Wondering where to find the best burgers in Boston? So were we. We turned to our best resource — you, the diners — and surveyed your favorite beef burgers in the area. Here are the results from the 2015 Burger Survey, including some old favorites and some new additions to the restaurant scene.
It's legendary for a reason: The Craigie Burger ($19) is topped with mace ketchup and cheddar from Vermont’s Shelburne Farm (add fried egg or bacon for a few extra bucks). This mythic patty was also an early adopter of a buzz-engendering "limited quantities" approach that other restaurants have adopted too — only 18 are made each night. Surveyors praise it as "without peer."
853 Main St., Cambridge; 617-497-5511
The quirky Downtown gastropub was an early entry in a wave of hipster-friendly eateries that take their food seriously, but not themselves. Though the chalkboard typically boasts creative burger variations, the standard Curley Burger ($16), topped with tangy Russian dressing, cheddar and caramelized onions, remains the old faithful favorite. File under: "Messy but delicious."
21 Temple Place; 617-338-5333
What's in a name? Not much here: the so-called Secret Burger ($14) is indeed listed on the menu at chef Michael Scelfo's Harvard Square hit. (Though there are often some by-request-only permutations available too.) A bona fide phenomenon, this burger boasts a blend of short rib, brisket and plate steak. "It's the meat that makes it," say surveyors, while toppings of salted onions, Cabot cheese tuile and a no-name sauce ensure it's "worth the hype."
40 Brattle St., Cambridge; 617-864-2100
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder; maybe scarcity makes the stomach hungrier? Barbara Lynch's Fort Point hideaway Drink is really a cocktail-focused haunt, and the food menu doesn't even include the Drink Burger ($15), a by-request-only offering made in quantities of just 15 per night. Show up early for this much-coveted new classic, made of two four-ounce Wagyu beef patties, American cheese, house pickles, red onion, black pepper mayo and ketchup on a bun from Hi-Rise Bread Company.
348 Congress St.; 617-695-1806
This Porter Square pub "never disappoints" with its big menu of creative burger variations. "Fat and juicy" half-pound patties of lean sirloin are topped with everything from teriyaki sauce to Mexican salsa. But the best bet (as long as you remember your breath mints) is the Garlic Burger ($8.75), blanketed with gooey cheese and trimmed with fresh chopped cloves.
282 Beacon St., Somerville; 617-491-9638
The namesake neighborhood restaurant of the Coda Group (the team that is also behind The Salty Pig, Canary Square and highly anticipated fall opening SRV) brings simple but well-executed comfort food to South End. Its Coda Burger ($13) — topped with cheddar, Swiss or blue cheese — is served with a side of crispy fries, or for a few extra bucks, loaded with toppings like sautéed mushrooms, avocado and fried egg.
329 Columbus Ave.; 617-536-2632
Surveyors figuratively die for The Gallows' patties, especially the somewhat signature Carpet Burger ($20) topped with fried oysters, chipotle rémoulade, grilled onions and American cheese. The Gallows team might be behind the nearby opening of hot new Pan-Asian Banyan Bar + Refuge, but it's this twist on an American classic that keeps us coming back to their first eatery.
1395 Washington St.; 617-425-0200
Chef Chris Coombs (also of Deuxave and dbar) emphasizes under-utilized cuts at his glossy South End steakhouse. But of course, he had to include something more ubiquitous — and the Late Night Burger is a "down and dirty classic burger" that serves as a counterpoint to the more upscale options. It's cheap ($6!) and sloppy-delicious, topped with government cheese, bacon, caramelized onions and a secret sauce.
1375 Washington St.; 617-227-5011
Now under the new ownership of the Tres Gatos team with Rialto alum chef Brian Rae at its helm, Centre Street Cafe crafts mostly Mediterranean-influenced small plates. But surveyors also sing the praises of the lunch menu's Maine Grind Burger ($14) which puts "a slight Italian twist" on things: pancetta, provolone and herb aïoli on a housemade bun.
669A Centre St., Jamaica Plain; 617-524-9217
Chef Tim Wiechmann focuses on hearty German and Central European fare at his Somerville restaurant, so naturally his Mondays-only Bronburger ($10) takes the appropriate cues: the cult-fave patty is a mix of beef brisket and bacon topped with comté cheese, ketchup and mustard on a pretzel roll, served with frites and a gurken salat. Big, beefy and beautiful.
255 Washington St., Somerville; 617-776-9900