Well Done Seattle! Best Places to Grab a Burger in Sea-Town

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While hamburgers are known as being the quintessential all-American staple, they are a constantly changing cuisine that never ceases to amaze us. And these days, beef isn’t the only patty at the party. From chicken katsu, to duck and black bean burgers, your taste buds are sure to delight in a new twist on a familiar fare. If you’re ready to sink your teeth into a big, juicy, delectable burger, read on for a list of our favorite burger joints around town.

Habitat Burger

photo: Jenifer Castillo

The Habit Burger Grill
Making their Washington state debut in 2016, The Habit Burger Grill opened two south Seattle locations in Kent and Tukwila. As their name indicates, once you feast on their open flame grilled Charburger, a visit here may become a habit you won’t want to break. With 100% fresh ground beef, the Original Charburger comes complete with caramelized onions (which adds just enough sweet texture), mayo and pickles united together on a toasted bun. If you’re a mushroom lover, try the Roasted Garlic Portabella Char. This delectable burger comes with all the amazingness of the original Charburger, plus Portabella mushrooms, melted white American cheese, crisp lettuce, fresh tomato, caramelized onions, pickle, and roasted garlic aioli on a toasted bun. And if you’re really ready to get your hamburger-eating-pants on, go for the Santa Barbara Char where you will be greeted with a double Charburger with cheese and avocado on a grilled sourdough bun. Psst… make sure to save room for sweet potato fries, onion rings or tempura green beans (seriously; you’ll want to give them a try!). One thing is for sure, as you finish up your burger, you will already be staring at the menu and planning your meal for the next visit.

17025 Southcenter Pkwy.
Tukwila, Wa 98188
Hours: Mon.-Sun., 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

12900 S.E. Kent Kangley Rd.
Kent, Wa 98030
Hours: Mon.-Sun., 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

11196 Pacific Crest Pl.
Silverdale, Wa 98383

Shoreline (opening March 8, 2017)
1253 N. 205th St.
Shoreline, Wa 98133

Online: habitburger.com

The Habitat Burger Grill

photo: Kristina Moy

Uneeda Burger
You need a wha—? Trust us on this one: just get your ‘lil tushies over to Fremont, grab a few fistfuls of napkins and get in line. While the owners describe Uneeda as a “casual, roadside style burger shack,” we find it to be more upscale than that, teeming with casual hipsters and eclectically clad families. Insider tip: Do bring a sweater or jacket as under cover seats are limited and most dining is done al fresco. Burgers are made with all-natural Painted Hills beef, or for $2-$3 extra you can sub out Gleason Ranch 100% pasture-raised beef. Our favorites include the Sonora (roasted chili relish, jack cheese and cilantro) and the Crimini Mushroom made with Crimini mushrooms, porcini & black truffle salt, shallots and Gruyere cheese (both for $9). They don’t have a kid’s menu, but Uneeda’s classic no-frills burger is just $5, and kiddos can also order soup, hot dogs or a grilled cheese. The fries here are among the best in town (hand cut or sweet potato) or Poutine, (hello! for $4). And make sure everyone saves room for dessert: All shakes are hand dipped and made with Snoqualmie Gourmet Ice Cream in flavors like salted caramel, blackberry, strawberry and blackberry. A great selection of microbrews, artisan sodas and wines are also on tap.

4302 Fremont Ave. N.
Seattle, Wa
Online: uneedaburger.com

uneeda burger

photo: Emily K. via Yelp

Red Mill Burger
Red Mill Burgers welcomes customers into their iconic locales (Phinney Ridge, Ballard and Interbay) with the delightful aroma that can only be created by the mound of bacon that sits grill side. This, of course, makes your decision to choose a burger with bacon an easy one. Land your taste buds on the Bleu Cheese N’ Bacon Burger for a mouthful of a quarter pound of flame broiled beef patty, generously topped with pepper bacon, bleu cheese crumbles, lettuce, tomato and smothered with their (super addicting) mill sauce. The tangy bleu cheese and pepper bacon combo dances on the tongue and quickly leaves you wondering where on earth your burger disappeared to. If you are a burger traditionalist, try the Red Mill Deluxe. This quarter-pound fresh beef patty is grilled perfectly enough to be tender and juicy with each bite. Or go for the Red Mill Deluxe which comes with lettuce, tomato, pickle, red onion and, of course, mill sauce. Be sure to complete your meal with steak cut fries (psst… these fries are cooked in 100% peanut oil) and a tub-o’-tartar sauce (seriously, don’t skip the sauce tub) and a strawberry shake (which is a meal in itself).

Good to Know: The Phinney Ridge location is situated a perfect two-minute drive away from Woodland Park Zoo, which makes Red Mill the perfect ending to a zootastic day. And the Ballard location is located across the street from the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks—another great ending to a family outing. Red Mill is closed on Mondays and is a cash only establishment.

Phinney Ridge
312 N. 67th St.
Seattle, Wa
Hours: Tues.-Sat., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., noon-8 p.m.; closed on Monday

1613 W. Dravus St.
Seattle, Wa
Hours: Tues.-Sat., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., noon-8 p.m.; closed on Monday

3058 N.W. 54th St.
Seattle, Wa 98107
Hours: Tues.-Sat., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., noon-8 p.m.; closed on Monday

Online: redmillburgers.com


photo: Patty B. via Yelp

Katsu Burger
Have you ever wanted to summit Mt. Fuji? Now you can, without a trip to Japan or elevation training. Of course, we speak of a mega-burger made especially at Katsu Burger and not the active volcano southwest of Tokyo. Although, there is a degree of training required in order to attempt to feast on this tower of meat and accompanying trimmings. The Mt. Fuji Burger topples in with beef katsu, pork katsu, chicken katsu, American cheese, bacon, pepper jack, cheddar, a fried egg, wasabi mayo, spicy mayo and tonkatsu sauce. This iconic burger represents the heart of Katsu Burger; where American style burgers are exquisitely blended with Japanese inspired cuisine. If a mega-burger summit sounds a tad too daunting, Katsu offers a non-traditional burger menu that is sure to deliver. Try a Katsu Curry with natural pork katsu, American cheese, curry mayo, covered in tonkatsu sauce. Or the Wabi Wasabi with beef katsu, pepper jack, wasabi mayo and tonkatsu sauce. These burgers are finger-licking good, so set up next to a napkin dispenser because when we say ‘finger-licking good’, we don’t mean it as a euphemism.

Good to Know: Vegetarians, rejoice! While customers are able to substitute tofu at no additional charge, Katsu Burger also offers a Miso Honey Tofu burger that is sure to impress (even if you aren’t a vegetarian). This medium-firm tofu katsu patty comes topped with homemade miso honey mustard, cabbage, tomatoes, red onions and pickles. And while burgers are sure to take the spotlight at Katsu, do not miss the shoestring fries. Choose from: Sea salt, 12 spices blend (if you like it spicy!) or the Nori (topped with roasted seaweed flakes). Kids are sure to enjoy the Banzai Bites—snack-sized breaded chicken or pork bites that are easy to pop into little mouths.

Insider Tip: All four locations offer small dining areas. Grab an order to go or get there early to snag a table.

6538 4th Ave. S.
Seattle, Wa
Hours: Mon.-Sun., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Capitol Hill
1410 12th Ave.
Seattle, Wa 98122
Hours: Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; Sun., 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

3333 184th St. S.W., #B
Lynnwood, Wa
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

12700 S.E. 38th St.
Bellevue, Wa
Hours: Mon.-Sun., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Online: katsuburger.com

katsu burger

photo: Jenifer Castillo

Pick-Quick Drive In
A drive thru staple since 1949, Pick-Quick is your quintessential burger joint. Although ownership has changed hands over the years, Quick-Pick has maintained their authenticity and spirit, due to the fact that the current owner, Betty Burgi, worked at the original location as a teenager in 1952. There is a deep comfort in getting your hands on a no-frills, unpretentious, perfectly grilled and meaty hamburger. At the Pick-Quick, you won’t find any cute-burger monikers, surprising ingredients or break-your-wallet-prices, but what you will find is a genuine, juicy, perfectly seasoned burger to sink your teeth into. Pair with a side of fries and a milkshake (try the blackberry) to round out your drive-thru experience.

Good to Know: If the thought of a drive thru leaves your worrying about the amount of fries that will undoubtably lodge under your seat, head to the Auburn location that offers indoor and outdoor seating. And be sure to check out the new SODO location that opened in the fall of 2016.

2990 4th Ave S.
Seattle, Wa 98134
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Auburn (indoor seating available)
1132 Auburn Way N.
Auburn, Wa 98002
Hours: Sun.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

4306 Pacific Hwy E.
Fife, Wa 98424
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Online: pick-quick.com


photo: Howard C. via Yelp

Blue Moon Burgers
It’s almost as if All-American Fast Food Dining and Premium Locally Sourced Beef met, had a baby, and named her Blue Moon. She’s a crowd-pleaser to be sure, and we especially like that she’s creative and customizable. Choose your bun (Blue Moon brioche, Texas toast, ciabatta, gluten-free), change up your meat (beef, grilled chicken breast, spicy black bean patty, falafel patty) and the result is a one-of-a-kind burger of your very own creation. For this reason, Blue Moon is a perfect spot for fussy eaters or particularly anyone with food sensitivity issues. They take their gluten-free options seriously and even have a dedicated fryer so that there’s no tot, fries or onion ring cross contamination. Adult-size burgers are big and hearty and if you find the “build your own” process intimidating, you can always chow down on one of their signature burgers, like The Blue Hawaiian topped with thick teriyaki glaze, pepper jack cheese, a grilled pineapple ring, fresh lettuce, sweet red onions, pickles, and blue moon sauce on a brioche bun. The Blue Bayou is another fave. It comes coated with cajun spices, blackened and topped with a healthy portion of crumbled blue cheese, fresh lettuce, sweet red onions, pickles and blue moon sauce on a brioche bun. Kids can enjoy a Baby Blue Burger, grilled cheese or a PB & J. And don’t forget their deluxe hand-dipped milkshakes or malts (made with real powdered malt) and their tater tots, garlic Parmesan fries and curry sweet fries to top things off!

South Lake Union
920 Republican St.
Seattle, Wa 98109
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-8 p.m; Sat., noon-8 p.m.; Closed Sunday

703 North 34th St.
Seattle, Wa 98138
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m

Capitol Hill
523 Broadway E.
Seattle, Wa 98102
Hours: Sun.-Mon., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Tues.-Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Online: bluemoonburgers.com


photo: Rich S. via Yelp

Lunchbox Laboratory
With over 5,000 square feet of dining space, Lunchbox Laboratories is definitely a sit down feast for both your belly, and your eyes. The retro chic decor will have you reminiscing about your very own elementary school lunchbox (ahem; Masters of the Universe) while marveling at the ones your mom never let you have (ahem; Gremlins). Once you tear your eyes away from the decor and finally focus on the menu, order a basket of Cheese Curds (breaded Wisconsin cheddar cheese curds that are subsequently deep fried), so you have something to snack on while you attempt to narrow down your choices. Pick from the tried-and-true list of “burgers experiments” such as the Burger of the Gods made with bleu cheese crumbles, candied balsamic onions and gorgonzola spread. Keep the napkins handy since the almost-too-big-to-fit-in-the-mouth deliciousness might require some mouth (and chin) dabbing. If you are looking for a meal that will expand your burger horizons, try the Bahn, James Bahn; a Dork burger. What is this Dork we speak of?! It is the delicious and surprising mix of Duck and Pork all rolled into one delightful patty. The Bahn, James Bahn comes with pickled carrots, cucumber, daikon and cilantro topped with a sweet chili mayo. The burger is evocative of a traditional Bahn Mi; you will get the sweet pickled crunch of the vegetables combined with a rich mouthful of dork meat. The perfect balance of salty to sweet will leave you wanting more.

Good to Know: Each burger comes with a choice of sides including the staple french fries, but feel free to try out the loaded mac du jour, a side dish of mac and cheese that will tantalize your tastebuds. Kids are sure to love the tater tots and grilled cheese or let ’em try their hand at creating their very own burger experiment. Lunchbox Laboratories also has some killer drinks on hand; because who doesn’t love a side of milkshake with their burger? Try a Boozie Cinnamon Toast Crunk Shake with vanilla ice cream, Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal with a test tube filled with Sinfire Cinnamon Whiskey. Or saddle up to a Drunken Elvis made with vanilla ice cream with graham cracker, peanut butter and banana and topped off with a test tube of Malibu Banana, Pinnacle Whipped Vodka and Irish Cream. This is a drink that would make the King himself proud.

Insider Tip: Due to the downtown locations of both spots, it’s no surprise that Lunchbox Laboratory is popular with the business and happy hour crowd. For the most family-friendly experience, go after 6 p.m. on a weeknight or any time during the weekends.

Bonus Bites: Kids eat free on Wednesdays! Bring your mini burger connoisseurs into Lunchbox from 5 p.m. to close where kids (under 12) will score a free meal with the purchase of an adult burger.

South Lake Union
1253 Thomas St.
Seattle, Wa
Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m., daily

989 112th Ave. N.E.
Bellevue, Wa
Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m., daily

Online: lunchboxlaboratory.com

LunchBox Laboratory

photo: Lunchbox Laboratory Facebook page

Zippy’s Giant Burger
Step back in time and head to Zippy’s Giant Burger where the burgers are ground fresh each morning and soda comes in glass bottles. This White Center staple burger joint is famous for serving up big juicy burgers to satisfied customers. The secret to these melt-in-your-mouth burgers comes from crafting a patty fresh from ground chuck each and every morning. No freezer burns here! Try the Zip Royale, a double meat burger (and go ahead, add that bacon and cheese). Complete with Zippy’s secret sauce (honestly, what good is a burger without some secret sauce?), tomato, red onion, lettuce and pickles. Add-ons are also available (for a small added fee), so try a fried egg or Mama Lil’s Kick Butt peppers (be ready for some flavor!).

Good to Know: Vegetarian or not, the word on the street is that Rae’s Black Bean Veggie Burger is one of the best in Seattle. The black bean patty is made fresh and won’t be another sad cardboard tasting veggie burger. For a non-traditional adventure, check out Rae’s Hell (psst… it’s as spicy as it sounds). This taste bud burner comes with Mama Lil’s Honkin’ Hot Peppailli relish, hot links, cheddar cheese and onions. Big on flavor with enough spice to make the meal interesting. And although the fries are delicious, snag a side of tots; with just enough salt, they are the perfect sidekick for your burger. Psst! Try them Totchos style, where the tots will be bathed in cheddar cheese, tomato, jalapeño and bacon topped with chipotle ranch dressing.

Burger Bonus: Kids (under 12) get a free Wacky Meal on Wednesdays. Psst! Make sure to bring quarters to try your hand at their arcade games.

White Center
9614 14th Ave. S.W.
Seattle, Wa 98106
Hours: Sun., 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Mon.-Thurs., 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 8 a.m.-10 p.m.

5633 Airport Way S.
Seattle, Wa 98108
Hours: Mon.-Thurs., 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri., 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Closed Sunday

Online: zippysgiantburgers.com

zippy's burgers

photo: Zippy’s Giant Burgers

What can we say, it’s an institution. Since 1952 Burgermaster has been serving up a classic drive-in (that’s drive in, not drive thru) experience. And what kind of parent would you be if you didn’t let your kids enjoy a fine meal in the car? On any given weekend at the University location (the only B-master that isn’t a drive-in) you’ll find kids in cleats and grandparents with sensible purses all mingling together in this jovial, family-friendly atmosphere. Our favorites include the classic Burgermaster (an all-beef patty, relish, American cheese, lettuce and tomato) and the Kiddie Combo (Kiddie Burger, fries, drink and small treat). All their beef is pasture raised and hormone and antibiotic free, and the buns are always on the lip-smacking side of buttery. The staff is very clear about Burgermaster not being “fast” food, so be prepared to savor the experience. In your car.

9820 Aurora Ave. N.
Seattle, Wa 98103
Hours: Sun.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-midnight

University Village
3040 N.E. 45th St.
Seattle, Wa 98105
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat., 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

10606 N.E. Northup Way
Bellevue, Wa 98004
Hours: Sun.-Thurs., 10 a.m.-midnight; Fri.-Sat., 10 a.m.- 1 a.m.

Mill Creek
18626 Bothell Everett Hwy.
Bothell, Wa 98102
Hours: Sun.-Thurs., 10 a.m.-midnight; Fri.-Sat., 10 a.m.- 11 p.m.

7909 Evergreen Way
Everett, Wa 98203
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 7 a.m.-10 p.m; Sun., 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m.

Online: burgermaster.biz

Jak’s Grill
We saved the best for last. No, really. Nothing quite compares to the classy, steak house atmosphere of Jak’s, and as we wrote in our fine dining with kids guide, we think they’ve got the best burger in town. The Jak’s Burger™ is a beautiful mound of ½ pound of its famous ground beef, served on a toasted kaiser bun with roasted red pepper mayo, lettuce, tomato and onion. It comes with fries but we say spend the extra four dollars and get the Caesar salad instead. Order it medium or medium-rare and keep the steak knife handy (but not too handy – beware of small hands!). You’ll also need to get there early ‘cuz Jak’s is a happening spot that doesn’t take reservations.

3701 N.E. 45th St.
Seattle, Wa 98105
Hours: Brunch/Lunch: Sat.-Sun., 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; Tues.-Fri., 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Dinner: Sun., 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m.; Mon., 5 p.m.-9 p.m.; Tues.-Thurs., 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 4:30 p.m.-11 p.m.; Sat., 4:30 p.m.-11 p.m.

14 Front St. N.
Issaquah, Wa 98027
Hours: Brunch/Lunch: Sat.-Sun., 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; Tues.-Fri., 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Dinner: Sun.-Mon., 4 p.m.-9 p.m.; Tues.-Thurs., 4 p.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 4 p.m.-11 p.m.

West Seattle
4548 California Ave. S.W.
Seattle, Wa 98116
Hours: Brunch/Lunch: Sat.-Sun., 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; Tues.-Fri., 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Dinner: Sun., 4 p.m.-9 p.m.; Mon., 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m.; Tues.-Thurs., 4:30 p.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 4:30 p.m.-11 p.m.; Sat., 4 p.m.-11 p.m.

Online: jaksgrill.com

Looking for other options to get your burger fix on? Check out these juicy and delicious locations on the Eastside.

What are your favorite burger go-to spots in and around Seattle? Dish in the Comments below! 

— Jenifer Castillo, Kristina Moy & Allison Ellis

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