Love burgers? Here’s a list of Charlotte’s 22 best burgers spots, ranked.
From old school to gourmet, Charlotte’s burger scene is sneaky good.
People’s choice: In a recent survey sent to around 50,000 daily Agenda newsletter subscribers, our audience voted these as the best burger spots in Charlotte: No. 5 Pinky’s, No. 4 Moo & Brew, No. Brooks Sandwich House, No. 2 Bad Daddy’s, and No. 1 Bang Bang.
No. 22: The Diamond
Vibe: Cozy retro diner in Plaza Midwood, founded in 1945.
What to order: Small Block Burger — 1/3 lb. ground beef with lettuce, tomato, onion, and mayonnaise.
No 21: Cowbell
Vibe: Cool bar and burger spot in the heart of Uptown. I’ve heard it’s one of Luke Kuechly’s favorite late night hangouts.
What to order: Boogan’s Bacon — beef patty, pretzel bun, bacon marmalade, bacon strips, iceberg leaf lettuce, roma tomatoes, sliced red onions, and roasted garlic aioli. Served with your choice of side (go with the sweet potato tots).
No. 20: Chubz Famous Chiliburgers
Vibe: This low-key joint makes the bold claim that they’re “home of the best chili cheeseburgers, french fries, and onion rings in the nation.”
Description: All chiliburgers come with tomatoes, pickles, onions, mustard, and chili.
No. 19: The Asbury
What to order: Krenz Burger — two locally sourced beef patties, pickle and herb rouille, caramelized onions, roasted mushrooms, and griddled cheddar.
No. 18: South 21 Drive-in
Background: Drive-in Southern comfort food restaurant a few miles from Uptown on Independence Boulevard. Serving gems like the Super Boy since 1955.
What to order: Super Boy ($5.65) hamburger — two beef patties, cheese, mustard, onions, lettuce, and tomatoes with French fries.
No. 17: The Goodyear House
Vibe: Beautiful NoDa neighborhood restaurant inside of a transformed early 1900s mill home.
What to order: Goopy burger – Shipley Farms beef, cheddar, pickles, onion, and shredded lettuce on a benne seed bun. Make it a double for $4 more and/or add Benton’s Bacon for $3 more.It’s designed to taste like a more delicious version of the McDonald’s Big Mac.
No. 16: Crepe Cellar
Vibe: Super chill and cozy European gastropub in NoDa.
What to order: Crepe Cellar Burger – Gruyere, onion straws, garlic aioli on a potato bun. If you’re doing a group appetizer, go with Crepe Cellar’s Pesto Brie Fries or the Burrata.
No. 15: Bad Daddy’s
What to order: Basic Burger – 6-ounce freshly ground custom beef blend.
Backup burger: When you’re craving breakfast, but it’s actually lunch time, go with the “Sam I Am Burger” — American cheese, over easy fried egg, rosemary ham, and fresh-made pesto.
No. 14: Midwood Smokehouse
What to order: Sure, you know Midwood for its barbecue, but have you had the burger? If not, try The Roadhouse – chuck and brisket burger patty with ketchup, mustard, pickles American cheese, lettuce, and tomato. Add brisket or chopped pork for another $2.
No. 13: Oak Steakhouse
What to order: The Oak Burger – grilled sweet onion, tomato, bibb lettuce, white cheddar on a brioche bun served with truffle frites. Add a fried egg for another $2 or add Benton’s bacon for $3.
Pro tip: The burger and truffle fries are available for $8 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. everyday.
No. 12: Foxcroft Wine Co.
What to order: This top-notch wine bar also serves a signature burger — ground hanger steak, grilled onion, pea shoots, tomato, truffle aioli, and your choice of cheddar or blue cheese.
No. 11: Pinky’s
What to order: Pterodactyl Burger ($5) — award-winning 5-ounce beef burger, everything style.
Burger topping options at Pinky’s:
- Everything — mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion, dill pickles
- Westside — mustard, chili, slaw, onion
- Ding Dong Style — crunchy peanut butter, honey-cilantro slaw, and hot sriracha sauce
Go big burger: Triple “G” three, 5-ounce patties, Westside style (this was Guy Fieri’s order when he visited).
No. 10: Rooster’s
What to order: This upscale Southern comfort food spot serves an incredible brisket burger.
No. 9: The Dive In
Vibe: It’s an old school diner in Pineville. You’ll find picnic tables out front and retro decor inside.
What to order: Jimmy Special – double cheddar burger topped with onion rings, pickles, mustard, and special sauce.
No. 8: Reid’s Fine Foods
Vibe: Upscale urban grocery store in Myers Park, SouthPark, and Uptown.
What to order: Reid’s Steakburger ($15) — House ground filet, sirloin & rib-eye, Tega Hills lettuce, tomato, and red onion served on an artisan bun with your choice of side (go with the truffle fries).
Deal: Each Tuesday, both Reid’s Fine Foods locations (in Myers Park and SouthPark) offer a half-priced Steakburger special. It’s a popular special; they do about 300 burgers every Tuesday.
No. 7: The Stanley
Vibe: It’s a fancy restaurant from James Beard semifinalist chef Paul Verica.
What to order: The cheeseburger will set you back $18, but damn it’s delicious. It comes with house-ground NY strip and tenderloin mixed with some foie gras and white truffle, topped with aged cheddar, pickled onions, hot house tomatoes, and served with truffle potato chips.
Availability: The burger is only available after 9 p.m. at the bar and at Sunday brunch.
No. 6: Moo & Brew
Vibe: Neighborhood burger and beer spot with a great patio in Plaza Midwood (known to many for their famous Large Marge Bloody Mary).
What to order: Farmer’s Daughter — farm egg, peppered applewood bacon, cheddar, tomato, Bibb lettuce, and M&B sauce.
Backup burger: Moo & Brew Burger — brew-braised onions, brew chili, brew cheese, and yellow mustard.
No. 5: Zack’s Hamburgers
Vibe: Old-school, family-owned burger and Southern comfort food restaurant in LoSo. They call your order over a speaker, which is just fantastic.
What to order: Zack’s Special ($5.95) — two 100% ground beef patties with double American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, mayonnaise, and “special sauce” on a toasted bun, served with French fries.
No. 4: The Crunkleton
Vibe: Classy cocktail bar in Elizabeth. Wash down the burger with an Old Fashioned.
Description: The Crunkleton Burger is topped with cheese, lettuce, pickles, and house-made Crunkleton sauce served with fries.
No. 3: Brooks Sandwich House
Vibe: Tiny hidden spot near NoDa’s Heist Brewing with a walk-up window and outdoor table for eating.
What to order: Burger “All The Way” with mustard, onions, and homemade chili.
No. 2: Bang Bang Burgers
Vibe: Fast-casual interior located in an Elizabeth strip mall, with a new cooler location in South End.
What to order: Bang Bang Burger — American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, homemade pickle, and “Bang bang” sauce with fries.
Backup order: Cowboy Burger — sharp cheddar, bacon, and homemade barbecue sauce with fries.
No. 1: Ace No. 3
Vibe: It’s not big inside this counter service spot. You’ll find communal seating inside and a patio with picnic tales and string lights. And while there are no concrete plans for a rooftop at this point, look for this as a possibility in the future.
“It’s actually quite hard to create a concept this simple,” says owner Paul Manley, who also owns Sea Level and The Waterman. “Every single item you use and every process you do has to have meaning and impact.”
What to order: “The Ace” burger consists of two patties, American cheese, onions, pickles, and “comeback” sauce on a toasted potato bun. You can also build your own burger (single, double, triple, or veggie) and add bacon or egg ($1 each). You can also get your burger on a gluten free bun ($1).