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The 20 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.

Dry-aged beef burger at Alice, 901 Christian St.
Dry-aged beef burger at Alice, 901 Christian St.Read moreMichael Klein / Staff

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 them for nearly 100 years. But we also have the classics, plus which burgers come with the best fries and which ones are best washed down with a beer.

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

Here are our favorite burgers in Philly and the suburbs. This list has been updated, and we’ll continue to be, as we eat more of the most delicious burgers the city has to offer.

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

📍 135 S. 18th St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19103 🌐, 📷@a.kitchenphilly

The burger at Dave Conn’s fantastic Italian Market gem takes full advantage of the open kitchen’s charcoal-fired hearth. Its thick patty of dry-aged beef recalls a deluxe backyard cookout beauty topped with clothbound Cabot cheddar melting down its sides, aioli and house BBQ sauce over caramelized onions.

📍901 Christian St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19147,🌐, 📷 @alice.philadelphia

This cozy Fairmount gastropub does many things well, from shatteringly crisp wings to great drinks. But the burger is also a steady draw, a gently packed 6-ounce patty blend of Hereford brisket, short rib, and chuck served on a toasted sweet potato bun. The fixings change seasonally, but the winter version with Birchrun Hills blue cheese, chipotle-spiked mayo and peppery arugula was most notable for a feature that never changes — onions caramelized in beef fat that continuously baste the burger in a double beefy savor.

📍726 N. 24th St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19130 🌐, 📷 @badbrotherphilly

Owners Stew and Julie Keener’s not-so-secret weapon, pairing with the house-brewed beers, may be the burger at their taproom a few blocks from Eastern State Penitentiary. When planning the menu it was decided they’d grind the meat themselves. 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., Philadelphia, Pa. 19130,🌐, 📷 @bar_hygge

Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran’s 13th Street empire went retro in 2015 with the opening of Bud & Marilyn’s, and the lively corner restaurant has become a favorite spot for comforting, greasy (in the best way) food. Its happy-hour special burger (comes with two patties when ordered at brunch), with bacon, pickles, two layers of cheese, and creamy “special sauce,” served with a rotating craft ale, is a must-try.

📍 1234 Locust St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19107🌐, 📷 @budandmarilyns

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.

📍 237 E. MacDade Blvd., Folsom, Pa. 19033 🌐

Melted Cheddar, thinly sliced pickles, smoked bacon, and the restaurant’s signature Churchill sauce sit atop the Dandy Burger at this British-inspired pub. 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., Philadelphia, Pa. 19103,🌐, 📷 @thedandelionpub

The burger royale at chef Christopher Kearse’s modern French destination in Old City is one of the most indulgent anywhere. The off-menu burger is two patties, done smash-style with comeback sauce. A junior version of the burger is on the happy hour menu for $12, too.

📍 233 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19106, 🌐, 📷 @forsythia_philly

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.

📍 1601 S. 10th St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19148,🌐, 📷 @fountainporter

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., Philadelphia, Pa. 19102,🌐, 📷 @gooddogbar

This low-lit Cajun-inspired pub, which gets its name from a mountain pass in Pakistan, brings Southern flair to the Khyber Burger. This burger packs a punch with its kick of chipotle remoulade atop a beef patty with American cheese, pickled green tomato, and lettuce, sandwiched between a classic potato roll.

📍 56 S. Second St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19106,🌐, 📷 @khyberpasspub

Chef-owner Derek Davis has been offering permutations of his Parker burger (cheddar, crispy onions, oven-dried 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.

📍261 S. 13th St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19107,🌐, 📷 @libertinephiladelphia

Craig says he is over the smash burger craze, because it’s mostly become a griddle license to overcook. But Scott Sumsky’s IncuBurger at the Lucky Well Incubator proves there’s more finesse in a plumper patty, especially with live fire to offer extra flavor boost. A house-ground brisket-chuck blend gets pepper-crusted, then smoked, before a fiery finishing turn over the grill. Layered with house bacon, fresh pickles, smoked Thousand Island, and cheddar over a brioche bun, it’s one of the prettiest patties in town. If Philly’s smoke-seeking barbecue fans don’t covet it first, Philly’s robust burger crowd surely will.

📍 990 Spring Garden St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19123, 🌐, 📷 @tlwincubator

Beer and burgers go together. It’s as simple as that. And on Ridge Avenue in Roxborough, New Ridge Brewing Co. pairs house-made beers with its double-pattied Ridge Burger, made with Happy Valley beef layered with Cooper Sharp cheese and a mayo-based “special sauce” that encapsulates all of the traditional burger topping flavors (ketchup, pickles, and mustard).

📍 6168 Ridge Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19128, 🌐, 📷 @newridgebrewing

For the double-patty burger at this Ardmore pub, chef/co-owner Biff Gottehrer stacks two quarter-pounders with extra fat content and dry-aged beefy oomph between melted 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 has 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., Ardmore, Pa. 19003,🌐, 📷 @theripplewood

The in-demand Mother Rucker burger at River Twice was once an off-menu delicacy, but now you can find it in the additions section of the restaurant’s tasting menu. 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 four-ounce patties and Cooper Sharp American cheese; house-pickled red onions and an everything-spiced mayo are the finishers.

📍 1601 E. Passyunk Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19148,🌐, 📷 @rivertwicephl

The burger at Rittenhouse Square-facing Rouge has been one of the city’s iconic burgers since 1998; you can order it with the classics — tomato, lettuce, and dill pickles — but the addition of caramelized onions and creamy Gruyere sets it apart.

📍 205 S. 18th St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19103, 🌐, 📷 @98rouge

As the name suggests, the burgers are the main draw (though SpOt’s 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.

📍 2821 W. Girard Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19130,🌐, 📷 @spotburgers

One of South Street’s coolest dive bars serves a top-tier pub burger that offers the best of both worlds — it can be made classic or vegan. The only difference is the patty and cheese, everything else the same, with the patty of your choice being cooked on a flat top grill for a nice crispy bite complemented by LTO with a pickle and your choice of American, cheddar, or vegan gouda cheese. Don’t forget the in-house classic burger sauce with a kick of heat.

📍 530 South St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19147,🌐, 📷 @tmoms

This cozy Rittenhouse bar 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 8-ounce burgerloaded with blue cheese, bacon, and foie gras.

📍 118 S. 20th St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19103,🌐, 📷 @villagewhiskeyphl

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