Yes, there are a lot of great burgers out there. Yes, some of them aren’t on this list. But here are six I can think of that are worth a pilgrimage (and never disappoint).
Travail Kitchen and Amusements
4154 W. Broadway, Robbinsdale, MN; 763-535-1131 or travailkitchen.com.
First, take pounds and pounds of sirloin steak. Trim and roast it until the fat is rendered and the solids have browned. Cool and paddle the fat into your aged ground blend of chuck and other cuts. Grill and place on brioche bun. It’s seriously insane.
1291 3rd Ave., New York City; 212-744-0585.
My favorite bar burger, bar none. All the fancy stuff can come and go, but this is the burger I grew up on, and it holds a special place in my heart. Order it with cottage fries and spinach salad on the side.
418 Old Las Vegas Highway, Santa Fe, NM; 505-983-5319 or bobcatbite.com.
An ancient roadside institution. Aged grass-fed beef purchased from the same farm for generations, griddled, served big and thick and juicy with green chiles if you want ’em. I think this is one for the record books.
The Le Tub Saloon
1100 N. Ocean Dr., Hollywood, FL; 954-921-9425 or theletub.com.
Food writer Alan Richman’s favorite, and worth the trip. It’s a dump to be sure, but the grilled sirloin burger has some impressive heft and flavor. It is indeed a masterpiece, with a flawless soft, sweet bun.
2901 Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica, CA; 310-399-8383 or various locations, thecounterburger.com.
I think it’s got the best flavor and best overall meaty heft of any burger in California, and yes, I know what that means. I love this sucker. And just for the record, I eat my burgers plain.
113 MacDougal St., New York City; 212-475-3850 or minettatavernny.com.
The Black Label Burger is perfect and rich and fulfilling in a way that can’t be beat. Pat LaFrieda’s meat blend, the Minetta style and cooked exactly right every time. Crusty, juicy and rare—every time.