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
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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.
Really? You post a review by Richard Head? Aha
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
Sonic cheeseburger, nuf said...
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 :)
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?
The best burger is the one you make yourself, with your choice of meat and toppings, cooked to your own specifications.
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.
DADS route 20 in Auburn, MA – the best burgers in the world!
EL CORRAL in Colombia are the best hamburgers of het WORLD
You burger snobs are all over the place. Gimme a good ol' White Castle any day. Quick, cheap, and damn good!
Only one word to describe that: Ewww.
The Vortex in Atlanta has my all time favorite burgers.
I'll take a Kroger supermarket frozen beef patty any day over these snobby hippie chick places.
That's spelled c-h-i-c
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!
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!
Green chile cheeseburger at Owl Bar and Cafe in San Antonio, New Mexico
Double meat, double cheese Whataburger with extra onions and jalapenos.
Red Robin's Buffalo burger is pretty darn good.
don't rule out au cheval. it was amazing! Love meat, this is the place for you.
COMPLAINT TO THE CHILDREN OF OBAMA, NICOLAS MATURE, CRISTINA KIRCHNER, AND KINGS EUROPEANS RUSEF DILMA INCLUDING THE PRINCE OF SPAIN.
CLAIM OF DOLLARS EACH 1,000,000 TELOMER DAMAGED.
BILL BUSH, CLINTON AND OBAMA CNN EDIENDO JOURNALISTS.
OTHER TEXTS THAT WE ARE NOT ALLOWING POST.
WE DO FOR THESE TEXTS ATRA-IEZAN PROGRAMMING LINES.
September 3, 2013 at 11:52 am | Reply
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.
Wendy's, nuf said.
Diablo Burger in Flagstaff, AZ – the one true burger!
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!!
Anyone who thinks McDonald's is a good place to eat must not know what food is supposed to taste like.
No one over the age of 7 thinks McDonald's is good.
Eh, wrong answer.
"I pity the fool that does not like Hardees bacon cheese burgers!"
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
Corner Bistro NYC 14th and Jane Sts. Greatest burger ever!!!
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.
Yep. I am a big fan of Five Guys and after a reason move to Vegas, have also developed a taste for Smashburger.
5 Guys just opened a bunch of locations in Toronto area...they're expensive and not great. We'll see if they survive.
We love Smashburger!
Would somebody please invent a really good veggy-burger !!
Go to LundsBryerlys.com for great veg burger.
When you take the meat of a burger you lose the right to complain about the taste.
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 :)
I'm sorry, you're all quite wrong.....
Just like the person in the above Photo--YOU have NO Credibility.
The Habit. Charburger. Fast Food not cooked in frozen hamburger. Also Salads, Chicken, Tri Tip, Tuna.
Can't go wrong!
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