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Jul 28, 2003 04:11 PM

boston's best burger

  • l

Ok, so I know we've beaten this topic to a pulp in the past...but just wondering what the hounds' overall consensus is on the best burger in Boston...and how you rate a burger. Flavor, size, juicyness, preparation, etc.

Last night I finally made it to RF O'Sullivan's where I have to admit I enjoyed a very good, juicy, big burger. I had it topped with sauteed onions and cheddar cheese; had a tough time getting my paws around this critter but i did it...! I thought it was very good...perfectly formed, cooked the way I had asked (though my friend ordered it MR and hers was on the medium well side of medium..)It was juicy, obviously carefully made over a grill. Service was very friendly and capable; I think the bar is the place to sit at this joint. Prices reasonable, between 7-8 bucks for a hunk o'meat. We went off the known path and ordered buffalo chicken fingers which were very good. A tasty, tangy sauce, not too spicy with good quality white meat, chicken tenders, very lightly battered. I know people go there for the burgers but these are pretty good buffalo fingers, for future reference.

So..bottom line...out of a scale of 1-10, I'm giving O'Sullivans an 8. Flavor of the burger was good, but not memorable...I really liked my burger at Audobon and for now, they rate a 9. I don't remember the burger being as big and hard to handle at Audobons - but I do remember the flavor - not that big is necessarily a bad thing...but to be honest I don't need a burger quite as big as O'Sullivans. I think I'd rather have a bit of a smaller burger with a more intense burger flavor.

I still have to make it to Tim's Tavern, Bukowski's...and when I've got a few extra bucks, the Bristol Lounge burger.

Anyone else?

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  1. >>>but just wondering what the hounds' overall consensus is on the best burger in Boston<<<

    And what makes you think that we ever reach a consensus on anything?

    4 Replies
    1. re: AlanH

      I haven't made it to Sullivan's yet, but I've been back and forth between Bartley's (Harvard Sq) and Miracle of Science (Central Sq) quite a few times recently. I surprised myself by finally deciding Miracle has the better burger, although Bartley's is more funky (nothing like having a waiter yell out "one Viagra and rings" at the top of his lungs!) and has those great onion rings. Then again, Guinness on tap at Miracle is more important than good onion rings, AFAIAC.


      1. re: Tir na nOg

        FYI, Miracle of Science is owned by the same people who runs Audubon in Fenway (mentioned also as a fine burger joint), and they own Red Line in Harvard Square as well. I'll vouch for the Audubon and Miracle of Science burgers, Audubon's might be slightly better.

        1. re: joypirate

          How 'bout Tim's Tavern vs. Audubon's or RF O'Sullivans?

          It's next on my list and I'm wondering what to expect.

          So far:

          1) Audubon
          2) RF O Sullivan's
          3) Costello's (in JP; a total surprise but a great little burger)

          Any clue where Tim's will fit in?

          1. re: joypirate

            this is a bit late -- but afaik redline is the grafton st. folks (also of temple bar). unless they also own miracle and audubon . . .


      2. First of all let me just say I'm more for the flat patties than the thick and juicy. I have had the Audubon burger in the past and it was tasty but my vote is a tossup between Charlie's Kitchen and the Harp and Bard on Dot. Ave. I guess I just like the premade ones thrown on a flattop.

        1. i

          Using a cheddar cheesburger as my benchmark, I have found the burgers at Bartley's and R.F. O'Sullivans to be the the best in Boston (if ever in NYC, run, don't walk, to the Corner Bistro for the platonic ideal). Although the Bristol Lounge provides a nice burger, it is akin to dressing a four hundred pound gorilla in a tu-tu. I'll always prefer a place where you're not ashamed to have a little grease on your sleeve.

          That being said, I had a suprisingly good experience with the burger provided at the restaurant attached to King's bowling alley in the Back Bay. Although they don't provide the menu in the bowling area, you can request a copy. The ground beef they use in their 1/2 pound burger had the right flavor and fat ratio.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Invinoveritas

            For burgers, I recommend Bukowski's on Boylston. It's just around the corner from the King's Lanes.

            I usually get the turkey burger with grilled onions and mushrooms. Boyfriend loves their beef burger with blue cheese. Also very good buffalo fingers, which are really honkin' big chicken tenderloins served with a sweet/spicy/sour dipping sauce. Last time they were a little dry, but they are normally excellent.

          2. I think the best is Joe Sent Me in Cambridge, on Mass Ave (closest to Davis T). I can usually only eat three quarters of it, but boyfriend can definitely polish off the whole thing, along with the hand cut fries, skin-on. The burger is always cooked to order, and we're fans of the blue cheese on it. Other "flavors" are very good too, like the "Long Bomb" which has teriaki sauce and sauteed mushrooms, onions, and swiss; you can get just about anything you want. (Oh and try dipping the hot fries in both ketchup and blue cheese!) Prices very good, 2 burgers 2 beers ~25$ :)

            1. It might just be my local geographic favoritism, but I'm a huge fan of both Coolidge Corner Clubhouse and Sunset Grill. Absolutely delicious, no matter what the toppings are (if any)! Granted, I love Bartley's and RF O'Sullivan's but I think because I've eaten them less frequently than CCC's and Sunset's I have a slight bias. Basically, you can't go wrong at any of the places mentioned on this board.