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Hamburgers in the Pacific Northwest?

where's your favorite place to get a hamburger in northwest washington (seattle, marysville, bellingham, vancouver, etc).

I'm gonna be out there for a while and I'm looking for something good!

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  1. Red Mill get all the "best in Seattle" notices, but I like Blue Moon Burgers. Tasty burgers, lots of variety in the fixin's, and great fries and hand-dipped shakes to go with.


    2 Replies
    1. re: MsMaryMc

      Porter's in Medford Oregon at happy hour in lounge. Get Giddy menu


      1. re: MsMaryMc

        Blue Moon also gets the fries and rings right.

      2. Duke's Chowderhouse does a great burger. Nice sourdough bun. The Duke Wester Burger is really good. It's not a burger but the bbq chicken burger is also a good choice. Go during happy hour if you want to have a good cheap beer with your burger.

        1. I like Red Mill for fast-food style burgers and The Palace Kitchen in downtown Seattle for a restaurant style burger.

          1. I can't speak for Portland, but Seattle is pretty underwhelming at the "low end" -- I mean, sorry to all the long-time Seattlites, but I am not very impressed with Dick's. Red Mill & the various McMeniman's (sp?) are OK, but maybe a little $$ to qualify as fast food?

            Anyway, at the high end, you can get some pretty great "gourmet" burgers. My favorite has to be the Wagyu beef burger at Quinn's in Capitol Hill (Pike/10th Ave). I can't remember if it comes with bacon, but get it with bacon. I don't know what's in those burgers, but wow. Quinn's is probably followed in my esteem by Palace Kitchen downtown (5th Ave/Virginia).

            BTW, as a visitor- both places are very much worth visiting even if you don't get the burgers, but both get crazy crowded and don't take reservations.

            2 Replies
            1. re: pusherman

              I think the problem with Dick's is that people expect it to be something it's not. Dick's is not supposed to be a great burger. Dick's is an alternative to McDonalds. Compare the Dick's Cheeseburger to on from McDonalds and the Dick's Deluxe to a Big Mac. It comes up much better in that light.

              I have a big problem with Burgers from most places like Red Mill and the like. By the time I get a burger with cheese and bacon, and fries, I'm usually spending $7 or $8. Then I think about the Burger at Palace Kitchen or The Jones and realize I can get one that is much better for just a small bit more.

              If I HAD to pick a great $4 burger in Seattle though, I'd probably say Ballard Brothers is best.

              1. re: pusherman

                I've had the Quinn's and Palace Kitchen burgers for the first time in the past few weeks and I like the Quinn's better. The smokey flavor is much sweeter and appealing as is the quality of the meat. The aoili they use on the burger also really tasty. I have to say I'm a big fan of Red Mill still, I like the thinner patties and I don't walk away feeling heavy and gross like I do when I eat a larger fattier burger at a fancy restaurant. As for McMenimens those are really good if you get one in Portland, they have a serious problem preparing them here for some crazy reason, overdone and without any love. Quality control sux here in their Seattle restaurants.

                Also if you haven't seen this, here's a funny clip of Bill Gates eating at Dick's that appeared on "60 Minutes"

              2. A great burger and drive can be had by heading up to Skagit Valley and taking a drive up Chuckanut Drive that goes to Bellingham along the coast. The drive is awesome and there is a great little place- the Rhododendron Cafe that is about 6 or 7 miles from where you get off of the interstate 5 and head north. You'll be glad you did!

                4 Replies
                1. re: bluesriff

                  Just a note that the Rhododendron Cafe is closed for their winter break until January 25.

                  1. re: Roo

                    if your in fife,alittle white building next to the gas station,green grass,trees and tables to sit.of course im talkin about the pick quick

                    1. re: mics

                      Oh yeah--gotta love the PickQuick! Great burgers, fries, and shakes--and they're right across the street (I swear I'm not making this up) from the Norman Bates Motel.

                      1. re: MsMaryMc

                        The Pick Quick! is closed until February 1st. This little gem should be on every Chowhound's short list of great burger destinations. (Fries are fresh potatoes hand cut each day--not frozen.)

                2. I really like the burger (and awesome fries) at 22 Doors on Capitol Hill or The Attic in Madison Park.

                  1. I really like the well-seasoned burger at the Copper Gate in Ballard...and their fries are some of the best I've had in the city. However, their burger doesn't come with a bun so be prepared for straight meat & potatoes!

                    5 Replies
                      1. re: hhlodesign

                        really!...I still recommend it....tasty burger, fabulous fries.....have you been there yet...it's an interesting place design-wise...very unique remodel of an old neighborhood/boaters hang-out.....worth the trip just for that....

                        1. re: staffstuff

                          Haven't gone but have heard good things. I'll give it a try. Although, on the burger front, I have to say that the bun is such an important component of a good burger, that I just can't call it a burger if it has no bun.

                          My picks:
                          Two Bell's Blue Cheese and Bacon Burger
                          35th St. Bistro Burger

                          1. re: hhlodesign

                            Is it fair to say that 2 Bells provides a bun? I've always been stuck with some kind of crusty loaf (though it's been years since my last visit).

                            1. re: not the bad Steve

                              2 Bells does serve on bread, but....

                              HEAR YE, HEAR YE,

                              ...we were at 2 Bells the other night, and they served the burgers on the usual sourdough loaf, BUT with the hard, pointy top trimmed off the top of the bread. This really made all the difference & 2 Bells has retaken the 'best burger in Seattle' title in my book. If they would just go with a softer roll, there would be no contest. Still, as long as the bread no longer shreds my palate, I'm happy.

                    1. Just got back from a trip to Hale's Ales Happy Hour. The chedder cheeseburger was perfectly to order at Medium Rare, with an attentively good pinkness evident and the flavor and moistness were perfect. Palace Kitchen's is also nice, at thrice the price, but IMHO, Hale's is a candidate for best burger around here, especially for under 5 bucks at Happy Hour. The JoJos are ho-hum, but quite OK in their seasoned potato way. Today's cask ale was Wee Heavy, and very nice.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: mrnelso

                        McCormick and Schmick's 1/2 pound cheeseburger with fries at Happy Hour isn't the best burger in town but it might be the best $1.95 burger in town.

                        1. re: mrnelso

                          i would add to the list of good happy hour deals the $3 hanger steak sliders at Ama Ama in W Seattle (for when you feel in the mood for some non-ground beef). too bad they don't have Wee heavy too. For something along the same lines but more substantial, the prime rib sandwich at the Metropolitan mkt off Admiral way in W seattle.

                        2. The best burger in Portland is in Northwest Portland it's called Nob Hill - by Good Samaritan hospital. Try the turkey burger!

                          1. For great sliders with fun toppings good for the Jolly Rodger Taproom!! in Ballard and HH at Cascadia. The Jolly Rodger is overlooked and basically a pirate themed hole in the wall local brewhouse. They have a great sampler. At Jolly Rodger get some with the either jalapeno or chipotle aoili- your lips will tingle! At Cascadia try the salmon and meat variations with truffle butter and various concotions.

                            Here are some helpful links!

                            In Bellingham hit up Bob's Burgers and Brew- I recommend the mushroom burger- best I have ever had of that kind. Bob's is their local chain.

                            I am new to Red Mill and like that they smoke their ancho chilis each morning and have some many speciatly burgers. Great different style buns and special sauce taht really is special. They also have great lightly coated onion rings too that don't drip the fat.

                            What Seattle people think... http://seattle.citysearch.com/bestof/...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: natalie.warner

                              Great call on Jolly Roger. Their lunch is great and I'm a big fan of the Maritime beers as well. The dinner menu is a little strange, though, and seems a bit overpriced.

                              I have to give my props to Blue Moon as well. I had the Southwest Burger there recently and it was one of the best burgers I've ever had. Not too spicy but very tasty.

                            2. Redmill. The reason they are so popular, as is evidenced by the line at all hours of the day (esp. on Phinney Ridge) is that they employ a key feature: they do not freeze their meat. It makes a huge difference. They also do a blend of n.zealand bull and regular cow..sounds kind of bad, but thats the reality. It's an amazing burger. And the atmosphere is great - anywhere that doesn't apologize for having The Rolling Stones turned up loud is fine by me.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: jamesbra

                                While I myself recommended Redmill, I wouldn't say their meat is great. It is hard and flat, like a fast food burger. They have great toppings, though.

                                For anyone who has been to Houston, my ideal is the burger at Beck's Prime. This is not the same at all.

                              2. Quinn's has an amazing burger. It's just meat, cheese and bacon...and it's amazing. If you want a well-priced burger made with high quality ingredients that is actually cooked to the degree that you ask for, I highly recommend Quinn's.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Trigger5

                                  I had the Quinn's burger last week and loved it. It's on par with the burger at Palace Kitchen as far as I'm concerned. And the fries rocked!

                                  1. re: Trigger5

                                    After a few trips to Quinn's, I finally tried the burger last night, and it was amazing. Also, it was cooked perfectly and the fries were perfect.

                                    1. re: jdestes

                                      Agreed. I haven't been a fan of wagyu beef in the past, but Quinn's burger changed my mind. And the fries - fantastic!

                                  2. I had the burger at Olea the other day in Portland. It came on a house made focaccia bun and was served with pancetta, fontina and pickled onions. Man it was darn tasty. I also like to add duck fat to the frites for an extra heart stopping moment.
                                    It is also available on the happy hour menu, although I am not sure if it is the same.
                                    I also like stanichs for that super-greasy type of burger

                                    1. I like Redmill and Scooters in Ballard for a cheap fast food burger. Other than that, some stand outs are:

                                      - The cheap happy hour burgers at McCormicks and Rays (how can you beat a nice burger plus fries for under $4?)

                                      - The burgers at the Pub at Piper's Creek (on Greenwood). The place is divey, but they have excellent beers on tap, a full bar, and some awesome burgers.

                                      - Probably my favorite burger in Seattle is at Shultzy's on the Ave in the UDistrict. They are known for their sausages, but their burgers are EXCELLENT. The grind their own burgers and make them into hoagy shaped patties. The meat is excellent.

                                      1. Dick's is what its is, cheap and delicious. Not gourmet. But it's always good when yer hungry,. Try the Broadway Grill their burgers are good.

                                        1. Red Mill near Green Lake. Testy Chef in Maple Valley, Bobs Burgers and Brew up north.

                                          Stay away from XXX in Issaquah.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Smokie

                                            Agreed on XXX. They've definitely gone downhill in the 6 years that I've been here. Which is a bit sad, because I did enjoy them before.

                                            If you're the type that likes a drink and doesn't mind the loud, the Tin Hat in Ballard makes a tasty burger and the best tater tots I've had in a restaurant. I was sad when they took the Exile burger off the menu... roasted garlic and sauteed onions. Delish.

                                            If you can find them, the burger at Skillet was one of the best upper scale burgers I've had in town.

                                          2. One site I'm a fan of: http://portlandhamburgers.blogspot.com/

                                            In the Portland area, try the Helvetia Tavern out towards Hillsboro. In PDX proper, Cafe Castagna is always a good bet. There's lots of good burger to be found here, just try it out!


                                            1. In Vancouver, the Templeton (1087 Granville Street) cannot be beat. It's a cool, narrow 30's -era diner and the food is great across the board. Get the 777 burger, with fries (and gravy). The patty itself is organic and big, sort of average really, but big points for the finer points of bun-toastedness, cheese-meltedness and overall balance of condiments.

                                              In Portland, I have found the burger at the Doug Fir (www.dougfirlounge.com) to be mind-blowing on 3 different occasions. With bacon and blue cheese, yep.

                                              And in Bellingham, you gotta hit up Fiamma burger (www.fiammaburger.com). They are fast-food little perfect burgers, made from organic happy-cow meat.

                                              1. Top Burger, in Camas (just outside of Vancouver, WA) is a great place for a burger. Their Jalapeno-bacon cheeseburger with fries is one of the best in the NW. They use thin burger patties similar to the ones at Red Mill. It's a tiny burger joint in a tucked away corner outside of Vancouver, but definitely worth the trip if you are in the Portland area. Great milkshakes and onion rings as well.

                                                1. I've never understood the thing about Red Mill. The burgers there are completely medicore. Go to the good old Wedgwood Broiler on 35th in north Seattle and sit in the bar. Order a burger, onion rings, and a beer. They grind their own hamburger and serve it the way God intended--on a grilled white bun with a slice of onion, lettuce, and tomato