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Best Boston Burger

My sister is running in the Olympic Trials for the Marathon (which is Boston the day before the Boston Marathon.) We have about 15 family and friends traveling into town from California and I need to make a reservation for our group after the race.

My all-American sister has requested a her post-race meal be an "amazing hamburger and french fries." Any suggestions on where to go? We want to celebrate, so I think we'd almost prefer a low-key bar setting to a restaurant. We are staying near the Prudential Center and, since there is a group of us, we don't really want to travel too far.

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  1. Believe it or not the Bull & Finch Pub has a pretty good Hamburger, yes it is the tourist trap Cheers, but that has since subsided a bit although on marathon day it will prove to be a zoo, as will anyplace down there will be.

    1. If it's lunch time, I'd go to Abe & Louie's or The Palm. Both are nice steak places that only serve a burger in the afternoon, but good ones at about $11. Lots of people say the best burger is at the Bristol Lounge, that sets you back about $18. And Radius just won best burger in the country, $17 and in the financial district. All celebratory places. For a lower key burger and if the Sox aren't playing, Eastern Standard in Kenmore Sq. would be fun. Or much lower key, UBurger across the street.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Joanie

        I've said many times on this board that I think the Radius Cheeseburger is the best anywhere. Here's the link to the latest Radius burger topic.


        Though that's particularly close to you and might be hard to reserve for a large group.

        1. re: Joanie

          If you are looking for the best burger in Boston, DO NOT go to UBurger, REPEAT, DO NOT go to UBurger. They do have very good fries, though. Abe & Louies would be right near the Pru but not low key (typical steak house atmosphere); Eastern Standard in Kenmore Square is a good suggestion or right outside Kenmore Sq. on Beacon Street is Audobon, they make a very good burger, very low key but small so you might want to call ahead to make sure they can seat 15 of you.

        2. If you want to get out of the post-Marathon throngs, take a short trip via taxi, the T, or the #77 bus on Mass Ave across the river to Miracle of Science in Central Sq, Cambridge - it's a fun, casual low-key bar setting with amazing burgers cooked as you order (get the Ronnie if you like spicy) - but alas, only with really good roasted red potatoes, no french fries. They also have a sister spot, Audobon Grill near Kenmore Square, but I can't vouch for a burget there based on personal experience. That area may be crowded with Marathon traffic, however.

          Flat Patties in Harvard Square is another popular Cambridge option (with fries) easily accessible via T or taxi (longer bus ride in this case).

          1. Whenever I do the Walk for Hunger (which ends pretty near the Marathon, over at Boston Common), I always seem to end up at MJ O'Connor's in Park Plaza. I love their burgers, and the fries aren't too bad. It's usually pretty quiet there, too. Other places nearby that I like for burgers include 75 Chestnut (Beacon Hill) and Audubon Circle (Kenmore).

            1. Well, since Tim's is gone...(okay, I'll give up this whining eventually folks).

              Let's see, bar setting, good burger...

              Well, the burgers at Crossroads (just off the corner of Mass. Ave. and Beacon) are pretty darn good. And a short walk from the Pru.

              For a really cheap burger, go to Bukowski's. I think they're $1.69 from noon until 5:00. Fun bar, too. Spin the "wheel of indecision" to determine your beer.

              12 Replies
              1. re: Bostonbob3

                The buck 69 burger at Bukowski's is available until 8 pm. Don't know how the burger at Lower Depths is, but the fries are pretty damned good.

                1. re: Bostonbob3

                  Tim's replacement, Coda, is low key and makes a nice burger.

                  I have become quite partial to Fat Cat's in Quincy, though.

                  1. re: Bostonbob3

                    why on earth would anyone step foot into Bukowski's?

                    1. re: tomgaroo

                      I really like Bukowski's, the beers are great, the dogs and burgers are good, and I like the atmosphere (esp in Back Bay).

                      1. re: tomgaroo

                        Good beer selection, good atmosphere, super cheap burgers at some points of time.

                        1. re: jgg13

                          In my experience, Bukowski's burgers range from good to kind of blackened and over done, but yeah, they are cheap. As for the atmosphere, the ultra loud music gets to be a pain if you want to talk, not yell, to your date across the table. A Pavement CD that skipped was on rotation in there for what seemed like years, I hope they've retired it.

                          1. re: wontonton

                            Are you talking about the Inman sq one or the original?

                            I find the inman one to be the louder of the two, but I'm super loud anyways so it never really bothered me ;) I tend to go to the inman one a lot more frequently than the other just due to convenience.

                            1. re: jgg13

                              I used to live a couple blocks away from the Back Bay location and went fairly often for a year or so, but the loud music got old, or maybe I got old.

                        2. re: tomgaroo

                          Incredible sweet potato fries; decent mac & cheese; the white trash dip and the beer!

                        3. re: Bostonbob3

                          Tims is gone, but the Cantab has taken their burgers out of the ashes.

                          1. re: jgg13

                            I think they've stopped serving food there. At least the last I heard they had. (Nice sentence construction, huh?)

                            1. re: Bostonbob3

                              A friend of mine stopped by a few weeks ago and said they they were "closed for renovations". I don't know if said renovations are done.

                        4. I know it's a chain, but I feel that one of the best burgers anywhere is at Houston's. It's a quick T ride away from the Prudential...The california burger is absolutely amazing and cooked perfectly every time.

                          1. Eastern Standard's burger is pretty damn good and they'd be a good place for a group - provided you plan around the Sox schedule.

                            1. Silvertone by Park Street station has a pretty good burger.

                              1. James Gate in JP has a great burger and great fries and a cozy fireplace. They are always cooked perfectly I think and have great topping to choose from (bacon several cheese, mushrooms, caramelized onions etc).

                                1. Just to brag, I had the Luger Burger at Peter Luger over the weekend. Oh, and German Fried Potatoes, thick-sliced bacon, tomatoes and onions, creamed spinach, and lamb chops.

                                  Light lunch. But delicious.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Bostonbob3

                                    Bob, did you go to Nathan's afterward for a corn dog? They make really good desserts! I was in Brooklyn for awhile earlier this month, but I was slumming it, so no Luger's. Had the best burger I've ever had in NYC, though, at Donovan's in nearby Woodside (Queens).

                                    I know the OP might not want to travel too far, but some other places that I like for burgers include the Mission Bar in Brigham Circle, Zon's in Jamaica Plain, and Common Ground in Allston. Zon's is probably my favorite of the three.

                                  2. For the past several years, from an out-of-towners perspective, we have really enjoyed a cup of chowder and burger at the bar at Ye Olde Union Oyster House and very much enjoyed it. Am I really missing something at the Bull and Radius places. We are coming back the first weekend in May and will be staying in the Financial District.

                                    1. We took a marathon runner in the family to O'Sullivan's in Somerville (recommended on this board) for her post-run burger. Big hit. Half-pound of juice goodness. Really disappointed by the flimsy character-less bun. But the sandwich itself was a winner.

                                      Alternative recommendation. The andouille burger at Union in the South End is pretty fantastic. Great overall structure with bun and toppings. Nice thick cut vermont cheddar. And the "innovation" on andouille sausage mixed in with the beef adds a great edge to the burger overall.

                                      1. Cantab in Central Square inherited the Tim's burger and it rocks. Just read the thread, if they are temporarily closing their kitchen that is tragic.

                                        Bukowski's may be cheap, but that burger ain't good.

                                        I also like O'Sullivan's though some find it too round.

                                        Miracle of Science is also decent.

                                        West side lounge Cambridge does a good but pricey burger.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: StriperGuy

                                          Definitely worth a call to the Cantab regarding their kitchen before going. I noticed yesterday that they no longer have their menu up.

                                          actually, on their website they note the kitchen is "temporarily closed":

                                          I like Miracle of Science's Roni burger. W/ O'Sullivans I don't mind the size but their inconsistency is maddening (Always order "medium rare" which gets me anything between a *true* MR all the way to "well done")

                                        2. How about a good burger and fries in the Newton, Needham, Dedham areas? The Biltmore was very good but they had that massive exodus recently; Dunn Gaerhin's is decent; Halfway Cafe is pretty good; Any better options?

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: paulgardner

                                            For that area, I'd say that the Halfway is one of the best options for a burger and fries. O'Hara's in Newton Highlands has decent burgers, too.

                                          2. 75 Chestnut in Beacon Hill never dissapoints.
                                            Cambridge Common On Mass ave in Cambridge good too!