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Best Burger

Boston

You voted, we listened. These were your picks for Boston’s Best Burgers — and the winners are a pretty flavorful bunch. There are high-end icons, quick-service upstarts and plenty of creatively topped patties in between. Yet of any single area, it’s Cambridge’s Harvard Square that takes the prize for the beefiest options. If you include the Harvard location of a certain tasty local chain, a full half of the winners hailed from that 'hood.

Ratings are out of 30. Key to ratings

Hamburgers are rated in three categories — flavor, ingredients and value — on a 30-point scale.

26–30Extraordinary to perfection
21–25Very good to excellent
16–20Good to very good
11–15Fair to good
0–10Poor to fair

Ratings have been rounded to the nearest whole number, but the top burger rankings are calculated using the non-rounded scores.

  • Overall
  • Flavor
  • Value
  • Ingred.
  • Ingredients
  • Craigie On Main

    Local Grass-Fed Beef Burger

    • 26
    • 29
    • 21
    • 27
    #1

    The myth. The legend. The area’s reigning burger king ($17) is crowned with glorious mace ketchup and cheddar from Vermont’s Shelburne Farm; some add fried egg or bacon. With only 18 made nightly, slight elusiveness adds inimitable appeal that merits the beefy price. Says one voter, “I’d spend my allowance on this every week.” Read more about Craigie On Main on Zagat.

    www.craigieonmain.com

  • PARK

    Park Patty Melt

    • 24
    • 26
    • 23
    • 24
    #2

    File under: Gooey goodness. A new star has been born with this elevated twist on a diner approach ($10). The square griddled patties, made from Pat LaFrieda beef, are sandwiched by traditional rye from Iggy's Bread and topped with American cheese and hot sauce-spiked onions. "It's a grilled cheese, burger and reuben in one," says one voter. "Amazing!" Read more about PARK on Zagat.

    www.parkcambridge.com

  • jm Curley

    Curley Burger

    • 24
    • 26
    • 22
    • 24
    #3

    Quirky offerings show off this Downtown gastropub’s sense of humor — Fernet bonbons! — but it takes its burger game seriously. Scope the chalkboard for creative, rotating variations, or simply sink your teeth into the “incredibly juicy” staple ($16) with tangy Russian dressing, cheddar and caramelized onions. Burger lovers praise it as “simply the best.” Read more about jm Curley on Zagat.

    jmcurleyboston.com

    Photo by Joel Benjamin

  • R.F. O'Sullivan & Son

    Garlic Burger

    • 23
    • 23
    • 23
    • 25
    #4

    Vampires, beware. Everyone else, enjoy. “If you ever wanted to know what heaven is like, indulge in this!” raves one voter of the Porter Square area pub’s Garlic Burger ($8.75), blanketed with gooey cheese and trimmed with fresh chopped cloves. It’s fantastically flavorful. Just don't forget the breath mints for dessert. Read more about R.F. O'Sullivan & Son on Zagat.

    www.rf-osullivan.com

    Photo by Joel Benjamin

  • Alden & Harlow

    Secret Burger

    • 23
    • 24
    • 20
    • 24
    #5

    Despite its name, this limited-quantity burger ($14) can be found on the menu. (Check social media for rotating request-only permutations.) A bona fide phenomenon at the Harvard Square spot, it boasts a blend of short rib, brisket and plate steak. Salted onions, Cabot cheese tuile and a no-name sauce leave fanatics declaring, “It’s the bomb.” Read more about Alden & Harlow on Zagat.

    aldenharlow.com

    Photo by Jennifer Che

  • Mr. Bartley's Gourmet Burgers

    The Viagra

    • 23
    • 24
    • 21
    • 23
    #6

    Since it opened in 1960, this landmark burger joint has seen plenty of politics — and pop-culture-referencing patty names — come and go. But the decades-spanning Viagra Burger ($11.85) still, ahem, excites us. Voters agree the “generous amounts” of chunky blue-cheese dressing and bacon complement “moist, perfectly cooked” meat and add “just enough oomph.” Read more about Mr. Bartley's Gourmet Burgers on Zagat.

    www.mrbartley.com

    Photo by Joel Benjamin

  • Russell House Tavern

    R. House Grass Fed Burger

    • 22
    • 25
    • 18
    • 24
    #7

    Voters love this “filling” 8-oz. burger ($13) made with Maine-raised beef, as well as “fresh toppings” including cheddar, bacon and caramelized onions. But it's the bun switcheroo that really sets it apart — it's served on a rich briochelike English muffin made by Medford’s Stone & Skillet. Read more about Russell House Tavern on Zagat.

    russellhousecambridge.com

  • The Bristol Lounge

    Bristol Burger

    • 22
    • 25
    • 16
    • 25
    #8

    No matter how you do the math, the $23 Bristol Burger is expensive. (The lounge is inside the Four Seasons, after all.) But the now-iconic burger has also calculated the “perfect meat to bun ratio,” says one voter. Aged Vermont cheddar and housemade pickles justify a splurge on what some call “the best high-end burger in town.” Read more about The Bristol Lounge on Zagat.

    www.fourseasons.com/boston/dining/restaurant/the_bristol_lounge

  • Tasty Burger

    The Big Tasty

    • 21
    • 21
    • 21
    • 20
    #9

    Within four years this Boston burger brand expanded to four locations, including an outpost inside Fenway Park. Its signature Big Tasty ($5.25), brushed with spicy mayolike “Tasty Sauce,” is the kind of super but simple wax-paper-wrapped pleasure expected from a retro diner-inflected joint. “Excellent value and delicious,” commented one loyalist. “The best quick-service burger in the city.” Read more about Tasty Burger on Zagat.

    www.tastyburger.com

    Photo by Joel Benjamin

  • Eastern Standard

    Standard Burger

    • 20
    • 20
    • 19
    • 21
    #10

    Lucky for us, the Standard Burger ($13) fails to live up to its name. The Kenmore Square stalwart, an American brasserie as famed for its cocktails as its food, serves perfectly seasoned beef with Vermont cheddar on a buttery brioche. It sounds pretty standard, but this kind of quality and consistency is truly outside the norm. Read more about Eastern Standard on Zagat.

    easternstandardboston.com

Ratings are out of 30. Key to ratings

Hamburgers are rated in three categories — flavor, ingredients and value — on a 30-point scale.

26–30Extraordinary to perfection
21–25Very good to excellent
16–20Good to very good
11–15Fair to good
0–10Poor to fair

Ratings have been rounded to the nearest whole number, but the top burger rankings are calculated using the non-rounded scores.

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