One of the benefits of traveling across North America regularly with my work is sampling some of the finer local cuisines. But truth be told, there are times (many, many times) when nothing beats a great burger. So, I’ve decided to dedicate this off topic post to my top 5 burgers ranked in order of favorites. Here they are:
500 Broadway Street, Santa Monica, CA (Google Map)
Believe the hype. This whole “5th taste” claim is for real. So much so, it easily tops my list as the best burger in North America. Each morsel is like a high school slow dance with your taste buds, leaving you all tingly, breathless and hoping it never ends. Their signature Umami Burger is as artful as it is delicious. Each item has been careful selected to sing together in perfect harmony – fresh ground beef, shiitake mushroom, caramelized onions, roasted tomato, parmesan crisp, and their legendary umami ketchup. Get ready for your wow moment.
601 West Cordova Street, Vancouver, BC (Google Map)
It appears hockey isn’t the only thing dominated by Canadians. Meet the 9.2 oz Rogue Burger–so good, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to the American heartland. This ultra juicy, house ground sirloin burger is cooked to a perfect 160 degrees F and features smokey bacon, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, pickle, sweet relish, and mayo–all tucked neatly inside a beautifully toasted sesame brioche bun. Want to know how good it is? I have a friend from Texas who swears this is the best burger he has ever had. Not bad, eh?
Hotel Valley Ho, 6850 E. Main Street, Scottsdale, AZ (Google Map)
An unscheduled stopover due to a missed flight connection led me to this gem. Meet the famous ZuZu Burger, a modern twist on our classic friend served in a chic, early 60s throwback setting (I swear you’ll think the Rat Pack will walk in at any moment). This ground fresh daily burger comes beautifully equipped with Virginia bacon, stewed onions and Maytag blue cheese… along with a dash of Mr. Bojangles–don’t get me started, babe.
528 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA (Google Map)
After one particular late night of Gaslamp district hopping and crowd dodging, I was famished. Thankfully, I stumbled across the Burger Lounge. Their Lounge Burger is something to behold. It starts with all-natural, grass-fed beef – no corn, no grain and no corporate feedlots – layered with crisp cold iceberg lettuce, real American cheddar cheese, and a delicious organic whole wheat bun made with a slight amount of unbleached white flour and blackstrap molasses. It all sounds so healthy, but at 2am, you’re just happy it’s still open.
1400 S Congress Avenue, Austin, TX (Google Map)
I have to admit that when I first began tracking my favorite burgers over the years, I expected to find my top one in the Lone Star State. And although top spots 1 to 4 went to California, Arizona and British Columbia, my number 5 best burger in North America does go to a popular Austin joint called Hopdoddy Burger Bar. Their all-natural Classic Burger is made from fresh beef grounded daily in-house, buns made from scratch (and baked twice everyday) and a wide selection of ice-cold craft beers served in large, frosty trophy glasses that you’ll find yourself admiring between sips. Hopdoddy.
Did your favorite burger not make my list? Post it under comments and I’ll be happy to put it to the test.
Rajan is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of BIG Marketing for Small Business. He's an award-winning marketing strategist who is passionate about branding, digital marketing and social media. He spent nearly a decade as the marketing executive at global IT firm Peer 1 Hosting and was instrumental in their explosive growth.