Top 15 Burgers in Salt Lake City

Nicole O. - Pro SifterUpdated On 04/08/2018 at 11:00AM MST

We’ve found some real winners and hope connoisseurs alike will enjoy this list! In the beginning, we surveyed over 1,000 Utahns, researched top review rankings, and asked fellow foodies to create the ultimate burger list. Next, we went taste-testing, typically eating four different burgers back to back with a small group of burger lovers. Using a 5 point scale, we went undercover and ranked the quality of the bun, meat, juiciness, toppings, and overall flavor independently for each burger joint from 0 to 5, with 5 being the best!

15. HSL – Handle Salt Lake

Price: $17

HSL’s menu is seasonal but their burger is one of three menu items that are always available. We enjoyed the quality and taste of the beef patty the most. They use an 80/20 blend of grass-fed ground chuck roast, from Niman ranch out of Cali. The flavor was fresh and clean. However, there were a few things that brought it down for us. First, we ordered the burger medium and it came out well done, reducing the juiciness. The bun was also dry, the in-house cheese blend was grainy and the condiments were lost. More dijonnaise and tomato jam would have heightened the flavor. We greatly prefer their other entrée items over their burger, but it’s still one of the city’s better burgers.

Overall score: 2.6/5

Bun

40%

Meat

80%

Juciness

40%

Toppings

40%

Flavor

60%

14. Lucky 13

Price: $10 to $12

Located next to the Smith’s Ballpark, this buzzing bar has been a staple to Salt Lake community for years. While at Lucky, we ordered two burgers: their central Missouri inspired Nut Butter Burger and their house special Mac and Cheeseburger, as recommended by our host. What we liked: the multitude of gourmet burger offerings and the bun density and moisture. What we didn’t like: We weren’t huge fans of the quality and dryness of the beef patties. Their meat closely resembled that of Habit Burger or 5 Guys, which was okay. We didn’t score service in our rating, but it was slow and unfriendly. Nonetheless, they serve up decent burgers.

Overall score: 2.8/5

Bun

80%

Meat

50%

Juciness

35%

Toppings

60%

Flavor

50%

13. Crow and the Pitcher

Price: $7 to $10

This bar has been open for a mere two years, however, the interior feels like it’s been open since the end of prohibition. The owners were really friendly and suggested the Migration and Pizza burgers. They came out staggered so I’m not sure how it would be on a busy night. The Pizza burger was our favorite. Featuring mozzarella sticks instead of cheese, marinara sauce, then topped with cheese and pepperoni, it seems like a creation made by a hungry teenager and wouldn’t be a good choice for your health but it tasted great. The migration burger was not liked by any of our tasters due to the varying flavors and lack of cohesive ingredients.

Overall score: 3.3/5

Bun

98%

Meat

50%

Juciness

43%

Toppings

70%

Flavor

65%

12. Copper Onion

Price: $14 to $15

The Copper Onion has a lot of moving parts when it comes to the quality of their food. Their chef is experienced in various culinary cultures and they utilize local ingredients (meaning their menus change with the varying seasons Utah offers.) Their dishes can play ball with the best of them but their burger is a bit blasé. The toppings include lettuce, caramelized onions, and aioli. The patty, cheese, and bun are good but there’s not a lot of flavor to complement the beef. For this reason, we felt their burger didn’t fit in with the rest of their dishes.

Overall score: 3.4/5

Bun

70%

Meat

70%

Juciness

65%

Toppings

55%

Flavor

75%

11. Wallaby’s

Price: $8 to $10

Wallabys is a mix of Australian and Southern BBQ. They have four locations and make many of their ingredients in house. Because of this, most dishes have a cleaner, less intense taste than regular BBQ joints. Topped with pork, bacon, and cheese, this burger is very masculine and contains nothing more than meat and cheese. What really stood out to me was the BBQ sauce. It had a nice blend of sweet and tang. The burger could have been rounded out by adding some different tastes (bitter, acidic, etc.)

Overall score: 3.6/5

Bun

60%

Meat

60%

Juciness

40%

Toppings

100%

Flavor

100%

10. Cubby’s

Price: $8

Since opening their eatery in 2012, they’ve been a healthier go to spot for Utahn’s, focusing on using organic and wholesome ingredients. We started going there a few years back when it came to Salt Lake County. However, I must say, I’m really surprised how well their food stood up against other local burger joints charging sometimes double or triple the price. The Che features a top Angus beef sirloin patty topped with smoked bacon, manchego cheese, arugula, tomato, balsamic onions, shoestring fries, a fried egg, and homemade horseradish steak sauce on a brioche bun. It’s anything but ordinary. We also like the Wasabi inspired Colonel burger and Houdini mushroom burger. Be sure to order them medium for maximum juiciness!

Overall score: 3.7/5

Bun

70%

Meat

80%

Juciness

40%

Toppings

100%

Flavor

80%

9. Proper Burger

Price: $4 to $10

Proper Burger is a popular fast casual restaurant featuring a staggering amount of options. It has also been featured on the Food Network’s Diners Drive-Ins and Dives. They have protein options (chicken, beef, vegetarian, and vegan), topping choices and extras. As a first-timer, I felt confused and uncomfortable while everyone waited while I decided to eat.  Given their large menu, I would suggest anyone who wants to try this place to get online and pick out what you want before you go. Our favorite thing about Proper is their sauce. It’s a garlic aioli and was delicious with everything we put it on. Their bun became soggy from the juiciness of the burger (two-edged sword) and the toppings were of average quality but the meat tasted fresh. They claim they add beer to the meat but it didn’t add much in regards to flavor.

Overall score: 3.8/5

Bun

70%

Meat

60%

Juciness

90%

Toppings

80%

Flavor

80%

8. Bambara

Price: $16 to $18

Bambara’s upscale atmosphere is reflected in their Brunch burger sold only during Brunch hours. The bun was a bit too big for the burger and there were a few bites that were solely bun. The meat was fresh but not the best cut so it wasn’t as good as it could have been. The toppings were all great quality and the brunch-inspired combination was unique. The gruyere added an earthy flavor not present with most burgers and played up the umami in the meat. The hollandaise, egg, and bacon made this very decadent.

Overall score: 3.8/5

Bun

55%

Meat

80%

Juciness

90%

Toppings

80%

Flavor

75%

7. Chedda Burger

Price: $7 to $9

Their name implies they serve burgers dripping in orange cheese but their menu boasts more than just burgers reminiscent of 90s television. We tried three and each had its own flavor profile. The old faithful is a regular burger with usual fixings and wasn’t very good. The meat is a chuck brisket blend that comes from Cedar River Farms out of Colorado and is ground locally. Their buns are good and their topping choices are superb (minus the old faithful). The bacon, mac n’ cheese, and green chiles found on the green mile are a match made in heaven and we really enjoyed the sun-dried tomatoes on the Schwinn.

Overall score: 4/5

Bun

80%

Meat

40%

Juciness

80%

Toppings

100%

Flavor

100%

6. Purgatory

Price: $6 to $10

Purgatory’s atmosphere was a bit off. One tv was playing k-pop, another sports, and the radio was playing 90’s music. Their burger, however, was spot on.  Their menu puts a Korean twist on all varieties of bar food. Their Eastern burger is based on the Western burger and subs in gochujang BBQ sauce, kimchi and fried onions. Western or Eastern, the flavors work. The bun was nicely toasted and as you can see, the egg was cooked perfectly. All testers enjoyed it despite having varying levels of love for kimchi.

Overall score: 4/5

Bun

75%

Meat

65%

Juciness

75%

Toppings

95%

Flavor

90%

5. Pago

Price: $19

Located on 9th and 9th, this heavily awarded restaurant is serving up seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients with an ever-changing menu. However, one thing remains consistent: The Pago Burger. At $19 bucks, it’s the most expensive burger that we tried in Salt Lake City. They did overcook our meat a bit. We asked for medium and they delivered it well done. However, you could really taste the quality. They source their meat from ranches in Kanab and along the Wasatch front. What really won me over with this burger was their black garlic lemon aioli sauce. This sour-citrus taste on a burger was a first for me, but it really meshed well with the bacon, pickled onions, white cheddar, and other toppings. The bun was also great! Chewy on the inside with a crisp toasted bottom.

Overall score: 4.1/5

Bun

90%

Meat

80%

Juciness

50%

Toppings

90%

Flavor

100%

4. Publik Ed’s

Price: $8 to $9

Known primarily for their coffee, don’t make the mistake of ignoring their burger. I was pleasantly surprised. Publik uses many of the same local sources (like Kanab Custom Meats and Red Bicycle Breadworks) that higher priced restaurants like HSL, Pago, Copper Onion, and SLC Eatery use. The biggest difference, their entree sells for half the price! The 6 oz seasoned patty was so fresh and juicy, the bun was near perfect, and the hint of sweetness from the Amour onion-beer jam mixed with the special Ed’s sauce was amazing. The cheese wasn’t high quality but for the price it was expected and wasn’t overpowering.

Overall score: 4.3/5

Bun

100%

Meat

80%

Juciness

100%

Toppings

60%

Flavor

90%

3. From Scratch

Price: $14 to $16

From Scratch does just that, making lots of their ingredients in-house. Their award-winning scratch burger features their bun and house-made condiments. The patty had a good crust to it and was fresh and juicy despite using a chuck blend. The meat was a bit thick but because it was so juicy and clean it didn’t pull from the other toppings.  The toppings weren’t anything special but they all worked well together and created a nice depth of flavor. It could have used lettuce with a bit more crunch to it though.

Overall score: 4.4/5

Bun

80%

Meat

85%

Juciness

100%

Toppings

85%

Flavor

90%

2. SLC Eatery

Price: $15

SLC Eatery is a fairly new restaurant but they know how to do things with just enough flair to make it interesting. Their burger is on an amazing bun slathered in their homemade mustard sauce. The cheddar added a smokiness that complimented the other flavors without being overbearing. Iceberg lettuce has been on lots of the burgers we’ve tried but it doesn’t lend much in terms of flavor other than a cool crunch. That was the only complaint we had about the burger. Everything else was really great, despite being simple.

Overall score: 4.4/5

Bun

100%

Meat

100%

Juciness

100%

Toppings

60%

Flavor

80%

1. White Horse

Price: $12 to $16

As you walk into White Horse you feel as if you’ve been transported to the Sherlock Holmes set. The walls are lined with relics of the past and the atmosphere appears almost mysterious. But the real mystery is how a burger as delicious as theirs, topped with the most delicious offerings is only $14! The pork belly bacon is perfectly smoked and juicy, the American cheese lends creaminess, the brioche bun tastes almost like a toasted croissant, sopping up the juices from the real star, the juicy, clean, wagyu beef patty. This burger is best in taste, value, and experience. Similar burgers in Park City will run you double or even triple the price for the quality of beef!

Overall score: 4.7/5

Bun

75%

Meat

100%

Juciness

100%

Toppings

75%

Flavor

100%

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