Best burgers in town

When salad or tofu just won’t cut it

 1/2 Foo-Foo 1/2 Plain Jane... Jay is somewhat old school. We here at Thirst don't discriminate. - Taken @ Billy's Inn

1/2 Foo-Foo 1/2 Plain Jane... Jay is somewhat old school. We here at Thirst don't discriminate. - Taken @ Billy's Inn

The following opinions are provided by Jay Fox, a longtime Denver-area food critic. His specialty, no, obsession, is great burgers. So here goes his take on the best around, as well as some that he would like to try.

By Jay Fox

Burgers should be at least 80/20 or fatter, ground chuck or better, Angus beef. It should be around 8 ounces, hand-packed, and cooked on a flat top or in a fry pan. Medium-rare is best but I usually order rare, then if it’s too rare they can salvage (hopefully) the burger. Most cooks get rare ok but they over cook medium-rare. The “rare” at most restaurants comes out a perfect medium-rare anyhow. Some good restaurants on my list do not hand-pack but they serve a really good pre-formed patty.

It should be noted that those of you who like foo-foo on their burger (lettuce, tomato, onion, bacon, cheese, etc.) can eat dog biscuits and you won’t know the difference. Those of you who like your burgers well-done don’t deserve dog biscuits.

Note that restaurants change ownership and concepts fairly regularly, so if the burgers aren’t up to par, let me know and I will delete them from the list. Also remember that on any given day, even the best grill cook can screw up a burger. If it’s not to your liking, send it back and have them redo it. If they screw it up a second time, leave and don’t ever go back.


The List

240 Union – 240 Union Blvd

Fanelli’s Amici’s – 4300 Wadsworth Blvd

Avenue Grill – 630 E. 17th Ave

Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar 240 Milwaukee, SW Plaza etc.

 Billy's Inn on Lowell

Billy's Inn on Lowell

Billy’s Inn – 4403 Lowell Blvd

The Cow – 316 Bear Creek Ave, Morrison

Bob’s Atomic Burger – 1310 Ford St, Golden

Brio Tuscan Grille – 2500 East 1st Ave

Bucksnort Saloon – 15921 Elk Creek Rd, Pine

Bud’s Bar – 5453 Manhart St, Sedalia

Capital Grille – 1450 Larimer St

Cherry Cricket – 2641 E. 2nd Ave

Crave Real Burger – 3 locations

Dazzle – 930 Lincoln St

Del Frisco’s – 8100 E. Orchard Rd

Den at Fox Hollow – 13410 Morrison Rd

*Denver Chop House – 1735 19th Street

Drafts Sports Bar & Grill - 2280 Shepherd of the Hills Expressway, Branson, MO

Elway’s – 2500 E. 1st Ave

Fiddlesticks – 10815 W. Jewell Ave

 The new Blue Moon location in Rino is serving up some great menu items. Including burgers. 

The new Blue Moon location in Rino is serving up some great menu items. Including burgers. 

Front Range Inn - 7779 Morrison Rd

Garrison Street Grill – formerly Café Del Sol – 608 Garrison St

Georgia Boys BBQ – Frederick, CO

Guard and Grace - 1801 California St

Helton Burger – Coors Field

Hurricane Wings and Things – 8025 W. Bowles Ave

Holiday Inn Sporting News Grill – 7390 W. Hampden Ave

Highland Tap & Burger – 2219 West 32nd Ave

Hits the Spot Diner – 5637 W. Colfax Ave

Kennedy Golf Course restaurant – 10500 E Hampden Ave

Larkburger (eat in only) many locations

Merle’s - 2609 W. Main St, Littleton (rare is rare)

New York Deli News – 7105 E. Hampden Ave

Nick’s Café – 777 Simms St

Panzano – 909 17th St

Park Burger – many locations

Q’s Pub – 10133 W. Chatfield Ave

Rib City Grill – several locations

Perry’s Steakhouse – 8433 Park Meadows Center Drive

Sam’s # 3 – 2580 S. Havana Ave

Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs – 3525 W. Colfax Ave

Stone Creek Café – 5075 S Federal Blvd

The Sink – 1165 13th St, Boulder

Teller’s Taproom & Kitchen - 1990 Youngfield St

Thirsty Bear – 2595 S. Lewis Way

Yard House – many locations

*newly added

©referred by reliable reader

Places to Try

5280 Burger Bar – 500 16th Street

Acorn – 3350 Brighton Blvd

Antelope Bar in Antelope, Montana

Applebee’s – various locations

Big Smoke Burger – 652 S. Colorado Blvd

BJ’s Brew-house – 14442 E. Cedar Ave – check out fries

Blackbelly Market – 1606 Conestoga St, Boulder

Block & Larder – 4000 Tennyson St

Blue Moon RINO - 3750 Chestnut Pl

Breckenridge Brewery – 2220 Blake St or 2990 Brewery Lane

*Brooklyn’s – 2644 W Colfax Ave and at the Pepsi Center

Café Terracotta - 5649 S Curtice St, Littleton

Chipotle (see Tasty Made)

Colorado Plus – 6995 W 38th Ave

Colterra – 210 Franklin St, Niwot

Chop Shop Casual Urban Eatery – 4990 E Colfax Ave

Colt & Gray – 1553 Platte St

E Town - Vail

Elm – 5001 E. Colfax Ave

Fate Brewing – 1600 38th Ave, Boulder

Finley’s Pub – 375 S Pearl St

Guard and Grace - 1801 California St

Hillstone in Cherry Creek – 303 Josephine St

Hopdoddy Burger Bar – 1747 Wynkoop St

Iron Rail – 41st and Kipling St

Jerry D’s – Dacono, CO

Jimmy’s Urban Bar & Grill -1530 Blake St

*Manna Restaurant – Castle Rock Adventist Hospital (4.5 stars trip advisor)

Meadowlark Kitchen – 2705 Larimer St

*Mirage Sports Bar – 8340 W Coal Mine Ave

*My Brother’s Bar – 2376 15th St

Nickel (Hotel Teatro) – 1100 14th St

Newbarry’s - 2995 W Jewell Ave

Pint Room – 2620 W Belleview Ave

Old Major – 3316 Tejon St

Park & Co – 439 E. 17th Ave

Perfect Landing – Centennial airport

Rehab burger therapy – Scottsdale, AZ

Reuben’s Burger Bistro – 1800 Broadway, Boulder

Riff’s - 1115 Pearl St, Boulder

Rosedale – at DU on Evans

Squeaky Bean – 1500 Wynkoop St

Ste. Ellie – 1553 Platte St # 120 ½

Steuben’s (new chef) – 523 E 17th St

Stoic and Genuine – 1701 Wynkoop (Union Station) – lunch only

Sunnyside Burger Bar (and shakes) – 3759 Lipan St

*Tailgate Tavern & Grill - 19552 E. Main St, Parker

Takota Tavern - 12311 Pine Bluffs Way, Parker

Tasty Made – Lancaster Ohio – guaranteed to be bad

The Glenn Bar & Grill – 11140 Irma Drive

Top Golf – 10601 E Easter Ave

Two Penguins Tap & Grill - 13065 East Briarwood Avenue
The Keg – Colorado Mills

The Royal – 4000 Tennyson St

Uber Eats – 1535 Central St

Union Station - sidewalk

Washington Park Grille – 1096 S Gaylord St

Williams & Graham – 3160 Tejon St

Wheat Ridge Lanes – 6595 W 38th Ave

*Wrigley’s – 18200 W.Colfax Ave, Golden

Zoka Burger – 16940 S Pine Valley, Pine, CO

*newly added