There are few foods more all-American than the hamburger, which is why we consider it our civic duty to bring you the best examples of this national treasure from across the country. While the burger in its simplest form is a ground beef patty between two slices of bread, today's top artisans are taking the sandwich to exciting new heights, using fresh, organic ingredients and lots of creative condiments sourced from cuisines around the world. Whether you prefer a classic patty stacked with lettuce, pickles and tomato or a salami-topped concoction with an Eastern European flair, our favorite burger joints are sure to leave you satisfied.
New York, NY
Even people who stay in the swanky Le Parker Meridien like a good ol' patty once in a while, so hidden behind a curtain in a corner of the lobby is Burger Joint. The short menu offers grilled burgers with "The Works" (lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mustard, ketchup and mayo), fries, milkshakes and beer on tap.
FLIP burger boutique
A most experimental, out-of-the-box chef, Richard Blais approaches the American two-hander at FLIP burger boutique with a sense of humor. The rBQ is Blais's riff on Southern barbecue, complete with coleslaw.
Meat and heavy metal are the driving forces behind Kuma's Corner in Chicago. The burgers, which are named after bands, feature toppings such as bacon, sharp cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion and a fried egg.
B Spot, a restaurant from chef Michael Symon, has a cool vibe, standout burgers and an impressive beer list. The "Yo!" burger, made with fried salami, provolone, shasha sauce and pickled onion, is so good it has earned Symon the top prize at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival.
Santa Monica, CA
Pono Burger's name comes from the Hawaiian concept of "pono" -- doing things "the right way." For chef/owner Makani Gerardi, who was born and raised in Hawaii, this means making burgers with organic, grass-fed beef and sourcing ingredients from local farmers markets.
MORE ON GAYOT.com
HuffPost Lifestyle is a daily newsletter that will make you happier and healthier — one email at a time. Learn more