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Pittsburgh Burgers

So........which is better for a tasty burger and good ambiance (fun place) in Pittsburgh. Is it Winghart's or Burgatory?

We've been to Tessarro's and loved it, but it's time to try something new. We'll be heading out that way this weekend (returning son to Pitt).

We want great taste in a aburger and an upbeat atmosphere.

Please cast your votes..........(thanks!!)

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  1. don't forget BRGR next to Spoon, and the Kaya burger (at Kaya) is another "famous" burger at a very popular spot.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Rodzilla

      Not sure what BRGR is (?) I'll look it up.

      Just back from Pittsburgh. We went to Burgatory. It was very good. Yes it was noisy, but we didn't mind. It was late Sunday afternoon and it fit our mood after getting off the long drive and moving my son into his room The shakes are fabulous (We shared).

      Seems there is no shortage of "famous" burgers in Pitttsburger!

    2. Summit Diner, if you're coming down the turnpike (it's in somerset)

      1 Reply
      1. re: Chowrin

        YES. We discovered that a few trips ago, and this is the first time we didn't stop there LOVE that little place and the burgers! This time, we decided to wait until later on and try someplace new.

      2. I've been to Burgatory. Burgers are great. Very loud and crowded however. I like BRGR better for the atmosphere and the burgers are great too! Get the fries!

        1 Reply
        1. BRGR has the better quality burger options, but I feel that the Burgatory accoutrements (especially their ridiculously good milkshakes) make them even in terms of experience. If you're going purely for a fantastic burger, BRGR is your best bet. Wingharts does a tasty burger, even better than Burgatory's, but in my experiences they've all fallen apart and are usually only highlighted by one or two strong flavors with their meat not being one of those contenders. Wingharts is a great lunch spot and you really can't loser with BRGR or Burgatory for dinner.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Daveman84


            Clearly, we're going to have to try them all :)

            1. re: dreamer54

              Hello Bistro in Oakland is good. Burgatory is fun. If in Zeli area Burgher's is good.

          2. Meat & Potatoes would be another place to check out if you're looking for some heavy hitting burgers.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Rodzilla

              WOW -- Pittsburgh really is Pitts-burger. I don't know what we would have done if we had known about all of these choices!

              As far as whch is truly the "tastiest" burger, I guess that's personal preference (or the good ones really are pretty similar). We'l just have to keep researching right on down the list......

              Thanks to all for your input!

            2. When you have extra time, drive way out north to Burgh'ers in Harmony. I've been to BRGR and Winghart's and like them, and Burgatory once and like that (but I've only been once so don't remember the taste as well as the others). Burgh'ers is my favorite though. No crazy shakes there (I think they do still have plain shakes) but grass fed local beef and now a good bar to back up the good food.

              Try them all indeed!

              1. Get your kid to try the Hamburger (and especially the fresh fries) at the "O" (the original hot dog shop)...

                1. Pittsburgh really does have a number of great burger places these days. Here's a listing of my favorite, in order:

                  1. Eleven
                  In the Strip District, this upscale restaurant serves my favorite of the burgers around town. It comes topped with braised veal, bacon and onion straws. It's absolutely divine.

                  2. Winghart's
                  In Market Square has the second best burger, IMHO. The place is a little divey, and service is usually spotty at best, but it does have a nice ambiance, especially if you sit at the bar/counter and can watch the cooks on the grill. I've yet to have a bad burger here, but my favorite is the Shipwreck Burger, which comes with Brie, caramelized onions, bacon, arugula and white truffle aioli. They also carry a very nice draft beer and whisky selection.

                  3. Tessaro's
                  In Bloomfield, is classic, old-school Pittsburgh and continues to live up to its reputation. The decor is straight German. I prefer the Bacon Bleu Burger - probably my favorite blue cheese burger around.

                  4. BRGR
                  In Shadyside/East Liberty, has some of the highest quality and most unique of the burger options around. That said, I don't find any of their signature burgers to be as transcendant as pretty much any other place on the list, but they use top-notch ingredients and prepare their burgers perfectly. I usually just go with a classic burger, and it is probably my favorite of the 'traditional' burgers around town. They also have an interesing selection of shakes (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), even that really isn't my thing. Their bottled beer selection is fantastic.

                  5. Meat & Potatoes
                  In Theatre Square has a fantastic burger - the Pub Burger. This burger comes with pork belly pastrami and a fried egg. Definitely indulgent. That said, I think the space is a mild disaster (generally loud and cramped during peak times) and service here has often been lacking.

                  6. Burgh'ers
                  In Harmony, has a very accomodating space and service has always been fantastic. Really, though, their lineup of feature burgers is inventive, fun and generally very tasty. I'm trying to make my way through the list, and it's a fun endeavor. I'm not really sure which has been my favorite...the Shadyside (bacon, swiss, caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, mayo) or the Harmony (cheddar, horseradish, caramelized onions, jalapenos, BBQ sauce).

                  7. Burgatory
                  In Waterworks. My largest quibble with this place is the noise and spotty service. They do serve very good burgers, though. I've only been twice; had the Steakhouse burger once, and it was good, not great. The Meat Your Maker, burger, though, was great. Waygu beef, gruyere, roasted tomatoes, greens and a shallot aioli. Definitely one of the best Waygu burgers I've had in Pittsburgh.

                  Otherwise, I haven't experienced a truly great burger in Pittsburgh. Many have been good, but none have lived up to the above list. Even then, I think there is a pretty large break between my Top 3 and the 4 that follow. If I'm getting a burger in Pittsburgh, it is almost certainly going to be from Eleven, Winghart's or Tessaro's. They are the best-of-the-best.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: MonMauler

                    Nothing is as good as a great cheeseburger. If we are honest, most of us don't go long wihout craving one. I look forward to making my way to each of these establishments. We loved everything about Tessaros and Burgatory was fun -- both had great burgers (and yes, that crazy shake - carmel & pretzel!!--at Burgatory was an experince in itself).

                    Pittsburgh has such a wonderful energy and the residents have that great mid-western attitude of friendliness and perspective -- not as edgy as Philadelphia!. My son loves going to school there, and he's a good eater (what guy isn't at this age!).

                    1. re: MonMauler

                      This is a really good list. The only place I haven't had a burger at is Eleven, but I'll have to go there for that! Out of the rest, I think Winghart's is the best, but I really prefer Tessaro's, not only because of the burgers, but I just love the place!


                    2. As much as I love cheeseburgers, ya gotta move beyond just burgers and go to Fathead's on the South Side for Headwiches ... and burgers, too.


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: yayadave

                        My son is living on the South Side; I suspect he'll find his way into Fathead's at some point -- sounds good. So many places to try!

                      2. My friends and I have been tackling this question for several years.... we even went as far to create a website and a rating system to determine where the best burgers are..... Reviews from the general public are very welcome.... check out the site here www.thehamburgerclub.org


                        6 Replies
                        1. re: bencroft

                          I can see that this burger issue is pretty serious business! Fun.

                          Thanks for the link. I'll check it out . At a glance, I'm glad to see Tessaro's in the top five. So far--overall--it's been our favorite. It's a total experience thing, and the burgers were great.

                          1. re: dreamer54

                            We are stayimg in cranberry township. Would you recommend BRGR over Primanti's for a good unique burger?

                            1. re: palmtree38

                              yes, primantis is sandwiches. BRGR you can add foie...win.

                              1. re: palmtree38

                                I would recommend practically every restaurant in Pgh over Primanti's. It's just a sandwich joint, and they put French Fries on your sandwich. That's their schtick. Bleah.

                                And BRGR is really good, though I've had troubles lately getting a true Medium Rare out of the East Liberty kitchen (they aimed for it, but went past it and all the way to Well Done twice one night last week. They comped the meal, but still).

                                1. re: Jay F

                                  Well Primatis had a 50 minute wait so we end up at the sports bar in the residence marriott with the quaker bar, we had fab burgers and sloppy saucy wings. Kids meals had nuge burgers, with side and drink for $4.

                                  We also went to Dive Guys. I know fast food but we enjoyed our burger here as well.
                                  Decent family meal was had at Houlahans as well

                                  1. re: Jay F

                                    I went back to BRGR Friday night, and I was able to get a perfect medium-rare brgr. Yay, BRGR.

                            2. Any one remember the Meadow Bar & Grill on Braddock Ave in Regent Square?

                              Outstanding cheesebergers!