As wonderful as it is to treat yourself to a night out of fine dining, you just can’t beat comfort food. There are few things more satisfying than digging into the tastes you know and love.
But even comfort food can be elevated. SLC has no shortage of genius chefs, and plenty of them turn their expertise toward burgers. Get out and try some of the best burgers in the city by visiting these nine restaurants.
R&R BBQ—Multiple Locations
R&R BBQ offers SLC a taste of the south. The restaurant started after the kitchen staff tired of conquering barbecue competitions. The team decided to open up a brick and mortar restaurant, serving up per-pound hunks of slow-cooked meat.
If you prefer your barbecue in burger form, get The Caveman. This mammoth serving of meat includes a burger patty, smoked sausage, and pulled pork topped with fried jalapeños and house-made barbecue sauce. R&R has eight locations throughout the greater SLC area, so you won’t have to travel far to enjoy this meat-centric meal.
The Copper Onion—111 East Broadway
The Copper Onion’s menu features fine dining dishes that utilize unusual ingredients and house-made pasta. But ask a regular, and they’ll tell you the burger holds its own against the fanciest of entrees.
Aside from expert cooking under the guidance of chef and owner Ryan Lowder, the burger benefits from locally and sustainably sourced ingredients. The menu rotates to make use of those fresh ingredients. The Copper Onion brings it full circle by feeding food scraps to cows and horses on one of the employee’s farms.
Proper Burger—865 Main Street
With “Burger” right in the name, you’d expect Proper Burger to compete with the best in town. Luckily, this low-key offshoot of Proper Brewing delivers. 14 burger styles and half a dozen patty options make it hard to settle into any one favorite burger. For your first time, try the Rarebit Burger, made with Proper Burger’s popular beer-cheese rarebit sauce.
The kitchen recently shared the recipe for its rarebit sauce. If you like it, try making a batch at home! Adults can place an order at Proper Burger and take their number next door to Proper Brewing Company (857 Main Street) for delivery. Avenues Proper (376 8th Avenue) also offers its own take on the Proper Burger.
Pago—878 900 East
Pago is another upscale restaurant that offers one of the best burgers in SLC. The kitchen specializes in farm-to-table meals that make use of fresh produce and artisan ingredients. While the menu rotates to make use of the harvest cycle, you’ll always find the Pago Burger on the menu.
Pickled onion, black garlic aioli, and a side of truffle frites set this burger apart from others on the list. You can venture out of your comfort zone and try the Squid Ink Spaghetti next time. For now, treat yourself to the Pago Burger.
Garage on Beck—1199 Beck Street
Garage on Beck (which is literally in a garage on Beck Street) pairs good times with good foods. The restaurant hosts live music many nights, so show up early for a show and enjoy a burger before the music starts.
You can keep it safe with the Basic Burger, but the menu includes lots of fun combinations that are worth a try. The Seabiscuit combines beets with horseradish. The Italia opts for an Italian sausage patty instead of a plain beef burger. If you’re really looking to stuff yourself, skip the fries and order Mormon Funeral Potatoes with your burger instead.
HSL—418 East 200 South
If you can restrain yourself from ordering HSL’s other hit dishes like Pork Shank and Fried Chicken, the burger here will not disappoint. Pickled red cabbage elevates the flavor while delivering the crunch you expect from lettuce.
HSL is actually a sister restaurant to Handle in Park City. Like its Park City sibling, HSL sources as many ingredients as it can from local places. It also strives for all-organic produce. Sadly, burgers won’t be featured on this year’s Valentine’s Day menu. If you want to mix burgers with romance for Valentine’s this year, you’ll have to go somewhere else.
What was once The Chedda Truck is now Chedda Burger. In just seven years, founder and chef Nick Watts built a small chain out of his food truck burgers. Two months ago, Chedda Burger opened its third location in Lehi.
Chedda offers 10 different burger styles, each with starkly different ingredient combinations—from muenster cheese with a fried egg to coconut crusted pineapple with garlic mayo. Whichever burger you choose, it’ll shine as the star of the meal, but don’t underestimate the deliciousness of the cheese-stuffed Chedda Tots, either.
Bambara—202 Main Street
Live like a tourist and have a burger at Bambara, a restaurant tucked away inside the ultra-hip Hotel Monaco. Executive Chef Nathan Powers fills the menu with high-class takes on dishes from around the country. And of course, any menu based on American cuisine wouldn’t be complete without a burger.
Bambara’s burger, aptly named the “Classic Burger,” sticks to the basics. The kitchen nails each element perfectly. That effort doesn’t stop with the burger; the herbed fries on the side are some of the best fries in town.
Squatters Pub—147 West Broadway (300 South)
Squatters Pub has one of the biggest menus of all the restaurants on this list. Out of the dozens of items on the menu, eight of them are burgers. Not all of them are beef, though. There’s a bison burger, a turkey burger, a veggie burger—even a ground Ahi tuna burger.
No matter what the patty is, the burger itself features outstanding flavor pairings. The Squatters Bourbon, for instance, features bourbon-garlic caramelized onions. The Black & Blue pairs bacon with blue cheese.
If you like beer, don’t forget to order a beer here, since that’s what they’re most famous for. If you can’t make it to the West Broadway pub, you’ll also find Squatters locations at Salt Lake International Airport and in Park City.
It’s hard to narrow down Salt Lake City’s best burgers to just nine. Help add to the list by adding your favorites in a comment below!