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A photo of Secret Burger By Emily Kan Photo thumbnail

These are Boston’s 9 Best Burgers to Try Now

Even with the wealth of cuisines in the Boston area, sometimes you just need a burger. Whether you crave it pared-back and classic, piled high with luxe ingredients like foie gras, or — wait for it — vegan, at these nine restaurants you’ll find a whole bevy of beautiful burgers.

A photo of Red logo
Nathan Tavares
9 Restaurants
Updated October 27, 2021
Restaurants:Moonshine 152, Alden and Harlow, Gather
Price Range:$$ - $$
Cuisines:American, Contemporary American
Neighborhoods:South Boston, West Cambridge, Seaport
A photo of Moonshine 152 restaurant

Moonshine 152

Price: Moderate
South Boston
1518 reviews

The accolades for chef Asia Mei’s house-made vegan tofu mushroom burger stack up almost as high as the burger itself, with multiple shout-outs in Boston magazine’s Best of Boston awards (including 2021), Eater Boston, and beyond — not to mention hungry diehard-fans of the spot with its creative comfort food. Mei honed the recipe for years, and each hand-packed patty is a triumph of silken tofu and wild mushrooms (whatever’s in season, with everything from maitake to cremini and shiitake), blended with fresh thyme, rosemary, and a super-secret eight-spice blend. The patty is topped with sharp cheddar, or you can go vegan and opt out. Either way, this burger is a beauty of tangy and rich flavors.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Alden and Harlow restaurant

Alden and Harlow

Price: Moderate
West Cambridge
4460 reviews

“Secret” is right there in the name, but no one can keep tight-lipped about Alden & Harlow’s secret burger after that first bite. Chef Michael Scelfo whips up an 8-ounce patty of smoked suet, navel, brisket, and short rib from Creekstone Farms. Topped on all that umami is a special sauce and clothbound cheddar frico, with house-made pickles, salted onions, and lettuce to add some bite. These toppings are all listed under the tongue-in-cheek descriptor of “your faith” on the menu, which means you should absolutely trust the chef (and critics, who’ve honored the burger and the restaurant since its 2014 opening) and just dive right in.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

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A photo of Gather restaurant


Price: Moderate
Contemporary American
1042 reviews

Why should carnivores cash in on all the burger fun? The house-made veggie burger at Gather — touted as the best Seaport restaurant by The Improper Bostonian magazine, among other accolades — packs a hearty bite, minus the meat. The dish sees a house-made patty of quinoa, rice, and beans topped with lettuce, tomato, and a house-made guacamole. The dish is also on the weekend brunch menu, which you should make reservations for as the spot gets hopping once the work week is done.

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Takeout available
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A photo of Hojoko restaurant


Price: Expensive
833 reviews

Hojoko, the “rock and roll” Japanese tavern owned by acclaimed restaurateurs Nancy and Tim Cushman, has snagged both best restaurant and best burger awards from Boston magazine. One bite of the rollicking wagyu burger and it’s easy to see why. The patty is a special house blend of heavily marbled American wagyu short rib and ground choice chuck, which gives it a decadent mouth-feel. Piled on top is American cheese along with dashi pickles and red onion, plus a house special sauce. And that sauce is a thing of umami beauty: It’s made with a dashi pickle relish — which owes its subtle smokiness to bonito flakes — that then gets added to a blend of ketchup, mustard, and Japanese Kewpie mayo. In the face of all that creativity, Hojoko knows when to go classic, by serving the burger on a Pepperidge Farm seeded bun you’d see at a family barbecue.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Little Donkey restaurant

Little Donkey

Price: Moderate
Tapas / Small Plates
2054 reviews

Leave it to a place called Little Donkey to craft a burger with a kick. It might just be the interplay of textures and high-low ingredients that steal the show for this dish, on the menu of the global small-plates spot owned by restaurateurs and James Beard Award-winning chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette. Where else can you find a dry-aged beef patty that’s topped with both foie gras and Zapp’s jalapeño potato chips? Rounding out the toppings are yellow American cheese, spicy pickles, and an onion soup mayo made with everyone’s favorite Lipton mix. It’s at once decadent and homey, an absolutely craveable bite.

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A photo of Mare restaurant


Price: Expensive
North End
2503 reviews

The North End, with its bounty of Italian joints and seafood, might not seem like the obvious choice for a stellar burger. But Mare’s wagyu burger makes waves, and proves why the snazzy spot has been dubbed one of the top 80 tables in the world by Condé Nast Traveler. This burger boasts a house-packed patty of wagyu beef topped with the alchemical combination of a red onion jam and black truffle aioli. The house-made red onion jam is a slightly sweet and tangy soiree of caramelized red onions and flavor-boosting vinegar, which cuts through the decadence of the house-made aioli that’s threaded with black truffle. Meanwhile, slivers of guanciale — bacon made from pork jowl — also supply some welcomed saltiness.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Bostonia Public House restaurant

Bostonia Public House

Price: Expensive
Contemporary American
Financial District
2730 reviews

The BPH surf n’ turf ultimate burger lures indecisive diners. Can’t decide if you want a burger or a seafood dish? How about you combine them both into one luxe bite at stalwart Bostonia Public House, a favorite near Quincy Market. Here, a grass-fed ground beef patty is the palette for the artistic additions of butter-poached lobster, bacon, American cheese, and the usual lettuce, tomato, and onions. Plus, the burger finds an extra zing thanks to a house spicy mayo made with serrano peppers, with extra sliced peppers piled on top. The masterpiece is served atop a pillow-y potato bun from local Fireking Baking Company out in Braintree.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

Experiences available
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A photo of 50Kitchen restaurant


Price: Moderate
Fusion / Eclectic
50 reviews

In homage to the mix of cultures in chef/owner Anthony Caldwell’s neighborhood of Dorchester, 50Kitchen’s menu fuses southern and Asian cuisines. The end result is a delicious duo that’s received shout-outs in The Boston Globe and elsewhere since the restaurant’s February 2020 opening, along with securing the chef a contestant slot in Chopped: Martha Rules last spring. Caldwell’s style is shown well in the salmon sliders — three house-made salmon patties and a zippy house-made basil pesto aioli.

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A photo of Craigie on Main restaurant

Craigie on Main

Price: Very Expensive
Contemporary French / American
3555 reviews

No roundup of the area’s best burgers would be complete without a shoutout to the Craigie on Main burger from the favorite French-American restaurant owned by award-winning chef and restaurateur Tony Maws. Food & Wine just named the juicy beauty the best burger in Massachusetts, with accolades closer to home rolling in from Eater Boston, Boston magazine, and more. The blue-ribbon burger is crafted from eight ounces of locally sourced, grass-fed beef that’s mixed with bone marrow and suet and ground in-house. The toppings are a study in seasonal simplicity: Just cheddar from Shelburne Farms in Vermont, a house-made and umami-rich ketchup, tomatoes if they’re in season, and lettuce and onion tossed in a vinaigrette made from burger drippings. Only a select few burgers are available each day, and given their legendary status (and luxe flavor), expect them to sell out.

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