If you’re wanting meat but don’t feel like cooking, nothing beats a delicious burger made by someone else. There are many delicious burgers that can be made at home, but if you want to reward yourself, you should indulge in a burger that was made by a chef who has mastered the art of the all-American sandwich.
Restaurant writers and editors throughout the nation were polled by TODAY Food to determine the best burger joints in every major metropolis.
The 10 finest burgers in the United States, as determined by professional taste testers.
1. There’s Pizza Loves Emily in Brooklyn, New York
If you’re fortunate enough to acquire chef Matthew Hyland’s Emmy Burger, don’t even think of messing with it. As shown on the restaurant’s menu: “There will be no substitutes or alterations made to this dish. There are not many beds available each night.” Bloomberg Pursuits’ culinary editor Kate Krader admits she loves a good mess and doesn’t mind the “monumental stuffing.” Caramelized onions, Korean chili sauce, and aged Grafton cheddar cheese top a dry-aged beef patty. Krader said TODAY, “But what makes this a flawless burger is the pretzel bread.” It’s salty, chewy, and substantial. Similar double-patty burgers topped with American cheese are available at the restaurant’s West Village outpost in New York City.
2. The renowned sandwich shop known as Chroni’s
The Los Angeles Times’ former restaurant critic, Jonathan Gold, raved about the place’s chiliburger, praising its “robust, grill-y flavor, piled high with ripe tomatoes and crisp sheaves of lettuce” and “painted with yellow mustard and sluiced with a meaty, emulsified chili a few degrees spicier than the rest.” According to Gold, the chiliburger has been a “thing” in Los Angeles since the 1920s. He praised Chroni’s, saying it is an “Eastside institution” that has been around since 1945 when it first opened its doors.
3. The term “Au Cheval.”
The menu may refer to this monster of a sandwich as “one cheeseburger,” but don’t let that fool you. Hillary Reinsberg, editor-in-chief of The Infatuation and Zagat, described a burger made with two thin patties, cheese, pickles, and a tangy sauce that she still periodically thought about nearly four years after having it. Reinsberg likes the burger not just for its flavor and texture, but also for the unique manner it is presented at the table, with a large steak knife sticking out of the top. The establishment in Chicago’s West Loop has a sister restaurant in New York City’s West Village, however, Reinsberg confessed that its burger is not as delicious as the original in the Midwest.
4. To Have More Success Tomorrow
The restaurant editor for Food & Wine, Jordana Rothman, said that chef Justin Yu’s Party Melt burger is the best in Houston. The beef patty of the burger created by the James Beard Award-winning chef is topped with caramelized onions, thinly sliced red onions, and crispy broiled cheddar cheese. Rothman said that the tallow (beef fat) cooking of the loosely ground beef and the Parmesan cheese in the handmade bread make the burger an umami powerhouse.
Austinites can’t get enough of this tiki bar–style burger eatery, which is housed in a 1968 Airstream trailer. She’s “obsessed,” as Rothman put it. On the list of eight burgers, Rothman’s top pick is the one labeled “The Deep End.” Wagyu beef is used to make the three patties in this burger, which is then topped with Swiss cheese, bacon, fresh jalapenos, and Dijonnaise that the chef whips up in his kitchen.
In spite of its ominous moniker, the “Dirty Burger” is praised for its tenderness in this establishment. As Victoria Pesce Elliott, culinary critic for the Miami Herald, said to TODAY, “the burnt, lacy Parmesan cheese wheel gives it a brittle bite that adds tremendous contrast with the tiny patties of always moist grilled ground beef and special sauce. Even though the burger was developed for the exclusive Soho Beach House, clubgoers may get their hands on one today between the hours of 4 and 7 p.m. at the bar of the Italian restaurant in the club’s lobby. Pesce Elliott said, “I recognize that sort of puts some constraints on it.” However, it is worthwhile.
7. 4505 Burgers & BBQ –
Ryan Farr, the chef, doesn’t call his signature burger anything fancy. On the menu, it is simply labeled as “Best Damn Grass Fed Cheeseburger.” The quarter-pound patty is covered with lettuce, onion, Gruyere cheese and a secret sauce before it’s served on a sesame-and-scallion bun. “It’s usually cooked to a delightfully juicy medium-rare,” remarked Hillary Dixler Canavan, restaurant editor for Eater. “The burger is always delicious, so it’s become one of my usual restaurants.”
8. The Little Jack’s Inn
John Amato, head chef at Little Jack’s Tavern, keeps things simple with his Double Tavern Burger, which has American cheese, tavern sauce (essentially well-seasoned mayo), and a sesame bun. Andrew Knowlton, editor-at-large of Bon Appétit, told TODAY that the magazine still comes in the ideal packaging. Since it can be held in one hand and devoured in only four bites, he deemed it 2017’s finest burger. The patty itself is a 4-ounce blend of chuck and brisket with a 75% lean to 25% fat ratio.
9. Pie n’ Burger
“I feel that the cheeseburger you grew up with will typically be the cheeseburger you respect,” Jeff Gordinier, Esquire’s food and beverages editor stated. The Pasadena local grew up not far from the burger joint where it is now located. Members of Gordinier’s family are so dedicated customers that his mum, an artist, even painted a painting of the restaurant’s counter. The sauce and crisp lettuce gave the cheeseburger a great fresh tang, while Gordinier praised its compactness and juicy inside. “From the perspectives of texture, warmth, taste, and size, this cheeseburger is excellent,” he said TODAY.
10. Cozy Inn
Though Gold earned a livelihood evaluating eateries in the Los Angeles region, the slider burgers of Central Kansas were his all-time favorite. “The little creatures have the flavor of the onion’s idealized conceptualization of an onion. They’re very cool, “Gold said. The first “onion-laden, coin-sized burgers” from the Cozy Inn were first fried by founder Bob Kinkel in 1922, a full year after White Castle first debuted in Wichita. Because the Cozy Burgers were served on waxed paper and slid down the counter, the name “sliders” stuck. At first, a burger cost just 5 cents. Customers will have to part up $1.19 today for a single Cozy Burger, which is still a bargain in our book.