Whether you're chowing down on an all-beef patty or keeping it plant-based with a veggie option, burgers are kind of a menu staple at casual outposts and even fancier dining rooms. Here are some of the best spots in Boston to grab a classic or creative burger.
Bred Gourmet is currently only open for pick up or delivery, but the weather's getting nicer! Take it for a picnic! Burgers here are very affordable and usually come in between $10-$14 for specialty options. "Somewhere In Wisconsin" (not a typo) uses grass-fed beef topped with pig candy (think candied bacon), caramelized onions, cheddar, maple-bourbon aioli on a brioche bun. Skip the red meat and get the salmon burger made with jerk wild Alaskan salmon, crispy onions and tartar sauce on a potato bun. Head to the opposite side of the US with "Maui." It's grass-fed beef topped with tangy sliced pineapple, smoked ham, sweet plantains, crispy onions, a kick of habanero pepper jack cheese and BBQ sauce.
Boston Burger Company
Everything at Boston Burger Company is big. The "Freak Frappes" are so large the toppings tower over the glass and the burgers are no less grandly appointed. There are 31 mountainous burger choices including a build-your-own option. The "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" is topped with pulled pork, mac and cheese, onion rings and then drenched in BBQ sauce. It's a messy, two-hand meat tower. "Sophie" mixes sweet and savory with toppings like prosciutto, candied walnuts, goat cheese, fig jam, and a balsamic reduction. No self-respecting Boston burger joint would miss the chance to honor Big Papi. His eponymous burger gets topped with smoked bacon, a griddled hot dog, fried egg, guac, lettuce, tomato, pickled onions and Papi sauce.
Are you looking for a modern, neighborhood fast food joint? Look no further than Tasty Burger, a favorite local spot that teamed up with Fenway to be the Official Burger of the Boston Red Sox from 2014-2020. There are now four locations around the city in addition to the original Fenway establishment. Of course, you can't go wrong with "The Original Tasty," but there are plenty of signature burgers that keep things interesting. "Mushroom" has sautéed mushrooms (naturally), cheese, steak sauce and truffle oil. The "Veggie" uses a vegan-friendly patty topped with guacamole, greens, red onion, and tomato. There are tons of delicious add-ons like bacon, gluten-free buns or dairy-free buns.
R. F. O'Sullivan & Son
If you ask any Sommerville local where to get the best burger around, they'll tell you to head straight for R. F. O'Sullivan & Son. Each half-pound burger is made with fresh-ground sirloin, and the pub grills up 400 pounds of burger every week! Such massive burgers take a while to cook but are well worth the wait. There are 28 different ways to celebrate National Burger Day on this menu. The "Black and Blue" burger is a great place to start with black pepper and creamy blue cheese and comes with half fries and half onion rings (but that's twice the win). The "Dirty Bird" is right for someone who just woke up topped with a fried egg and BBQ sauce. Can't get enough cheese on your burger? The "Three Cheese" lets you pick three of your favorites for the gooiest burger around.
Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage
Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage is a Harvard Square institution and a favorite with students. The Bartley family transformed a spa into a grill in 1960, and soon the news spread about the incredible fare. Three generations have kept the place going, and they perennially win "Best of Boston" accolades from The Boston Globe. There are 18 specialty burgers on the menu, and many have topical names. Get "The Vaccine" with bacon, ghost pepper jack, mac and cheese and fries. Two weeks after your second dose, go back for "Herd Immunity" with blue cheese dressing, crumbled bacon, spinach, red onion balsamic and onion rings. Of course, no Boston eatery would forgo an opportunity to reference the GOAT, and the "Tom Brady" delivers with cheddar, guac, tomato, red onions and fries.