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Best burger in Columbus ohio?!!? who's got it?!??

Just wondered your humble opinion!

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  1. The Thurman Cafe (183 Thurman Ave in German Village) is widely considered to serve the best burger in Columbus, and its reputation is well earned. My only complaint is the place is pretty small so you may have to wait to get a seat.

    Marshall's (1105 W 1st Ave in Grandview) serves a great burger and has the coolest fish tank ever.

    Barcelona (263 E Whittier St in German Village) usually has a burger on the lunch menu that is worth trying.

    1. the THURMAN no question.

      1. I know the thurman im looking for somewhere a little more obscure!

        1. ok but you did not mention you knew the thurm!

          my suggestion for obscure is that you might try the burgers at old steakhouses like THE TOP or CLAREMONT. see if they are open for lunch, i think both of those are not sure anymore. steakhouses, esp old school steakhouses like those, usually have good burgers so its worth the try.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mrnyc

            i've always thought the claremont looked run down and located in not the best neighborhood.

            if you can't find a obscure burger, try max n erma's garbage burger. there are 2 locations near downtown (across from convention center and one in german village). german village service is terrible though.

          2. I think Gallo's Tap Room (Bethel Road, next to KMart) has a great burger.

            1. now were talking lauren..hide the rum I dont think max and ermas is such a hidden gem thats kind alike saying cameron mitchel has some restraunts around here you should try them sometime....

              7 Replies
              1. re: Kbear919

                i would steer kbear before i would the claremont. she might want to check out old bag of nails, although i can't recommend anything other than the fish n chips there since thats all i usually get.

                1. re: hidetherum

                  lol! the CLAREMONT is a classic old steakhouse and it's perfectly safe. actually you would have much more of a case with THE TOP for that issue. still, you shouldn't knock either if you've never been. i've been, even if a while ago and not for burgers.

                  also, the bigger point was that being in the meat biz steakhouses usually have good burgers. the op could pick another, like MORTONS or i suppose cameron mitchell has something, but in my experience the old school places do the burgers best.

                  and remember the poster asked for some more obscure ideas, implying they know the usual suspects.

                  someone below mentioned BAG OF NAILS, i agree that would be a good place to try too.

                  1. re: mrnyc

                    that was me who mentioned old bag of nails. i can confirm the wendys downtown tastes like any other wendys and usually has panhandlers roaming around. if you do go to max n erma's get the banana cream pie. the garbage burger is good.

                    1. re: hidetherum

                      Of course the original Wendy's tastes like any other Wendy's. And the service is pretty bad. And the lines can be pretty long. And the parking lot can be full. But if we are talking burgers in Columbus, Wendy's has to be mentioned. It is Columbus's contribution to the burger world. On the plus side you can amuse yourself looking at the Wendy's history display.

                      1. re: kura kura

                        ^ well wait just a sec ya'll --- columbus is also HQ for white castle too ya know!!!! after all a slider is a burger, so can it get some love here please?!?!? i mean who's open for ya late night? who's there for you? hint: not the gingerkid girl.

                        and along those lines dont get me started about goody boy. heh.

                        1. re: kura kura

                          well, you definately have a point. i remember going to that wendy's as part of a school field trip to cosi years ago. and years later when i attended school right down the street, i would occassionally go back.

                          its the same nostalgic feel that made me drive out of the way going from columbus to jacksonville in kentucky, where i stopped at the first KFC. Same greasy chicken, but it was fun to relive some of the past by observing the little museum inside.

                          1. re: kura kura

                            Didn't they close the original Wendy's last month?

                  2. The Dublin Tavern in Old Dublin (behind Starbucks) has great burgers. They have a Thursday night special where burgers and chips are only $3. The black and blue burger is a favorite!

                    1. How obscure do you want to get? Yianni's, a Greek restaurant in a strip mall just south of Cleveland Ave. & 270, has a huge, very tasty burger. Their Greek food is yummy too. Get a bowl of avegolemono soup (chicken lemon soup) and save room for some Greek pastry, too!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Diane in Bexley

                        I was just thinkig about Yanni's Greek burger. It is very tasty. I usually get extra feta and gyro sauce for extra dipping. I am going to be in Columbus this weekend. I think I will have to go and have a gyro or burger.

                      2. Another place that people go for burgers is the Ringside Cafe at 19 N Pearl (near Broad and High). The first time I went my burger was pretty bad (burnt on the outside), but I got talked into going back and have had pretty good burgers there.

                        And if we are talking burgers in Columbus, the first Wendy's on E Broad is worth going to once. The original Max and Erma's in German Village does not seem like a place that would grow into a chain. White Castle is based in Columbus, but I think the company started in Wichita and moved to Columbus.

                        1. wendys downtown tastes just like every other wendys in the world...

                          1. nice to see some chatter about columbus! theres some decenty places if you dig!

                            1. I know you definitely mean of the meat persuasion when you say "burger" but I have to mention that there are some fantastic veg burgers in C-bus as well. Whole World makes the Broccoli Burger that makes the rounds in festival time, but the winner has got to be Northstar's Veggie Burger that contains beats, and frankly, even looks like the real thing!

                              1. I know you definitely mean of the meat persuasion when you say "burger" but I have to mention that there are some fantastic veg burgers in C-bus as well. Whole World makes the Broccoli Burger that makes the rounds in festival time, but the winner has got to be Northstar's Veggie Burger that contains beats, and frankly, even looks like the real thing!

                                2 Replies
                                  1. re: imjkw

                                    Hmmm...I couldn't hazard a guess at the Whole World one. Northstar's has beets*, rice, and I believe broccoli. I could eat a few more and take a better guess probably.

                                    *Apologies for the typo in my original post. Yeouch.

                                1. I had a broccoli burger at Whole World in Columbus this weekend. What a delight! My son who hates veggies fell in love with it and ate the whole thing. It is made with peanut butter somehow. I understand they came out with their own cookbook. Does anyone know how to get this and what it may be called? Does anyone know how to make this particiular recipe?

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: imjkw

                                    I, too, am looking for a receipe for broccoli burgers with peanut butter. Please, if anyone knows of one to let me know. Although I live on the East Coast, (New York) where there are so many Vegetarians and Vegens around, I am still unable to come up with a receipe for this. Anyone....? Thanks in advance.

                                    1. re: Betty631

                                      (614) 268-5751 is Whole World's phone number. You could always call and ask if they have a cookbook.

                                  2. I like the Mini Kobe burgers @ Hyde Park [but I eat the giant onion rings first]

                                    1. Thurman's is definitely a favorite of mine, but their over the top burgers aren't something you can have on a regular basis. For a more "classic diner" (thin patties cooked on a griddle) approach to burgers, I really like the double with cheese at Club 185. Pleasantly greasy, but not overly so, and their fries are top notch...tossed with a little fresh parsley and garlic as I recall. The Gahanna Grill also offers a pretty good burger. So does Ted's Montana Grill (corporate chain I know but I have to give them credit), though Ted's always slightly overcooks their burgers for my tastes I still have to occasionally return for those killer onion rings. The Brazenhead and Bag of Nails both do a nice hefty bar burger, though they can be hit or miss depending on time of day and who's in the kitchen. For what it's worth, I think the flagship Bag in Old Worthington has consistently better prepared food than it's sister locations. The patty melt with an order of wets at the Dube is also nice combination.

                                      Recently however, I had what I have to say is one of the better burgers in recent memory at Johnny's Tavern on Trabue. A buddy of mine with a nose for retro dive bars happened upon this place with his girlfriend, and enjoyed the food so much that he wanted to have a dozen of us join him there for his birthday a few weeks later. Talk about a time warp. With the exception of the jukebox, I don't think this place has changed much since the 60's. It looks a little shady from the outside, but the staff and the other patrons were very welcoming. We had a few drinks, ate dinner, and wound up hanging around for quite a while afterwards getting loaded and playing pool. As the burger and fries were recommended, I had to try those. The patty was probably about 2/3 lb. of fresh beef (tasted like chuck...perfect lean to fat ratio for a burger), looked handmade, and cooked medium-rare as I requested. Iceberg lettuce, thick slice of white onion, okay tomato, cheese of choice and a typical soft bun rounded things out. Not sure if the fries were fresh, but they were nicely cooked (crisp outside, soft and pillowy in the middle). Being that we were obviously new to the joint, the owner came over to our table and asked how the food was. After we effusively praised the burgers, she mentioned how we "should have tried the navy bean soup" that she just made that day. Not being ones to pass up another recommendation, I ordered a cup and another companion ordered a bowl. I very quickly realized I also should have ordered a bowl. Keep in mind that this place is definitely not for the white tablecloth set or those who prefer their bars smoke-free. My impressions are based on only one visit, but I think it's perfect for a few cold beers and a great bar burger at a ridiculously inexpensive price.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: red_menace

                                        YES! YES! YES! The burger's at Johnny's Tavern are awesome! I have to try the soup now. I'm so glad someone mentioned this place as it truly is a hidden treasure.

                                        I had a burger at Brazenhead and wasn't impressed. It was the driest burger I've ever eaten and I asked for medium rare. The bun was dry and seemed old which surprised me because the place was really busy. I couldn't finish the burger.

                                        I tasted a "Thurman Burger" and was happy I ordered their basic cheeseburger...too much going on in the Thurman burger for my taste.

                                        1. re: mmmdelicious

                                          Agreed about the "Thurman Burger". Way too much happening there. I stick with the standard cheeseburger and somtimes add bacon. Like I said, Brazenhead/Bag definitely depends on who's working the grill that night. Brazenhead's especially bad on $2 burger night. The patties are smaller and definitely have a mass produced feel to them.

                                          Glad to hear someone else give props to Johnny's. I was afraid I'd be in the minority on that one since it's so divey. The bean soup was a special, but I'm guessing that whatever their daily item is would be pretty good.

                                          1. re: mmmdelicious

                                            There's a Brazenhead in Mason, OH, and I heard the burgers were supposed to be the best. I ended up trying the braised beef sandwich. It was the driest, toughest beef sandwich I've ever had. Braised beef sandwiches are supposed to be tender and juicy but in this case they just overcooked it. I will never order this sandwich at the Brazenhead. I'm expecting the burger experience to also not be good.

                                        2. Kbear,

                                          Aside from Johnny's (excellent call), I don't think you've gotten much in the way of good advise. Wendy's? Geez.

                                          Even Thurman's is overrated in my opinion. It's the first place everyone thinks of when this question is asked. Thurman's is fun, a nice joint with good but not great burgers.

                                          There's a pretty good thread on this very topic in a local food blog. Techically, I think it's a best burger in Ohio hunt, but all of the places that the author tried are in Columbus as she is Cbus based.

                                          Some of my own faves...Flatiron (can be very, very good but sometimes is just average) Ted's (a chain, which i dislike, but I have to admit...the burgers can be excellent) The Red Door (odd place, very good burger) and The Rossi (in agreement with the author of the food blog...about the best there is in town).

                                          The cool thing about the blog is that not only that the author and her SO actually went to places suggested by others and rated them but there are a lot of recs from other posted which can lead you to an undiscovered gem.

                                          Here's the link...happy eating.