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White melty cheddar cheese, roasted peppers, and arugula, spilling out over a burger patty between two halves of a shiny brioche bun.
The lamb burger at Uneeda Burger in Fremont.
Suzi Pratt

15 Spots For Mind-Blowing Burgers In Seattle

With crispy smashburgers, juicy half-pound patties, panko-crusted deep-fried meat, and more

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The lamb burger at Uneeda Burger in Fremont.
| Suzi Pratt

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.

1. Rain City Burgers

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6501 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
(206) 525-3542
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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

2. 8oz Burger and Co.

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2409 NW Market St
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 782-2491
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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

3. Mean Sandwich

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1510 NW Leary Way
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 789-9999
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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

4. Uneeda Burger

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4302 Fremont Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 547-2600
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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.

5. Two Doors Down

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2332 E Madison St
Seattle, WA 98112
(206) 324-2337
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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

6. Burbs Burgers

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121 S King St
Seattle, WA 98104
(425) 390-4084
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This mini burger chain has locations in Pioneer Square, Ballard, and Georgetown (plus a couple more outlying areas in the works), though it’s hard to beat the Montlake spot with its picnic tables and artificial grass serving as an urban oasis. The Classic is a deal at $4.50: a wonderfully charred smashburger with ketchup, mustard, and American cheese on a butter-toasted sesame seed bun. You can make it a double or go “Special” for fifty cents more to add shredded lettuce, grilled onions, and a tangy special sauce, with nice shoestring fries to boot.

7. Katsu Burger

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12700 SE 38th St
Bellevue, WA 98006
(425) 971-7228
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Katsu Burger serves a slew of panko-breaded, deep-fried meats for its burgers. While beef, chicken, and even tofu are options, pork is classic for katsu, fantastic with mayo and tonkatsu sauce along with the standard toppings of cabbage, tomato, red onions, and pickles. If you can’t decide, try to tackle the Mt. Fuji, stuffed with three katsu patties (chicken, beef, and pork), three types of cheese, and three sauces, plus egg and bacon. Nori fries and a matcha milkshake help round out a decadent fast-food fusion meal.

8. Pick-Quick Drive In

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2990 4th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98134
(206) 207-1111
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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

9. The Swinery

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3207 California Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98116
(206) 932-4211
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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

10. Loretta's Northwesterner

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8617 14th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98108
(206) 327-9649
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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

11. Zippy's Giant Burgers

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9614 14th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98106
(206) 763-1347
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Zippy’s Giant Burgers (patties weigh in at a third of a pound before broiling) boasts many standouts (including the mammoth, two-patty Royale), but No. 11 on the menu is the standout. The smoky chipotle mayo and Mama Lil’s Kick Butt Peppers are the stars of this burger, with smoked cheddar and jack cheeses. Arcade games are a welcome distraction while waiting for orders.

A burger at Zippy’s, with lettuce, tomato, blue cheese, and a side of fries.
Zippy’s is one of the great fast food burgers in Seattle.
Zippy’s Giant Burgers/Facebook

12. Big Max Burger Co

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1935 Queen Anne Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 946-6636
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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.

13. Frank's Oyster House & Champagne Parlor

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2616 NE 55th St
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 525-0220
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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.

14. Giddy Up Burgers

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4600 Leary Way NW
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 782-2798
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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.

15. Li'l Woody's

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1211 Pine St
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 457-4148
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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.

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1. Rain City Burgers

6501 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115
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.

6501 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115

2. 8oz Burger and Co.

2409 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107
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.

2409 NW Market St
Seattle, WA 98107

3. Mean Sandwich

1510 NW Leary Way, Seattle, WA 98107
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.

1510 NW Leary Way
Seattle, WA 98107

4. Uneeda Burger

4302 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103

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.

4302 Fremont Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103

5. Two Doors Down

2332 E Madison St, Seattle, WA 98112
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.

2332 E Madison St
Seattle, WA 98112

6. Burbs Burgers

121 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104

This mini burger chain has locations in Pioneer Square, Ballard, and Georgetown (plus a couple more outlying areas in the works), though it’s hard to beat the Montlake spot with its picnic tables and artificial grass serving as an urban oasis. The Classic is a deal at $4.50: a wonderfully charred smashburger with ketchup, mustard, and American cheese on a butter-toasted sesame seed bun. You can make it a double or go “Special” for fifty cents more to add shredded lettuce, grilled onions, and a tangy special sauce, with nice shoestring fries to boot.

121 S King St
Seattle, WA 98104

7. Katsu Burger

12700 SE 38th St, Bellevue, WA 98006

Katsu Burger serves a slew of panko-breaded, deep-fried meats for its burgers. While beef, chicken, and even tofu are options, pork is classic for katsu, fantastic with mayo and tonkatsu sauce along with the standard toppings of cabbage, tomato, red onions, and pickles. If you can’t decide, try to tackle the Mt. Fuji, stuffed with three katsu patties (chicken, beef, and pork), three types of cheese, and three sauces, plus egg and bacon. Nori fries and a matcha milkshake help round out a decadent fast-food fusion meal.

12700 SE 38th St
Bellevue, WA 98006

8. Pick-Quick Drive In

2990 4th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134
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.

2990 4th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98134

9. The Swinery

3207 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116
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.

3207 California Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98116

10. Loretta's Northwesterner

8617 14th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108
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.)

8617 14th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98108

11. Zippy's Giant Burgers

9614 14th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98106
A burger at Zippy’s, with lettuce, tomato, blue cheese, and a side of fries.
Zippy’s is one of the great fast food burgers in Seattle.
Zippy’s Giant Burgers/Facebook

Zippy’s Giant Burgers (patties weigh in at a third of a pound before broiling) boasts many standouts (including the mammoth, two-patty Royale), but No. 11 on the menu is the standout. The smoky chipotle mayo and Mama Lil’s Kick Butt Peppers are the stars of this burger, with smoked cheddar and jack cheeses. Arcade games are a welcome distraction while waiting for orders.

9614 14th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98106

12. Big Max Burger Co

1935 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

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.

1935 Queen Anne Ave N
Seattle, WA 98109

13. Frank's Oyster House & Champagne Parlor

2616 NE 55th St, Seattle, WA 98105

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.

2616 NE 55th St
Seattle, WA 98105

14. Giddy Up Burgers

4600 Leary Way NW, Seattle, WA 98107

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.

4600 Leary Way NW
Seattle, WA 98107

15. Li'l Woody's

1211 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101

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.

1211 Pine St
Seattle, WA 98101

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