You love burgers. You love burgers so much you salivate when simply reading about them. Every few years, New Times publishes a list of the best ones, the most outrageous ones, and the restaurants that serve them.
This year's lineup includes some of the city's mainstays plus some newer spots that impress.
Think of it as a comprehensive guide to the best burger joints in Miami for when you're craving a juicy patty, a cold beer, a milkshake, or the ultimate cheat night.
1. My Childhood Dream, Salty Donut Collab at Lokal. Dubbed "My Childhood Dream," Lokal owner Matthew Kuscher's doughnut burger has had a face-lift: The Salty Donut now supplies the "bun." Miami's first artisanal doughnut shop delivers a couple dozen doughnuts to Lokal three to four times a week. Lokal's burger, topped with cheese and an egg, is served between two Salty Donut halves ($15). It's a childhood dream that's meant for adults to enjoy. 3190 Commodore Plaza, Coconut Grove; 305-442-3377; lokalmiami.com.
2. Dry-aged cheeseburger at Blue Collar. This burger has it all, from a prime dry-aged New York strip patty to classic melted cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion toppings. It's served on a not-so-classic Portuguese muffin, but that somehow makes the American staple even better. The muffin is able to absorb all the juice, so there's no issue with shoving this baby full force into your mouth ($17). 6730 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-756-0366; bluecollarmiami.com.
3. Say Hello to My Little Burger at 109 Burger Joint. Call this a love song to Miami between two buns. A certified 100 percent Angus beef patty is topped with Swiss cheese, ham croquetas, sliced roast pork, and Dijon mayo. The entire delicious mess is served on a bed of fried sweet plantains between toasted Cuban bread slices ($15). The only way this could be more Miami is if you fried a flamingo and stuck it in there. 646 SW 109th Ave., Sweetwater; 305-228-0109; facebook.com/109burgerjoint.
4. Cuban burger at Vega's Burger Bar. All neighborhoods need a place for beer and burgers, and for North Miami, Vega's Burger Bar is it. A solid pick is the classic burger — an eight-ounce blend of freshly ground steak served on a fluffy bun. It comes with a pickle and house-made coleslaw or hand-cut fries tossed in sea salt. But you're in the 305, so go for the signature Cuban — a combination of ground beef, ground pork, and ground chorizo served with sautéed onions and potato sticks ($9.50). 1699 NE 123rd St., North Miami; 305-891-0055; vegasburgerbar.com.
5. The Tap 79 Burger at Tap 79. This comfortable little gastropub on NE 79th Street offers one of the best burger deals in town. The patty, cooked to order and topped with a slab of bacon and a generous dollop of mature cheddar, is served with a heap of crisp shoestring fries. It's well priced at $14, but Sundays and Mondays, the burger costs only ten bucks, which is sort of like getting your craft beer for (almost) free. 1071 NE 79th St., Miami; 305-381-0946; tap79miami.com.
6. K Ramen burger at K Ramen.Burger.Beer. K Ramen's signature burger is worth the indulgence (and the decision to go burger over ramen). The half-pound, double-patty sandwich is more than enough for two to share. It arrives stacked high, layered with caramelized onion, tomato, two slices of American cheese, and a generous slathering of the restaurant's spicy cream sauce ($17). Add avocado or a fried egg for extra flavor, and snag a side order of crispy tots. 150 20th St., Miami Beach; 305-534-7895; sbe.com/restaurants/locations/k-ram.
7. Outside Is In at JR's Gourmet Burgers. In February 2017, JR's Gourmet Burgers received the best news a burger restaurant can be given: It was declared the people's choice at Burger Bash during the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. It's easy to see why people love this Miami Springs standby that offers hand-pressed Angus beef patties matched with some pretty creative toppings. Of the ten burgers on the menu, a top pick remains the Outside Is In — a massive, juicy charred-beef patty stuffed with bits of bacon and oozing cheese — served on a cornmeal-crusted bun that adds the perfect texture. A third-pounder costs $7.50, and a half-pounder runs $8.75. 7 Westward Dr., Miami Springs; 786-360-5347; jrsburgers.com.
8. Pincho burger at Pincho Factory. Of the eight burgers on the restaurant's permanent roster, go for the eponymous Pincho ($6.99), a savory patty on a dense brioche bun layered with melted cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, a house-made secret pink "flamingo" sauce, and julienned potatoes fried fresh for a satisfying crunch, much like the ones found on the best fritas in Miami. Various locations; pinchofactory.com.
9. The Prohibition Burger at Tap 42. There's nothing quite like a large pub burger that arrives so big you wonder how you'll wrap your mouth around it. Tap 42's Prohibition burger ($14.50) arrives a towering mass of beef, applewood-smoked bacon, white cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and purple onions. It's smeared with Dijonnaise and special sauce and comes with herbed fries. Go ahead and cut it in half — there are no judgments in burger land. 3252 NE First Ave., Miami; 786-864-0194, and other locations; tap42.com.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
10. Various burgers at Cheeseburger Baby. Some burgers are perfect after you've had too many drinks, and that's where 15-year veteran Cheeseburger Baby comes in. The eatery specializes in the late-night, don't-care-about-calories variety. If you're looking for a burger fix and don't want to battle the South Beach crowds, there's also a location in Little River at 212 NE 79th St. The menu lists Cheeseburger Baby's famous half-pound burgers and cheeseburgers, topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, choice of cheese, and chopped pickles on a house-made bun. Turkey and veggie versions are also available, and extras include bacon, chili, jalapeños, grilled onions, green peppers, grilled mushrooms, avocados, fried eggs, blue cheese, honey mustard, honey barbecue sauce, Buffalo sauce, and ranch sauce. Chef/owner Stephanie Vitori's two-and-a-half-ounce Baby burgers cost $5 for a pair and are also available in turkey and veggie varieties. 1505 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-531-7300; cheeseburgerbaby.net.
If you love burgers, get ready for New Times' Burgerfest — a celebration of everyone's favorite sandwich — Saturday, July 7, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Soho Studios. General-admission early-bird tickets cost $30 and include unlimited burger samples, live entertainment, and access to cash bars offering beer and cocktails. VIP early-bird tickets cost $55 and include unlimited burger samples, early entry at 5 p.m., a welcome gift, entertainment, and access to an exclusive VIP area with additional restaurants and unlimited spirits.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit newtimesburgerfest.com.