Happy National Burger Day!
What? You didn’t know it was National Burger Day? Well, it is. And don’t get it confused with National Cheeseburger Day, because that’s in September and should be enjoyed in its own glory and entirety a few months from now.
National Burger Day celebrates all burgers of all kinds — cheese, no cheese, bacon, fried oysters, mushrooms! Go for a veggie burger if that’s your jam, or maybe ground turkey, gobbler style — I don’t know, I’m so hungry now. You do you.
The city is full of delectable patties of all sorts, so we brought in an expert to help navigate five totally awesome burgers worth trying on what really should be a bank holiday. Richard Chudy is the author of Boston Burger Blog — dude has eaten a lot of burgers — and co-owns a personal chef and catering business called the Skinny Beet with his wife, Katie, author of the Small Boston Kitchen. You can follow him on Twitter @bostonburger.
We handed Chudy the very difficult task of narrowing down five must-eat burgers in the city — and to be honest, he surprised us! (Toro! The ultimate in-the-know burger.) There are a few traditional favorites, a wild card or two, but hopefully a little something for everyone, except the vegetarians. Sorry, guys.
Craigie on Main — If you don’t think it’s worth the hype, the accolades, and the legendary status that has followed it, you’re missing out. Partly due to its mystique and limited availability, the bar-only burger at Craigie is worth every penny and is a burger experience like no other. Where else can you find the likes of dehydrated miso and copious amounts of suet ground into your patty? Check your local burger knowledge at the door if you have yet to experience this one. 853 Main St., Cambridge, (617) 497-5511, craigieonmain.com.
JM Curley — Varying between a thin and thick patty depending on what time of the day you come in, the result is the same. The industry hot spot is worth arguing with your friends over who discovered it first, but at this point everyone and their brother knows about it — and for good reason. You cannot get a better, streamlined burger that is as dressed up as it needs to be, or can straddle the more adventurous on the rotating “big board.’’ Consistently juicy and straight-forward, it’s all you’d ever need in a go-to burger. 21 Temple Pl., Boston, (617) 338-5333, jmcurleyboston.com.
Back Bay Social Club — Yes, it’s extravagant and the price tag ($22) will haunt you, but live a little and split this bad boy with your loved one for the ultimate carnivorous treat. It’s served just about as classically as you can get with perfectly caramelized onions and the ideal soft and sturdy bun. 867 Boylston St., Boston, (617) 247-3200, backbaysocialclub.com.
The Gallows — Many have tried, but no one has been able to duplicate the power of the thin, griddled burger quite like the Gallows. With a maximum crust and loosely packed texture, the power of the patty is alive and well in the South End. Toppings like fried oysters and pulled pork are delicious frequent additions, but for the most no frills experience, the “our way’’ burger with melted American cheese, grilled onions, iceberg, and pickles, is all you need for pure hamburger bliss. 1395 Washington St., Boston, (617) 425-0200, thegallowsboston.com.
Toro — In what is one of the more refined restaurants in the city, Toro is somehow able to pull of the simplistic with the greatest of ease. Offered for lunch only, the burger ordered “messy’’ is slathered with a far too generous coating of the same decadent sauce that coats their legendary grilled corn. This is one of the most paired down burgers in the city and is easy to devour in a few bites. You’ll instantly feel like you’re doing something wrong, but trust me, it’ll feel oh-so right. 1704 Washington St., Boston, (617) 536-4300, toro-restaurant.com/boston.