In honor of Eater’s Burger Week, Eater has compiled a number of best-of lists. I wouldn’t dream of trying to recreate them so I will link to them below – but a few of my personal favorites first.
In-N-Out Burger – This family owned, California-based chain of 300 restaurants has a cult following and is at the top of my list. Simple menu (ordering is as easy as 1-2-3. . . ), consistently good in every location. The fries, while not necessarily my favorite, are hand-cut on location. The group recently expanded out of California into Utah and Texas. See the location finder to find a restaurant near you . . . or download the app (and see below for information on the not-so-secret secret menu). http://www.in-n-out.com/locations
Shake Shack – the closest East Coast equivalent I have found to In-N-Out. The Danny Meyer-founded chain recently went public to great fanfare. In addition to a great burger, the restaurants also offer hot dogs, frozen custards (the “concretes” have custom mix-ins and some unique versions to each location) and beer and wine. The group has recently expanded beyond New York to Massachusetts, Chicago, Washington DC and Las Vegas – funds from the IPO with also fuel their growth to additional locations. https://www.shakeshack.com/home
Five Guys – Originally started in Washington DC this chain has expanded to over 1,000 locations (in other words there should be a restaurant near you). Famous for “having it your way” – there are over 250,000 combinations for your burger. Also, hand cut fries and fresh ground beef in fact everything is fresh – nothing is frozen in the restaurants, ever. http://www.fiveguys.com/home2014/index_us.html
The three above are my favorite chain burger joints. Of course no list would be complete without a discussion of secret menus (and In-N-Out’s secret menu which is not so secret may have started the trend). http://www.eater.com/2015/4/13/8382523/secret-menus-in-n-out-fast-food-burger-animal-style?utm_campaign=issue-36469&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eater
In the past few years chefs at better restaurants have jumped on the “better” burger trend started by Daniel Boulud at db Moderne Bistro in 2001 with a truffle and foie gras stuffed burger. A few of my better burger favorites (in addition, of course, to the original from Daniel Boulud):
NoMad – The NoMad (home of the famous foie gras stuffed roast chicken for two) is also home to a chef burger at the NoMad Bar – which starts with a custom blend of LaFrieda beef.
Minetta Tavern – The well-known Black Label burger at Keith McNally’s Minetta Tavern was introduced in 2009. One of Eater’s essential dry-aged burgers, it is made from aged ribsteak.
The Spotted Pig – Created by April Bloomfield at her 11-year old Greenwich Village gastropub the burger is one of the house specialties.
And, without further ado – all of those Eater best lists I promised at the start of the post:
Hottest Burgers in North America – http://www.eater.com/2015/4/13/8401025/best-new-burgers-north-america?utm_campaign=issue-36317&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eater
Classic Burgers from Coast to Coast – http://www.eater.com/2015/4/17/8447195/best-burgers-classic-america-montreal
New York’s Essential Dry-Aged Burgers – http://ny.eater.com/maps/the-essential-dry-aged-burgers-of-new-york-city?utm_campaign=issue-36410&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eater+NY