Hamburgers: they’re so delicious, if the Hamburglar were to ever get caught, no jury would convict him. And in Charleston, we take them up a notch, with pretty much every restaurant in town making its own next-level version. Here are the dozen best burgers in the Holy City:
The Husk Burger
HuskAddress and Info
King St Historic District
The burger at Husk consistently tops lists of great burgers in Charleston (and America) because of its pure, delicious simplicity. Two Benton’s bacon-infused ground beef patties sit upon a house-made buttermilk & benne seed bun, topped with American cheese, diced white onions, bread & butter pickles, and a special sauce (and lettuce and tomato, when they’re in season). Very nearly the dictionary definition of a good burger, this is truly a work of art.
Poe’s TavernAddress and Info
Make the trek out to Sullivan’s Island and you’ll find one of Charleston’s best burger joints -- Poe’s Tavern. People flock to the little house on Middle St for its fat half-pound beef pucks and delectable toppings on a brioche bun. The Amontillado is topped with guacamole, jalapeño Jack cheese, pico de gallo, and chipotle sour cream, and it’s perfect for those who like their burgers with a little kick.
The Halls Chophouse Burger
Halls ChophouseAddress and Info
Found on the restaurant’s bar menu, Chef Matthew Niessner crafts the Halls Chophouse Burger with 10oz house prime ground beef (direct from the Allen Brothers out of Chicago) and cheddar cheese, then serves it with a generous helping of Parmesan truffle fries.
Charleston Sports PubAddress and Info
Tucked into an unassuming strip mall in West Ashley, Charleston Sports Pub is something of a diamond in the rough. The menu is loaded with winners, but the Southerner burger is the shining star; it starts with a buttered bun and a seasoned half-pound of ground beef, and then gets some house-made pimento cheese, peach jam, and crispy bacon. You’ll love how the sweetness of the peach jam perfectly complements the creaminess of the pimento cheese (trust us).
The B&B Burger
Butcher & BeeAddress and Info
Everything Butcher & Bee touches seems to turn to gold, and its burger is no different. It’s a simple take on the classic with two patties, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and secret sauce.
The California Burger
Coleman Public HouseAddress and Info
The California Burger from Coleman is topped with Monterey Jack cheese, pecan-smoked bacon, avocado, tomato, alfalfa sprouts, and creamy Dijon dressing (and add a couple of jalapeños if you’re feeling it). It’s a perpetual favorite among locals at this Mount Pleasant staple.
Sesame Burgers & BeerAddress and Info
This sucker would make Elvis proud. The house-ground beef is topped with healthy servings of homemade peanut butter and sliced banana, which come together in an unexpectedly delicious way. Try it with a side of fries and homemade ketchup. This spot's got a number of unique burger creations on the menu and will even do a trio of sliders for those of you who are indecisive.
The Eye Opener
Moe’s Crosstown TavernAddress and Info
The guys at Moe’s know that putting an egg on anything instantly makes it a breakfast item, so for those of you who want an excuse to eat a burger at 9am, the Eye Opener is for you. In addition to the fried egg, the hand-pattied ground chuck burger is topped with cheddar cheese and bacon to round out the experience.
The AlleyAddress and Info
Prepare for New England on a bun -- this 6oz patty is topped with sharp white cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, thinly sliced Granny Smith apple, maple mayo, and arugula and is probably unlike anything you’ve ever tasted before.
Two Boroughs Burger
Two Boroughs LarderAddress and Info
Available only on Wednesdays, the Two Boroughs Burger is a cult classic. This double-patty number is topped with Mornay cheese sauce, bacon, and bread & butter pickles, then stuffed in a bun from local bakery, Brown’s Court.
French dip burger
Tavern & TableAddress and Info
This is what it would look like if a cheeseburger and a French dip sandwich had a baby. The house-ground patties are prepared daily and comprised of Angus chuck, brisket, and short rib. It’s all then deliciously topped with white cheddar, tomato jam, candied shallots, and a Parmesan crisp.
The Barony Burger
Barony TavernAddress and Info
King St Historic District
Found on Chef Robert Carter’s lunch/tavern menu, the Barony Burger is a restaurant signature, made with aged cheddar, bacon, and green goddess aioli (made w/ sour cream, herbs, and avo), then served on a lightly toasted brioche bun.
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1. Barony Tavern68 Wentworth Street, Charleston
2. Husk76 Queen St, Charleston
3. Poe's Tavern2210 Middle St, Sullivans Island
4. Hall's Chophouse434 King St, Charleston
5. Charleston Sports Pub1124 Sam Rittenberg Blvd, Charleston
6. Butcher & Bee654 King St, Charleston
7. Coleman Public House Resturant & Tap Room427 W Coleman Blvd, Mt. Pleasant
8. Sesame Burgers & Beer2070 Sam Rittenberg Blvd, Charleston
9. Moe's Crosstown Tavern714 Rutledge Ave, Charleston
10. The Alley131 Columbus St, Charleston
11. Two Boroughs Larder186 Coming St, Charleston
12. Tavern & Table100 Church Street, Charleston
This hunting-lodge themed bar and restaurant inside of the Renaissance Charleston Historic District Hotel is a relaxed, homey destination for classic American food with a Charleston bent. Infusing local flavors and ingredients into his New American cuisine, chef Robert Carter makes this hotel restaurant a place even locals want to dine in. The signature burger (on a brioche bun with aged cheddar) pairs excellently with one of the house cocktails, all updated versions of historic cocktails (like the French 75 and the Manhattan) made with local liquors. An upscale restaurant that welcomes business travelers and townies alike, Barony Tavern is a hotel eatery done right.
Headed by two-time James Beard award-winning chef Sean Brock, Husk's menu is unique not only because of its interesting takes on Southern favorites, but also because the menu changes twice a day. Housed in an historic 1800s Charleston mansion, the environs themselves are enough to make you lick your lips: the interior reads more like a stately residential home than a restaurant serving honey-lacquered duck with pickled blueberries and rabbit-pimento loafs. Long waits can be avoided at the adjacent and more casual The Bar at Husk, standing apart in a brick warehouse. In addition to a stunning list of some 50 bourbons, including its own barrel of the coveted Pappy Van Winkle, a seat at the more casual bar increases your odds of scoring the must-order, iconic Husk burger: two 100% chuck patties infused with Benton’s bacon, and griddled with onions shaved onto the patty before being topped with American cheese, bread & butter pickles, and Brock's own special sauce.
Make the trek out to Sullivan’s Island and you’ll find one of Charleston’s best burger joints -- Poe’s Tavern. People flock to the little house on Middle St for its fat half-pound beef pucks and delectable toppings on a brioche bun.
Hall's is an elegant steakhouse known for its high-quality service and steaks, which are shipped to the restaurant from Chicago's beloved Allen Brothers before they're wet or dry aged and seasoned to perfection. Whether you stop by for the petite filet or treat yourself to the pricey Tomahawk rib eye, you'll always leave this wood-laden eatery satisfied. You'll hear live music every night of the week, but what really attracts crowds is the Sunday Gospel Brunch, when you can enjoy steak & eggs, pancakes, or waffles with a side of uplifting local gospel music.
Tucked into an unassuming strip mall in West Ashley, Charleston Sports Pub is something of a barcade diamond in the rough. The menu is loaded with comfort food and beer classics (the burgers essentially melt in your mouth), served in a casual hangout that hosts weekly karaoke and trivia. Nothing makes you yearn for the simpler days of youth more than hours spent in front of classic games like Pac-Man, Galaga, and foosball, but with a drink in hand, adulthood doesn’t seem so bad.
The Cannonborough/Elliotborough outpost of Butcher & Bee was the answer to locals' prayers when they could barely find the hidden Upper King original. Now, there's no wild goose chase necessary to settle into this expanded, country-chic spot that's considered the master of sandwiches in Charleston. The chalkboard menu is constantly changing based on farm-fresh regional offerings, but you'll always find inventive options with global and local influences. Chicken shawarma is served in gyro form with spicy yogurt and Israeli relish, while squash gets the barbecue treatment and is loaded onto a sourdough hoagie. The classic cheeseburger is a fan-favorite, too, made with two patties, American cheese, and secret sauce.
This Mount Pleasant staple makes some of the best burgers in South Carolina.
This spot's got a number of unique burger creations on the menu and will even do a trio of sliders for those of you who are indecisive.
A warm neighborhood bar where you can get a burger for breakfast.
Located in an expansive warehouse downtown, The Alley is an entertainment hub complete with bowling, skee ball, ping-pong, dozens of old school vintage arcade games, and basketball hoops. The old-school hang out lounge with vintage paneling, memorabilia, two 160” projection screens and multiple TVs throughout the space is a perfect spot to catch a game. The kitchen—open for lunch and dinner—serves American comfort food along with some atypical snacks like siracha boiled peanuts, tuna spring rolls, and chili nachos. Plus, a fully stocked bar includes wines as well as popular and local craft beers on tap.
Only the freshest ingredients here. Be sure to sample the Two Boroughs Burger.
This place offers what was missing from the many restaurants along the creek for so long: food that isn’t fried. Don’t get us wrong, there’s still plenty fried goodness at T&T, but if your palate is craving something more diverse, Chef Katie Lorenzen-Smith serves up a diverse selection of elevated American/Southern cuisine that’s sure to please. House-ground burgers with brisket and short rib are a staple of the menu, along with an eclectic mix of local flavors and global influences. This rustic, casual waterfront spot was designed as a place to spend multiple hours, so relax and try one of their many on-tap local beers or a cocktail with fresh squeezed juice.