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 the city's mainstays plus 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.
109 Burger Joint646 SW 109th Ave., Sweetwater
This Sweetwater restaurant is all about experimentation. Take, for instance, the Colombian Voyage, a beef patty blended with chorizo and stacked with chicharrones, a fried egg, and cilantro sauce nestled inside an arepa de choclo ($14). There's also the Nica, a beef burger with fried Nicaraguan cheese and coleslaw, jalapeño cream sauce, and sweet plantains ($14); and the Mex109, topped with jalapeño cheddar jack cheese, pico de gallo, and homemade guacamole ($13). For the ultimate experience, seek out the elusive Knausberry, which uses a Knaus Berry Farm cinnamon roll as a bun — available on a limited basis.
Ariete3540 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove
Chef Michael Beltran masters the art of hamburger-making while paying homage to his Cuban heritage with this double patty topped with American cheese, bread-and-butter pickles, and a secret sauce. Served with fries on the side, the Chug burger sells for $17 at dinnertime but just $10 during happy hour, 4 to 7 p.m. daily.
Blue Collar6730 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
This burger has it all, from a prime dry-aged New York strip patty to classic melted cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion. It's served on a not-so-classic Portuguese muffin, but that somehow makes the American staple even better. The muffin absorbs all the juice, so there's no dribbling when shoving this baby full force into your mouth ($17).
Cheeseburger Baby1505 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
Some burgers are perfect after you've had too many drinks. That's where Cheeseburger Baby comes in. The joint specializes in the late-night, don't-care-about-calories variety. Try the famous half-pound burger or cheeseburger, 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, and sauces such as honey barbecue, Buffalo, and ranch. 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.
JR's Gourmet Burgers7 Westward Dr., Miami Springs
In February 2017, JR's Gourmet Burgers received the best news a burger restaurant can get: 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 with 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.
Le Tub1100 N. Ocean Blvd., Hollywood
If you're craving the burger touted by GQ and Oprah as best in the land, you'll have to travel a few miles north to Hollywood Beach. There, you'll find South Florida's quintessential dive bar, replete with planters fashioned from old toilets, license plates, and a killer view of the Intracoastal Waterway. The burgers here are massive. Made from beef ground in-house daily, the thick patty is crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside. Each burger ($12) sports a poppyseed bun and, for 50 cents or $1 more, a gleaming square of American or Swiss cheese. Fries, an obvious add-on to your burger and beer, are cooked in peanut oil and arrive supercrisp ($4 to $5). Wash everything down with cheap cold beer, and you've got the best meal in town.
Lokal3190 Commodore Plaza, Miami
You can't go wrong with any burger on Lokal's menu. Owner Matthew Kuscher's Coconut Grove burger shop uses only Florida grass-fed beef that's hand-ground daily. If you're looking for something extra, order the My Childhood Dream. The signature burger is topped with cheese and an egg and arrived between two glazed doughnut halves ($15). It's a childhood dream that's meant for adults to enjoy.
Of the eight burgers on the restaurant's permanent roster, go for the eponymous Pincho ($7.99). The savory patty on a dense brioche bun is topped with melted cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, a house-made secret sauce, and julienned potatoes, fried fresh for a satisfying crunch, much like the ones found on the best fritas in Miami.
USBS Pop-Up at Boxelder2817 NW Second Ave., Miami
This no-frills burger has become wildly popular since married chefs Mike Mayta and Keily Vasquez began serving it in their United States Burger Service (USBS) pop-up in Wynwood last year. Fresh off the grill, the signature single "ground" and the "two-day" double meat patty are priced at $6 and $8. The burger is topped with the chefs' blend of two kinds of melted cheese — spiked with a pinch of salt and mustard seed — and served on a bun that's a cross between a Parker House roll and potato bread. For $3.50 more, add a portion of thick-cut fries.
Vega's Burger Bar1699 NE 123rd St., North Miami
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, pork, and chorizo served with sautéed onions and potato sticks ($9.50).
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