Food & Drink

The best burger in 18 Boston neighborhoods

Published On 08/06/2014 Published On 08/06/2014
Best Burger by Neighborhood BOS
Craigie on Main
The Bristol Lounge
The Gallows
Grass Fed
Eastern Standard
Lincoln Tavern
KO Catering & Pies
Ashmont Grill
JM Curley
Lineage
Five Horses Tavern
Jennifer Che
Craigie on Main
Jacqueline Dole
Bronwyn
Little Foodie Dude
RF O' Sullivan & Son
Wahlburgers
Barbara Lynch Gruppo
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1. The Bristol 200 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116 (Back Bay)

Housed inside the Four Seasons, the Bristol offers fine dining with even finer floor-to-ceiling views of the Public Garden. This posh space is serving everything from gourmet salads to house-aged steaks to delicate New England scallops. The highlight of the menu, though, is the Bristol Burger. An 8oz patty topped with Vermont cheddar, lettuce, Bermuda onion, tomato slices, and the lounge’s own pickles, it's simple, tender, and one of the best burgers in the city.

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2. The Gallows 1395 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118 (South End)

Although its name is morbid, this South End spot is anything but. Rowdy groups flock in numbers for classic and craft cocktails, drafts, and a small sampling of wine. Those who aren't taking advantage of the dinner menu full of poutine plates that are near impossible to finish yourself, smokey bbq ribs, and the best burgers in Boston are at a severe loss, but so long as they aren't summoning spirits with the Ouija board on the back wall, we suppose it's ok.

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3. Grass Fed 605 Centre St, Boston, MA 02130 (Jamaica Plain)

As its name suggest, this place is a burger joint. But before you pigeon hole it, just know that they also dole out sammies, hotdogs, and probably the most overlooked/underrated item, adult milkshakes(!) with flavors like Salted Caramel and Banana's Foster Parent.

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4. Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant 425 W Broadway, South Boston, MA 02127 (South Boston)

A modern, yet classic American pub in Southie, Lincoln Tavern whips up decadent dishes like bacon and butternut squash pizza, oven braised short ribs with truffled mac 'n' cheese, and, for brunch, a memorable smoked prime rib hash. To wash it all down, make sure to check out the 40+ bottles/drafts, creative cocktail selection, or (if you're really thirsty) the 1.5 liter prosecc o "Bucket of Bubbles."

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5. KO Pies at the Shipyard 256 Marginal St, East Boston, MA 02128 (East Boston)

East Boston might have substantially fewer kangaroos than Australia, but at least KO Pies at the Shipyard has you covered if you're looking for some grub from down under. Also, they also stock grocery items like Tim Tams, Milo, and yes, Vegemite.

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6. Ashmont Grill 555 Talbot Ave, Dorchester, MA 02124 (Dorchester)

This neighborhood grill joint boasts a sweet patio and fresh takes on American classics.

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7. JM Curley 21 Temple Pl, Boston, MA 02111 (Downtown Crossing)

"Just don't be a douchebag," reads one of the etiquette guidelines on the wall at this hip Downtown Crossing eatery, setting the scene for its no-nonsense approach to enjoying yourself over brews and burgers. An all-brick outfit reminiscent of a Prohibition speakeasy, JM Curley dishes out chef-driven takes on charcuterie boards, duck poutine, and -- most notably -- the house burger featuring homemade "pop's Russian" dressing. Prices run cheap for the tourist-heavy part of town it resides in -- and that goes for the specialty cocktails and domestic craft beers on tap, too.

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8. Lineage 242 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446 (Coolidge Corner)

This Brookline establishment serves up a frequently rotating menu of fresh seafood treats -- do yourself a favor and try the lobster tacos.

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9. Five Horses Tavern 400 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02144 (Davis)

Because the only curses that matter are the ones hatefully screamed at Nick Swisher whenever he's on deck at Fenway, the dude behind Five Horses Tavern is opening his bar in the jinxed space that formerly housed Sagra, Sauce, and 400 Highland, hoping that 116 brews, a full bourbon bar, and an eclectic lineup of globally inspired fare will help him succeed where others have failed.

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10. Alden & Harlow 40 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138 (West Cambridge)

Alden & Harlow, located in Harvard Square, is serving inventive American cuisine from a constantly changing menu. Aside from unique small plates like chicken-fried rabbit and pickled corn pancakes, the kitchen makes an understated but decadent burger, simply dressed with shredded lettuce, a secret sauce, and a crisp frico. The semi-secret burger is available in limited quantities, so don't be surprised to see people lining up at 5pm for it.

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11. Craigie on Main 853 Main St, Cambridge, MA 02139 (Central Square)

Chef and owner Tony Maws' Craigie on Main serves French-accented bistro food in Central Square. The à la carte and tasting menus are constantly changing with exciting new dishes, but one signature remains: The Burger. The half-pound patty blends brisket, short rib, bone marrow, and suet into one unforgettable burger that reached peak food fame when it graced the cover of Bon Appétit.

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12. West Bridge One Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA 02139 (Kendall Square)

Housed in the historic former Boston Woven Hose & Rubber Factory and sporting the original name of the Longfellow Bridge, WB's the inaugural eat/drinkery from a couple of Aquitaine alums who wanted to sling tasty 'tails alongside a lineup of modern French sustenance with "a New England perspective" -- so be prepared for your food to grumble suspiciously about this year's unseasonably mild Winter.

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13. Bronwyn 255 Washington St, Somerville, MA 02143 (Union Square)

This cozy Union Square restaurant serves up modern twists on traditional and authentic German fare (borscht, massive bretzels, every wurst imaginable). And, in true German fashion, Bronwyn offers dozens of beers (by the liter, boot or bucket) from all over central Europe and New England. Owner Tim Wiechmann was aiming to imitate the atmosphere of a European dive or hostel with this location, and he totally nailed it with its nearly medeival look (dark, heavy wooden tables, worn-leather bar stools, rustic red and blue walls).

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14. Neptune Oyster 63 Salem St, Boston, MA 02113 (North End)

Bivalves are king at Neptune Oyster, a popular seafood counter in the North End. The menu is classically New England but a variety of seafood-based recipes come out of the kitchen, from cioppino and fried Ipswich clams to fish & chips and Basque-peppered Spanish octopus. Served two ways, the lobster roll is an award-winning signature, and though it's prepared the typical way with mayonnaise, the hot butter option is the way to go. Neptune draws hoards of seafood-craving hopefuls to its Salem St. storefront on weekend afternoons and evenings, so be prepared to traverse the neighborhood while you wait for your coveted seat at the marble bar.

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15. R. F. O'Sullivan & Son Pub 282 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143 (Somerville)

Sure, this dive has a full menu of pub-style food like fish & chips and rib tips, but what R.F. O'Sullivan truly specializes in is juicy, portion-defying burgers. Each half-pound burger takes upwards of 20 minutes to prep and cook, but your patience will be rewarded. There are a dizzying amount of combos, from the blue cheese Black & Blue (with French fries and onion rings) to the avocado-and-Swiss Cape Codder. Wash it all down with a whipped cream-topped root beer float.

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16. Wahlburgers 19 Shipyard Dr, Hingham, MA 02043 (South Shore)

Wahlburgers, the upscale burger joint from bros Mark, Donnie, and Paul (chef/owner of Alma Nove), slings all-natural beef burgers, hot dogs, and (sometimes alcoholic!) frappes. The 120-seat space also boasts an oak-top bar, fireplace, enclosed patio, flatscreens, and more Wahlberg memorabilia per square inch than your 7th-grade GF's bedroom.

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17. Drink 348 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210 (Fort Point Channel)

Don't expect to order off the drink menu here -- it doesn't exist. Drink is manned by barkeeps who craft cocktails based on your flavor preferences (sweet, sour, something on fire, etc), and the custom elixirs, coupled with an industrial, Edison bulb-strung interior, will make you feel as if you're at an exclusive underground party. There is a food menu, however, where bar bites like thick-cut french fries served with malt vinegar aioli pair well with a wagyu beef cheeseburger. The kitchen used to flip just 15 burgers every night, but lucky for you, that's a thing of the past.

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18. Eastern Standard 528 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215 (Fenway Kenmore)

A Comm Ave restaurant with the appearance of a swanky French bistro, the menu of a five-star Italian restaurant, and the attitude of a local pub, Eastern Standard is an unpretentious offering of the finer things in life. The upscale menu touts a winding wine list, a raw bar, seared fishes, steaks, and house-made pasta while the matching interior flaunts a polished mahogany and red velvet motif.