Burgers. They’re delicious, they’re versatile and they will always fall into the category of comfort food. These are facts. And I mean, really, what is it about red meat, cheese and bread that gets us Americans all hot and bothered? Sure, I could get into the science behind our addiction to sugar, start talking about Morgan Spurlock documentaries or go off on a tangent about how fast-food CEOs have capitalized and thrived on America’s obesity epidemic for decades now…But for the purpose of this article, I think it’s best if we just focus on these dank-ass burgz and plan our next road trip accordingly.

1. The Monsieur at Uneeda Burger in Seattle, WA

Photo by Bradley Foster

Nestled in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle (a quirky, artist-occupied enclave often referred to as “The Center of the Known Universe”), Uneeda Burger offers an elegant, yet inviting atmosphere and a stellar selection of sandwiches, seasonal salads and local craft beers. While their fried cheese curds and poutine fries may be minor (yet very mouth-watering) attractions, the Monsieur Burger has proven to be the star of the show time and time again. Get this: black forest ham, gruyere, dijon-mayo and truffled shoestring potatoes. Need I say more?

2. The Hambürger at Grüner in Portland, OR 

Photo by Calvin Jung

Okay, here we go: a poppy seed-encrusted potato bun, smoked bacon, your choice of either cheddar or fontina cheese, bread and butter pickles, pickled red onions, aioli, arugula and house-made ketchup. Phew. Now get your sweet butt over to Portland — you’ll go for the marionberry pancakes, but you’ll definitely stay for Grüner’s hambürger.

P.S. We (and by “we,” I’m referring to the whole city of Austin, Texas) definitely started the whole “Keep _____Weird” thing. Just saying.

3. The Americana Burger at Causwells in San Francisco, CA

Photo by Melissa De Mata

Located in the Marina area of San Francisco, Causwells may seem like a tourist trap to some. However, once you catch a whiff of whatever they’re concocting in the kitchen, you’ll be pawing at their windows. While the ingredient list on this burger is a bit shorter than others, that doesn’t make it any less sweet. Causwells’ Americana burger features American cheese, lacto-fermented pickles, onions, a special house-made sauce and a dry-aged patty.

4. The Boner Burger at Animal in Los Angeles, CA

Photo courtesy of animalrestaurant.com

Right…The name on this one is a little disconcerting. But don’t let that deter you from trying what might be one of the best burgers of your life. An off-menu item at one of LA’s trendiest spots, Animal’s Boner Burger is a toothsome treat aptly named because of the bone marrow incorporated into the ground chuck/rib-meat blend. Jack cheese, caramelized onion, poblano chile, a house-made special sauce and marbled rye toast make appearances as well.

5. The K-BBQ Burger at Plan Check in Los Angeles, CA

Photo by DYLAN + JENI

Korean BBQ is one of those foods that’s kind of “having a moment” right now — but anyone who knows good food has been experiencing its wonders for quite a while. Ernesto Uchimara, head chef at LA’s Plan Check (located in West LA), pays tribute to the classic Korean dish while also keeping it classic in his K-BBQ burger. Kimcheese (a gruyere/kimchi fusion), gochujang, pork belly, fried and sprouting onions and a special “ketchup leather” come together to form a unique, satisfying shindig for the tastebuds.

6. Bud’s Burger at Bud’s Bar in Sedalia, CO

Photo by George Motz

It doesn’t really look like much, does it? Good, mission accomplished. Bud’s Bar in Sedalia, Colorado prides itself on serving kick-ass burgers and kick-ass burgers only. Order a beer or a bag of chips if you’d like; just know that you won’t find any duck fat fries or house-made aioli at this burger joint. No frills, no nonsense; just a bun, cheese and meat.

7. The Super Health Burger – Health Camp, Waco, TX

Photo by Damon Richard

Haha! Get it? Super Health Burger! It’s funny because it’s a burger…Burgers aren’t healthy. Like, at all. Then again, neither is anything else at Health Camp. Then again, who caresHealth Camp is one of those places that you’ve got to stop at during a long car ride home. Sure, it’s not a Michelin-star restaurant, but that doesn’t mean that you should skip out on one of these babies. Trust me, they’re worth every calorie.

8. The Fit Cross Burger at Wholly Cow Burgers in Austin, TX

Photo by Megan Giller

Attention, crossfitters and paleo-enthusiasts: meet the Fit Cross burger. Low in carbs and a nice, hearty alternative to those measly lettuce wraps, the Fit Cross burger offers a single grass-fed beef patty, tomato, grilled onions, pickles, mustard and bacon in between two portabella mushroom caps. Yum.

9. The Frita Cubana Burger at Frita’s Cuban Burger Cafe in Key West, FL

Photo courtesy of tripadvisor.ca

Frita’s does Cuban food, and boy do they do it right. Although yucca fries and mahi mahi tacos are popular menu items, nothing compares to the frita cubana burger: a perfectly seasoned ground beef/pork patty, onion, shoestring potatoes and a “kickin’ frita sauce,” all resting in between two slices of airy, rich, Cuban bread. With an almost perfect Yelp! score and raving reviews to accompany it, it’s easy to see why Frita’s is a must for anyone visiting Key West.

10. The Big Belly Burger at Old Glory BBQ in Washington, D.C.

Photo courtesy of oldglorybbq.com

If America were to have an official burger, this would be it. Not many burgers are cooked over a wood-fueled fire, which is what gives this one a special kind of flavor. A thick slab of pork belly, pimento cheese, salsa verde and a fried egg make up this seriously flavorful beef-wich. God Bless America, am I right folks?

11. The Smoke Burger at Alewife in Baltimore, MD

Photo by William Prior

You know a burger means business when it has a steak knife protruding from its center. The Smoke Burger from Alewife in Baltimore, Maryland is truly one of a kind — with a patty comprised of a special blend of brisket, skirt steak and fillet beef, smoked Gouda, chipotle aioli and smoked bacon, this burger is definitely tailored for those with a special penchant for, uh, delicious charred things. Really, these Foodspotting reviews say it all:


Photo courtesy of foodspotting.com

12. The El Matador at Bareburger in Edgewater, NJ

Photo courtesy of Randi E. on yelp.com

Bison! Queso Fresco! Pickled jalapeños! Guac! Pico De Gallo! Brioche bun! Ya can’t go wrong here, people. Bareburger is a pretty cool restaurant too — all of their ingredients are locally sourced and they really do care about how and where they get their food. Check ’em out on Twitter.

13. The Harlem Classic at Harlem Shake in New York, NY

Photo by Hunter Atkins

Remember when this was popular? Betcha didn’t know that the Harlem Shake was an actual dance that originated in Harlem. Betcha also didn’t know that Harlem has one of the best g-dang burgers in the five boroughs. The Harlem Shake’s “Harlem Classic” (where is this burger from again?) is just two sirloin patties, American cheese, onions, pickles and a special sauce. Simple, but effective.

14. The Bash Burger at Burger and Barrel in New York, NY

Photo courtesy of theburgeradventure.com

They say that if you can make it New York, you can make it anywhere. Well, if that’s true, then this burger’s going places. The Bash Burger is topped with onions, bacon jam, pickles, American cheese and Burger and Barrel’s own special sauce. If you ever find yourself in SoHo, be sure to accidentally wander into Burger and Barrel; you won’t regret it.

15. The Sophie at Boston Burger Company in Boston, MA

Photo by Kara Baskin

Boston is best known for its clam chowder, fish and chips and other seafood-inspired dishes — it’s not exactly a haven for burger aficionados. But Boston Burger Company has a knack for challenging the status quo. The restaurant’s signature burger, the Sophie, is one of those burgers that somehow has the ability to be both delicate and hearty at the same time. An Angus patty, prosciutto, goat cheese, candied walnuts, fig jam, balsamic reduction and arugula tossed in a lemon vinaigrette adorn the pillowy buns of this delectable, nuanced burger. Next time you’re in Boston, show ’em that you’re wicked smaht and pay a visit to Boston Burger Company.