December 5, 2012

Six Great Hamburgers in Philadelphia

The hamburger is one of the most hotly-contested food categories in cities across America. After reading Food & Wine's new list of the Best Burgers in America, and feeling disappointed that none from Philadelphia made the list, we decided to share just a few (there are many!) of the awesome burgers we've had recently right here in Philly, but didn't get to write about yet. Some are well known, others less so, but perhaps you'll find one you haven't tried before...

Joe Spuds Food Truck - Why eat your fries separately when you can eat them in the burger? Bradd inhaled this burger off the street without a single complaint. Solid option for a quick lunch-on-the-go. We found Joe Spuds at 33rd & Arch on Drexel's campus but follow JoeSpuds1 on Twitter for exact daily locations.

Joe Spuds classic cheeseburger

Lucky Old Souls Food Truck - I was really blown away by the surprisingly large, juicy L.O.S. Burger with housemade bacon, smoked cheddar, pickled tomatoes, sauteed onions and special sauce. I had it back during summer, and it was worth the 9 minute wait in 99 degree heat. Look at the cheese in this photo stretched between the bun and the wrapper. Yum-o.

L.O.S. Burger

A disclosure on the next four... I tried them all this fall at a Beaujolais & Burgers tasting event, hosted at Alfa/Walnut Room by Georges Duboeuf wines. For more on Beaujolais wines and what to pair them with, check out The Drink Nation's recap. They were all good but I won't even pretend to be a wine expert. Back to the burgers...

500 Degrees - The Humpty Dumpty Burger at 500 Degrees comes with arugula, sunny side up egg, potato crisp and braised bacon. It clearly stood out as the best of the night. One bite breaks the egg on top, making it totally messy but absolutely delicious. 500 is open late-night to feed your weekend cravings.

Humpty Dumpty Burger

Alfa - The Route 66 burger at Alfa, with pickles, cheddar and house sauce, is another solid burger. I don't normally choose to put pickles on my burgers but with this one, it works. The brioche bun was also good - a key ingredient to any good burger. Also a fan of the tater tots at Alfa, which are super cheap at happy hour. Update: Alfa closed at the end of 2013. Still waiting to see what takes it's place or where the chef goes. That was a good burger. 

Route 66 Burger

Spiga - We've eaten at Spiga twice and both times the food was hit-and-miss. We were never drawn to ordering a burger, given the other Italian-focused menu options, but when I tried it at the Beaujolais event I was very impressed. The Angus beef burger is topped with herbed goat cheese, onion mostarda, Applewood bacon and spinach, creating a really juicy and flavorful bite. Update: Spiga closed too. Not shocking given our experiences at the restaurant - it just wasn't unique and seemed disjointed - but too bad cause I really liked this burger too. 

Spiga Burger

Rouge - The Rouge Burger with caramelized onion and gruyere cheese has been up on a pedestal for a long time, partly due to it's flavor but also because - at $16 - it was one of the first high-end burgers in town. Now they seem to be everywhere and giving Rouge a real run for it's money. Admittedly, of all the burgers in this post, the Rouge burger is my least favorite. (please don't blacklist me from Rittenhouse Square now... but it's the truth!)
Rouge Burger

Back to the Food & Wine list for a sec, we have had burgers at Gott's Roadside in Napa Valley and just recently The Spotted Pig in NYC, and they were fantastic. And yes, Philly has a Shake Shack and their burgers are great, too. So many burgers, so little time!


Robin Shreeves said...

I've said often that I could probably be a vegetarian if it wasn't for burgers. My favorites in Philly are from Village Whiskey and Monks. I recently had the burger at Dandelion, too, and it was very good.

I haven't tried any of the burgers you have on your list, but now I have a list of burgers to try in 2013.

Have you had the burgers at PYT yet? I have a Living Social voucher to them but haven't used it yet.

Albert said...

SPTR & Royal Tavern are my faves in town.

Kristy said...

There are just way too many good burgers NOT to indulge. Wanted to share the ones above since you don't hear as much about some of them.

Village Whiskey, PYT and Monks all great too. Haven't tried Dandelion's yet - or SPTR or Royal, which I know, I know, is like a local sin. We'll get there!

Steph (burger club PHL) said...

gotta try Hickory Lane

Unknown said...

still kills me that i didn't get to make it to that burger event!!

hopefully i can make it to joe spuds soon!