Jimmy Buffet may not have been singing about Miami when he wrote "Cheeseburger In Paradise," but it certainly is an idyllic place to chow down on some burgers seaside. Miami's burger joints and gastropubs deliver for National Burger Day (May 28) and serve up some of the best classic patties and cool, creative twists on this American food staple.
Jr's Gourmet Burgers
Some of the best burgers in South Florida come from Jr's Gourmet Burgers. The burgers are so legendary that they won the Burgerlicious People's Choice award in 2018 and 2020. Every burger is hand-pressed, served medium-well, and served on a dusted corn bun. The original "Big Daddy" keeps it simple with pink sauce, lettuce, onion, tomato, and pickles. You can't go wrong there. Or, make it fancy and order the "NAG" slathered in-house BBQ sauce, swiss and cheddar cheeses, bacon, mushrooms, and two crispy onion rings. The award-winning "That Guy's Burger" changes it up with cream cheese and guava. The entire gooey patty is then wrapped in bacon (cheese, guava, and all) and served on two slices of bread with a side of guava ketchup. Any burger can be substituted for chicken breast, turkey, or a veggie patty for an additional charge.
Cheeseburger Baby is celebrating its twentieth birthday this year! Openly gay female entrepreneur, Stephanie Vitori, started as a delivery driver and then bought the joint in 2004. She transformed it from a dive into a destination spot for celebrities and locals alike. Original burgers come in beef, turkey, and veggie varieties both with and without cheese served on fresh buns with hand-cut toppings. "Baby's Favorite" is an original burger topped with applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, and a fried egg. "The 15th Street Frita" takes a quarter-pound classic burger and tops it with melty pepper jack cheese, potato sticks, and the house 1505 sauce. Add extra toppings to your burgers like onion rings, grilled mushrooms, or avocado. Sauce it up with extras like hot lemon pepper, honey mustard, or ranch.
Like the slogan says, Clutch Burger's grub is never basic, always clutch. Clutch is a slightly more upscale eatery than your usual burger joint, and they also specialize in fine wine. There are a whopping 13 burgers on the menu made with certified wagyu beef. Think it doesn't get more decadent than wagyu? Think again. The "Bad and Bougie" burger comes in at $40 and with good cause because it's topped with seared foie gras, preserved black truffle butter, caramelized onion and bacon jam, taleggio cheese, concentrated tomatoes, and served with a port wine reduction. A more wallet-friendly option is the "Maui Wowee" where the 8-ounce patty is topped with grilled pineapple, jack cheese, piquillo pepper, and bacon jam, and a citrus BBQ sauce. If you're not eating beef, there is also an Impossible burger and a lamb burger with a Mediterranean flair.
Even though Killer Melts is known for grilled cheese, the burgers are slammin' too. What started as a food truck (which is still rolling the streets of Miami) is now a brick-and-mortar establishment. True to the grilled cheese roots, several of the burgers are piled high with cheesy goodness. "The NEGAN" stacks two three-and-a-half-ounce patties with bacon, cheddar cheese, mac and cheese, and somehow fits it all on a honey brioche bun. Still, need more cheese? "The French Assassin" uses three kinds of cheese (maple mascarpone, fontina, mozzarella) to top two three-ounce patties as well as maple bacon and an over-easy egg. The whole luxurious sandwich is served on French toast. You can also build your own burger and customize it using a long list of toppings. (Pro tip: sub out the bun for garlic toast.)
There are three Kush locations throughout Miami, and they all have different burgers on their menus. Each one is worth a stop to sample the meaty fare. At the Wynwood location, the "Johnny Utah" burger was voted best burger in Miami. It's piled high with pastrami, cheddar cheese, LTO, and LoKal sauce. The "Frita" was named one of the 52 best burgers in the USA and brings tropical vibes with guava jelly, potato stix, bacon, swiss, and LoKal sauce. "Frita" can also be found at all three locations but the "Bababooey Burger" topped with brie, caramelized apples, bacon, honey mustard on a challah bun is only in Coconut Grove. Head to the Hialeah outpost for "Kush and Hash," a four-ounce patty topped with bacon, American cheese, a latke, fried egg, ketchup, and sriracha-maple syrup. Instead of a standard bun, this mammoth sandwich comes on a waffle bun.
The plant-draped outdoor space at Le Chick is a well-appointed spot to house a burger. Founders Coco Coig and Jorge Sanchez traveled the world looking for what makes the perfect burger. They put in the extra elbow grease to make sure every sauce and pickle is made from scratch. The "Royale with Cheese" is pretty close to godliness with two three-ounce dry-aged patties, cheddar, diced tomato, lettuce, house pickles, and secret sauce. It comes accompanied by skin-on fries, sweet potato fries, or coleslaw. Vegetarians aren't left out. "The Fancy Beet Bun" uses a patty made from quinoa, rice, and beets. The burger is then topped with avocado, alfalfa sprouts, fresh herbs, lettuce, and a whipped feta sauce.