Seattle's 10 Best Burgers
With one of the tastiest, old school burger chains in the country, Seattle sets the burger bar high. Here's where to get the best Seattle has between two buns.
I’m with Oprah, who dubbed Red Mill one of the 20 hamburgers you must eat before you die. Since 1994, Seattle has flipped for this family-friendly institution and their super-juicy patties. Fans adore the smokey, mayo-based Mill sauce and peppery bacon, which is stacked high Jenga-style next to the flat top grill. Make yours the happiest of meals with irresistible onion rings and fresh fruit shakes.
Following accolades for the burger served at his other restaurant, Quinn’s, chef Scott Staples opened a spot dedicated entirely to burgers. It is hard to choose from the menu of hand-held tastyness, which includes the lamb, manchego, and charred pepper "Medi-terra" and the gruyere, ham, and Dijon mayo "Madame." Kids will savor the shakes while the adults will welcome the beers. Grab some hand-cut fries and a seat on the picnic-table patio.
If you like your burger with a side of kimchi, Joule is for you. This popular Korean-fusion restaurant serves a beefy patty made from kalbi, which are Korean short ribs. The burger comes with a kick, thanks to the horseradish sauce and side of giardiniera (pickled veggies). Pretend you’re at an outdoor BBQ and nab a seat by the fire-pit outside.
Lil’ Woodys is not-so little on flavor. With patties made from Painted Hills beef, choose your own toppings or opt for one of their yummy combinations, like the "Fig & Pig:" pickled figs, bacon, and gorgonzola, or the "Smoked Out:" smoked cheddar, raw onion, tomato, and chipotle. Their “Crack” fries (spuds served with a milkshake for dipping) is a match made in burger heaven.
This throwback joint has been serving Seattle their burgers since the 1950’s, and so is one of the oldest American burger chains still in operation. Beloved by Seattlites—the Wallingford locale was featured in Macklemore’s White Walls video—Dick’s burgers are fast food done deliciously. Try the "Dick’s Deluxe," a double patty, lettuce, mayo, and chopped pickles, with their stellar fries. Open late for the midnight munchies, these burgers taste great any hour of the day.
Craving a little lamb? Get yourself to Tom Douglas’ Greek spot: Lola. Made from grass-fed, Anderson Ranch lamb, this succulent burger comes stacked with grilled onions and arugula. The accompanying chickpea fries pair perfectly with this gourmet burger.
Experiment beyond your burger zone at the Lunchbox Laboratory, a fun joint that mixes the late founder, Scott Simpson’s, love of comfort food and whimsy. Try the creative meat combos like "churken" (chicken and pork) or "dork" (duck and pork), inventive sauces (habanero mayo), and tasty toppings (candied balsamic onions). Save room for a stellar shake served in a beaker (natch) with or without booze; I’m a sucker for the orange Dreamsicle. [related]
The OG of gourmet burgers, the "Palace Burger Royale" still tops many best burger lists. Simply delicious, it's a half-pound of hand-ground chuck served on a squishy Dahlia Bakery onion bun with the traditional lettuce, tomato, and onion toppings and ample fries for sharing. Open till 1am nightly, head to Palace for your future post-boozing, belly-filling.
Vegetarians about town bow down to Café Flora’s burger. A grilled black bean patty comes topped with basil pesto aioli, sundried tomato jelly, balsamic arugula, and mozzarella. Move over Mondays; everyday can be meatless with this flavor-packed, produce-heavy number.
Athenian Seafood Restaurant & Bar
Talk about fish-to-table. The Athenian offers salmon burgers a stone’s throw from the fish-tossing fishmongers at the Pike Place Market. With a view of the Puget Sound, tuck into a salmon, lettuce, red onion, and tomato burger on an artisan bun. Pair with a cocktail from the full bar and watch the boats go by.