Where the Wild Things Grow
The burgers at Ann's snack bar, some of the best in Atlanta, could qualify the Kirkwood spot as the eighth wonder of the world. The voluptuous, hand-pressed Ghetto Burgers bring chili sauce, bacon, a super-secret seasoning, fat pieces of onion, and fried bacon together in a burger that's admittedly difficult to eat but so worth the mess (you've just gotta dive right into this one). There isn't ample seating, but after a short wait you can sit along the bar and watch it get made right in front of you, which, trust us, will work up an appetite large enough to tackle it on your own.
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.
Crime doesn't pay, but it does eat. Specifically: late-night jelly-filled doughnut burgers at O4W's Illegal Food housed inside Joystick Gamebar.
Bocado's burger -- two patties of blended short rib, brisket, and ground chuck, topped with American cheese and butter pickles -- is one of the best in Atlanta. You may very well come here for the burger but end up more than satisfied with the rest of the contemporary dishes, like deviled eggs that'll rival your grandmother's, a grilled cheese & bacon sandwich that's near impossible to recreate at home, and a lobster roll special that'll transport you to Cape Cod on first bite.
Let's be honest: you're coming to this contemporary gastropub for the famous Holeman & Finch cheeseburger, which, you should know, is now permanently on the menu, day and night (it used to be a secret of which only the lucky few knew, exclusively served when the clock struck 10pm). One of the best in the country, it's a double patty on a house-made bun with melty cheese, pickles, onions, and a side of fries. They have other quality dishes like shrimp & grits and lamb sweetbreads, but seriously, order the burger.