We love PYT (no, we really love them) and Sketch Burger as much as anyone else, but you know what we don't love (besides vegetables, obviously)? The fact that the same few burgers show up on everyone's "best" lists. So here's a list of eight great, under-the-radar meat discs that Philadelphia Magazine, Visit Philadelphia, Eater, CBS Philly, and even your favorite men's lifestyle site left off their best burger lists, but that you'd be lucky to find on your plate. You’re welcome.
Philly's 8 best under-the-radar burgers
Nick's Bacon Burger
Nick’s Roast Beef Bar & Grille, Old City
So you like bacon on your burger? Well, order this sucker w/ thick-sliced, deep-fried pickles & tangy dipping sauce, and you'll get bacon in your burger. And some more on top, naturally.
Bourbon Blue Burger
Bourbon Blue, Manayunk
Get your lazy butt off the couch and take a bike ride on the Towpath to the Yunk and then obliterate all that exercise with the happy hour version of this 8oz Angus beef beast w/ sautéed mushrooms, blue cheese & bacon on a brioche roll for $5.75!
Big Fat Greek Burger
Lucky’s Last Chance, Manayunk
In addition to a strict "be nice or go home" policy (seriously!), these guys also have an equally strict making-crazy-burgers policy, as evidenced by their My Boy Bleu; El Guapo; Joocey Lucy; one topped w/ peanut butter & bacon; the Bacon, egg and cheeseburger; the ghost chili-topped Inferno; and the Big Fat Greek Burger (above), which comes w/ feta cheese, gyro meat, and a sauce that's name, tzatziki, is almost as incomprehensible as someone wanting to watch the movie this burger's named after.
El Camino Real, Northern Liberties
Not just a place for slammin’ BBQ/pulled pork like The Chronic (above) and wicked margaritas, but also some pretty damn tasty slabs o’ beef, like the Big Ass Burger, which has 10oz of meat, lettuce, tomato & onion on a cacia roll.
The Al Capone
Sassafras, Old City
This unpretentious boozer is serving up a whole slew of... sorry'boutthis!... criminally good burgers, including The Al Capone (blue cheese & bacon bison burger, above), The Spicy Marie (chili & cheddar) or The Dillinger (Gruyere & caramelized onions) that come with your pick of meats ranging from ostrich to bison, lamb, or sirloin.
Trolley Car Diner & Deli, Germantown/Mt. Airy
Posted up in (surprise!) an old trolley car, this beer float- and banana split-specialist also makes a mean protein patty. Here's how it works: you pick one of seven different meats (bison, salmon, beef, etc.), and then top it with whatever you want, including suggested combinations like the Western, Hawaiian, and Black-N-Bleu.
This friendly South Philly eatery wants to get friendly with your stomach too, so it's slinging an 8oz hunk of meat stuffed w/ kosher dills, shallots, etc. & topped w/ a shton of cheddar, plus optional deliciousness like a fried egg, bacon, avocado, or pico de gallo.
Goat Hollow Burger
Goat Hollow, Mt. Airy
Sure, they've got, like, a 20ft-long beer list, and an almost equally long list of other good stuff, but you're here for one reason: their glorious pork belly & provolone-topped burger, which may or may not be the greatest of all time (G.O.A.T!), but is definitely the greatest burger you'll eat... um, on the day you go up to Mt. Airy for one.
1. Nick's Roast Beef Bar & Grille16 S 2nd St, Philadelphia
2. Bourbon Blue2 Rector St, Manayunk
3. Lucky's Last Chance4421 Main St, Philadelphia
4. El Camino Real1040 N 2nd St, Philadelphia
5. Sassafras48 S 2nd St, Philadelphia
6. Trolley Car Diner7619 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia
7. Moonshine900 Moyamensing Ave, Philadelphia
8. Goat Hollow300 W Mount Pleasant Ave, Philadelphia
Nick's in Old City serves up old-school-style roast beef sandwiches and other pub fare, but's also got an arcade and bar so you can unwind while you unwind.
Bourbon Blue is located along the famous Manayunk Canal, and offers the best in American Cuisine with a little New Orleans fusion added in.
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.
This NoLibs Mextaurant plates all the classic dishes like pork carnitas, but adds some unexpected twists like their cactus (yup) tacos and their Chronic burger, which comes with mac on top.
With a comfortable, warm atmosphere, Sassafras is an Old City bar and resto that serves up a slice of the world: from Mongolian dumplings to their signature Philly cheesesteak made with brie, you're sure to find a bite to please everyone in your group.
If you're looking for more time with your family, or enjoy wallowing in the infantile misery of others spending more time with their families, hit up kid-friendly TCD for a massive menu of upticked diner faves (sherry-doused chicken croquettes FTW!), and an absolutely necessary (given all the kids around) offering of 270+ craft bottles including Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye and locals like Porkslap and River Horse's Tripel.
This friendly South Philly neighborhood bar boasts an equally friendly and impressive craft beer list, as well as their Signature Burger, an 8oz hunk of meat stuffed with kosher dill and shallots and slathered in cheddar called the LTO.
Rated by Zagat and more, this Mt Airy brasserie strives to have a neighborhood feel, and serves up gussied up classic dishes, like Duck Salad baby arugula, shaved romano, and dried cranberries, plus their famous Goat Hollow burger, which comes with pickled pork belly and provolone.