Where to Find Greater Boston’s Juiciest Burgers

From fast-casual burgers to higher-end masterpieces, there's a perfect patty for every taste.

A burger stacked high with toppings like pickles, bacon, and cheese is isolated on a white background.

Bred Gourmet’s Bred burger. / Courtesy photo / Photo courtesy of Bred Groumet

A juicy, charred patty (or several). Oozing melted cheese. Tangy special sauce. At its simplest, the burger is a humble sandwich—with infinite ways to be embellished and perfected. It’s also a menu staple everywhere from bistros to beer bars, so we’ve gathered up our current favorites for you here.

From prime, local beef sandwiched into fresh-baked rolls to greasy-good flat patties on squishy potato buns, here’s where to find 15 of the best burgers in and around Boston right now. (And don’t forget to peruse our Best of Boston burger award archives for a peek into the tastiest options from the recent and distant past, including some gone-but-not-forgotten faves. We miss you, Craigie burger.)

This guide was last updated in June 2023; watch for periodic updates.

Bred Gourmet

Best of Boston winner, 2021

This Dorchester favorite, open since 2015, showcases smoked burgers with fresh and creative toppings. Take the Maui burger, for example: It’s crowned with a volcano-high heap of sliced pineapple, smoked ham, habanero pepperjack cheese, crispy onions, sweet plantains, and barbecue sauce, served on a potato bun. You’ll also find non-beef options like a veggie burger with greens, Fuji apple, fig spread, and goat cheese, and a jerk salmon patty with tartar slaw and crispy onions, inspired by owner Tambo Barrow’s Trinidadian and Bajan roots. In 2022, Bred Gourmet expanded to Boston’s Seaport District, where it serves weekday lunch out of a shipping container at the Innovation and Design Building.

2255 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester (Lower Mills), Boston, 617-698-0103; 23 Drydock Ave., Seaport District, Boston; bredgourmet.com.


The Bronburger at chef Tim Wiechmann’s German-inspired Somerville spot boasts a patty of beef and pork belly—and that’s not even the best part. What really ties the unctuous meats, cheddar, and tangy sauerkraut together is Wiechmann’s 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 bratkartoffeln, or German home fries, rather than the typical shoestrings.

255 Washington St., Union Square, Somerville, 617-776-9900, bronwynrestaurant.com.

Charlie’s Kitchen

Everybody loves Charlie’s: The place is a landmark, one of the few holdovers from Harvard Square bygone days of spiky-haired punks and dive bars. And everybody still loves Charlie’s open-faced burgers—some topped with guacamole, some made with Guinness beer, some served on a bulkie roll, and some served on brioche—because they’re perfectly sizzled and perfect for scarfing while you brainstorm tunes to play on the jukebox or saddle up for suds in the glorious beer garden.

10 Eliot St., Harvard Square, Cambridge, 617-492-9646, charlieskitchen.com

Crazy Good Kitchen

The name doesn’t lie. Now with two locations—the original in Malden and a newer spot on Newbury Street—Crazy Good Kitchen is known for its, well, crazy good burgers (and fried chicken, and milkshakes.) Co-owner Tony DeSouza really knows meat; he was a butcher in his native Brazil. He runs Crazy Good Kitchen with his family, serving 6-ounce patties on brioche buns and featuring house-made versions of traditional condiments, such as “better than ketchup” and a burnt butter mayo. If you spend time on Instagram, you’ve probably seen burgers such as the Hot Mess & Cheese, where the patty (or two if you’re really hungry) is topped with shaved steak, tons of American cheese, griddled onions, cheese sauce, and the house ketchup. Just find a way to save room for the Peanut Butter Slide milkshake.

268 Newbury St., Back Bay, Boston; 906 Eastern Ave., Malden; crazygoodkitchen.com.

Daddy Jones

Isn’t this such a delightful patio? Made better, of course, with a burger in hand. This Magoun Square gem mostly features Greek food—you’ll want to try the gyros, too—but the burgers have long been a neighborhood favorite. Stick with the Greek theme with the Athena burger: The herb and feta lamb patty is topped with red pepper feta, bacon, American cheese, and fig jam spread, served on an English muffin. There’s a beef burger on an English muffin, too, topped with sriracha, spicy mayo, cheddar, onion, pickles, greens, and bacon, not to mention a cheeseburger on brioche with onion, garlic mayo, and greens. Can’t go wrong.

525 Medford St., Magoun Square, Somerville, 617-690-9095, daddyjonesbar.com.

The Haven

The city’s only spot dedicated to Scottish pub fare features 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. What’s more, you’ll also find Boston’s best selection of Scotch ales and other Caledonian beers, including Belhaven and Crabbies by the bottle. Be sure to check it all out at the Haven’s big new(ish) location on Amory Street.

284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, Boston, 617-634-9184, thehavenjp.com.

A cheeseburger with pickles sits on a colorful floral plate on a yellow table.

Hojoko’s burger. / Photo by Kristin Teig


Best of Boston winner, 2017

There are flashier, funkier plates at this playful Fenway izakaya from chef Tim and Nancy Cushman’s crew, also behind downtown’s glittery O Ya and Bianca in Chestnut Hill. But the chuck and wagyu short rib 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., Fenway, Boston, 617-670-0507, hojokoboston.com.

A burger is open to reveal pickles, Russian dressing, cheese, and caramelized onions.

JM Curley’s burger. / Courtesy photo

JM Curley

Best of Boston winner, 2013 (“high-brow”)

Bar star Kevin Mabry, the beverage director who helped turn JM Curley into one of Downtown Crossing’s most popular gastropubs in its early days, returned to the spot in 2021 as a managing partner. That’s more than enough reason to bring us back to see what he’s up to, but so is the famous burger, which has never gone anywhere. Head over, and you’ll still be rewarded with a cheddar-topped patty with pickles, caramelized onions, and house-made Russian dressing, served on a seeded bun. Better yet: It’s available until 1:30 a.m. nightly.

21 Temple Pl., Downtown Crossing, Boston, 617-338-5333, jmcurleyboston.com.

A thick burger sits on Bibb lettuce and is piled high with toppings.

Little Big Diner’s LBD flat patty burger. / Courtesy photo

Little Big Diner

It’s all rice bowls and ramen at this Newton Centre noodle den, save for a handful of bang-up small plates, including the LBD flat patty. Here, the kitchen plays a solid game of contrast, dressing the grill-charred chuck with a hot and 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, 857-404-0068, littlebigdiner.com.

A burger with cheese, fried jalapeno slices, and more toppings.

Little Donkey’s burger. / Courtesy photo / Photo courtesy of Little Donkey

Little Donkey

Best of Boston winner, 2022

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, you have 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., Central Square, Cambridge, 617-945- 1008, littledonkeybos.com.

Moonshine 152

Like the phases of the moon, something is always shifting on the menu at chef Asia Mei’s playful Southie haunt: her burgers. Each month, Mei moves on to a different idea—consider a past offering, the ranch burger, loaded with (ready?) house buttermilk-poblano ranch dressing, ranch pickles, ranch Doritos, and a ranch and garlic-herb cheese spread. (Bring your own breath mints.) There’s always a standard, simpler beef burger on deck, and Moonshine’s veggie burger, made with a mushroom and tofu patty, is a standout too.

152 Dorchester Ave., South Boston, 617-752-4191, moonshine152.com.

The Quiet Few

This neighborhood whiskey bar may have been lauded by this very magazine for its amazing trivia night and friendly staff, but make no mistake: The food is what makes this “quiet” spot something to tell a few buddies about. The menu changes depending on the availability of seasonal ingredients, but the standard burgers are available year-round. Opt for the staple Hell Yeah Burger, a 4-ounce double patty marinated in spices and whiskey, topped with a signature sauce, American and cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, smoked onions, and pickles, served on the traditional sesame seed brioche bun. Don’t stop there, though: You’ll want to accompany it with the fried pickles or disco poutine fries. If you’re ready to make it a real party, wash it down with a pickleback—regular, or spicy.

331 Sumner St., East Boston, 617-561-1061, thequietfew.com.

The Shojonator. / Photo by Danh Nguyen and Andrew Kubica


The quarter-pound Shojonator—available at the original Chinatown location as well as the recent Cambridge addition—packs more flavor into its package than burgers twice its size. Spice, smoke, and umami—from ingredients including a Velveeta-like “kimcheese,” Applewood bacon, and fried egg—mingle together gloriously between the beef and halves of a fluffy house-made bao bun. Go ahead, add the extra patty. You’re going to want two.

9A Tyler St., Boston, 617-423- 7888, shojoboston.com; 425 Massachusetts Ave., Unit 4B, Central Square, Cambridge, shojocambridge.com

Tasty Burger’s burger. / Photo by Kelsey Cronin

Tasty Burger

Best of Boston winner, 2013 (“low-brow”)

What makes the Big Tasty a winner? The griddled patty is crisp but juicy. The salty American cheese 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. That said, thanks to smart sides (a 50/50 combo of fries and onion rings!), killer drinks (don’t miss the house-brewed raspberry-lime rickeys), and hometown charm, every burger option at this local chain is the ultimate crowd-pleaser.

Multiple locations, tastyburger.com.


Wheelhouse at High Street Place

Best of Boston winner, 2019

Once upon a time, Wheelhouse was a cozy little nook of a burger joint downtown, providing a beloved weekday lunch option for local office-goers. That original location closed up shop a couple years back, and Wheelhouse moved into the downtown food hall High Street Place, which opened in 2022. Wheelhouse didn’t miss a beat; its 6-ounce, double-patty burgers—now available on Saturdays, too!—are still among the best. (In fact, Wheelhouse took home the win at our 2022 Battle of the Burger.) Show up early for the breakfast burger, a seasoned patty with a runny egg, bacon, and American cheese, or come later in the day to add a boozy milkshake to your order.

100 High St., Downtown Boston, 857-315-5138, wheelhouseboston.com.

Additional reporting by Tomás Gonzalez.