Given that Miami is the American city most obsessed with keeping our waistlines from growing, it’s pretty funny that we’re also the fastest-growing food city in America. But trying to figure out how that's possible is even harder than figuring out which of the 305's badass burgers you should try. That's why we went and figured that second thing out for you: feast your eyes on the 12 best burgers in Miami...
The burger: Blackened Pub Burger
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 comes from this longtime Gables pub which blackens 8oz of beef, flame-broils it, and tops it with Irish cheddar and smoked bacon.
The burger: Toston 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? Take that beef and put it between a couple of fried plantains, then top it with homemade cilantro sauce.
The burger: 8oz Certified Angus Beef® Burger
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 this 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. Who’d never call us out in the comments.
The burger: The Twenty Eight
BurgerFi is like South Florida’s version of In 'N Out 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 this burger with 28-day dry-aged ground brisket, blue cheese, and BurgerFi sauce is up there with anything you’d get in a restaurant.
The burger: Adena Burger
Never heard of this place? Well unless you’re over 75, chances are three months ago you’d never heard of American Pharaoh either, but both are making their mark on horse racing in 2015. And while it would be hard for a hamburger to win the Preakness, this one is easily the best new burger of 2015, using family farm-raised beef from Ocala, then flame-broiling it and topping it with LTO and cheese. Then serving it at a table where you can bet on horses while you chow down.
The burger: Keg Burger
Kinda like Pinecrest itself, this burger is simple, understated, and super local, but still one of the best areas/burgers in Miami. Just good old-fashioned American beef grilled up right and served with cheese, nothing fancy, but pure perfection.
The burger: The Hot Mess
A couple of years ago Top Chef alum and Miami barbecue master Howie Kleinberg made a bunch of Miami-themed burgers to represent different parts of the city. The best of the bunch was this one, made to honor what pretty much every Miamian is on a Sunday morning: a hot mess. But unlike you, who’s topped with cigarette smoke and regret, this one's Certified Angus Beef® topped with bacon candy, caramelized & crisp onions, roasted mushrooms, blue cheese, and horseradish mayonnaise.
The burger: Batch Attack Burger
Presumably crafted by some serious stockholders in whatever company sells Lipitor, this beauty is 8oz of prime brisket topped with maple-smoked cheddar cheese and pecan wood-smoked bacon candied with pecan Jameson and THEN topped with some panko-breaded Mac Attack, one of Miami’s best mac and cheeses.
The burger: The Secret Burger
Sure, taking out-of-towners to a place CALLED The Local will make you seem like a lifelong Miamian (even though you've never done any of these things). But you want some serious Dade cred? Order this off-menu behemoth: a bacon and brisket blend with house-made American, fried onions, and house barbecue sauce that's THEN topped with a fried egg and stuck between two Mc’Discos -- cheesy discs of house-made pimento cheese spread that are pressed between a potato roll.
The burger: EDGE Burger
For much the same reason Aaron Brooks’ steaks and fries are some of the best in Miami, this simple burger is so good not because of some heart attack-on-a-bun topping combination, but rather the quality of the Creekstone meat he uses and the flavor from the mesquite-chipped grill it’s cooked over. It’s like having a campout right in the lobby of the Four Seasons.
The burger: The Original db Burger
If the good folks over at Zagat name you the best burger in Miami, then who are we to argue? This burger is made with sirloin then stuffed with braised short rib, truffle, and foie gras, which “almost justifies its $35 price tag,” and also make it our pick for the best burger in Downtown.
The burger: LoKal Burger
The only way this 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, and Florida avocado and tomatoes.
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1. John Martin's Irish Pub & Restaurant253 Miracle Mile, Miami
2. Pincho Factory9860 SW 40th St, Miami
3. Gilbert's 17th Street Grill1821 Cordova Rd, Fort Lauderdale
4. Frankey's Sports Bar900 Silks Run, Hallandale
5. Keg South10417 S Dixie Hwy, Miami
6. Bulldog Barbecue15400 Biscayne Blvd, Aventura
7. Batch Gastropub30 SW 12th St, Miami
8. Edge, Steak & Bar1435 Brickell Ave, Miami
9. db Bistro Moderne345 Ave of the Americas, Miami
10. KUSH Wynwood2003 N Miami Ave, Miami
11. Lokal Burgers & Beer3190 Commodore Plz, Miami
Irish classics and Cajun flair meet at this Coral Gables pub. The odd combination works surprisingly well, as regulars rave about staples like their Pub Burger, a blacked patty topped with smoked bacon, Irish cheddar, and seasoned with Cajun spices. Locals come for the food and stay for the weekly live music, as the 20 foot mahogany bar -- lifted from an old Irish church -- proves an ideal place to enjoy a pint. Consider swinging through on St. Patrick’s Day -- apparently the festivities here are some of the most raucous and merry in Miami.
Pincho Factory specializes in two things: burgers and kebabs, but it's the burger that catapulted the fast-casual resto to must-try status. Owner Nedal Ahmad's signature Toston burger, topped with jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, and homemade cilantro sauce then sandwiched between two fried plantains, won the annual South Beach Burger Bash in 2015. Since then, Pincho Factory has made a mark with its menu of greasy and good street food, which includes customizable kebab wraps, rice bowls, and salads.
Tucked in the Harbor Shops at Fort Lauderdale, this family-owned burger joint has been serving quality comfort food for over 10 years. It’s home cooking at its finest: the key lime pie, made fresh daily from an old family recipe, comes with a gratuitous dollop of whipped cream; clocking in at 8oz, the “CAB” Burger (Certified Angus Beef) is sure to satiate any cravings. There’s a casual, diner-meets-cafeteria vibe to the place (think hanging lantern-like lamps; upholstered banquette seating, two top tables clustered throughout), making it both group- and kid-friendly.
This modern sports bar has tons of TVs, plus beer, wine, and cocktails. Be sure to try the Adena Burger -- a 9oz burger with LTO and cheese -- it's one of the best in Miami.
Born-and-raised Miamians will swear Keg's 6oz of flame-broiled perfection is the best burger in the city no matter how many fancier, artisanal, or build-your-own joints open up. The original Keg South on South Dixie Highway is the place to go classic eats and a friendly, neighborhood vibe.
Nicknamed the "Bulldog" for his competitive cooking on Top Chef Miami, Chef Howie Kleinberg is blessing the people of Miami with BBQ and burgers turned glorious. We think that Bulldog serves up some of the best BBQ in Miami, but we highly encourage you to stop by and decide for yourself.
You know a bar is serious about keeping the party going strong when they have cocktails on tap (because really, ain’t nobody got time to mix drinks when Friday is in full swing). Boasting massive plasma TVs, ample indoor and outdoor seating room, and a solid menu of high-end pub fare, it’s a Brickell destination for boozy brunch (chicken and waffles, anyone?) and sports games alike.
There are several things that separate this sophisticate venue from the high-brow steakhouses of Miami: for one, executive chef Aaron Brooks was named the Miami "Lambassador" by the Australian lamb council, and his lamb chops, served with chickpeas, fire-roasted peppers, red chimichurri, and coriander cream, are an award-winning signature. The rest of the meat-centric menu features Creekstone Farms steaks that are cooked over a mesquite-chipped grill, giving them a smoky, outdoorsy flavor that'll make you forget you’re sitting in the Four Seasons. And though the prices won't make a meal at Edge a casual spend, specialty seafood that's flown in every day makes the trip worth it.
Another piece in Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud’s restaurant empire, db Bistro Moderne brings a little slice of Paris to downtown Miami. The market-driven menu blends fine French cuisine with American bistro flair, resulting in standout dishes like the signature db burger, a sirloin patty stuffed with wine-braised short ribs and foie gras. The sleek space features 18-foot ceilings, a terrace overlooking the Miami River, and multiple private dining rooms, making it ideal for intimate date nights and corporate dinners alike.
From the folks who brought you Lokal and with a mission to bring seriously high quality craft brews to SoFla, Kush has 18 speciality suds on tap and a limited-edition menu featuring made-from-scratch items like chicken and waffles. Menu highlights include a frita burger, which blends guava jelly, melted Gruyere, potato stix, and crispy bacon, as well as the Johnny Utah, topped with hot pastrami, cheese, and special sauce.
Don’t let the graffiti-covered brick walls and cassette tape mosaics fool you: far from an average dive bar, the Lokal is a sustainability-conscious gastropub, slinging surprisingly healthy bar fare. Regulars frequent this Coconut Grove spot for favorites like the Fidy-Fidy burger, made with house-ground beef and bacon, finished with melted Monterey jack cheese and sweet onion marmalade, as well as smaller bites like the perfectly crispy sweet potato fries. We suggest ordering a craft beer and heading for the patio: given the special food menu for dogs, it’s a popular spot for puppies.