Best burgers in Charlotte? 2018 definitive ranking of Charlotte’s top 15 burger spots

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Here’s a list of Charlotte’s top 15 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 way too many burgers in the past few weeks and yes, my cholesterol is high – not kidding, recently had a physical. This article was originally published in May 2017 and updated in April 2018.]

#15 The Liberty

Vibe: Classy gastropub serving upscale American pub food.

What to order: “Crunch” Burger ($14) – Pimento cheese, smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, sweet onions, pickle, stacked with house chips and served on a brioche bun.


Definitely wins the award for tallest burger. It’s hard to manage.

#14 Crepe Cellar

Vibe: Super chill and cozy European gastropub in the heart of NoDa.

What to order: Crepe Cellar Burger ($15) – Gruyere, onion straws, garlic aioli on a potato bun. If you’re doing a group appetizer, go with Crepe Cellar’s Pestro Brie Fries or their Burrata.


If you’re doing a group appetizer, go with Crepe Cellar’s pesto brie fries or their burrata.

#13 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.


Nothing fancy, just solid. If you’re not in the burger mood at Diamond, order the foot long Diamond Dog ($4.50) that comes with chili, mustard & onions.

#12 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 ($12) – beff 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).


Solid bar vibe at night

#11 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, pepperjack cheese, and jalapeno cilantro spread.


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

#10 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.


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


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

#9 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).


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

#8 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 ($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.


Love that you can really taste the meat flavor.


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. 

#7 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.


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.


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

#6 Reid’s Fine Foods

Vibe: Upscale urban grocery store in Myers Park and SouthPark.

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).

When to order it: Each Tuesday, both Reid’s Fine Foods locations (in Myers Park and SouthPark) offer a 1/2 priced Steakburger special. It’s a popular special, they do about 300 burgers every Tuesday.


#5 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.


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

#4 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.


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

#3 Shake Shack

 Vibe: Counter-service fast food chain with a gourmet take on classic burgers, chicken, hot dogs, shakes and custard in Park Road Shopping Center.

What to order: ShackBurger – Single or Double Cheeseburger topped with lettuce, tomato, ShackSauce™.


#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.


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.


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


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

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