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Sep 2, 2009 10:18 AM

Best Burger in Portland?

My wife and I will be in Portland this weekend for the Labor Day holiday. Coming up from LA and looking for the best burger Portland has to offer!

Please suggest!

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    1. See if you can find the August issue of Portland Monthly Magazine; the cover story is about the best burgers in multiple categories (high end, exotic, sloppy, slider, etc).

      Never mind; here's the link:


      1. My favorite LA burgers are the Comme Ca, Father's Office and Hungry Cat burgers. Hell, I'll even give love to 25 Degrees. My comparable Portland burgers can be found at Carlyle, Ten01 and Toro Bravo, restaurants one normally doesn't think of when it comes to a burger, but it stands to reason that the best kitchen puts out the best food, regardless of the rest of the menu.

        While the PoMo article lists some very good burgers, they miss those three. They get some picks that I'd agree with (like the Clyde Common happy hour burger or the Victory Bar venison burger).

        A more interesting quest is looking for Portland's best -sandwich-. Then it gets really fun.

        Carlyle Restaurant
        1626 NW Thurman St, Portland, OR 97209

        Ten 01
        1001 NW Couch, Portland, OR 97209

        Toro Bravo
        120 NE Russell St, A Portland, OR

        1. I'm kinda iffy about getting burgers at a restaurant.

          Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of *good* burgers out there, but (nearly) anyone with a grill and some fresh ingredients can knock them off the plate of edibility. Some of the higher end places might offer something truly spectacular but (and this is just my personal take) it seems a waste to go to a spendy restaurant only to order a burger.

          For me, then, the rule on picking a restaurant burger is to find a good/serviceable one that is accompanied by something else that makes it worth eating, be that a side dish specialty, or be that atmosphere. In both cases, the classic drive in Burger at Skyline gets good points. It's a solid 1950s burger (hello iceburg lettuce), not too greasy, and with it you can order some really good old fashioned milkshakes, and all of it in a classic diner that is tucked away in the West Hills like a movie set.

          By no means take this to mean there aren't other good or even better burgers, nor that Skyline has the *best* burger in town. I do however feel it has the best "burger experience" and really, if you're going out for a burger, that's what you want. Otherwise, you'd break out the ground beef, the chopped shallots, the butter and chives, the beefsteak tomato from the farm stand.....

          Is it bad that I'm hungry at 1:55 am?

          1. Ok I know its not IN Portland but dont forget about Helvatia Tavern simply IMHO hte best of the best shouldnt be missed by anyone.........skyline is also great.........and Im not sure but Staniches since it closed the west side I have not eaten at the east side for along time but another great burger.

            2 Replies
            1. re: mlukewow

              Helvatia Tavern hasn't been good in 10 years or better. They sold-out so to speak, and now the Sysco truck can be spotted there on regular intervals. nuf' said.

              for me personally, the top 5 burgers are as follow: Carlyle, Clyde Common, Toro Bravo, Ten01, Slow Bar.

              1. re: nkeane

                I strongly second the Ten01 burger, either the Happy Hour (4 oz, $6, a steal) or lunch/bar version (might be 8oz, and twice as much). It's local grass beef, and they poele it with butter and garlic and herbs after it's been griddled. It's intensely flavorful and juicy. Pair it with the truffle oil fries and it's hard to top that in burger dining.