When you think “fine dining,” burgers aren’t exactly the first thing to come to mind. And while you wouldn’t necessarily go to these fancy pants places exclusively for the humble sandwich, it doesn’t mean you should ignore it. If you do, you’re definitely missing out.
Boca Burger, $25
Leave it to Boca to up the ante on its burger with nothing more than a simple yet tangy “sauce maison” (because ketchup just won’t do here) and a darn-near-artisanal American cheese. The restaurant prefers to let this juicy patty speak for itself. We hear it loud and clear. 114 E. Sixth St., downtown, (513) 542-2022
JR Double Burger, $22
Made with two four-ounce patties from Avril-Bleh Meat Market, the “JR Double Burger” at Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse is a steak in burger form. American cheese, pickle relish, lettuce, bacon, and red onion are piled high and slathered with Duke’s mayonnaise. And like everything at a Ruby establishment, this burger is larger than life. 700 Walnut St., downtown, (513) 784-1200
Sakura Farms Burger, $17
The Sakura Farms Burger at Khora is made of Wagyu beef from the area’s foremost producer of that cut of meat. The marbled delicacy is made even more “melt in your mouth” delicious when it’s topped with sherry onions, triple cream brie, and the restaurant’s special bone marrow mayo. 37 W. Seventh St., downtown, (513) 977-2800
Salazar’s burger is probably the plainest thing on its menu, but the sandwich is a gem among gems. With a cooked-to-perfection patty, the soft “Kaiser Jose” bun and toppings (aged cheddar cheese, bacon, and tomato) don’t have to shout to make this burger shine. Don’t forget to add a farm egg for a little razzle dazzle. 1401 Republic St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 621-7000