28 Burgers We Love

We scoured Greater Cincinnati for our new favorite burgers and came up with this list of perfect patties from every region.

We scoured Greater Cincinnati for our new favorite burgers and came up with this list of perfect patties from every region.


NORTH

The Anthony Muñoz Legendary.

Photograph by Andrew Doench / Food styling by Katy Doench

ANTHONY MUÑOZ LEGENDARY

For a delicious way to support a local charity, look no further than the Anthony Muñoz Legendary at Sammy’s Craft Burgers & Beers. A portion of the proceeds from this monster goes to the Anthony Muñoz Foundation. The beef-chorizo blend and melted pepper jack bring the heat, the creamy guac cools things down, and the bacon adds a little crunch for a burger worthy of a local legend. Generosity never tasted so good. 4767 Creek Rd., Blue Ash, (513) 745-9484

Sammy’s Craft Burgers & Beers.

Photograph by Andrew Doench

LE ALPINE

The Le Alpine burger at Deerfield Towne Center’s Frenchie Fresh Burger Bar offers fine dining ingredients and techniques without the sky-high price tag. With a fluffy brioche bun that’s a study in softness, this tender, juicy beef burger is topped with Swiss cheese, caramelized onion, and an umami-packed mushroom demi-glace. Since the toppings are as delicate as the meat itself, there is nothing stopping this sandwich from melting in your mouth like butter. And that’s definitely OK with us. 5595 Deerfield Blvd., Mason, (513) 486-1017

Illustration by Emi Villavicencio

PB & BACON

Burgers at Lucky Dog Grille in Mason can get quite unorthodox. Case in point: the PB & Bacon Burger, which is every bit as decadent as it sounds. It’s a 1/3-pound steak burger topped with American cheese, sautéed onion, brown sugar bacon, and creamy peanut butter, all served on a pretzel bun. Like a sticky symphony, this burger blends sweet, salty, and savory flavors with crunchy and creamy textures, hitting all the right notes. 729 Reading Rd., Mason, (513) 204-5825

SUKI JANE

For a succulent taste of Dixie, head to Bones’ Burgers in Montgomery and order The Suki Jane. This Southern Belle of a burger (which was inspired by Bones’s mother) is topped with creamy pimento cheese and a thick fried green tomato. This tasty tandem of toppings, while rich, doesn’t outshine the star of the show: the fresh, local, grass-fed beef still takes center stage. Only now it sings with a twang. 9721 Montgomery Rd., Montgomery, (513) 407-2939


WEST

DRUNKEN BOURBON BURGER

To truly enjoy this Wishbone Tavern burger (and you’ll want to), the trick is to not shy away from getting a little messy. Bite into this towering treat layered with provolone cheese, bacon, crispy onion rings, toasted sesame seeds, and a bourbon sriracha sauce that adds a sweet but spicy kick (and you’ll likely find some on your shirt later). Fortunately, you’ll be tucked away in a strip mall on the west side, so any judgment on shamelessly enjoying your meal will likely be kept to a minimum. 5251 Delhi Ave., Delhi, (513) 834-8607

Friendly Stop’s Adam’s Double Deluxe with a side of onion rings.

Photograph by Andrew Doench / Food styling by Katy Doench

FRESH ROASTED GARLIC BURGER

Friendly Stop may be a low-key neighborhood bar and grill reminiscent of the show Cheers, but it serves a burger topped with roasted garlic cloves that is so good the lack of atmospheric frills shouldn’t prevent the more pretentious among us from paying a visit. A classic, juicy, well-seasoned patty is topped with a layer of aromatic roasted garlic cloves, mayo, lettuce, and tomato. The end result: one perfectly creamy and pungent bite of burger after another. 985 Congress Ave., Glendale, (513) 771-7427

THE HOUSE BURGER

Visit the iconic Incline Public House on a clear day for its stunning panoramic view of the city; stay for its classic house burger. A whopper (we’re talking wide and thick) of a perfectly cooked-to-order Black Angus beef patty, thick-cut bacon, melty cheddar cheese, crispy onions, and your usual greens and tomato are all sandwiched between a soft but sturdy brioche bun. Fries, an expansive seasonal drink menu, and that stellar view help you wash it all down. 2601 W. Eighth St., Price Hill, (513) 251-3000

THE ROYALE

Don’t let the $14 price tag scare you away. Tela Bar + Kitchen’s smashed patty burger truly tastes like it was made for royalty. Two Angus reserve beef patties are flattened, grilled, and served with your choice of cheese, sauce, and run of the garden. It all sits on a Sixteen Bricks sesame seed bun worth eating on its own. You can’t go wrong with the fixings, but let us mouthwateringly reminisce on our choice of melted sharp cheddar, beer mustard aioli, Bibb lettuce, housemade dill pickles, and caramelized onions. 1212 Springfield Pike, Wyoming, (513) 821-8352

WHO-DEY BURGER

We wish it weren’t so, but business partners Phil Marston’s and Gary Brock’s Who-Dey Burger at Chandler’s Burger Bistro is much more exciting than its namesake team. A 100 percent USDA chuck beef patty from Bridgetown Finer Meats and Applewood smoked bacon are spiced up with ghost pepper cheese, a Cajun sriracha blend, and a layer of gouda cheese bites. If it sounds indulgent, you’re right, but it’s the perfect comfort to remedy another game day loss. 6135 Cleves Warsaw Pike, Delhi, (513) 941-0823


EAST

THE BIG BURGER

After working up an appetite on the lanes of Oakley’s Madison Bowl, head over to the grill and order The Big Burger. Made with half a pound of griddled ground beef, this burger is topped with fresh-sliced veggies (and beer cheese and/or bacon, if you dare), and served on a brioche bun. It’s a simple burger—no bells and whistles—in a throwback diner environment, but this real good burger is sure to bowl you over. 4761 Madison Rd., Oakley, (513) 271-1270

Local Post’s falafel burger.

Photograph by Andrew Doench / Food styling by Katy Doench

EAST END BURGER

Housed in an old East End post office, Local Post has your hamburger needs covered with a handful of creative choices. Our favorite is the East End Burger, a sizable patty with American cheese, tomato, lettuce, red onions, and crispy bacon, topped with a full fried kosher dill pickle and served up on sturdy, garlic aioli-smeared challah. A first-class burger with classic ingredients and a bit of fun (and tons of flavor), this one is definitely something to write home about. 3923 Eastern Ave., East End, (513) 371-5858

Local Post’s outdoor patio area.

Photograph by Andrew Doench

EL JEFE

Delwood, a Latin-infused Mt. Lookout gastropub, takes bar fare up a notch with the delightfully expressive El Jefe double burger (formerly known as the Delwood Double). Billed as “a taste of Peru,” this burger serves up two patties topped with avocado, salsa criolla (pickled red onions, serrano chiles, and lime juice), and a creamy Peruvian huancaina sauce, delivered on a toasted potato bun. The El Jefe mixes adventurous flavors with classic comfort for a memorable burger experience. 3204 Linwood Ave., Mt. Lookout., (513) 260-9580

FILET MIGNON BURGER

Owners Tom and Marc Kunkemoeller have kept the quirky vibe from the original Turf Club, but more importantly, they’ve kept the burgers stacked. Treat yourself to the Filet Mignon Burger, made with a ground half-pound of the good stuff, and choose from a wide variety of menu items to pile your burger as high as you can handle. Our favorite? The roasted red peppers and mozzarella, a cheesy, savory burger that mashes up Italian flavors with good ol’ pub grub in the best way possible. 4618 Eastern Ave., Linwood, (513) 533-4222

ZIPBURGER

Diners have eagerly squeezed into Zip’s Café on Mt. Lookout Square since 1926. That’s partly because of the Zipburger. With beef from local butcher Avril-Bleh & Sons (seasoned and hand-formed into patties, no less), the burger is flame-broiled to perfection and served on toasted honey-egg buns from Klosterman, topped with fresh veggies (standard stuff—onions, lettuce, tomatoes), and condiments. It’s like a backyard burger done just right, but the secret ingredient is its long local history. 1036 Delta Ave., Mt. Lookout, (513) 871-9876


DOWNTOWN

CRG BURGER

A palate that favors the briny bite of pickles is a must for Crown Republic Gastropub’s CRG Burger. In addition to the American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion, this behemoth of a double patty burger is topped with a healthy amount of malt pickles and pickle aioli. Fortunately, all of that pickle juice and the slightly vinegar-y aioli elevates the burger and doesn’t overpower its flavor. That would be a dill breaker. 720 Sycamore St., downtown, (513) 246-4272

DIRTY FRENCH

We would describe Sacred Beast’s Dirty French as what would happen if a cheeseburger and French onion soup had a baby. Available as a single patty or a double, this burger is stacked with caramelized onions and Gruyère cheese on a Blue Oven Bakery bun. The au poivre steak sauce and creamy Mornay sauce balance each other out quite nicely for a smooth flavor you’ll remember long after you’ve licked your plate clean. 1437 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 213-2864

The macaroni-and-cheese filled Greg Brady from Jack Brown’s.

Photograph by Andrew Doench / Food styling by Katy Doench

GONZO

The Dr. Gonzo at Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint was a surprise chain addition (there are 14 other locations in Tennessee, Virginia, Alabama, and North Carolina) to a list chock-full of burgers from local joints. It’s just that good. Topped with sautéed mushrooms, Guinness fried onions, Applewood smoked bacon, and Swiss cheese, this burger hits the right notes that you’d expect from a sandwich at your favorite independently owned hole in the wall. See? New chains ain’t that bad. 1207 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 873-8288

HOLLYWOOD COLE

Is this burger really named after an old Drake lyric from a diss track? Or an homage to the entertainment industry? Does it matter? Either way, drama never tasted so good. Like everything else Senate does, the Hollywood Cole is fairly straightforward—an 8-ounce cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato. There’s plenty of flavor, courtesy of the grilled onions and the In-N-Out-ish west coast burger sauce. Throw it all on a nicely toasted bun and your taste buds will want an encore. 1212 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 421-2020

NATION BURGER

There’s a reason why parents like to name their first-born children after themselves. And it’s clear that Nation Kitchen & Bar knows the significance of this by placing its eponymous burger first on the menu. This brisket blend burger is covered in smoked cheddar, whiskey barbecue sauce and horseradish aioli, and topped with onion straws on a challah bun. It’s a smoky, tangy chunk of a burger worthy of its name. 1200 Broadway St., Pendleton, (513) 381-3794

TOB BURGER

We admit it: Taste of Belgium isn’t typically where you’d go for burgers. After all, the place made its name on its Belgian waffles. With that said, you absolutely shouldn’t ignore the TOB Burger. Goat cheese and caramelized apples give the patty (made from a blend of short rib, brisket, and chuck) and accompanying bacon a sweet and salty bite that just might have you asking, “What waffle?” 1135 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 396-5800


CENTRAL

GAS LIGHT BURGER

The half-pound signature cheeseburger at The Gas Light Café is a straightforward heaping helping of flavor; even though lots of places serve a half-pound burger, this one seems way bigger. Definitely a two-hander. The Patty Melt is a delicious change of pace, served with grilled onions and two kinds of cheese on grilled rye bread. Make an evening of it and spend some time after dinner looking through the bins at Everybody’s Records next door. 6104 Montgomery Rd., Pleasant Ridge, (513) 631-6977

GORDO’S BURGER

Quite a few generations of Xavier students and Norwood families have mingled inside the venerable Gordo’s Pub and Grill, downing more than a few half-pound burgers resembling cannonballs. The signature Gordo’s Burger is topped with roasted poblano peppers, mushrooms, onions, smoked bacon, and Boursin cheese and will tingle your tongue, create a huge mess, and put you to sleep with a food coma. The house steak fries are a perfect complement but try the steamed broccoli—not a lot of burger places offer a healthy side. 4328 Montgomery Rd., Norwood, (513) 351-1999

HOE BURGER

Just a block from the University of Cincinnati campus, breakfast/lunch spot Hangover Easy is usually jammed with college students seeking help with physical, mental, or spiritual hangovers, but non-students will find relief here as well. A good place to start is the HOE Burger, a fresh ground beef patty with red onion jam, cheese spread, bacon, and bacon aioli that’s topped by an egg done any way you want. A little breakfast and a little lunch, served with a plate of seasoned fries—it’ll keep you going all day. 13 W. Charlton St., Corryville, (513) 221-5400

NG BURGER

Nine Giant Brewing makes quite an impression with its eclectic food menu, offering tasty items—tomato bisque, Brussels sprouts, lobster mac and cheese—you normally don’t find in a brewpub. One of those items is the signature NG Burger, a grass-fed beef patty, topped with caramelized onion, housemade pickles, and “secret sauce.” Don’t forget to include growlers and crowlers of their fresh-brewed beers on your carryout order to top it off. 6095 Montgomery Rd., Pleasant Ridge, (513) 366-4550


NORTHERN KENTUCKY

BISON BURGER

OK, so we’re going off-script with this one. The Elusive Cow in Bellevue gets its bison from Eckerlin’s (which also provides the beef for its regular burgers), but of course, owner Jim Fisher puts his own special spin on things. With a super lean meat like bison, you might expect a dried-out puck, but Fisher’s proprietary kitchen magic works because the burger is tender and juicy (make sure you order a step down in doneness—medium is plenty well-done here). We’re also fans of the housemade kale salad with apples and onions and a sweet housemade dressing. 519 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue, (859) 291-0269

FARMER’S DAUGHTER

Amy and Dean Arvin, who also own Hebron Brew Haus, opened City Goat in 2018. Don’t be afraid of the “Baaaad Ass Burgers”—the double deckers, made with two quarter-pound patties, have crispy edges that come from a good pressing on a flat-top grill. The Farmer’s Daughter adds a fried egg and jalapeño cream cheese on top of the typical onion/tomato/lettuce trifecta, giving you a little sweet and a little heat. 715 Madison Ave., Covington, (859) 279-3533

THE GRUFF BOY

You do not need to know The Gruff’s house burger is an homage to a Frisch’s burger to enjoy it. The generous, lightly seasoned Prime Angus beef patty arrives on a toasted bun, a key step that makes all buns better, especially when the bun in question is brioche. There’s a bed of arugula, and the beef is topped with a bright housemade tartar sauce that’s more dill than pickle and more light than gloppy. Of course, you’ll get it with cheddar, because why not? And don’t sleep on the crunchy housemade pickles. 129 E. Second St., Covington, (859) 581-0040

ROCKEFELLER

This gourmet burger from Mad Mike’s Burgers & Fries can definitely be described as rich. The first thing you notice is the thickly sweet mango chutney, balanced by the earthy flavor of the blue cheese. Onion straws add a little salty crunch, while the cilantro mayo offers a fresh tang. It’s a double, with two stacked quarter-pound patties on a sturdy grilled bun, but it doesn’t feel like too much of a handful. Not your preferred flavor profile? You’re free to build your own dream burger from the extensive list of toppings. Locations in Newport, Florence, and Hamilton.  

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