While the restaurants serving up the best burgers in Charlotte primarily serve beef burgers, you'd be amazed at the variety. The evolution of the burger is one of the more interesting parts of American culture. Once merely a staple of backyard grilling, burgers have evolved into their own cuisine. Turkey burgers, bison burgers, ostrich burgers, portobello burgers, black bean burgers and all of the other descendants owe a tribute to their original -- the hamburger.
So naming one burger the best in Charlotte would be like picking the best car or the best wine. It's subject to taste. But if you're craving a burger and don't feel like rolling the dice, here are some of Charlotte's best bets for a tasty burger.
Some of the spots listed here focus on gourmet burgers, while some focus on plain and simple. But no matter what your favorite style, there's sure to be something on this list that'll quickly become a new favorite.
Big Daddy's Burger Bar
1626 East Blvd.
Big Daddy's is at the top of the heap. The Dilworth eatery's tremendous selection should satisfy the desires of most burger fans. Try the suggested menu options such as the Classic Southern Burger or the Blue Cheese, Bacon and Tomato Stack. Or satisfy your wildest craving and create any burger you like with six types of patties, 11 cheeses, five breads and more than 20 toppings. And, any place with a bacon-wrapped, deep-fried hot dog gets special consideration.
Complete your meal with one of six side items -- go with the homemade chips. Big Daddy's is also open for breakfast on Saturday and Sunday.
The Bad Ass burger is the standout here, a huge burger topped with onion straws and incredible buttermilk fried bacon. This bacon here is immense, and has actually been mistakes for a chicken sandwich it takes up so much space on the bun.
4310 Sharon Rd.
This California-bred burger joint belongs in the Gourmet category with toppings ranging from carrot strings to dried cranberries and sauces from ginger soy glaze to apricot sauce. Build your burger on a bun or in a bowl of lettuce. Either way, the SouthPark burger joint offers a different experience than your standard diner and deserves a mention among Charlotte's burger bistros.
Nix Burgers & Brew
210 N. Tryon St.
Crowded and filled with the Uptown lunch crowd, Nix Burgers & Brew has your typical selection of burgers. You can order your burger "pink" or "done" and there is no negotiation (trust me!). But, the burgers are solid and come with a variety of toppings -- like gruyere cheese -- to satisfy a sophisticated palate. The expansive beer selection and late-night hours help make Nix a great Uptown option.
1921 Commonwealth Ave.
The Penquin is a landmark in Charlotte's Plaza Midwood neighborhood serving up simple burger fare since 1954. All The Way or Southern Style are your two options but they are the only ones you will need. Classic burgers at classic prices.
Several Charlotte-area locations
There will be some people who complain about a chain being on this list, but Five Guys is good enough to warrant a spot.
Originating in Virginia in 1986, Five Guys exhibits tremendous value in the basic burger and fries category. Customizing your burger comes down to an extended set of basic toppings. The fries are the reason to come to this growing burger franchise as a small order can easily feed a family of four.
4009 South Blvd.
Locals rave about Zack's as the protypical hamburger joint. Cheap and simple might not be the best way to describe a restaurant, but Zack's is both and that's why it is on this list. Zack's also offers fried chicken, shrimp, and trout for the non-burger eaters.