Burgers--A Search for Salem's Favorites

It's only been minutes since I ate, but putting together this slideshow from past meals has almost resulted in the need to wipe drool off the keyboard. Too graphic? My apologies. But the discovery of a good burger is news worth spreading.

Whether you're a fan of the simple diner style burger or a bistro burger with an eye on every detail (including the bun), I have a hunch you have a go-to burger when that craving strikes. When this blog was in it's infancy, Salem Man wrote a post asking for readers to chime in on what they considered to be the best burger. Salem options have changed since then. That's why I'm asking the question again.

Here's a list of  locations I've put together from "best burger" recommendations I've received in the past year:

Word of Mouth Bistro,
Ringo's Tavern
Josey's Family Restaurant,
Five Guys

What are you looking for in a burger? Does size matter? Do you prefer a grilled patty? Or is it about the additions, options, special sauce or where the beef originated? Oh and does it HAVE to have fries included to make your day?


Amecameca said...

The lamb burger at Willamette Burger is really special with a Ninkasi beer and house made tater tots to go with.

For a really unique burger experience there is Alf's in McMinnville. Watch Elvis the monkey has you eat your "All Day Burger"(feeds two). Have that with a side of sweet potato fries and a real hazelnut shake. Or try the elk burger!

Anonymous said...

Its the overall execution of a burger that makes it special. It doesn't matter if its grilled or flame broiled, its more like does the bun work with hamburger. Then to dress or not to dress and what to dress it with. Again its all in the execution which ultimately leads to many different interpretations of the all american classic.

For a restaurant burger thats not a chain or fast food would have to go to gasp La Capitale.

Its just simply a great execution of a burger and great fries too might I add. It might be Salem's most expensive burger but its worth every damn dollar.

For a chain restaurant can anyone beat Red Robin?

For bars and taverns, I like Ringo's in Keizer.

For fast food, too bad we don't have In & Out or they would win hands down, close second goes to Five Guys Burgers & Fries obviously.

Anonymous said...

for me, it's all about the flavor of the meat and seasonings.
Oh and the grilled onions.
Bacon and cheese aren't necessary, but they are delicious.
It's just not a hamburger (for me) with out tomato and leaf lettuce.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget burger basket. Being inside the restaurant sort of grosses me out (it never feels… fresh inside), but the burger is excellent. Good enough to make me brave the strange ambiance, even.

Anonymous said...

Grub Shack, hands down.

Rebekah said...

For me it's Casey's. Hands down. I guess I just love the grilled flavor.

Anonymous said...

Willamette Valley Grill has two really delicious burgers too.

Orejo said...

Willamette Burger is truly the most amazing burger I have ever eaten. I have yet to be disappointed by their food.

Lisa Anne said...

Best burger from fast food chain is Burgerville...its feels like part of Salem. ;) (Five guys is too greasy)
Best burger from a sitdown chain is Redrobin.
Best burger from local fast food is Burger Basket.
Best burger from a nice local restaurant is La Cap.

Best burger overall is Willamette Burger hands down.

Best burger place I miss was Bigfoot Grill.

Unknown said...

Jakes, 12th and Rural has the best burger in Salem. Willamette Burger Co makes a good patty but I dislike the bun.

Chuck Bradley said...

Does anyone have a local source for Brioche Rolls? (The ultimate Burger Bun in my opinion.) I'm on a quest. No luck so far. (I've been to Cascade Baking Co. and Roth's Vista Bakery reasoning that they were my best bets.)

DeeDeeDiner said...

Not positive I'm remembering correctly, but doesn't the baker at Broken Bread make her own? Seems like she came from another venue so may be a resource for retailers.(Ditto if you've had them at other local restaurants, they would seem a logical starting point for your query.)

When I was on a search for locally made croissants, I spoke with both Little Cannoli and Alycone---perhaps they could make the brioche rolls if you ordered a dozen or whatever.

Chuck Bradley said...

DDD. Good thoughts all. I think you're right about Broken Bread. I couldn't think of any I had locally. (Had one at Little Big Burger in Eugene yesterday. But theirs are sourced out of Portland.) Little Cannoli and Alcyone are good suggestions too. Thanks!

DeeDeeDiner said...

De nada...

laina said...

Hubs and I are addicted to burgers from the Ram Brewery. I'm sure it's a high fat content in the meat- not good for us watching our waistlines- but they are SO juicy and flavorful. His fave- the Stadium burger with fresh lettuce, tomato, cheese... my favorite is the peanut butter burger (it works, trust me), followed by the Hillybilly- which is their blue cheese burger. Gotta have their "home"-brewed beer, too- our fave is the porter, but they're all tasty. mmmm