong>: Steamed Cheeseburger (prepared with Vermont cheddar). Ted's has been serving its steamed burgers-a regional specialty-since 1959. <em><a href="http://www.tedsrestaurant.com" target="_hplink">tedsrestaurant.com</a></em> <strong>You Might Also Enjoy</strong>: <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/cheese-guide" target="_hplink">All About Cheese</a> <em>Photo Copyright <a href="http://www.danielschun.com/blog/" target="_hplink">Daniel Chun</a></em>

  • Dearborn, MI: Miller's Bar

    <strong>Signature Burger</strong>: Miller's Cheeseburger. The popular no-frills burgers here have been served since the late 1940s. <em><a href="http://www.millersbar.com" target="_hplink">millersbar.com</a></em> <strong>You Might Also Like</strong>: <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/guilt-free-burgers" target="_hplink">Food & Wine Guilt-Free Burger Recipes</a> <em>Photo Copyright Joe Hakim/<a href="http://www.TheHungryDudes.com" target="_hplink">TheHungryDudes.com</a></em>

  • Healdsburg, CA: Healdsburg's Bar & Grill

    <strong>Signature Burger</strong>: HBG Burger (fresh-ground Meyer Natural Angus beef patty topped with Alexander Valley Gourmet pickles, served in a toasted Costeaux Bakery sourdough bun; roasted garlic mayonnaise on the side). For his terrific burger, star chef <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/best_new_chefs/douglas-keane" target="_hplink">Douglas Keane</a> uses a 70-30 lean-to-fat ground beef ratio. <em><a href="http://www.healdsburgbarandgrill.com" target="_hplink">healdsburgbarandgrill.com</a></em> <strong>You Might Also Enjoy</strong>: <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/best_new_chefs/douglas-keane" target="_hplink">Douglas Keane</a> <em>Photo Copyright Andy Katz</em>

  • Boston, MA: Green Street Grill

    <strong>Signature Burger</strong>: Bacon Double Cheeseburger (beef patty with cheddar cheese, smoked bacon and Russian Dressing in a white bun). A superb accompaniment to the burgers: house-made kettle chips. <em><a href="http://www.greenstreetgrill.com" target="_hplink">greenstreetgrill.com</a></em> <strong>You Might Also Like</strong>: <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/boston-chef-recipes" target="_hplink">Recipes from Boston Chefs</a> <em>Photo Copyright <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/rknrll" target="_hplink">Jared Razzano</a></em>

  • New York City: Shake Shack

    <strong>Signature Burger</strong>: ShackBurger (Black Angus beef patty topped with American cheese, tomato, lettuce, and "Shack Sauce," served in a grilled potato bun). Uber restaurateur <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/hot-dogs-with-riesling-and-other-irreverent-pairings" target="_hplink">Danny Meyer</a>'s beloved mini empire has a cult following among Gotham burger geeks. Must-order items include the ShackBurger (served with American cheese, tomato, lettuce, and "Shack Sauce" in an old-fashioned wax paper wrapper) and a "hand-spun" chocolate-and-peanut-butter custard shake. <em><a href="http://www.shakeshacknyc.com" target="_hplink">shakeshacknyc.com</a></em> <strong>You Might Also Enjoy</strong>: <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/retromania-new-restaurants-that-serve-updated-classics" target="_hplink">More Restaurants Serving Classic American Dishes</a> <em>Photo Copyright William Brinson Photography</em>

  • Buffalo Gap, TX: Perini Ranch Steakhouse

    <strong>Signature Burger</strong>: Ranch Burger (topped with mushrooms, onions, green chiles and choice of cheddar or provolone cheese). Self-taught <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/cowboy-cuisine" target="_hplink">cowboy cook</a> Tom Perini masters the art of open-flame cooking using mesquite coals at his hay barn turned steakhouse, smack in the middle of the state. <em><a href="http://www.periniranch.com" target="_hplink">periniranch.com</a> </em> <strong>You Might Also Like</strong>: <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/texas" target="_hplink">More Great Texan Food</a> <em>Photo courtesy of Perini Ranch Steakhouse</em>

  • Hackensack, NJ: White Manna

    <strong>Signature Burger</strong>: Cheeseburger (topped with onions, served in a soft bun). This old-school diner has built its reputation on heavenly <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/baby-burgers-with-angry-onions" target="_hplink">sliders</a> piled high with thin-cut onions. It's been using the same butcher for the past 50 years. <strong>You Might Also Enjoy</strong>: <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/quick-grilling" target="_hplink">Quick Grilling Tips</a> <em>Photo Copyright <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/8257761@N05" target="_hplink">fgeel</a></em>

  • Chicago, IL: Duchamp

    <strong>Signature Burger</strong>: Duchamp Havarti Cheeseburger (topped with Havarti cheese and tomato remoulade, served in a dill roll). Chef Michael Taus' burger comes on a <a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/november-2007-buttery-biscuits-with-feta-and-dill" target="_hplink">dill roll</a> prepared from his Czechoslovakian grandmother's recipe.<strong> <a href="http://www.duchamp-chicago.com" target="_hplink">duchamp-chicago.com</a></strong> <strong>You Might Also Enjoy</strong>: Recipes from Chicago Chefs <em>Photo Copyright <a href="http://andrewstottphotography.com/" target="_hplink">Andrew Stott</a></em>

  • New York City: Peter Luger

    <strong>Signature Burger</strong>: Luger Burger (served with raw onions and house-made steak sauce, served in a sesame bun). The broiled "Luger Burger"-prepared with a porterhouse and prime chuck blend-at this legendary steakhouse is served only during lunch. <em><a href="http://peterluger.com" target="_hplink">peterluger.com</a></em> <strong>You Might Also Enjoy</strong>: <a href=" http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/steak-sandwiches" target="_hplink">Delicious Steak Sandwiches</a> <em>Photo Copyright Peter Luger</em>

 

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