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Best Burger in Portland

The Saturday Wall Street Journal has a fun story about tasty burgers across the nation. The author visited Seattle and Los Angeles but skipped our PDX neighborhood. After reading that article I need a burger for lunch and so i need to put it out there--wheres the best burger in Portland?

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  1. Everyone has to try Stanich's at least once! It's not for everyone but is consistently ranked as one of the best burgers in Portland. Be warned, the special is messy and comes with everything incl. some things you might not expect such as fried egg, ham, bacon, and lots of cheese.

    1. There are a couple of reports on "upscale" burgers on extramsg.com:
      If you're looking for ideas these will give you lots of them.

      1. I read that article today. Have to say that Red Mill in Seattle makes a pretty special burger. Come up and try it some time. With that said, I have yet to have a properly prepared McMenamens burger outside of Portland. They sure make a great burger IMO.

        4 Replies
        1. re: landguy

          McMenamins' burgers are horrible. Or if not horrible, completely unremarkable. Thin, frozen patty. Ugh.

          1. re: antrobin

            Depends on which McMenamin's you go to. Different McMenamin's, different owners from what I understand. I've been told that the burger at the NW one rocks. I've had a good burger at Lloyd Center. I hear Mall 205 is just okay. Went to Stanich's once and never had a desire to go back even when in the neighborhood and looking for dinner. Didn't flip my skirt up.

            1. re: duckduck

              No, all McMennamin's have common ownership.

              My main problem with some of the McMennamin's is the servic..... the only time in my life that I did not leave a tip was at one of their brewpubs.

          2. re: landguy

            I've got to say, when I visited Portland last year, the burger I had at the Kennedy School McMenamens didn't impress me at all. The "Kick your ass burger" I had at the Ash Street Saloon WAS pretty tasty though. Never came across anything that came close to the burgers that they have down here in Austin at a bar called Casino El Camino though...

          3. for non "upscale" burgers ;-)

            *Humdinger (the one on Barbur - I think there are some other Humdinger's out there but they are completely separate entities) Has an old fashionied feel, I love the ambiance They have a large menu with quite a variety burgers, a few differnet style of fries and tots availabe, I like the onion rings. The milkshakes are GREAT and they have a LONG list of flavors!

            *I agrree with FoodDawg's post about Stanich's. Almost like a portland tradiontion to eat there (2 locations one on the west on one on the east) ..

            *Giant Drive-In in Lake Oswego has a long menu, burgers were good last time I ate one a very long time ago.

            3 Replies
            1. re: amopdx

              where is staniches on the east side? what do you recommend?

              1. re: soilchem

                on freemont - i haven't been to the E location, only westside (near corbett) . The west side location is kind of a hole in the wall.. i don't have a rec of which location to visit but i do recommend the burger with everything on it (don't wear white)

              2. re: amopdx

                ugh unless you like your food with a side of e. coli i would avoid giant in L.O........habitual health code violators.....i think there last failing score was a 35!!!

              3. Portland does have some great burgers, and I am just heading out the door right now to get one of my favorite happy hour burgers at Oba in the pearl. $6 and it's very high quality beef and comes with delicious fries. The other burger I think is great is at Wonder Cafe, a great little place beneath the Wonder Ballroom. I really have to disagree with landguy about Rem Mill in Seattle. Those are just thin pre-made patties. Any burger you can't order "medium rare" or however you may want it, is just not a burger worth eating.

                I am hooked on the burger at Oba. Check it out.

                1. Best Burgers?????? I feel the need to say Helvatia Tavern OMG have to hit it once every couple of weeks. I also agree with Staniches but the west side is the best. Thanks for the suggestion I think a jaunt to sherwood tonight is in need to get a McKenzie Grill Big burger. they rate right up with the rest in my opinion. Big Mike

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mlukewow

                    Giant in Lake Oswego... the Best, they have an avocado burger...

                    Stanich's & Helvetia, and is the Carnival still around, at the base of OHSU hill?
                    they had great shakes, a peanut butter one...

                  2. I've been largely unimpressed by most of the burgers that were mentioned here. They're barely a step up, I think, from fast food burgers and questionably better than, say, Red Robin. I miss Foothill Broiler. Genie's does a pretty nice mid-priced burger, however.

                    I do think you generally get a more perfect burger as you go up in price, though. Nettie already pointed to my burger reports, but some that aren't there that are worth checking out are: Alberta St Oyster Bar, Le Pigeon, and Carlyle.


                    4 Replies
                    1. re: extramsg

                      I agree with you MSG, most of the burgers people have mentioned are thin-paddy fast food burgers. In my earlier post I suggested The Burger at Cafe Wonder, as well as Oba. I'm curious to know if you tried either of these. Cafe Wonder is especially good.

                      1. re: BoomOp

                        I haven't. I don't mind thin-patty fast food style burgers if they're done really well, like on a grill, or well-charred with high quality buns, ingredients, etc. But places like Helvetia are just winning people over with a giant messy burger.

                        1. re: extramsg

                          Stanich's will change your burger-loving life. If you want something even more secret, try the Burger Barn in the Hollywood district in Northeast. It's delicious... and the people there and general ambiance is just a hell of a character.

                    2. Higgins, hands down, IMHO. I'm a burger fan and I've eaten lots of 'em but I keep returning to Higgins. They're on the regular lunch menu and available at dinner if you're in the bar. About $10, which isn't unreasonable since it's about a half inch thick, lovely seasonings, house made buns and comes with a great salad.

                      1. Stanich's is # 1, but be prepared to wait a looong time, this is no fast food place and the sign says so. Another great burger is the Roy Burger at Hall St in Beaverton. Happy hour is $3.00 with a huge burger and french fries that are also great. They own Obe's in the Pearl.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: kbyrne

                          I grew up in NYC and am looking for a burger at least 1/2 pound, thick and so juicy that top and bottom bun is drenched in juice. It has to be to die for and to die from.

                          Higgins,Wildwood, Kens et al., while quite good don't satisfy the carnivoire lust. I plan to try Stanichs next. Any other ideas.

                          1. re: extralipitor

                            I've heard that Hurley's Kobe burger is huge (and $28) but I have not had it. I believe it is only available at brunch.

                            1. re: JillO

                              I tried Hurley's Kobe burger rare yesterday at brunch. Had it rare, rich buttery taste as you would expect. Accompanied by good home made chips. Had a great nap afterwards from the fat buzz.

                              Still reminded me of Higgins, in that it had a very distinctive high end taste, I'm guessing from a maranade. Comparing them to NYC burgers is like comparing apples to oranges. Lots of fun though, thanks for the idea.

                        2. what about Hollywood burger Bar on Sandy? I've not been, just heard about it...

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: spabettie

                            It's okay. Big, inexpensive, greasy burgers.

                          2. just went to Helvatia Tavern again for the second time. a decent burger to be had!! fries and onion rings were good too. if you have never been get there early. by the time we left a tour bus had offloaded 20 senior citizens and about 8 cars with a younger crown were pulling in.

                            bring cash unless your ok with thier $1.75 ATM fee.

                            thanks to mlukewow for first mentioning it!!

                            1. The Slow Bar on Grand is a dim, hip little bar with huuuge booths and the best burgers in the city, plus it's open late.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: ben iarwain

                                I'm always happy with my burger at Hawthorne street Alehouse.

                                Also, The Corner Saloon (it's at the location known as Wanker's Corner, but it IS NOT Wanker's Corner restaurant - that is in a strip mall in Wilsonville - the old owner kept the name when he moved away from the wanker's corner location, and its a tacky, icky thing) The Corner Saloon is in tualatin/west linn area on Stafford and Boreland road - and the experience is AWESOME - bar full of regulars, floor covered in peanut shells, sassy staff, good drinks, top notch people watching - no hipsters there, this is the real deal. Have Todd order your burger - he knows how to get what you want based on whose cooking. great nachos and surprisingly amazing guacamole there, too.

                                1. re: kristenmarthabrown

                                  I must say that Georges Tavern on the corner of killingsworth and Interstate has an excellent bacon cheeseburger "special" every day. It's just a simple burger with american cheese and special sauce but it satisfies my in'n'out burger cravings like no where else. i had two good burgers at slow bar and about four mediocre ones between.