The 9 Best Burgers In Boston guide image


The 9 Best Burgers In Boston

The best burgers in Boston, according to us.

Until we looked it up, we were convinced that Boston residents were still legally permitted to graze cows on the Common. Our sincerest apologies to literally every out-of-towner we’ve lied to over the past 10 years. But thankfully, you don’t need to actually have cows wandering around in the middle of your city to be a great burger town. We learned this first hand over the several months we spent eating burgers, dreaming about burgers, and eventually talking to burgers alone at bars and asking them about their hopes and dreams. The result of all that work is below, the 9 best burgers in Boston. Eat them and you’ll see why a great burger is worth losing your grip on reality a little bit.

The Burgers

Neptune Oyster

Apparently, there is literally nothing Neptune Oyster can’t do. Not content with being one of the best seafood restaurants in the world, they had to go and make a burger with a juicy patty bigger than the bun, melted cheddar, and fried oysters that, unlike a lot of gimmicky toppings, actually taste like they belong on a burger. If Neptune Oyster announces that it’s going to try to make the Olympic curling team, some people up in Minnesota better watch their backs.

If you judge your double bacon cheeseburgers by how many napkins you need to clean all the delicious burger slop from your hands when you’re done (and you should), then Roxy’s is your place. It’s a perfect cheesy mess, and, despite being a double, it’s a manageable size that doesn’t make your stomach feel like a cement truck working overtime. You can get it at either location, though we prefer to eat it in the A4Cade speakeasy in Central Square (but please, for the love of god, wipe your hands before you go play Big Buck Hunter).

The crispy wafer of parmesan that tops the secret burger at Alden & Harlow in Harvard Square is as divisive as your uncle’s Thanksgiving political takes. Some people don’t care for it, but we like it when our burger makes a sound when you bite into it. The beef blend is smoky and steaky, and the bun oozes butter. This is one of those limited-availability burgers that people sometimes wait in line for, but you can usually get it if you sit down by 7.

The burger at Drink in Fort Point takes the idea of a standard fast-food burger and just says, hey, what if it didn’t suck? So you still get a well-done patty (two of them, actually), American cheese, and a sesame seed bun. But the patties are made from Colorado wagyu beef, the bun comes from a local bakery, and the cheese mixes with black pepper mayo to make it a little sloppy, but not so much that you feel too messy to be in a place where the bartenders chip off ice from one giant, crystal clear block of ice behind the bar.

A true bar burger is simple enough to hold in one hand and wash down with the beer you’ve got in your other. But a great bar burger makes you forget about the drink altogether. That’s what you get at JM Curley in Downtown Crossing, where a juicy patty topped with Russian dressing, cheddar, onions, and pickles should be waiting for you after work at least once a month.

Maybe you don’t expect to find a great burger at an Irish pub across the street from a parking lot, but the gods of Irish pubs work in drunken, mysterious ways. This place has a ton of different burgers, but they’re all made with giant, baseball-sized patties on a sesame seed bun that somehow holds it together. The house burger comes with a slice of ham and bacon on top of a nicely seasoned patty that’s ridiculously juicy.

Mr. Bartley’s is a burger experience - a throw-back Harvard Square place with political humor on the menu, seats allegedly graced by Johnny Cash and Al Pacino, and what we’re convinced is pot smoke that’s been lingering there since 1972. There are over 30 burgers on the menu, and most of them frequently change their name (we’ve had the fried egg and bacon burger when it was called the Howard Schultz, the RuPaul, and the Caitlynn Jenner). When you’re at a greasy, sloppy place like this, you need a greasy, sloppy burger, and that’s the Triple D, a giant mess of a double cheeseburger with bacon, barbecue sauce, and fried onions that was blessed buy and then named after the god of clogged arteries and bowling shirts himself, Guy Fieri.

For a place that does most of its business with people wearing Celtics jerseys, Bruins jerseys, and whatever little kids wear to Disney On Ice (Elsa jerseys?), the beef blend at A&B Burger across from the Garden is shockingly good. You have the option to upgrade to wagyu beef with any of the ten burgers on the menu, but you shouldn’t - the juicy, slightly salty standard blend is better. You can’t go wrong with the B Burger that comes with bacon and their own in-house sauce, but if you want something a little more interesting, go with the Sweet & Salty that’s topped with burrata and fig jam.

Tasty Burger is a fast food place that lets you order the burger rare if you want to. For that reason alone, this place deserves some kind of humanitarian award from the UN. But internal temperature aside, this is close to the platonic ideal of a short-order burger - a tasty, saucy mess that you squeeze all together before chomping into and then washing down with a beer.

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photo credit: Emily Kan

The 9 Best Burgers In Boston guide image