"I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today," said Popeye's pal Wimpy. He was clearly the smarter of the pair.
Burgers these days can be made from anything -- lamb, turkey, pork, tuna, vegetables, ostrich. But as most will agree, the best ones are the classic. Give us a good-size hunk of beef, charred on the outside, pink on the inside, seasoned with salt and pepper, and we're in beefy heaven.
10. Shake Shack
Danny Meyer started the burger chain Shake Shack in New York, where gigantic lines form daily at lunchtime. Though Miami isn't as obsessed, you'll still likely have to wait a few minutes during peak hours. So what? Where else can you get hormone-free Black Angus beef for $3.75 ($4.25 with cheese)? Some critics complain the burgers are small, but we say that's to make room for cheese fries ($3.70) and a shake ($5.15).
9. Sakaya Kitchen
Richard Hales is on his way to an Asian-fusion empire with Sakaya Kitchen, and his bulgogi burger just might be the catalyst for world domination. Basically a bacon cheeseburger with a twist, this patty is infused with classic Asian flavors and then gets topped with tater tots, spicy cheese sauce, and fresh pickles. For $6.99, that's a lot of burger to bite.
8. Latin Burger and Taco
What's black and pink and all over Miami? Jim Heins's Latin Burger and Taco truck. The flagship item is the Latin macho burger ($8), a half-pound of freshly ground chorizo, chuck, and sirloin topped with Oaxaca cheese and caramelized onions. Try to eat one without getting it all over your shirt. We say just wear some old clothes and go for it!
7. Blue Collar
Though recently opened, Blue Collar already feels like home. The small restaurant is a throwback to greasy spoons of the '50s. Owner/chef Danny steps away from the grill to greet patrons, and the food is hearty and simple, with lots of specials on a chalkboard. The "real juicy cheeseburger" eats like the best diner burger you've dreamed about but never quite tasted. It's juicy, topped with lots of cheese, and garnished with tomato, onion, and lettuce. It comes with fries for $12. Ask for extra napkins is all we're saying.
6. Serendipity 3
The original Serendipity 3 in New York City is famous for celebrity sightings. Andy Warhol, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, and Katie Holmes have all frequented this quirky Upper East Side ice-cream and burger palace. The recently opened Lincoln Road location's South Beach burger ($15) is as quirky as the shop -- the patty is thick and charred on the outside, pink on the inside, with lots of meaty, minerally flavors. Topped with cheese, spiced pickles, and chimichurri sauce (guess that's the SoBe part of it), it's the surprise sleeper of this list.
5. Dune Oceanfront Burger Lounge
When the world stresses us out, we take a minibreak at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne. This locals-friendly resort on one of the nicest beaches in South Florida serves great burgers with a view. Settle into one of the cozy outdoor chaise lounges and order a burger from the extensive menu, including everything from a classic with cheese and bacon ($16) to an ahi tuna burger ($24) to Kobe beef sliders with foie gras ($28). Smell the sea air as you slowly enjoy your burger. Pricey? A little, but what the hell. You're on vacation (at least for today).
This Coconut Grove beer and brew spot serves burgers made from Florida grass-fed beef from White Ranch in
Ocala. They're free of hormones and
antibiotics, but what we like most is that they taste so damn good. There are dozens of burgers to choose from (including a weird but tasty veggie version made from beets), but we go for the namesake Lokal ($12), served with Florida tomatoes, avocados, lettuce, red onions, jack cheese, and homemade honey mustard on a branded bun. Burgers are served with regular or sweet-potato fries (hint: get a half-and-half portion), and there are a bunch of semilocal beers offered that pair well with the meat.
3. Bourbon Steak
Grab a seat at the oversize bar at Bourbon Steak inside the Turnberry Isle Resort and let your attentive barkeep know you're interested in a burger. You'll soon be handed a form and a pencil. Here's how it works: Start with your choice of protein -- lamb ($19), heritage turkey ($15), vegetarian ($14), or all-beef ($18). We prefer the beef for obvious reasons. Then tick off choice of doneness; toppings such as bacon ($4), avocado ($4), or seared foie gras ($21); and sides (you know you want the duck-fat fries for an extra $5). Wash your perfect burger down with a Jim Beam-spiked milkshake ($11) and be glad the favorite foods of your childhood, like you, have matured into something amazing.
2. Burger & Beer Joint
Who doesn't love a burger joint that names its burgers after famous songs? Burger & Beer Joint also offers thousands of ways to customize your burger (feel free to name it after whatever you wish). We love the slight bad-boy/anything-can-happen vibe, the cold beers, and the fact that you can get a burger till late. Constantly winning award after award, this burger took top prize at this year's Burger Beast Burgies. We love the Hotel California ($14), made with certified Angus beef, ranchero salsa, guacamole, grilled
red onion, cilantro sour cream, sharp cheddar, and a sunny-side-up fried egg. If you're really hungry, try the Mother Burger ($125), a ten-pounder that was featured on Man vs. Food.
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1. DB Bistro Moderne
The DB Burger is rich and decadent. Created by master chef Daniel Boulud in 2001, it could be considered the burger lover's Everest. Why eat it? Because it's there. This masterpiece is sirloin stuffed with wine-braised short ribs, foie gras, a mirepoix of root vegetables, and preserved black truffles. The homemade bun is brushed with horseradish and oven-roasted tomato confit before red onions and frisée lettuce are added. This burger doesn't come cheap. It's $32, but go large and order the "royale," which comes with fresh black truffle for $75. Still not enough? Break the bank with the "double truffle." Double the truffle, double the dollar at $150. That's a burger for the 1 percent.