There is something about biting into a great hamburger that can simply make your day, whether you like it simple or with any combination of experimental condiments and toppings (peanut butter, fried eggs, sushi—even roasted duck meat, which we weren't aware was a condiment until we hard about Block & Grinder).
So how do you pick the "best" hamburgers in a city like Charlotte? We figured the guys at the Charlotte Burger Blog might have a thing or two to say about burgers in the Queen City. Patrick and Gio, known on their blog as Hereford and Angus, respectively, weighed in and said that to truly pick the best burgers, you would have to eat every burger in town, and even they haven't done that (yet).
"Then you have to recognize that a burger is an ever-evolving art form, and any two burgers can be so hard to compare," they wrote. Still, people ask them where to get the best burgers in town. So, "these are our best burgers, and by 'best' we mean really, really good; honestly, some of our favorites."
In no particular order, these are their picks:
The Peter Piper
Find it: Moo & Brew
One of Charlotte’s newest burger restaurants, Moo & Brew, grew out of an annual festival with the same name, celebrating—you guessed it—burgers and beer. This burger joint by the railroad tracks in Plaza-Midwood focuses on great ingredients and affordable prices. "The Peter Piper is a devil of a burger," the bloggers wrote, "topped with jalapeno bacon firecrackers that are hot and smoky and packed with flavor. It’s a relentlessly spicy burger, but especially rewarding." While you're there, try the Large Marge, a bloody mary topped with an angus burger, onion rings, bacon and more—and it comes with a shot of Miller High Life. 1300 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205; 980.585.4148
Find it: Bang Bang Burgers
Speaking of the Moo & Brew Festival, Bang Bang Burgers won the title of “Best Burger” the last two years there, and deservedly so. The (not so) secret to Bang Bang’s burger is perfectly seasoned Pat LaFrieda beef that they ship from New York to Charlotte. "High-quality beef prepared perfectly is a thing of beauty," the guys report. "The Seoul burger is inspired by chef-owner Joseph Huang’s Korean heritage and features fried kimchi and pickled cucumbers, which give it an intense, in-your-face, kick." 2001 E. 7th Street, Suite D, Charlotte, NC 28204; 704.375.4505
Find it: South 21
Drive down Independence Boulevard toward the city skyline, and just before you get to the old Coliseum you’ll see a giant flashing arrow sign—that would be South 21. Many burger restaurants try to evoke the vibe of 50’s drive-ins by putting up pictures of Elvis and playing sock-hop music. South 21, however, is the real thing. Since 1955, it has been walking out classic American fare straight to your car. "The Super Boy is two thin patties charred to perfection, topped with tomatoes, mustard, lettuce and a pickle. It’s fast food for foodies." 3101 East Independence Blvd.; 704.377.4509
The Hunka, Hunka
Find it: The Cowfish
The Cowfish is a delightful combination of hamburgers and sushi. This place—right by South Park mall—"takes food seriously, without ever taking themselves too seriously." Here, you’ll find a lot of cheeky combinations and mash-ups. "The Cowfish has so many inventive burger options, but our favorite is the Hunka, Hunka. Inspired by Elvis, this comes with peanut butter, fried bananas and bacon." Like the King himself, it’s a classic. 4310 Sharon Rd., X05, Charlotte, NC 28211; 704.365.1922
Find it: Block & Grinder
Block & Grinder is an amalgamation of a high-end restaurant and a high-end butcher shop. They take their meat seriously, and it shows: they grind and smoke everything in-house in the Cotswold neighborhood. This is the place to go in Charlotte if you’re a fan of wild game meat. As for the burgers, they’re designed so the meat is the star and nothing detracts from it. It has no lettuce, tomato, or onion—just meat and bread. "You’ll be surprised at how that will be all you really need. If you want, though, you can get other toppings, including fried duck egg, roasted bone marrow, and Hudson Valley foie gras." 2935 Providence Rd., Charlotte, NC 28211; 704.364.2100