Looking For The Best Burger in Portland, Oregon 2022: Top 10

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Written By John @ The Portlandist

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Okay, well you caught us, we have been espousing the universal love of pizza for so long now that when you started looking for the best burger in Portland, we have to admit, pretty much every burger is amazing in and of itself.

Like pizza, there is hardly such a thing as a bad burger and lucky for us, Portland is full of great spots to grab a burger, whether you’re searching for casual fast food stands or gourmet dining experiences, we’ve gathered a list of the best burgers in Portland.

Here in the PDX, you’ll find an unusual dedication to the smashed patty burger. It’s a common enough burger across the country but Portlanders seem to love their smashed burger more than most places. The secret is knowing how to cook them. You smash the balled beef on the griddle and let it sit. Flip, griddle, serve.

If you try pressing down on an already flattened patty, you’ll get a dry burger. That crispy char crust is a feature for so many of us that it has become a point of pride in those restaurants that offer it up. There are plenty of regular burger patties out there but Portland has come to embrace the smashed patty.

The history of great burgers in Portland goes back over the years and we’ve seen favorites come, go, and be renamed and re-themed. You can still get a Stoopid Burger at Union Burgers, Rough Draft Burgers is now Sure Shot, some locations moved about in 2021 to better serve up in 2022, but no matter what you call them or where you find them, a great burger can be expressive as art, or as simple as a backyard grill.

It’s all about that savory bite once you get past the bun, the toppings, the condiments… the best burgers in the city all share one element in common; they are all waiting for us here in Portland.

The Best Burger in Portland Oregon

Below are our picks for the best burger in Portland Oregon. To snap directly to a specific location, please click the corresponding link in the list below.

  1. Oma’s Hideaway
  2. Yakuza Ghost Kitchen
  3. Expatriate
  4. Bless Your Heart Burgers
  5. Grain & Gristle
  6. Burger Stevens
  7. Bark City BBQ
  8. Sammich PDX
  9. PDX Sliders
  10. Sure Shot Burger

10. Oma’s Hideaway

portland burger oma’s hideaway

The namesake is the chef’s grandmother, Kiong Tien Vandenberg and the style is focused on making each and every one of us who comes through his doors feel as warm and comfortable as he did at his Oma’s, especially when leaving with a belly full of Southeast Asian cuisine.

The full bar has cocktails and mocktails names for creative memories of childhood, and the food is out of this world, but what we’re searching for is the best burger in Portland and it just may be here at Oma’s Hideaway.

The Oma-Zing Burger is stacked high with an exquisite local beef patty, American cheese, pickles and shredded lettuce, so far sounds like a standard burger right? The Oma-Zing Burger is topped with chili jam and comes on a toasted butter bun seasoned with coconut and Kaffir lime.

Truly an amazing blend of the strong and hearty burger and the delicate and subtle flavors of the Thai and other Asian cuisines. When you bite into that savory burger and still get the strong hints of those delicate flavors, you’ll know whey they call this the Oma-Zing Burger and why we easily added this to our list of the best burgers in Portland.

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3131 SE Division Street, Portland, Oregon 97202

9. Yakuza Ghost Kitchen

portland burger yakuza ghost kitchena

Not too many locations on our lists manage to enter multiple lists for being the best in Portland for more than one style of cuisine

However, if you are going to Yakuza Ghost Kitchen you will get amazing and note-worthy sushi, but you’ll also get one of the best burgers in Portland.

This Alberta Arts District favorite doubles as a lodge as well as a fine dining restaurant so you could come to Yakuza for a small vacation. If you’re coming here for the weekend or just for dinner, make sure you get the Yakuza Burger.

The restaurant takes great pride in their dedication to fresh, healthy ingredients that are always crafted and prepared by hand. The juicy burger patty is topped with ketchup but that is about as far as “ordinary ” ingredients go.

Spicy mayo and arugula are unusual on a burger, but not quite “exotic”. Then they add the chévre cheese and a healthy portion of truffled shoestring fries to the top before closing up that delicious charred bun.

Once you bite into the Yakuza Burger, you’ll know why it is regularly cited as one of the best burgers in Portland. Yakuza Ghost Kitchen is one of those places you’ll want to return time and again.

Email | Instagram | Web | (503)-450-0893
5515 NE 30th Avenue Suite 200, Portland, Oregon 97211

8. Expatriate

portland burger expatriate

Walk into Expatriate in northeast Portland and you’ll be entering the timelessness of an old-fashioned and modern blend bar.

Expatriate is a bar and it thrives on that identity, having no pretense about being a restaurant or pub, it knows what it is and deservedly proud of that.

So why are we sending you to a bar to find one of the best burgers in Portland? Because the unassuming plate marked “American Standard” on the menu of “Drinking Snacks” is by far one of the most traditional, and most tasty burgers we can find in the city.

The dish is two burgers, served with no frills (though we do whole-heartedly recommend trying the Hot & Sour Indian Spiced Fries) A griddled burger bun with ketchup and mustard, the burger patty has American cheese, and is topped with fresh onion slices. That’s it, plain and simple.

They aren’t much to look at and they don’t come with any fanfare. These simple burgers are much like the bar they are served in; they know what they are and they stand on that alone. When you bite into the simple but savory beauties, you’ll understand that a burger doesn’t have to be fancy to be one of the best burgers in Portland.

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5424 NE 30th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97211

7. Bless Your Heart Burgers

portland burger bless your heart burgers

The Sesame Collective is a Portland company that has a number of restaurants under their belt and all of them are noted as being the best at what they do.

Most of them have a decidedly Mediterranean bent to them and are worthy of your exploration of them, but the singular exception to this collection of restaurants is the one we’re going to recommend today.

Bless Your Heart Burgers is focused on the American south and the down-home backyard flavors of burgers, hot dogs, and French fries.

However don’t let the allusion to simplicity fool you, these gourmet burgers are among the best burgers in Portland. You can get the Single or Double Classic which is always served with ketchup, brown mustard, and mayonnaise, on a potato bun. 

The flavors explode when you try the “LLCJ” with bacon, guac, and Ranch, the “Y’all Come Back” with grilled onions or the “Love Burger” with jalapenos. Bless Your Heart Burgers is one of the few restaurants that are honest enough to admit that they can’t find a vegetarian burger patty worth serving, so their “Veggie Melt” is a great mix of peppers, onions, and mushrooms.

We like that kind of honesty… Every burger you order can be customized by adding any ingredients, including the southern favorite coleslaw. Don’t knock it until you try it, down south it’s not just for hot dogs y’all!

Email | Instagram | Web | (503)-719-6447
5410 NE 33rd Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97211

6. Grain & Gristle

portland burger grain & gristle

Nestled just south of the Alberta area in Portland is the neighborhood of Sabin and just off Prescott Street, a small pub is offering a sense of community with great beers and some of the best burgers in Portland.

Grain and Gristle are like many Portland restaurants in that they take pride in their city and the environment. The folks at G&G go out of their way to use only the finest local ingredients, patronize local shops and markets and bring you the finest food they can create with these amazing ingredients.

Where Grain & Gristle stands apart is in the G&G Burger, a thick juicy patty served up fresh and hot with the knowledge that this will be the best burger you’ll enjoy in a long long time.

You can order the meat to any temp you’d like and you can structure the burger with the toppings on the side if you’d like, but we can’t imagine anyone not wanting more of that delicious aioli Grain & Gristle drizzles all over the burger.

Just about anything you try on the entire menu will suddenly become your new favorite dish, but once you try the G&G Burger you’ll be spoiled for all future burgers coming from anywhere else.

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1473 NE Prescott Street, Portland, Oregon 97211

5. Burger Stevens

portland burger burger stevens

While not as contentious as the “NY vs Chicago” pizza debate, there are those that will argue over whether or not it is “acceptable” to press the burger patty on the griddle.

Burger Stevens will tell you that not only is it acceptable, but it is also mandatory to serve up the best burgers in Portland, which they have been doing for years.

Centrally located for locals and easily accessed from the highway for passing visitors, everyone who tastes the classic at Burger Stevens will agree, there is nothing quite as good as that dark crusted and juicy patty.

Burger Stevens tops the burger with the usual, lettuce, American cheese, tomato, onion, pickle, and their own brand of “fancy sauce”. You can add on bacon, or even a fried egg on top. Smaller burgers called “snacks” are available, essentially a slider version of the Burger Stevens classic.

The hot dogs are tasty and the fries are consistently sought after for their perfect crispness. For a small food truck permanently located in the parking lot of a popular German beerhaus, you can be assured that the food here is why this location has become a local icon of great food and is regarded as the best burger in Portland.

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4237 N Mississippi Avenue #3, Portland, Oregon 97217

4. Bark City BBQ

portland burger bark city bbq

Over off of SE Powell in a great funky little section of Portland is Bark City BBQ.

Bark City is technically a food cart, but between their stationary location and the smokers and grills, this place isn’t going anywhere.

It’s a nice big lot with several food carts coming together to offer an eclectic menu. Bark City BBQ is often listed as having some of the finest barbecue around, but one thing that are renown for is having one of the best burgers in Portland.

The brisket is perfect, the meats all have that beautiful red smoke ring in them, but when you are truly hungry, come by Bark City BBQ and order a Barky Burger.

This burger is the special of the day for Wednesdays only, and once you have your first Barky Burger, you’ll begin lining up Tuesday nights for them… The house-made burger patty consists of smoked brisket and pork belly, a generous pile of melty cheese, caramelized onions, and some lettuce and pickles to top off the toasted bun.

The fat in the patty melts out so you have that perfectly juicy burger infused with that indescribable meaty taste. Grab a few extra napkins when you order this burger, you’ll need them.

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3582 SE Powell Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97202

3. Sammich PDX

portland burger sammich pdx

This one was a surprise to us. We walked into Sammich PDX for the Chicago Italian Beef sandwich. This is the only place outside of the Windy City that gets that true Chicago flavor.

Lots of places slap some sweet peppers and giardiniera on some steak-ums and call it done but they miss that crucial flavor, Sammich PDX has it dialed in just right.

But our friend ordered “Da Burg” and when it came out, as much as we love our Italian Beef, we quickly found out that Da Burg might very well be one of the best burgers in Portland.

Sammich PDX is run by the same owner that has the Pastrami Zombie food truck and all the meats at all three of her restaurants are locally sourced and smoked in-house. That explains why everything is so delicious!

You can sub the cheese if you want to but we highly recommend enjoying Da Burg just the way it is on the menu with swiss and American cheese. Something about that savory tang adds to the burger and the Burg sauce brightens up the flavor profile.

You can also get Da Burg with added pastrami and bacon, and that thing will fill you up for the rest of the day.

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2137 E Burnside Street, Portland, Oregon 97214

2. PDX Sliders

portland burger pdx sliders

When we tell you that some of the best burgers in Portland are those small sliders you think of as appetizers… well, don’t take our word for it, come on down to one of PDX Sliders’ locations and try them for yourself.

You’ll find out what all the buzz has been about and why everyone has been raving about these small sandwiches since they were first offered in the original food truck, and now expanded to two brick and mortar locations.

The PDX moniker is taken seriously at PDX Sliders and all the sandwiches are named for your local neighborhoods and districts. The Sellwood is a great cheddar and caramelized onion burger, while the Freemont has American cheese and Jalapeno.

For our recommendation, you can’t go wrong with the Hawthorne, bacon, Goat Cheese, and Strawberry Jam… yeah, it may sound unusual but try it, you’ll never think of a burger the same way again.

The great thing about sliders is you could mix and match, get two sandwiches to try new flavors, but keep in mind, not only does PDX Sliders serve up the best burgers in Portland, but their plates of fries are worthy of any competition as well. Swing by and try any of the combinations of amazing sandwiched, exceptional burgers and loaded fries, PDX Sliders has all you could ever want.

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1605 SE Bybee Boulevard #5714, Portland, Oregon 97202

1. Sure Shot Burger

portland burger sure shot burger

Coming in hot with another example of Portland’s love of the smashed burger is Sure Shot Burger, a somewhat mobile burger joint that has been serving up the best burgers in Portland for some time now.

We say it’s “somewhat mobile” because it is technically a food cart, and was recently in the process of relocating to a new spot, but this regular local hangout doesn’t move around very often and very often has a line outside their doors when they open up for business.

The Regular Cheeseburger is that age-old recipe of gourmet beef, pickles, onions, oozing melted cheese, and a house-made “special sauce”. And though this formula may be the universal “secret” of a great burger, Sure Shot Burger transcends the formula and offers up the best burgers in Portland.

You can of course order the Double Cheese which gives you more of the same with a double layer of smashed patty goodness, but we tell you that you have to get one of their Hatchburgers, made with New Mexico green chilies and great garlic mayo.

They also do an amazing job of giving the smashed burger treatment to the Impossible Burger patty for the vegetarian audience.

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5013 NE 42nd Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97218

Our Final Thoughts: The Best Burger in Portland Oregon

We’re not sure you can name a food more universally loved besides pizza and burgers. Portland offers so many interesting variations on the theme, you can visit a new burger joint every week and still find new and interesting takes on the best burger in Portland.

You may be a fan of the American classic burger, simple beef patty, cheese, pickles, lettuce, onion, or maybe you’re the adventurous type who wants a slice of pineapple to top your burger.

The idea is that we can all go out for burgers together and here in Portland, we can each find out own favorites, our own take on the best burger in Portland. Fries, onion rings, even the decision to hold the pickles, lettuce and onion… The basics come down to the savory beef patty between the bun that makes for a great burger.

Restaurants around the globe have tried to perfect it and the true secret is that each burger is perfect by virtue of it being a burger, there is rarely such a thing as a “bad burger”, especially when you’re looking around the City of Roses for one.

It seems no matter where you go you can find a decent burger, but for the best burgers in Portland, you’ve go to try some of our favorites.

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