Food & Drink

Where Are the Best Burgers in New Orleans? We Tried Them All to Find Out.

Published On 05/12/2015 Published On 05/12/2015
burger
Alejandro de los rios/Thrillist

Po-boys and muffulettas might reign supreme on the New Orleans sandwich spectrum, but the Big Easy doesn’t mess around when it comes to the all-American hamburger. Given the city's constantly evolving food scene, we're here to keep you updated on the city's very best burgers, new and old, available at this very moment...

La Petite Grocery

Uptown

Recent James Beard Award winner Justin Devillier’s elevated menu might be known more for the blue crab-stuffed beignets and turtle Bolognese, but this spot can also boast one of the best boutique burgers in town. At $16, it ain’t cheap, but it’s worth it. And if you happen to be Downtown, you’ll find a similar -- and similarly outstanding -- burger at Devillier’s newest outpost, Balise.

Beachcorner Bar & Grill

Mid-City

The 10oz Beach Burger is where it’s at when it comes to the fare at this Mid-City sports bar. It’s huge... and hugely tasty. To spice things up, you can add jalapeños and pepper jack cheese, which we thoroughly recommend. Don’t forget to pack antacid tablets, and schedule a nap for afterward.

Andrew Adler

The Avenue Pub

Lower Garden District

It’s hard not to be impressed by the amazingly extensive beer list at The Avenue Pub. What’s even more impressive, perhaps, is how this spot pairs all those ales, porters, sours, and stouts with a righteous burger. Top yours with candied bacon, complement it with an order of Dump Truck Fries, and you’ll be stuck in your chair for the foreseeable future... which is why it’s good that The Avenue Pub is open 24/7.

Toups' Meatery

Toups' Meatery

Mid-City

Toups' has everything from foie gras to Cajun cracklins, lamb’s neck, huge pork chops, a killer meat board, and escargot with bone marrow. But there’s a burger on the lunch menu, too... and it’s a great one. In true Toups’ fashion, this burger features a pork and beef patty, pickled squash, cheddar, bacon, and herbed aioli.

Sugar Park

Bywater

This pizza shack on St. Claude in hipsterville isn’t just great for a slice; you’ll find it has a way with the hamburger arts, as well. Evidence: the Big Kahuna Burger, topped with chipotle mayo, pineapple, bacon, and provolone, which should delight all Pulp Fiction fans. Now that’s a tasty burger!

THE COMPANY BURGER

The Company Burger

Uptown

It’s difficult to imagine a time in which The Company Burger will not make this list. There’s a reason for that: it’s simple, classic, and timeless. Enough said.

Cowbell

Cowbell

Uptown

Kudos to Cowbell for using grass-fed beef in its "Locally World Famous" burger. And should you have some deep pockets, you can have not one, but TWO Cowbell Burgers, paired with a bottle of 2011 Cade Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, for $100. If not, the "adult sodas" might be more up your alley.

Lakeview Harbor

Lakeview

This humble Lakeview neighborhood restaurant may not use any fancy ingredients, but it does happen to have a loaded, towering monstrosity that could rival Port of Call any day. It gets a bonus for serving steak fries, which it seems no one does anymore.

Denny Culbert

Angeline

French Quarter

Sure, there’s plenty of refined Southern fare on chef Alex Harrell’s FQ eatery (smoked quail, anyone?), but seeing as Harrell is the guy who was in the kitchen at Sylvain when it served the most badass chicken sandwich in town, you know his burger game is going to be tight. While you might be tempted to go with some of Angeline’s other brunch options -- a fried pork chop sandwich is pretty hard to pass up -- know that the burger, featuring grass-fed beef slathered in pimento cheese and topped with bacon, is a real winner.

Mondo

Lakeview

Susan Spicer’s casual Lakeview restaurant is known mostly for its creative pizzas, and for good reason. But if you’re not in the mood for a pie, check out the truly outstanding burger option here, which not only features griddled onions (always a big plus), but is highly customizable, with cheese options ranging from white cheddar to Gruyere and Point Reyes bleu, as well as add-ons like Nueske’s bacon and sauteed mushrooms.

Clover Grill

Clover Grill

French Quarter

Here’s the deal: you’re having a really great time in the Quarter, it’s late, and though you’re not ready to go home quite yet, all those drinks are making you hungry. You can make the mistake of getting a Lucky Dog or a slice of melancholy, greasy Bourbon St. pizza… or you can hit the Clover Grill, which is open 24/7. The burger here is far from fancy, but it’s remarkable for a couple of reasons. First, it’s cooked "under an American-made hubcap" (seriously), and second, the topping choices will cure even a Scooby-sized hunger. So pile on the chili, bacon, cheese, mushrooms, jalapeños, and a fried egg. Carpe diem!

Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29

French Quarter

Wild cocktail creations aren’t the only fun and creative aspect of Jeff "Beachbum" Berry’s Vieux Carre Tiki emporium. He also offers up three options if you’re hoping to pair your Mai Tai with a hamburger. Yes, the house burger is good, but the two island-inspired options really stand out: there’s "loco moco," that beloved Hawaiian dish consisting of a burger patty served over coconut rice, with shiitake mushrooms and a fried egg, which is outstanding. But you should also consider the house "dumpling burger," which is exactly what it sounds like: the kitchen’s pork dumpling filling, fashioned into a burger patty and served on a bun. That’s the kind of ingenuity we really love.

Mint Modern Bistro & Bar

Uptown

With the massive popularity of Vietnamese cuisine in NOLA, any new Viet eatery needs to do something special to stand out from the pack. Luckily for us, Mint does just that by offering two notable burgers alongside its pho, com, and bun. The banh mi burger is pretty sweet -- why so few people think to top their hamburgers with pickled carrots and daikon is beyond us -- but it’s the spicy Kim Chi burger that really earns our love.

Lüke

Lüke

Central Business District

John Besh’s French/German brasserie is always a great place to head if you have a big appetite, especially for happy hour (50-cent oysters and half-priced beers, ya heard?!). But if those happy hour bivalves didn’t quite fill you up, consider the most excellent house burger, topped here with Benton’s bacon, Swiss, tomatoes, and caramelized onions.

Oxalis

Bywater

Jonathan Lestingi’s whiskey-centric Bywater spot is a great place to grab some of the brown stuff (bonus points for offering "plastic cap" options), paired with appropriate nibbles. The small plates are lovely, but if you’re in the mood for something more substantial, the burger here is always a solid bet, particularly if you spring for the option of topping it with bone marrow. Combine that with lettuce, tomato, aioli, and pickled shallots, and you are taken to next-level burgerdom.

Rebellion Bar & Urban Kitchen

Rebellion Bar & Urban Kitchen

Warehouse District

It was a comforting thing indeed to see chef Chris DeBarr -- formerly of Green Goddess and Serendipity -- return to New Orleans with his knack for inventive, worldly fare. This can be seen all over the menu at Rebellion, where you can now find DeBarr cooking up everything from udon crawfish Monica to kimchee and pork pupusas, ramen poutine, and a wagyu beef burger with bacon, Sriracha ketchup, and red pepper aioli on a Dong Phuong brioche bun that’s just fantastic.

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Scott Gold is a writer in New Orleans who will never get tired of saying (or eating) "loco moco." Follow him on Twitter @scottgold.

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1. La Petite Grocery 4238 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70115 (Magazine St)

Converted from a historic grocery store, this bistro and bar features plates crafted by James Beard Award-winning chef Justin Devillier. The menu includes all-time hits like blue crab beignets, turtle Bolognese, and a gruyere cheeseburger. La Petite Grocery is true Louisiana, as evidenced by its 19th century Creole architecture and craft cocktails like the double rye whiskey Bee Hive.

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2. Beachcorner Bar & Grill 4905 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119 (Mid City)

From the video poker machines, pool tables, jukebox melodies, and neon signs ablaze with beer logos, this Mid-City spot is a go-to neighborhood dive. A closer look at the menu -- classic pub fare, at first glance -- shows what is arguably one of the best burgers in New Orleans: the heavy-hitting, 10z Beachburger, complete with hot sauce, jalapeños, and pepper jack cheese. It’s a hopping spot for happy hour, but equally legit as a late-night option for when those midnight cravings kick in.

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3. The Avenue Pub 1732 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130 (Garden District)

Located in the Lower Garden District, this American craft beer pub is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The tap list is heavy on one-and-done offerings with enough rarities to keep the beer nerds at bay, while the bottle list is about as thick as a small-town phone book, offering up everything from Belgian farmhouses to all-American IPAs, all of which taste considerably better when paired with the famous bechamel and pork Dump Truck Fries.

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4. Toups' Meatery 845 N. Carrollton, New Orleans, LA 70119 (Mid City)

Helmed by James Beard Award-winning chef Isaac Toups, this Mid-City spot serves a carnivore-centric menu with bold Cajun flavor. Large entrees like the grilled Georgia quail with farm-fresh seasonal vegetables and saba satiate and surprise; light bites range from addictive cracklins and deviled eggs with smoked trout roe. Minimalist metal chairs and refurbished wood surfaces give Toups a cabin-like feel that enhances the relaxed, convivial vibe.

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5. Sugar Park 3054 Saint Claude Ave, New Orleans, LA 70117 (Bywater)

This laidback outdoor restaurant and bar in Bywater features a garden and patio area well suited to spending a lazy Sunday in. Customizable cheesy, thin crust pizzas are what's on the menu, which go perfectly with Sugar Park's affordable booze offerings-- draft brews and glasses of house wine won't run you more than $5 a piece.

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6. The Company Burger 4600 Freret St, New Orleans, LA 70115 (Uptown)

The Company Burger takes its burgers very seriously. Translation: the pickles and mayo are homemade, and the twin patties in the house burger weigh a grand total of 6.5oz. You'll leave feeling full and satisfied, after washing it all down with one of Company's American brews on tap, of course.

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7. Cowbell 8801 Oak St, New Orleans, LA 70118 (Uptown)

This Uptown spot is well-known for its tasty eats, especially its tacos, seafood, and succulent burgers. Pro tip: order the Locally World Famous Cowbell Burger, which features natural, grass-fed beef, a toasted potato roll, lettuce, tomato & onion, hand-cut fries & its signature ketchup & agogo sauce.

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8. Lakeview Harbor 911 Harrison Ave, New Orleans, LA 70124

This humble Lakeview neighborhood restaurant may not use any fancy ingredients, but it does happen to serve a loaded, towering monstrosity of a burger that could rival Port of Call any day. A bonus for the steak fries that are a necessary addition to your meal.

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9. Angeline 1032 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70116 (French Quarter)

Located in the French Quarter, Angeline serves up unique approaches to Southern eats inspired by Northern Mediterranean cuisines. It wins for its deceptive simplicity while courting complex flavors, combining Gulf Coast ingredients with French/Italian cooking techniques. The trendy restaurant has a casual and charming Vieux Carre environment, where Southern hospitality is always in full force.

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10. Mondo 900 Harrison Ave, New Orleans, LA 70124

Started by locally and nationally renown chef Susan Spicier, Lakeside's Mondo might seem standard -- unassuming facade and blank warm wood interior and all. It's the menu of thoughtfully prepared and globally inspired dishes that seems to maintain its regular evening crowds: apart from the traditional wood fired pizzas and burgers, consider items like the chicken liver whipped into a paté, and a Thai grilled Hanger steak served with snap pea rice. It's the kind of restaurant that's designed for the people, but also for the chef, whose eclectic predilections also seem to benefit the former crowd.

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11. Clover Grill 900 Bourbon St, New Orleans, LA 70116

Located in a little corner in the French Quarter, Clover Grill is the late night 24/7 destination for dedicated drinkers and wandering night owls. The burgers at this diner are as street as they come -- griddled, crisped, and steamed under an actual hub cap -- and spruced up with their signature chili sauce, which they'll be quick to tell you is their secret sauce. The service might be slow, but that greasy, meat-filled chili, poured over fries or generously smeared on your patty, will make the trip worth it.

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12. Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29 321 N Peters St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (French Quarter)

Latitude 29 in the French Quarter is a Tiki lover's paradise. Jeff “Beachbum” Berry’s shrine to all things Tiki has proven itself to be a refreshing and enlightened pillar of the NOLA drinks scene due to its large menu of deliciously concocted cocktails. Check out the bar's take on classics like Mai Tai and Zombies, and for something a bit more inventive, go for the Davy Jones' Lager, which is a mix of Antigua gold rum, Japanese beer Curacao, and spiced cane syrup.

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13. Mint Modern Vietnamese Bistro 5100 Freret Street, New Orleans, LA 70115

Riding on New Orleans' wave of Vietnamese shop openings, Mint Modern shakes things up by offering all the vietnamese classics, like pho, vermicelli noodles, bahn mi, and spicy beef soup, as well as some interesting asian twists, like a pho dish made with New York Strip and meatballs, or a kimchi burger. The full bar includes specialty cocktails, including a couple that include the unexpected, but culinarily understandable, addition of fish sauce.

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14. Lüke 333 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130 (Central Business District)

Although this may be a New Orleans restaurant at heart -- complete with white tablecloths and old world courses like crab and corn bisque and fried oyster salad -- they've certainly perfected the burger, which is made from chuck and brisket and comes on a buttered brioche bun. French, German, and Belgian brews are also available, including three that are custom-made in Louisiana.

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15. Oxalis 3162 Dauphine St, New Orleans, LA 70117 (Bywater)

Oxalis is a can't-miss when it comes to drinking in Bywater. This trendy and lively bar/eatery features a brown alcohol-focused selection of spirits with over 30 bourbons on reserve, and a myriad of classic, well-prepared cocktails. The food at Oxalis, which ranges from small plates to burgers and wings, is the kind of solid fare you'll want after knocking back a few.

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16. Rebellion Bar & Urban Kitchen 748 Camp St, New Orleans, LA 70130 (Central Business District)

Reflecting the mixed heritage of part owner Seung Hong, this Warehouse District restaurant offers a fusion menu of classics like pho, springs, and kimchi stew, as well as southern specialties like shrimp and grits. As with the innovative food, the space is also trendy yet casually elevated with hanging lights, exposed brick walls, and stark black chairs both inside, and outside on the patio.

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