Some are exotic meats that can be ordered with mix-and-match gourmet toppings. Others are basic burgers executed to perfection and made with quality ingredients. And then there are those that are best paired with the perfect glass of wine or liquor-spiked milkshakes.
Yes, when it comes to burgers, turns out there are quite a few options in Palm Beach County. To help you find the best, here's a list of the top burger restaurants from Palm Beach Gardens to Boca Raton.
10. Shula Burger
14917 Lyons Road, Delray Beach. Call 561-404-1347, or visit shulaburger.com.
If ever there were an iconic South Florida name, "Shula" would be it. The football legend is famous not just for his coaching skills but for his namesake high-end steakhouses to boot. Several years ago, he debuted a new concept for the Shula brand: Shula Burger, coach Don Shula's casual-dining establishment that specializes in — well — burgers. Try "The Don," a burger in which two American classics come together as one. What exactly does that mean? It's a burger and hot dog in one, complete with pickles, onion sauce, American cheese, ketchup, and yellow mustard on a brioche bun.
9. HiWay Burger
12 SE Fifth Ave., Delray Beach. Call 561-243-6430, or visit hiwayburger.com.
One part fast food, one part burger shack, this little slice of burger heaven is located in the heart of downtown Delray Beach, just a few miles west of the beach and a few steps away from Atlantic Avenue. Where Doc's All American off Swinton would typically get the vote for cheap burger and shake shack in Delray, you should check out HiWay for its simple menu and ridiculously low prices. In fact, nothing on the menu costs more than $7. Yes, you read that right. Even the "Triple Hi Cheeseburger" — with three patties, a divine melted-cheese sauce, and all the fixings — is only $6.95. All that's left to do is pair it with a milkshake and an order of hand-cut French fries.
13860 Wellington Trace, Wellington. Call 561-753-0555, or visit lindburgers.com.
If you couldn't already tell by the name, Lindburgers is all about the burgers. Founded in 1983 right here in South Florida — Delray Beach, to be exact — Lindburgers has been offering some of the area's best beef patties for more than three decades. With its nostalgic, aviation-themed atmosphere and retro feel, it's a locally based, fast-casual chain that offers something for everyone. There are old-fashioned sloppy joes and sliders and a burger stuffed between two English muffins in place of buns. Think a variety of meats as well, from turkey and lobster to a portobello-mushroom-based veggie, all cooked to order. The restaurant offers 50 varieties in all, so the chances of your being disappointed with the options are pretty much zero.
7. Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar
6000 Glades Road, Boca Raton. Call 561-393-3252, or visit zinburgereast.com.
Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar, an upscale burger restaurant offering gourmet burgers combined with perfectly paired wine selections, recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of its Boca Raton restaurant (there's also one in Sunrise). Located at the Town Center at Boca Raton, the burger joint offers made-to-order burgers, hand-dipped shakes and floats, homemade pies, and 23 wine varieties meant to be paired with any burger on the menu.
6. Grease Burger, Beer, and Whiskey Bar
213 Clematis St., West Palm Beach. Call 561-651-1075, or visit greasewpb.com.
At West Palm Beach's Grease Burger, Beer, and Whiskey Bar, the name alone tells you everything you need to know about the Clematis Street restaurant. Here, you can find a large array of burgers, hefty ten-ounce patties as thick and big around as truck tires. There are more than eight kinds, each burger ground fresh daily and hand-shaped, with stuff like cheese and bacon and onions and fried eggs. And, as the name suggests, there is grease. Bite into one of these bad boys and the juices and molten fat dribble all over your chin and pool on your paper-covered plate. Order your burger with everything from apples, grilled jalapeños, and thick-cut bacon to homemade chili or fat slices of grilled cheese. If you're feeling extra hungry, you can go for the signature Grease Beast, a dish that's "not for the faint of heart." Just as the name suggests, the Beast is a monster of a sandwich — a few meals in one, plated to satisfy all your cravings with just a single bite. Start with a ten-ounce cheddar-cheese burger, stacked between two bacon/grilled-cheese sandwiches, piled high with shoestring French fries and onion rings. Then add a healthy slathering of ranch dressing and traditional toppings like tomatoes, onion, lettuce, and pickles.
5. The Habit Burger
280 S. State Road 7, West Palm Beach. Call 561-784-4011, or visit habitburger.com.
Do you know what your favorite fast-food burger is? Consumer Reports reported the definitive answer to that question when it published a list of the country's best (and worst) fast-food restaurants several years ago. Part of that report meant finding the nation's favorite burger, and the chain that took the number-one spot wasn't White Castle, Steak 'n Shake, McDonald's, or even those popular In-N-Out burgers everyone can't seem to stop salivating over. Instead, the best burger in America, according to Consumer Reports, comes from a California-based burger chain that first opened in Santa Barbara in 1969. Locally, Habit Burger — with two Palm Beach County locations, in Delray Beach and Royal Palm Beach — is up against other fast-casual places like BurgerFi, Shake Shack, and Five Guys. But its signature "char burger" is still habit-forming when you consider versions amped up with everything from grilled pineapple and teriyaki sauce to sautéed mushrooms.
4. The Burger Bar
4650 Donald Ross Road, Palm Beach Gardens. Call 561-630-4545, or visit burgerbar.com.
The Burger Bar in Palm Beach Gardens has been around for a few years now, but you should know that restaurateur Dennis Max is consulting with the establishment, meaning an elevated menu is in store for the burger-focused eatery. Right now, a signature dish includes the Hot Mess (pictured above), a 100 percent prime beef burger topped with a house-made ketchup that includes sriracha, pineapple juice, and wine. The burger also has house-made pickled jalapeños, thick-sliced applewood bacon, and — underneath it all — a special "cheese skirt" that's melted on the flattop to a crispy finish. Executive chef Nunzio Billante is also known for offering his spirit-spiked adult milkshakes, including the Chocolate Black Russian, Nutella Bourbon, and Brandy Alexander Split.
3. The Counter
3101 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens. Call 561-557-8515, or visit thecounterburger.com.
A pioneer in the build-your-own-burger movement, the Counter — a California-based fast-casual burger concept that recently began making its way across South Florida — offers a menu said to feature "a million possible burger combinations" that cater to every diet imaginable, from paleo and vegan to gluten-free. The full-service Palm Beach Gardens restaurant has a simple premise: Choose your burger (or alternative protein such as ground turkey, chicken breast, vegan burger, bison, or ahi tuna), a cheese, a sauce, toppings (there are dozens to choose from), bun, and a side. The menu includes gluten-free options and burger bowls — where a patty is incorporated into a salad sans bread — and even offers vegan alternatives for cheese and bun, in addition to the meat-free patty option.
2 . Relish & More
401 Northwood Road, West Palm Beach. Call 561-629-5377, or visit relishburger.com.
Six years ago, Relish came onto the scene in West Palm Beach's Northwood Village. It was new, different, and exciting. And it was all about burgers. But not just any burgers — burgers made from exotic meats you could pair with an array of mix-and-match gourmet toppings, a concept compliments of owners Desiree and Dan Tobin. Today, that still holds true — now at two Palm Beach County locations, including a 3-month-old Boca Raton restaurant. The craft-it-yourself burgers encompass dozens of specialty add-ons that allow you to customize your own creation atop everything from wild boar and duck burgers to bison and buffalo. And just to keep things interesting, a new feature flavor makes a debut each month (think specials of the month that blend buffalo, venison, elk, boar, and antelope — or even camel and antelope). Be sure to visit on a Tuesday, when all burgers are priced at $10 each, including a side.
1. M.E.A.T. Eatery & Taproom
980 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton. Call 561-419-2600, or visit meateatery.com.
If it seems like the word "craft" gets thrown around way too much, we get it. Pretty much every menu in South Florida is offering specially crafted this and that. But what makes something truly craft? Take a seat at M.E.A.T. Eatery & Tap Room in Boca Raton and you'll find out. Here, pretty much everything is made in-house. Co-owner and executive chef George Patti ensures that his team smokes and grinds its own meats onsite, cuts and cures its own bacon, and offers house-made sausage and chorizo. Even the condiments — including a mango chipotle ketchup and caraway and beer mustard — are made fresh and from scratch. While it serves more than burgers, the burgers are good. So good, in fact, that they won New Times Best Burger in 2015. Try the popular Inside-Out Juicy Lucy Burger, a six-ounce pimento-cheese- and bacon-stuffed Angus patty topped with cheese, lettuce, and tomato. Or go for Patti's signature dish, his own chorizo "Patti" sandwich, a five-ounce chorizo burger topped with American cheese and a lime cilantro aioli. Pair it all with the bistro fries, here fried in duck fat for an extra level of flavor.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.