Food & Drink

Seattle's 10 best under-the-radar burgers

Published On 02/26/2014 Published On 02/26/2014
whiskey burger
Chona Kasinger

Ever wonder why all those "Seattle's Best Burgers" lists always include pretty much the same hamburgers? Sure, Li'l Woody's, 8oz. Burger Bar, Katsu Burger, Zippy's, and Uneeda Burger all make amazing meat discs, but we figured there have to be some other badass burgers out there (we were right!), and put together a collection of under-the-radar gems that haven't appeared on any of the latest "Seattle's Best Burgers" lists from 1) Seattle Metropolitan, 2) Seattle Magazine, 3) Seattle Eater, or... um, 4) your second-favorite men's lifestyle site.

Chona Kasinger

Skagit River Ranch Beef Burger
Golden BeetleBallard
This Iron Chef-vet is known for sweet Mediterranean/Italian eats, which is probably why this locally sourced beef disc has Greek-inspired toppings like tomato-garlic sauce & pickled onion, and the fries are flavored with Near East spices... either that, or it's because they're frickin' awesome.

Woodinville Whiskey BBQ Burger
The Commons, Woodinville
You’re in Woodinville... are you lost? It's cool, 'cause the Commons purveys meaty behemoths, like this sucker topped w/fried onions, butter pickles, coleslaw, and BBQ sauce made with some sweet local hooch -- together, they'll put some wood in somewhere else.

The Bacon & Egg Burger
Relish Burger Bistro, Denny Triangle
The Westin-based Relish is probably slightly-too-corporate for some Seattleites, but their burgers, like this Applewood-smoked bacon, fried egg & Beecher’s Flagship cheese-topped number are wayyy more than slightly-too-good to miss out on.

Twilight Exit

The Twilight BBQ Burger
Twilight Exit, Central District
The CD's finest dive bar makes the kind of burgers, like this one w/Zoe’s bacon, fried shoestring onions, BBQ sauce & Muenster cheese, that you want to... sorryboutthis!... dive into. And they're three bucks off every weekend.

Chona Kasinger

Tin Hat Burger
Tin Hat, Phinney Ridge
This venerable boozer's a magical time machine back to an easier, perhaps more drug-addled time and place where you're literally encouraged to “Shut the F*** Up and Drink”, but should also consider shutting up and eating this pork and fried veggie-topped burger.

Chona Kasinger

The After School Special
King's Hardware, Ballard
This After School Special isn't about making sure latch-key kids don't talk to strangers on the way home from school (it doesn't matter that he offered to buy you an ice cream, Jenny!). No, it's about putting two of the world's best foods, bacon and peanut butter, on an already-pretty-sweet burger.

Henry’s Mac & Cheese Burger
Henry's Tavern, SoDo
Located right next to one of SODO’s most popular destinations… yup Deja Vu (!), this Portland-based eat/drink-spot from the peeps behind places like Cutters and Palisade is serving up generously portioned pub fare like this All American Burger w/ mac & cheese, Applewood-smoked bacon & an Elysian Immortal cheddar sauce.

Deluxe Bar and Grill

The Deluxe Bacon Cheeseburger
Deluxe Bar and Grill, Capitol HIll
This old-school boozer makes burgers that are the BOMB (seriously, it's their Burger of the Month Burger), and a few more creative numbers (one w/ chicken, SPAM, pineapple, crispy onion, Pepper Jack & Sriracha), but a perfectly greasy classic is possibly even better than Seattle's most famous Deluxe: Dick's.

Art Restaurant

The Ultimate Burger
ART RestaurantDowntown
This Four Seasons-based spot isn't messing around: this sucker comes with a platter full of toppings, including a fried egg, herbed cheese, Kobe pastrami & crab, and is by definition a work of ART. But is also, you know, a work of art.

Organic Lamb Burger
Barolo, Downtown
This happy hour destination is serving up a gooey Buffalo mozz-topped lamb burger on ciabatta, that is quite possibly the sexiest thing on Westlake, including all the ladies working at Lil' Darlings, and that girl in the Whole Food's deli who's been on your radar since the first time she made you a burrito.

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1. The Tin Hat Bar & Grill 512 NW 65th St, Seattle, WA 98117 (Phinney Ridge)

The Tin Hat is one of Seattle’s older bars… and a magical time machine back to an easier, simpler time. After all, any place whose motto is “Shut the F Up and Drink” is a place we want to be at.

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2. The Commons 14481 Woodinville Redmond Rd NE, Woodinville, WA 98072 (Woodinville)

This restaurant boasts an extensive menu chock-full of unique choices (like a Whiskey BBQ burger and chicken sausage biscuits...), as well as well-priced, delicious libations.

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3. The Deluxe Bar and Grill 625 Broadway E, Seattle, WA 98102 (Capitol Hill)

This classic American eatery serves up killer burgers and sandwiches like the porchetta with rosemary garlic pork out of their Capitol Hill digs.

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4. Golden Beetle 1744 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107 (Ballard)

Golden Beetle serves Eastern Mediterranean eats (that're a staggering 95% certified wild/organic) in a 90-seat blue-trimmed space that's lit by custom-cut glass lanterns.

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5. Relish Burger Bistro 1900 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101 (Downtown)

Relish serves burgers, including a dozen signature options like the Niman Ranch beef Pike Place Special w/ fried onion rings, applewood-smoked bacon & a rich peppercorn cheese from Beecher’s called Marco Polo.

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6. Twilight Exit 2514 E Cherry, Seattle, WA 98122 (Central District)

Hit the Twilight Exit for their happy hours and comfort food, but stay for karaoke and their game room, featuring vintage finds like Ms. Pacman.

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7. King's Hardware 5225 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107 (Ballard)

King's Hardware is decked out with taxidermy and stocked with regional brews, but the rustic pub's main attraction is its tasty and creative burger options, like the peanut butter and bacon-based After School Special. Aside from classic and specialty burgers, there are hot wings, onion rings, and similar greased-up "sidekicks" on the menu. You can bring your beer and burger outside and chill on the patio, or stay inside and challenge your friends to a round of skee-ball.

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8. Henry's Tavern 1518 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134 (Sodo)

At this beer- and brew-slinging tavern from the guys behind Cutters and Palisade, don't miss the burger that combines three of our favorite things: the bacon mac-and-cheese burger.

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9. Barolo Ristorante 1940 Westlake Ave, Seattle, WA 98101 (Belltown)

Barolo's minimal, sophisticated vibe sets the stage for fine dining on Italian dishes made from seasonal ingredients straight from Northern Italy. Hand-made pastas take the form of tortellini, gnocchi, spaghetti, and just about every other noodle you can imagine, topped with fresh vegetables, small-batch sauces and smoked meats and fishes like lamb and salmon. To put it simply, this is a date spot. In Belltown, it's the date spot -- just look at its list of more than 300 Italian wines, many of them vintage and sure to impress.

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10. ART Restaurant & Lounge 99 Union St, Seattle, WA 98101 (Downtown)

With views of Elliott Bay, this farm-to-table eatery serves up delectable options from land, ranch, or sea, like the spice-rubbed king salmon entree.



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