Burgers have always had a comfortable home in Boston. With a sports bar on every corner, there's plenty of appetite for pub food, and the simple combination of ground beef between two buns comes standard. But more and more, restaurants are popping up to focus solely on the burger, deifying it to a point where those who are tired of complaining about ubiquitous cupcakes and frozen yogurt have a new target. Here's a look at all of the burger joints that could open in the coming months and years, from small, locally-owned establishments to national mega-chains.
Bareburger — This "micro-chain of organic burger restaurants" based in New York is working on an expansion that includes Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Toronto, Berlin, and more. While previous reports noted that the Boston location, wherever it may be, could open this summer, no new information has emerged over the last few months.
Boston Burger Company — The first location opened in Somerville's Davis Square in 2009, and now there's a second in Back Bay, located on Boylston Street near Hynes Convention Center. Next up, a truck is supposed to launch this summer, serving a rotating assortment of seven burgers, and a third location might eventually open on the edge of Harvard Square in Cambridge.
Burger Joint — This small New York City-based chain has been eyeing Cambridge and other cities for possible expansion.
Checkers — At least as of 2013, this national chain was "looking at sites in the Back Bay, Somerville, Brookline, the Fenway, and the hot spots around Greater Boston."
Griddler's Burgers + Dogs — This casual Beacon Hill spot from the owner of Forum was supposed to spawn a Back Bay sibling this spring in the former Four Burgers space on Boylston Street, but it hasn't appeared yet. A year ago, owner Euz Azevedo mentioned that there were three new locations in the works.
Plan B Burger Bar — This interestingly-named Connecticut-based chain has a two or three-year plan to expand to Boston.
PYT — This beloved Philly restaurant serves up hamburgers that are crazy and beyond. Franchises are on the way, starting with DC, NYC, and more in Philadelphia. After those cities get up and running, Boston is next on the list.
Shake Shack — This New York City-based international chain inspires long lines and a cult following. The Boston area now has two locations, Chestnut Hill and Harvard Square. A third is supposed to open on Newbury Street this summer. At one point, a potential Faneuil Hall location made the rumor mill as well, but there's no current evidence that it'll happen.
Smashburger — This Denver-based chain is set to open an outpost in Cambridge's Central Square; there's already one Massachusetts location (Natick). The timeline is unclear, but it'll be after July, according to the chain's website. The name refers to the practice of smashing the burgers while cooking them, a practice they claim lets the juices get seared in.
Tasty Burger — The popular local chain started by Fenway and now includes another full location in Harvard Square as well as a takeout joint in Southie. The chain also vends within Fenway Park. Next up, a new location should open right in Back Bay Station later this summer.
Wahlburgers — This Hingham-based reality television fodder is sprouting a new outpost in Fenway by the end of the year. Lynnfield, MA and Toronto are also in line for some burgers from the Wahlberg clan.