Denver's ten best burgers

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Lori Midson
Steak 'n Shake's Original Double 'n Cheese steakburger.
This town is already stuffed with burgers, and today another meaty addition joined the ranks: Steak 'n Shake, which opened in Centennial. While we have no doubt that this link in the Midwestern chain will quickly endear itself to Denverites, the Steak 'n Shake burger has some fierce competition here.

In honor of Steak 'n Shake's opening -- and because two of the restaurants on our five best burgers list from April have since closed -- we're serving up this updated look at the city's ten best burgers (in no particular order):

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Lori Midson
10. HBurger
HBurger rode the wave of trendy burger joints into Denver, and it's proved it has staying power. The spot tops its burgers -- beef or lamb -- with such tasty accoutrements as Hatch green chiles, bacon, egg and cheese, feta and housemade tomato jam. We're partial to the classic five-ounce quarter-pounder: a medium-rare patty topped with onions, tomato, pickles and lettuce -- and for pocket change, you can add a little American cheese, too.

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9. The Keg Steakhouse & Bar
Yes, it's a chain. And, yes, the interior is a little bit of a throwback to opulent steakhouses of the '80s and '90s. But that just means the Keg has had time to get its burger down. Juicy with drippy grease, velvety in texture, seasoned with salt and pepper and the tang of the grill, it's a vast improvement on regular ground chuck. Trust us: Ignore those facts and belly up to the bar for the burger. The toppings of lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, mayonnaise and a slab of cheddar don't exactly break new ground, but why mess with success?

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8. My Brother's Bar
This iconic Denver institution serves an iconic burger, an un-fancified relic of an era when burgers were about greasy beef and cheese, a pile of fries and a beer. At My Brother's, they come to the table wrapped in paper and accompanied by a pickle caddy, which allows you to accessorize your burger any way you like it, whether that's just with ketchup and mustard, or piled with so many spicy banana peppers that you practically choke.

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39 comments
itsmrjakefromstatefa
itsmrjakefromstatefa

It just doesn’t get any better than seeing the gorgeous “Mrs. Anita
Pelaez” over at her and her Famous Husband “Captain Kutchie’s”place..Some Folks Also Call Him..”The
KutchMan others call him The KutchMon!”…Most Just Call Him “The Most
Interesting Man In The World”….(Anita and Kutchie Pelaez’s Key West, Key Lime Pie
Factory and Grill)…Just Watching The Lovely Couple Baking Together All
Those Yummy Key Lime Pies At Their Key Lime Pie Factory And Grill In
Asheville.
…It’s Always Worth The Trip To Visit Them In They’re Historic Key Lime
Pie Factory and Grill…It Should Be On Everyone’s Bucket List For
Sure..And
The World’s Best Key Lime Pies!..YUM-YUM-YUM….­­.”Talk About World
Class” What An Understatement!…….AA­­HHHHH!….The Magic Of The
Lovely..”Mrs. Anita Pelaez” And Her Delicious Key Lime Pies Baked With
Pure Love…Always……40 Years And They’re Still Going Strong….
….May GOD Continue Blessing “Anita And Kutchie Pelaez” and They’re World
Famous Key Lime Pie Factory And Grill Where The Personalities, Ovens And
Smiles Are Always Warm And Inviting.
….“Kutcharitaville” You’re The Best And We Love You!….
…Now You Know Who Is The Hottest!…And Baby Let Me Tell You, Mrs. Anita Is No Act…She’s The Real Thing Baby!…
….Located Near The Biltmore House And Estate…..
….Who Could Ask For Anything More?…Anita’s Key Lime Pie…(Hell Yes!)
….Just Think, Kutchie’s Goody Goody Cheese Burgers, First Billed As “The
Original Cheese Burgers In Paradise!” Way Back In 1974 By “Kutchie’s
Good Friend “Mr Levi Stubbs” Lead Singer Of The Four Tops….”Sorry
“Buffett”…Kutchie’s Version Of “Cheese Burgers In Paradise” Came A Few
Years Before Yours Did, “Dog Ate Your Home-Work?”!!…Yeah, Jimmy, It’s
The Same Kutchie Pelaez,-The Famous Deep Sea Underwater And Treasure
Explorer/Megalodon Shark Tooth Hunter.
Who Worked Along With “Mel Fisher”, “Captain Tony Tarracino”, “Yankee
Jack”, “Michael McCloud”, “Alabama Jack” , “Vito Bertucci” and Many Others Of Key West Fame.
….That Alone Is Quite A Pretty Big Deal If You Ask Me. ….”Hell”,..It’s A Pretty Big Deal Even If You Don’t Ask Me.
….Research, Continually Confirms The Fact That The Pelaez’s World
Famous Key Lime Pies Truly Increases Married Couple’s Sex Rates By No Less
Than 300% Respectively. It Also Shows That Said Sexual Encounters Are
Much, Much More Enjoyable Than They Ever Were Before The Consumption Of
The Pelaez’s Key Lime Pies.
…..And
On A Sad Note. It Has Been Reported That The Consumption Of The Famous
Key Lime Pies Are Quite Detrimental To The Practices Of Divorce
Attorneys. But, That’s Not Bad. Hell That’s Good News.
…Not A Sad Note, A Happy Note! The Pelaez’s Pies Are A Win-Win-Win For Everyone Involved!
….I Guess You Could Say What Has Been Said Many Times Before,…”AHHH” The
Magic Of The Lovely Anita Pelaez And Her Key Lime Pies….
….I Do Know First Hand That The Pelaez’s Famous Key Lime Pies Have
The Ability To Turn Small Stream Squirters Into Major League Gushers Or
Some Might Call Them “Niagara Falls”. Holly Molly, Let Those Good Times
Flow, Baby!
….It’s No Wonder Everyone Believes That Kutchie Pelaez Is The Most Interesting
Man In The World…..”Damn He Really Is” For Sure!
…..That “Kutchie”, He Looks Marvelous Dahling!…

….”Hemingway”, Had Nothing On The “KutchMan”…

….Someone Overheard The “Kutchman” Say One Day That He Thought That He Was A Lesbian!… We Don’t Want To see Him Coming Out Of The Toilet With Just His Dick In His Hands!

….If He Ever Needs Any Guidance, Who’s A Better Consiglieri Than His Father?….They Both Season They’re Garlic With Food!

Christian Allen
Christian Allen

Looking at this while hungry was a terrible, terrible idea.

lpasaol
lpasaol

Cactus Jack's in Evergreen makes a great burger. They have a huge variety of different burgers combinations. A must go to place. Definatly worth the beautiful cruise up Bear Creek Canyon.  

Rocky Mountain Oyster
Rocky Mountain Oyster

Really, Park Burger at #2? To me, their burger is definitely nothing special. I much prefer Larkburger, glad to see it on the list.

Andrew
Andrew

My Brother's Bar is so overrated I don't think it makes Top 100... nice pub, but the burger is really nothing special.

Bill
Bill

Larkburger should have a HUGE asterisk next to it because they don't have AMERICAN cheese, just cheddar and other variations.

I'm also glad not to see the Cherry Cricket or Five Guys here, because I get my burgers plain - beef, cheese, bun only - and well done - NO PINK whatsoever, but not a charcoal hockey puck (why do so many restaurants have difficulty with this, when they theoretically should be following food safety recommendations unless you explicitly say otherwise?)

When ordered that way, both the Cricket and Five Guys burgers are as bland as eating cardboard - no flavor whatsoever, and I've tried both restaurants multiple times and have confirmed the results.

On the other hand, Steak-N-Shake is absolutely wonderful, though certainly not the best in the area - that distinction IMHO goes to Boulder's Dark Horse.

VVE6
VVE6

Even a really good burger isn't enough to sway me into certain bars... I never get the need for the numerous "top X burger joints in Denver" articles across several publications.  Sign of the poor culinary scene in Denver, perhaps. 

Nick
Nick

How does the Cho Burger from ChoLon not make the top 10?

Jimmy
Jimmy

Wow cant believe you left out Del Frisco's and Japoix....

pny
pny

No Crown Burger on this list?

Diane Garcia83
Diane Garcia83

Having lived in Denver all of my life, I've visited the older establishments listed, and been to the new.  Hands down, Larkburger is probably the best I have been to, and they are consistently good.  Smashburger doesn't even come close.

dchris24
dchris24

I'd take a big fat-ass greasy Griff's burger over at least half of these any day.

Tatooedchef
Tatooedchef

What about the Rackhouse pub.....Love there burgers..I mean crayfish on top of one ...Love it 

Guest
Guest

I know it's fashionable for self-proclaimed foodies to claim they hate everything in Cherry Creek these days. However, Cricket Burgers are better than at least 5 of the burgers on the list.

Grindit
Grindit

My house.

Really? A restaurant can make a burger better than one that suits your own tastes, with your chosen ingredients?

Next up:  "Denver's ten best toast." 

Ah, I can see the Shunk reviews now...."airy, yet crisp around the edges, with a silken lightly-salted butter smear reminicent of the anchovy "paté" that I was served during my travels through the archipelago.."  

GFTW
GFTW

WestWord obviously has a business connection to Bud's -- its burgers are nothing special! Smashburger has some of the best burgers 'round here, better than Larkburger for sure.

Yvonne
Yvonne

Greenlight Grill in Lone Tree. The best burgers and fries. 

Jon S
Jon S

Nice list. I agree with Highland Tap & Burger being the best. The burger with chimichurri on it is amazing. I wandered by Deluxe the other day and noticed they were serving lunch and had a pretty awesome burger as well. I am a little disappointed that Providence Tavern didn't make it though. I think they consistently serve a better burger than many others mentioned here. Less flashy, but always the right temp.

-WFK-
-WFK-

Crash 45 has amazing burgers... and the Encore burger totally rules. But why is city grille ever even considered for their burgers being the best in town... they are blown away by so many other places!!! James Clark you must have a shitty palate... no offense.

James Clark1447
James Clark1447

This list is an absolute joke with out including City Grille. Your words mean less than nothing to me.

Bsuqb12
Bsuqb12

Come on, no Encore burger!!

Ccourierservices
Ccourierservices

After having attended Burger Battle and visited several of the participating restaurants, Highland Tap and Burger is #1. I was won over by their consistency in awesomeness and the good people that patronize their establishment. If your looking for a stellar beer and tasty burger, surrounded by handsome men and hot chics, Htb is what's happening. I look forward to trying a few on this list

davebarnes
davebarnes

I am a fan of Billy's Inn's burgers.Not so much for Lark Burger nor The Cricket.ChoLon's burger is interesting.

LizS
LizS

Jonesy's Eat bar

James Loo
James Loo

I've found one of the best burgers in town at The Oven Pizza e Vino at Belmar in Lakewood. They cook it in their pizza oven, put it on a great Udi's bun with good American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion. I never had the top burger at the now-defunct Tarbell's, but chef Tarbell owns this pizza joint (which makes really good pizza, btw.) I'll bet this burger is darned-close to it's sibling from Tarbell's.

Jessehall
Jessehall

Candlelight and wait for it...wait for it....Frasca!

Snafunk
Snafunk

Cherry Cricket is just processed Sysco beef...so they cannot be on the list. But you did forget Elways and Highland Tavern which have 2 of the best in the city

epl
epl

Very good list, especially considering the difficulty of the subject matter (and the varied and strong opinions people have about burgers.)  I would've put Park Burger #1, but that's nit-picking.  I also appreciate Colt & Gray's burger and am glad to see it make the list.

I'd also switch out H Burger for Cherry Cricket.  I've never (in 2 visits to the LoDo location and once at the Colo. Blvd. spot) had an H Burger that wasn't over cooked by a lot (meaning I ordered medium and got bone dry well done.)  I also recently had a disastrous meal at the new Little H Burger, a restaurant I can't imagine surviving the year (especially since a quick look at Yelp indicates that my experience is par for the course at Little H.)  I need to try Buds because that burger looks awesome!

Bill
Bill

I found Griff's to be as bland and tasteless as the Cricket, even though I really WANTED to like their burgers.

cm
cm

I agree that their reviews can sometimes be skewed!  However I think the Bud Burger may be more of the experience which hold a lot of value, countless generations have dined her father son etc.  Buds becomes a tradition, something to be upheld and appreciated because while they werent the first witha fun down home concept, they have become a Colorado institution and should be upheld as such, so I can see how they made it.

Barslinger
Barslinger

Thank you..........City Grille is a damn good burger w/o all the fancy stuff.  Great bun, great fresh beef and great fries.

Laura Shunk
Laura Shunk

Oh, Jessehall. How I've missed your "Frasca" commentary.

epl
epl

Candlelight does have a pretty good burger.  Haven't been in years, but I always got a kick out of their menu, which is just a sign on the bar: hamburger, cheeseburger, fries, chilli (seasonal).  I never found out which season you could get chilli. 

James Loo
James Loo

I live a block from H Burger and have dined there at least a dozen times. While the concept is good and the food is generally tasty, they've gotten the temperature wrong virtually every time. It's gotten to the point that I won't even go there any more because I don't want to send another burger back to the kitchen to remake.

epl
epl

Quick revision--when I say I don't see Little H surviving the year, I mean 2012.  My mind's already in that mind set.

GFTW
GFTW

Oh I agree that the joint has a lot of character.

Gee Ram
Gee Ram

No doubt City Grille should be on here...its certainly not Denver's best but it is a very very good burger

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