Best Burgers in Boston
Best Splurge: Radius
There are plenty of high-end eateries out there that slap a $20 price tag on a mediocre burger and call it upscale. Radius is not one of them. Chef-owner Michael Schlow’s bar-only creation, dubbed simply “The Burger,” boasts a well-seasoned patty; flowing, sharp Vermont cheddar; crispy onion strings; and, to top it all off, tangy, creamy horseradish sauce. It’s those premium components that make it worth the money — and the calories.
$19, 8 High St., Boston, 617-426-1234, radiusrestaurant.com.
Best Turkey: Trina’s Starlight Lounge
Trading a juicy beef burger for the turkey version is like trading a Cadillac for a Kia, right? No matter how much you dress it up with fancy extras, it’s just not the same. Well, take this top-notch model at Trina’s for a spin. A moist, hearty patty tricked out with a sweet and savory blend of Swiss cheese, mustard, apple mostarda, and peppery arugula, it’s a screaming ride.
$10, 3 Beacon St., Somerville, 617-576-0006, trinastarlitelounge.com.
Best Sliders: Lucky’s Lounge
Sliders, are, in essence, designed for convenience — great for pairing with a stiff drink at the bar, sharing with the crowd, or holding you over till the main meal arrives. The luxe versions at Lucky’s Lounge, however, are more than a mere snack: With rich Kobe beef, Muenster cheese, Applewood-smoked bacon aioli, and petite fried quail eggs, they’re a mini-me indulgence that pack the same punch as their full-size counterparts.
$15 for three, 355 Congress St., Boston, 617-357-5825, luckyslounge.com.
Best Hangover Cure: Grass Fed
J.P.’s new burger emporium offers the ultimate next-day remedy for that long night out: its already-terrific bacon cheeseburger, made morning-after appropriate with the addition of a fried farm egg and the requisite grease (in the form of a healthy smear of house mayo). Order a heap of garlic-truffle Parmesan fries on the side to obliterate what ails ya — and make your stomach incredibly happy.
$10.50 (with egg and aioli), 605 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617-553-2278, grassfedjp.com.
Best Fast-Food Style: Tasty Burger
Our favorite way to experience Tasty Burger is still the way we first fell in love with it: at 1 a.m., in need of a fast — and delicious — way to soak up those few-too-many brews. We’ve tried? ’em all here, from the brutally rich deep-fried “Blue Collar” burger to the spicy, cheese-slathered jalapeño variety. But when we’re looking for a bite of classic Americana, we go for the “Big Tasty”: chopped pickles and onions, lettuce, tomato, special sauce, and a griddled, just-thick-enough patty. It’s a late-night savior that also satisfies at the table — or on the fly from the takeout window — any time of day.
$4.95, 1301 Boylston St., Boston, 617-425-4444, tastyburger.com.
Best Classic: The Gallows
When we’ve had one too many fancy-pants burgers, there’s nothing we crave more than the simple pleasure of meat and produce packed onto a toasted bun. And that’s exactly what we get with the Gallows’ “Our Way,” an expertly seasoned, flavor-packed patty topped with lettuce, pickles, American cheese, and grilled onions — nary a cream sauce or deep-fried pork product in sight.
$10, 1395 Washington St., Boston, 617-425-0200, thegallowsboston.com.