A Korean short rib “burger.” A burger encased in pastry. And two highly rated burgers from chain restaurants.
Those Bay Area burgers scored spots on the just-released Yelp Top 100 Burgers — an eclectic lineup that runs the gamut from classic burgers to vegan versions to beef-filled sushi creations.
In fact, the eclectic “burger” winning top honors is the one at Atlanta’s Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q, and it’s not a ground beef patty at all but rather chopped barbecue brisket topped with pepper bacon and pimento cheese and served on a brioche burger bun.
The highest-ranked local burger, at No. 10, comes from the popular Berkeley-based KoJa Kitchen restaurant group. Yelp says it’s all about the bun here. KoJa serves Korean short rib, gochujang-spiced pork and other meats “burger style” between fried garlic rice buns. These Korean-Japanese fusion favorites are available at 11 locations: Alameda, Berkeley, Cupertino, Dublin, Emeryville, Fremont, Santa Clara, San Mateo and three in San Francisco.
Ranking No. 14 is Bear Bitez in Newark where, Yelp reports, owner Bliss Attaie uses her classical chef training to create something different — a burger baked in French puff pastry instead of being served on a bun. The beef version comes with mild cheddar cheese, grilled onions, tomatoes and pickles. It’s also available as a chicken or vegetable “burger.”
No. 16 is The Counter at San Jose’s Santana Row, one of dozens of outposts from this Arizona-based chain that specializes in customization. (As Yelp explains in its methodology, “If a business with multiple locations appears more than once on the list, we keep the highest-ranked location.) The Create Your List of ingredients is a lengthy one that includes 20 sauces and spreads, a dozen cheeses and six types of buns. Other locations can be found in Mountain View, Cupertino, Fremont and a Redwood City cloud kitchen.
At No. 38 is Five Guys, whose location at San Jose’s The Plant gets the nod from Yelpers. (Again, that means this particular restaurant in the chain is highly rated.) The Virginia-based group, with hundreds of locations, gets high marks for its fresh patties and DIY burger options.
As for methodology, Yelp explains: “This is an all-time list of the top spots for a burger in the U.S. We identified businesses in the restaurants and food categories with a large concentration of reviews mentioning “burgers,” then ranked those spots using a number of factors including the total volume and ratings of reviews. If a business with multiple locations appears more than once on the list, we keep the highest-ranked location. When available, all businesses on this list have a passing health score as of February 8, 2023.”
Here’s the top 15 from the Yelp list. Click here for the full list with Yelpers’ comments.
Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q – Atlanta, Georgia
Minetta Tavern – New York, New York
Slutty Vegan – Atlanta, Georgia
Gordon Ramsay Burger – Las Vegas, Nevada
Father’s Office – Los Angeles, California
The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar – Charlotte, North Carolina
Sister Liu’s Kitchen – Durham, North Carolina
Facing East – Bellevue, Washington
Kuma’s Corner – Chicago, Illinois
KoJa Kitchen – Berkeley, California
Evolution Fast Food – San Diego, California
Monty’s Good Burger – Los Angeles, California
Crazy Burger Café & Juice Bar – Narragansett, Rhode Island
Bear Bitez – Newark, California
Melt Gourmet Cheeseburgers – Leesburg, Virginia
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