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Mar 23, 2006 10:01 AM

Boston's Best Burgers?

  • h

Who, in your opinion, makes the best burger in Boston? My friends and I all love a good burger and if we've missed any, want to know about it! The burgers at the top of my list right now are:

cheese-burger at The Bristol Lounge
cheddar and sauteed onions at O'Sullivans

O'Sullivans is my favorite and I know that many have had disappointing experiences here but every burger I've had there has been delightful.

Where else should we be going for the most delicious burger?

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  1. f

    michael schlow's burger at radius is a force to be reckoned with!


    1. Some I've had over the past year that I thought were memorable: Caffe Umbra (I prefer the frites to the eggplant fries), Union Bar & Grill (has bits of andouille in it, very nice), Mission Bar & Grill, Audubon Circle, Miracle of Science, the Overdraught (Irish pub in East Cambridge).

      I love, love, love R.F. O'Sullivan's, and miss, miss, miss Tim's Tavern.

      2 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        Audobon has a great burger, however I refuse to put their home made ketchup on it.

        1. re: MC Slim JB
          East Cambridge Hound

          Yeah, I have to give shout out to the Miracle of Science burger as well. It may not quite be a "destination burger," but it is a great "neighborhood burger". The only problem is that if you're craving fries, the homefries may not do it for you. But a really solid burger nonetheless.

          You're rubbing salt in my wounds mentioning that the Overdraught had good is right around the corner from where I now live, but sadly it is shuttered. (Overdraft, perhaps?)

        2. Don't be afraid to try Brasserie Jo's Blue Cheese burger (my wife's favorite), or the Ashmont Grill's.
          Both get high marks from my circle of "Chows". I also agree with "The Bristol's". All big bucks, but you get what you pay for. Enjoy.

          1. The bleu cheese burger with mushrooms at Intermission Tavern (Theater District). They use a nice quality bleu cheese, creamy with a nice bite. I always get their homemade potato chips (still hot) to go with my burger. Hennesey's (Faneuil Hall area) does a great burger and you can get fruit with it rather than the standard fries. Dillions (Back Bay) is another place that makes a decent burger.

            1. e
              Ernie Diamond

              One of my favorite debates...

              THE best, the one that I crave when I need a burger is the one at Shay's in Harvard Square. I have a few obeservations to add to my standard answer;

              1. The burgers are done in an oven (or broiler, perhaps). At any rate, they do not do a great job of hitting the order dead on unless you prefer yours in the "medium" and up territory. I have had frequent complaints from friends who likes theirs rare. With ground beef, why bother? There's seldom enough fat to make it enjoyable.

              2. There are certain cooks there who do a better job than others. Unfortunately, I don't know his name but the big guy who looks like Chief from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" is the one to get. If you have any doubts, look in the back. The kitchen is tiny and his hand really makes a difference.

              3. The fries make it as much as the burger. To be specific, they're "oven fries," really thin slices of deeply roast potato. Excellent.

              4. As a friend said, "This is a burger you can set your watch to." In other words, it is the Anti-Bartley's. This is not a fancy burger, it is not a unique burger, it is an honest burger. It is the "Meat and Potatoes" of burgers. In my mind, the baseline against which all others must be judged and upon which all others should be built. The Fois Gras stuffed Kobe beef burger with Whistleberry gelee ain't nothing unless it is, at first, a Shay's Burger.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Ernie Diamond

                Wow, not a place I would have thought to have tried the burger: now I will seek it out!

                1. re: Ernie Diamond

                  Wow! Your qualifications for Shay's would immediately cross it off my list of great burgers!

                  I don't think I've ever had a burger cooked more than medium (and that's pushing it) that I've really enjoyed. If the burger is really lean (which is also not my preference), then all the more reason to cook it medium rare at most.

                  Also, fries should be fries.... not roasted potatoes (which I like as well, just not with a burger).