It wasn’t so long ago when burgers, by definition, were cheap. A small puck of ground beef of dubious origin, cooked until… cooked, and plopped on a white bun with some lettuce and tomato was a staple of fast food restaurants, diners, and cookouts, and not much else. But fast forward to 2016 and not only are some of America’s best chefs featuring upscale burgers on their menus, they’re charging an arm and a leg for them. Out of all the burgers in America, these are the 10 most expensive.
When you think about it, it actually makes a lot of sense for some burgers to be outrageously expensive. The higher-quality the ingredients are, the more expensive the final product is, and many chefs are using top-notch beef in their burgers, like trimmings from dry-aged steaks or custom blends from renowned butchers like Pat LaFrieda. Top it with some shaved truffles and a slab of seared foie gras and you’ve got the makings of a super-expensive burger.
Burgers are nothing if not democratic, however, so thankfully we’re still living in an era when someone in Atlanta can spend $1.89 on a burger at The Varsity or $14 on one at Holeman & Finch. But even though they’re just ground beef and cheese on a bun, a fast-food style burger and a high-end one are worlds apart.
While every so often news will spread of a gimmicky new limited-time-only burger commanding exorbitant prices, like the $295 one that New York’s Serendipity 3 briefly sold in 2012 (made with wagyu beef, cave-aged Cheddar, black truffles, and caviar, if you’re curious), the following burgers aren’t off-menu or seasonal specials, ones big enough to feed 50, or ones that you need to reserve days in advance. These are all on the everyday menu (some only during lunchtime), and can be yours if you’re willing to shell out for them. Some are decidedly gimmicky, some are among the most delicious burgers on the planet (and worth every penny), but they all have one thing in common: They’re not cheap.