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GQ article: "20 best burgers in America"

Article from GQ:

Here are the 20 best burgers in America

20. Hamburger Sandwich
Louis' Lunch
New Haven, CT

19. Our Famous Burger
Sidetrack Bar and Grill
Ypsilanti, MI

18. Hamburger
Poag Mahone's Carvery and Ale House

17. Double Bacon Deluxe with Cheese
Red Mill Burgers

16. Hamburger & Fries
Burger Joint
San Francisco

15. Build Your Own Burger
The Counter
Santa Monica

14. Hamburger
J. G. Melon
New York City

13. Cheeseburger
White Manna
Hackensack, NJ

12. Hamburger
Bobcat Bite
Sante Fe

11. Grilled Bistro Burger
Bistro Don Giovanni
Napa, CA

10. Number Five
Keller's Drive-in

9. Cheeseburger
Burger Joint, le Parker Meridien Hotel
New York City

8. Hamburger
Miller's Bar
Dearborn, MI

7. Buckhorn Burger
San Antonio, NM

6. California Burger
Santa Monica

5. Kobe Sliders
Barclay Prime

4. Rouge Burger

3. Not Just a Burger
Spiced Pear Restaurant at the Chanler Hotel
Newport, RI

2. Luger Burger
Peter Luger Steak House

1. Sirloin Burger
Le Tub
Hollywood, FL

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  1. The burger at The Counter in Santa Monica is awful. Completely lacking in flavor and it falls apart when you're halfway through it. I'm amazed it made the list!

    7 Replies
    1. re: hrhboo

      Especially when it would have been easy to include Father's Office, the Apple Pan, 25 Degrees or Lucky Devil's instead of the Counter...and why would they mention just the Santa Monica Houston's, isn't it a fairly large chain?

      1. re: Chowpatty

        It's also odd that the list contains kobe burgers, sirloin burgers, cheese burgers, bacon cheeseburgers etc, in addition to the Build Your Own at the Counter (which could have any number of crazy combinations). It is impossible to make a fair comparison.

        1. re: hrhboo

          Maybe its the burger that looks the best when eaten in a snappy suit?

        2. re: Chowpatty

          Apparently the Santa Monica Houston's is different. I've been there and couldn't tell what was special about it but I heard that Oprah has a favorite menu item from that place as well.

        3. re: hrhboo

          I can't believe it either. At minimum it should have included Father's Office over the Counter.

          I also can't believe that the list only has 2 burgers from Los Angeles, which is burger central. It's a very east coast centric list, come to think of it. Of the 20, 8 are from New England.

          1. re: DanaB

            There are only two from New England: one in CT and one in RI. New York and New Jersey are definitely NOT in New England!

            1. re: BillieJean

              And I only count eight if you include the two from Philly as well. The poster must have meant the Northeast Corridor.

        4. When did this list come out. It seems that they do one every six months or so. Will say:

          Haven't been to the Counter. But other than Oprah's 'blessing' have not heard anything too favorable about the place

          Lugers is way over rated.

          Burger joint is good. But it's all prefab even the casual look of the place. Food is all processed frozen stuff anyone can get at Cosco.

          J.G. Mellons should be much higher on the list (their fries could be much better.).


          2 Replies
          1. re: Withnail42

            Lugers is not over rated, the bacon cheeseburger is awesome. One of my favorite lunches is a Luger burger with well done fries( fried in tallow) and an ice cold mug of Beck's. What is overrated is Le Tub. Last year I went out of my way on a trip to Florida and could not have been more disappointed. It was way to big, poorly cooked and not very tasty. No sear on the outside, just not that good. It came on a lousy roll with bad underfried frozen fries.The view was terrific.

            1. re: stuartlafonda

              Luger's burger isn't over-rated but it is inconsistent. Sadly everything at Luger's is inconsistent these days and this includes the porterhouse. When it's on it's the best when it's off it is merely very good.

            1. #16, Burger Joint in SF is a joke compared with the burgers at Zuni Cafe and Slow Club.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Frosty Melon

                I was just thinking that...Burger Joint isn't even the best in SF. I had to read #16 twice to make sure I read it right.

                1. re: Frosty Melon

                  I agree 100% - Zuni makes an awesome burger

                2. Philly is rockin' it with two in the top 5 baby!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Chinon00

                    The London has Philly's best burger.

                    1. re: famedalupo

                      I've had neither London's, Rouge's or Prime's burger (although I'm sure that they're all fantastic). The top 5 I've had in order are:
                      1) Good Dog
                      2) Royal Tavern
                      2a) Standard
                      4) North 3rd
                      5) Monk's

                      1. re: Chinon00

                        I posted in another thread about my most gluttonous day ever- lunch at Peter Lugers in Brooklyn, dinner at Barclay Prime.
                        As you can imagine, there were alot of great flavors, most of them cow related. The best thing I ate were the sliders at Barclay Prime. The porterhouse at Lugers was ridiculously good, as was the strip at BP. But those sliders....mmmm....

                  2. I can vouch for the two Philly places- Rouge and Barclay Prime- and they are both outstanding.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: JCap

                      I live near JG Melon's in NYC and it is considered one of the best burger places in town. There's always a line to attest to its stature!

                    2. It's nice to see New Haven get a mention, although I was never a fan of Louis' Lunch. They claim to have invented hamburgers. They grill them on a vertical contraption which makes the ones on top greasless, the ones on the bottom greasy. You are only allowed to have them on white bread with ketchup (I think, or maybe only mayonnaise) or else you get yelled at.
                      I always liked the burgers fried in butter over at Yankee Doodle better (with a donut split and fried in butter afterwards).

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: kenito799

                        I've never been to Louis Lunch but there big thing is no ketchup. I think they throw you out of the place if you ask for it. They also include a slice of onion pressed into the meat.

                      2. I'll vouch for both the Sidetrack in Ypsi and Millers Bar in Dearborn. They both make a great burger!

                        1. Just to add my 2 cents...while I haven't had the burgers at most of these places, one of the best burgers I've had was at Palena in Washington, DC.

                          It has top quality meat and very little in terms of topping (meaning it doesn't need to have all the piled on crap to be delicious) but it does include a perfect coat of homemade truffle oil mayo which is heavenly.

                          If you are looking for the best burger in DC this is certainly it!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Elyssa

                            Squeeze Inn's cheeseburger..Sacramento.

                          2. ah yes..... the sirloin burger at Le Tub is nothing to whisper about.. It's huge, it's fresh, never frozen and they serve it ala cart. it's big enough for two people.

                            sit on the intracoastal and chow down!
                            A1A, Hollywood Beach.

                            1. Wow I've actually had 3 on the list (Burger Joint NYC, Barclay Prime and Rouge). I have to say Rouge's burger is heaven on a plate. It's expensive, but so worth it.

                              1. No Mr and Mrs Bartley's Burger Cottage, in Harvard Sq, Cambridge MA?

                                1. I stand by Piper's Kilt in NYC, the Bronx and Eastchester. Best burgers ever!

                                  My second is "Dirty's" in Austin, TX

                                  1. Louie's lunch is by far better than JG Melon's & The Burger Joint...who voted on these...

                                    1. Tucson not on the list, guess we are lucky to have Guerro Canelo and Sonora hotdogs

                                      1. Imagine being the person who had to eat a burger at every place in the country that serves 'em, in order to come up with this list.

                                        We, on the other hand, can't even come up with a consensus on the Best Burger in (say) Los Angeles, despite new threads on that topic every few days!

                                        1. I wonder how this list would compare to a similar one from the burger-centric blog "A Hamburger Today" (aht.seriouseats.com) They do seem to concentrate on the NY/NJ/CT area, but certainly have posts from all over.

                                          I don't think they'd disagree with the inclusion of "White Manna", but I'd think they'd be pretty exercised over the exclusion of "Shake Shack". Think I'll go ask them...

                                          1. My vote for best burger I have ever had is at The Flea Market in Kansas City, edge of Westport. The California burger at Houston's is very good also but I haven't seen it on the menu in San Francisco for my last several visits.

                                            Now that prices for a lot of burgers has topped $12 minimum (and don't even get me started on add ons - like cheese - starting at $1) my viewing of the sandwich has changed. I never thought of it as a luxury item and didn't actually want to. If I'm spending $25 to eat, I'm not looking for a burger and fries. For me, the best burgers seem to go with plastic baskets, paper napkins, condiment bars and tee shirts or at the least, rolled up sleeves.

                                            1. Curious. We like Red Mill very much but the burger they have selected as "best" wouldn't have been my pick. Honestly unless you are a growing 11+ year old boy, I doubt you can finish it. Maybe they were selecting based on size? Anyrate I think the regular Red Mill burger is pretty darn good.

                                              And I don't get the selection of Houstons in LA either, not when there is 25 Degrees in the competition. That was one of our our favorites when we lived in LA.

                                              1. Any magazine article...especially if it is from a magazine that does not focus on the subject of said article must be disregarded. How many times have you seen an article in a men's Magazine about "what women really want" and as a woman your like ummm what? or an article about men in a women's magazine about "What your man really means when he says..." Ummm that is so not what I mean. What degree of research do you think went into this article, actually probably a lot for someone who doesn't cover food but still I don't know why anyone is shocked. Look at Yahoos 10 greatest movies of all time list or anything by a non-niche publication on a niche subject. I'm not saying your outcry is misplaced. I just say consider the source. :)