Our readers' favorite burgers
September 2nd, 2013
11:00 AM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

Burgers have dominated the conversation this summer, but don’t they always? Burger titan Josh Ozersky weighed in with two separate top 10 lists. One was dedicated to American cheeseburgers served on squishy buns, such as Keller’s Drive-In, in Dallas; the other list celebrated more unorthodox burgers.

No surprise, you loyal Eatocracy readers have strong opinions on burgers. Also about Josh’s list. “Do you eat with your ***? This list needs to be printed, shredded, burned, and served to you. it might taste better than the swill listed,” wrote commenter "anna mousse." 

So let’s talk about the seven burger places you shouted out the most. Read carefully, Josh Ozersky.

Kuma’s Corner - Chicago, Illinois
The heavy metal burger bar has two locations and burgers named after bands. Black Sabbath features house-made chili, blackening spice and pepper Jack cheese; Metallica is bacon, blue cheese dressing and buffalo sauce.
– You said:

Angelamnichole: “You haven’t had a burger until you’ve had Kuma’s Corner in Chicago. I’ve never heard of Au Cheval, but Kuma’s will throw it under the bus, no questions.”

Dave P: “Please, do not waste your time at Au Cheval. Horribly overrated. I’ve lived in Chicago my whole life and Kuma’s Corner makes the best burgers I’ve ever had in my life. No question. Hands down. Go there instead and you’ll thank me.”

Port of Call - New Orleans, Louisiana
Opened in 1963 as a steak house on the edge of the French Quarter, Port of Call has a no-frills menu boasting four burgers (from hamburger to mushroom cheeseburger). There are also tropical drinks such as Neptune’s Monsoon to wash them down.
– You said:

Thomas: “NOLA does have a bunch of great burgers: Company Burger, Lüke, Yo Mama’s...but Port of Call is and always will be my favorite.”

Ray’s Hell-Burger and Ray’s to the Third - Arlington, Virginia
Ray’s to the Third is the newest incarnation of the now-shuttered Ray’s Hell-Burger - a place that got a lot of attention after President Obama started having working lunches there (see photo above of President Barack Obama and President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia riding together for lunch at Ray's Hell-Burger). The Big Devil is a 10-ounce burger made from aged, freshly ground steak cuts. Options like grilled onions and charred jalapeños are free; luxury toppings like smoked bacon and runny butter-fried egg are going to cost you something.
– You said:

Examiner: “Ray’s Hell-Burger in Arlington, Virginia, is awesome. Great selection of toppings, made from ground steak, etc. Best I have had in country. Good enough for Obama, Russian officials, etc.”

Hodad’s - San Diego, California area
The word hodad allegedly means “a nonsurfer who spends time at beaches masquerading as a surfer; see also, poser.” Hodad’s burgers are straightforward: burger, cheeseburger and bacon cheeseburger. The charity-minded owner, Mike Hardin, works with The Messlords - a group of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives alumni who travel around the world to cook for US troops in spots like Japan, Guam, Egypt and Dubai.
– You said:

Craig: “I didn’t see Hodad’s on the list of top 10. That just means that you missed the best burger and only listed the runner-ups.”

Burger chains got a lot of love, too.

In-N-Out Burger - Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, Utah
– You said:

Joanie768: “The IN-N-OUT burger is the BEST EVER...no one can top it...EVER.”

Jeff: “In-N-Out is ‘just the poor man’s Steak ’n Shake’? I think my eyes just melted out of my sockets at such silliness.”

Johnny J: “In-N-Out is a poor man’s Steak ’n Shake?? Are you freaking kidding me? I am from Arizona (where there is no SnS but tons of InO) and I now in Florida (the opposite). I enjoy both chains and I can tell you with 100% certainty the In-N-Out blows Steak ’n Shake out of the water.”

Whataburger - Texas and the Southern United States
– You said:

RichardHead: “Everybody in Texas knows that Whataburger is #1. If they would only make a chili-cheeseburger with white onions, I might set up a tent in the parking lot.”

McDonald’s - Worldwide
– You said:

Forrestal: “Hamburgers are grunt food. Keep your pretentious $15 hamburgers off my plate! I’ll grill one myself or drive down the street to McDonald’s. Cheap, tasty and you always know what you’re going to get.”

More from Food & Wine:
F&W Readers’ Picks: Best Burgers
Outrageous Bacon Burgers
Insane Over-the-Top Burgers
Best Summer Restaurants
Best Fried Chicken in the U.S.

More Burger Mania
Top 10 burgers around the country
Top 10 non-traditional burgers in America
Food & Wine's favorite burgers
As American as apple pie – the origins of picnic favorites
Killer slider recipes
5 ways to make better burgers at home
You can haz America's best cheeseburger
Best. Burgers. EVER.
A step-by-step guide to making awesome burgers
White wine is a winner with burgers
What else to drink with burgers

All burger stories

© 2011 American Express Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.

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Filed under: Burgers • Chain • Content Partner • Food and Wine • In-N-Out • McDonald's • Restaurants

soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Pedro VanPeter

    It just doesn’t get any
    better than seeing the gorgeous “Mrs. Anita Pelaez” over at her and her
    husband “Captain Kutchie’s” place..Some Folks Also Call Him..”The
    KutchMan others call him The Kutchmon!”…Most Just Call Him “The Most
    Interesting Man In The World”….(Anita and Kutchie Pelaez’s Key West, Key
    Lime Pie Factory and Grill)…Just watching the lovely couple baking together all those Yummy
    Key Lime Pies at their Key Lime Pie Factory and Grill in Asheville.
    …It’s always worth the trip to visit them in they’re Historic Key Lime
    Pie Factory and Grill…It should be on everyone’s bucket list for
    sure..And The World’s Best Key Lime Pies!..YUM-YUM-YUM….­­.”Talk About
    World Class” What An Understatement!…….AA­­HHHHH!….The Magic Of The
    Lovely..”Mrs. Anita Pelaez” And Her Delicious Key Lime Pies Baked With
    Pure Love…Always……40 Years And They’re Still Going Strong….

    ….May GOD Continue Blessing “Anita And Kutchie Pelaez” and They’re World
    Famous Key Lime Pie Factory And Grill Where The Personalities, Ovens And
    Smiles Are Always Warm And Inviting. “Kutcharitaville” You’re The Best We Love You!….

    …Now You Know Who Is The Hottest!…And Baby Let Me Tell You, Mrs. Anita Is No Act…She’s The Real Thing Baby!…

    ….Located Near The Biltmore House And Estate…..
    ….Who Could Ask For Anything More?…Anita’s Key Lime Pie…(Hell Yes!)

    ….Just Think, Kutchie’s Goody Goody Cheese Burgers, The Original Cheese Burgers In Paradise!
    ….That Alone Is Quite A Pretty Big Deal If You Ask Me. ….”Hell”,..It’s A Pretty Big Deal Even If You Don’t Ask Me.

    December 30, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
  2. Ashley B.

    Best burger is definitely the cheeseburger at Mason's in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. If you want a little surf and turf the Cajun Shrimp Burger from the same place was noted to be Food Networks Best Burgers in Louisiana.

    October 16, 2013 at 10:42 am |
  3. Andy

    Really? You post a review by Richard Head? Aha

    October 15, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
  4. chris

    The Owl Cafe, in New Mexico

    Ok you don't know what green chili is, you got no business telling anyone what/where the best burgers are

    October 12, 2013 at 11:35 am |
  5. Smooch The Greatest Kisser Ever

    Sonic cheeseburger, nuf said...

    October 10, 2013 at 9:27 am |
  6. ATL Girl

    Ask any Atlanta, GA native & they will tell you the BEST burger is at the Vortex – Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives will tell you the same thing :)

    October 10, 2013 at 8:40 am |
  7. dikelmm1

    Five Guys!

    October 9, 2013 at 11:08 pm |
  8. Cynthia Avishegnath

    Why when I am at Wendy's and asked for a spicy chicken burger, they would roll their eyes and say, "We have sandwiches." They are sandwiches not burgers.

    Obviously, it's a burger they are selling – be it cheese, chicken, beef. Are they attempting at redefining terminology? Trying to snobify themselves?

    October 8, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
  9. Yakobi

    The best burger is the one you make yourself, with your choice of meat and toppings, cooked to your own specifications.

    October 1, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
  10. EL Gato Malo

    Best burgers are not here in the US, for us lucky few in Southern California the best burgers are in Tijuana MX. If you take the foot traffic bridge when crossing there is a place called El buen gusto. Best burgers period, there is something almost magical when ground cat and dog are mixed together just don't drink the water.

    September 25, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
  11. addingalpha

    DADS route 20 in Auburn, MA – the best burgers in the world!

    September 25, 2013 at 9:55 am |

    EL CORRAL in Colombia are the best hamburgers of het WORLD

    September 8, 2013 at 2:40 pm |
  13. richard

    You burger snobs are all over the place. Gimme a good ol' White Castle any day. Quick, cheap, and damn good!

    September 4, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • Yakobi

      Only one word to describe that: Ewww.

      October 1, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
  14. Beth

    The Vortex in Atlanta has my all time favorite burgers.

    September 4, 2013 at 10:21 am |
  15. LynnAnn

    I'll take a Kroger supermarket frozen beef patty any day over these snobby hippie chick places.

    September 4, 2013 at 8:47 am |
    • Benn

      That's spelled c-h-i-c

      September 4, 2013 at 8:59 am |
  16. ABI

    In & Out is the best. Simple and to the point. Sad I'm 2500 miles from the nearest store. Five Guys are my next top pick, a great messy burger and loaded!

    September 4, 2013 at 5:28 am |
  17. GiGi Eats Celebrities

    The best burger in my mind comes from my kitchen!!! Ground Grass-Fed/Finished Bison, Elk, Ostrich, Venison, Beef, Wild Boar or Kangaroo burgers! YUM!

    September 3, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
  18. mayfield

    Green chile cheeseburger at Owl Bar and Cafe in San Antonio, New Mexico

    September 3, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
  19. Dean

    Double meat, double cheese Whataburger with extra onions and jalapenos.

    September 3, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
  20. Epidi

    Red Robin's Buffalo burger is pretty darn good.

    September 3, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
  21. Mayra

    don't rule out au cheval. it was amazing! Love meat, this is the place for you.

    September 3, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • ertwert












      September 3, 2013 at 11:52 am | Reply

      September 3, 2013 at 12:04 pm |
  22. palintwit

    Why eat burgers when you can have Chick-fil-A? Even if you don't like chicken it's fun to watch the employees pop their zits.

    September 3, 2013 at 10:17 am |
  23. Jamal

    Wendy's, nuf said.

    September 3, 2013 at 10:07 am |
  24. Sid

    Diablo Burger in Flagstaff, AZ – the one true burger!

    September 3, 2013 at 9:37 am |
  25. mommajam

    McDonald's.......seriously???? It's okay as a once in a while/ in a hurry burger, but I wouldn't say it deserves to be on the 'best' list. Going to Chicago soon...going to look up Kumas!!

    September 3, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • Peanut M&M

      Anyone who thinks McDonald's is a good place to eat must not know what food is supposed to taste like.

      September 3, 2013 at 9:44 am |
      • Dean

        No one over the age of 7 thinks McDonald's is good.

        September 3, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
        • Methuselah

          Eh, wrong answer.

          September 4, 2013 at 6:33 am |
  26. Mr. T

    "I pity the fool that does not like Hardees bacon cheese burgers!"

    September 3, 2013 at 9:31 am |
  27. VladT

    Though it is the topping which makes them famous, I am partial toa #2 at Original Tommy's at Beverly and Rampart in Los Angeles. #2 = Chili cheeseburger, fries, and a coke, although if feeling ultra indulgent I add chili and cheese to the fries as well.

    I am from Southern California, miss it, and while In N out is decent, I head straight to Tommy's when I am craving a good So. Cal burger

    September 3, 2013 at 3:34 am |
  28. JhonDaAnalyst

    Corner Bistro NYC 14th and Jane Sts. Greatest burger ever!!!

    September 3, 2013 at 1:16 am |
  29. Splinter48708

    Only decision I've ever agreed with Obama on is going to Five Guys Burgers and Fries. I went to the one in Toledo, Ohio several years ago and I have to admit that they are the top notch burger and fries combo. Outside of that, I don't need this president in my life.

    September 3, 2013 at 1:14 am |
    • airtorn

      Yep. I am a big fan of Five Guys and after a reason move to Vegas, have also developed a taste for Smashburger.

      September 3, 2013 at 8:07 am |
      • mommajam

        5 Guys just opened a bunch of locations in Toronto area...they're expensive and not great. We'll see if they survive.

        September 3, 2013 at 9:39 am |
      • pattysboi

        We love Smashburger!

        September 3, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
  30. us_1776

    Would somebody please invent a really good veggy-burger !!


    September 2, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Bredhawk

      Go to LundsBryerlys.com for great veg burger.

      September 2, 2013 at 9:01 pm |
    • @us


      September 3, 2013 at 6:52 am |
    • Mr. X

      When you take the meat of a burger you lose the right to complain about the taste.

      September 3, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • k9zgirl

      If you can't find a good veggie burger at regular restaurant, try the A&W Veggie Burger. It's the best fast food VB I've had :)

      September 3, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
  31. Joshua Ozersky

    I'm sorry, you're all quite wrong.....

    September 2, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
    • RichardHead

      Just like the person in the above Photo--YOU have NO Credibility.

      September 2, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
  32. cali girl

    The Habit. Charburger. Fast Food not cooked in frozen hamburger. Also Salads, Chicken, Tri Tip, Tuna.
    Can't go wrong!

    September 2, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
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