As far as creativity and artistry are concerned in the world of fast-casual food, burgers are the ultimate blank canvas (right up there with pizza). For years now, burger menus have included a wide range of bizarre and ingenious toppings, from classics like bacon and avocado to more complex items like braised pork belly and spicy kimchi. But the places on this list are upping the ante by creating what might be the most outrageous topping combinations ever imagined.
So what kinds of toppings are zany enough to make this list? How about a burger topped with a disk of deep-fried gravy that’s breaded and cooked to order, so that when the hungry diner takes their first bite, the warm, molten gravy oozes out and coats the burger? Or perhaps a tofu burger topped with pan-fried plantains and potato salad? Surely a burger topped with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge fits the bill.
Once upon a time, if you wanted toppings on your burger, your only options would be cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and the like. But there was also a time when many chefs wouldn’t put burgers on their menu because it was thought of as lowbrow cuisine. Today, however, the lines between highbrow and lowbrow have blurred and faded, and just about every restaurant has a burger of some sort on their menu. But once you’ve settled on a meat blend and a bun, how else to differentiate yourself? That’s right: the toppings.
Whether it’s a patty smothered in sweet ingredients, like creamy peanut butter and cinnamon sugar-dusted banana slices, or a savory creation complete with spicy tuna sashimi, these burgers are the epitome of culinary creativity.
So read on to learn which 15 restaurants are topping their burgers with the craziest creations.
White Trash Burger — Bukowski’s Tavern, Boston
This Boston restaurant and tavern offers a burger featuring one of their signature dishes: White Trash Dip. The dip includes American cheese, green chiles, jalapeños, diced tomatoes, diced onions, and corn tortilla chips — the White Trash Burger is topped with the dip plus a stack of beer-battered onion rings.
The Frenchie — DBGB, New York City
Daniel Boulud is the godfather of offering high-end burgers in fine dining restaurants, and his DBGB serves a burger so luxurious it demands a spot on this list. The Frenchie begins with premium beef expertly cooked and topped with crispy pork belly, caramelized onions, arugula, cornichons, and mustard.
Additional reporting by Molly Aronica.