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Apr 10, 2003 10:22 AM

best burger in boston

  • h

I'm looking for the best burger in Boston-any suggestions?

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  1. These are my two favorites:

    1) Audubon Circle on Beacon Street - I don't know what they put in their burgers, but damn it's some good stuff! They're served with yummy roasted potatoes. I always ask them to put some bleu cheese on top... Mmmmm...

    2) Bartley's Burger Cottage in Harvard Square - More of a casual, cafeteria table-style place. I like how they have every topping known to man, and they also offer chicken, veggie, and turkey (I think) burgers. Their sweet potato fries are supposed to be delish, but I haven't tried them myself. The cooking area is open, so be prepared to smell like meat when you leave! Gets a little hectic on the weekends especially during the school year, so I usually go in the summer and sit outside.

    2 Replies
    1. re: delikado

      I have never tried the Bristol Lounger burger, but my personal favorite in the area is Sunset Grill in Allston - big, juicy, and cheap. I had Tim's many years ago and remember loving theirs as well. Had one at Boston Beer Works a while ago and it was OK, nothing spectacular.

      1. re: delikado

        I haven't been to Audobon in years but their sister restaurant Miracle of Science is my favorite. But as another poster said, fries go with a burger better than roasted potatoes, which are fine. And I've been waiting to get back to Bartley's after a delicious plain cheeseburger w/ wonderful onion rings a few months ago.

      2. In no particular order: Tim's Tavern, Bartley's Burger Cottage, Bristol Lounge at Four Seasons Hotel. I am sure the Hounds will find more. In fact, there is probably an old thread out there on this so you might want to do a little search as well.

        1. Tim's Tavern on Columbus Avenue (South End). The key to a good burger is cooking it on the skillet (as opposed to on the grill or in the oven - this tends to dry the meat out). I was appalled last weekend. Went to Aquitaine and my boyfriend ordered their $10.00 burger. It was awful - dry and tasteless. I motioned for the waitress and asked her how they cook it. She said they cook it in the oven; I was shocked and told her to tell the kitchen to bring us back a burger cooked in a frying pan! This is the only way to preserve the juices, which give the burger flavor!

          10 Replies
          1. re: Nancy

            I've never heard such silliness. Of course you can make a great burger on a grill or in the oven. The key (IMHO) is to get it seared on the outside so that the juices get locked in, and to have a burger with sufficient fat content. Neither of these are the exclusive domain of the frying pan.

            1. re: AlanH

              Searing doesn't lock in anything.
              Searing/browning meat gives it flavor and makes it look good.
              Both of which are very important, IMO.

              Not sure?
              Sear a piece of meat all around, then drop it in any liquid.
              I assure that what is outside will get in, and vice versa.

                1. re: oystershucker

                  I'm not in the habit of soaking my already-cooked burgers before eating them. I didn't say it would create a completely air and watertight seal, but it does help retain juices. Since you are apparently Mr. Wizard, please explain why cooking a burger in a frying pan could possibly make it juicier that exposing the same meat to heat through another method? Apparently my answer wasn't helpful.

                  1. re: AlanH

                    Regarding juicy burgers, I agree with the posts that mention using meat with a higher fat content and not squeezing the fat out of them while they're on the grill, if that's your method of choice.
                    I've cooked burgers both ways and had good luck.

                    Browning doesn't help retain juices - that was the only point of my previous post.
                    Read McGee's "On Food and Cooking" for a more extensive explanation as to why. Then you too can be a Mr. Wizard.

              1. re: Nancy

                You'd probably be interested to know that Tim's cooks their burgers over a grill. Not in a frying pan.

                1. re: DodinBouffant

                  My burgers are the best and I use a frying pan. Indeed good burgers may be made on the grill, but I think it is tricky. First, you must not flip them a lot. I am not experienced in cooking them on the grill, but would interested in hearing tips on how to preserve the moisture.

                  1. re: Nancy

                    Cook them on the grill without pressing them or flipping more than once. It's tough to not give in to the temptation of pressing and flipping but that is how they get dried out.
                    I vote for grill over pan.

                2. re: Nancy

                  Nancy- Dying to know if the cooks agreed and cooked you all a new burger in the plan?? Please tell!

                  1. re: Foodiex2

                    Yes, the cooks at Aquitaine whipped me up a new burger in the pan, and it was MUCH better, according to my boyfriend.

                3. I know it is not in Boston, but on the northshore of mass., in Swampscott the Red Rock Bistro makes a mean burger!!!!!!!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Diski

                    Red Rock Bistro = good burgers? Details please!
                    Figures, I just moved away from that area. Had a few very delicious meals there, but never tried a burger....

                    1. re: lori b

                      Red Rock has the best tasting black angus burgers.... they are just sooooo good!

                  2. I like a lot of the prior suggestions here, but my personal favorite is R.F. O'Sullivan's on Beacon St in Somerville, between Inman and Porter Squares. It's a fun little neighborhood bar, beers by the pitcher. Excellent wedge fries or onion rings on the side. Their non-burger offerings may be good too, but I'll never know: this is burger Nirvana.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                      Best burger I've had so far has been Audobon Circle. I kinda wish they had fries though, there's something so classic about a burger and fries.

                      RF.O' Sullivan's & The Bristol Lounge are on my list to try. I've heard only good things about both spots for burgers.

                      Also, if you find yourself in JP, try Costello's Tavern. A little hole-in-the wall on Centre Street with a pretty respectable burger, I think.


                      1. re: lori b

                        I second Costello's. Average looking pub place, nice tasty burger.

                      2. re: MC Slim JB

                        Recently went looking for a great burger with a friend of mine and we ended up at RF O'Sullivan's. After all the positives on this board, I expected more. It was good but kind of dry, to be honest. And I'd rather not have steak fries.

                        The person I was with had tried the Bristol Lounge burger the week before. She said it was absolutely incredible and worth every cent. That's where I'll head next!