Where in Boston to Order the Best Burgers for Takeout or Delivery
Sometimes, nothing else will do–so here's a perfect patty for every taste.
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Edited by Jacqueline Cain, with additional reporting by Liz Bomze, Spencer Buell, Courtney Hollands, Scott Kearnan, and Jenna Pelletier
Juicy, charred patties oozing with melted cheese and tangy special sauce, the burger is a simple sandwich with infinite ways to be perfected. It’s also a menu staple everywhere from bistros to beer bars, even in the takeout era. We’ve gathered up eight current favorites for at-home enjoyment below. In addition, we’ve also updated our more-comprehensive guide to the 18 best burgers in Boston, indicating whether they’ve reopened for takeout (good news; most have!) or remain closed. We’ll continue to refresh with new information, as available.
From prime, local beef sandwiched into fresh-baked rolls, to greasy-good flat patties on squishy potato buns, here’s where to find the best burgers around Boston right now.
Note: Due to the uncertain nature of the present moment, as well as what it takes for full-service restaurants to pivot to takeout operations, these options are subject to change. This post will be updated. Please call a restaurant directly if you have questions about ordering. Additionally, the City of Boston and the Massachusetts Restaurant Association are both tracking self-reported takeout options with their own online portals. Looking for other takeout and delivery options? Check out all of Boston magazine’s dining guides for the pandemic. Last update: May 22, 2020.
A&B’s standard, seven-ounce patties are made with local beef, though the gourmet Wagyu patty is totally worth the $5 upcharge, if you ask the fans who continually vote A&B’s original location into Best of the North Shore. Both the Beverly location and the newer Boston spot are closed May 29, but will reopen future Friday nights for takeout and delivery of select menu items like Nick’s Burger, topped with American cheese, fried onion strings, and barbecue sauce; and the Sweet & Salty, with burrata, fig jam, bacon, and peppery arugula.
A&B Burgers, 101 Beverly St., Boston, 857-449-2251; 206 Cabot St., Beverly, 978-993-7394, anbburgers.com.
This Dot favorite serves up grass-fed beef patties with fresh and creative toppings, like the Olympus burger: a godly stack of beef, feta cheese, roasted red peppers, kalamata olive tapenade, and Greek-style tzatziki. Also on the takeout menu are non-beef options, like the vegetarian sweet potato patty with goat cheese and fig spread; and a jerk salmon patty with tartar slaw and crispy onions, inspired by owner Tambo Barrow’s Trinidadian and Bajan roots. Bred is open Monday-Saturday from noon-8 p.m. for takeout and app delivery.
2255 Dorchester Ave., Lower Mills, Dorchester, 617-698-0103, bredgourmet.com.
Cambridge Brewing Co.
Grab a freshly filled growler or two of brews like the Proper Kölsch or Blunderbuss Barleywine to bring home, along with a smashed, double-patty, bacon-cheddar cheeseburger. In the 32-year-old brewpub’s signature style, chef David Drew elevates the fast-food classic with local products like beef sourced from Massachusetts farms, a tangy house-made special sauce spiked with Cambridge Amber malt vinegar, and house bread-and-butter pickles. CBC is currently open for takeout and Camberville delivery Tuesday-Saturday from 4-9 p.m.
1 Kendall Square, Bldg. 100, Kendall Square, Cambridge, 617-494-1994, cambridgebrewingcompany.com.
House-fired pita bread wraps the lunch-exclusive burger at the Seaport’s Mediterranean-American Chickadee. Along with two juicy patties, chef John daSilva packs each pita with shredded lettuce and tomato, dill pickles, and garlic aioli—though extras like bacon, avocado, or a fried egg are also a nice fit. Chickadee is open for takeout Tuesday-Saturday from noon-2 p.m. for lunch, and from 4-8 p.m. for dinner. There is ample free parking available for curbside pickup, but Caviar delivery is also an option.
21 Drydock Ave., Seaport, Boston, 617-531-5591, chickadeerestaurant.com.
Field & Vine
At this Best of Boston-worthy beauty, chef Andrew Brady’s menus frequently change to reflect whatever Mother Nature brings through the door. But during the takeout era, he’s also dishing up more reliable comforts, like Tuesday night tacos, Wednesday night beach-style seafood, and the new Field & Vine burger. The signature stack features two griddled patties, pickled onion, and pepper jack cheese on a house-baked sesame-seed bun. Field & Vine is open for curbside pickup Tuesday-Saturday from 5-8 p.m.
9 Sanborn Ct., Somerville, 617-718-2333, fieldandvinesomerville.com.
Despite the shutdown of on-premise drinking, Bostonians have still have access to the best Scotch ale selection, as the city’s only Scottish pub has been a takeout mainstay throughout the shutdown. Available for takeout or Doordash delivery Tuesday-Sunday from 5-8 p.m., the menu features the likes of Belhaven and Crabbies by the bottle, as well as house favorites like cullen skink (smoky fish chowder), Scotch eggs, and an excellent burger, topped with a sweet-salty bacon-onion marmalade and Huntsman cheese and paired with thick potato wedges. Order online or by phone, or find the Haven on Doordash.
2 Perkins St., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-2836, thehavenjp.com.
Puritan & Company
One silver lining to takeout? No need to wait for a bar seat to open up right now in order to taste chef Will Gilson’s bar burger. Topped with bacon lardons, gruyere, and truffle jus, it’s a top-shelf take for pairing with every burger’s best friend: beer. Craft four-packs (as well as eclectic wines) are also on the robust takeout menu. Call or order online nightly between 4-8 p.m; deliver available.
1166 Cambridge St., Inman Square, Cambridge, 617-615-6195, puritancambridge.com.
Steel & Rye
While this huge, glammed-up garage of a dining room has been closed, owner Dan Kerrigan and chef Brendan Joy redesigned some of their restaurant to debut a new space: a full-scale, takeout-friendly, bakery and café. Stop by during the day for freshly baked breads, pastries, cookies, grain bowls, and more. But you don’t have to be an early riser to try Joy’s house-baked breads: The dinnertime-only griddled double cheeseburger comes on one of the chef-baker’s sesame-seed rolls.
95 Eliot St., Lower Mills, Milton, 617-690-2787, steelandrye.com.
You know ’em, you love ’em—and many of them are back in action. Here’s our recap of the best burgers in Boston, with details on the availability of takeout and delivery. Watch this space for more updates!
Where to Find the 18 Best Burgers in Boston
Back Bay Social
Status: Currently closed.
When you’re using beef this good, it’s a sin to cover it up with gobs of toppings. Modestly adorned with a thin layer of caramelized onions and a slice of aged Vermont cheddar, the burger at this beloved Back Bay haunt is all about the pedigreed meat: namely, Pat LaFrieda’s buttery blend of grass-fed Angus, dry-aged rib-eye, and short rib. Maybe that’s why the restaurant hasn’t taken it off the menu since it opened. 876 Boylston St., Boston, 617-247-3200, backbaysocialclub.com.
Status: Open Thursday through Sunday for takeout (but without the burger on the menu, for now).
Next time you’re heading to this sleek Italian seafood spot, you may want to stop right at the bar. That’s where chef/co-owner Colin Lynch serves his double cheeseburger, which reads like an ichthyophobe’s safety net but is executed with as much precision as his off-the-hook crudo program. Simply put: This is one of the best burgers in Boston, packaged up with classic, thoughtful fixings—crispy onions, gooey Taleggio and American cheeses, shredded iceberg, pickle chips strategically anchored under the beef—and a soft griddled bun that soaks it all in. 360 Harrison Ave., Boston, 617-530-1770, barmezzana.com.
Boston Burger Company
Status: Open daily for takeout and delivery.
Indulgence is venerated at this local, multi-link chain. And that’s probably best exemplified by the munchies-inspired 420 Burger, piled high with mozzarella sticks, fried mac ’n’ cheese, onion rings, fries, and bacon. Its signature vinegar-tart dressing deftly cuts through the salty fat of the fried toppings, allowing the smoky, juicy beef to shine as it should. Balance is key, and even with all the extras this counter-service stalwart heaps onto its patties, it always sticks the landing on the right side of the line that divides craveable burgers from made-for-Instagram gimmicks. 37 Davis Sq., Somerville, 617-440-7361; and other locations; bostonburgerco.com.
Status: Currently closed.
This emblem of the Old Guard has still got it. The Bristol lounge at the Four Seasons is famed for its simple but spectacularly juicy burger–and it still doesn’t disappoint. The luscious patty blend of NY strip, short rib, and brisket does the heavy lifting, but this Boston Brahmin of burgers is enhanced by toppings like Fresno jam and bacon aioli. Proper perfection. 200 Boylston St., Boston, 617-351-2037, fourseasons.com.
Status: Open Wednesday through Sunday for takeout and delivery (but without the burger on the menu, for now).
The Bronburger at chef Tim Wiechmann’s German-inspired beer hall is topped with crispy pork belly and studded with bacon—and that’s not even the best part. What really ties the thick patty, rich Comté cheese, and tangy kraut together is Wiechmann’s unusual, yet preternaturally delicious, pretzel roll: Plush and chewy, it has just enough heft to support the decadent contents. Another twist on the tried-and-true formula? Golden home fries rather than the typical shoestrings. 255 Washington St., Somerville, 617-776-9900, bronwynrestaurant.com.
Craigie on Main
Status: Open Wednesday through Sunday for takeout and delivery.
It’s a modern classic for a reason. Almost a decade after chef Tony Maws first put his Craigie Burger on the bar menu, local carnivores still line up to nab one of the 18 umami-packed patties produced every night. (And now it’s joined by a monthly-rotating second burger.) Often sold out by 6 p.m., the coveted burger is everything you want in the form: perfectly cooked local beef (a blend of brisket, short ribs, hanger steak, bone marrow, and suet for maximum flavor-fat ratio) sprinkled with miso as a flavor booster and accompanied by house-made, well, everything— from the pickles to the ketchup. 853 Main St., Cambridge, 617-497-5511, craigieonmain.com.
Status: Currently closed, but South End sister restaurant, the Butcher Shop is open for takeout, with its own caramelized onion-topped burger on the menu—plus Drink cocktail kits.
Bring up the burger at Barbara Lynch’s craft-cocktail den, and your bartender’s eyes may light up in the same way they would if you’d ordered a rare scotch. Buttery, juicy, and rich as can be, the luxed-up spin on a Big Mac— featuring a perfectly grilled Colorado Wagyu patty (make that a double) and melted American cheese—pairs beautifully with a couple of Old Fashioneds. Add an order of the bar’s thick-cut fries with malt-vinegar aioli to make this the happiest of happy meals. 348 Congress St., Boston, 617-695-1806, drinkfortpoint.com.
Status: Currently closed.
There are flashier, funkier plates at this playful Fenway-side izakaya from chef Tim and Nancy Cushman’s crew, also behind downtown’s glittery O Ya. But the burger is the not-so-secret star (even Julian Edelman is a vocal fan). Topped with American cheese, dashi pickles and a tangy “special sauce,” it’s a slightly sloppy thing of beauty. 1271 Boylston St., Boston, 617-670-0507, hojokoboston.com.
Status: Open daily for takeout and delivery.
When your server at this Downtown Crossing eatery asks if you want the only burger on the menu “Filthy Andy–style,” just say yes. You’ll be rewarded with a cheddar-topped 5-ounce patty, pickles, griddled onions, and house-made Russian dressing served open-face on a seeded bun and absolutely smothered with zingy coleslaw and fries. Smoosh it all together for a sloppy symphony of sorts, with rich, salty notes from the perfectly seasoned beef and sweet heat from the mustard seeds and chipotle mayonnaise in the Louisiana-style slaw—extra points for the bun, which stays intact till the last glorious bite. For the animals among us, the filthier “Cody Style” variation adds a second patty, fried egg, and bacon (#savage). 21 Temple Place, Boston, 617-338-5333, jmcurleyboston.com.
Little Big Diner
Status: Open Wednesday-Sunday for takeout.
It’s all rice bowls and ramen at this Newton Centre noodle den, save for a handful of bang-up small plates, including its LBD Flat Patty. Here, the kitchen plays a solid game of contrast, dressing the grill-charred chuck with a hot ’n’ sweet pineapple-onion sambal; cool, creamy mayo; a tender leaf of Bibb lettuce; and crunchy batter-fried onion strings. And what better way to enhance this burger’s tropical profile than by sandwiching the whole thing on a plush King’s Hawaiian bun? 1247 Centre St., Newton Centre, 857- 404-0068, littlebigdiner.com.
Status: Currently closed, but Boston sister spots Toro and Coppa are both open with burgers—more than worthy in their own right— on their menus (Coppa’s is a Tuesday special).
Leave it to the Ken Oringer–Jamie Bissonnette team to play fast and loose with the fast-food-burger formula and deliver a brilliant, ordinary-be-damned mash-up of haute cuisine and guilty pleasure. On the one hand, you have dry-aged beef gilded with foie gras; on the other, Buffalo-sauced pickles, yellow American, and fried jalapeño “chips”—not to mention Lipton onion-soup-mix mayo. The ultimate guilty pleasure, indeed. 505 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-945- 1008, littledonkeybos.com.
Longfellow Bar at Alden & Harlow
Status: Currently closed, but keep an eye out for A&H takeout pop-ups.
Chef Michael Scelfo is officially a burger king. First, his “Secret Burger” at Alden & Harlow became a well-known hit. He followed it up with the WP Burger, topped with tonnato (tuna sauce) to reflect the seafood focus of Waypoint. But Longfellow’s Burger, found at this recently-opened cocktail den housed above his Harvard Square flagship, might be his best yet. It’s loaded with fermented Nardello peppers, grilled onions, and a Tillamook cheddar spread spiked with pickle brine. It’s an insanely delicious napkin assassin. 40 Brattle St., Cambridge, 617-864-0001, longfellowharvard.com.
Status: Currently closed (but not going anywhere).
If it’s good enough for Jackie O, Robert Plant, and Charlie Baker (just a few of the many notables who have eaten here), it’s good enough for us. Hard-core culinary snobs may scoff at its touristy reputation, but this family-run Harvard Square institution wins us over every time with its quirky atmosphere and over-the-top creations that playfully salute politicians, sports stars, and other celebs— like Beyoncé “Hot” covered in hot sauce, jalapeños, and bacon. While the toppings change as fast as pop culture, the patty remains the same: choice chuck, ground daily and griddled on the well-seasoned flat top. 1246 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-354-6559, mrbartley.com.
R.F. O’Sullivan & Son
Status: Open Thursday-Saturday for takeout and delivery.
To fully experience this laid-back Somerville institution, you simply have to get a little messy. The dozens of burger options on the menu—from the Paddy-O-Melt with sautéed onions and cheddar to the black-pepper- crusted Black & Blue—may have different fixings, but they always have one thing in common: the same thick-as-can be, succulent yet expertly charred sirloin patty. Don’t worry—we won’t tell anyone you have meat drippings on your chin. 282 Beacon St., Somerville, 617-491-9638, rfosullivans.com.
Roxy’s Grilled Cheese
Status: Open daily in Allston for takeout and delivery. Cambridge location is currently closed.
It’s almost midnight and you’ve got a hankering for something savory. Will it be a burger, grilled cheese—or both? Slathered with fiery house-made pimiento cheese, the Justin’s Burger from this queso-focused quick-service spot offers the best of both worlds, with an extra kick from creamy chipotle mayo and Grillo’s pickles. For the avo-obsessed, the equally perfect Muenster features a grass-fed chuck patty adorned with a big scoop of house-made guacamole. 292 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-945-7244; 485 Cambridge St., Allston, 617- 202-5864; roxysgrilledcheese.com.
Status: Currently closed.
It’s not much larger than a slider, yet the Shojonator packs more flavor into its petite package than many burgers twice the size. Spice, smoke, and umami—from ingredients including a Velveeta-like “kimcheese,” smoked hoisin barbecue sauce, sriracha aioli, and grilled Applewood bacon—mingle together gloriously between the beef and halves of a fluffy house-made bao bun. Think it sounds like too much? Rest assured that it’s actually just right. In fact, you’ll probably want two. 9A Tyler St., Boston, 617-423- 7888, shojoboston.com.
Status: Open daily in the Fenway and Harvard Square.
What makes the Big Tasty a winner? The griddled patty is crisp but juicy. The salty American shingle doesn’t just sit on the patty; it seeps into it like a well-seasoned condiment. The requisite veggies—lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles—are fresh and crisp. The from-scratch sauce tastes particularly “special.” And the house bun is appropriately squishy. With smart sides—a combo of fries and onion rings!—killer drinks (don’t miss the house-brewed raspberry-lime rickeys), and hometown charm, this local chain is the ultimate crowd-pleaser. 1301 Boylston St., Boston, 617-425-4444; and other locations; tastyburger.com.
Status: Currently closed for good on Broad Street, but eventually reopening inside High Street Place.
Not for the faint of heart, Wheelhouse’s gloriously greasy Breakfast Burger piles everything you love about the morning meal— right down to the coffee grounds—into a bun. Chef Jon Chase dusts earthy dark roast and a garlicky-sweet spice rub onto the sandwich’s two Kinnealey Meats chuck patties, then throws bacon, American cheese, and a gooey fried egg on top for the ultimate indulgence any time of day. Warning: may be nap-inducing. Opening in 2020 at High Street Place, wheelhouseboston.com.