Best burgers in Charlotte? Here’s the definitive ranking of Charlotte’s top 10 burger spots

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Here’s a list of Charlotte’s top 10 burger restaurants and what to order at each spot.

Charlotte’s burger scene is sneaky solid. We’ve developed a great mix of old school burgers and gourmet burgers.

[Note: Yes, I’ve tasted about 15 burgers in the past few weeks and yes, my cholesterol is high – not kidding, just got a physical]


#10 — 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.

The-diamond-cheeseburger-charlotte

Nothing fancy, just solid. I’m taking it over Liberty and Cowbell although it’s a close call. If you’re not in the burger mood at Diamond, order the foot long Diamond Dog ($4.50) that comes with chili, mustard & onions.


#9 – Kickstand

Vibe: Burger and bar joint in Plaza Midwood.

What to order: The Fender Bender ($10.95) – beef burger topped with chili, crispy fried onions, mushrooms, slaw, American cheese and bacon.

Backup order: The Cross Country – beef burger basted with a citrus bbq sauce, topped with pico de gallo, guacamole, papperjack cheese, and jalapeno cilantro spread.

fender-bender-burger-kickstand-charlotte

I highly recommend cutting in 1/2 as Kickstand’s burgers can be difficult to manage. 


#8 — Cowfish

Vibe: Upscale sushi and burger restaurant with modern interior, fish tank and back patio in SouthPark.

What to order: The Cowfish Bento Box ($14) – A combo meal featuring both burger and sushi, including a mini-burger with American cheese, pickles and chopped red onion, sweet potato fries, Thai cucumbers, edamame and choice of a 4 piece sushi roll (California, Spicy Tuna, Vegetarian or Philly Roll)

Backup burger: The C.B.C.L.T. 14 – a half-pound beef burger, cheddar cheese, applewood bacon, white cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, Cowfish sauce, brioche bun with a side.

burger-at-cowfish-bento-box

I know I’m going to take heat for including a mini burger, but don’t judge from its size – it’s freaking delicious. 

bento-box-at-cowfish-charlotte

One of my favorite orders in Charlotte; Cowfish’s Bento Box has a little bit of everything.


#7 — Pinky’s

Vibe: Self-described “lowbrow eats & drinks” in FreeMoreWest.

What to order: Pterodactyl Burger ($5) – Greg’s 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).

pinky's-cheeseburger-charlotte-nc

For $5, it’s hard to beat this award winning burger.


#6 – Moo & Brew

Vibe: Neighborhood burger and beer spot with a great patio in Plaza Midwood (know to many for their famous Large Marge Bloody Mary).

What to order: Farmer’s Daughter ($11) –  farm egg, peppered applewood bacon, cheddar, tomato, Bibb lettuce, M&B sauce.

Backup burger: Moo & Brew Burger – brew-braised onions, brew chili, brew cheese & yellow mustard.

farmers-daughter-at-moo-and-brew

Love that you can really taste the meat flavor.

best-burger-at-moo-and-brew

You can’t tell me that you don’t want to lick this Moo & Brew sauce off of your screen. The bun was also super fresh. 


#5 – South 21 Curb Service

Vibe: Drive-in Southern comfort food restaurant a few miles from Uptown on Independence. Serving gems like the Super Boy since 1955.

What to order: Jumbo Cheeseburger ($5.95) – their Super Boy Hamburger (two beef patties, mustard, onions, lettuce and tomatoes) with two slices of cheese and French fries.

burger-and-soda-at-south-21-charlotte

If you’re feeling adventurous, order the Fish-O-Burger ($6.75) — two pieces of filet-of-Trout, tarter sauce, cup of slaw and french fries.

jumbo-cheeseburger-at-south-21-charlotte

The thin patties and melted cheese fit perfectly over the condiments. Sesame seed bun was both soft and fresh.


#4 — Bad Daddy’s

Vibe: Neighborhood burger bar in Dilworth.

What to order: Basic Burger ($8.75) – 6-ounce freshly ground custom beef blend.

Backup burger: Bacon Cheeseburger on Steroids – Monterey Jack cheese, three pieces of jalapeño bacon, three pieces of applewood smoked bacon, housemade bacon mayo, shredded lettuce, tomato, red onion and pickles.

bad-daddy's-burger-charlotte

Very well balanced burger. Order the tater tots as your side. 


#3 — 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.

cheeseburger-at-zack's-in-south-end

Zack’s Hamburgers is family owned and feels like it’s stuck in time – 1975 to be exact (when it opened).


#2 — 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 ($3.50) “All The Way” with mustard, onions and homemade chili.

cheeseburger-from-brooks

You won’t be able to stop eating this…


#1 — Bang Bang Burgers

Vibe: Fairly forgettable upscale fast-casual interior located in an Elizabeth strip mall.

What to order: Bang Bang Burger ($9.50) – American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, homemade pickle and Bangburger sauce with fries. A double will cost you an additional $3.

Backup order: Cowboy Burger – sharp cheddar, bacon and homemade BBQ sauce with fries.

cheeseburger-bang-bang-burger-charlotte

I loved the special sauce with the tiny spoon – I’m a big tiny spoon guy. Agenda profile story: Bang Bang serving up the #1 burger in Charlotte

cheeseburger-bang-bang-burger-1

Best burger in the city. Although Brooks is really, really freaking close.

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Ted Williams
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Publisher, golfer, dad and magician (seriously).