Food & Drink

Philly's 8 best under-the-radar burgers

Published On 04/23/2014 Published On 04/23/2014
thrillist burger

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.

Cassie Hepler

Nick's Bacon Burger
Nick’s Roast Beef Bar & GrilleOld 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

Bourbon Blue Burger
Bourbon BlueManayunk
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! 

Lucky's Last Chance

Big Fat Greek Burger
Lucky’s Last ChanceManayunk
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

The Chronic
El Camino RealNorthern 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
SassafrasOld 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

Bison Burger
Trolley Car Diner & DeliGermantown/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.

Cassie Hepler

Signature Burger
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.

Cassie Hepler

Goat Hollow Burger
Goat HollowMt. 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.

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1. Nick's Roast Beef Bar & Grille 16 S 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106 (Old City)

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.

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2. Bourbon Blue 2 Rector St, Manayunk, PA 19127 (Manayunk)

Bourbon Blue is located along the famous Manayunk Canal, and offers the best in American Cuisine with a little New Orleans fusion added in.

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3. Lucky's Last Chance 4421 Main St, Philadelphia, PA 19127 (Manayunk)

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.

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4. El Camino Real 1040 N 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19123 (Nolibs)

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.

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5. Sassafras 48 S 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106 (Old City)

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.

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6. Trolley Car Diner 7619 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19119 (Chestnut Hillmt Airy)

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.

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7. Moonshine 900 Moyamensing Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (Pennsport)

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.

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8. Goat Hollow 300 W Mount Pleasant Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19119 (Chestnut Hillmt Airy)

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.



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