Mark your calendars for National Cheeseburger Day on Sept. 18. Whether you’re craving a classic burger or a hearty brioche with bacon and brie, celebrate at one of these Pennsylvania burger joints.
1. The Sawmill Restaurant
It’s definitely worth making a trip to this small town to experience one of The Sawmill Restaurant’s famous burgers. Fan favorites include the Sawdust – two patties stacked high with melted cheese and crispy bacon, the Sawmill – a double cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, onion, Thousand Island dressing, and bacon, and the quarter-pound Lumberjack. If you’ve somehow managed to save room for dessert, check out the soft serve ice cream flavors or enjoy a classic banana split.
2. Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub
As seen on numerous national food shows, Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub is known across the land as “Home of the World's Largest Hamburger.” challenge. Several versions of the challenge are available, including the six-pound Ye Olde 96er and its three-hour time limit. Don’t want to go it alone? Gather a bunch of your burger loving pals to partake of the “Beer Barrel Main Event.” Though not an official challenge, this 125-pound behemoth of a burger is topped with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise and made to be shared. Their regular menu also features nearly 30 delicious, half-pound burgers each with its own creative toppings.
3. Standard Tap
Along with its impressive array of locally produced craft beers on tap, Standard Tap is also known for its decadent burgers. The Standard Burger features seven ounces of a grilled patty blend of PA brisket and chuck, topped with raw red onion, Cabot cheddar, leaf lettuce, aioli and house pickles on a brioche bun from Merzbacher’s, an old-school Philadelphia bread bakery with a new-school approach and delicious buns!
4. Village Whiskey
As the 2009 winner of the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic” award and one of only a few chefs in the country to hold the coveted title of “Iron Chef,” Chef Jose Garces is known for serving up delicious burgers alongside great drinks at his restaurant, the Village Whiskey. His Village Burger is served on a sesame roll with tomato, Boston bibb, and house-made Thousand Island dressing, while his Smash Burger features a single or double patty topped with their Thousand Island dressing, lettuce, cheddar, and tomato on a potato roll. Need a break from the beef? There’s also a Turkey Smash Burger with its own, unique fixings, as well as a black bean and lentil Veggie Burger.
5. A. Kitchen+Bar
Located in the heart of Rittenhouse Square and with a focus on seasonally inspired ingredients, a. kitchen + bar’s classic cheeseburger is simple yet delicious. Served with cornichon, American cheese, and dijonnaise (a blend of Dijon mustard and mayonnaise) on a sesame bun and a side of fries, this meal pairs perfectly with one of their craft cocktails or local brews. Their cocktails and selection of distinctive wines is so good, the restaurant has received Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence for its innovative wine and spirits programs.
6. Union and Finch
Burgers take center stage at Union & Finch – an American style bistro focused on comfort foods and familiar favorites with a twist. Their inviting menu of burgers ranges from the classic made with Pat LaFrieda beef and topped with iceberg lettuce, red onion, and a tomato to their Gold Label Burger featuring a custom blend of prime, dry-aged Pat beef cuts topped with caramelized onions and is known to sell out quickly! They also feature a burger of the month with unique toppings and fixings guaranteed to stretch your burger boundaries!
No question of what’s on the menu of Burgatory! This eclectic restaurant offers gourmet burgers, unique milkshakes, and a variety of cocktails and brews. Burgers range from their Standard Deluxe all-natural beef burger with white American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and House Burger Sauce to the more inventive, such as their Piggy Butter & Jelly topped with candied bacon, peanut butter, and habanero jelly. Feeling crafty? Create your own, unique burger from their extensive selection of meats and veggies, cheese, sauces, and toppings.
8. Burg’hers Brewing
Burg’hers Brewing is a self-described, “chef-driven, smash burger joint and craft brewery focused on locally sourced, ethical, and sustainable food and drink.” Named after various sections of Pittsburgh, their burgers offer an interesting take on the easy, all-American backyard burger. For example, their Polish Hill burger is topped with a pierogi, while the Mexican War burger features chilies and cilantro, and the Morningside is topped with an egg and bacon. You can even order a “Smash Pack” – their version of an adult kids’ meal!
9. Carol & Dave’s Roadhouse
Carol & Dave’s Roadhouse is not your average burger joint, adding a new spin to the traditional burger concept with their bun-less, eight-ounce “fork & knife burgers.” Their Black & Blue Fork & Knife steak burger is topped with sautéed onions, bacon, blackened seasoning, dry blue cheese, and buffalo sauce, while the Portobello is served on spinach, topped with a Portobello mushroom, red peppers, fresh mozzarella cheese, and blackened tomatoes. Bun lovers need not despair! Their classic char-grilled steak burger – half or full pound, your choice – is served on a bun with lettuce, tomato, pickle, and fries.
10. Building No. 9 Grille
With burgers perfectly juicy and grilled-to-perfection,Building No. 9 Grille is known as one of the best burger joints in Bradford County. Crafted with Creekstone Farms certified Black Angus beef, their burgers come in a variety of classic styles. The Cue Ball is a tasty hamburger, the 8 Ball a classic cheeseburger, and the 8 Ball Deluxe their delectable bacon cheeseburger may have you coming back for seconds. All are served with onion, tomato, lettuce, and mayo, and you have the option of doubling the meat for just an additional $3.50!
11. Buttonwood Grill
A favorite among locals, the Buttonwood Grill is known for its half-pound burgers, ground and each served “Between the Buns” or “Naked,” your choice. Burger purists may want to opt for the Plain Jane – a simply great tasting burger on a bun and that’s all. The more adventurous burger connoisseur may want to try the Little Italy with its toppings of sundried tomato and olive tapenade, spicy cherry peppers, provolone, and Italian greens, or their Guinness BBQ onions, sharp cheddar, and creamy horseradish – definitely yum on a bun!
12. Bowman’s Tavern
Burgers crafted from all natural, hormone free, grass fed beef and served on a toasted brioche bun are a definite fan favorite at Bowman's Tavern. The Bowman Burger is heaped with bacon, white cheddar, Bibb lettuce, tomato, onion, and their own special “secret sauce,” while their guacamole burger is a delicious combo of house-made guacamole, pepper jack cheese, frizzled onions, Bibb lettuce, tomato, and chipotle aioli. They also feature a “Burger of the Week” that features some unique ingredients, such as chicken fat biscuits and duck confit gravy.
13. Brick & Brew Gastropub
Malvern, Media, Havertown
The Brick & Brew is an authentic gastropub serving not only amazing burgers but an array of homemade dishes including wood fired pizzas, handcrafted cocktails, and local craft beer. Top sellers include their Brick & Brew Burger with its custom beef blend and stacked high with Muenster cheese, pepperoncini relish, and Bibb lettuce. Be sure to check out each location’s weekly specials, which often feature a tasty burger with innovative toppings.
14. Charlie’s Hamburgers
Serving up made-to-order burgers and classic milkshakes since 1935, Charlie’s Hamburgers’ is a veritable Delaware County institution! Nothing fancy here; the menu is pretty simple (you won’t even find French fries listed), but their incredible burgers are made fresh each morning with meat sourced from local butchers. Be sure to order their famous black-and-white milkshakes to wash down your burger for the true Charlie’s experience – homemade with Bassetts Ice Cream, another southeastern PA icon and celebrating 150 years as America’s oldest ice cream company!
15. Donna’s Diner
Serving up old-fashioned 1950’s era diner food for more than a decade, award-winning burgers and milkshakes are always on the menu at Donna’s Diner. Their “WinnerBurgers” are often inspired by 50’s icons. All their burgers are made with seven ounces of fresh, hand-pressed ground steak on a grilled Kaiser egg roll and served with freshly made chips dusted with ranch powder. The aptly named “Heartbreak Hotel” features a cheeseburger nestled between two grilled cheese sandwiches and topped with lettuce, tomato, onion. Spice it up a bit with the Ricky Ricardo burger topped with pepper jack cheese, bacon, habanero hot sauce, lettuce, tomato, and onion. They also feature a WinnerBurger of the Day. Nittany Lion lovers will want to stop in on Wednesdays for their We Are Penn State Black & ‘Bleu’ Burger!
16. The Grille at the Train Station
The Grille at the Train Station invites you to “Get Your Grille On.” Supporting local growers, their juicy, half-pound, grilled-to-perfection burgers are made with a blend of steak and brisket and come with all of the fixings. Fan favorite, the Frickle Burger, is dressed with fried pickle chips, Monterey Jack cheese, tomato, lettuce, red onion, and the self-proclaimed best ranch dressing in the area. Add a bit of zing for your taste buds with the Firehouse Burger featuring house wing sauce, house-pickled jalapeños, and pepper jack cheese. Menu sides include fries, house hips, tots, or grilled pickles so you’re guaranteed to never leave hungry!
17. Grill on the Hill
One of fifteen spots along the Lawrence Country Burger TrailGrill on the HillTriple Dog Dare you to takeCliffhanger Challenge. This triple cheeseburger is topped with nine pieces of bacon and served alongside a hill of fries and a root beer float and is totally free to any visitor who can complete the challenge in ten minutes or less. They also serve a variety of classic burgers as well as several with unique toppings, such as their Peanut Butter Bacon Burger that comes smothered in peanut butter and the Ravioli Burger topped with spinach, deep-fried, ravioli, marinara sauce, pepperoni, and Provolone cheese.
18. The Brickhouse
The Brickhouse Grill offers exciting, innovative, and homemade dishes with seasonal local ingredients sourced from a variety of local farms and their own gardens. These tasty ingredients are reflected in all of their menu offerings, including their 28-day dry aged burger: a custom blend of dry aged chuck, brisket, and short rib, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, and artisan gruyere. This tasty sandwich pairs well with all of their craft cocktail offerings including their featured spring drink, the fresh Blueberry Mule.
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