15 Spots for a Great Burger in St. Louis

 In Food, Guide

For a full-flavor, artisan-crafted burger, one need not look far in St. Louis. With über-talented chefs coming to the city in droves, spreading their talents from Downtown to Chesterfield and beyond, you don’t have to settle for a sub-par burger when seized with a craving. Keep reading for a roundup of spots we love when the hankering strikes.

A marker of the St. Louis culinary experience, you can bring visitors and non-natives to O’Connell’s without fear of igniting someone’s inevitable hate of provel cheese. Several burger-lover options are available here—from the traditional hamburger to a cheeseburger with an assortment of toppings, and even a veggie burger. Located in the Southwest Garden, you’ll routinely hear diners coming away exclaiming, “That was the best burger I’ve ever had.”

Lucas Park Grille
This lively spot for a night out doubles as one of the best spots for a burger in the city. Try the Lucas Park house burger, served with bacon jam, white cheddar, caramelized onions and chipotle aioli, and you can also choose to add a fried egg on top. According to a recent ALIVE interview with Ilerasoft co-founder and Arch Grant winner Kwaku Owusu, formerly based in Houston, the Lucas Park burger is likely the best he’s ever had.

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Photo courtesy of Baileys’ Range.

Baileys’ Range
You don’t have to spend a fortune at a fancy restaurant with white-gloved doormen for a delicious burger, of which Baileys’ Range is proof. Helmed by veteran St. Louis restaurateur David Bailey, each burger is made with 100 percent grass-fed Missouri beef. You can keep it classic, with a hamburger or cheeseburger, or bolster your palate with a special like the beef-cake burger: glazed pulled short ribs, beef patty, three-cheese fried-polenta cake and arugula. You could also try the black n’ bleu burger, made with a stack of bleu cheese, blackened-beef patty and roasted Roma tomatoes.

Sub Zero Vodka Bar
Though it may come as a surprise that a bar offering over 500 types of vodka and a menu emphasizing sushi would have a terrific burger, be surprised. Sub Zero has not one, but 15 different types of burgers to choose from, including the World’s Fair Burger: two beef patties made from Midwest-raised black Angus beef, bacon, jalapeño-cheese sauce, roasted bell peppers and onions on a pretzel bun.

There are many reasons diners who have experienced a Layla burger come out of the experience positively raving about it, one being the quality of the beef. Every Layla burger comes from local, pasture-raised cows, treated without hormones or antibiotics. “Basically, our beef is beef,” as the restaurant’s website wryly puts it. You can’t go wrong with The Standard, a beef burger served with cheddar cheese, romaine, tomato, sumac onions and chartreuse pickles on a brioche bun. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, there’s always the lamb burger.

5 Star Burgers
If you’re in the mood for a burger, there are perks to picking a restaurant where the entire menu is build around burgers and fries: variety, among them. 5 Star Burgers is one such restaurant. With one location in Clayton and one in Creve Coeur, St. Louisans all across the city and county can enjoy 5 Star favorites—like the classic 5 Star Burger, made from an Creekstone Farms Angus burger patty and served with lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle. Mushroom-swiss-lovers could opt for the Magic Mushroom, and there’s even a terrific lentil veggie burger. Don’t forget fried pickles and sweet-potato fries on the side—they even come in cute little baskets.

Hi-Pointe Drive-In
The former 1980s drive-in, right next to the movie theatre, has been updated with a truly delectable menu replete with choices for burger lovers. Try the Hi-Pointe Drive-In‘s classic single-burger patty, turkey burger or even the taco burger, served with actual Cool Ranch Doritos and Chili Cheese Fritos, American cheese, lettuce, avocado ranch and Mission Taco Joint sauce. This spot also has an artisan veggie burger option, served with your choice of cheese.

Sugarfire Smokehouse
One of St. Louis’ best new barbecue joints would be remiss not to include a classic burger option—and clearly Sugarfire Smokehouse got the memo. The burger here is crafted with a beef blend, made fresh every day, that includes a mix of chuck, brisket and boneless short rib for extra flavor. Patties are then seared on the griddle, seasoned only with sea salt and cracked pepper, and served on a toasted Fazio’s bun. If you’re a condiment lover, you can add lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, cheese or an array of other condiments made in-house.

St. Louis’ root beer factory in The Loop not only serves root-beer floats the size of your head
—they also have a burger menu that’ll satisfy whatever topping mood, or lack thereof, you may be craving. Try Fitz’s River City burger, a classic beef patty topped with American cheese and applewood-smoked bacon with a toasted sesame-seed bun. Try the pizza burger to switch it up, which is a beef patty served with housemade pizza sauce, mozzarella and Volpi pepperoni slices with a sesame-seed bun. Don’t forget to split a root-beer float afterwords.

Brasserie By Niche
Expect luxury and deliciousness from Brasserie By Niche, as expected from any venue within the Gerard Craft family of restaurants. Start with a specialty cocktail and then try the brasserie burger, with American cheese, dijonnaise, dill pickle, onion and fries. For a real treat, you can even add foie gras. For a vegetable-forward side, try the glazed carrots with mint green beans with shallots or potato puree, with olive oil and chives.

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Photo courtesy of Three Kings Public House.

Three Kings Public House
It’s fitting that Three Kings Public House, one of The Loop’s best happy-hour spots, would also have an array of delicious burgers to choose from. Try the Pogue Mahone, served with fried egg, bacon, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, Swiss and cheddar cheese on a pretzel bun, or the eclectic Korean burger, prepared with a mixture of barbecue-marinated steak, ground beef and scallions, as well as kimchi and gojuchang glaze.

The Scottish Arms
A traditional Scottish pub, The Scottish Arms has been a well-loved community bar and restaurant since it opened, with a cooked-to-order prime-rib burger that’ll surely satisfy even the pickiest of burger-lovers. The eight-ounce patty comes with lettuce, tomato, onion, house chips and your choice of cheese. Try it with one of the restaurant’s many delicious seasonal sides, beer, whiskey or scotch.

Schlafly Bottleworks
This lively Maplewood spot attracts many with the promise of Schlafly beers, which are artisan-crafted and developed alongside a tasty menu at Schlafly Bottleworks. The Bottleworks Burger is a must-try if you’re craving a burger, made with ground eight-ounce chuck, pub cheese and pickles on house-baked bread with a side of potato salad, cole slaw, potato wedges or applesauce. Paired with a Schlafly beer, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better culinary combination.

This classic Irish pub in Soulard is a definite must-visit spot for a night out trying delicious eats and drinks. Plus, there’s the John D. McGurk’s Burger, a char-grilled patty served on a sesame kaiser roll, with the option to add cheese and/or double-smoked bacon. Pair it with Irish chips, Galway Bay crab cakes or beer-battered onion rings with a McGurk’s signature brew or cocktail.

Anthonino’s Taverna
Anthonino’s Taverna is a community hot spot on The Hill, a neighborhood in south St. Louis with a strong Italian heritage. Anthonino’s also happens to have six distinct types of burgers available, including the Big Rosario Burger, served with crispy volpi pancetta and sharp cheddar cheese, and the Americano Burger, served with American cheese, pickles, onions, lettuce and Thousand Island dressing. For a Greek twist, try the Feta Burger, served with Kalamata olives, feta and yogurt tzatziki.

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