In the world of luxury travel, we take writing about the finer things in life seriously, including food. Things that grace our table typically come via art-like presentations, flanked by flower petals or ribbons of chocolate decadence. We taste-test the best creations from renowned chefs around the world, and hopefully, provide you with enough insight in words that the thought of ceviche, flank steaks, foie gras and truffles leap off the page and whet your appetite, prompting you to make a reservation at your nearest Five-Star restaurant.
But sometimes, you just want to sink your teeth into a burger. There’s nothing quite like soaking up the juice of a well-cooked sandwich with a side of crispy fries, all while washing it down with something ice cold and frothy. Everyone can appreciate the simplicity of a good burger. And, in Boston, we’ve got plenty of them.
If you’re looking for something straightforward, but delicious, this city won’t disappoint. Four Burgers in Boston and Central Square features locally sourced, grass-fed beef as well as vegetarian, turkey and wild salmon options. The Gallows in Boston’s South End is known for keeping its burgers simple, letting you build your own creations. And then there are the celebrity burgers — well, burger restaurants owned by celebrities. Wahlburgers (as in Mark, Donnie and Paul Wahlberg) opened in Hingham’s Shipyard in 2011. The taste is consistently above board, and the views of the harbor and city (and occasional Wahlberg) aren’t bad, either. The menu has everything from unfussy burgers and hot dogs to gourmet burgers of the month (November’s signature item is Jenny’s Chicago Dog, a tasty tribute to Donnie’s girlfriend, Jenny McCarthy, with three hot dog patties, onion, pickles, celery salt, tomato and mustard).
Shake Shack made such an impact in New York’s Bryant Park, it just had to bring its menu to Boston. Located in Chestnut Hill, the outpost puts a contemporary twist on the longtime dining favorite. The Shack Stack and crinkle fries are the most popular items, and the ‘shroom burger (crispy fried portabella) is as good as its beefy counterpart. Top the meal off with a strawberry shake or vanilla frozen custard while enjoying the ambience of the rustic surroundings.
The Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Four Seasons Hotel Boston oozes luxury from its 273 guest rooms, but it’s what happens at the hotel’s restaurant, The Bristol Lounge, that really brings things to new high-end heights. The Bristol Lounge is always bustling, catering to high-powered execs brokering business deals and local celebrities stopping in for a glass of bubbly, but it’s the burger that has the town talking. The Bristol Burger is a two-hand doozy, so you can share it, if you want to be dainty. Served with housemade pickles and aged Vermont cheddar on a grilled brioche bun, the sandwich is complemented by the best truffle-Parmesan fries in the city. The only thing that can possibly make this burger better is a glass of rich chardonnay to wash it all down.
Sliders originated with the Midwest fast food chain White Castle back in 1921. By 1940, the famous square slider was going for a whopping five cents. Today, sliders are still one of the most popular ways to eat meat. If you’re craving beef but want to save on calories, try Minibar’s bite-size wonders at Copley Square Hotel. And for a twist on the original, try the meatball sliders at Marliave.
While there’s something to be said for a classic concoction with cheese, we also hold a soft spot for burgers that show their artistic side. That’s exactly what you’ll get at Rialto. Executive chef Jody Adams recently launched Sunday burger night in the Cambridge restaurant, where her team debuts a special wagyu sandwich each week. Past creations have included curried eggplant, avocado and feta, and the mustard greens- and sauerkraut-topped winner from late October.
Photo Courtesy of Five Star Travel Corporation