2015 Best Burgers: Honorable Mentions

Did we leave your favorite burger joint off our <a href="http://www.cincinnatimagazine.com/forkopolisblog/the-45-best-burgers-in-the-queen-city/">list</a> ? Stop sharpening your pitchforks. Here are 20 extra spots we just can’t quit.

Bistro Grace, Grace Burger, $12
(2010 Rank: Not Ranked)
You can tell by the fontina cheese and bourbon shallots that they’re trying, but this cozy neighborhood spot deserves a better burger. 4034 Hamilton Ave., Northside, (513) 541-9600, bistrograce.com

Flipdaddy’s, Embellish the Relish Burger, $10.99
(2010 Ranking: Not Ranked)
Softball teams, friends, and families pack this popular local chain. 7453 Wooster Pike, Mariemont, (513) 272-BEER; 12071 Mason Montgomery Rd., Symmes Township, (513) 677-BEER; 8863 U.S. Route 42, Union, KY, (859) 371-BEER; flipdaddys.com

Friendly Stop, CD, $5.59
(2010 ranking: 16)
Upgrade from the baseline burger to the spicy black peppercorn version if you’re feeling fancy. And ladies: Don’t leave without checking out the hilarious bathroom, which is wallpapered in teen heartthrob photos. 985 Congress Ave., Glendale, (513) 771-7427 friendlystop.com

Greyhound Tavern, The Original Biggie, $8.75
(2010 Rank: Not Ranked)
If you must order a burger here, this homage to the Big Boy is the one. But you should really get the fried chicken. 2500 Dixie Hwy., Ft. Mitchell, (859) 331-3767, greyhoundtavern.com

Keystone Bar & Grill, Original Burger, $9.50 + $3.50 for bacon
(2010 Rank: Not Ranked)
Pour on Keystone’s BBQ sauce for an extra kick. 313 Greenup St., Covington, (859) 261-6777 keystonebar.com

Latitudes Bar & Bistro, Italian Burger, $12
(2010 Rank: Not Ranked)
Basil leaves and pancetta are a nice change of pace from romaine and bacon strips. 7454 Beechmont Ave., Anderson, (513) 827-9146 latitudesbistro.com

Mac’s Pizza Pub, Best Western, $10.99
(2010 Rank: Not Ranked)
BBQ sauce and onion rings offer a nice-and-messy addition, but the honey bun holds up well. Multiple locations. (We ate at 6309 Wooster Pike, Mariemont), (513) 271-6227, macspizzapub.com

Moerlein Lager House, Moer-Burger, $13
(2010 Rank: Not Ranked)
The toppings make this burger: black pepper mayo provides much-needed fat; the richness of the egg yolk adds some juice; the pastrami and bacon, salt and smoke. 115 Joe Nuxhall Way, downtown, (513) 421-2337, moerleinlagerhouse.com

Mt. Adams Bar & Grill, The Broadcaster, $7
(2010 Rank: Not Ranked)
You definitely taste the olives, but the toasted Jewish rye is a funky (and welcome!) twist on the standard bun. 938 Hatch St., Mt. Adams, (513) 621-3666, mtadamsbarandgrill.com

Nicholson’s, Traditional Pub-style burger, $9.95
(2010 Rank: Not Ranked)
Glistening with butter and lightly toasted, the brioche bun is a malty-sweet thing of beauty. If only the bland burger lived up to it. The patties seem small for the bun, but that may be because they’re sized for the other options: cranberry apple, Scottish BBQ, BLT&E. We tried the cranberry apple chutney and found it a little too sweet when paired with a thick coating of rich white cheddar. 625 Walnut St., downtown, (513) 564-9111, nicholsonspub.com

The Oak Tavern, The Oak, $7.95
(2010 Rank: Not Ranked)
This fresh, juicy, well-seasoned patty on a soft and fresh cornmeal kaiser bun comes topped with bacon, cheddar, and grilled onion. Just make sure you ask for mustard on the side—the kitchen has a heavy hand, and it overwhelms the burger completely. 3089 Madison Rd., Oakley, (513) 321-6258, oaktavernoakley.com

Ollie’s Trolley, Big Ollie, $3.95
(2010 Rank: 20)
Its Central Avenue location allows it to avoid the harried lunch rush in most of OTR, and you won’t have to worry about breaking the bank. 1607 Central Ave., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 381-6100

Paula’s Café, 7-Minute Burger, $8.95 + toppings ($12 total)
(2010 Rank: Not Ranked)
The fried egg on top explodes with a touch of the bun, making for a messy but tasty experience. 41 E. Fourth St., downtown, (513) 381-3354,  paulascafe.com 

Quarter Bistro, Bistro Burger, $13
(2010 Rank: 30)
The patty’s hockey-puck shape belies its intense tenderness. 6904 Wooster Pike, Mariemont, (513) 271-5400, qbcincy.com

Silverton Café, Bacon“ton” Burger, $7
(2010 Rank: Not Ranked)
This is a solid working-class bar-and-grill, with a burger to match. The patty is fresh, the bun sweet, and it comes with chips on the side. 7201 Montgomery Rd., Silverton, (513) 791-2922, silvertoncafe.com

Sky Galley
(2010 Rank: Not Ranked)
If you have a junior pilot on your hands, take them for burgers at this Lunken Airport diner, where they can watch the runway takeoffs and landings and see a real plane suspended in the lobby. 262 Wilmer Ave., Lunken Airport, (513) 871-7400, skygalley.net

Spare-Time Grill
(2010 Rank: Not Ranked)
It’s gone through a few iterations in its 50-odd years, but Spare Time is the roadside diner of your dreams, complete with light-up signs, griddle-cooked burgers, and chocolate sodas. 7807 Alexandria Pike, Alexandria, (859) 694-4225, candyandcones.com

Troy’s Café, The Troy Burger, $9.25
(2010 Rank: Not Ranked)
The thin strips of bacon add a nice crunch and the “secret sauce” was a pleasant surprise. 4877 Smith Rd., West Chester, (513) 860-3206, troyscafe.com

(2010 Rank: Not Ranked)
This OTR institution known for over-the-top breakfasts also turns out an impressive burger. Try the double-decker “Big Tucker.” 1637 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 721-7123

Virgil’s, special blend burger, $14
(2010 Rank: 6)
The beef is fresh and tasty, the sauteed mushrooms and onions have a balsamic sweetness that complements the meat, but the brioche-style bun wasn’t great, and in a crowded field, this isn’t a standout. 710 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue, (859) 491-3287, virgilscafe.com

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