Skip to content
Philly Tips

The 18 best burgers in Philly to eat right now

Whether you’re craving a cheese-stuffed burger or something more classic, this is the only Philly burger guide you need.

Burger royale with panisse "fries" and raclette at Forsythia, 233 Chestnut St.MICHAEL KLEIN / Staff
by Jillian Wilson, Craig LaBan, and Michael Klein
Updated 
Sept. 15, 2021

It’s burger season. What season is that, you ask? Well, really all of them. A burger is just as good on a hot day by the pool as it is in a cozy pub on a winter night.

Philadelphia has many great burgers, but we have some clear favorites, ranging from an off-menu, secret burger to patties from an old-school spot that has been serving burgers for nearly 100 years.

How we choose our best lists
What makes something the best? Our recommendations are based on our reporters' deep regional knowledge and advice from local experts. We also strive to represent the geographic and cultural diversity of the city and region. Spot an error or omission? Email us at phillytips@inquirer.com

Here, in no particular order, are our favorite burgers in Philly and the suburbs. This list has been updated, and we’ll continue to, as we eat more of the most delicious burgers the city has to offer.

Price: $25

The burger royale at chef Christopher Kearse’s modern French destination in Old City is one of the most indulgent anywhere. It’s two patties, done smash-style with comeback sauce. What takes it over the top are the panisse “fries” (chickpea flour fritters) served on the side beneath a glorious, molten swirl of raclette. A junior version of the burger is coming to the happy hour menu, too.

ADVERTISEMENT

📍 233 Chestnut St., 🌐 forsythiaphilly.com, 📷 @forsythia_philly, 🕑 Wed.-Sun 5-10 p.m. 🚗 pickup

The Parker burger at Libertine, 13th and Spruce Streets, is 10 ounces of ground beef topped with aged local Cheddar, crispy onions, oven-dried tomatoes, and black truffle mayonnaise.. ... Read moreMICHAEL KLEIN / Staff

Price: $19

Chef-owner Derek Davis has been doing permutations of his Parker burger (cheddar, crispy onions, oven-fried tomatoes, black truffle mayo) since his days in Manayunk at his late, great destination, Derek’s (formerly Sonoma). Now served at his bistro in Washington Square West, this is a big burger — 10 ounces and thick — that may require cutlery and several napkins.

ADVERTISEMENT

📍261 S. 13th St., 🌐 libertinephilly.com, 📷 @libertinephiladelphia, 🕑 Sun.-Thu. 5-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 5-11 p.m., Sunday brunch 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. 🚗 DoorDash

Price: $16

Owners Stew and Julie Keener brought in chef Chris Reed a year ago after stints at Osteria, Morimoto, and Serpico. His not-so-secret weapon, pairing with the house-brewed beers, may be the burger. When planning the menu, “he told me he would grind it himself,” Stew Keener said. It’s about a half-pound of chuck-brisket blend, topped with Cabot mild cheddar, a sauce of Thousand Island dressing and house hot sauce, red onion, Bibb lettuce, and house-made bread-and-butter pickles. Treat: Get it and brunch, and your side will be the home fries (red bliss potatoes and stout-caramelized onions).

📍1720 Fairmount Ave., 🌐 barhygge.com, 📷 @bar_hygge, 🕑 Wed.-Sun. 4-10 p.m.., Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (brunch till 2:30 p.m.)

The burger at Bar Hygge, 1720 Fairmount Ave., as served at brunch with home fries.. ... Read moreMICHAEL KLEIN / Staff

Price: $3-$7

Charlie’s Hamburgers, the Delco throwback to elemental slider comfort that dates to 1935, has long been a reluctant holdout to the “in” burger of now, whatever “in” might be at the time (things like truffle-topped burgers and crab-topped burgers both had their moment at other burger joints). Their old-school griddle powers result in greasy, beefy little patties, all stacked up in crumbly burgers tucked inside their griddle-crisped buns. The Bunny, Charlie’s, and Peg special combos have transcended the shop’s 2019 move from Kedron Avenue and not lost one ounce of their charm.

ADVERTISEMENT

📍 237 E. MacDade Blvd., Folsom, 🌐 facebook.com/OriginalCharlies, 🕑 Mon.-Thu., 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun., noon-7 p.m. 🚗 DoorDash, GrubHub

There are only about five of the off-the-menu Mother Rucker burgers available each night at East Passyunk’s River Twice. Those who really want it should either get an early reservation (still risky) or put a note in their reservation (much safer). The burger, named for the restaurant’s James Beard-nominated chef and owner Randy Rucker, is a true two-fisted indulgence of a stacked burger whose drippy pink juices are almost too much for its bun to hold. The ingredients are local, with two eight-ounce patties from next door’s Primal Supply Meats and a mix of Cooper sharp and American cheese; house-pickled red onions and an everything-spiced mayo are the finishers.

📍 1601 E. Passyunk Ave., 🌐 rivertwicerestaurant.com, 📷 @rivertwicephl, 🕑 Thu.-Sat., 5-10 p.m., Sun., 5-9 p.m.

The burger at Fountain Porter is a steal at $6.Craig LaBan

Price: $6

The ultimate bar burger can be found at East Passyunk’s Fountain Porter, which is served with house pickles and should be ordered with one of their many craft beers. For years, the burger was five bucks and while the price was recently raised to $6, it’s still a steal for one of the best burgers in the city.

ADVERTISEMENT

📍1601 S. 10th St., 🌐 fountainporter.com, 📷 @fountainporter, 🕑 Mon.-Fri., 2-10 p.m., Sat.-Sun, noon-10 p.m., 🚗 order take-out on website

Price: $8-$10

As the name suggests, the burgers are the main draw at SpOt Gourmet Burgers (though its cheesesteak is worth a visit, too). Here, you’ll find a selection of 10-plus burgers, all available in their classic sirloin style, or as chicken or veggie burgers. Of particular note is the aptly named Umami burger, which comes with mushrooms, grilled onion, lettuce, pickled daikon, ssamjang (a spicy Korean paste), cucumber, and pickled daikon.

ADVERTISEMENT

📍 2821 W. Girard Ave., 🌐 spotburgers.com, 📷 @spotburgers, 🕑 Tue.-Sat. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. noon-8 p.m. 🚗 Grubhub, through website

Burgers cook on the grill at SpOt Gourmet Burgers in Brewerytown in Philadelphia, Pa. on Friday, March 20, 2020. SpOt Burger is offering delivery and take-out only.. ... Read moreMONICA HERNDON / Staff Photographer

Price: $17

For the double-patty burger at Ardmore’s Ripplewood Whiskey & Craft, chef and co-owner Biff Gottehrer stacks two quarter-pounders with extra fat content and dry-aged beefy oomph between melty layers of Gouda, house-pickled onions, a “special sauce” with smoked tomatoes, capers, and shallots over a pain au lait bun that’s soft without being eggy. Most important, it’s got local personality: two thin pads of fried Lebanon bologna slipped between the patties that add a touch of smoky sweetness where, in other burgers, bacon plays the common role.

📍 29 E. Lancaster Ave., 🌐 ripplewoodbar.com, 📷 @theripplewood, 🕑 Tue.-Wed., 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Thu., 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri., 11:30 a.m.-midnight, Sat., 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. 🚗 Caviar, through website

Ripplewood's flavor-packed burger is loaded with toppings, including Lebanon bologna, gouda, and a special sauce.. ... Read moreTIM TAI / Staff Photographer

Price: $15

Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran’s 13th Street empire went retro with the opening of Bud & Marilyn’s in 2015, and ever since, the lively corner restaurant has become a favorite spot for comforting, greasy (in the best way) food. Its double patty burger, with bacon, pickles, two layers of cheese, and creamy “special sauce,” is a must-try.

📍 1234 Locust St., 🌐 budandmarilyns.com, 📷 @budandmarilyns, 🕑 Mon.-Fri., 4-10 p.m., Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-3 p.m., 4-10 p.m. 🚗 DoorDash, order take-out on website

Price: $13-$15

There are two burgers on the menu at the always buzzing Center City bar, but the must-try burger is their signature, which is stuffed with blue cheese and covered with caramelized onions. Funnily enough, this burger also drove one of us (Craig) to create a burger music video back in 2007. You should watch it, ideally while eating one of these cheese-stuffed burgers.

📍 224 S. 15th St., 🌐 gooddogbar.com, 📷 @gooddogbar, 🕑 Tue.-Sat. 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m. 🚗 Caviar, order take-out on website

The eight-ounce Whiskey King burger at Jose Garces' Village Whiskey comes topped with foie gras.. ... Read moreAkira Suwa / Staff Photographer

Price: $7-$26

Rittenhouse’s Village Whiskey is known not only for its beverage namesake but also for its juicy burgers, which range from classic options, like a single or double smashburger, to an eight-ounce, $26 burger that is loaded with blue cheese, bacon, and foie gras.

📍 118 S. 20th St., 🌐 philadelphia.villagewhiskey.com, 📷 @villagewhiskeyphl, 🕑 Thu., Sun. 4-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 4-10 p.m., brunch Sat.-Sun. noon-3:30 p.m. 🚗 Caviar, Uber Eats

Price: $16

While Kensington Quarters recently made a switch to a seafood-focused menu, its beloved KQ Burger remains a brunch menu staple. The burger starts with two three-ounce patties layered with cheddar, the restaurant’s creamy KQ sauce, and pickled red onion for a bright crunch. The soft but sturdy milk bun molds perfectly around this beefy abundance. Many of the same ingredients are used for the quick-serve but temporarily closed KQ Burger stand at Franklin’s Table (3401 Walnut St.).

📍 1310 Frankford Ave., 🌐 kensingtonquarters.com, 📷 @kensingtonquarters, 🕑 Wed.-Thu., Sun. 5-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 5-10 p.m., brunch Sat.-Sun. 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. 🚗 order take-out on website

The signature burger at Kensington Quarters led to the opening of a burger-only shop on UPenn's campus.. ... Read moreTIM TAI / Staff Photographer

Price: $18

Royal Boucherie has its burger down. A six-ounce patty is sandwiched between a fluffy bun that’s spread with a bone marrow butter. Watercress and gruyere cheese round out the meal, along with a hefty helping of crispy fries. If that’s not enough for you, bacon is available to top it all off.

📍 52 S. Second St., 🌐 royalboucherie.com, 📷 @royalboucherie, 🕑 Wed.-Thu., Sun. 4-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 4-11 p.m., 🚗 Caviar, DoorDash

Price: $18

The double-pattied burger made with a mix of beef chuck and brisket at a.kitchen + bar comes layered with oozy American cheese, creamy dijonnaise, and cornichons, which combine into one magnetic fistful of carnivorous lust.

📍 135 S. 18th St., 🌐 akitchenandbar.com, 📷 @akitchenphilly, 🕑 Tue.-Wed. 5 p.m.-midnight, Thu.-Sat. 4 p.m.-midnight, Sun. 4-10 p.m., 🚗 Caviar, GrubHub, through website

Price: $20

Melty cheddar cheese, thinly sliced pickles, smoked bacon, and the restaurant’s signature Churchill sauce sit atop the Dandy Burger at British-inspired pub The Dandelion. It’s available during lunch, brunch, and dinner, and makes a fine partner for one of the restaurant’s many draft beers.

📍 124 S. 18th St., 🌐 thedandelionpub.com, 📷 @thedandelionpub, 🕑 Mon.-Thu. 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri. 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-10 p.m., 🚗 Caviar, GrubHub, Uber Eats

The Ridge Burger is the standby at New Ridge Brewing Co.Mike Klein

Price: $13

Beer and burgers go together. It’s as simple as that. And on Ridge Avenue in Roxborough, New Ridge Brewing Co. pairs housemade beers with its double-pattied Ridge Burger, made with Primal Supply beef layered with American cheese and a mayo-based sauce that encapsulates all of the traditional burger topping flavors (ketchup, pickles, and mustard). A vegan version is also available.

📍 6168 Ridge Ave., 🌐 newridgebrew.com, 📷 @newridgebrewing, 🕑 Weds.-Thurs., 4-9 p.m., Fri.-Sat., 2-9 p.m., Sun., noon-7 p.m., 🚗 GrubHub, Uber Eats

Price: $20

The burger at Rittenhouse Square-facing Rouge has long been one of the city’s iconic burgers; it comes with the classics — tomato, lettuce, and dill pickles — but the addition of caramelized onions and creamy gruyere sets it apart. Rouge’s burger has been a menu staple since 1998 and its popularity drove the owners to open the now-shuttered 500 Degrees, a burger-only spot on Sansom.

📍 205 S. 18th St., 🌐 rouge98.com, 📷 @98rouge, 🕑 Tue.-Fri. noon-10 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Mon. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., 🚗 order take-out on website

The Rouge burger, which debuted in 1998, has become a Philadelphia classic.MICHAEL KLEIN / Staff

Price: $16

The miso-blended Pro Tap burger at this essential Callowhill neighborhood gastropub is made with two beefy patties and layers of classic burger toppings: American cheese, dill pickles, caramelized onions, and shredded lettuce all on a Merzbacher’s sweet potato bun. The burger can be brunch-ified with the addition of an over-easy egg.

📍 501 N. 13th St., 🌐 prohibitiontaproom.com, 📷 @prohibition_taproom, 🕑 Mon.-Thu. 4-9 p.m., Fri. 4-11 p.m., Sat. noon-11 p.m., Sun. noon-9 p.m., 🚗 Caviar, GrubHub

» READ MORE: Our best Philly tips: Read our most useful stories

You‘ve reached your free article limit for this month.
To continue reading, subscribe now for unlimited digital access to our app and inquirer.com.
Already a subscriber? Log in
Published 
June 21, 2021
JW
As service editor, I focus on creating useful resources for Philly locals and residents of the surrounding areas.
As a restaurant critic and columnist, I cover culinary stars and the evolution of a dining scene that helps define our identity, one plate at a time.
I cover the food and restaurant scene, including businesses and the people.
ADVERTISEMENT
Always asking on behalf of the people. Always Local. Always Philly.