The 14 Best Burgers in Philadelphia
From simple dive bar burgers to options with extravagant toppings like foie gras, kimchi, and Kewpie mayo.
Philadelphia may be more famous for a different kind of beefy sandwich, but even our beloved cheesesteak can’t measure up to all the amazing burgers you can find around the city.
Options are pretty much endless, so whether you want to sit down at a laid-back pub or dive bar for a juicy burger or sink your teeth into an extravagant culinary feat at a top-notch restaurant, you’ll find it here. We pulled together a list that covers all the bases when it comes to the city’s burger selection, so hit the ground running and try all the best burgers in Philadelphia right now.
Middle Child Clubhouse
For all the beauty there is in DIY-ing your perfect burger, there’s also something equally wonderful about trying a dish exactly as the kitchen intended. Thus is the deal with the cheeseburger at Middle Child Clubhouse, the description of which notes, “This is not Burger King; please try it our way!” Their way comes with American cheese, sour pickles, and white onion on a seeded bun and side of Russian dressing. You can choose whether you prefer medium-rare or well done, but after that, the rest is up to the kitchen.
Fountain Porter keeps its food menu short and savory, with the cheeseburger as its one and only main dish. The Fountain Porter Cheeseburger is a favorite throughout the city, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s on the cheaper side of things at just six bucks. The factor that makes it so great is its simplicity. Thin and perfectly seared with a nice flavorful crust and understated salt-and-pepper seasoning, all on a soft potato bun. Add a side of fries (or a side of carrots, if you’re into that) and pair your burger with a pick from the spot’s lineup of eclectic draft beers.
Hilltown does classic pub fare very well, and there’s also a whole lot of variety from which you can choose. Each of the pub’s five burgers (plus plant-based and vegetarian-friendly options) feature an 8-ounce patty on a brioche bun and a choice of cheese—you can even add Irish sharp cheddar for an extra buck. To hit the perfect spot for brunch (or anytime, really), try the Breakfast Burger, featuring bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, and a sunny-side-up egg, or go for a Barbecue Burger piled high with crispy fried onion straws. The other star at Hilltown is the beer list, so take time to study the craft and specialty bottle options to find your perfect pairing.
Khyber Pass Pub
This local favorite’s menu takes a lot of inspo from Southern barbecue, and the signature Khyber Burger is no exception. Angus beef, bacon, barbecue onions, pimento cheese, and creole mustard make it the ideal comfort food. You can also try the Royal Tavern Burger, featuring a chuck and brisket blend patty on a brioche bun from Baker Street Bread. Whatever you go with, you might as well fill out your meal with a try of the Khyber Gumbo, sweet potato fries, crispy brussels, and while you’re waiting for everything, a nibble at the bar’s signature Khyber Popcorn seasoned with bacon grease.
Lucky's Last Chance
Lucky’s is all about over-the-top toppings, monthly burger specials, and enjoying it all with a serving of Main Street Tots drizzled with an Old Bay cheese sauce. Regulars know and love Lucky’s for the PB&J Burger, which is exactly what it sounds like, but the spot also makes a mean bacon, egg, and cheeseburger. There’s usually around 15 burgers on the menu, which makes for a perfect foodie challenge if you’re determined to try them all. One of the more daring options includes the Cubano Grilled Cheeseburger, featuring a single patty on Texas Toast with swiss cheese, pulled pork, pork roll, pickles, mustard, and Mojo sauce.
Monk’s Cafe is a Philly must for anyone interested in beer, burgers, and Belgium. The cozy tavern is big on mussels with addictive pommes frites, so start with those before moving on to your burger of choice. Options are the name of the game here, so you can go traditional, or trade in beef for a vegan burger or chicken breast, all served on a brioche bun from Metropolitan. The menu features six burger options that are tough to choose between, but no matter what you pick, you can’t go wrong, whether you’re in the mood for the Brussels Burger with bacon and cheddar, or the Bruges Burger with sauteed mushrooms and gruyere.
It says a lot when a historic seafood haven can also deliver a great burger, but Oyster House manages to pull off such a marvel. The burger comes with red onion jam, cooper sharp cheese, and oyster mayo for some seaside-evoking flair. Hand-cut fries finish the meal. If you end up opting for the burger, be sure to get your share of seafood bites here, too, like starting off with Crispy Fried Oysters, New England Clam Chowder, or the Seafood Charcuterie Board with smoked fish dip, mussels, and grilled sardines. You’ll be feeling like you’re down the shore in no time.
Whether you go for a burger covered in gouda and peppercorn bacon or skip straight to the creamy s’mores milkshake, you can concoct the meal of your dreams at P’unk Burger. The spot has a treasure trove of sauces, cheeses, and toppings at your disposal, all of which can be paired with the patty of your choice: beef, turkey, chicken, ahi tuna, Beyond Burger, veggie, and grilled portobello mushroom. If you’d rather leave it up to professionals, the menu also features more than a dozen specialty burgers (plus monthly specials) that are fun to taste your way through. There are even more house-made shakes up for grabs, too, featuring everything from salted avocado to strawberry vanilla.
Rex At The Royal
While a lot of things have changed since Rex 1516 closed to make way for Rex at the Royal, its new location in a much bigger space featuring a performance stage and bottle shop, a few menu staples remain—like the beloved titular Rex Burger. It’s all beef topped with crispy red onions, butter lettuce, smoked bacon, and melty, spicy pimento cheese on a brioche bun. It’s a great centerpiece on a Southern-inspired menu that also features Fish Fry, Smoked Brisket, Skillet Mac n’ Cheese, and other comforting favorites. You can also snag the burger at brunch and add a fried egg for two bucks.
Fancy burgers with a side of people watching is the best menu item at Rouge, long the place to see and be seen on Rittenhouse Square Park. The Rouge Burger comes on a challah bun with caramelized onion, bibb lettuce, tomato, and gruyere, plus a side of pommes frites. Rouge is your spot if you prefer your burger with some upscale cocktails, featuring an elevated bar program with seasonal drinks like the Hibiscus Margarita or Pear Spritzer. Add more upscale ambiance with sides to fill out your table, such as oysters on the half shell and shrimp cocktail.
This Korean-influenced gastropub has two flawless burgers on the menu. Go for the signature Kimchi Cheeseburger, complete with sauteed kimchi and perilla and kewpie mayo, or try a Bulgogi Burger with marinated beef on brioche with Korean chili pepper and pickles. Either way, you’ll want to add some extra kimchi fries. Before you dig in, though, help yourself to a smattering of SouthGate’s small plate offerings, especially the Korean Fried Chicken and fluffy Bao Buns with spicy pork. For something to drink, SouthGate offers a very fun cocktail menu and different flavors of Korean soju distilled from sweet potatoes and rice.
Spot Gourmet Burgers
Create the most out-of-this-world burger you can imagine with all the unique fixings offered at Spot. Does Cheez Whiz on a burger sound appealing to you? No judgment here. How about goat cheese with sundried tomatoes and a fried egg? Step right up. Start by choosing from sirloin, veggie patty, or organic ground chicken before diving into any of Spot’s 10 gourmet burger varieties, or start building your own masterpiece. You might also be curious to try the signature Spot Sauce, which is a smokey, tangy addition to any option, but you can pick anything from Mexican hot sauce to truffle balsamic to Korean ssamjang, among many others. Cheesesteaks, fried chicken sammies, and other delectables are also available if a burger isn’t quite hitting the spot.
As you might expect, the Standard Burger is the quintessential food to pair with the house’s generous, local-forward draft beer list and creative cocktails. The burger features seven ounces of Pennsylvania beef grilled to temp with raw red onion, cheddar, butter lettuce, and aioli on a brioche Merzbacher’s bun. While certainly a dinnertime staple, the burger also appears on the brunch menu, in case you want to start your day the right way. If you’re a pickle fan, enjoy your burger with a side of mixed house pickles along with those fresh-cut fries.
The $27 Whiskey King burger at the Garces Group’s Rittenhouse spot spares no expense, topped with foie gras, applewood bacon, blue cheese, and maple-bourbon glazed cipollini. While it’s certainly one for the Philly food bucket list, the house Village Burger may be more your style, with house-made thousand island, tomato, and Boston Bibb on a sesame roll for $13. There’s also a Smash Burger, Veggie Burger, and Turkey Burger to choose from, any of which can be topped with seared foie gras, fried egg, truffle mushrooms, and a slew of other toppings. Regardless of your order, don’t skip a side of Duck Fat Fries with Sly Fox cheddar sauce.