Hope everyone had a great weekend and has a even greater week.
Ahhh, yes, burgers breed controversy. We had a feeling there would be grumbling, and we did our best to document our approach, include a broad range of contenders, and rate joints on an apples to apples basis given their menus. We decided to skip chains and focus on local independents. Yes, the Vortex is borderline, as they have two locations. We kept them in given their long history and reputation. Frankly, I don't think any of the other chains mentioned above would have come close to the crown here in any case.
To address a few of the rational questions posed in the comments:
Wesley and others who asked similar questions... we did attempt to keep a level playing field, ordering the most basic burger on the menu everywhere (except Anne's, we couldn't go to Anne's and not get the ghetto burger, which is pretty much universally recognized as the thing to order there). The only places that this really posed an issue at were Muss & Turner's (with their poblano pepper) and General Muir (with their pastrami). But at both of those places, those are the most basic burgers on the menu. It's a fair critique that we could have gone to the General Muir at lunch and gotten their lunch burger without pastrami. It would still be up there at the top. (and personally, I actually docked Muss & Turner and the General Muir a bit for their toppings! The poblano pepper can overpower the meat and cheese at M&T, and the pastrami can do the same at GM). In any case, it was definitely NOT the toppings at General Muir that catapulted them to their narrow victory (H&F beat them out in that category, with nothing superfluous).
As for the many folks who mentioned Illegal's Hank burger. 100% agreed - it is an awesome burger. But as of this time, it's not a burger you can get in Atlanta, so we took it out.
Lynn, It is now renovated & open!
Sorry, I have better things to do between 8 and 10 pm than wait for a burger.
Also, can someone explain why there wasn't even an attempt to have all of the burgers with the same toppings? Who orders a plain burger from the Vortex?
Meat is murder! The hipster neo-liberals driving their smart car or biking in green fashion to perpetuate the murder of innocent animals.
God save our planet!
This list and article is completely bogus, trying to pick the top burger in a food city like Atlanta is completely subjective to the (alleged) judges. Personally, leaving out places like Burger Joy, The Shed, There Bar just goes to prove my point. I believe a more credible list should go "hood by hood," Best Burger in L5P Vortex, Best Burger Midtown, Highland Tap, Best Burger Brookhaven There Bar, Best Burger West Midtown Bocado ect... I've had the burger at Gen Muir, not bad, but the Bocado burger blows it away (created by same person too), The H&F? Really? It's all circus hype, not that great of a burger at all. Bison burger at There? Hell yes, one of the best. Muss & Turners? Hell yes, one of the best. Kaleidoscope? You better believe it's one of the best. Get the point? There are a lot of excellent burgers in this city, and not necessarily on this list either.
Yep, we excluded a few things--Illegal Food being the most obvious. Here's my list so far, the final 7 are the ones I have yet to sample. It's clear for me that it's the mix, followed by the bun, followed by cooking temperature. The Hank is beautiful, but the Bocado double stack is a little crispy from the griddle and I've learned to really like that. Note here, IF is far from dead and the okonomiyaki fries are the best side I've ever had. For now, I'm going to pass on Ann's, not sure I could follow the rules or enjoy the glop. For the record, one place I really like, but maybe doesn't have the top burger is Lucky's Burger and Brew in Roswell--it's dog friendly and my burger was excellent. It wouldn't be hard to have the best at home as long as you grind your own mix. I also include some places with more than one store. Farm Burger has all local sourcing and may have the freshest "beefy flavor."
2. Illegal Food
3. Farm Burger
4. Muss and Turners
5. Holman and Finch
6. General Muir
7. The Albert
8. Grindhouse Killer
9. Yeah Burger
11. U.S. Café
12. Flip Burger
13. Little’s Food Store
1. Miller Union – Grass-fed Beef Burger
2. Pinewood – Pinewood Cheeseburger
3. Red-Eyed Mule – Jake’s Sloppy Slaw Burger
4. Moxie – Moxie Burger
5. Argosy – Plancha
6. One Eared Stag – Meatstick
7. Steinbeck’s Ale House – Double-Double
Look, it's FOOD, so we're going to have reasonable differences of opinion, right? My only hard stances are on Vortex--glorified pub burger with a cool atmosphere and lots of tricky add-ons. Awards are mostly history from pre-other choice era. I also think Flip barely makes a burger with all its tricks and their burgers are that flavorful, either.
The Ghetto burger does have chili. The difference with the Hood burger is the inclusion of slaw.
Why didn't you go to Cypress Street Pint and Plate and get the Sublime Burger??? THAT is the best burger...
PS this is in Candler Park, not Inman Park. The menu is not always Japanese. They feature different cuisines each week.
Thank goodness for the new hours at Spice to Table! I've never understood why so many restaurants in this neighborhood stay open until 5:00, and then shut their doors just as so many of us are getting home and deciding what to do for dinner.
Can anyone explain why restaurateurs think it makes sense to be open from 2:00 to 5:00 PM, but closed for the dinner hours? Is there really any traffic (or, at least, enough to be profitable) after 2:00, but before dinner?
Man, Burger Joy is gross. Maybe I just got the wrong thing. Did yall get "The Cockroach Burger", "The Greazy toejam special", or "The Vomit Inducer with cheese"?
@HeatherR - Illegal Food was asked to leave Joystick, but their intention is to get back up and running asap.
@Smitty - It is the QUALITY of the beef that makes the burger. And then you have the blend of meat (there must be enough fat to keep it juicy), the seasoning and the temperature the burger is cooked at. These things are key.
Also, if i were you, I'd refrain from eating the "cheapest" meat you find at the supermarket. Think about it...
I think that Burger Joy, H Harper, There, Kaleidoscope and The Shed all should, at the very least, been given an honorable mention. BTW, I thought I heard that Ilegal had closed.
But what about the sliders from the Shed at Glenwood?
Only burger on the list I have had is the H&F Burger, wasn't impressed.
Burgers are so cheap, fast, and easy to make.
75-85% lean ground beef is one of the cheapest meat products at the grocery store. Certainly the cheapest cow meat.
I just don't get the glamorization of the product.
I like mine cooked fast and hot on a gas grill with a blazing grease fire.
The vortex has amazing burgers and besides my house that's where I go for a burger in ATL. Fuck being hip, voted Atlanta's best Burgers several years in a row speaks for itself!!! BOSS
The reviewers sound like they're trying out for a PG-13 Food Network gig. And to the editor of the piece, thanks for the inclusion of Todd Brock's fuck and shit, classy food sites, take notice of CL's new standards. You need to up your game.
Illegal Food's #1 Zagat rated burger, The Hank dominates ALL these burgers! I've heard they are going to be popping up around town again soon. I cannot wait, they've ruined me for burgers!!
Illegal food tops all lists
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