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The Burger Heatmap: 16 New Boston Burgers to Eat Now

Hot as in line-up-early-or-you'll-miss-out — not hot as in spicy.

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To kick off Burger Week 2015, here are some of Boston's newest burgers that should be checked out immediately, as well as a couple slightly older ones that are still drawing intense interest from burger lovers around the city.

Note: The map points are listed from north to south, not ranked.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. River Bar

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661 Assembly Row
Somerville, MA 02145
(617) 616-5561
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Feeling particularly gluttonous? The River Bar burger features a grass-fed patty in a bulgogi marinade, topped with spicy mayo and a few mini bacon spring rolls. Yep, they're on the burger. It all sits on a soft English muffin, made locally by Stone & Skillet. It can be a little challenging to get burger, bun, and spring roll together in one bite, but it's a challenge you should attempt. [Photo: Brian Samuels]

2. Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar

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381 Summer St
Somerville, MA 02144
(617) 629-9500
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Rosebud has now been open for seven months, serving up a menu that ranges from an Asian barbecue-style hog's head to country fried steak. There's also plenty of pie and bourbon. It'd be easy to keep going back for dishes like the BBQ "it's not a ramen" pork noodle soup and the Texas Rachel in a skirt (a brisket sandwich), but the griddled cheeseburger is also worth a taste. It comes topped with yellow cheese, lettuce, shaved onion, pickles, and "WGS" — that'd be "Wicked Good Sauce," a house-made dressing similar to Thousand Island. For an added cost, diners can double up the patty and cheese, "go Southern" with the addition of pulled pork and slaw, or get apple-smoked bacon on top. On Monday nights starting at 5 p.m., go all out with a cheeseburger, side of fries, and a boozy milkshake for $18. [Photo: Kristin Teig]

3. Bronwyn

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255 Washington Street
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 776-9900
Visit Website
The Bronwyn burger, appropriately dubbed the "Bronburger," has come and gone from the menu, but shhh — the highly desirable burger lives on in secret, limited quantities. There are typically five available each night; ask for one (or all five — we won't judge). The eight-ounce patty is a grind comprised of beef brisket, beef leg, and bacon, and it's topped with Emmenthaler, ketchup, mustard, sauerkraut, and pickles. It's served on a pretzel bun with potatoes galore on the side, both chips and a potato salad that resembles extra-chunky mashed potatoes (in a good way). [Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater]

4. The Kirkland Tap & Trotter

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425 Washington St
Somerville, MA 02143
(857) 259-6585
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When The Kirkland Tap & Trotter opened a year and a half ago, owner Tony Maws made clear that his well-loved Craigie on Main burger would not be appearing on the Kirkland menu. Instead, Craigie's more casual sibling gets its own burger, a grass-fed beef patty topped with Emmenthaler and a kimchee Russian dressing. It's been a popular dish since the beginning, and burger lovers will occasionally find it sold out on particularly busy nights. [Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater]

5. Alden & Harlow

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40 Brattle St
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 864-2100
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You can bet you'll be seeing more of this popular burger later in Burger Week. It's one of the more "elderly" entries on this Heatmap since it's over a year old, but its ability to sell out all the time proves that its hotness hasn't waned with age. From the cheese crisp to the special sauce inspired by one chef/owner Michael Scelfo's grandmother used to make, it's the perfect combination. Dubbed the "Secret Burger" on the menu, it's no secret, and the numbers are limited each night. But if you keep missing out, there's hope: "We do them at brunch on Saturday and Sunday now," chef/owner Michael Scelfo tells Eater. "We actually increase production on Saturdays and Sundays because we have a full daytime crew in the morning who are here really early. And they’re the only thing we offer, if there are any left, between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. in that gap time between services, so that’s a good tip for people if they want to come get a burger here — come between 2 and 5 on Saturdays and Sundays, and you can usually get your hands on one. If we haven’t sold out." Also, keep an eye on the restaurant's social media channels for "Secret Secret Burgers," ever-changing off-menu specials. [Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater]

6. Puritan & Co.

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1166 Cambridge St.
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 615-6195
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The Inman Square restaurant has recently started offering an off-menu patty melt at the bar. It's a dry-aged beef patty topped with a spicy secret sauce and Swiss and American cheese, served on house-made rye bread. It's also available on the Sunday brunch menu. [Photo: Provided]

7. Cafe ArtScience

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650 E Kendall St
Cambridge, MA 02142
(857) 999-2193
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While Kendall Square newcomer Cafe ArtScience tends to veer into some interesting territory where food and drink meet technology, the "skinny burger" is intentionally meant to be a classic preparation, inspired by executive chef Patrick Campbell's childhood memories of visits to White Castle. The four-ounce chuck patty is topped with American cheese, shaved onion, and Old Bay aioli, and it's served on a Martin's Potato Roll. There's a side of fries, of course. Available at lunch. [Photo: Provided]

8. Wheelhouse

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63 Broad Street
Boston, MA 02109
(617) 422-0082
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If you don't work downtown, you're probably out of luck — Wheelhouse is only open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays. From The Purist (burger, cheese, bun) to the Creole Burger (blackened patty, andouille sausage, cheddar, creole sauce, Tabasco fried onions), there's a little something for everyone at this relatively new breakfast-and-lunch spot. The soft, squishy bun and well-seasoned meat make for a perfect quick lunch. There's lamb, turkey, and a vegetarian black bean patty on the menu as well, not to mention a breakfast burger. [Photo: The Purist/Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater]

9. Townsman

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120 Kingston St
Boston, MA 02111
Just launched last week, this eight-ounce burger blends beef navel, neck, brisket, and chuck and comes topped with house pepper jack cheese, shredded iceberg lettuce, pickles, and "combat sauce," a gribiche made of kewpie mayonnaise, minced cornichons, red onion, and gochujang. It's served on a house-made potato roll with a side of spicy "dirty fries." Available at lunch, on the bar menu, and late-night. [Photo: Instagram]

10. Shake Shack

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236 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 03116
The first Massachusetts Shake Shack opened two years ago in Chestnut Hill to much fanfare. Since then, a Harvard Square outpost also opened, followed quite recently by Dedham and finally Back Bay. The excitement hasn't yet died down at the bustling new Newbury Street outpost. [Photo: The Shake Stack Burger/Evan Sung]

11. Liquid Art House

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100 Arlington St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 457-8130
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At the bar at Liquid Art House, you can eat a fancy burger surrounded by art. The L.A.H. burger features Brandt beef, comte cheese, crispy onions, tomato confit, and garlic pickle relish, served on a milk bun with a side of herb frites. [Photo: Debbie Grubstein]

12. Moonshine 152

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152 Dorchester Avenue
Boston, MA 02127
(617) 752-4191
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Asia Mei's new restaurant in the former Franklin Southie space features lots of late-night hours, an industry-friendly Monday brunch, and a burger with toppings changing monthly. In March, the burger featured Russian dressing, shredded cabbage, and jalapeno bacon. [Photo: Facebook]

13. Centre Street Cafe

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669 Centre St, #A
Boston, MA 02130
(617) 524-9217
Visit Website
At night, the revamped Centre Street Cafe, now under the same ownership as nearby Tres Gatos, features an Italian-inspired menu with a focus on house-made pasta dishes. But for lunch and brunch, the offerings are a little more casual, including the Maine grind burger, which comes topped with pancetta, provolone, and herb aioli. It's served on a sesame seed bun with a side of fries. [Photo: Provided]

14. Bred

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2255 Dorchester Avenue
Dorchester, MA 02124
(617) 892-0231
Visit Website
This cozy new burger-and-smoothie restaurant took over the former Mrs. Jones space. Burgers come stacked high on a variety of buns (brioche, pretzel, potato, whole wheat), and toppings range from sweet plantains to fried ham. Try the Parisian — bison topped with caramelized onions, bacon, brie, seared mushrooms, and a fried egg, served on a brioche bun. [Photo: Instagram]

15. Wink & Nod

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3 Appleton St
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 482-0117
Visit Website
Wink & Nod has just debuted its third long-term culinary residency, Akinto, and chef Patrick Enage is offering an Asian-inspired burger on the bar menu and late-night menu. It includes Hunan pickles, a crispy bao bun, and green onion/Thai bird chili sauce. [Photo: Katie Chudy for Eater]

16. Legal Crossing

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558 Washington St
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 692-8888
Visit Website
Available only late at night at the bar, the new lobster burger at Legal Crossing comes with wasabi mayo and tempura avocado. Ask for it; it's not on the menu. Limited quantities available each night. Give it a try between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday or 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. [Photo: Provided]

1. River Bar

661 Assembly Row, Somerville, MA 02145
Feeling particularly gluttonous? The River Bar burger features a grass-fed patty in a bulgogi marinade, topped with spicy mayo and a few mini bacon spring rolls. Yep, they're on the burger. It all sits on a soft English muffin, made locally by Stone & Skillet. It can be a little challenging to get burger, bun, and spring roll together in one bite, but it's a challenge you should attempt. [Photo: Brian Samuels]
661 Assembly Row
Somerville, MA 02145

2. Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar

381 Summer St, Somerville, MA 02144
Rosebud has now been open for seven months, serving up a menu that ranges from an Asian barbecue-style hog's head to country fried steak. There's also plenty of pie and bourbon. It'd be easy to keep going back for dishes like the BBQ "it's not a ramen" pork noodle soup and the Texas Rachel in a skirt (a brisket sandwich), but the griddled cheeseburger is also worth a taste. It comes topped with yellow cheese, lettuce, shaved onion, pickles, and "WGS" — that'd be "Wicked Good Sauce," a house-made dressing similar to Thousand Island. For an added cost, diners can double up the patty and cheese, "go Southern" with the addition of pulled pork and slaw, or get apple-smoked bacon on top. On Monday nights starting at 5 p.m., go all out with a cheeseburger, side of fries, and a boozy milkshake for $18. [Photo: Kristin Teig]
381 Summer St
Somerville, MA 02144

3. Bronwyn

255 Washington Street, Somerville, MA 02143
The Bronwyn burger, appropriately dubbed the "Bronburger," has come and gone from the menu, but shhh — the highly desirable burger lives on in secret, limited quantities. There are typically five available each night; ask for one (or all five — we won't judge). The eight-ounce patty is a grind comprised of beef brisket, beef leg, and bacon, and it's topped with Emmenthaler, ketchup, mustard, sauerkraut, and pickles. It's served on a pretzel bun with potatoes galore on the side, both chips and a potato salad that resembles extra-chunky mashed potatoes (in a good way). [Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater]
255 Washington Street
Somerville, MA 02143

4. The Kirkland Tap & Trotter

425 Washington St, Somerville, MA 02143
When The Kirkland Tap & Trotter opened a year and a half ago, owner Tony Maws made clear that his well-loved Craigie on Main burger would not be appearing on the Kirkland menu. Instead, Craigie's more casual sibling gets its own burger, a grass-fed beef patty topped with Emmenthaler and a kimchee Russian dressing. It's been a popular dish since the beginning, and burger lovers will occasionally find it sold out on particularly busy nights. [Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater]
425 Washington St
Somerville, MA 02143

5. Alden & Harlow

40 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138
You can bet you'll be seeing more of this popular burger later in Burger Week. It's one of the more "elderly" entries on this Heatmap since it's over a year old, but its ability to sell out all the time proves that its hotness hasn't waned with age. From the cheese crisp to the special sauce inspired by one chef/owner Michael Scelfo's grandmother used to make, it's the perfect combination. Dubbed the "Secret Burger" on the menu, it's no secret, and the numbers are limited each night. But if you keep missing out, there's hope: "We do them at brunch on Saturday and Sunday now," chef/owner Michael Scelfo tells Eater. "We actually increase production on Saturdays and Sundays because we have a full daytime crew in the morning who are here really early. And they’re the only thing we offer, if there are any left, between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. in that gap time between services, so that’s a good tip for people if they want to come get a burger here — come between 2 and 5 on Saturdays and Sundays, and you can usually get your hands on one. If we haven’t sold out." Also, keep an eye on the restaurant's social media channels for "Secret Secret Burgers," ever-changing off-menu specials. [Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater]
40 Brattle St
Cambridge, MA 02138

6. Puritan & Co.

1166 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA 02139
The Inman Square restaurant has recently started offering an off-menu patty melt at the bar. It's a dry-aged beef patty topped with a spicy secret sauce and Swiss and American cheese, served on house-made rye bread. It's also available on the Sunday brunch menu. [Photo: Provided]
1166 Cambridge St.
Cambridge, MA 02139

7. Cafe ArtScience

650 E Kendall St, Cambridge, MA 02142
While Kendall Square newcomer Cafe ArtScience tends to veer into some interesting territory where food and drink meet technology, the "skinny burger" is intentionally meant to be a classic preparation, inspired by executive chef Patrick Campbell's childhood memories of visits to White Castle. The four-ounce chuck patty is topped with American cheese, shaved onion, and Old Bay aioli, and it's served on a Martin's Potato Roll. There's a side of fries, of course. Available at lunch. [Photo: Provided]
650 E Kendall St
Cambridge, MA 02142

8. Wheelhouse

63 Broad Street, Boston, MA 02109
If you don't work downtown, you're probably out of luck — Wheelhouse is only open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays. From The Purist (burger, cheese, bun) to the Creole Burger (blackened patty, andouille sausage, cheddar, creole sauce, Tabasco fried onions), there's a little something for everyone at this relatively new breakfast-and-lunch spot. The soft, squishy bun and well-seasoned meat make for a perfect quick lunch. There's lamb, turkey, and a vegetarian black bean patty on the menu as well, not to mention a breakfast burger. [Photo: The Purist/Rachel Leah Blumenthal for Eater]
63 Broad Street
Boston, MA 02109

9. Townsman

120 Kingston St, Boston, MA 02111
Just launched last week, this eight-ounce burger blends beef navel, neck, brisket, and chuck and comes topped with house pepper jack cheese, shredded iceberg lettuce, pickles, and "combat sauce," a gribiche made of kewpie mayonnaise, minced cornichons, red onion, and gochujang. It's served on a house-made potato roll with a side of spicy "dirty fries." Available at lunch, on the bar menu, and late-night. [Photo: Instagram]
120 Kingston St
Boston, MA 02111

10. Shake Shack

236 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 03116
The first Massachusetts Shake Shack opened two years ago in Chestnut Hill to much fanfare. Since then, a Harvard Square outpost also opened, followed quite recently by Dedham and finally Back Bay. The excitement hasn't yet died down at the bustling new Newbury Street outpost. [Photo: The Shake Stack Burger/Evan Sung]
236 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 03116

11. Liquid Art House

100 Arlington St, Boston, MA 02116
At the bar at Liquid Art House, you can eat a fancy burger surrounded by art. The L.A.H. burger features Brandt beef, comte cheese, crispy onions, tomato confit, and garlic pickle relish, served on a milk bun with a side of herb frites. [Photo: Debbie Grubstein]
100 Arlington St
Boston, MA 02116

12. Moonshine 152

152 Dorchester Avenue, Boston, MA 02127
Asia Mei's new restaurant in the former Franklin Southie space features lots of late-night hours, an industry-friendly Monday brunch, and a burger with toppings changing monthly. In March, the burger featured Russian dressing, shredded cabbage, and jalapeno bacon. [Photo: Facebook]
152 Dorchester Avenue
Boston, MA 02127

13. Centre Street Cafe

669 Centre St, #A, Boston, MA 02130
At night, the revamped Centre Street Cafe, now under the same ownership as nearby Tres Gatos, features an Italian-inspired menu with a focus on house-made pasta dishes. But for lunch and brunch, the offerings are a little more casual, including the Maine grind burger, which comes topped with pancetta, provolone, and herb aioli. It's served on a sesame seed bun with a side of fries. [Photo: Provided]
669 Centre St, #A
Boston, MA 02130

14. Bred

2255 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester, MA 02124
This cozy new burger-and-smoothie restaurant took over the former Mrs. Jones space. Burgers come stacked high on a variety of buns (brioche, pretzel, potato, whole wheat), and toppings range from sweet plantains to fried ham. Try the Parisian — bison topped with caramelized onions, bacon, brie, seared mushrooms, and a fried egg, served on a brioche bun. [Photo: Instagram]
2255 Dorchester Avenue
Dorchester, MA 02124

15. Wink & Nod

3 Appleton St, Boston, MA 02116
Wink & Nod has just debuted its third long-term culinary residency, Akinto, and chef Patrick Enage is offering an Asian-inspired burger on the bar menu and late-night menu. It includes Hunan pickles, a crispy bao bun, and green onion/Thai bird chili sauce. [Photo: Katie Chudy for Eater]
3 Appleton St
Boston, MA 02116

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16. Legal Crossing

558 Washington St, Boston, MA 02111
Available only late at night at the bar, the new lobster burger at Legal Crossing comes with wasabi mayo and tempura avocado. Ask for it; it's not on the menu. Limited quantities available each night. Give it a try between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday or 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. [Photo: Provided]
558 Washington St
Boston, MA 02111

Related Maps