It should come as no surprise that America’s Best Beer city also serves some of America’s best burgers – after all, burgers and beers are a match made in heaven. Then again, so are burgers and ciders, spirits, sodas, shakes and pretty much anything else.

We asked our burger-loving followers and friends to name their favorite local burger joints. Here are the destinations that sizzled to the top, in alphabetical order.

Bigfoot Burger Co.

5344 Plainfield Ave. NW, Grand Rapids 49525

Launched as a food truck in 2020, Bigfoot Burger Co. transitioned to a permanent brick-and-mortar location in February 2024 – and locals have been thanking the burger gods for their good fortune ever since. Burger sizes and flavors are bigfoot-sized here, from the half-pound patties made of a custom beef blend to toppings like homemade olive spread, peanut butter & fried banana, flash-fried Brussels sprouts, grilled pineapple and Feta cheese.

Bigfoot Burger Co. is located 15 minutes or so northeast of downtown Grand Rapids, and our burger experts say it’s well worth the trip.

Black Napkin Le College Dropout Burger in Grand Rapids, MI

Black Napkin's Le College Dropout Burger is served on a Nantucket sesame seed challah bun.

Photo by Courtesy of Black Napkin

Black Napkin

966 Fulton St. East, Grand Rapids 49503

Opened in the city’s Uptown neighborhood in October 2022, Black Napkin has quickly become a local go-to. The menu features four different smash burgers that can be ordered as a single, double or triple. Each patty is made with Michigan Craft Beef and served on a sesame seed challah bun from Nantucket Baking Company.

Vegetarian and vegan burgers are available, and you can add a side of fries rolled in “custy dust” like Kimchi and White Cheddar, Rust (sweet paprika, coriander, garlic, mustard), or Salt-N-Red Wine Vinegar. Order a house-made soda to wash it all down.

Brick & Porter

47 Monroe Center St. NW, Grand Rapids 49503

This downtown GR pub earns raves for its creative burgers. Brick & Porter’s burger toppings run the gamut from shaved ribeye, smoked bacon and crispy jalapeno bottle caps to pulled pork, button mushrooms and a fried egg. All of them are served on a hearty brioche bun and come with beer-battered fries.

Vegan and gluten-free options are available, and there’s an ample selection of local, regional and global draft beers (plus bottled and canned beer, wines and cocktails) to wash down your burger.

Broadway Bar

740 Broadway Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

The Broadway Bar is an old-school tavern on the city’s west side. It may be best loved for its over-the-top Christmas decorations – but there’s plenty of love to go around for its namesake burger, too.

The Broadway Burger consists of two huge patties piled high with lettuce, tomato, pickle, small onion bits and creamy mayo and sandwiched between two thick slices of Texas toast. It’s served with a heaping helping of golden French fries. If your appetite isn’t quite that big, you can opt for one of five simpler burgers on the menu.

Carvers Grand Rapids’ Finest Meats

435 Ionia Ave. SW Grand Rapids 49503

Carvers is an artisan butcher and meat market located in the Grand Rapids Downtown Market. It also incorporates a full-service kitchen that transforms some of its high-end meats into ready-to-eat dishes.

The Carvers Cheeseburger, made with house-ground beef and topped with lettuce, tomato, caramelized onion, pickled and Thousand Island, is a mainstay of the menu. It’s joined by a rotating selection of specialty burgers that are listed on the chalkboard menu every day.

Choo Choo Grill

1209 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids 49505

The Choo Choo Grill is a cozy diner located along the railroad tracks just north of downtown Grand Rapids. (Look for the bright-red building at the corner of Plainfield Ave. and Leonard St.) This fun and friendly spot has been serving up fresh-made burgers since 1946!

The selections here are pretty straightforward – a one-pound(!) or half-pound cheeseburger, plus a handful of third-pound burgers with toppings like olives, cheese, ham and/or grilled onions. Seating is limited to 20 or so people, but you can always get takeout. The Choo Choo Grill is open through late afternoon, Monday-Saturday.

The Cottage Bar & Restaurant

18 La Grave Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

The Cottage Bar is downtown GR’s oldest operating bar and restaurant – established in 1927 – and it serves some of the city’s most popular burgers.

The Cottage Burger, topped with green olives, Swiss and American cheeses, lettuce, tomato, bacon and house-made hickory mayonnaise, was named the Best Burger in Michigan by USA Today. There are 11 additional burgers on the menu, including turkey, whitefish and black bean versions. Want fries with that? Choose from four different kinds, or opt for onion rings or tater tots.

Eastern Deli

2011 Eastern Ave. SE, Grand Rapids 49507

Opened in 2000 and still going strong, Eastern Deli satisfies patrons with a selection of basic burgers done incredibly well (and surprisingly affordably, considering they come with a soda and fries). Fresh, never frozen beef is grilled to perfection and prepared just the way you like it, right in front of you.

Eastern Deli also serves a killer gyro – and you can get a Gyro Burger that combines the best of both worlds. (Guess that one’s not so basic.) Just 10 minutes from downtown GR.

The Holiday Bar

801 5th St. NW, Grand Rapids 49504

Opened in 1905, The Holiday Bar has served burgers to generations of local residents. Choose from five custom-beef blend burgers, including the T.H.B., topped with caramelized onions, American cheese, shredded lettuce and awesome T.H.B. sauce. You can also build your own burger from a list of 30+ toppings.

You can get two sliders for just $5 from 3:30pm-6:30pm Monday-Friday. And if you’re eating light(er), just ask to add a patty to your salad. The Holiday Bar is two minutes from downtown’s Bridge Street Entertainment District.

Lost Art Burger

3393 Remembrance Rd., Grand Rapids 49534

Lost Art Brewhouse is a small-batch artisan brewery 10 or so minutes from downtown GR that doesn’t even have a kitchen. So how did it manage to muscle its way on to our best burger list? Thank the Lost Art Burger food truck permanently ensconced in its parking lot. Featuring an array of freshly made smash burgers – including a Polska Burger made with ground kielbasa – as well as monthly burger specials and a plant-based alternative, Lost Art has become a burger as well as beer destination.

Lost Art gets its special meat blend from Sobie Meats, one of the area’s most popular butchers, located just across the street. Smash fries, a chicken sandwiches, assorted sides and a kid’s meal option round out the menu, and you can pick up your order and walk a few steps to the outdoor patio or the indoor taproom.

Mr. Burger

2101 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, Grand Rapids 49504

There are actually seven area locations of this venerable fast food joint – the Lake Michigan Dr. site is the original Mr. Burger, which opened in 1967.

There are nine different burgers on the menu here, all of which have their fans. But the real claim to fame is the Olive Burger topped with chopped green olives and mayo. This burger variation supposedly originated in Michigan, and Mr. Burger’s version is widely acknowledged as one of the best.

Nonla Burger Menu Items

Nonla Burger's N.B. Double Burger has two 3.2oz beef patties topped with Nonla spread.

Photo by Courtesy of Nonla Burger

Nonla Burger

449 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids

Another relative newcomer to the local burger scene, Nonla Burger opened in the Bridge Street Entertainment District in December 2022. Locals fell fast and hard for the funky, retro diner feel of this elevated fast food joint and the secret Nonla spread that takes its burgers to the next level.

There are three 100% beef burgers and a plant-based alternative always on the menu, as well as an imaginative daily burger special. Try the handcut fries or Nonla Way fries ­– topped with cheese, grilled onions, jalapenos, cilantro and Nonla spread – as a side.

O’Briens Deli & Burgers

1200 East Paris Ave. SE, Grand Rapids 49546

O’Briens Deli & Burgers won Best Olive Burger in the 2024 EATGR Food Throwdown, but that’s just one of the championship-worthy burger selections here. Made with one, two or three smash patties, there’s one to satisfy every taste and appetite. All burgers are served with fries and a gluten-free bun is available.

There’s also a scratch-made Quinoa Veggie Burger on the menu and a Southwest Veggie Burger Wrap, too. O’Briens is located in southeast Grand Rapids, not far from the 28th Street shopping and dining district.

One Twenty Three Tavern

123 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

You’ll find One Twenty Three Tavern in downtown GR’s Studio Park entertainment complex, where you can also see a movie or attend a concert before or after satisfying your burger craving.

The One Twenty Three Burger is topped with bacon-onion marmalade, dill pickle aioli, white cheddar cheese and lettuce. The Smash Burger features two smash patties, American cheese, lettuce, caramelized onion, dill pickles and “fancy sauce.” Both are served on a Nantucket challah bun with kettle chips, but you can substitute French fries or California garlic fries for a small upcharge.

Stella's Lounge Burger

On Thursday nights, Stella's offers $5 off any burger with the purchase of a drink.

Photo by Stacy Feyer-Salo

Stella’s Lounge

53 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids 49503

GQ Magazine once hailed the Stella Burger as the best burger in all of America – and many local burger lovers agree. Stella’s Lounge garnered the most mentions in our survey, by a comfortable margin.

Stella’s uses 100% Black Angus Beef to make its half-pound burgers and complements the perfectly grilled patties with a delectable combination of ingredients, inside and out. (The Stella Burger is stuffed with blue cheese and bacon, and topped with blue cheese sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and an onion ring.) All burgers – including the veggie options – are served with your choice of Chronic Fries, onion rings or naked fries.

Burger meal from Turnstiles in Grand Rapids, MI

Turnstiles' "Meat Discs" are served with a side of Turnt Fries.

Photo by Mikayla Cooper


526 Stocking Ave. NW, Grand Rapids 49503

One of the West Side’s leading music venues serves up some of the area’s most delectable burgers (or meat discs, in Turnstiles parlance). There are 14 smash burgers on the menu, including The Philly Collins and Patti LaMelt (we told you it’s a music joint), each served with a side of Turnt Fries. An additional Burger of the Week makes your decision even more difficult.

You can enjoy live bands with your burger every Friday and Saturday, open mic night on Thursday, and karaoke on Monday. Two jukeboxes keep the beat going the rest of the time. Located five minutes from downtown GR.

The Vestal Inn

6255 W. River Dr. NE, Belmont 49306

The Vestal Inn’s 7-oz. burgers are made fresh with a custom blend of sirloin, chuck and brisket, and seasoned with a house-made seasoning blend. Mouthwatering thick-cut honey-cured bacon tops several burger selections, and every burger is served with beer-battered fries, tater tots or onion rings (or a side salad, if you must).

About 15 minutes northwest of downtown GR, The Vestal Inn reopened in April 2024 after a three-week remodeling. Stop in to see the new bar, back bar, flooring and bathrooms – and enjoy a yummy burger, of course.

The Win Tavern 33

7628 Georgetown Center Dr., Jenison 49428

Antibiotic and hormone-free Angus beef is the common ingredient in all the burgers offered at The Win Tavern 33. Select burgers are infused with Buffalo sauce or steak sauce, while others feature such toppings as guacamole, mushrooms, cream cheese spread or house-made white mac ‘n cheese. There’s a new burger feature every week, too.

Guests can also choose from a vast selection of craft and bottled beers, house cocktails wines and spirits at this pub-style eatery 15 minutes southwest of downtown GR.


Most of these burgers are menu mainstays and should always be available – but you can check menu websites before you go just to make sure.