Food & Drink

The 14 Best Burgers in Nashville Right Now

Updated On 08/10/2017 at 04:16PM EST Updated On 08/10/2017 at 04:16PM EST
Brita Britnell/Thrillist
SARA NORRIS/THRILLIST

French bread burger

Rotier's Restaurant

Address and Info

Midtown

Rotier’s is largely famous for its French bread burger, which is essentially a regular burger on French bread instead of a traditional bun. There’s just something about the quirky bread swap that had made this dish exciting for decades. It’s probably due to the complementary side of surliness, the routine jokes and insults that fly between servers and patron. Remember, it’s all a ruse, so be nice and tip well.

Cheeseburger

Brown's Diner

Address and Info

Hillsboro Village

The rumor is that the reason Brown’s burgers and fries are so damned good is that they haven’t changed the grease in the fryer or the griddle in years, but that’s not true. They change it religiously -- on Easter and Christmas. For an authentic experience, get the cheeseburger with mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle, and don’t forget to remove that toothpick holding it all together before you bite down.

SARA NORRIS/THRILLIST

The Husk cheeseburger

Husk

Address and Info

SoBro

If you want to feel a bit high class while enjoying one of the best burgers in Nashville, then Husk is your spot. This classic burger is stacked high with double patties of Tennessee-raised beef, onions, and lots of American cheese. Arguably one of Sean Brock’s simplest and best culinary masterpieces, this burger is a tribute to the drive-in diners of his childhood. It’s only served on their lunch and brunch menus, so don’t go expecting a burger for dinner.

Kobe beef truffle burger

Southside Grill

Address and Info

Antioch

What -- you haven’t heard of this place yet? Maybe you should get south of Old Hickory Boulevard every now and again, because this little gem is definitely worth the trip to greater Brentioch right before you reach Nolensville. The Greek family behind Southside combines their heritage with traditional American food to create a unique cuisine, including this outrageous burger served with Gouda, truffle oil, and apple-smoked bacon.

Gray & Dudley

GD burger

Gray & Dudley

Address and Info

Downtown

Truthfully, many of the burgers on this list are some sort of knock-off of the iconic Californian In-N-Out Burger, but Gray & Dudley Chef Levon Wallace can claim the Cali heritage to improve on the original with his creation. After extensive study of the proper ratio of ketchup, mayo, and relish in his special sauce, the conscious decision to barely sear the bun on the flat top grill, and the addition of thick-cut onion rings that he describes as “damned near burnt,” Wallace’s masterpiece stands alone.

Wash Park

Biscuit Love

Address and Info

Hillsboro Village & The Gulch

Wait a minute -- how can a biscuit make a burger list? There are few better hangover helpers than a good greasy beef patty, so you shouldn’t care what sort of bread it lies upon when it’s waiting to help you absorb last night’s overindulgence. The Wash Park at Biscuit Love stacks two beef burger patties, pimento cheese, bacon jam, and an egg on top of a perfect biscuit. Thank us later.

Fat Mo's super deluxe burger

Fat Mo's

Address and Info

Multiple locations

Fat Mo’s often gets overlooked on these lists, and that’s unfortunate because owner Mo Karimy was grilling up great burgers in Nashville in the early ‘90s, long before the current spate of gourmet beeferies sprouted up with menus of organic grass-fed patties topped with cheese from a goat named Petunia on a bun baked using wheat that was milled using an ancient grindstone powered by a team of unicorns. Mo makes huge burgers, and the 27-ounce super deluxe comes topped with American cheese, mustard, mayo, ketchup, pickles, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions and mushrooms, bacon, BBQ sauce, and jalapeños. It’s literally not for the faint of heart.

PM char grilled burger

PM

Address and Info

Music Row/Vanderbilt/Belmont

Thanks to the flavorful glaze of sweet chili teriyaki sauce, the veggie version of PM’s char grilled burger is the rare example of a non-meat patty that’s almost as good as the carnivore’s version. (You’ll note we said “almost.”) Served on a kaiser roll with crispy lettuce, onion, and tomato, this is a neighborhood secret that’s worth seeking out.

Brita Britnell/Thrillist

Seamus burger

Gabby's Burgers & Fries

Address and Info

Wedgewood

Quite often a contender for the best burger in town, Gabby’s Seamus burger is a classic All-American. It’s the meaty little brother of the double-patty Gabby burger, which is a great option if you’re extra hungry. But stick with Seamus since you’ll need to save room for a side of fries; they’re some of the best in the whole city and are just as delicious as the burger.

Union Mac

Union Common

Address and Info

Midtown

Apparently unafraid of the corporate lawyers under the golden arches, Union Common’s version of the Mac-Daddy is a pretty luxe take on the fast-food original. Sure, it has the same ingredients as the ancient sing-along “two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun,” but Mickey D’s never served its burger with a side of duck-fat fries. Advantage: Union Common.

Courtesy of Tavern

The Tavern burger

Tavern

Address and Info

Midtown

Widely popular for their weekend brunch menu, Tavern has one of our favorite burgers in Nashville right now. And luckily for us all, the Tavern Burger can be ordered for brunch, lunch, and dinner. (And if you went for all three, we wouldn’t judge you.) This beef ribeye and filet burger is stacked on top of a melt-away bun with all of the traditional toppings and your choice of cheese, bacon, griddled onion, and a fried egg.

The 96 burger

Burger Republic

Address and Info

The Gulch

The 96 burger from Burger Republic was the highest-scoring burger (with a score of 96) in the 2014 World Food Championship. So, we thought that it deserved a spot on this list of amazing burgers. The patty might look like your average burger patty, but the beef is actually blended with blue cheese and then topped with honey balsamic-glazed mushrooms, onion, and (of course) a good bit of bacon. Sounds like a winner to us.

Martin's BBQ Joint

Brisket burger

Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint

Address and Info

Belmont

In case you simply can’t decide between a burger and a BBQ sandwich, Martin’s brisket burger marries both American traditions, resulting in one meal that packs a ridiculous amount of flavor. The brisket burger starts out like a traditional burger: beef patty topped with grilled onion and American cheese that’s then topped with slow-smoked beef brisket and a delicious BBQ sauce.

The Nash Vegas burger

M.L. Rose Craft Beer & Burgers

Address and Info

Eighth South &a West Nashville

If you’re looking for a burger menu with lots of variety, M.L. Rose is perfect. Their long list of ranges from plain cheeseburgers to turkey burgers to our favorite: the Nash Vegas burger. Served on a sweet potato bun and topped with pimento cheese, crispy tobacco onions, and barbecue sauce, it’s a unique take on the American classic.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Little Octopus 505 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203

In addition to serving as the flexible kitchen for pop-ups by chefs visiting the Music City, Little Octopus, formerly located in East Nashville and currently residing in The Gulch, is all about the namesake cephalopod and its deep sea peers. Caribbean and Latin influences plus regional ingredients, and the resulting menu a melange of inventive dishes like a shrimp ceviche with aioli, Worcestershire, and rice crackers, octopus with fregola, smoked fingerlings, and herb salad, and the standout burger, served with griddled Manchego cheese, piquillo aioli, tomato, butter lettuce, and an egg.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. Husk 37 Rutledge St, Nashville, TN 37210 (Sobro)

The Nashville outpost of Chef Sean Brock's Charleston-born restaurant, Husk changes its menu twice daily depending on the freshest finds in produce and protein. Self-described as “a celebration of Southern ingredients,” local ingredients (including herbs from a backyard garden) are at the forefront, and diners are encouraged to pair modernized Southern classics like shrimp and grits or a hot fish sandwich with a cocktail from the lauded whiskey list, over 60 bourbons on offer. But one thing that doesn't change: the Husk Burger. It's (one of) Brock's culinary masterpieces: two Tennessee-raised beef patties are ground with bacon, griddled with onions are tucked onto the patty then smothered by American cheese, topped with pickles and mustard on a squishy sesame bun.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. Gabby's Burgers & Fries 493 Humphreys St, Nashville, TN 37203 (8th Ave)

I'm gonna let you in on a little Nashville secret: Gabby's Burgers & Fries is one of the city's best spots for... burgers and fries. Oh, you already knew that? Then you also know that chicken burgers, hot dogs, and chili are some of Gabby's other specialties, and that even know it looks like a diner, and has diner-adjacent prices, that the the burgers are grass-fed, the sweet potato fries hand-cut, and that there's a secret menu. Right? That's a secret you'll have to figure out for yourself. You're welcome.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. The Family Wash 626 Main St, Nashville, TN 37206 (East Nashville)

The Family Wash, formerly housed on East Nashville's Greenwood Ave., was relocated to and renovated in East End, where it remains a popular spot for live music, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and “Pints and Pies.” Comfort food is king, because what goes better with (nightly) live music than a Shepherd’s pie or a double beef patty cheeseburger and a pint or several of cold beer? Cocktails, beer, and wine are all served on tap, and Garage Coffee Company provides Family Wash patrons with energy throughout the day and into the night.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
5. The Pharmacy Burger Parlor & Beer Garden 731 McFerrin Ave, Nashville, TN 37206 (East Nashville)

The Pharmacy Burger Parlor & Beer Garden dubs itself “Nashville’s Wurst-Burger Joint,” which is a cute play on words but might lead the uninitiated to believe the burger here is not, in fact, one of the best in the city. Which it is, and it also happens to have a variety of traditional wursts on offer. It’s also Nashville’s original beer garden -- with an extensive selection of German brews -- as well as an old-school soda jerk. Get some wurst, get the burger, get a pilsner, and definitely get an egg cream to wash it down.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
6. Burger Up 2901 12th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37212 (12south)

Don't be fooled by its name, Burger Up is a sleek, upscale burger joint with (almost) guilt-free menu items -- contrary to your standard burger shack -- and an unbeatable happy hour to boot. Burgers are made with locally-raised beef and sustainable ingredients for a gourmet, healthy alternative to your favorite greasy patty. Start with some fried mushrooms before you bite into the quinoa and black bean burger, or the turkey and avocado burger -- and by now you've figured out you can enjoy it on a gluten free bun.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
7. Riverside Grill Shack 1000 Riverside Dr, Nashville, TN 37206 (East Nashville)

The grub at this roadside shack packs a punch for a low price. Flavorful, juicy burgers and handcut, Belgian style fries are what's on the menu, all of which you can get for under $10. Stop by for their breakfast served Friday through Sunday if you feel like brunchin'.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
8. Tavern 1904 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203

This hip Midtown eatery is the place to be seen on weekend mornings, so you’d better have changed clothes since last night. Creative Bloody Marys, mimosas, and sangria flows like a river through the dining room as patrons feast on a menu divided into “Yolks” and “Griddled”. Their hearty Tavern Burger is also available for more substantial fare.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
9. Burger Republic 420 11th Ave S, Nashville, TN 37203 (Downtown)

This Downtown spot (or its Lennox Village counterpart) is the perfect place to gobble a beef puck, with a number of options to choose from and sides/apps like nachos, tots, and crab dip, the only thing that could make this place better is a boozy milkshake. Which it HAS.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
10. Fido 1812 21st Ave S, Nashville, TN 37212

This breezy café located smack dab in the middle of Hillsboro Village is a favorite among Vanderbilt students, and with good reason: the specialty coffee drinks and all-day breakfast plates. Although the lines look long the space is large, and the food arrives quickly (you'll order at the counter and a server will deliver your meal). The chef whips up one of the best, underrated beef and lamb burgers in town, and the daily specials are always on point.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
11. Rotier's Restaurant 2413 Elliston Pl, Nashville, TN 37203

Picture it: a tender, juicy ground beef burger patty covered in a blanket of perfectly melted cheese and topped with crunchy lettuce, ripe tomatoes, and tangy mustard... on French bread. Rotier's Restaurant is serving up nothing short of a damn good, classic cheeseburger on a "bun" that is nothing short of shocking, but it works. As a burger purist, I understand your initial shock, but people have been flocking to the Elliston Place diner since 1945 for said burger, which should be proof enough. It's a Southern-style diner with chicken gizzards, fried pickles, and one of the most iconic burgers in all of Vandy-land.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
12. Capitol Grille 231 6th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37219 (Downtown)

The Capitol Grille, tucked inside the Hermitage Hotel, has been featured in publications across the country for its food, its old-school Nashville charm, and for the gleaning popularity of the men’s art deco-style bathroom. Don't let its hotel locale deter you: The Capitol Grill is not just for tourists. Locals flock to the restaurant for a truly sustainable and upscale Southern meal. The Hermitage Hotel owns a 250-acre cattle farm, as well as Double H Farms, where a majority of the ingredients are grown, bred, and sourced for The Capitol Grille's own farm-straight-to-table menu. It's a great stop for breakfast, before the theater, or for a guaranteed fresh, local Nashville burger.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
13. Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint 3108 Belmont Blvd, Nashville, TN 37212 (Music Row)

This Belmont meatery does an array of BBQ deliciousness (brisket, turkey legs, fried bologna sandwiches, etc.), but its claim to fame is the classic pulled pork BBQ sandwich drenched in the Sweet Dixie Sauce. Martin's is definitely in the top ranks for the best BBQ in Nashville.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
14. M.L. Rose Craft Beer & Burgers 4408 Charlotte Ave, Nashville, TN 37209

Between M.L. Rose's 34-tap craft beer program, eight of which rotate through local, seasonal, and small batch brews, and the simple, greasy American pub fare, the relaxed and decidedly cool atmosphere will make you want to hang around and have a few (especially when the fire pits get going on the patio). If you have any trouble picking what you want from the short menu, it's because you can't choose between loaded waffle fries and a fat, craft burger like the signature Nash Vegas stacked with a thick beef patty, savory pimento cheese, crispy tabasco onions, and tangy barbecue on a fluffy potato bun. The best part is that the full menu is served nightly until 1am.