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A definitive guide to Miami’s best burgers

From the Cuban frita to the traditional backyard-style specialty to the trendy smash burger, we’ve got you covered

Eric Barton
Written by
Eric Barton
Contributor
Time Out Miami editors
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Before you even dig into this list, we’re betting you’ve already got a burger in mind. You’ve already handed out your coveted Award for the Best Miami Burger I’d Eat Every Day. But stick with us, because there have been some seriously incredible options added to menus recently, including some at Miami's best restaurants. No doubt you’ve noticed already how many fancy restaurants around town have added them to their menus, and then there are the pop-ups and casual Miami breweries putting out great burgers. We’ve added them here to some of our all-time faves, like the city’s OG frita. And who knows? You might just find a new favorite.

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Time Out Market Miami

Best burgers in Miami

From its spot within the Citadel food hall, United States Burger Service (USBS for short) delivers top-quality ingredients, unique combinations and names you can’t help but giggle at. You can’t go wrong with the classic burger—the juicy patties sit between house-made potato buns—but the rotating specials with different kinds of cheeses and fresh sauces are really something else.

There was a time when Ted’s was infinitely hard to find. They would just appear somewhere, like at Eleventh Street Pizza for a one-night-only pop-up, and we’d all just rush there to eat their take on a frita or an Oklahoma City fried onion burger or better yet, just the good old classic cheeseburger. Theirs is ultra smashed, the patty wafer-thin so that the edges get all crisp and caramelized on the griddle before the cheese application. Luckily, these days, you can get a Ted’s burger any Sunday from a tent outside J. Wakefield Brewing, which is good, because this burger is good—no, great. We wouldn’t blame you if you said it’s the best in town.

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  • Restaurants
  • Diners
  • Coconut Grove
  • price 2 of 4

You might know Michael Beltran from his tasting menus and pressed duck and other incredible things he puts out at Ariete and sister restaurant Navé. So then it’ll come as little surprise that this talented chef also puts out a stellar double-patty burger, which you can order at his diner Chug’s or from his bar Taurus. At Taurus, they’re actually made in the kitchen at Ariete, whipped up by some of the finest line cooks in town and whisked next door to your table at a whiskey bar. How perfect is that?

  • Restaurants
  • Gastropubs
  • Little River
  • price 1 of 4

Perhaps you’ll trust us that this is among the best burgers in Miami, you’ll head to this tiny Little River brewery to order one, and you’ll be a bit astounded when it arrives. It doesn’t initially look like much, just a simple patty sitting nearly alone on a sesame seed bun. Taste it, though, and you’ll see that there’s something special in every single ingredient. The bun is fluffy and fresh and perfect. The patty below is umami-packed, thanks to a flavor-fatty mix of brisket, short rib and koji-cured chuck. There are pickles, a special sauce and a slice of American, none of it looking overly fancy but also just somehow perfect.

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Wynwood
  • price 3 of 4

At Wynwood’s Le Chick, they’d have you believe that the main event is the rotisserie chicken. And it is good. But the real star of the show is a sneaky little burger called the Royale with Cheese: two juicy smash-patties buried in cheddar cheese sit between a fluffy house-baked bun. It sort of reminds us of an In-N-Out burger and it’s absolutely inhalable.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cuban
  • price 1 of 4

Nothing is more Miami than the frita, that combination of an American burger and Cuban ingredients, an amalgamation like the city itself. El Mago is among the oldest old-school frita makers in town, and it puts out what should be your baseline Cuban burger: crispy potato skins, spiced beef patty and a fluffy Cuban-style bun. This is the frita you should use to judge all others.

Imagine a burger created by a classically trained chef who worked at the French Laundry. You're probably picturing some towering monstrosity of truffles and caviar. It’s just the opposite came from chef Greg Schesser, who creates classic burgers that are just well thought out, like the fluffy brioche bun, ultra-rich patty, razor-thin slices of onions, and creamy special sauce on the house special Vice Burger.

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  • Restaurants
  • American creative
  • Miami
  • price 2 of 4

The namesake classic Pinch Burger is an eight-ounce custom beef blend patty that’s nestled between a brioche bun. Add swiss cheese, caramelized onions, aioli, fries and—poof—you’ll have yourself the perfect burger. Bring your vegan friends along and they can order an Impossible burger with guac and potato skins on a pretzel bun.

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  • Restaurants
  • Hamburgers
  • Midtown
  • price 2 of 4

The burgers at the original Kush are a big reason owner Matt Kuscher is now overseeing a mini Miami restaurant empire. The burger menu here includes everything from a pastrami burger to a mouth-burning jalapeño barbecue number. But it's the Kush version of a frita that you'll need to try before declaring your favorite Miami burger, with its potato sticks, bacon, swiss, special sauce, and a bit of a sweet surprise from guava jelly.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • price 2 of 4

Le Tub is a slice of old salty South Florida. A derelict toilet bowl sits in the front yard. Inside the wooden waterfront dive, you really don’t even need a menu. Order the obvious and prepare for a softball of a burger to be dropped in front of you. The patties are thick (13-ounces of meat!), charbroiled and served simply with lettuce, tomato and onion.

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  • Restaurants
  • Latin American
  • Coral Gables
  • price 1 of 4

Folks love the burgers over at Pincho Factory. With a handful of South Florida locations, Pincho has become known for some pretty crazy specialty burgers but the staple Pincho burger, topped with crispy potato sticks, is probably the best thing on the menu. Adventurous eaters, go for the Pipo’s Choice Burger, the winner of 2019’s SOBEWFF Burger Bash. It’s got an Angus beef patty topped with fried plantain bits, smoked gouda cheese, applewood smoked bacon, grilled onions, papitas and guava ketchup served between a buttery toasted brioche bun. It ain’t light!

  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Wynwood

It’s won many awards and also won over many a carnivore with its complex flavors and clean ingredients. You can chow down on an entire veggie burger and fries from Love Life without ever feeling weighed down. The reason? A healthy superfood patty, homemade guacamole topping, plant-based cheddar cheese and decadent cilantro aioli, which you’ll want extra of for the side of baked herb potatoes.

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