A burger is usually just a burger. They’re mostly the same rounded, flattened meat-frisbees thrown on top of a circular mound of baked bread and topped with a tiny salad and your favorite sauce. But there are always those who are willing to strive for excellence in the exquisite art of burger-making, and --fortunately for their financial goals -- they are also willing to charge about $10 more than we expected to pay for a damn burger. However, those burgers are so damn good that we pay up every time, with pleasure. Here, Atlantans, are the best burgers currently being grilled in our great greasy city. You might want to bring a $20.
The Best Burgers in Atlanta
YEAH! BurgerAddress and Info
The “healthy” option in town is a double stack of grass-fed beef with organic American cheese, hydroponic lettuce, pickles, and caramelized onions. The uber-special YEAH! sauce tops off this burger and, if nothing else, makes sure it doesn't actually taste like health food.
Fred’s Meat & BreadAddress and Info
Krog St. Market
Chef Todd Ginsberg created the Bocado Burger Stack. He left in 2012 and opened The General Muir, where he created a new version. Now at Fred’s, one of Ginsberg’s Krog Street Market stand, you can get a faster but still delicious double-pattied burger of crisp-seared ground beef on bread from his TGM Breads company -- in four to seven minutes -- simply accented with American cheese, mayo, and bread & butter pickles.
Triple Coronary Bypass
The VortexAddress and Info
Little Five Points
The most-layered burger award is easily bestowed inside the skull. It includes three beef patties, three fried eggs, 14 slices of American cheese, 10 slices of bacon, and two grilled cheese sandwich buns. A rich basin of french fries and tater tots swims in the house cheese sauce, so make plenty of nomming room.
Wrecking Bar Burger
Wrecking Bar BrewpubAddress and Info
The fact that you’re eating a burger in a place that brews its own beer is alluring enough, but let’s talk about the signature burger. It’s made using grass-fed beef from Southeast Family Farms (a network of generational GA farmers organized by beef purveyor Halperns’), whose juiciness and flavor mix perfectly with shreds of iceberg lettuce, vine-ripe tomatoes, fontal cheese, mustard, and dill pickle. If this sounds perfect as is, just wait until they add the bacon slices.
Cowboy Style burger
Grindhouse Killer BurgersAddress and Info
The house grind of dry-aged chuck and brisket is almost hidden beneath the slabs of other stuff like cheddar cheese, thick-cut bacon, and thick-cut, golden-brown Vidalia onions rings. Oh, and if that's not enough, they put BBQ sauce on there, too.
Muss & Turner’sAddress and Info
The way the white cheddar cheese lays between the shiny French bun, atop a single 6oz patty of Aberdeen Angus beef that’s grilled on a Big Green Egg reminds you of the security blanket you grew up clinging to for happiness in your youth. Then you feel the burn of the poblano pepper underneath the beef, which is coolly balanced by a layer of cilantro aioli. And you realize you’re a grown-up, and even happier with life than you were as a kid. This is the burger of adulthood.
One Eared StagAddress and Info
The name is, well, interesting... but the flavor of this surreptitious lunch-only burger is what really arouses your tastebuds. The bun is from Alon’s, the two patties are made of 80% pastured Oregon beef and 20% Iowa-farmed bacon, and… well, do you really need more detail? How about this: the menu doesn’t even tell you what it is. It just says “meatstick, fries 12.” Order it, and get a healthy serving of satisfaction in your mouth.
Bocado burger stack
BocadoAddress and Info
The Westside’s best burger is something you need to experience: house-made mayo and American cheese set the stage; two 3oz patties of brisket, chuck, and short rib are the stars; and a next-level bun and pile of butter pickles, the encore.
Grass-fed beef burger
Miller UnionAddress and Info
Between the sesame seed-speckled buns of chef Steven Satterfield’s lunchtime-only carnivorous creation is melted sharp cheddar, smoked ketchup, lettuce, tomato, aioli, and the sustainably raised local (White Oak Pastures) ground chuck that gave it the nickname “The Daily Grind,” which you should care about, even though you don’t, because it’s so damn good that you’d eat it if the cow was raised in a BDSM dungeon.
H & F BurgerAddress and Info
Ponce City Market
It was only a matter of time before Linton Hopkins realized that the bar-only burger served at Holeman & Finch was big enough to be a solo act. Now, with its own PCM burger stand, ATL’s most famous griddled double cheeseburger -- which in some ways inspired almost everything that came after it, like Nas’ first album -- is much easier to stuff your face with. They get it out to you in under 10 minutes, and it’s still high-quality, with the perfectly sized, butter-toasted H&F Bread Co. buns, house-made ketchup, mustard, and pickles. It’s definitely still the champ.
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1. YEAH! Burger1168 Howell Mill Rd, Atlanta
2. Fred's Meat & Bread99 Krog St NE, Atlanta
3. The Vortex438 Moreland Ave NE, Atlanta
4. Wrecking Bar Brewpub292 Moreland Ave, Atlanta
5. Grindhouse Killer Burgers1842 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta
6. Muss & Turner's1675 Cumberland Pkwy, Atlanta
7. One Eared Stag1029 Edgewood Ave, Atlanta
8. Bocado887 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta
9. Miller Union999 Brady Ave, Atlanta
10. H&F Burger675 Ponce de Leon Ave NE, Atlanta
YEAH!, the fast-casual burger brainchild of local culinary star Shaun Doty and his buddy Lil' Jon Erik Maier, lets you custom-rig natural and organic meats, breads, sauces, and cheeses into a beautiful burger of your own. You can go as simple as you want with a grass-fed beef patty and the usual lettuce and tomato add-ons, or go off the deep-end with a bison patty topped with pimento cheese, hot relish, onion rings and bacon. Point is: the options are endless and the choice is yours.
With freshly baked bread from nearby The General Muir, Fred's serves up some of the best deli sandwiches and burgers in Atlanta from Inman's Park's Krog Market. Whether you stick to something classic like a hand-pressed bacon cheeseburger or opt for something a little more adventurous like the 'Shroom Shire Cheesesteak or an Oyster Po Boy, it'll go perfectly with a cup full of hot, light, and crispy fries (with ranch or bbq seasoning, preferably).
This sibling-owned bar and restaurant in Little Five Points is a self-proclaimed "Official Idiot-Free Zone," and they're notorious for kicking out rude or high-maintenance customers to create a laid-back and fun crowd (they're usually pretty young, too). It's hard to imagine why anyone here would be picky with their food when they've got such a massive selection of whopping, diverse signature burgers like the Hawaiian-themed Freaky Tiki and the Holy Guacamole (self-explanatory), along with a hefty selection of local draft beers (and beer cocktails), cocktails and shooters.
Founded by a home-brewing couple and located in the basement of Little Five Points' historic Victor H. Kriegshaber House, Wrecking Bar Brewpub is an award-winning neighborhood staple serving up a diverse range of approachable, comforting beers like the Sow Your Wild Oatmeal Porter, the pine-flavored Spruce Juice Pale Ale, and the bright, fruity Partition Rustic Urban Ale. Beers aside, Wrecking Bar Brewpub's also upheld for its house burgers, made with grass-fed beef and all the fixings.
Grindhouse Killer Burgers is kind of like the reading a 'Choose Your Own Adventure' book, but it's better because there's food involved. Orders are customized from scratch from the meat (beef/turkey/veggie) to the size of the patties to the toppings (of which there are a dozen), but if you aren't feeling creative, there are a handful of burger "styles," like the Hillbilly with brisket chili and the bleu cheese-heavy Yankee. A lot of folks drop by and get theirs to go, but they miss out on the kung fu movies that are always playing on the flatscreen tvs.
Born of two friends in Smyrna's food service industry, Muss & Turners is an sleek yet down-to-earth deli and bistro serving up stacked sandwiches and burgers in the afternoon and fresh grilled meats at night. The burger's got melty cheddar cheese and roasted poblano peppers, and cilantro aioli, and the sandwiches come topped with "things that east grass," "things that swim," and "things with wings." The impressive selection of spirits, wines by the glass, bottled and draft beer ensure you'll find something to pair with them just fine.
Inman Park's One Eared Stag is a cozy neighborhood gastropub serving American and British bar bites for lunch, brunch, and dinner. The heads of several (literally) One Eared Stags mount the walls of the dining room, which offers communal and bar seating. The backyard patio is a solid spot to post up with a whiskey in hand.
First and foremost, Bocado's burger -- made with two patties of blended short rib, brisket, and ground chuck -- is one of the best in ATL. However, the modern and minimalist Westside restaurant serves a variety of contemporary dishes, like deviled eggs, a decadent grilled cheese and bacon sandwich, and fried chicken. The menu changes often, as do the beer options.
Miller Union prides itself on simple preparation and fresh, rustic ingredients. Stop in for griddled chicken with farro, duck breast with sauteed corn, or a low-country shrimp boil with corn, andouille sausage, potatoes, and peppers.
H&F Burger might have a sleek and minimal appearance on the inside, but it's menu looks more like what you'd find at an old-school diner type of restaurant. You've got relatively few options, but you rarely need them -- you know you're getting the Original Burger with a double beef patty, bread and butter pickles, red onion and melted American cheese. If you're feeling playful you'll add some bacon, avocado, or a fried egg. A chocolate shake or root beer float pairs nicely, but not nearly as well as a draft or bottle from their small beer selection.