20 Best Burgers in Atlanta

You can thank (or blame) Holeman and Finch Public House. Seven years ago, the gastropub on Peachtree hit on a stroke of marketing genius: Make 24 burgers a night—and no more. Oh, and make them awesome. And the crowds came. No matter the kitchen or the concept, chefs had to reinvent that most common of dishes: the hamburger. It was now a potential marker of culinary acumen and—by the looks of Farm Burger, Grindhouse, Yeah! Burger, and the like—a moneymaker. And so, this month’s roundup of the best burgers in town took us to greasy diners, yes, but also to restaurants with white tablecloths. Let the debate begin.

1. Bone’s

Nobody thinks of Atlanta’s oldest steakhouse as a burger destination, but it’s about time we start.

2. Bocado

In its finest moments, the Bocado burger is king. A blend of short rib, chuck, and brisket, the double patties are crispy on the edges, bursting with juices, and gooey with Kraft American cheese.

3. The Optimist

There’s more to Ford Fry’s nautical seafood temple than fresh Georgia shrimp. Available only at lunch, the squat six-ounce burger is two thin patties made out of skirt steak trimmings ground with frozen butter (for real).

4. Miller Union

This is the burger you take home to the parents (figuratively speaking).

5. Holeman and Finch Public House

Atlanta’s most famous burger has become a bit of a wild card since Linton Hopkins started dispensing it at Turner Field, made it available all day at Holeman and Finch, and designed a stall for it in Ponce City Market.

6. Marcel

Available for lunch or, best of all, late at night on Friday and Saturdays, the loosely-ground double stack is all juice and sear, with extra thick-cut bacon and a soft buttery bun

7. The Albert

Burger authorities have all but exiled mustard, but the brave few who use it do so with great success.

8. Steinbeck’s

If you like Thousand Island dressing, keep reading.

9. One Eared Stag

Robert Phalen probably wishes that people would stop talking about his burger, but it’s his own fault for concocting something this addictive—and giving it such a provocative name.

10. Shake Shack

Danny Meyer’s international burger empire arrived in Buckhead Atlanta last fall.

11. Pinewood Tippling Room

Decatur turned out to be a disappointing zone for burgers—save for this cozy cocktail bar.

12. The Shed at Glenwood

Todd Richards has a reputation for sliders, so it’s not unexpected that his burger—deceptively average in appearance—is so fine-tuned.

13. The General Muir

Pastrami is the new bacon, at least according to Todd Ginsberg, who showers chunks of it on top of fries soaked in gravy, stuffs it between soft bread, and crowns his burger with it.

14. Little’s Food Store

If the dudes from Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle were to live in Atlanta, they’d live in Cabbagetown to be next to this single square slider.

15. Muss & Turner’s

The people of Smyrna show allegiance to one burger—one so cheesy and juicy, you might need a bib.

16. Wrecking Bar Brewpub

Wrecking Bar puts as much effort and thought into its food as its beer list.

17. US Cafe

The best of the fast-casuals first opened in Smyrna in 1986, decades before a fancier wave of joints crashed down on us.

18. OK Cafe

Don’t bother waiting for a table at this bustling Southern diner, which opened in 1987.

19. The Earl

The kitchen cranks out a homey burger that’s loosely patted, well salted, and skillfully grilled.

20. Grindhouse Killer Burgers

Cheese and sauce make everything better, especially at this local favorite that first opened in Sweet Auburn Curb Market and has since expanded across Atlanta.

5 favorite french fries

Historians can argue whether it was the French or Belgians who first dropped raw potatoes into a vat of hot oil, but fries today are the life partner to the American hamburger.

Shake it! 3 delicious milkshakes

Try these decadent desserts from Flip Burger, Farm Burger, and Palloookaville.

3 great veggie burgers in Atlanta

Really, we should just let vegetables be vegetables. And when it comes to veggie burgers, they should be vibrant works of produce that feel fresh, savory, and dynamic.