Le Pigeon (Portland, OR)
The burgers at Portland's Le Pigeon are far from the only reason to visit said restaurant: the menu at Le Pigeon is deservedly acclaimed, and a cookbook of their recipes, Le Pigeon: Cooking at the Dirty Bird, was released in 2013. But the burgers here are, indeed, life-changingly good. And the view from the chef's counter can be enlightening, while offering the opportunity to see the range of diners. Notes chef Gabriel Rucker, "Two people sitting at the chef's counter from NYC having a seven-course tasting menu spending $200 that evening might be sitting next to two guys from Portland who order two Coors and two burgers."