Even the fittest of the fit crave a good-quality burger every now and then. That’s why we teamed up with the foodies behind the Zagat restaurant guides on this list of the country’s best burgers. Consider it the ultimate burger lover’s checklist.
1.) BURGER JOINT AT LE PARKER MERIDIEN
New York City — This is the place to get an old-school burger without the quirky toppings. All it takes is one bite of their smoky, slightly spicy burgers and you’ll understand why these popular eats are one of the worst-kept secrets in town.
2.) IN-N-OUT BURGER
Los Angeles — The menu at this hot spot may appear simple, but that’s because the best offerings are kept under wraps. Our suggestion: Order your burger “animal style” for a mustard-drenched patty served on a bun with pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, and grilled onions.
3.) JAK’S GRILL
Seattle — Famous for its half-pounders, Jak’s seasons its burgers with onions, garlic, black pepper, a mixture of soy and Worcestershire sauces, red-chili paste, and brown mustard while they grill.
4.) JOE’S CABLE CAR
San Francisco — Hand-trimmed choice cuts of chuck steak and rib eye are ground daily in the Cable Car’s on-site, open-air butcher shop—where first-time visitors can even try the meat before placing an order.
5.) KINCAID’S HAMBURGERS
Fort Worth, Texas — Kincaid’s has been flipping the same classic burger for the past 40 years: a delicious half pound of beef topped with mustard, pickles, lettuce, tomato, and onion.
6.) MR. BARTLEY’S GOURMET BURGERS
Boston — The favorite dish at Mr. Bartley’s is dubbed the Viagra Burger. And with its handmade seven-inch patty, blue-cheese dressing, bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes—plus a side of sweet-potato fries—it may be just as stimulating.
7.) PALENA CAFE
Washington, D.C. — Made with hamburger that’s freshly ground in-house each day, the patty is topped with garlic mayo and a blend of truffles and Italian cheese, and it’s served on a fluffy sesame-seed bun with pickles on the side.
8.) PETE MILLER’S SEAFOOD AND PRIME STEAK
Chicago — Pete’s prides itself on serving burgers up any way you want them. Their most popular option: the Prime Burger, a giant one-pound slab of top-of-the-line beef topped with lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and grilled mushrooms.
9.) ROARING FORK
Scottsdale, Ariz. — Order up the Big-Ass Burger—12 ounces of ground beef marinated in green-chili sauce and then grilled and covered with bacon, Colby longhorn cheese, and a pile of caramelized onions.
Philadelphia — Once you get tired of Philly’s famous cheesesteaks, stop off at the Rouge for the house special: the “Rouge Burger,” made with caramelized onions and Gruyere cheese on a brioche roll, with a side of crispy, homemade Belgium-style fries. Bon appetit.