Burgers. There's no wrong time to eat one. Well, maybe like a funeral or something. Don't be ridiculous. But still, there are plenty of GREAT times for a great burger, which means you want to make sure you're never too far from one. With that in mind, we sought out the best examples of beef between buns in nine prominent Denver 'hoods.
The Squeaky Bean (address and info)
Nestled on the corner of Wynkoop and 15th, The Squeaky Bean slings out some seriously star-spangled burgers. Their two 6oz beef patties (with grilled onions in between) are topped off with pickle slices and proudly draped in gloriously gooey American cheese. The preservatives are for preserving our freedoms.
Cherry Cricket (address and info)
The Cherry Cricket is a neighborhood (not to mention Denver) staple when it comes to grillin’ beef patties. They let you customize the hell out of your burger with more than 30 toppings -- from standards to more unusual options like peanut butter, raspberry jam, cream cheese, and grilled pineapple. The jam in particular is surprisingly delicious.
City Park West
Humboldt (address and info)
The "Farm, Fish, Wine" spot has been making waves with their seafood (get it?!) since they opened almost a year ago, but their burger will make you avert your attention back to land. Their patty is a bacon and beef blend from Crystal River Farms with Bibb lettuce, crispy onion, Tillamook cheddar, and a perfectly flavored onion jam. Sorry sea creatures!
Larkburger (address and info)
If you are looking for a fast-food burger without all the downsides of a fast-food burger, then get thee to Larkburger, which has multiple locations but is definitely the move when you need a burger Downtown. The Truffle Burger steals the show with a fresh-made truffle aioli topping an Angus beef patty, a classic LTO setup, and crunchy dill.
My Brother’s Bar (address and info)
Being on the corner of Platte and 15th does not make this place any easier to find, but once you pass the threshold and smell the flat top sizzling beef and bison burgers, you’ll know you are in the right spot. Simply topped with lettuce, tomato, and a fixin's tray on the side, their burgers have the key elements to compose a symphony in your mouth (the classical music you're hearing could be burger bliss, but it also could be the actual classical music they play there).
Park Burger (address and info)
Stealing the spotlight in Platt Park is Park Burger. These guys call a couple of spots in Denver home, but their standard of grilling quality runs across the board. They do fancy (think ahi tuna, truffle, and croque burgers) just fine, but when it comes down to it, their classic bacon cheeseburger is timeless.
Acorn (address and info)
Chef Amos Watts plays culinary tailor and refines the burger by dressing it up with Gruyere cheese, Tender Belly applewood-smoked bacon, arugula, harissa aioli, and tempura-fried pickles. He will not do any tailoring once your pants no longer fit.
The Populist (address and info)
The folks at The Populist wrangle in some Colorado greats to craft their creation. A (get ready for the name-dropping) Windsor Dairy/Funkwerks Tropic King white cheddar cheese, red onion, and Bibb lettuce-topped Colorful Ranch grass-fed beef patty sits between Babette Bakery’s brioche buns, which are as delicious as they are alliterative.
Steuben’s Food Service (address and info)
The crew at Steuben’s slings out American comfort cuisine like it’s their job (well, basically because it is), so it's no surprise that their green chili cheeseburger is the best in Uptown. Hatch Valley green chilies add to an already flavorful setup of all beef, yellow American, and LTO, plus their mantra "better with bacon" is a mantra for a reason. Don’t forget they do this stuff for 7 bucks after 10pm, and they throw in a beer and a side of fries.*
*In the interest of full disclosure, the author of this article also works at Steuben's. However, other non-Steuben's employed Thrillist Denver associates will vouch for the deliciousness of the burger in question.
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1. The Squeaky Bean1500 Wynkoop St, Denver
2. The Cherry Cricket2641 E 2nd Ave, Denver
3. Humboldt1700 Humboldt St, Denver
4. Larkburger1617 California St, Denver
5. Park Burger1890 S Pearl St, Denver
6. My Brother's Bar2376 15th St, Denver
7. Acorn3350 Brighton Blvd, Denver
8. The Populist3163 Larimer St, Denver
9. Steuben's Food Service523 E 17th Ave, Denver
The Squeaky Bean, based in Denver's LoDo neighborhood, is an American restaurant whose menu changes with the seasons, to the heightened satisfaction of your taste buds. If you visit their website, you can even get a 360° peek at the farm on which their ingredients are grown. And while their menu varies from crispy cauliflower one day to sheep's milk ricotta gnocchi another, it's always served in a light-filled space where the intersection of warm wood and orange brick offers your meal a homey context.
Backed by 50 years of burger history, Cherry Cricket's patties are a true legend, and its wings, sandwiches, and chilis are pretty damn good too. A champion of local beer, the bar is stocked with 27 taps of locally brewed craft beer.
Farm fresh ingredients, impressive wine and beer lists, and a menu of land and sea based dishes like a Friday & Saturday-only lobster risotto or a red-wine demi'd filet mignon leaden with Moody Blue cheese.
If burger making is an art, these guys are the artists. They set out to make mouth-watering patties with distinctive and flavorful varieties and they did exactly that. From the namesake Larkburger featuring 1/3lb Black Angus to creative options featuring truffle oil and more, the only challenge will be rolling yourself out once you've downed their parm-drenched fries and all the beef you can handle.
Park Burger in Platt Park is just waiting to hook you up with fancy burgers (like the ahi tuna, truffle burger, and croque burger), as well as regular ones. Delicious guilty pleasures, too --- like their bacon ranch fries and Irish cream shake -- are available to enjoy.
My Brother's Bar, off 15th and Platte, is a city institution that has been pouring booze for Beat Gen folks like Neal Cassady (who still has a tab there) and plenty of other thirsty Denverites forever. MBB also flips a mean burger -- pair that with a solid beer list, and it's no surprise this place is still going strong.
A buzzy, industrial-chic small plates spot, Acorn in River North is offers shareable plates, as well as innovative libations (think alcoholic shaved ice). The eclectic, epicurean-inspired menu features oak-fired game (waygu beef, pork shoulder, and chicken), fresh seafood plates, and roasted vegetable salads. An extensive wine list and cool, artisanal cocktails are also worth checking out.
Located in Denver's Five Points neighborhood, The Populist is an American restaurant perfecting the craft of the small (er) plate (no entree-sized meals). With menu items like the seared kalbi short ribs with soy braised burdock avocado puree and herb papaya salad, and powerhouse, distinctive cocktails, you may find smaller can be better.
Steuben's, an old-school diner with sophistication, serves good ol' American comfort food in Uptown Denver. Class it up with a cayenne etouffee or get down and dirty with some gravy fries.