The great joy you feel when you find a great burger is one of life's greatest joys. To keep the euphoria pumping, it's a good idea to make sure you're never too far from one either. We've hand-picked the best meat-wiches in 12 Philly 'hoods so you won't have that problem.
Hickory Lane Bistro (address and info)
Hickory Lane’s signature burger lives up to the hype Chef Zagorski’s name brings with it, partly thanks to the garlic aioli, but also because the local ingredients make it the freshest in the city, right down to the fries served on the side.
Rouge (address and info)
The burgers at Rouge are a display of over indulgence, so don’t wince if the presentation seems over-the-top. If you're going to try their signature burger w/ caramelized onion & Gruyere on a challah roll, do it on an empty stomach.
Smokin’ Betty’s (address and info)
None of the burger options at Smokin’ Betty’s disappoint, but it's the namesake Betty burger -- with sirloin, pork belly, avocado, cheddar, garlic aioli, and all those other quintessential burger ingredients -- that you want to order.
National Mechanics (address and info)
They've got a solid, if simple, beef-based option, plus discounted burger deals on Wednesdays, but the smart move here, if only for the novelty of it, is to order their veggie burger, which's made with a proprietary blend of julienned veggies and tastes so good (seriously!), you'd swear it was made with... um, something other than julienned veggies.
The Cambridge (address and info)
The Cambridge cooks their burgers to juicy perfection no matter what you’re into, but you should go whole hog at the Porker Burger, one of the best ways to eat... well, hog anywhere in the city.
Alla Spina (address and info)
You should probably try the carbonara burger with fried egg for dinner, then get a beer milkshake for dessert, just sayin’.
PYT (address and info)
Ah, PYT… although locals are out on whether it’s indeed the best burger spot in NoLibs (Standard Tap is awesome too), no one can argue that it isn't the most innovative. And no one can say no to the The Doh! Nut, which comes w/ beef, cheese & chocolate-covered bacon on a glazed donut bun.
Sketch Burger (address and info)
Sketch Burger views your meal a lot like a choose-your-own-adventure book, but instead of falling to your death trying to ride a mammoth on page 53 of The Cave of Time, you can choose between a handful of meats, sauces (wasabi, BBQ sauce, or chipotle), and more; or you can just skip all that and order the Truffle Butter Burger, which is topped with Swiss cheese and mushrooms cooked in guess what kind of butter.
Royal Tavern (address and info)
Bella Vista locals swear that Royal Tavern is one of the city’s top-notch burger creators, thanks to their use of rich seasoning with caramelized onions, smoked Gouda, and chile mayonnaise.
Shake Shack (address and info)
Ever since this famed New York chain made its way to Philly last year, locals have been turning up in droves to see what all the fuss is about, and they found out by ordering a classic burger with a side of cheesy crinkle cut fries.
Bridget Foy’s (address and info)
Whether you opt for the Standard burger (Wisconsin cheddar, thank you very much) or the Head House Market burger with fried egg and Swiss, you'll understand why BF's is your new BF when it comes to innovative ways to present your favorite comfort foods.
Lucky’s Last Chance (address and info)
After competing against other burger specials for the title, the bacon cheddar burger is the new full-time mainstay on the Lucky’s menu. There are still 11 other options to choose from, one of which includes barbecue chicken topped on beef and soaked in Buffalo sauce and bleu cheese, so you best get to eating.
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1. Hickory Lane Bistro2025 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia
2. Rouge205 S 18th St, Philadelphia
3. Smokin' Betty's116 S 11th St, Philadelphia
4. National Mechanics22 S 3rd St, Philadelphia
5. The Cambridge1508 South St, Philadelphia
6. Alla Spina1410 Mt. Vernon St, Philadelphia
7. PYT1050 N Hancock St, Philadelphia
8. Sketch Burger413 E Girard Ave, Philadelphia
9. Royal Tavern937 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia
10. Shake Shack3200 Chestnut St, Philadelphia
11. Bridget Foy's200 South St, Philadelphia
12. Lucky's Last Chance4421 Main St, Philadelphia
Hickory Lane’s signature burger lives up to the hype, thanks to the garlic aioli and the freshest ingredients in the city. The fries are pretty tasty too.
The burgers at Rouge are a display of over indulgence. If you try one of 'em it's probably a good idea to have an empty stomach so you can actually finish the thing.
The burger options at Smokin’ Betty’s don't disappoint. Try their signature Betty burge, which has burger, pork belly, avocado, chester, garlic aioli, and all those other quintessential burger ingredients.
National Mechanics's got a varied American menu, a crazy array of cocktail, and inhabits an historic, gothic building in Old City.
Proving that following a legend won't always end in someone saying "Sorry sir, Meatloaf cleared out the continental breakfast" is Cambridge, which replaces the old grimy music venue Tritone with a new South St gastro from the crew behind Hawthorne's.
Alla's is housed in the back half of the old Wilkie dealership with mismatched seating, a bar made of crushed beer bottles, and a ton of wall (and ceiling) space coated in graffiti -- a truly rare find, considering the pristine nature of North Broad.
It's hard to go wrong with consuming a half-pound of red-sauced meatball flattened between two fried lasagna patties. If you don't catch that, you can always back it up with a summery Jamaican jerk chicken burger bundled between fried plantains.
Sketch Burger views your meal as a carefully measured science, whether you want wasabi, BBQ sauce, or Chipotle sauce. Plus, truffle butter is always an optional topping.
The unassuming, minimally labeled outside of this Passyunk place gives way to a classic, deep red pub on the inside where the Angus Burger reigns king. The small, laid-back crowd of regulars who know about Royal Tavern line the full-service bar in the afternoon and late night to get a bite of rare beef and bacon, caramelized onions, smoked gouda, pickled longhots, and chile mayonnaise. They don't dare forget the side of thick, crispy fries with a sprinkling of Old Bay, either.
The New York City equivalent to Los Angeles' In-N-Out, Shake Shack is the modern-day answer to the 50s soda shop and burger joint. The influx of college kids from the nearby UPenn campus will tell you, this is the chain to devote yourself to, for its ideally palm-sized, paper-wrapped, utterly Instagram-able burgers alone. The branded bag you get with your to-go order (with the milkshake flavor of the week, of course) makes an accessory any New Yorker would be proud of as you step across the block to eat in Hill Square.
Whether you opt for the Standard burger or the Head House Market burger with fried egg and swiss, Bridget Foy’s is celebrated for reinventing new ways to present your favorite comfort foods.
Lucky's brought pub-height two-tops into the former Yunkers while covering the walls with a rose-vine mosaic and sweet vintage beer posters, serving serious burgers prepped with local ingredients and a tidy roster of craft brews.