You've Been Waiting Your Whole Life to Face San Diego's The Kraken Burger
Lots of places have tried to make some kind of “only in Miami burger” by throwing the ingredients from a Cuban sandwich on a bun like they were the first ones who thought of it. You wanna be the Pitbull of burgers? Be the Toston Burger. Take some beef and put it between a couple of fried plantains, then top it with homemade cilantro sauce.
The Irish aren’t particularly well known for their innovation in Cajun spices, but this is Miami, where we’ve got Irish pubs with salsa bands, so it should come as no surprise that one of the best burgers in the city -- the Blackened Pub Burger -- comes from this longtime Gables pub which blackens 8 ounce of beef, flame-broils it, and tops it with Irish cheddar and smoked bacon.
South Beach (& other locations)
BurgerFi is like South Florida’s version of In-N -ut or Shake Shack. But what it lacks in inexplicable cult popularity it more than makes up for in something way more important: taste. The farm-fresh beef and hand-cut ingredients they use makes it one of the hottest franchises in America, and The Twenty Eight Burger, with 28-day dry-aged ground brisket, blue cheese, and BurgerFi sauce is up there with anything you’d get in a non-chain restaurant.
Before you jump down to the comments and tell us we failed eighth-grade geography, we know. Gilbert’s is in Fort Lauderdale. But for a lot of people that’s actually closer than Kendall, and Gilbert's 8-ounce Certified Angus beef burger is worth whatever kind of drive you have to make. Pure certified Angus char-grilled to perfection and served up on a fresh roll by the nicest people you will ever meet in South Florida. People who’d never call us out in the comments.
If you find yourself suffering through the dreaded o-fer after a long day of playing the ponies at Gulfstream, nothing will lift your spirits like the trademark Adena Burger at Frankey’s. Here they’re taking grass-fed beef from the family farm in Ocala, flame-broiling it, then topping it with LTO and cheese. Then serving it up to you at a table where you can try and break even by betting simulcast while you eat.
Kind of like Pinecrest itself, the Keg burger here is simple, understated, and super local... but still one of the best areas/burgers in Miami. Just good old-fashioned American beef grilled up and served with cheese. It's nothing fancy, but it does the trick and proves there is brilliance in simplicity.
If you’re in the mood for food without caloric consideration, nowhere in Miami is better than Blue Collar. This extends to the world of hamburgers and, more exclusively, to their dry-aged cheeseburger. This creation that starts with dry-aged New York strip, then adds American cheese, lettuce, and tomato, and puts it between to Portuguese muffins. Because it wouldn’t be Blue Collar if it didn’t have Portuguese muffins.
Presumably crafted by some serious stockholders in whatever big pharma company sells Lipitor, the Batch Attack Burger is 8 ounces of prime brisket topped with maple-smoked cheddar cheese and pecan wood-smoked bacon candied with pecan Jameson... which is THEN topped with some panko-breaded Mac Attack, one of Miami’s best mac and cheeses.
If the fine folks over at Zagat have named you the best burger in Miami, then who are we to argue? The Original db Burger is made with sirloin then stuffed with braised short rib, truffle, and foie gras, which, depending on who you ask, kind of justifies its $35 price tag. This burger also made our pick for the best burger in Downtown.
The 50/50 burger doesn’t refer to the odds of the express lanes actually being open during rush hour. It instead refers to the ultimate patty here, which is half chorizo and half prime beef. That’s all topped with queso frito, fried egg, maduros, and spicy lime aioli for what might be the world’s first frita/hamburger hybrid.
The only way the LoKal Burger could be any more Floridian is if it had stolen someone’s identity. The guys behind both the Wynwood and Grove locations have taken Florida grass-fed beef, grilled it up, and topped it with local honey mustard, jack cheese, and Florida avocado and tomatoes.
If you insist on screaming “Ba, ba... BAAAAAAA” when you order a Sweet Caroline, please don’t tell anyone you got the recommendation from us. But if you do enjoy a chuck, brisket, and short rib patty topped with aged Vermont Cheddar, BBQ-glazed short rib, fried onion strings, and bourbon BBQ sauce, by all means go in and try it without the bad Neil Diamond imitation.
This tiny neighborhood restaurant across the street from E11even might have the best burger you’d never expect to find there. While the menu here specializes in Middle Eastern-inspired stuff, Fooq's Burger combines skirt steak, short rib, and brisket, then melts Jarlsberg on top with beefsteak tomatoes, mustard greens, Vidalia onions, and special sauce.
Michael Mina’s foray into casual dining keeps one delicious holdover from the old, high-end MM74: the dry-aged steak burger. It's a plump burger topped with double-smoked bacon, American cheese, and secret sauce. It also carries a $22 price tag, but can easily be stretched into two meals (or shared).
OK, so the Frita from El Mago might not be a “hamburger” the same way much of America defines one. But much like we do with “banking” and “importation laws,” Miami defines the hamburger a little differently. Ours is the traditional Cuban seasoned patty grilled with onions and served on a Cuban roll. And the best in town comes from the little old man behind this retro diner counter, who slings fritas so good Obama used to stop for them when he was in town.