For all the beauty there is in DIY-ing your perfect burger, there’s also something equally wonderful about trying a dish exactly as the kitchen intended. Thus is the deal with the cheeseburger at Middle Child Clubhouse, the description of which notes, “This is not Burger King; please try it our way!” Their way comes with American cheese, sour pickles, and white onion on a seeded bun and side of Russian dressing. You can choose whether you prefer medium-rare or well done, but after that, the rest is up to the kitchen.
Fountain Porter keeps its food menu short and savory, with the cheeseburger as its one and only main dish. The Fountain Porter Cheeseburger is a favorite throughout the city, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s on the cheaper side of things at just six bucks. The factor that makes it so great is its simplicity. Thin and perfectly seared with a nice flavorful crust and understated salt-and-pepper seasoning, all on a soft potato bun. Add a side of fries (or a side of carrots, if you’re into that) and pair your burger with a pick from the spot’s lineup of eclectic draft beers.
Hilltown does classic pub fare very well, and there’s also a whole lot of variety from which you can choose. Each of the pub’s five burgers (plus plant-based and vegetarian-friendly options) feature an 8-ounce patty on a brioche bun and a choice of cheese—you can even add Irish sharp cheddar for an extra buck. To hit the perfect spot for brunch (or anytime, really), try the Breakfast Burger, featuring bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, and a sunny-side-up egg, or go for a Barbecue Burger piled high with crispy fried onion straws. The other star at Hilltown is the beer list, so take time to study the craft and specialty bottle options to find your perfect pairing.
This local favorite’s menu takes a lot of inspo from Southern barbecue, and the signature Khyber Burger is no exception. Angus beef, bacon, barbecue onions, pimento cheese, and creole mustard make it the ideal comfort food. You can also try the Royal Tavern Burger, featuring a chuck and brisket blend patty on a brioche bun from Baker Street Bread. Whatever you go with, you might as well fill out your meal with a try of the Khyber Gumbo, sweet potato fries, crispy brussels, and while you’re waiting for everything, a nibble at the bar’s signature Khyber Popcorn seasoned with bacon grease.
Lucky’s is all about over-the-top toppings, monthly burger specials, and enjoying it all with a serving of Main Street Tots drizzled with an Old Bay cheese sauce. Regulars know and love Lucky’s for the PB&J Burger, which is exactly what it sounds like, but the spot also makes a mean bacon, egg, and cheeseburger. There’s usually around 15 burgers on the menu, which makes for a perfect foodie challenge if you’re determined to try them all. One of the more daring options includes the Cubano Grilled Cheeseburger, featuring a single patty on Texas Toast with swiss cheese, pulled pork, pork roll, pickles, mustard, and Mojo sauce.
Monk’s Cafe is a Philly must for anyone interested in beer, burgers, and Belgium. The cozy tavern is big on mussels with addictive pommes frites, so start with those before moving on to your burger of choice. Options are the name of the game here, so you can go traditional, or trade in beef for a vegan burger or chicken breast, all served on a brioche bun from Metropolitan. The menu features six burger options that are tough to choose between, but no matter what you pick, you can’t go wrong, whether you’re in the mood for the Brussels Burger with bacon and cheddar, or the Bruges Burger with sauteed mushrooms and gruyere.