This list is distinct from favorite burgers, proper or even "best" as a concept. Favorite carries a whiff of the personal but be clear- my favorites align closely with "best."
  1. Flippin' Burgers, Newton, MA
    This place was only open for three years or so, and it was the best. May it rest in peace. Flippin', as we called it was small, open, old school, hidden and so so so delicious it was classic and simple. Burger or cheeseburger, no bacon. The onion rings were amazing, secret sauce explosive, and it was the after school platonic ideal for friends. When I think of burgers, I think of this.
  2. Boston Burger Company, Davis and Cambridge
    A controversial #2, because they prize crazy toppings over pure meat glory. But it's so fun, varied and warm with good veggie burgers. It isn't perfect but it's perfect for me- damn good and joyful. I'd marry it, for burger monogamy.
  3. Local 168, Provincetown
    Your celebrity crush and a potential number #2. It sits on a gorgeous Cape Cod patio open in the summer and has good beer on tap. Fancier. Kobe beef, black truffle aoli, smoked Gouda and raw white onion is my go-to but there are options galore in the summer breeze
  4. Bartley's, Cambridge
    I had a ghost-pepper Mac and Cheese burger with bacon and a side of perfect onion rings alone before the blizzard. An all time moment which lets it edge out...
  5. In-N-Out, West Coast
    Would it be higher or lower if I had if more? Hard to tell, but a strong showing at number five, and the standard for this list was "better than In N Out though?"