The burger, America's quintessential comfort food, can now be enjoyed in an impossibly endless number of ways. There are round-the-clock burgers at 24-hour-roadside joints and ephemeral late-night burgers sold out in mere minutes; burgers grilled in hundred-year-old cast-iron broilers and burgers steamed in state-of-the-art ovens; burgers crafted from Kobe beef imported from Japan and burgers made with Black Angus beef from just down the road; burgers innocuously topped with melted American cheese and burgers piled high with crumbly, statement-making Roquefort cheese. It's clearly a great time to love the burger. Here, we've singled out the 25 best burgers around the country.
California: In-N-Out Burger
Signature Burger: Cheeseburger.
Even superstar chef Thomas Keller is a fan of the West Coast chain—and with good reason. The cooked-to-order burgers are made from Harris Ranch beef and served with hand-cut fries. For a messier, more indulgent experience, order your burger "Animal Style" for extra sauce and chopped grilled onions. in-n-out.com
New York City: Minetta Tavern
Signature Burger: Black Label Burger (topped with with caramelized onions).
Atlanta, GA: Holeman & Finch
Star chef Linton Hopkins announces "burger time"—10 p.m.—with the ringing of two bull horns; that's when two dozen grass-fed beef burgers are up for grabs and consistently sold out within minutes. The burgers are also available on the Sunday brunch menu. holeman-finch.com
Arlington, VA: Ray's Hell Burger
Signature Burger: Basic Beef Burger (served in a brioche bun).
There's no sign, yet dedicated fans—a certain president included—come here for the freshly ground burgers with and complimentary toppings like grilled onions and mushrooms sautéed in sherry and Cognac.
Boston, MA: Craigie on Main
Signature Burger: Beefburger.
San Francisco, CA: Zuni Café
Signature Burger: House-ground hamburger (served in a grilled rosemary focaccia).
New Haven, CT: Louis' Lunch
Signature Burger: The Original Burger (prepared with a combination of chuck and sirloin beef).
Many restaurants claim to be the birthplace of the hamburger. Louis' Lunch, in New Haven, Connecticut, since 1900, is a leading contender. The meaty hand-shaped patties are grilled on antique cast-iron broilers over an open flame. louislunch.com
Memphis, TN: Dyer's Burgers
Signature Burger: Dyer's Cheeseburger.
Chicago, IL: Custom House Tavern
Signature Burger: Custom House Burger (short rib, sirloin and ground pork patty topped with aged cheddar cheese and shaved onion, served in a sourdough brioche bun).
Miami, FL: Michael's Genuine Food & Drink
Signature Burger: Black Angus Burger (served in a brioche bun).