5 No-Nonsense Burgers to Try in Philly

Sometimes you just want to keep things simple
September 15, 2015
by Caroline Russock

With its simple ground beef and bun formula, it’s easy to see a burger as a blank canvas just waiting to host all sorts of topping combos ranging from bacon and cheese to more over-the-top additions like glazed donuts and crab cakes. But for those days when you’re looking for a no-bells-or-whistles burger, here are five that keep it simple.

Fountain Porter

This South Philly bar has a beer list that outweighs the food menu by miles, and their $5 burger is one of the best and cheapest in town. A perfectly charred, medium patty sandwiched on a squishy bun with lettuce, tomato, pickles and cheese is small enough (and tasty enough) to warrant going back to the bar to order another.

1601 S. 10th St.; no phone

Lo Spiedo

Marc Vetri’s Navy Yard spot has a menu that’s worthy of plenty of exploration (especially during happy hour), but don’t let their burger get lost in the shuffle. Made from ground brisket, this super-juicy burger ($14, pictured at top) is served with crisp iceberg, ripe tomatoes and house-cured bacon on request. You can find this guy for just $10 during happy hour and even less when the Eagles are playing.

4503 S. Broad St.; 215-282-3184

The Industry

Although there are some that might argue, a thin patty is a virtue in perfect burger architecture. This Pennsport hang takes quarter-pound Le Frieda patty and layers it with thinly sliced red onion, cheddar, iceberg and tomato before finishing it off with a pickle mayo. It’s available as a single ($9), double ($11) or triple ($12.50) if you’re feeling wild.

1401 E. Moyamensing Ave.; 215-271-9500

Loco Pez

This Fishtown fave might be a taco destination, but their fast food–style burger is a can’t miss. Located on their vaquero (cowboy) menu, it’s loaded up with shredded lettuce, special sauce and jalapeños, and comes with a side of waffle fries for $7.50.

2401 E. Norris St.; 267-886-8061


Situated in a part of town that’s most commonly known for Reading Terminal Market and Chinatown, this Florida-based chain serves a solid selection of burgers ($7.76) made from hormone- and antibiotic-free beef dressed with the classic trifecta of toppings: American cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. Bonus style points for the branded potato buns.  

44 N. 12th St.; 267-928-3882

south philly
market east