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15 Splurge-Worthy Burgers Across America

By Kelly Dobkin
February 18, 2014
Photo by: Claire Nelson

What better way to blow your tax refund than on a ritzy burger? Below are 15 of the most extravagant options in the land - all the reason that they are worth way more than your average fast-food patty. Which ones will you try? Tell us in the comments.

  • Atlanta: Kevin Rathbun Steak

    Head over to Kevin Rathbun Steak for one of the city's pricier burgers. A hefty 12-oz. patty of prime Wagyu rib-eye, it's topped with applewood-smoked bacon and Tillamook cheddar, a fried egg and a pickle ($18.25).

  • Austin: Porter Ale House

    The burger here is serious business: the patty itself is made with freshly ground short rib, filet and hanger steak, and it comes topped with triple-cream brie, crisp pancetta and kettle chips. With addictive fries on the side, it’s worth the $14.

  • Photo by: Michael Piazza

    Boston: Craigie on Main

    A thing of legend. Even before everyone in Boston caught on to the idea that, yes, you can put a chef-y spin on the all-American burger, James Beard award winner Tony Maws of Craigie on Main was offering his burger of grass-fed beef ($17) topped with Shelburne Farm cheddar, mace ketchup, and, if you're up to it, a fried egg or house-smoked bacon. 

  • Chicago: Bad Apple

    There’s a world-renowned butcher by the name of Pat LaFrieda. His prized beef graces menus around New York City and is the foundation of many over-the-top burgers. Here in Chicago, only one burger joint boasts the Rolls-Royce of beef. That’s the Bad Apple, and the best of the best is its 45-day dry-aged prime-rib Wagyu beef with 70 to 30 meat to fat ratio, but it's only served on “Wagyu Wednesdays.” It costs $26 and comes with rotating toppings that highlight the beef’s buttery taste. Think five-year-aged cheddar one week and Danish blue cheese the next.

  • Dallas: The Capital Grille

    The Capital Grille's $23.75 patty is made with American Snake River Kobe and slathered in black and white truffle mayo. 

  • Photo by: Christopher Cina

    Denver: TAG Burger Bar

    Troy Guard’s funky Congress Park tavern opened well over a year ago, and still no one’s managed to outdo his Andrew Jackson burger - a $20 topping combo of house-cured pork belly, fried chicken skin, a sunny-side-up egg, Brie, chipotle aïoli, avocado, tomato and, you guessed it, shaved black truffles. Depending on your choice of patty, the tab could run you as much as $30 (for bison) or as “little” as $27 (for Angus beef).

  • Photo by: Paula Murphy

    Houston: Mockingbird Bistro

    Mockingbird Bistro's elegant old-school take on fine dining also encompasses their burger, which has an option of adding a fat piece of seared foie gras on top ($32 with foie, $16 without). The patty, not to be outdone, is composed of the American equivalent to Kobe beef, set in between a rich onion bun and served with an array of pickles and frites with a housemade garlic aïoli for dipping.

  • Photo by: Petrossian

    Los Angeles: Petrossian

    As expected, even burgers get the royal treatment at the West Hollywood caviar house. Chef Giselle Wellman created an off-menu burger for a true high-low treat. The beef patty is topped with a caviar “sheet” made of pressed eggs and a fried egg, plus it’s served with crisp, golden fries and a tin of caviar aïoli served in a 30-gram caviar tin. Priced at $75, it’s only available by request.
     

  • Miami: Bâoli Miami

    This swanky South Beach restaurant-turned-nightclub offers its signature Kobe beef Bâoli Burger for $65 (the most expensive in the city), which is made with foie gras, black truffle slices and sandwiched between warm brioche bread.

  • NYC: Villard Michel Bistro

    The $26 Villard Burger at the Palace Hotel bistro is essentially the same one chef Michel Richard offers at his other restaurants in DC and elsewhere, featuring a high-quality meat blend, an olive-oil brioche bun, tomato confit, and homemade garlic mayo with a crunchy potato tuile on top. Problem is, if you want a taste of it in NYC, you'll have to pay an extra $8.

  • Philadelphia: Village Whiskey

    The patty at Jose Garces’ Village Whiskey is good enough on its own, but - if you’re in the mood for a rich bite - the addition of foie gras does make it better. The $26 Whiskey King burger is also topped with maple-bourbon-glazed cipollini onions, Rogue blue cheese and applewood bacon.

  • San Diego: The Westgate

    An 8-oz. Kobe beef patty and your choice of Fiscalini cheddar or Maytag blue cheese is served in a white-linen dining room. $18.

  • Photo by: Tamara Palmer

    San Francisco: Epic Roasthouse

    Epic Roasthouse will put a half Maine lobster on top of a Wagyu beef burger if you ask nicely (and also pay $40). The world-class view of the Bay Bridge is a great accompaniment.

  • Photo by: Luuvu Hoang

    Seattle: Loulay

    Leave it to the Chef in the Hat to add a foie gras option to the succulent ground-chuck sandwich at Loulay, a burger that's already pretty rich from a porky schmear of bacon jam. Add the goose liver, a duck egg and cheese to the basic burger, and it all adds up to $21. But that does come with fries.

  • Washington, DC: 2941

    Sure, 2941 scaled back to a bistro a while back - but chef Bertrand Chemel has fine dining in the blood, and we're more than okay with that. His decadent Daffy burger is legendary, a patty of freshly ground duck topped with seared foie gras and served with frites and housemade onion agrodolce ($19).

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