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Best burger in Boston ????? any successors to Tim's on Columbus Ave

Has anyone found a burger as good as Tim's? I had a delish one at the Bristol Lounge/Four Seasons but it cost $18.00... Yikes!!!!!!!!!! THE BEST BURGER should also have great fries, I think ...

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  1. Tim's was a great local place, however IMO Bartley's, O'Sullivans, Audobon, Miracle of Science (to name a few) all have better burgers than Tim's did when they were in operation. You will find numerous burger threads here if you search.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Gabatta

      Oh, I STRONGLY disagree, Gabatta. Perhaps RFOs is comparable, but the others don't even come close to Tim's (at least IMO). Especially not Bartley's. Hugely overrated (again, IMO of course).

      Audobon Circle and Miracle of Science have very good burgers, but I knew Tim's...Tim's was a friend of mine...(you get where I'm going).

      1. re: Bostonbob3

        I'm with you BB3. Tim's burger was really perfection 10 oz. of fresh ground beef, hand formed, and cooked to order. It really could not be improved upon.

        1. re: Bostonbob3

          I'm hyperventilating over your dis of Bartley's. I'd never pass up a Bartley's burger for RFO. I'm not particularly good about articulating what I like in a burger, but everytime I eat at Bartley's, I know it's got it!

        2. re: Gabatta

          I love me some Miracle, but their burgers are really a big ol' *yawn*. Good, but nothing to go out of the way for IMHO.

          1. re: Gabatta

            We went to Miracle a couple of weeks ago and my wife's cheeseburger was flat (i.e. looked pre-made) and completely uninspired. Did something change there? Random bad night? Substitute cook?

            The steak tips (I forget what they call them) were great as usual, which made it even wierder.

            1. re: Imby

              I eat there a lot b/c I work nearby. I'd be surprised if they were using pre-made burgers.

              Try the grilled shrimp if you haven't had them. Spicy and great flavor.

            2. re: Gabatta


              Miracle of Science Bar + Grill
              321 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139

              Bartley's Burger Cottage
              1246 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

              O'Sullivans Pub
              282 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143

            3. Tim's was a great spot. I lived within walking distance for some time. I know a lot of people here have a sentimental attachment, and I loved the atmosphere. However, I found the cooking of the burgers to be quite inconsistent.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Gabatta

                I'm just going by my experience. NEVER had a burger at Tim's that wasn't cooked just-as-ordered (medium rare on the rare side). And I probably had well over 100 Tim's burgers in my life.

                Still, I obviously can't speak for everyone (try as I might:))

                1. re: Bostonbob3

                  I also used to live right by Tim's, but only had an incorrectly cooked burger maybe twice in about 50 visits, a much better records than Sully's in my experience. The bacon and cheddar, medium rare was a thing of beauty at Tim's. The fries/rings were nothing special, but I still dream about the burgers ... mmm burger dreams.

              2. The burger at the Druid is a special burger. It's enormous, properly prepared, not-overly seasoned and fresh.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Tony Baloney

                  I'm a big fan of the Druid burger - BIG fan - but it is pretty heavily seasoned with fresh herbs. I recall that many 'hounds did not like it. And sometimes I need to add extra salt, but that could be my own little addiction. :-)

                  1. re: MB fka MB

                    I also would not describe it as enormous. Big enough, but not enormous.

                2. The Bristol Lounge burger is not about the burger alone, the fries, atmosphere, and a good drink round out the $18 tab.

                  1. The $18 does not include the good drink however.

                    1. admittedly not the same type of joint as Tim's at all, but Blu has a great cheeseburger club. their shoestring fries that come with it are excellent, too. but, for the price of a burger and fries there, you could have had a monster burger, two beers, a shot of Hypnotiq and seven songs on Boston's best juke box at Tim's...

                      1. I've said this before and I'll say it again, but I think the burger at Costello's in JP comes the closest to a Tim's burger. Almost always cooked correctly, a nice flavorful burger w a good chargrilled taste. The hand-cut fries are delicious and just add to the experience. Plus the atmosphere at Costello's comes the closest to replicating a Tim's experience. An old-school bar filled with an eclectic mix of people --runs the gamut from old-man regulars to jp locals.

                        1. I really like Casablanca, the burger reminds me of Bartley's and the fries are fantastic.

                          1. The best pub style burgers I've had recently are as follows, in order

                            2)Abe and Louie's
                            4)75 Chestnut

                            1. Our students & faculty really like the burgers at Mission Bar & Grill in Brigham Circle.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Taralli

                                They're pretty good. Not great IMO, but okay.

                                The Misson DOES have some decent food overall though.

                              2. I also miss Tim's - I work in the neighborhood. That said, I have to agree that the burgers at Solas are great. (Irish pub in the Lennox hotel on Boylston St.)

                                1. I almost hate to do this. What happens if I tell you fellow Chowhounds where to find the best burger...and then I can never belly up to the bar and get one again b/c the place is so crowded? Well...given the number of great rec's I've gotten from Da Hound...I guess I'll share :)

                                  Washington Square Tavern, Brookline. $13. Juicy, cooked perfectly, great portion. Comes with cheddar of blue cheese. Pickle and delish fries.

                                  Add a pint and it's heaven.

                                  (and for some reason, the Beacon Street Tavern burger isn't as good?)

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: mbasnack

                                    If you are correct about this burger, you may never have to pay for another one yourself again. :)

                                    1. re: mbasnack

                                      I'll second the burger at Washington Square Tavern in Brookline. Washington Square Tavern is probably my favorite spot in the entire Metro Boston region, and the burgers are fantastic. Read my review here http://onefoodguy.blogspot.com/2006/0...

                                      1. re: mbasnack

                                        I lived in Coolidge Corner for over 2 years, ate everywhere in sight including Washington Square Tavern at least twice, and never had what is reportedly a great burger? How does this happen?

                                        For what it's worth, now that I'm back on the Cambridge side of the river, I've enjoyed plenty a burger at O'Sullivan's and Bartley's (both very good but with fatal flaws), and a number of convenience burgers at Krazy Karry's in Arlington center (really nothing to write home about). I also enjoyed the Druid burger, though feel it's really a meatloaf burger. My recent favorite, although I've only had it once, was at Gargoyle's. In fact I'm just about due for another.


                                        1. re: BJK

                                          I think the O'Sullivan burger is too lean.

                                        2. re: mbasnack

                                          Because the Beacon Street Tavern is an abomination of the first order. Worthless.

                                          1. re: tamerlanenj

                                            I think that spot is haunted. Every restaurant that opens up there goes belly-up very quickly.

                                          2. re: mbasnack

                                            Put me down as another fan of the WST burger. Great with a juicy red from their very reasonable winelist.

                                            1. re: mbasnack

                                              I too love to eat at the Washington Square Tavern, and though I've never had their burger, my reluctance is not in the food itself, but in getting to the food... I've never been able to get a table there in under 30 minutes, and often have waited just as long to have orders taken and/or have meals served. I love the food and the atmosphere, once seated, but I think the best burger in Boston should be qualified in part by the experience of getting a table. The Washington Square Tavern -- much as I love it -- is a real let down in this respect.

                                            2. "Because the Beacon Street Tavern is an abomination of the first order. Worthless."

                                              where else are you going to get that kind of clear-cut commentary? that's awesome.

                                              I was at the Bristol the other night and noticed the price of the burger had gone up to $18 from $16 a couple years ago. I was never blown away by it and I thought the fries were a little too much like the new fangled Burger King fries.

                                              I think the old stand-by's have been covered but I wanted to mention the burger at the Aegean on the lunch menu. It's a surprisingly good combo of bacon and feta cheese and I think they throw some of that tzatiki sauce on there. Plus it's huge. Not a bad alternative to the gyro if you're so inclined.

                                              1. Someone needs to try the burger at Lower Depths. Made with rendered bacon fat!

                                                1. I just read that Coda, which will be in the old TIm's space, obtained Tim's burger recipe and will attempt to duplicate. I never had the Tim's burger, but will look forward to trying Coda's version.

                                                  8 Replies
                                                  1. re: Zatan

                                                    I'm glad something's going in there, even though that may be the worst restaurant name since Apocrypha. I sure do miss Tim's burgers. Any idea of a target opening date?

                                                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                      Pass by frequently and the renovations seem to be going along quite well, the owner thinks it should only be another month, at the most two. On a side note, the people doing the food at Costello's are opening a kitchen at JJ Foley's and if the atmosphere at coda doesn't replicate Tim's, JJ's does, so that might be worth a try in a month as well.

                                                      1. re: trotliner

                                                        Which Costello's / which JJ Foley's? I'm hoping you are referring to the Costello's and JJ Foley's Fireside Tavern versions in JP...

                                                        1. re: trotliner

                                                          Might you mean the J.J. Foley's on East Berkeley St in the South End? I quite like Katie's food at Costello's in JP. It would be nice to have a similarly decent pub-food option in the South End, and nice to have food at that Foley's, which is a fine casual bar otherwise.

                                                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                            Yeah, it must be that one. Other than chips and the occasional sandwich made by a bartender (or holiday and Super Bowl pot lucks), the only food I've ever seen at JJ Foley's Fireside Tavern in JP is the pizza I bring in on Friday's sometimes.

                                                            1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                              Those are the two I was referring to MC, thank you, I should have clarified.

                                                            2. re: trotliner

                                                              They've been doing a lot of construction to the room adjacent to the bar at JJ Foley's, I guess this must be the reason. I hope the food is good... the S. End is severely lacking in pubs and pub grub.

                                                            3. re: MC Slim JB

                                                              Coda?! Why not just call it "Closing"? :-b The name makes me think of that really horrid Led Zeppelin record that came out after Bonham kicked the bucket.

                                                              But this would be very nice indeed, considering how many people miss Tim's. Looking forward to their opening!

                                                          2. The Cantab near Central Sq in Cambridge claims to have Tim's Tavern's chef:


                                                            I haven't tried the Cantab for grub.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: mick_t

                                                              Will definitely have to check it out!

                                                              1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                Striper, you have to check this out asap. If it's the real (RIP Tim's) deal, I'll add it to my places to revist this June when I'm up for a wedding. If I can wait that long.

                                                                1. re: Dax

                                                                  Dax. Will check it out in the next week and report back.

                                                            2. West Side Lounge in Cambridge has the BEST burger ever! Angus Beef, Sofrito, Manchego Cheese, and to die for garlic aioli with more aioli on the side for dipping the crispy fries! It's $14 bucks and worth every penny!

                                                              5 Replies
                                                              1. re: b12s12

                                                                Sorry, but when looking for a classic burger, in my book that does not include:
                                                                - Angus Beef
                                                                - Sofrito
                                                                - Manchego

                                                                I like the West Side Lounge a lot, but all the foofery in ingredients to me does not improve a classic. And $14 for a burger is steep.

                                                                A classic burger should have the following:
                                                                - Good old, classic ground chuck with a fat content in the 15-20% range
                                                                - Onion, tomato, lettuce
                                                                - Sharp cheddar and bacon optional (I like 'em both)

                                                                1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                  But are we restricted to classic? That rules out one of the best burgers in town (at the Druid) where there is a secret ingredient -- shhh, fresh ginger.

                                                                  Also, a friend told me today about the burger at Jurys that has cashel blue cheese and carmelized onions. Foofy? Sure, but deeeelish? Ya mon!

                                                                  I like to think this world is big enough for all types of burgers. And I would like to try them all.

                                                                  1. re: yumyum

                                                                    I suppose... just my usual curmudgeonliness.

                                                                    Call me a child of the 70s, but $14 hamburgers do bug me.

                                                                    But to further dissect: Angus beef really adds nothing in terms of flavor; it is essentially a marketing gimmick for the "branding" of beef. Not free range, not organic, just a "brand" and a largely meaningless one:



                                                                    Furthermore, I actually don't think manchego is that exciting a cheese. It is sort of the boring, "Colby" of Spain.

                                                                    Throw on an aged gouda, a Spanish blue, heaven forbid a nice, extra sharp American Cheddar, or yes indeed, the cashel you mentioned, now you have something interesting and potentially tasty.

                                                                    So now we have a burger with a nice beef "brand" and a boring Spanish cheese. Both sound very "foodie" and special, but really voila an $8 burger becomes a $14 burger.

                                                                    Stuff it with foie gras and braised short rib, it might not be a burger as I think of it, but I might give it a go even for $35.

                                                                    Sling a couple of foodie buzzwords that don't really add anything flavorwise and charge $14 for a burger, I generally balk at that.

                                                                    Please excuse my semi-rant, but this is really why I was grousing at the earlier post. Good burger, quite possibly. But are any of those ingredients actually special?

                                                                    1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                      I think (and perhaps MichaelB actually already posted this theory because it is his) there is something about food that is supposed to be "cheap" that people blow a vessel over if it's expensive. The $12 hot dog at the butcher shop comes to mind, and a $14 burger seems to make everyone see red. You know me, I'm cheap, er, value-conscious, but I'll pay good money for a very good burger. And if you should stuff it with a braised short rib, I'll pay more. My favorite upscale burger of the moment continues to be at Gargoyles, but that one I had at Fuddruckers not long ago was 1/2 the price and just as good in its own way.

                                                                      1. re: yumyum

                                                                        While I agree with the sentiment in both StriperGuy's and yumyum's posts, I'll also agree that the West Side Lounge offers one excellent burger. I'll take it (and the terrific fries) over O'Sullivan's any day.


                                                              2. The "chef" from Tim's has resurfaced at The Cantab Lounge in Central Square. I checked out the burger and beers a couple weeks ago and it lived up to the quality of Tim's - not only in terms of the burger itself, but also in terms of the "ambiance." Yes - another relatively filthy dive with an exceptional and well-priced burger. It may not be quite as "classy" as Tim's but the bartender and staff were friendly and welcoming and there was the requisite mumbling drunk (actually "drunk" is being kind) at the bar. The good news is he was deep enough into his conversation with himself (which was only interrupted to join Willie Nelson on the juke box) that he never really bothered us. Check it out - the burger is worth it and the people are real.

                                                                15 Replies
                                                                1. re: WinonaMN

                                                                  Is Little Joe Cook still the "house band" at the Cantab? :-D

                                                                  This is definitely good news. I need to head over there for lunch one of these days.

                                                                  1. re: WinonaMN

                                                                    There is a God. :)

                                                                    And I'll take a $5.75 Tim's/Cantab cheeseburger over the $18 Bristol version any day.

                                                                    1. re: Bostonbob3

                                                                      Back in the day, the Cantab was my favorite haunt in Boston and I was a true
                                                                      "Little Joe" groupie. This burger news is enough to get me back there. Would like to hear a few more reports on the quality of the burger before I head back for sure though --anyone going soon???

                                                                      1. re: twentyoystahs

                                                                        Has had the food recently at the Cantab? I never made it to Tim's before they closed. I have read many good things about the famous Tim's burgers especially from Bostonbob3. I'm thinking about going to the Cantab to try their burgers. How is the rest of the food on the Cantab menu like their buffalo wings? Buffalo wings and a cheeseburger sound good to me for lunch.

                                                                        1. re: buffet king

                                                                          I had the food years ago at the Cantab (obviously before the new chef)..it was somewhat below average pub food, definitely not a place I would go out of my way to eat at. It's one of those places that had a menu, but I never remember seeing anyone actually EATING there. Obviously that may change now with the old Tim's chef in place. I'm interested in hearing a few more reports before I venture there to actually eat.

                                                                          1. re: buffet king

                                                                            I haven't ventured beyond the burger - although I can say that the budweisers were cold. I've also noticed that the Cantab is running ads in The Phoenix touting the arrival of the new chef and billing themselves as having "the best burgers in Boston." Obviously the marketing machine is being ramped up.

                                                                            1. re: WinonaMN

                                                                              Any chance you could describe the burger a bit more? Was it juicy? Flavorful? Cooked to order? How about the bun? Could you truly compare it to a Tim's burger? Thanks....

                                                                              1. re: twentyoystahs

                                                                                Like i said, it's been a couple weeks, and it's been a long time since Tim's shut down so my memory may not be perfect, but as I recall it was the same burger that I used to partake of once a week on Columbus Avenue. It was good-sized, hand formed, cooked to order - juicy. The only negative was that I would have liked more fries, but then again, I like a lot of fries. It was definitely as good as any of the other available options.

                                                                            2. re: buffet king

                                                                              Their burger pre-Tim's chef was pretty decent and the fries nice and crispy. The chef was Brazilian at the time, don't know too much more. The other fried stuff on the menu was pretty so-so and the marinara from a jar, don't particularly remember the buffalo wings though. I don't mind eating there and like the atmosphere. They have Bushmills so I am set.

                                                                              I don't think Little Joe Cook is playing their right now, according to the Marquee. As of mid last year he was still doing Friday and Saturday nights, but he wasn't in great health. Since then I have only been there for Tuesdays.

                                                                              1. re: itaunas

                                                                                I went to the Cantab Lounge today and got a cheeseburger to go. The 1/2 pound cheeseburger $5.75 came with crinkle cut fries, lettuce, tomato and cole slaw. The cheeseburger was served on a Kaiser roll. Frank, the cook asked me how I wanted my burger cooked. I stated medium and the cheeseburger was cooked medium. The burger had nice grill marks on the outside. The cheeseburger was juicy and flavorful, not dried out. The crinkle cut fries were also okay.

                                                                                1. re: buffet king

                                                                                  Is that crinkle cut as in frozen, dry fries? Too bad, because the burger sounds great for the price. Maybe if hounds make some suggestions, they'll upgrade the fries.

                                                                                  1. re: bear

                                                                                    Yes, the crinkle cut fries are frozen. I saw an empty box while I was waiting for my food. They are the Big C brand. If they had hand cut fries that would be excellent. However, the fresh and juicy cheeseburger was the reason I went there.

                                                                                    1. re: bear

                                                                                      Tim's fries and rings were Cisco too I believe.

                                                                                      1. re: Dax

                                                                                        Went to the Cantab last week to try the burger, it's as buffet_king said, good tasty, big burger. Lame fries ...

                                                                                        1. re: mick_t

                                                                                          I went yesterday with a friend and the burger was just OK. It was cooked a perfect medium but was not juicy. We figured out that there was not enough fat in the meat. we mentioned it to them and they said it was 80/20. I told them to get 70/30 and the burger would BE MUCH BETTER. they denied that it was the fat content and said it was fine. mt frien left 3/4 of his on the plate. i will try it one more time and if its the same i will have to say that Tims burgers are dead and buried

                                                                        2. I've never been to Tim's, so I can't really compare, but every month or so, I have to have a cheeseburger and fries from Charley's (Newbury St. and Chestnuthill). My mom says she ate Charley's burgers and fries constantly when she was pregnant with me. Think there's a connection?

                                                                          1. I'm a fan of UBurger @ Kenmore Square. The burgers are reminiscent of 50's style 'burger shack' burgers rather than the thick, bulky steakhouse or pub burger. The patties may be too small for some but you can double them up for $1. The meat is ground on premises and has a really fresh taste. UBurger offers a nice selection of cheeses and other toppings. The fries are absoulutely perfect. They're fresh, shoestring thin, and fried to perfection. I'd go there just for the fries actually. Much better than the frozen crap you get in most bars and some steakhouses.The onion rings are just as good...also fresh.
                                                                            Wild Willy's in Watertown is also good. Fresh meat, great bun (better than UBurgers) and homemade fries. Willy's burgers are bigger than UBurger and the style is less 'fast food' and more like a full service resurant. If I were really hungry, I'd choose Wild Willies over UBurger, but they're both good.

                                                                            1. We hit this place, the Bristol Lounge for dinner on the way to the Sunday night Police concert. The location to the Boyleston T station on the Green line to Kenmore Sq made it a perfect location to eat. Just far enough away from the Venue to avoid the "crush". It is worth it to stop and pay to get back on the T. We often park on High Street in the fianancial district which on Sundays is easy to get a space. The South Station T is less than two blocks. Upon returning there is little or no traffic and a straight shot to get on I 93 and the Pike.The burger was really excellent/seriously good perfectly Med rare.. However the fries that came with it were cooked to that pale white translucent color which resulted in them being soggy! Even as I had asked the waitress to ensure that they be "crispy". My better half had the newly added Gaspacho w/ a salad and found it very good. The place is very nice indeed for atmosphere, attentiveness , and their attempt to fix the fries showed class. Refills on my wife's iced tea kept on comming and my second beer arrived promptly. Another order of properly cooked fries was provided. I enjoyed them as we waited for and paid the check. They have a decent beer list of things not Budwieser. I enjoyed the "Harpoon" nice hops. Another menu revision, the burger is now $19. Beef corn/corn ethanol. Another gem of a place to eat not too near the new Garden is Ricardos in North Sq a block off Hanover. Very spacious unhurried. When you are early for the shows it is over for you. We have a rule when going with friends that not being ready on time and having to eat burgers on your lap from some drive thru is unacceptable! While the Bistro by some measure may be slightly pricy we generally park for free and pay the T fares. What is saved on parking offsets our meals.

                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                              1. re: TimoDOZ

                                                                                I loved Tim's Tavern. I think P.F. O'Sullivan's is pretty darn good along with Audobon, Eagle's Deli, and Sonny's in Dorchester. Strangely, I would put the Neptune Burger at Neptune Oyster against any of them. That burger was amazing! Also, one worth trying is at the Early American on Hancock Street in Quincy.

                                                                                1. re: Guinness02122

                                                                                  I love the burger at Audobon and Miracle of Science.
                                                                                  How do Sonny's and Early American compare?

                                                                                  1. re: joestrummer

                                                                                    Both are not fancy places, and Sonny's has become an unfriendly place. However, their burger was always very good. The Early American is banking on size. Audobon is a little foofy. The Neptune Burger is great. It's a cheeseburger with fried oysters on top.

                                                                                    1. re: Guinness02122

                                                                                      Audubon is "foofy" but Neptune is not?

                                                                                      1. re: Dax

                                                                                        Different kind of foofy.

                                                                                        Neptune is certainly, in its own way, upscale. But Audobon comes across to me as a bit of a pretentious scene. Not always, but sometimes.

                                                                                        1. re: Bostonbob3

                                                                                          Weird. I get that from some of the Audubon customers maybe, but the staff has always been pretty cool and down to earth in my experience.

                                                                                          1. re: Dax

                                                                                            Staff is fine. It's the poseurs and meatheads that (sometimes) go into the place that bother me.

                                                                                      2. re: Guinness02122

                                                                                        Thanks, G. I'm familiar with Sonny's, just not their burger. I've been intrigued by the Early but it's always closed when I occasionally go to the Fowler House across the street. I'll have to get there earlier.

                                                                                        As for oysters on a burger- that's just crazy talk.

                                                                                        1. re: Guinness02122

                                                                                          I'm pretty aghast that anyone would recommend the burger at Sonny's. It's OK but not anything to crow about.

                                                                                          Sonny's is a very, very friendly place though.

                                                                                          The beer is cold and cheap!

                                                                                  2. Wow, I have to say that I am really surprised that not more people mentioned Eastern Standard's burger. Granted I haven't had RFO's and I never had Tim's but I'm always craving ES burgers. There have been a couple of times when they have been overcooked but even then they're still delicious. So flavorful. So has everyone else tried it and not been impressed? And if that's the case, why? Oh and the fries are great too!

                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: meaganl

                                                                                      I like the burger at ESK lots. It's just the right amount of fatty, very juicy and delicious. I am not a fan of RFO's at all. Even after specifically asking for my cheese to be melted, they brought me a burger with a slab of unmelted cheese on the top. I just don't get why they can't do this?

                                                                                      1. re: lissy

                                                                                        I agree, I've been to RFO's, not impressed with a cooked baseball on the grill Also, one time I was ordered a 'carbonated water' and was charged for a refill.

                                                                                        1. re: lissy

                                                                                          So for folks who like the ESK burger, do you have any other must-try burgers? I'd love to expand my burger repertoire. Although I do have to mention that I had the burger at The Spotted Pig in NYC and it is absolutely the best burger I have ever had. Just to throw that out there - you all must try it if you get the chance.

                                                                                          1. re: meaganl

                                                                                            I also really enjoy the burgers at 75 Chestnut, Monday Club at Upstairs on the Square and Coda has a pretty good one too.

                                                                                      2. While technically in Brookline, I think that the burger at Washington Square Tavern is outstanding, and yes, the fries are great!


                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: onefoodguy

                                                                                          That's my current favorite burger and fries. They also have excellent cocktails and very tasty brussel sprouts (which go surprisingly well with the burger).

                                                                                        2. i think that James Gate in JP has a great burger. It is always cooked as you requested. There is a great selction of toppings, they have caremlized onions, muchrooms, bacon, various cheeses. In my opinion, the fries are also great there. here is also a fireplace which makes it cozy in winter.

                                                                                          1. I went to Audubon Circle a few days ago and had a great burger. It was juicy, well-seasoned, fresh, flavorful, solid bun, perfectly sliced tomatoes. The only complaint was that it could use an additional slice of cheese...one small one isn't enough. I am not that experienced on the Boston food scene, but I must say that was a great one at Audubon...want to try Washington Square Tavern.

                                                                                            1. Had a great burger at Union in the South End - it has Andouille sausage in it for a llittle extra "kick", and also, the Kobe beef burger at Ruth's Chris is outstanding too.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: fsesusan

                                                                                                Could you delineate what is the taste variation between a regular burger and a Kobe one?

                                                                                              2. I loooooooove the burgers at River Gods -- simple, and full of flavor. And I think I remember seeing on Phantom Gourmet that the famous Tim's burgers (which I've never had) are now served at the Cantab Lounge in Central ... but I'm afraid to go in there! (Sorry if someone already posted this -- 93 posts is a lot to sift through!)

                                                                                                6 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Lorcasaur

                                                                                                  Don't fear the Cantab! Mostly friendly local folks in there. Great music and cheap beer and burgers - what's scary about that?!

                                                                                                  1. re: digga

                                                                                                    Yes, you are absolutely right. And I was ashamed of myself as soon as I posted that. I hereby vow to go to the Cantab next week ... for a burger, hopefully on the greasy side. I live about 7 minutes away, so there's no excuse!

                                                                                                    1. re: Lorcasaur

                                                                                                      Cantab's kitchen is closed for the time being. I'd call ahead of time if you're not someone who would already be comfortable wiht the scene there. It is a real dive's dive (although I like that in a bar).

                                                                                                      1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                        The cantab kitchen is closed permantly. The owner is selling all the kitchen equipment too, to make space for more beer coolers.

                                                                                                        1. re: inmanchick

                                                                                                          Oof, that sucks. Where did you hear that?

                                                                                                          1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                            It's true. I stopped in the Cantab about a week and a half ago.

                                                                                                2. Why is it that I can't stand the burger at O'Sullivan's? I know everyone raves about it, but it is 1) not shaped like a hamburger, which makes it nearly impossible to eat, and 2) comes on a more pathetic bun than mcdonalds. Seriously, it might taste good but I've never been able to enjoy the experience because of these factors. Am I the only one? I live, btw, about a 2-minute walk away, and NEVER go there anymore.

                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: okello

                                                                                                    The Sully's burger has long been controversial here: you have plenty of company. I'm a fan, but understand why others wouldn't love it. I disagree with your take on the quality of the roll.

                                                                                                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                      Right, this drums up the same kind of controversy that Santarpio's does for pizza. O'Sullivan's is not a low quality place, and has many burger offerings. As is the case most of the time, it's a matter of preference. I'm a fan also.

                                                                                                      1. re: Guinness02122

                                                                                                        Let me clarify--I guess it's not the quality of the bun that bothers me, but that the burger-to-bun ratio is so high as to cause the bun to rapidly disintegrate, falling apart in my hands as I try to desperately keep hold of the slippery football burger. As I said, it very well may taste good--but I just can't bring myself to eat a burger with a knife and fork. But, peace out, there are enough burgers to go around for everyone.

                                                                                                        1. re: okello

                                                                                                          I am solidly in the O'Sully's camp - love the burgers. BUT I have also developed a technique for eating them over the years. It's hard to explain in a post but involves a bit of burger "surgery" which I am more than willing to do for such a tasty burger.

                                                                                                      2. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                                        It's not just the RFO burger that's controversial. EVERY burger (except, perhaps, the late great Tim's burger, which no one has had the guts to criticize) is controversial. I love Bartley's; lots of people don't. I'm not in the RFO camp; clearly lots of people are. Go figure.

                                                                                                    2. The black and blue burger at Osullivans is so good. fries are good and so are onion rings....the bar makes it a great time a well..bartleys is great burgers, but so so crowded.

                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: foodismyfun

                                                                                                        I had a very solid burger at the Hill Tavern recently. The beef is ground fresh from savenors.

                                                                                                        1. re: phatchris

                                                                                                          I just walked by there thinking I have to try it some time. Do they still have a happy hour? I know I used to see that on their window.

                                                                                                          1. re: Joanie

                                                                                                            Not too sure about the happy hour, I'll have to check on my next walk over to Whole Foods.

                                                                                                            1. re: Joanie

                                                                                                              I don't *think* so, but I could be wrong on that. 99% of the time I go there is somewhere in the time range of 11am-4pm (read: sox day games) so I might just have tuned out any signage.

                                                                                                              1. re: jgg13

                                                                                                                Just saw this on Citysearch and sounds like what I remembered might go on. Not the most exciting apps but am adding it on to my list.

                                                                                                                When to Go
                                                                                                                Stop by weekdays, 4pm-6pm, and enjoy half-priced appetizers (chips and salsa, wings, chicken tenders).

                                                                                                                1. re: Joanie

                                                                                                                  Guess the "I might just have tuned out any signage" is likely the right answer ;)

                                                                                                                  Actually now that you mention it, I do remember the half priced apps, for some reason I was picturing your mention of happy hour as being cheap burgers (a la bukowski) - probably just this thread had me on a one track mind.

                                                                                                          2. re: foodismyfun

                                                                                                            The black and blue burger is my favorite at O'Sullivan's.

                                                                                                            I do admit that sometimes I'm just not in the mood for the huge burgers that they serve there, however. You really do need a good appetite to be able to finish one, and sometimes I'm just not hungry enough to have the desire to order one there (at which point I'll usually order their steak tip sub or one of their thousands of tuna sandwich options).

                                                                                                          3. I will probably be flying solo for dinner July 4th, and figure I should do something thematic and find a burger.

                                                                                                            I'm not the sort to usually order a burger in a restaurant - I like to eat what I normally wouldn't cook for myself, and I love my own burgers. As a visitor here, however, I am without a kitchen.

                                                                                                            The amazing thing about burgers is the range of environments you find them in. Fast food, family restaurants, retro shacks, bars and pubs, bistros and haute cuisine...some go for volume and meatiness, some find balance, some over do it.

                                                                                                            My home burgers are deviant (garlic toast, watercress, stilton, patty seasoning of just s+p and green onion), but when it comes to restaurant burgers I tend to favor pure formulas of meat on bun. I like the flavor, rather than the mass, of beef - cooked well - er, artfully, i like mine on the rare side of medium rare.

                                                                                                            I obsessively clean my plate, and I have a small stomach, so I never eat more than a 1/3 lb burger (I need to learn to leave leftovers as most people like a 1/2). I don't like massive buns. I like a good fry but prefer greens on the side to balance things out. Ketchup is an abomination.

                                                                                                            I'm not sure why I shared that unnecessary background. What I'm looking for is a comfortable environment where I can have the best burger in town, side salad, and a good draft beer. Although I lean towards simplicity, I am not at all opposed to zany bistro concoctions like a chevre and pistachio or sous vide burger. It's my understanding that Radius has *drum roll* the best burger in Boston. Is this still the case?

                                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: twitchology

                                                                                                              I haven't had it, but if you look at many of the recs above you'll see the Washington Sq Tavern burger listed. Sounds like that's the sort of place you're looking for.

                                                                                                              1. re: twentyoystahs

                                                                                                                I'm too late for this, but did want to state for the record that I get vegetables instead of fries with my burger at WST. Burger & brussels sprouts! So perfect. And as a person who has a small stomach but cannot leave a burger unfinished, I find that vegetables instead of fries make cleaning my plate a little more doable.

                                                                                                              2. re: twitchology

                                                                                                                hmm...i tried the radius burger a few days ago. the waiter talked it up as not only the best burger in boston, but actually the best burger in america. it was good, but far from the best burger i've ever had. in fact, i can think of probably 3 or 4 other burgers that i've had that i've enjoyed more, without the $17 price tag.

                                                                                                              3. I have to say, the burger at Garden at the Cellar is pretty darn good. MMM, and served w/ rosemary truffle fries!! Audobon and Miracle of Science also make really good burgers.

                                                                                                                1. Never had Tim's so I can't comment on that- but I have been enjoying the burgers at Auntie B's diner on Centre st. in West Roxbury. It's an old school place which seems to have been taken over by some young guys with very high standards. The burgers are not too big, not too small, very juicy, cooked with precision. Toasted, buttered roll. Nothing fancy. Basic, elemental, flavorful, and excellent in a totally unpretentious way. Rest of the stuff coming out of the kitchen looks good too but I am fixated on the burgers. Only open until 2 pm in the classical NE Diner tradition.

                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: skordalia

                                                                                                                    I find the burger at Neptune to be my personal favorite. People have said burgers like this and other are too pricey, but I believe the thread asks for the best burger not best for you buck burger.

                                                                                                                    The Neptune burger is topped with great cheese and awesome fried oysters and is put on a brioche bun. It has always been extremely juicy and their fries that accompany it are awesome as well.

                                                                                                                    1. re: marcusnaz14

                                                                                                                      I have to agree with the Neptune Burger call. I have yet to find something that rivals the Double-Double but that holds a special spot in my heart. The Neptune Burger is original and not for everyone, but I second this opinion

                                                                                                                  2. Thanks to another Chowhound thread I tried the Miracles of Science's fire-grilled burger, very good -- I'd entirely recommend it (also heard on Chowhound that sister restaurant Audubon does a really good fire-grilled burger).

                                                                                                                    ps - ah yes, I do see that both Miracles of Science and Audubon have been mentioned, often, in this thread... but it's fire-grilled! No one mentioned that (I think).

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: steinpilz

                                                                                                                      Had a burger at the Miracle of Science last night, and was interested to have it since I had been to its sister place, Audubon Circle, and had had its burger.

                                                                                                                      It was a very good burger (with skillet potatoes in a mild chili sauce and three[!] big pickle spears, toppings). I ordered it medium, and I think it was a bit on the rare end, but very good, tasted very fresh and real "meaty", very hefty burger. The bun was very good, substantial and chewy, good soft accompaniment. The potatoes were unbelievably tender, yet not overcooked, and the chili sauce was a nice spicy kick from regular potatoes. The three pickle spears were amazing to me because I love pickles and usually get extra...I had never had a place just naturally provide so many pickles. Overall, decent burger.

                                                                                                                      Of the two, I would say I preferred Audubon Circle's because it was so incredibly nicely seasoned, and much juicier, though not as hefty. I liked the potatoes at Audubon too better because they were crispier, from what I remember. The sleek atmosphere at Audubon is more appealing to me than the basic grub one at Miracle, and the Audubon burger is a dollar less expensive. Still, not a bad burger, quite fresh tasting.

                                                                                                                    2. I just got out of Four Burgers, on Mass ave in Central, and was thoroughly impressed. Similar in concept to UBurger...except you can get your burger cooked to order (which was my major complaint with Uburger.) And they've got beer and wine (major complaint #2 with Uburger...they've got milk shakes too), About the same price point, though. $7 for a cheeseburger. All the beef comes from Brandt Farm, in California (http://www.brandtbeef.com/)...same place that Grill 23 gets their beef. Fresh made fries.
                                                                                                                      For some reason, I've had bad luck the last few times I was at RFOs. Overcooked burgers, surly service and stale beer. Bartley's, I've never been impressed with.

                                                                                                                      1. ok, i just got a weird tip on a burger from a good friend. said friend insists that he had one of his most favorite boston burger experiences at ... pizza oggi in the harvard square holyoke center. huh!?

                                                                                                                        naturally, i'm curious. excited. titillated. a pizza joint secretly serving great burgers?! that's so ... gender-bending!

                                                                                                                        i haven't been able to get there myself (they close early on weeknights and my weekends have been busy), but thought i'd share in case anyone wants to brave it. i'll try to have one and report back soon. this could be a total burger failure (i really don't know my friend's burger credentials, though he did like sully's) or it could be ... amazing?

                                                                                                                        1. I'm surprised no one mentioned the burger at The Publick House in Brookline. Lean, cooked to order...and HUGE. I had it with the barbecue sauce from Dogfish Head brewery in Delaware, and it was a winning combination. Of course, the beer selection is outstanding, too!

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: letseat714

                                                                                                                            Sorry, lean and huge don't inspire thoughts of the "best" burger to me. Lean and huge can mean dry and unmanageable. Also, I would hope the "best" would be cooked to order. And I can do without the barbecue sauce.

                                                                                                                          2. Thanks for starting this thread. I live in Dallas now...but lived for a short while close to Tim's in the South End while at school in Cambridge in the early 80's. I not only thought Tim's had the best burgers in Boston....but in all of the United States. It was a neighborhood kind of dive but boy do I miss it when visiting Beantown these days.
                                                                                                                            I'll try out some of the other recommendations folks have made here....but I'll be surprised if any of them are as good as Tim's !

                                                                                                                            1. tim's was the best burger ever. the patty wasn't 10 oz, it was 16 oz pre-cooked. that is correct, a full 1 pound of beef - you could get a 1 pound bacon cheeseburger for $4.75. add a half onion ring-half fry plate on the side and a bottle of bud, and that's pretty much game over. forget about ever finding a comparable burger, it will never happen. tim's is the greatest that there ever was.

                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: baronopium

                                                                                                                                That is a fairly grand statement, but I might just agree. One heck of a burger.

                                                                                                                                1. re: baronopium

                                                                                                                                  Tim's was like the Mohammad Ali of burger places. You can argue who's the best, but only one can be "the greatest."

                                                                                                                                  1. re: baronopium

                                                                                                                                    A one pound burger seems excessive to me. My favorite burgers tend to be smaller. But I sure wish I could have tried it.