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13 Essential Burgers in Portland, Oregon

  |  Neighborhood Insight, Portland

There’s nothing quite like biting into a fresh, homemade burger bursting with flavor, whether you prefer simple cheeseburgers or creative concoctions involving jalapeños and a fried egg. In a culinary scene as outstanding as Portland’s, it’s difficult to rise above the rest and truly shine. But these local eateries have done just that — attracting first-time visitors and regulars alike for their exceptional burgers, among many other endearing qualities.

Head to these local hotspots to experience these flavorful creations first-hand. Then let us know which burger in Portland is your favorite!


Nick’s Cheeseburger at Stanich’s

4915 Northeast Fremont Street

If you’re looking for what’s considered the best burger in Portland — and actually, the entire country — you can stop here. That’s right, Thrillist’s national burger critic, Kevin Alexander, named Nick’s Cheeseburger at Stanich’s the best burger in America. “The sesame bun was griddled perfectly, preventing the somewhat messy burger from leaking through and getting soggy,” Alexander reported. “The ground chuck had a good crisp edge, and the grilled onions, which must sit marinating in something, melded with the American cheese for that perfect diner burger mix.” Unfortunately, Stanich’s is temporarily closed, due to the overwhelming response after receiving this award. We are hoping this beloved family-owned eatery can reopen after the hiatus so we can all experience their award-winning burger.


Double Brie Burger at Little Bird Bistro

215 Southwest 6th Avenue

Sister restaurant to Gabriel Rucker’s James Beard award-winning Le Pigeon, Little Bird Bistro is not to be missed during your Portland burger quest. The Double Brie Burger is absolutely fantastic. This popular burger is topped with brie, spiced ketchup, onions and pickles, and is served with fries. Better yet? You can get the Double Brie Burger for just $6 during happy hour Monday through Friday from 2:30 to 5 p.m. (and 6 p.m. in the bar area), or from 10 p.m. to midnight every day of the week!


The Tabor Burger at Tabor Tavern

5325 East Burnside Street

This unique burger at Tabor Tavern should not be missed. You will find three burgers on their menu, but the Tabor Burger is a favorite amongst regulars. It’s made with a ½-pound beef patty, blue cheese, bacon jam, and arugula, atop a brioche bun. It’s fresh and exciting but also very hearty — just as a burger should be. If you like the homemade bacon jam enough, you can even buy a jar of it to take home with you!


The G&G Burger at Grain & Gristle

1473 Northeast Prescott Street

Grain & Gristle Portland, OR

Photo Courtesy of Grain & Gristle

This hip neighborhood tavern is focused around the notion that beer and food are delicious together. Test that theory by trying Grain & Gristle’s G&G Burger, a simple burger with a thick ½-pound patty, pickles, and garlic-lemon aioli, on a fresh brioche roll, served with fries. Pair your burger with one of the rotating draft beers, which you can taste on a taster tray featuring four beers for $7!


The Western Burger at Tannery Bar

5425 East Burnside Street

Tucked away in North Tabor, Tannery Bar is a popular neighborhood hangout that is simultaneously modern and old-school. The Western Burger at Tannery Bar is a giant stack of beef, lettuce, crispy onions, cheddar, tomato, bacon, and a special BBQ sauce — all stacked on a brioche bun. This hearty burger is complemented by a side salad — or fries if you prefer. Don’t miss the exceptional cocktail selection at Tannery Bar, or simply pair your burger with a cold brew to enjoy on the airy patio.


The Slowburger at Slow Bar

533 Southeast Grand Avenue

Slow Bar Portland, OR

Photo Courtesy of Slow Bar

Behold — the iconic Slowburger at Slow Bar. This tantalizing burger is comprised of ½-pound Allen Brothers Angus beef, gruyere, onion rings, butter lettuce, pickle relish and aioli. The Slowburger is undeniably messy, so it will require two hands and lots of napkins. But the flavor and juiciness of this burger is well worth it. This neighborhood staple in the heart of Portland is known for this iconic burger and an incredible selection of drinks at the bar.


Interurban Boar Burger at Interurban

4057 North Mississippi Avenue

Spice things up with a visit to Interurban, the second bar from Dan Hart and Chris Navarra of Prost! and Stammtisch. The bar is focused on pre-Prohibition Era cocktails, a selection of renowned beers, and one of Portland’s most extensive wine lists. And the menu features seasonal fare, local game, and a unique blend of classic and modern techniques. Don’t miss the Interurban Boar Burger, a pork burger with Los Roast hatch chiles, fried onions, queso botanero, pickled jalapeños and aioli. No matter the season, you can enjoy this burger on the patio filled with sun in the summer and covered fire pits in the winter.


Flat-Top Burger at Imperial

410 Southwest Broadway

A post shared by Imperial (@imperialportland) on

It seems there is nothing that renowned Chef Vitaly Paley cannot do. With four restaurant ventures, a James Beard Award, and countless critical acclaim, Vitaly and his wife are renowned in the Portland culinary scene. At Imperial, Vitaly and his team created a delicious burger — the Flat-Top Burger, which is topped with lettuce, sharp cheddar, grilled onions, dill mayo, and tomato house pickles, served on a house sesame bun. During happy hour, which runs from 2 to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 3 to 6 p.m. on the weekend, you can get this renowned burger for just $6!


House Burger at Free House

1325 Northeast Fremont Street

Free House is effortlessly hip and inviting, boasting a sophisticated bar and exceptional food. It’s the perfect place to hang out with friends over a drink and a bite to eat — especially on the half-covered outdoor patio with picnic tables. The House Burger is topped with cheddar cheese, crispy onions, iceberg lettuce, and a secret sauce, served with chips and house dill pickles. At just $9, this is a reasonably priced burger that should not be missed! Plus, the artisan cocktails at Free House run in the $7–9 range.


Pimento Double Cheeseburger at Trifecta Tavern and Bakery

726 Southeast 6th Avenue

Trifecta Tavern and Bakery Portland, OR

Photo Courtesy of Alan Weiner via Trifecta Tavern and Bakery

Trifecta Tavern and Bakery is the third venture from another renowned Portland restaurateur, Ken Forkish of Ken’s Artisan Bakery and Ken’s Artisan Pizza. This hotspot focuses on regional fare, serving everything from oysters to steak, and of course — a delicious burger. The Pimento Double Cheeseburger is quite simple, yet still bursting with flavor. Two patties and some aioli rest atop a housemade brioche bun, served with fries. Complement your burger with a selection from their creative cocktail list with everything from the classic Old Fashioned to a Jack Rose, with Laird’s Applejack, fresh lemon, grenadine, egg white, and Gran Classico Peychaud’s bitters.


Double Cheeseburger at Country Cat Dinnerhouse and Bar

7937 Southeast Stark Street

Nestled in the Montavilla area in southeast Portland, Country Cat Dinnerhouse and Bar is a neighborhood favorite for seasonally focused comfort food. The restaurant is owned and operated by husband-and-wife duo, Adam and Jackie Sappington, who have created a unique blend of Adam’s Southern upbringing balanced with classic Northwest styles. The Double Cheeseburger at Country Cat is to die for. It’s simple yet effective, with American cheese, 1000 island dressing and iceberg lettuce on a sesame seed bun, served with shoestring fries.


PBPB! at Killer Burger

Several Locations (Vancouver, Hillsboro, Happy Valley, Portland, Sherwood, Gresham, Eugene + Vancouver)

Killer Burger Portland, OR

Photo Courtesy of Killer Burger

With several locations in the region, from Vancouver to Eugene, Killer Burger is a popular chain maintaining a local feel. You have plenty of options at Killer Burger, from a classic burger with all the basics, to the Jose Mendoza packed with bacon, green chiles, grilled onion, monterey jack, a house sauce, and pickles. But the PBPB! (Peanut Butter Pickle Bacon) burger is a consistent favorite at Killer Burger. It has bacon, peanut butter sauce, smokey house sauce, mayo, grilled onion and pickles. Every Killer Burger is ⅓-pound of 100 percent beef and comes with a side of bacon and an order of fries.


The Signature at Next Level Burger

Three Locations in Oregon (Portland, Lake Oswego, Bend + Concord)

The burgers at Next Level Burger truly are next level. (We couldn’t resist!) This regional favorite opened its first location in Bend, and since expanded to Portland, Lake Oswego, Seattle, and all the way to Brooklyn. Next Level is cooking up something most burger makers wouldn’t dare dream of — vegan burgers. Their wholehearted belief in healthy eating for people and the planet shows with every responsibly sourced, organic and GMO-free meal served. You have an overwhelming number of choices when it comes to burgers at Next Level, so why not start with the basics? The Signature is made with a house-made umami mushroom and quinoa patty topped with avocado, cheddar or swiss cheese, and roasted garlic thyme mayo.


Happy burger hunting!

What is your favorite burger in Portland? There are simply too many creative concoctions to count. Let us know in the comments below!

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About the Author

Courtney Itami

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