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Best hamburger in Metro Detroit?

Hey 'hounds. Being a guy who really appreciates a properly put-together and prepared hamburger, I'm wondering where the truly best places are based *solely* on the hamburger itself. Side dishes, drink list, ambience...nothing matters but the actual quality of the hamburger itself. Sure, those things can help, but when it comes to a good hamburger experience, without a great beef-to-fat composition and the ability to prepare it correctly, it's just not worth it.

Already established:

1. Red Coat Tavern in Royal Oak: already know about it, and don't need any convincing. Superb.

2. Miller's Bar in Dearborn: an institution, and rightly so. If only it didn't take as long as it does...

I travel all around the area, from up high in Macomb County to Downriver to Livingston County, and many points in between. Give me some other great places!

Thank you in advance for your suggestions.

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  1. I just had a Sidetrack burger in Ypsilanti (even though I vowed I'd never go back because of not one but two instances of horrendous service), and it's quality is definitely not what it was 10 years ago. My burger featured a crappy bun and a pathetic "slice" of onion. (I'm sorry if I've offended all you Sidetrack fans, but I remember the Sidetrack when it was indeed great (for me 1980 - 1997) and when the burger was pretty much the main event on the menu. And, yes, yes, I know all about the GQ article.)

    For a decent burger (outside of the Red Coat and Miller's) lately I've been going to Dan's Downtown Tavern in Saline, and Stiver's off 94 near Chelsea. Oakwood Tavern on Oakwood Blvd just off of the Southfield was good two years ago - don't know about now though. I'm gettin' hungry.

    1. boagman, I don't really do hamburgers, per se. I try out a restaurant by ordering a Patty Melt. I've learned that some do it well, most massacre it.

      If they can deliver a Patty Melt to my specs, anything else on the menu is a slam dunk.

      Best in this catagory are two Warren restaurants: bronx burgers, on Mound Road, south of 14 Mile; and (surprizingly)Shield's Pizza on 12 Mile, just west of Mound.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Griller

        M&M Cafe in Dearborn has an excellent patty melt as well.

      2. Blimpyburger in Ann Arbor has been discussed on various threads. Very good although extremely idiosyncratic and essentially surly unless you know what you're doing.

        Since you mention Downriver, I used to go to a great little bar on Biddle Ave. in Wyandotte called the Speedboat. From downtown Wyandotte it was toward Detroit, probably a mile or so, on the water side of Biddle. Haven't been for probably three years--anyone have more recent experience? The burgers were top-notch.

        1. Zingerman's Roadhouse in Ann Arbor make a kickass burger. They use Niman Ranch chuck and grind it themselves. Expensive yes, but worth every penny. Even the bun is amazing. I especially like the mini-burger platter - 5 minis, each with a different cheese. Excellent.

          1. I like the burgers at both Knapp's Dairy Bar in Rochester and Red Knapp's American Grill in Oxford. It's the same burger at both places - a decent sized patty with a tasty bun. Kinda old-fashioned in its look and taste. The dairy bar also has great onion rings.