The days are getting longer, but we still have at least four rainy months to go until summer. If you need a pick-me-up to shoo away the gray-day blues, treat yourself to comfort food. Biting into a juicy burger will help you forget all about the puddles you waded through on your way into the restaurant.
Portland’s “foodie” status doesn’t just give us access to unique dining experiences in award-winning restaurants. Some of the finest food-oriented minds in our city have turned their talents toward classic American staples. Get out and try some of the best burgers in the city by visiting these nine restaurants.
Sasquatch Brewing—6440 SW Capitol Hwy
Sasquatch Brewing rewards burger and beer lovers who venture out to Southwest Portland’s Hillsdale neighborhood. The kitchen keeps the menu updated with seasonal burgers. Those fresh tastes make use of the latest harvest, and the veggies don’t travel far—it’s all Oregon-grown produce. Sasquatch doesn’t skimp on the burger quality either, building each patty with grass-fed beef.
If you want to switch it up, Sasquatch’s beet burger is beloved by both vegetarians and meat-eaters. Keep in mind, the Sasquatch location in Northwest Portland doesn’t offer the full menu. You’ll find the same tasty beer out there, but not the burgers.
Tabor Tavern—5325 E Burnside St
You’ll find Tabor Tavern nestled about halfway between Mt. Tabor and Laurelhurst Park. Like those serene parks, this restaurant offers a calming respite from the crowded neighborhoods closer to downtown. The food menu isn’t the biggest, but what it lacks in options it makes up for in quality.
Every dish is worth trying, and none more so than the Tabor Burger. The blue cheese pairs with Tabor Tavern’s signature bacon jam in a natural way that doesn’t feel forced or gimmicky.
A special weekend brunch menu makes this a busy spot on Saturday and Sunday, but you won’t usually have to wait long for a table on a weekday night.
Ate-Oh-Ate—2454 E Burnside St
It’ll be a true test of will not to order one of the mouthwatering plate meals at this Hawaiian hot spot, but you won’t regret ordering Ate-Oh-Ate’s Aina Burger. Sweet onion, spicy mayo, and kimchi relish give the burger a distinctly Hawaiian twist. The burger patty is good on its own, but it gets a meaty kick from a topping of crispy pork belly.
Make sure you visit the location on Burnside if you want the Aina Burger. The Woodstock location has a cheeseburger and a teriyaki burger on its menu, and they’re both tasty, but neither competes with the Aina.
Stoopid Burger—2329 NE Glisan St
Meat lovers have helped Stoopid Burger grow from a North Portland food cart into a brick-and-mortar spot in Northeast. Mouthwatering, expertly cooked, handcrafted patties are just the beginning. You can pile on extra meat, like hot links, steak, or chicken strips. Other unorthodox-yet-satisfying pairings include the pineapple mango habanero chutney on the Luni Burger and the mozzarella stick toppings on the Stoopenduz.
Even if you’re not looking to push the limits of meat consumption, Stoopid Burger is still worth the visit for the Almost There Burger, a bacon cheeseburger that ranks among the best in town. If you’re looking to go all out, the $40 Ignorant Burger serves up pretty much everything at once—three patties, three cheeses, bacon, steak, two eggs, hot link, chutney, either fried chicken or fish, and more.
Foster Burger—5339 SE Foster Rd
Stop by Southeast Portland’s Foster Burger for a bite of Old Portland. In place of traditional restaurant décor, Foster Burger plasters nearly every inch of its walls with (mostly ‘90s) show posters from Vanilla Ice at the Crystal Ballroom to Sonic Youth at the Pine Street Theatre.
The burgers here have earned national praise, thanks to quality ingredients and a little extra effort where it counts (like house-ground beef). The smaller buns make for a messy meal, but you won’t mind the mess once you taste the fluffy, locally baked brioche.
Grain & Gristle—1473 NE Prescott St
Reviews often refer to Grain & Gristle as a tavern, but that belies the upscale dining experience at this Northeast Portland gem. The wood-heavy decoration creates a homey atmosphere complemented by a sparse but carefully considered menu.
The burger here comes on a brioche roll with aioli. Add-on options include bacon, cheddar, or blue cheese and a fried egg. Ingredients for all of Grain & Gristle’s dishes come from family-owned farms in the Willamette Valley. That includes beef from Hawley Ranch in Cottage Grove, where the family started raising beef back before Oregon earned statehood.
Bar Bar/Mississippi Studios—3939 N Mississippi Ave
Next time you’re seeing a show at Mississippi Studios, get there early and treat yourself to one of the best burgers in Portland. For those who haven’t visited before, Bar Bar is essentially the same place as Mississippi Studios; it’s just on the side of the building for people without a ticket to the night’s show.
You won’t find any fancy flavor combos here, but the kitchen does the basics well. Highlights of the burger include house-made ketchup, signature sauce, and locally baked potato buns.
Bar Bar takes its drinks just as seriously as its burgers, so pair that burger with a beer or mixed drink (this place would also make it on a list of Portland’s best margaritas).
Killer Burger—Multiple Locations
Killer Burger manages to ride the line of outrageous burger combinations without falling into the world of gimmickry. Quality beef and signature sauces subtly underscore attention-grabbing ingredients like peanut butter (Peanut Butter Pickle Bacon Burger) and fondue (Teemah Burger and Fun Guy Burger).
Locations throughout the metro area make Killer Burger as accessible as it is delicious. Not to mention that every burger comes with bacon. How is that not a nationwide burger standard by now?
Noble Rot—1111 E Burnside St
This fine dining spot and James Beard Award semi-finalist also boasts one of the best burgers in town. The restaurant thinks holistically as it creates dishes, and the burger is no exception. Veggies are locally sourced, and some come from as close as Noble Rot’s rooftop garden.
Since it’s one of the nicest restaurants on the list, you can expect to spend a little more here. The basic burger comes at a reasonable $14, but adding bacon and cheese will push that up to $18. It’s worth the splurge for one of the best burgers you’ll have this year.
It’s hard to narrow down Portland’s best burgers to just nine. Help add to the list by adding your favorites in a comment below!