Boston Burger Mainstays

In a world where food has been reserved for celebrity chefs, wannabe chefs, home cooks and food nerds alike, our interest in all things culinary is at an all-time high. We’ve even labeled those with a greater interest with the dreaded “foodie” title, but for all of the influences both foreign and domestic, foie gras and terrines, burgers are still the item that keeps us talking. Maybe it’s because every time we taste America’s greatest sandwich we can each distinctly recall that first bite some time ago when we fell in love.

Luckily you can get your burger fix in endless ways and combinations, from cheap to extravagant, piled high or neat and tidy, there is and will always be something for everyone. There are plenty of burgers in Boston and beyond, too many great ones to list all in one sitting, but in the interest of keeping things as straight-forward as can be for our first go-around, here is a round-up of the most basic yet extremely satisfying burgers sure to please the burger purist in your life.

Sullivan's Castle Island

JM Curley – Served all day, the lunch burger (5oz, $7.50) and dinner burger (9oz, $14) are among the best, if not the best and certainly most consistent burgers in the city. Simply topped with cheddar, Russian dressing, grilled onions and pickles, it’s the classic burger we all wish we had growing up but can truly appreciate as adults.

Eastern Standard – Yep, you can even get a burger at a French brasserie, and this iconic Boston restaurant right around the corner from Fenway Park sounds fancier than it is. Cheddar, brioche and fries is all you get ($12 or $13 depending on what time you go) and it’s all you need. Don’t be tricked into thinking it’s high-brow; at its core, it’s the most primitive and familiar burger we all know and love, done just right.

Shake Shack – The ultimate fast-food style burger from NYC is in now (finally) in our neck of the woods. With a location currently in Chestnut Hill and one in the works for Cambridge, it’s everything we love in a quick and easy burger situation, but with much beefier results than the norm. Whoever says you can’t get a great burger for under $10 anymore hasn’t had a Shack burger yet.

Miracle of Science – The Central Square mainstay keeps things as plain-Jane as possible, serving their cheeseburger ($11) with nothing more than beef, cheese and bun, the way it was always intended. The slight kiss of the grill ups the ante and it’s the type of burger that just hits the spot, not trying to be anything it’s not.

Sullivan’s – Ideally served in the summer, this Castle Island favorite is a throwback in more ways than one. Open from late February to just after Thanksgiving, few things are greater than a sunny day and a double cheeseburger ($3.60) with all the fixin’s from Sullivan’s.