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A thick cheeseburger in a brioche bun with fries on a white plate.
The burger at Le Coin with hand-cut frites.
Jay Friedman

15 Spots for Mind-Blowing Burgers In Seattle

With crispy smashburgers, juicy half-pound patties, pand more

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The burger at Le Coin with hand-cut frites.
| Jay Friedman

Seemingly bigger than the number of burger options in Seattle: people’s opinions on them. Burger love is truly a subjective thing, but this roadmap helps sort through some of the best options in the city. The list includes basic burgers done brilliantly, but also offers exceptions for variations that are, well, exceptional. Some of these restaurants are easily recognizable as hamburger havens, while others come from places ranging from a dive bar to a butcher shop to an oyster house. No matter what, these stops all have one thing in common: a damn tasty burger.

Know of a spot that should be on our radar? Send us a tip by emailing seattle@eater.com. As usual, this list is not ranked; it’s organized geographically.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Rain City Burgers

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At this sporty spot in Roosevelt, team spirit comes second only to a serious dedication to quality burgers, including the Huskies, 12th Man, Mariners, and Sonics burgers. A surprise star is the Sounders burger with cream cheese and jalapenos with garlic, bacon, and pepper jack cheese. Add tater tots or sweet potato fries to the roster, and it’s game on.

A cheeseburger at Rain City with lettuce, tomato, and onions.
The burger is a surprise star at Rain City.
Rain City Burgers/Facebook

8oz Burger and Co.

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This burger shop, with locations in both Capitol Hill and Ballard, owes its popularity to its half-pound patties, a fantastic whiskey selection, and one of the best late-night happy hours around. When it comes to choosing a burger, diners can trust the name and get the signature 8oz with arugula, balsamic onions, bacon, cheddar, and truffle aioli. If you’re feeling more adventurous, the Pike has habanero jam while the Union is made with an espresso-rubbed patty.

A burger at 8oz Burger dripping with cheese on a white plate.
8oz Burger is known for half-pound patties.
8oz Burger and Co./Official

Mean Sandwich

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A burger’s a sandwich, right? The meat on Mean Sandwich’s version is grass-fed and grass-finished. Choose one or two quarter-pound patties and this Ballard-based shop fills in the rest: American cheese (good old Kraft Singles), onions, mayonnaise, house-made pickles and house-made mustard on a Tribeca Oven bun. “Skins & Ins” (fried baked potatoes, of sorts) fill out an unforgettable feast.

The burger at Mean Sandwich with a side of potato skins.
Mean Sandwich’s patties come from Bateau beef.
Jay Friedman

Uneeda Burger

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The full menu at this Fremont burger shack warrants a try, starting with the classic and its quarter-pound of beef. Variations include the lamb burger with tempura lemons, the elk burger with grilled hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, and the bison burger with onion jam and bacon. Tempura mushrooms and green beans are among the interesting sides, and a nice alternative to the usual French-fried potatoes. Both indoor and outdoor seating is available.

Two Doors Down

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This family-friendly spot in Capitol Hill crafts burgers with inventive additions such as green chile cream cheese, house-made pickles, hop-garlic mayo, and fried avocado. The restaurant also touts a 20-tap rotating draft list for the grownups, and for the kids, junior burgers and draft root beer floats. The best seats might be at the bright blue counter where you can watch all the burger-making action.

A burger, beer, and fries at Two Doors Down.
Two Doors Down is a family-friendly spot with inventive burgers.
Two Doors Down/Facebook

Pick-Quick Drive In

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This roadside favorite, founded in Fife in 1949, expanded to Auburn before opening a branch in SoDo in recent years. It’s a slice of Americana, once chosen as best burger joint in Washington state by “USA Today” for its crisply charred burgers and hand-cut French fries. As a bonus, Pick-Quick has a wide selection of shakes blended to order, including fresh, in-season berries. As the name indicates, you can place and receive your order from the comfort of your car.

The burger and fries at Pick Quick.
Pick-Quick is a roadside favoritein SoDo.
Pick-Quick Drive In/Facebook

The Swinery

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It’s easy to feel good about ordering a burger here, since this West Seattle wonder sources all of its meat from within 300 miles of the shop. Burgers come with one-third pound of Painted Hills beef, though hungry meat-lovers can add an extra patty, bacon, pulled pork, and even crispy pork belly to their patties. The hand-cut fries are fried in rendered pork fat, and the business also doubles as a butcher shop.

The burger at the Swinery, stuffed with lettuce, onions, pickles, and tomatoes.
This West Seattle wonder sources its beef locally.
The Swinery/Facebook

Loretta's Northwesterner

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While there’s a “deluxe” cheeseburger that the menu says is “restaurant-style,” Loretta’s Northwesterner is a bar, and you want the Tavern. This classic burger, possibly the city’s best, shows off simplicity done well: beef with a nice char, pickles, onions chopped small, American cheese, and special sauce that’s heavy on the mayo — all on an unobtrusive, squishy bun. (You can find the same burger at sibling restaurant Star Brass Works, but the fries are considerably better at Loretta’s.)

The burger at Loretta’s on a bun with a side of fries.
Loretta’s has a simple, but classic, burger.
Jay Friedman for Eater

Big Max Burger Co

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The “Big Max” cheeseburger at this family-friendly restaurant in Queen Anne is a two-handed, happily messy mass of deliciousness. Big Mac lovers will love the nostalgia factor, with two beef and bacon patties, “Max” sauce (tangy from sherry vinegar and mustard), aged white cheddar, pickles, plus a combination of caramelized white and raw red onions makes this a super-elevated McDonald’s experience.

Frank's Oyster House & Champagne Parlor

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You won’t need the fancy fork and steak knife placed on your table, but keep the white linen napkin close for this steakhouse-style burger. The half-pound patty is pink in the center when cooked medium-rare and is adorned with tangy pickled red onions. Melted aged white cheddar and Louie sauce add to the affair. And there’s no shortage of shoestring fries on the plate.

Giddy Up Burgers

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Value and quality are hallmarks of this family-friendly, Western-themed restaurant in Frelard. The basic Buckaroo, served on a sesame seed bun, is big and beefy, suitable for kids and adults. Other burgers, like the popular OMG (onion, mushroom and gruyere) and the Kit N Kaboodle (with bacon, cheddar, ranch, BBQ sauce, and oh-so-delicate haystack onion rings) have even bigger patties and come on a griddled potato bun. Beer and Seattle Soda beverages are available.

Li'l Woody's

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The namesake Li’l Woody with its diced pickles is affordable and satisfying, but the Fig and Pig burger is an outlier in a burger world ruled by savory selections. Pickled figs lend sweetness and chewiness, crumbled blue cheese delivers just the right amount of melty funkiness, and bacon contributes a salty crunch. Look for locations in Ballard, Capitol Hill, and White Center, as well as T-Mobile Park and Climate Pledge Arena for game-day burgers — always made with grass-fed beef.

Le Coin

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Modern French is the mission of this Fremont restaurant, and Le Coin’s burger is an umami bomb comes with a fondue of caramelized onions and mimolette cheese, along with cured tomatoes, lettuce, and herb aioli — all on a bun from Sea Wolf Bakers. Oh, and oui to the fabulous frites with herbs and garlic cloves thrown into the fryer. Your server might suggest eating your burger over the fries so that the cheese that drips down creates do-it-yourself poutine, wise advice you’d be smart to follow.

A thick cheeseburger in a brioche bun with fries on a white plate.
The burger at Le Coin with hand-cut frites.
Jay Friedman

Saint Bread

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The Saint Cheeseburger is a religious experience. Picture a perfectly salted, thin-smashed patty (or two, if you opt for a second, which you should) with terrific char topped with melted American cheese on a bed of shredduce and house-made pickles inside a house-made Hawaiian bun that’s soft and squishy even after hitting the grill. There’s also a special sweet and tangy sauce (with chili spiking the Kewpie mayonnaise). With no deep fryer at Saint Bread, the closest thing to fries is a bag of chips. Put your money instead toward the treat of a cookie, cake, or pastry for dessert. 

Sunny Hill

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This Sunset Hill stop is known best for its Detroit-style pizza, but the Sunny Burger is worth seeking out. It comes with iceberg lettuce and umami (from soy sauce and tamarind, we’re told) ketchup, though its distinguishing feature is the frizzled onions that impart caramelized flavor on top of the good char on the meat. Those who like waffle fries can consider anteing up $7 for a serving.

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Rain City Burgers

A cheeseburger at Rain City with lettuce, tomato, and onions.
The burger is a surprise star at Rain City.
Rain City Burgers/Facebook

At this sporty spot in Roosevelt, team spirit comes second only to a serious dedication to quality burgers, including the Huskies, 12th Man, Mariners, and Sonics burgers. A surprise star is the Sounders burger with cream cheese and jalapenos with garlic, bacon, and pepper jack cheese. Add tater tots or sweet potato fries to the roster, and it’s game on.

A cheeseburger at Rain City with lettuce, tomato, and onions.
The burger is a surprise star at Rain City.
Rain City Burgers/Facebook

8oz Burger and Co.

A burger at 8oz Burger dripping with cheese on a white plate.
8oz Burger is known for half-pound patties.
8oz Burger and Co./Official

This burger shop, with locations in both Capitol Hill and Ballard, owes its popularity to its half-pound patties, a fantastic whiskey selection, and one of the best late-night happy hours around. When it comes to choosing a burger, diners can trust the name and get the signature 8oz with arugula, balsamic onions, bacon, cheddar, and truffle aioli. If you’re feeling more adventurous, the Pike has habanero jam while the Union is made with an espresso-rubbed patty.

A burger at 8oz Burger dripping with cheese on a white plate.
8oz Burger is known for half-pound patties.
8oz Burger and Co./Official

Mean Sandwich

The burger at Mean Sandwich with a side of potato skins.
Mean Sandwich’s patties come from Bateau beef.
Jay Friedman

A burger’s a sandwich, right? The meat on Mean Sandwich’s version is grass-fed and grass-finished. Choose one or two quarter-pound patties and this Ballard-based shop fills in the rest: American cheese (good old Kraft Singles), onions, mayonnaise, house-made pickles and house-made mustard on a Tribeca Oven bun. “Skins & Ins” (fried baked potatoes, of sorts) fill out an unforgettable feast.

The burger at Mean Sandwich with a side of potato skins.
Mean Sandwich’s patties come from Bateau beef.
Jay Friedman

Uneeda Burger

The full menu at this Fremont burger shack warrants a try, starting with the classic and its quarter-pound of beef. Variations include the lamb burger with tempura lemons, the elk burger with grilled hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, and the bison burger with onion jam and bacon. Tempura mushrooms and green beans are among the interesting sides, and a nice alternative to the usual French-fried potatoes. Both indoor and outdoor seating is available.

Two Doors Down

A burger, beer, and fries at Two Doors Down.
Two Doors Down is a family-friendly spot with inventive burgers.
Two Doors Down/Facebook

This family-friendly spot in Capitol Hill crafts burgers with inventive additions such as green chile cream cheese, house-made pickles, hop-garlic mayo, and fried avocado. The restaurant also touts a 20-tap rotating draft list for the grownups, and for the kids, junior burgers and draft root beer floats. The best seats might be at the bright blue counter where you can watch all the burger-making action.

A burger, beer, and fries at Two Doors Down.
Two Doors Down is a family-friendly spot with inventive burgers.
Two Doors Down/Facebook

Pick-Quick Drive In

The burger and fries at Pick Quick.
Pick-Quick is a roadside favoritein SoDo.
Pick-Quick Drive In/Facebook

This roadside favorite, founded in Fife in 1949, expanded to Auburn before opening a branch in SoDo in recent years. It’s a slice of Americana, once chosen as best burger joint in Washington state by “USA Today” for its crisply charred burgers and hand-cut French fries. As a bonus, Pick-Quick has a wide selection of shakes blended to order, including fresh, in-season berries. As the name indicates, you can place and receive your order from the comfort of your car.

The burger and fries at Pick Quick.
Pick-Quick is a roadside favoritein SoDo.
Pick-Quick Drive In/Facebook

The Swinery

The burger at the Swinery, stuffed with lettuce, onions, pickles, and tomatoes.
This West Seattle wonder sources its beef locally.
The Swinery/Facebook

It’s easy to feel good about ordering a burger here, since this West Seattle wonder sources all of its meat from within 300 miles of the shop. Burgers come with one-third pound of Painted Hills beef, though hungry meat-lovers can add an extra patty, bacon, pulled pork, and even crispy pork belly to their patties. The hand-cut fries are fried in rendered pork fat, and the business also doubles as a butcher shop.

The burger at the Swinery, stuffed with lettuce, onions, pickles, and tomatoes.
This West Seattle wonder sources its beef locally.
The Swinery/Facebook

Loretta's Northwesterner

The burger at Loretta’s on a bun with a side of fries.
Loretta’s has a simple, but classic, burger.
Jay Friedman for Eater

While there’s a “deluxe” cheeseburger that the menu says is “restaurant-style,” Loretta’s Northwesterner is a bar, and you want the Tavern. This classic burger, possibly the city’s best, shows off simplicity done well: beef with a nice char, pickles, onions chopped small, American cheese, and special sauce that’s heavy on the mayo — all on an unobtrusive, squishy bun. (You can find the same burger at sibling restaurant Star Brass Works, but the fries are considerably better at Loretta’s.)

The burger at Loretta’s on a bun with a side of fries.
Loretta’s has a simple, but classic, burger.
Jay Friedman for Eater

Big Max Burger Co

The “Big Max” cheeseburger at this family-friendly restaurant in Queen Anne is a two-handed, happily messy mass of deliciousness. Big Mac lovers will love the nostalgia factor, with two beef and bacon patties, “Max” sauce (tangy from sherry vinegar and mustard), aged white cheddar, pickles, plus a combination of caramelized white and raw red onions makes this a super-elevated McDonald’s experience.

Frank's Oyster House & Champagne Parlor

You won’t need the fancy fork and steak knife placed on your table, but keep the white linen napkin close for this steakhouse-style burger. The half-pound patty is pink in the center when cooked medium-rare and is adorned with tangy pickled red onions. Melted aged white cheddar and Louie sauce add to the affair. And there’s no shortage of shoestring fries on the plate.

Giddy Up Burgers

Value and quality are hallmarks of this family-friendly, Western-themed restaurant in Frelard. The basic Buckaroo, served on a sesame seed bun, is big and beefy, suitable for kids and adults. Other burgers, like the popular OMG (onion, mushroom and gruyere) and the Kit N Kaboodle (with bacon, cheddar, ranch, BBQ sauce, and oh-so-delicate haystack onion rings) have even bigger patties and come on a griddled potato bun. Beer and Seattle Soda beverages are available.

Li'l Woody's

The namesake Li’l Woody with its diced pickles is affordable and satisfying, but the Fig and Pig burger is an outlier in a burger world ruled by savory selections. Pickled figs lend sweetness and chewiness, crumbled blue cheese delivers just the right amount of melty funkiness, and bacon contributes a salty crunch. Look for locations in Ballard, Capitol Hill, and White Center, as well as T-Mobile Park and Climate Pledge Arena for game-day burgers — always made with grass-fed beef.

Le Coin

A thick cheeseburger in a brioche bun with fries on a white plate.
The burger at Le Coin with hand-cut frites.
Jay Friedman

Modern French is the mission of this Fremont restaurant, and Le Coin’s burger is an umami bomb comes with a fondue of caramelized onions and mimolette cheese, along with cured tomatoes, lettuce, and herb aioli — all on a bun from Sea Wolf Bakers. Oh, and oui to the fabulous frites with herbs and garlic cloves thrown into the fryer. Your server might suggest eating your burger over the fries so that the cheese that drips down creates do-it-yourself poutine, wise advice you’d be smart to follow.

A thick cheeseburger in a brioche bun with fries on a white plate.
The burger at Le Coin with hand-cut frites.
Jay Friedman

Saint Bread

The Saint Cheeseburger is a religious experience. Picture a perfectly salted, thin-smashed patty (or two, if you opt for a second, which you should) with terrific char topped with melted American cheese on a bed of shredduce and house-made pickles inside a house-made Hawaiian bun that’s soft and squishy even after hitting the grill. There’s also a special sweet and tangy sauce (with chili spiking the Kewpie mayonnaise). With no deep fryer at Saint Bread, the closest thing to fries is a bag of chips. Put your money instead toward the treat of a cookie, cake, or pastry for dessert. 

Sunny Hill

This Sunset Hill stop is known best for its Detroit-style pizza, but the Sunny Burger is worth seeking out. It comes with iceberg lettuce and umami (from soy sauce and tamarind, we’re told) ketchup, though its distinguishing feature is the frizzled onions that impart caramelized flavor on top of the good char on the meat. Those who like waffle fries can consider anteing up $7 for a serving.

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