There are burgers... and then there are restaurant burgers: those over-the-top concoctions built for maximum wow and deliciousness. To find the best of this special breed, we tapped the country’s top chefs— all recent regional winners of prestigious James Beard Awards—to share the burgers they devour most on their home turf. Then we tracked down the recipes, cooked up a storm and cast our votes. The result: Our (slightly simplified) recipe for the best burger in America, plus 51 more of the coolest, craziest, most crave-worthy burgers to ever grace a bun— and how you can make your own burgers better!
TheJames Beard awards are the oscars of the food world: every year at a star-studded gala, the foundation names the best chefs in America across 10 regions. Consider them your personal guides to burger nirvana! Check back daily as we share each regions' winning chef or chefs' top burger picks.
Compiled by Sara Karnasiewicz
Photography by Charles Masters