If you’re craving a burger just as much as we are but are feeling too lazy to chef one up yourself, take a look back at burgers that have already captured the hearts of our taste buds. Here’s what local chefs have been doing with the best bites you can get on a bun.
The following text first ran in the Globe magazine, and was written by Anna Burgess, Devra First, Sheryl Julian, Matt Mahoney, Anne V. Nelson, Barbara Pattison, Jason Pontin, Rachel Travers, Eileen McEleney Woods, and Lisa Zwirn.
The 80 Thoreau Burger
80 Thoreau Dressed with aged Grafton cheddar, mayo-based house sauce with grainy mustard and a hint of cayenne, and served on a tender brioche bun, the burger comes with exceptional fries, homemade ketchup, and assorted house pickles. — S.J.
80 Thoreau Street, Concord, 978-318-0008, 80thoreau.com
Audubon Boston A well-seasoned patty made of black beans, pinto beans, corn, barley, and corn chips spiked with garlic and ancho, this veggie burger doesn’t pretend to be beef. It comes with lettuce, chipotle mayonnaise, and tomato-cilantro pico de gallo on a French bread roll. — R.T.
838 Beacon Street, Boston, 617-421-1910, audubonboston.com
B.Good The 4.5-ounce patty is slathered with homemade chipotle salsa and a mash-up of avocado and fresh cilantro, along with sliced tomato. B.Good is a hand-cut above the typical fast-food joint, the locally grown chain’s claim to fame its locally sourced food. — B.P.
Derby Street Shoppes, Hingham, 781-741-5393, and other locations, bgood.com
Back Bay Social Club A rich, juicy 10-ounce patty made from dry-aged beef, seared on a super-hot flattop griddle, and topped with smothered onions and aged cheddar. It comes on a straightforward bun that doesn’t distract from the mellow, meaty combination of flavors inside. — D.F.
867 Boylston Street, Boston, 617-247-3200, backbaysocialclub.com
Five Guys Burgers and Fries Customize your burger order with anything from jalapenos to A1 steak sauce to grilled mushrooms. Concoct your own drink at the computerized Coca-Cola Freestyle machine, which offers beverages ranging from the ordinary to the out there (think Fanta Lime). — E.W.
9 Medway Road, Milford, 508-381-0652, and other locations, fiveguys.com
Boston Burger Company Inspired by Elvis Presley’s legendary sandwich tastes, The King is far from traditional, but the fried cinnamon banana chunks, bacon, and peanut butter — yep, on a burger — shock your taste buds in the best possible way. — A.B.
37 Davis Square, Somerville, 617-440-7361, and 1100 Boylston Street, Boston, 857-233-4560, bostonburgerco.com
Four Burgers This is fast food done right: Five ounces of ground beef seasoned with just salt and cooked to order, it comes with lettuce and tomato and with a pick of bun, from white or whole wheat to gluten-free. Choose from eight kinds of cheese, plus smoked bacon, caramelized onions, guacamole, and more. — R.T.
704 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, 617-441-5444, fourburgers.com
The Bristol Lounge The beef is a special blend from Painted Hills in Oregon that’s ground cold, hand-formed, then raised to room temperature for cooking. In addition to the aged cheese, house-baked brioche roll, lettuce and tomato, and house-made pickles, it comes with truffle fries, so you don’t even resent the $21 price. — R.T.
Four Seasons Hotel, 200 Boylston Street, Boston, 617-351-2037, www.fourseasons.com/boston/dining/the_bristol_lounge
Catalyst Restaurant It’s moist, juicy North American corn-fed beef with enough fat to give it a grand taste, cooked until medium-rare and covered with caramelized onions and slow-roasted tomatoes, all tucked onto a brioche bun with homemade cherry-pepper ketchup and a lemony aioli. — S.J.
300 Technology Square, Cambridge, 617-576-3000, catalystrestaurant.com
The Cottage An 8-ounce patty of prime beef is grilled per your preference and topped simply with lettuce, tomato, raw red onion, and white cheddar cheese. No tricks here, and it comes with great fries. — R.T.
Firebrand Saints The 8-ounce lamb and sirloin comes with spicy pickles, frisee, and harissa aioli and has the unapologetically gamy taste of good lamb, the sirloin serving mostly to deepen the flavor, the pickles and aioli providing brightness and heat, and the frisee giving a little texture. — J.P.
One Broadway, Cambridge, 617-401-3399, firebrandsaints.com
The Gallows It’s a griddled patty, thin but not dry, on a buttered, griddled roll, with American cheese, grilled onions, iceberg lettuce, and house-made pickles. It’s like the drive-through burger of your dreams. — D.F.
1395 Washington Street, Boston, 617-425-0200, thegallowsboston.com
JM Curley A beefy grilled 5-ounce patty on a toasted sesame bun with pickles, griddled onions, cheddar, and house-made Russian dressing. — D.F.
21 Temple Place, Boston, 617-338-5333, jmcurleyboston.com
Prime Burger The large, meaty patty is made from prime beef — an 80/20 mix ensures the burger’s juicy — and topped with lettuce, thinly sliced pickle, onion, and tomato, and served on a brioche bun. The addition of tangy cheddar and smoky bacon makes each mouthful sing. — L.Z.
1391 Washington Street, West Newton, 617-340-2160, thelocalnewton.com
Porter Cafe In West Roxbury, Porter Cafe serves an excellent everyday burger, perhaps because it’s an excellent neighborhood joint. Eight ounces of prime chuck, the patty is beautifully cooked, topped with cheddar and a sweet and tangy red onion relish. It’s perfect by itself, but adding bacon doesn’t hurt. — D.F.
1723 Centre Street, West Roxbury, 617-942-2579, portercafe.com
Red Robin Each bite delivers the tangy combination of crumbled blue cheese, steak sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, crispy onion straws, and zingy chipotle aoli on an onion bun. This jumbo-size burger costs $10.49 and leaves little room in that plastic red basket for the Bottomless Steak Fries. — E.W.
70 Worcester Providence Turnpike, Millbury, 508-581-9200, and other locations, redrobin.com
R.F. O’Sullivan & Son The menu has two dozen varieties of burgers to choose from, but the simple combination of salty blue cheese and plenty of black pepper provides just the right tang and kick to complement the beef. — M.M.
282 Beacon Street, Somerville, 617-492-7773, rf-osullivan.com
ICOB Colorado Angus Burger
Island Creek Oyster Bar This patty comes topped with house-cured maple bacon and grafton cheddar. Split one with a good friend and enjoy it with a couple of glasses of sauvignon blanc or anything with similar bite. — A.V.N.
500 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, 617-532-5300, islandcreekoysterbar.com
Zen Veggie Burger
Red Lentil Vegetarian & Vegan Restaurant The thick, tasty patty is made with black beans, brown rice, corn, carrots, red peppers, garlic and onions and served on a sesame bun with tomato and greens. This burger is indeed an edible symbol of completeness. — L.Z.
600 Mt. Auburn Street, Watertown, 617-972-9188, theredlentil.com
Tasty Burger The 5-ounce hamburger with lettuce and tomato ($4.25) comes wrapped in paper. Fries make such a short trip from their fat bath to the table that they’re amazingly hot and crisp. You could get in and out of this funky 77-seat place in a breeze, if only the servers were as skilled as the cooks. There is also a Harvard Square and a Southie location. — S.J.
1301 Boylston Street, Boston, 617-425-4444; 69 L Street, South Boston, 617-779-8600; tastyburger.com
Ten Tables Humanely raised beef cooked to order, served with good cheddar, caramelized onions, the restaurant’s “A-10’’ sauce, and luxurious bacon aioli. Oh, there’s lettuce on there, too. So healthy! — D.F.
597 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, 617-524-8810, tentables.net
Wild Willy’s The Bubba BBQ is topped with barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese, onion, and hickory-smoked bacon, all of which enhance the burger’s flavor without overpowering it. Have a fresh-squeezed lemonade or housemade raspberry lime rickey with yours. — A.B.
46 Arsenal Street, Watertown, 617-926-9700, and other locations, wildwillysburgers.com
Strip T’s Burger
Strip T’s Each patty is fashioned from 9 ounces of chuck mixed with beef cheek and trimmings from the restaurant’s skirt steak. Topping the burger are smoked miso, lemon aioli, and pickled onion. It’s served on a specially made Iggy’s brioche with poppy seeds. — R.T.
93 School Street, Watertown, 617-923-4330, stripts.com