Food & Drink

The Best Burgers in Pittsburgh

Published On 06/23/2015 Published On 06/23/2015
Station burger
Dave Bryce Photography/Courtesy of Station

As Pittsburgh’s booming food scene continues to expand, so too do Pittsburgh’s burgers. Carnivore-leaning locals have a lot to be thankful for -- gourmet steak burgers, lean turkey burgers, DIY burger options, and burgers topped with cheesy treats. Read on to find the best meaty sandwiches within our city limits.

Station Burger

Station

Address and Info

Bloomfield

If the words "asiago fondue" are enough to induce salivation, Station’s burger is a must-eat. This 6oz patty is a mix of chuck, brisket, and short rib stacked with red onion jam, a crispy buttermilk onion ring, and creamy asiago fondue. Enjoy it in the dining room or at the bar with one of Station’s many impressive cocktails, like the "Today Was a Good Day" featuring Espolon Blanco, Aperol, lime, and Ruby Redbird Lager -- guaranteed to get Ice Cube’s hit song stuck in your head.

Steak burger

Gaucho Parrilla Argentina

Address and Info

Strip District

Known as much for its delicious meats as it is for its line around the block, this elegantly rustic Penn Avenue restaurant has become a staple since its recent expansion. For the steak burger, it’s definitely worth the wait. The meat is cooked to just the right temperature on a wood-fired grill. The burger is juicy, pairing well with caramelized onions and portobello mushrooms all tucked between two slices of ciabatta.

Over the Bar Bicycle Cafe | Emily Walley/Over the Bar Bicycle Cafe

The Dirt Rag Delight

Over The Bar Bicycle Cafe

Address and Info

South Side

Combine American cheese, dill pickles, creamy peanut butter, bacon, and ground beef, and you’ve got The Dirt Rag Delight. It might sound like an intimidating mash-up of tastes, but somehow they all work together to make a mouth-watering burger. It’s one of 10 specialty burgers, all with bicycle-themed names, at OTB on the South Side. Try it as a turkey burger, and order it with a side of crispy seasoned fries.

Burger

The Vandal

Address and Info

Lawrenceville

This burger is all about its local ingredients. The 5oz patty is from Butcher on Butler, just down the street from the restaurant. The brioche bun comes from Pittsburgh’s Mediterra Bakehouse; the bread-and-butter pickles are made in-house. All that, plus white cheddar cheese, tomato mayo, and greens for good measure.

The Urban Tap | Bulldog Advertising/Courtesy of The Urban Tap

The Tap Burger

The Urban Tap 

Address and Info

South Side

The Tap Burger is a hulking creation combining locally sourced beef, red onion, and garlic aioli. The burger achieves a flame-grilled taste. Urban Tap strives for a fresh take on American gastropub fare, and the menu’s side dish options are solid evidence of that success. Order a side of crispy Brussels sprouts or butternut squash risotto.

Burger

Provision PGH at Smallman Galley

Address and Info

Strip District

At first, it might be alarming that there’s no Heinz Ketchup served with this burger. But it's so decadently dressed up, it doesn’t need even a drop of Pittsburgh’s favorite condiment. This grass-fed seared beef patty is decked out with umami aioli, smoked mushrooms, aged white cheddar, crispy baked parmesan, and organic greens with a shallot dressing. Topping this monster like a flag is a skewer of cinnamon-flavored pickle chips. The toasted sesame seed challah bun holds up till the last bite.

Custom creation

Burgatory

Address and Info

North Side & Other Locations

At Burgatory, go for the custom creation -- you pick the meat, bun, rub, cheese, sauce, and toppings. Less-adventurous types can choose from a list of 10 other house-designed burger options. Burgatory is known for its Heavenly Shakes, including hard shakes, such as the Grand-Dad’s Secret, a mixture of Old Grand-Dad bourbon and caramel. Burgatory has several sit-down locations throughout the Pittsburgh region’s suburbs, plus locations on the North Shore and at sports venues Heinz Field and Consol Energy Center.

Industry Public House

The Blast Furnace Burgher

Industry Public House

Address and Info

Lawrenceville

The Blast Furnace Burgher is appropriately named -- it’ll make your mouth feel steel-meltingly hot. Two thick slices of buttery, crispy toasted bread serve as the shell for a burger engulfed in ghost pepper cheese, Sriracha aioli, tomato, sweet bacon, and candied jalapeño. There are plenty of other options for those who aren’t spicy food fans, like the Worker Burgher with goat cheese, caramelized onion, arugula, mushrooms, and herb aioli. All pair well with Industry’s Copper Ale, an amber ale brewed in Pittsburgh.

Courtesy of BRGR

Shrooms Burger

BRGR

Address and Info

East Liberty

BRGR’s gourmet burgers are a handcrafted blend of Angus, chuck, and New York strip. The Shrooms Burger adds forest mushrooms, caramelized onions, Brie cheese, and mustard aioli to the sandwich. Wash it down with an adult root beer float -- root liqueur, local seltzer, and vanilla bean.

Southwest Burger

Stinky’s Bar & Grill

Address and Info

Lawrenceville

A testament to their heft, the burgers at Stinky’s are pierced with a steak knife through the middle, rather than a toothpick. Stinky’s Southwest Burger is a great pick, served with thick bacon, onion rings both inside the sandwich and on top of it, American cheese, and plenty of smoked BBQ sauce. It’s prepared just right from the kitchen, no ketchup or mustard required.

Courtesy of Winghart's

Tallulah Hula Burger

Winghart’s

Address and Info

South Side

At Winghart’s, the organic meat is ground in-house daily providing a fresh base for nearly a dozen burger-topping creations. The Tallulah Hula Burger takes on both sweet and savory tastes with pineapple, BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, and caramelized onions. Winghart’s is also a whiskey bar, so look for an ever-changing selection of distilleries on the menu.

Courtesy of Tessaro's

Hamburger

Tessaro’s

Address and Info

Bloomfield

The burgers at Tessaro’s, on Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield, have been beloved by Pittsburghers for decades. Order a classic hamburger at this longtime establishment. Each burger is a half-pound mix of choice cuts and freshly ground beef, achieving the coveted smoky, just-off-the-grill flavor reminiscent of summer no matter the season. They’re cooked over a wood-fired grill stocked with oak, maple, ash, and hickory woods, all which add to the burger’s flavor -- and to the aroma of burgers wafting through Bloomfield. On a warm day, ask for a seat on the open-air deck behind the restaurant.

Kaya

Kaya Burger

Kaya

Address and Info

Strip District

Kaya specializes in “island cuisine” with bold flavors. The burger is no exception. The Kaya Burger is stacked with sliced pickles, avocado, bacon, tomato, Chihuahua cheese, a sunny-side egg, and Kaya sauce. Kaya’s drink menu is known for its long list of tropical refreshers, from sangria to Mai Tais to mojitos, all of which taste great next to a burger.

Meat & Potatoes | TJ Ladner/Meat & Potatoes

Plain Jane

Meat & Potatoes

Address and Info

Downtown

The chefs at Meat & Potatoes know a thing or two about meat (also, potatoes), and the burger is unsurprisingly top-notch. The Plain Jane starts with a house-made bun, then adds a burger with all the traditional fixings -- lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles. The Pub Burger, featuring pastrami belly, is another popular choice.

Fancy Burger of the Day

Butterjoint

Address and Info

Oakland

Butterjoint is the full-service bar within Legume restaurant in Oakland, a dressed-down and still-delicious alternative to the formal dining room. Burgers are made from Western Pennsylvania beef ground fresh in-house every day. Top it with cave-aged Gruyere or smoked rhubarb catsup, or order the menu’s Fancy Burger of the Day.

Sign up here for our daily Pittsburgh email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in the Steel City.

Rossilynne S. Culgan is a Pittsburgh native who believes the best burger topping is Pittsburgh’s Heinz ketchup -- that is, until she tasted Provision PGH’s baked parmesan.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Station 4744 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15224 (Bloomfield)

It may be tempting to skip right to dessert (yes, the popcorn panna cotta with caramel corn and salted caramel is THAT good), but first start with dinner. The tagliatelle, served with smoked pork shank, soffritto, an egg, and parmesan is a bowlful of comfort food. On the way to the dining room, peek at the restored antique wood bar, covered with ornate carvings and woodwork.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. Gaucho Parilla Argentina 1607 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 (Strip District)

This Latin American steak joint in the Strip District offers five cuts of beef in their bright, al fresco eatery. Order counter-service from a wide selection of flavorful wood-fired steak, chicken, and fish dishes, plus savory sides like rice and beans, corn, and the house special "gaucho papas."

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. Over the Bar Bicycle Cafe 2518 E Carson St, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 (South Side Flats)

Bikes, burgers and beer — that's the name of the game at Over the Bar Bicycle Cafe. It's burgers are just as flashy as its decor (full-size bicycles hang upside down from the ceiling amidst painted depictions of bmx stunts) with bike-themed names like The Dirt Rag Delight (American cheese, dill pickles, creamy peanut butter, bacon and ground beef). Pair them off with a batch of fries dusted with powdered ranch dressing mix and a cold one from their constantly rotating draft list.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. The Vandal 4306 Butler St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201 (Central Lawrenceville)

The motto here is “hang out or take out,” and the spot offers gourmet food in a casual setting for a low-key brunch (think: yogurt and avocado toast), lunch (sandwiches and burgers), and dinner (fried chicken).

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
5. The Urban Tap 1209 E Carson St, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 (South Side Flats)

At The Urban Tap in Pittsburgh’s South Side, you'll find 40 beers on tap with plenty of great options from well-established breweries such as Founders and Dogfish. It also features a large, industrial interior and plenty of flat-screen TVs, making it a popular spot to watch the Steelers and Penguins on game nights. Whatever you do, though, don't leave before you try demolishing the Tap Burger, a thick, rare patty with roasted garlic aioli.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
6. Smallman Galley 54 21st St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 (Strip District)

As a "restaurant incubator," Smallman Galley offers kitchen space to four local chefs, each with their own distinct concepts and menus. Currently, one menu focuses on meats, while another is vegetable-forward. Yet another is a toast-based concept. The fourth is a home-style American bistro. The cafeteria-style venue also houses a full bar with plenty of local spirits and a coffee bar using PA-based Commonplace's coffee beans, La Prima espresso, and Gyrphon's Tea.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
7. Burgatory 299 W Bridge St, Homestead, PA 15120

One of Pittsburgh's favorite, Burgatory is a hip, little burger chain that boasts limitless create-your-own burger combos, hand-spun milkshakes (try the salted Nutella crunch), and inventive cocktails on the Pittsburgh waterfront. Sirloin, chuck, brisket and short rib meet to create this spot's thick, juicy patties. You can't go wrong with the basic Standard Deluxe, with American cheese, raw red onions, crispy shallots and the famous House Sauce.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
8. Industry Public House 4305 Butler St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201 (Central Lawrenceville)

Located in Lawrenceville, this popular drinkery features American comfort food, delicious artisanal cocktails, and a great selection of craft beer in an industrial-inspired space. The prohibition-era architecture, open brick walls and metallic surfaces will draw you in, but the Entry Level Burgher (a stocky and thick square patty between two buns that are just crispy enough) and the full-service bar providing endless international drafts, cocktails and whiskeys will keep you there.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
9. BRGR 5997 Penn Circle S, Pittsburgh, PA 15206 (East Liberty)

BRGR's mouthwatering burgers are a handcrafted blend of Angus, chuck, ribeye and New York Strip (unless you opt for kobe beef or salmon instead). The best of the best is the Shrooms Burger, with forest mushrooms, caramelized onions, brie cheese and mustard aioli, but the Cease and Desist in all its thousand-island glory is a serious contender for the best burger in all of Pittsburgh. You can wash either (or both, no judgement) down with an adult root beer float made with root liqueur, local seltzer and vanilla bean.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
10. Stinky's Bar & Grill 4901 Hatfield St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201

Good burgers, beers, televised sports and casual vibes—if these are a few of your favorite things, look no further than Stinky’s Bar & Grill. This family owned bar is a neighborhood hot spot for its affordable drink specials and extensive burger menu, which includes the award-winning Southwest burger, a glorious combination thick bacon, onion rings (both layered inside and finished on top), American cheese and barbecue sauce.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
11. Winghart's 1505 E Carson St, pittsburgh, PA 15203

What began its run as a small counter in Market Square eventually became Winghart's, a must-stop when in Pittsburgh. This spot is the fresh and innovative answer to bar foods made from frozen or boxed ingredients. Winghart's serves up fresh and never-frozen burgers, ground in-house daily, that can be customized with nearly a dozen toppings, along with homemade pizza from their wood-fire brick oven. You can wash down all that goodness with whiskeys from all over the world, local beers and hand crafted cocktails.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
12. Tessaro's 4601 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15224 (Bloomfield)

This All-American bar and grill is known for its giant burgers, ground in-house and cooked on a hardwood grill stocked with oak, maple, ash and hickory woods. The massive half-pound patties are cooked to medium, so they really drip (sometimes right through the slightly toasted bun), but that's never stopped anyone from enjoying their smokey, salty taste. Their scent lingers through Bloomfield and has been drawing in new and repeat customers alike for decades.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
13. Kaya 2000 Smallman St, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

This dramatically lit place serves up eclectic island eats such as conch fritters and jerk chicken. Try the Kaya burger which comes with sliced pickles, avocado, bacon, tomato, Chihuahua cheese, a sunny-side egg, and Kaya sauce. Sip a tropical drink like a Mai Tai or mojito while you dig in.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
14. Meat & Potatoes 649 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

With a name that evokes simplicity and the essentials, Meat & Potatoes makes good on its promise of wholly satisfying, back-to-basics American fare. Chef Richard Deshantz serves seasonally inspired, artisanal comfort food, featuring highlights like bone marrow with gremolata and pickled red onions and burgers with fresh homemade buns. Factor in the Prohibition-themed cocktail menu and contemporary speakeasy ambience, and you’ve got an upscale gastropub that is both hip and approachable at once.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
15. Butterjoint 214 N Craig St, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 (North Oakland)

This cozy cocktail spot offers draft beers, ciders, wines and all kinds of spirits from around Philadelphia along with tasty bar bites like pierogies, sausage and cheese plates and one of the best burgers in the city (made with Western PA ground beef, charred just a touch and placed on a hearty, crisped bun). If you want the full culinary experience (and you show up before 9pm), you can have your pick from next-door neighbor Legume's menu, which changes daily and is chock full of vegetable-centric dishes.

Clickbait