In honor of National Burger Day, I thought I’d introduce a new segment on my blog, the Queen’s Guide to Charleston. Since I go to a large number of restaurants that I haven’t yet reviewed, I thought it might be helpful to create a guide for Charleston that focuses on the best dishes in different categories. Here is my list for the top 10 burgers in Chucktown:
The Husk burger will always be #1 in my heart. No matter what you think about the rest of their food, the burger is consistently amazing. It’s just the right amount of greasy and cheesy and wonderful. It’s excellence lies in its simplicity.
The thing that I love about Poe’s (other than the fact that it’s a restaurant based on the life of Edgar Allen Poe) is that the burgers are ginormous. They’re each named after a Poe poem, and come topped with inventive topping and delicious sides. My fave is the Amontillado, which is topped with guacamole, jalapeno jack cheese, pico de gallo, and chipotle sour cream.
The normal burger at Rarebit is delicious. You can get it single patty or double patty and with cheese for an extra dollar. The thing that separates this burger from many others is that it’s pressed flat and made of ground steak on a Cuban bun, which is a great twist on a classic diner burger. Their patty melt (on the breakfast menu) is also something of a life changer.
Whether I’m here at 2 AM after the bars let out or at 2 PM for a late lunch / brunch, the Butcher & Bee burger is my go-to. It’s melty and just the right amount of greasy. I don’t know what they put in their “special sauce,” but whatever it is, it’s amazing.
I sometimes feel like it’s sacrilegious to order anything but the filet at Halls, but if I’m not looking to drop $50 bucks on steak, the burger on their bar menu is definitely the way to go. The burger is made from the trimmings of the aged steaks, which means the burger packs an extra punch in terms of meaty, beefy flavor. Definitely check it out.
I’m sorry, did someone say mac and cheese burger? It’s like they’ve been stalking my dreams and created it just for me. Unlike a similar concept at a downtown establishment that will remain nameless, this burger is juicy, and the macaroni is cheesy and creamy enough to serve as both the cheese and the mayo for your burger. Thank you. I love you.
Moe’s was a staple of my college years (RIP Moe’s Downtown), especially on Tuesday’s for half-price burger night. They’re made from hand-pattied ground chuck and have that just-off-the-grill taste that you expect from your favorite diner. My favorite of their burgers is the BLT burger with fried green tomato, bacon, fresh mozzarella, pesto mayo & mixed greens.
Both the mall and Park Circle locations of Sesame serve up some delicious food and some deliciously creative burger offerings. My favorite part of Sesame is that they have the “3 slider sampler” choice on the menu for people like me who can’t possible choose just one burger. I recommend the Napa Valley (fig & bacon jam, blue cheese, red wine reduction), the south Carolina (with house made pimento cheese), and if you’re feeling adventurous, the Memphis (with peanut butter, bacon & banana slices).
I know it’s a grilled cheese restaurant, and I know it’s hidden in the back corner of a shopping center, but Cory knows the secret to a good burger. You can top it with any of the myriad of grilled cheese toppings available (including more inventive options like peanut butter, spam, or apple), or keep it simple with your favorite cheese.
Craftsmen has a great menu that changes pretty regularly, but I’ve never had a bad meal there. The farmhouse burger, made with beef chuck, pork belly, smoked cheddar, and pickles, is definitely the best thing on the menu and one of the more unique tasting burgers you’ll find south of Market St.
(Note: I only listed burgers that I’ve personally tried and can attest to. There are a number of burgers I haven’t tried, and this list might expand / change as I make eat my way through Charleston)