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Best Burger in Seatown?

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Why is it so hard to find a good burger here in Seattle?? any suggestions appreciated. And please do not mention Dick's burger.

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  1. If you want an inexpensive, grilled burger made from fresh-ground chuck, oozing with cheese, perhaps topped with Mama Lil's peppers or just some good old fashioned bacon, I highly recommend Zippy's Giant Burgers in West Seattle. Have some great hand-cut fries and/or crispy onion rings alongside, a cane sugar soda or hand-dipped shake, and you're good to go!

    Beware, there's not much parking or seating, but if there's a line it moves fast.

    1 Reply
    1. re: voodoobec

      Seattle is a great place to get high end "gourmet" burgers (I guess this would kind of correspond to the steakhouse burger, but sometimes have unusual toppings), I have had some of the best $10+ burgers here I've had anywhere. I really like the burgers at Palace, but also can't go wrong with Quinn's, Smith, Lunchbox Lab, and if you can handle the chaininess of it, Counter Burger.

      There is no cheap fast food category to speak of; Dick's is vastly overrated (in my mind) and that's about it. If you can stomach a $8-10 hamburger, I like the ones at Elysian quite a bit, Red Mill is OK, and I have a soft spot for the McMenniman's locations (Dad Watsons / Six Arms), but maybe that's more because you can get tater tots than anything to do with the actual burgers.

    2. I have found the burger at Two Bells tavern to be strangely satisfying. The burger at nearby Palace Kitchen is outstanding, but comparatively spendy.

      -----
      Palace Kitchen
      2030 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

      3 Replies
      1. re: Leper

        I recently very much enjoyed a Two Bells burger! I'd prefer a regular bun to the bread they use, but overall it was juicy, messy and tasty (all things I look for in a good burger).

        I'm looking forward to hearing other people's input, tho' -- having lived in Seattle for only a couple of months now, I'm definitely on the lookout for best burgers & everything else.

        1. re: Bax

          Regular bun? - A "regular bun" can't handle a Two Bells burger.

        2. re: Leper

          Not sure what is "strangely satisfying" about the Two Bells burger. It's a flat out great burger. And one of the few places in Seattle you can actually get a pink patty. I guess I can understand wanting a regular bun, but to me it's a most welcome change of pace.

          Was at this brewery in Tacoma on the way to hiking around Point Defiance on Labor Day, and was pleasantly surprised they actually asked me how I wanted my burger done. Having had far too many "medium rare" burgers come to the table medium-well out here, I asked for straight-up rare for the first time in my life. What arrived was the color of elephant skin (happy elephant skin, not circus elephant skin) through and through. Why ask? Why ask and get my hopes up? Broke my heart.

        3. I think it depends on what type of burger you like...

          If you're into crazy toppings and acceptable burger, you're going to love Lunchbox Lab.
          If you're into a thin patty fast food style burger done really well, you'll be a Red Mill fan.
          And if you're into big, messy, delicious meatball between a bun style burger (that's me), I'm not sure Spring Hill can be beat.

          -----
          Spring Hill Restaurant & Bar
          4437 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116

          4 Replies
          1. re: GreenYoshi

            Excellent insight. There are those who favor the “diner burger” for its combination of flavors (e.g., lettuce, tomato, cheese, ketchup, etc.) where no one element dominates, including the meat (usually a somewhat thin patty of only 3 or 4 ounces). (A “diner burger” is different from a “fast-food burger” or “store burger,” made with molded, pressed, frozen disks of inferior meat that are cooked to the consistency of cardboard.) Then there are those (like me) who think a burger is all about the meat, and favor a “steakhouse-style” burger, often 6 to 8 ounces of good quality meat, with minimal to no toppings or frills. For an attempt at a taxonomy of burgers, see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/craig-g.... Discussions about “the best burger” often break down into advocates of diner burgers vs. advocates of steakhouse burgers, or as one writer put it, meat burgers vs. fixings burgers. The better option, which you have shown us, is to find the best examples of each. Nice job.

            My question is, isn’t there a better option for a diner-style burger than Red Mill? A place that custom grinds good quality beef, cooks the patties on a grill that is hot enough to sear the exterior without overcooking the interior, etc.? In the Los Angeles area, my model for this type of burger is Pie ‘n Burger in Pasadena. Is there some place like this in Seattle?

            1. re: Tom Armitage

              I love the Oregon beef burgers at Etta's - sometimes with blue cheese, sometimes with Beecher's flagship. But this is a spendy burger. The best non-spendy, custom-ground, perfectly cooked burger is at the Wedgwood Broiler on 35th Ave NE. Eat in the bar - get a beer and onion rings to go with the cheeseburger. Old Seattle at its finest there. The meat is really fresh and they will leave it a true medium rare if you ask for that.

              1. re: Tom Armitage

                If you love a diner style burger, than get yourself straight to Zippy's in White Center I know the area gets a bad rap.. but now that it is home to Proletariat Pizza, Full Tilt Ice Cream and now the new LARGE home of Zippy's. Well worth the trip.
                I have lived near the area for 7 years, and never managed to get a Zippy burger as they used to be in a tiny space with no seating, and usually a line out the door, or even ran out of ingredients the few times I went by. Finally, last week I went to the new location just off Roxbury on 14th SW. They have lots of seating, and still a never ending line, but I got waited on in just 3 minutes, and my order came out in 5-6 min.
                I have been dreaming of that burger ever since I ate it, and have to restrain myself from going back there every day (just - cant- eat- that - so - often!).
                They grind their own beef daily, and have wonderful toppings like Mamma'Lil's kickbut peppers, and Smoked cheddar (5 kinds of cheese choices). The bun was soft, but stood up to the juicy, nicely grill-smoky meat, and the toppings and 'special sauce' were just perfectly balanced. The onion rings were awesome! Can;t wait to go back!
                You can even take it to go, and go a block down the street to Big Al's Brewing down the street and eat your burger with a great cult local brew!

                1. re: Tom Armitage

                  " In the Los Angeles area, my model for this type of burger is Pie ‘n Burger in Pasadena"

                  and I would add Apple Pan in West LA. Have heard great things about Pie 'n Burger but have not been there. In my own search for such a creature you have described I have yet to find it in the great NW. It's elusive, like the Sasquatch.

              2. My current favorite burger is at the Nordstrom Grill downtown in the back of the downstairs men's department. Huge burger plus excellent skinny fries and a horsradish sauce for like $10 (I add white cheddar). YUM. SO and I shared a burger and their grilled veggie salad for lunch last weekend and OMG was it perfect.

                Was not a huge fan of Zippys - very greasy and not particularly flavorful. I'd go back, but mostly because they make malts! Red Mill always sounds better than it is - also extremely greasy and absolutely loaded with salt (and I love salt, but that level of salt content makes me feel off for the rest of the day!).

                3 Replies
                1. re: akq

                  If Red Mill didn't have their onion rings, I wouldn't ever go.

                  Nordy's Grill gets a surprising amount of love, huh?
                  I've been meaning to try their Fish & Chips based on recommendations as well.

                  1. re: GreenYoshi

                    I've tried to temper my enthusiasum for the burger, but frankly since I work right next to Nordies I want to eat it for lunch every single day...but then I'd spend every afternoon napping under my desk. All the food I've had at Nordies grill is good to excellent. Their salads are great, their burger is great...I've even had really nice hallibut there. Thank goodness I've already eaten lunch today otherwise I'd be heading over right now... :)

                    Oh, and it's been a while but I used to love Schultz's burgers (just don't get to the U-District as often these days). They grind their own meat fresh in store. YUM.

                    1. re: GreenYoshi

                      It's funny you mention Red Mill a few posts above as a "fast-food style burger done really well" and then say you wouldn't go if not for the onion rings. Like you, I am generally a fan of the messy-meatball-on-a-bun burger. But I do from time-to-time fancy a thinner patty. And no matter how much I try and talk myself into it, Red Mill just never comes through. The meat is always overdone (yes, you can sear a thin patty without overcooking it---especially if you have a commercial exhaust fan), and there is just far too much dry bland bread drowned in completely uninteresting dressing and toppings. In theory, I don't even mind the meat-to-bread ratio (thinking of a great bahn mi): Red Mill just doesn't do it very well.

                      Frankly, I'd rather have Dick's, which is a much more well-proportioned and balanced diner burger. Just don't ask me to walk into the Uptown location without offering a hot shower before and after.

                  2. Lamb burger at Jules Maes in Georgetown.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      Ha! I didn't want to mention Jules because I go there all the time and am probably not very objective, but yeah, they do have excellent burgers IMO. They do grind their own beef (not sure about the lamb) as well. Good quality stuff.

                      1. re: TheCarrieWatson

                        Hi, TCW:

                        You go next time, look for my Javalina headmount over Ladies' Room door, hiki no?

                        Been a pig there many...good...times. Today in fact.

                        Aloha,
                        Kaleo

                        1. re: kaleokahu

                          I certainly will. I live in Georgetown and used to be at Jules daily, but have scaled it back to a few times a week. I just love that place.

                    2. If you are willing to go into the suburbs, Five Guys Burgers and Fries (Renton and Northgate)

                      -----
                      Five Guys Burgers
                      2707 171st Pl NE, Marysville, WA 98271

                      1. The posts are above are good ones---when this eternal question comes up, does one mean the $10 to $14 style lux burger from Red Mill, Lunchbox Lab, etc. Or does one mean a nice, flavorful one above the fast food level but in the $3 to $5 range. For the later, my vote is the "Burgermaster" at Burgermaster Drive-In on Aurora, north Seattle. Delicious and not expensive. Plus the place has good fries to boot.

                        1. Big fan of the burger at The Attic in Madison Park. Great quality meat, not too packed so the patty is slightly loose. It's also not massive so you can eat a few fries too. I do wish their fries were better though. Pretty sure they are frozen. For such a good burger, hand cut fries would be a real treat.

                          1. In my opinion Jaks has the best burger in Seattle. I have tried most of the others mentioned here and I still go back to Jaks when I crave a burger. It is not swimming in toppings aka Lunch box lab, nor does it taste like lighter fluid (Zippy's). The first bite always reminds me of why I love beef. I don't even get cheese on it anymore because it is so good plain and they have the best red pepper aioli.

                            12 Replies
                            1. re: pairswellwithwine

                              Thanks everyone for sharing their thoughts!! Likewise with Pairswellwithwine, I've also tried many of the suggested places above and just did not walk away satisfied. I will have to try Jaks!
                              I'm with you Tom Armitage, you would think that there would be a meat purveyor in the city that custom grinds a "blend" of ground beef for particular restaurants here in the city...

                              1. re: GeneralTzo

                                Anyone tried the lunchtime burger at the Swinery in west Seattle (tallow fries optional)? I haven't but, based on other things I've tried there, it just might be the "meat lover's" burger at an affordable price that people are pining for.

                                -----
                                The Swinery
                                3207 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116

                                1. re: equinoise

                                  The burger the Swinery used to serve from their short-lived walk-up window on 4th & Main was, while it existed, my favorite burger in the city. If they're serving one in West Seattle anything like that, it's worth trying.

                                  (Agree with Leper on Two Bells - love the "aspect ratio" of that burger but do wish they used a bun instead of bread.)

                                  -----
                                  The Swinery
                                  3207 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116

                                  1. re: equinoise

                                    Re-replying - I now live in West Seattle, and have had the burger in the Swinery's courtyard. It's up there with Local 360 as a contender for the crown of best burger in Seattle, though Local 360 edges it in my preference just to be able to sit inside and have a beer with my burger. Jak's is also squarely in the top tier and has been a pleasant surprise.

                                    -----
                                    The Swinery
                                    3207 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116

                                    1. re: terrier

                                      Oh my, didn't realize they serve food, let alone a great burger. Thanks for the tip...

                                      1. re: terrier

                                        I'll have to try it again. Last time (couple of months ago) it was under-seasoned and, for a fairly thick patty, completely overcooked. The fries, however, while of the slightly flaccid variety, were very tasty, almost over-seasoned. Just a bit of imbalance. Will definitely give it another shot. On another note, I am disappointed to read any recs of Red Mill. I understand what type of burger they're going for, but it is not good at all for that style, especially at that price. Yet they end up on national television and open new locations. Oh, well.

                                        1. re: Cbas79

                                          Go figure. I worked for a time at the late, marginally lamented, Dag's where I stamped-out trays full of 1/4" cheap patties every morning, so I know the context. I heard the loud Red Mill noises here, so I went. Once. Ouch.
                                          When I got there, I found the very same cheap patty I know so well. Actual lettuce helped (the rubber tomato did not), but such improvements as there were did not support the prices. I realize I'm violating the OP's intentions, but Dick's wins the flavor contest over Red Mill...

                                          1. re: mrnelso

                                            Two Bells delivers - medium rare is deep pink and luscious.
                                            Uneeda "Classic" is absolutely the finest $4 burger in town.
                                            (4.75 with cheddar)

                                    2. re: GeneralTzo

                                      Hi, General:

                                      Custom grind--- There used to be such a purveyor: Jones Bros. Meats in Ballard. Ask at The Attic to see who supplies them these days; their grind is still very good.

                                      Aloha,
                                      Kaleo

                                    3. re: pairswellwithwine

                                      Do they serve a different burger at Happy Hour?
                                      Because everytime I've had that, it's been a mediocre item at best. I'm convinced that everyone who talks up Jak's is only mesmerized by the $5 steakhouse burger hype.

                                      I've never actually had the burger at full dinner service though (when steak is an option, I'm going to go with steak...). Is it a different burger people like at Jak's?

                                      I'll add that Ruth's Chris has a similar $5 or $6 burger for happy hour that is MUCH better.

                                      1. re: pairswellwithwine

                                        I tried Zippy's and definitely got the "lighter fluid" taste from the patty. Zippy's gets alot of style points and the shake and fries were good, but that charred taste is what sticks in my mind.

                                        Again, it seems Uneeda is the only sub-$8 burger in SEA that is not usually overdone, which is quite remarkable.

                                        Local 360 made a really tasty burger, but for $12-15 I'll take Quinn's every time.

                                        1. re: equinoise

                                          I like the burger at Sand Point Grill on Sand Point Way, just east of Seattle Children’s Hospital. They almost always do a good job of cooking it the way you want it, and if you want it rare (like I do), you get it rare. It’s not in the under-$8 range, coming in at $12 on the regular menu. But I usually get it at the happy hour (4 to 6 pm in the bar), which knocks $2 off, and at $10, I think it’s a good value. The burger is made from good Northwest grass-fed beef and comes with onion marmalade, mayo, lettuce, tomato, bacon, and Beecher’s Flagship cheese on an Essential Bakery bun. I usually add a little ketchup. The fries are really good too. Paired with a $3 draft beer (happy hour price), you get a tasty and satisfying meal for around $17 tax and tip included. BTW, there’s other tasty stuff on the Happy Hour menu, like a big bowl of large Totten Inlet Mussels in a very tasty broth.

                                      2. Skillet!

                                        I just got the opportunity to try them yesterday, because they were close to where I was working. Yes, $13 for a burger and fries is a little on the spendy side but really, pretty on par for a "gourmet" burger these days.

                                        I prefer thick patties, which is what they delivered. A wee bit overcooked for my taste, but only slightly and since it was still juicy, I was willing to overlook that. The meat on its own was good but what really won me over was the combination of the beef with the arugula, cambozola, and slippery, smoky/sweet smear of bacon jam. Ohhhh BACON JAM! I want to spread that on everything now!

                                        My only real complaint (other than level of doneness) is that somewhere in the process, all the cambozola kind of slid to one end, making half of the burger cheesily delicious and the other half bereft.

                                        Burger was almost too big for me (tho' I can see how a hearty eater might wish for more) and there were a TON of yummy, herb-y fries that had just the right balance of crisp- vs. softness.

                                        I wish I'd had room to try the dessert -- chocolate chantilly with toasted walnuts and sea salt.

                                        1. The best burger I've had is at Joule: ground short rib in a kalbi marinade with smoked tomato confit, arugula, and onion. The beef used to come from Thundering Hooves, not sure where they're getting it now that T.H. has shut down.

                                          Yes, it's $16 but filling enough to be you're entire dinner. No other burger can compare for me since I've had it. Comes with homemade chili pickles, too.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Thiebaud

                                            Seconding Thiebaud's rec. A little smokey, very flavorful, great textures, so good. Joule/Revel do magic with their meat.

                                          2. There is only one place to go for the best hamburger in Seattle, and that's the Lunchbox Laboratory. Seriously, you will NOT find a better burger. They are incredible, huge, greasy - everything you want a hamburger to be. They also have zillions of different options, and make sure to get the bacon - it's incredible!

                                            -----
                                            Lunchbox Laboratory
                                            1253 Thomas Street, Seattle, WA 98109

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: macaronette

                                              We've been a couple of times and found it quite good. Prefer both Two Bells and Quinn's, though.

                                              1. re: macaronette

                                                Ugg. It was pretty good back in the Ballard days, but I went a month ago and it's not the same by a long shot. The quality really isn't showing anymore and the burger is greasy it really upset my stomach. I probably won't be back.

                                                1. re: akq

                                                  I have to agree. We lived 5 blocks from the old place and visited the new place once. Just not the same. Different beef, bun, bacon and feel. Not sure I can do it again, either.

                                                  1. re: BallardFoodie

                                                    I know there are many who feel the new location was never as good as the old. Does anyone know if there has been an additional drop-off since chef/owner Scott Simpson passed?

                                                    1. re: eight_inch_pestle

                                                      I went after his passing (so unfortunate). I get the feeling that one of the things that the old location struggled with, to the advantage of all who ate there, was product over profits. I think that that pendulum has swung in the other direction at the new location.

                                              2. John Howie's $8 Wagyu sliders, while not quite a burger, are pretty darn tasty.

                                                14 Replies
                                                1. re: HungWeiLo

                                                  Maybe it's time to start a new thread on this topic? I made my first trip to Uneeda last night, and Wow! I am impressed, it was a great burger (we tried two, the basic and the mushroom / truffle variety). Reasonable price by Seattle standards and a nice place to hang on a nice afternoon, plus top ten burgers, what's not to like? Wish it was in my 'hood.

                                                  1. re: pusherman

                                                    Uneeda is pretty awesome. A good place to go when Paseo runs out of bread. I had the monsieur (gruyere + ham + 1/3lb patty + dijon + mayo) and people in line were hatefully envious.

                                                    1. re: HungWeiLo

                                                      When Paseo doesn't work, we now have 2 near favorite options:
                                                      Uneeda burger offers what a fast burger ought to be. I feed near the bottom, and I like the "classic" (plain, stamped, burger, lettuce, tomato, pickle). Onion rings so mighty and meaty you will actually taste the onion.
                                                      Dot's is a prize. The happy hour specials have been memorable. Steak frites - pork chop - charcuterie plate; they nailed them all. Part of me wants to encourage you to stay away, of course, but practical self-interest is surely better served if they can develop the business. We have been happy with each of our visits and plan to go again. Maybe a sandwich to go for the Fremont Outdoor Movies...

                                                      1. re: mrnelso

                                                        Dot's Dot's Dot's! I don't think I've ever been this enthusiastic about a new place but I don't have a car and it's within walking distance and I really want this place to make it. I love everything I've had from there and they're really nice and I can't wait to try everything else on the menu. Plus I found their Facebook page where they post their daily menu, and it sounds dangerously delicious every day. By the way, they're closed on Sundays. Which almost made me cry earlier when I made this discovery.

                                                    2. re: pusherman

                                                      I also love Uneeda, especially the truffle one. YUM. I don't like their fancier patty, but the regular one is awesome. I was disappointed to see that they changed their poutine fries, but the gravy is still tasty.

                                                      1. re: akq

                                                        Finally got around to trying Uneeda a couple of days ago and unfortunately was kind of disappointed. I had the mushroom/truffle burger and while it wasn't BAD, it didn't leave me excited to go back.

                                                        The menu board states that they cook their burgers to medium, emphasizing that that means "pink." I asked "can you do medium rare?" and the cashier assured me they could. Unfortunately what I got was closer to medium well.

                                                        The barely pink patty was covered with mushrooms, shallots and creamy sauce, all of which were tasty but completely overwhelmed the meat (especially the sauce). And overall it was a little too salty, especially when paired with the over-salted french fries (which were otherwise good -- crispy outside, tender inside).

                                                        I may go back one of these days to try a basic cheeseburger, but with Paseo and Dot's right there (both of which I love), I doubt Uneeda will be getting much attention from me.

                                                        1. re: Bax

                                                          Yeah, i didn't really like Uneeda until i had their basic burger (both the fancy and the regular) All the "specialty" burgers are almost over doing it, with too many tastes and flavors that overwhelm the burger itself.

                                                          It's still not my favorite in the city or anything, but don't make a judgement until you have a non-specialty burger.

                                                          1. re: GreenYoshi

                                                            I'm actually a fan of their veggie burger. Any time I can find a house made veggie burger that's not all black bean and corn based I'm happy, and theirs is pretty decent. I also recently had a pretty good french dip there. My only quibble is they put it on their standard roll, where a I feel a french dip needs sturdier bread to stand up to the au jus. But the beef, horsey sauce, and cheese were all quite good! And to be fair, their rolls are waaaaaaaay sturdier than your average hamburger bun.

                                                            1. re: GreenYoshi

                                                              Definitely start with the baseline burgers.
                                                              The rest of the menu is sort of a flavor zoo, a'la Lunchbox, but I enjoyed my green-chili burger splurge.

                                                            2. re: Bax

                                                              Bummer. The truffle burger can be a bit overwhelming for sure. I've noticed some major inconsistencies over the last few visits, including getting one burger that was super grisley and even had some pieces of bone (!) in the mix. They were really apologetic and nice about it but it was still pretty disappointing. For the most part, though, I still love love love those burgers!

                                                              1. re: akq

                                                                I had the basic burger on a first visit this weekend and was pleased (though I failed to specify cooking it short of medium). Has anyone said that burger, with cheese, is $4.75? That makes it easily the best sub-$5 burger in the region ( I may be overlooking some kind of steak house HH deal). By compariosn, the Lunchbox Lab burger, plain, starts at $10.99.

                                                                True, you pay more for fancified burgers and sides at Uneeda, but still. The fried mushrooms are the best I've had anywhere. Uneeda is a vital part of this conversation.

                                                                1. re: equinoise

                                                                  Ok. Boyfriend & I tried to go to Dot's the other night but were too late -- they closed at 8. So back to Uneeda for another go. We both had the basic burger (#1) with cheese & bacon added.

                                                                  I still say "meh."

                                                                  Now, I DO agree that for a sub-$5 burger (a little more than that with the bacon, of course) it's good. But it still wasn't anything to get excited about. If I'm going to have a burger (because after all, burgers really aren't something one should be eating every day...or even every week, probably...) I want it to be WORTH IT, y'know? I'm willing to pay $10+ for something that will be DELICIOUS and memorable and indulgent and satisfying. I didn't find Uneeda to be any of those things. I just found it to be...adequate.

                                                                  I'd go back for the onion rings, tho'. Perfectly crisp, very tasty. I was put off by the pool of grease left in the bottom of the serving dish (would it kill them to let those things drain on some paper or something before serving them?) but they were delicious enough that I was willing to overlook it.

                                                                  1. re: Bax

                                                                    Next time, try the Philly Smash burger with bacon added. The woman at the counter suggested it and I've had it three times since and never been disappointed. The meat taste still comes thru but the peppers, special sauce and bacon make everything so perfectly greasy. It's my favorite burger in town since Lunchbox Lab moved out of their old location.

                                                          2. re: pusherman

                                                            Uneeda has the only elkburger I've seen on any menu for $12 . I guess they come from a game ranch where they are executed by ""sportsmen" . I would have ordered it instead of my usual classic with bacon had I seen it.

                                                        2. Local 360 has, hands down, the best burger I've eaten in Seattle so far. A good balance between delicious thick, meaty patty and toppings (go ahead, spend the extra $3 for cheese and bacon. Your mouth will thank you) and a tasty, toasty bun. I'm not sure if I'd go as far as to say it's PERFECT, but it's pretty close. I've had it twice now and it was exemplary both times.

                                                          Have also been pleased with Two Bells (tho' as I've said before, I'd prefer a bun), Smith (tho' the last time I had it it wasn't as good somehow) and Skillet (if only they'd learn to cook it to order instead of grey grey grey!).

                                                          Have been completely unimpressed with all of the fast food-type burgers I've had so far -- Dick's, Kidd Valley, Burgermaster. I'd eat 'em in a pinch, but wouldn't seek them out.

                                                          Broadway Grill -- meh. Seems like I've had a couple of "meh" ones elsewhere, but can't remember where off the top of my head. Oh -- Doc Watson's. MEH. And maybe Elysian? Can't remember (they do a garlicky, garlicky pork sandwich that I love, tho').

                                                          Still need to try: Uneeda, Lunchbox Lab, Built Burger, DeLuxe, Zippy's, Red Mill.... Oh, and Swinery sounds like it needs checking out!

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: Bax

                                                            I've mostly liked the Elysian burger...not great, but like Elysian in general, just a really useful neighborhood choice. Definitely needs the addition of bacon, and also they have very good fries.

                                                            I love their beer, I can't figure out why their menu is so consistently disappointing (not just the food itself, but the actual choices they put on the menu...never seem to have anything I want...).

                                                            1. re: Bax

                                                              The Built Burger was one of the worst burgers I've ever had. Pre-seasoned to the point of being better off called meatloaf, dry, nearly inedible.

                                                              Add Quinn's, Palace Kitchen and Wedgewood Broiler to your list.

                                                              -----
                                                              Palace Kitchen
                                                              2030 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121

                                                              1. re: Lauren

                                                                Agree on Built. Much more of a gimmick than an actual good burger.

                                                                1. re: GreenYoshi

                                                                  Also agree on Built. The texture was so off and the taste was not much better. I'd never go there again especially since I can get a great BBQ sandwich at Hole in the Wall right next door.

                                                              2. re: Bax

                                                                To be fair, last time we went to Local 360 our burgers were disappointingly overcooked (and not just by a little). Still tasty despite that, tho'. And service was TERRIBLE, SO VERY VERY TERRIBLE (actually, service there has never been great, and rarely even good, but this was just REMARKABLY, HORRIBLY BAD). We haven't been back since...but that doesn't mean I haven't wanted to go. I'm not going to hold one bad experience against them, but it has meant exploring other options in the area, or going to other parts of town, rather than return so far.

                                                              3. Any one ever order or hear of anyone ordering the "Secret" Burger at Quinn's?
                                                                Haven't had the chance to go since I heard about it.

                                                                http://seattle.eater.com/archives/201...

                                                                I decide if it's one of those gluttonous things that's oh-so-good, or just plain excessive.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: GreenYoshi

                                                                  It's been around since they opened, it morphs about a little depending on the day. It is extremely good, but even when split between three people is too rich to really be able to handle. We've probably ordered it two or three times. It is always delicious, I will say, and probably even worth the money--I mean, it's enormous, and sooooo rich.

                                                                  1. re: GreenYoshi

                                                                    Hi, GY:

                                                                    Not tried Quinn's ultra, but had the joint's Painted Hills burger from the menu tonight. Basically a well-executed bacon cheeseburger. Very nice, and doneness *perfectly* to order, but I found the brioche bum a little to cake-y, and the whole thing was tremendously oversalted (and I'm a NaCl junkie). The fries I think were yesterday's.

                                                                    If I go again, I might ask for the duck egg, and have them toast the mard out of the brioche.

                                                                    Aloha,
                                                                    Kaleo

                                                                  2. Never really bought into the whole Kobe beef thing for burgers until I tried one at John Howie's Sport next to the Space needle. Whether it's just the fat content of the Kobe or the fact that those cattle must somehow be treated better than their Angus counterparts, that patty made the juiciest, tastiest burger I've had in a while. The brioche bun is strong enough to soak up that juice without becoming soggy and I'm a fan of the carmelized onion spread on top. Pricey at $14, but it's a half pounder that can be split with someone. Their skinny shoe string fries are pretty great too.

                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                    1. re: soypower

                                                                      Hi, soypower:

                                                                      Went here tonight, based in part on your review. Sadly, I must disagree as to both juiciness and flavor. Wahine and I asked for rare, and received medium-well. Both our burgers were relatively dry and flavorless. The shoestrings were apparently good during their childhood, but were cold and churlish when we met them in their dotage. The place was nearly empty, the servers passive-aggressive. With the exception of the roasted garlic spread, this place had Sysco written all over it. If what we had was any indication (and it will be the only chance they get with us), their burgers fall even beneath those of chains like Red Robin. Is this the KOMO cafeteria?

                                                                      Aloha,
                                                                      Kaleo

                                                                      1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                        Wow. I'm so disappointed to hear that. I've only had it a couple times and both times it was pretty great as well as pink in the middle. I'm sorry your experience was so different. I'm sort of afraid to go back now.

                                                                        1. re: soypower

                                                                          Hi, soypower:

                                                                          Certainly no need for *you* to apologize. Maybe the A-team was still stuck in the snow.

                                                                          To me, this place struck me as one that might've decided to sink more money into crowding theme art (here, autographed sports mementos) on the wall than turning out good food and training servers. Maybe a variant on the Hooters/Hollywood ploy of distracting attention from the mediocre food.

                                                                          That begs another question: IS there any local "sports bar" with really good food?

                                                                          Aloha,
                                                                          Kaleo

                                                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                            There's always a game (or two, or three) on at The Attic. See amyh18's comment above. They do more than burgers--breakfast, even. If I get a burger or sandwich I usually get Tim's chips or a salad. I've got a thing for their mango chutney curry dressing.

                                                                            http://www.atticalehouse.com/

                                                                            1. re: Jeri L

                                                                              Hi, Jeri L:

                                                                              LOL! Just got back from there tonight, and know the place well. I can't stop ordering their meatloaf sandwich, although their "Cluttered" is in my personal Seattle pantheon of burgers. Weird, I never thought of The Attic as a sports bar, but they do have lots of TVs...

                                                                              Good suggestion on the mango chutney dressing, thanks. I'll try it next time.

                                                                              Aloha,
                                                                              Kaleo

                                                                              1. re: Jeri L

                                                                                I haven't been to the Attic in such a long time! I was always fond of their beer selections and thought their wings were decent.

                                                                                1. re: Brunhilde

                                                                                  Hi, Brunhilde:

                                                                                  Since you're a Ballardite, what initially won me over about the Attic was that they went out of their way to have their burger ground specially for them by Jones Meat of Ballard (now burned/sold out). IMO their food and brews are always good; the service not so much.

                                                                                  We must have been separated at birth--I have 3 doggybag wings (Attic proudly serves only best-quality drumettes) in my fridge right now. Maybe a Buffalo Wing omelette tomorrow?

                                                                                  Aloha,
                                                                                  Kaleo

                                                                      2. I have to second Uneeda (and I live 2 blocks away, so I go relatively frequently) and Two Bells, but I MUST add Latona Pub to the list. In my opinion, this is the best burger in Seattle. It comes with a salad instead of fries, so you don't feel so terrible about eating it. Plus, fantastic beers and other menu items.

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: katedw203

                                                                          I had dinner a couple of nights ago at Voila on Madison St. My sister had a cheeseburger that was delicious. They call it a "Kobe beef" hamburger with brie and caramelized onions. It was fat, juicy, and, after sending the first one back, pink as ordered. While the toppings were good, this is definitely what Tom Armitage would call a meat burger, not a topping burger. No lettuce or tomato. My sister had been there before. She said it was the only burger she ever ate without ketchup.

                                                                          I asked the server where the so-called Kobe beef came from. She hesitantly said Japan. I asked her to check, as that seemed very unlikely. She returned and said it came from Spring Creek Ranch. I hadn't heard of it, but found a Spring Creek Ranch in Kansas that raises Akaushi cattle.

                                                                          It's a long time since I tried Kobe beef in Japan. I found it to be disappointing. It was tender, but much less tasty than the local, grass-fed Washington beef I eat on the rare occasions that I feel like eating beef. I don't know why, but the meat at Voila had a much better flavor than I remember of Kobe beef.

                                                                          The frites that came with the burger were great,, albeit a bit oversalted.

                                                                          -----
                                                                          Voila
                                                                          2805 E Madison St, Seattle, WA 98112

                                                                          1. re: RandyB

                                                                            Spring Creek Ranch is west of Ellensburg. Drove by it yesterday on I-90. There is a big sign on the north side of the roadway.

                                                                            1. re: wwahl

                                                                              Do you know that is the supplier of Kobe-style beef to Voila!? I couldn't find any info about them on the internet. There are lots of Spring Creek Ranch listings around the country. There's one near where I live, but it's a B&B.

                                                                              I didn't see your post until this morning. Otherwise I would have asked for more details at Voila! last night.

                                                                              Incidentally, two of my dining companions ordered the burger. It was a first time for one and she loved it. Both burgers were crisp seared outside, perfectly pink (but not bloody) inside.That was exactly what they had requested. Service was delightful, too. Be careful with wines by the glass. The house carafe (half bottle) is $10. But two menu-unlisted "house wines by the glass)" turned out to be $11 a glass..

                                                                        2. Checked out 8oz yesterday and IMO it needs to be included in the best of Seattle discussion. Great balance even with so many toppings on the Broadway and GrassFed version. Tasty bun that held up to the medium rare juiciness and perfectly cooked meat. Fries were good too. We were excited about the opening of this branch since 8oz was our favorite when we loved in LA (better than Umami in our opinion.. and Umami is very good!). That said, we tempered our expectations knowing sometimes when places open new branches (franchised) some things get lost in translation. I would honestly say this place exceeded our expectations and we will be back for sure. Pricey? Sure, but we knew that coming in. The lunch special @ $12 for the Broadway burger, fries and soda seemed just fine to us. Good beer selection too!

                                                                          1. Wedgewood Broiler does a great burger. It's not "gourmet" and so doesn't cost $20, but it's of a much higher quality than fast food. They grind the meat in house and cook to order. The burgers are big, flavorful & juicy. The toppings are all classic, but they also offer a "burger dip" with au jus. What more can you ask?

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: SeattleDiners

                                                                              Hey, SeattleDiners:

                                                                              What more can you ask? How about service?

                                                                              The last time I was at WB, the service was so bad it would take Tolstoy 4 volumes to describe all the ways it was bad. Probably in my Worst Ten in my 54 years of living and eating worldwide. I've had good meals there, and I like the vibe in the lounge, but this was so bad I thought I was being pranked.

                                                                              Aloha,
                                                                              Kaleo

                                                                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                Yeah, that's a fairly reasonable request! I don't know, but when I was there, the service was fine. Our server was very friendly and attentive.

                                                                                1. re: kaleokahu

                                                                                  I've never had too bad of service trouble at the WB, certainly it's not white table cloth though. and I do love their burger. It's definitely a diner, and you're definitely paying $8 bucks for a sit down dinner, there's definitely cheez-its on your salad. But that's kind of what's great about it?

                                                                                  1. re: dagoose

                                                                                    Hi, dagoose:

                                                                                    Oh, I absolutely *dig* everything else about the place, especially the pleather seating and the rest of the atmo.

                                                                                    But when plates for 2 diners arrive 45 minutes apart, cold, take 30 minutes to be cleared after the meal, and the check is still wrong after 3 attempts, it takes most of the fun out of going there. It didn't help that the manager totally blew me off when I told her about it--no apology, no effort to make it up, nothing.

                                                                                    Aloha,

                                                                                    Kaleo

                                                                              2. Try going to a neighborhood outside of Frellard. Columbia City, Gerogetown, South Park all have amazing burger spots. Katsu Burger is crazy and different. There's no actual "best burger" just the one you think is better.
                                                                                Swinery burger is amazing. I live around the corner and try not to eat it seven days a week. Swine Fries, limp as a noodle, with smoked sea salt, chives and garlic are the best fries I've had in this city(so far).

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Shameless79

                                                                                  Tried Katsu Burger last night. As a disclaimer, I've never been a fan of the county-fair style "deep-fried whatever" concept--I think my only dabble in this genre was one fried ding-dong at an Italian street fair in New Jersey--and I approached KB with some measure of morbid curiousty.

                                                                                  I had the katsu curry burger, substituting the beef patty for pork. In retrospect, the original version would probably be better (I do usually enjoy tonkatsu from a competent Japense joint). My wife had the tokyo classic and wasn't a fan of the result, finding the patty internallly overcooked. I think we will stick to more traditional burger preperations, though I did like the spicy mayo dipping sauce.

                                                                                  1. re: equinoise

                                                                                    Hi, equinoise:

                                                                                    Remembering your mention of Katsu Burger, my lunch of today was there for the first time. I, too, had the Katsu Curry Burger, but mine was with the pork cutlet. Wahine had the Ninja, which is pretty much a deluxe-style baconburger done with the cutlet instead of beef. With it, we had their 12-spice fries and spicy mayo.

                                                                                    I really liked the Katsu Curry. It stretches credulity to call it a burger, but the scale, the bun, the *stackage*, the savor and the wrap were all things a top-flight burger joint should aspire to. The Curry Burger also had an overall taste effect that I can only compare to Paul Prudhomme's famous chicken curry dish--a fantastic curry with a pickled sweetness. I appreciated that it was not over-rich.

                                                                                    In a neighborhood full of working stiff lunch holes, Katsu Burger was at least clean, bright and exuded that someone cares about what they do there.

                                                                                    I'm going back, but the $18 Mt. Fuji Burger I'm not so sure about...

                                                                                    Aloha,
                                                                                    Kaleo

                                                                                2. I'm suprised no one has mentioned The El Goucho resturant in Belltown. They have a WONDERFUL burger on their Happy Hour Menu. But keep it a secret, I don't want the place crowding up on me :-{)>

                                                                                  1. "Do not mention Dicks"? That's impossible. They make the best burgers in the Northwest. And good value, also. And, they are open at 1030AM. How can you beat that?

                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: tstrum

                                                                                      I just Do. Not. Get. the love for Dick's. Just to make sure I wasn't misremembering things, I went today to double check and ordered a Dick's Deluxe, and it was just as execrable as I remembered, virtually indistinguishable from a McDonald's Dollar Double Cheeseburger, except it cost nearly three times as much.

                                                                                      You could only find a Dick's burger decent if you
                                                                                      --A) Were four years old and had never eaten a hamburger before and thus had no frame of reference
                                                                                      --B) Live your entire life veering between only two states: Extremely Drunk or Extremely Hungover, or
                                                                                      --C) Consider the pinnacle of Burgerdom to be McDonald's or White Castle.

                                                                                      Pasty flavorless glop on a pasty flavorless bun just slightly bigger than a slider, with pasty flavorless toppings, and not really a good value despite the low price, just because of its sheer awfulness. People around here may have a soft spot in their hearts for this place just because they stay open late and you can get food when you're drunk after the frat party, and they've managed to stay in business all these years, but it sure isn't because of the food.

                                                                                      And I'm a guy who geniunely likes thin, griddled, hamburger-stand style fast food burgers when they're properly done. But you won't find that at any Dick's. The OP is right -- Avoid at all costs.

                                                                                      1. re: acgold7

                                                                                        Great post. I haven't been to Dick's in a dog's age, but I don't think it should be anywhere near a "best burger in Seattle" dialogue. It's what it is, and you described it pretty well if my memory serves me correctly. For thin, griddled, cheap, unsophisticated, and perfectly delicious burgers, Loretta's in South Park is my go-to.

                                                                                        1. re: TheCarrieWatson

                                                                                          Or, jeez, if you're at any Dick's location, you're probably ten minutes from a Burgermaster or a Kidd Valley, both of whom make vastly superior (and admittedly more expensive) burgers. Are they burger Nirvana? No, but at least they're decent, bordering on pretty damned good (I have a soft spot for the Baconmaster Extra).

                                                                                          Why anyone would go to Dick's simply eludes me.

                                                                                        2. re: acgold7

                                                                                          Hey! I live my entire life veering between Extremely Drunk and Extremely Hungover and I haven't eaten at Dick's in years! We're not ALL the same :)

                                                                                          1. re: Brunhilde

                                                                                            +1 on that. I'm hungover now. :-)

                                                                                            1. re: TheCarrieWatson

                                                                                              Hi, TCW:

                                                                                              My high school football coach used to derisively call this style of burger a "Gut Bomb". Well, his derision had our entire student body standing in line in the rain for them.

                                                                                              Dick's is not my style most of the time, but *some* times...

                                                                                              ...and not just hung over. Big passion, small food, is part of it. Humble soul, too. Unthinking.

                                                                                              Aloha,
                                                                                              Kaleo

                                                                                          2. re: acgold7

                                                                                            I must agree about the deluxe but I still have a soft spot for the plain burger with way too much ketchup.

                                                                                            1. re: forkit

                                                                                              But can't you get basically the same thing at just about any McDonald's for like fifty cents?

                                                                                              1. re: acgold7

                                                                                                Pretty sure McDonald's patties are frozen and Dick's aren't.

                                                                                                I agree with @kaleokahu; Dick's is not an all-the-time spot, but it's a solid local and cheap fast-food option that uses fresh ingredients without inducing supply-chain guilt or tummy trubs.

                                                                                                1. re: mcmullek

                                                                                                  Dick's burgers are the pinnacle of gourmet food. Anyone who wants to pay $20 for an Elk burger of Foie gras burger, be my guest. I'd eat a Dicks deluxe with a 20 year old Bordeaux any day.

                                                                                        3. I have had Burger Express in Federal way on my short list for a while now so I stopped by today. Excellent burger! I order the 1/2 lb. Boz burger with everything. You might want to check this place out if your in south King county.