New Orleans might be the town known for its beignets, boudin, and boils. But that’s no reason to discredit the good old American hamburger (or cheeseburger) on the menus at some of the city’s most beloved fine dining and neighborhood eateries. The patties are beef, but the toppings range from basic shredded cheddar to fancy-schmancy Zinfandel, bacon, and onion compote. So before you fire up your grill at home, consider sinking your teeth into one of these fantastic local burgers that are as unique as the Crescent City itself.
Boss Burgers in New Orleans
4600 Freret St. and 611 O’Keefe Ave.
Chef and owner Adam Biderman serves his burgers the same way he’s loved them since he was a kid: griddled with American cheese, pickles, and softened red onion. Various types of house-made mayonnaise, like chipotle, garlic, or basil, are awesome on the burgers but even better as a dipping sauce for the tater tots, onion rings, or sweet potato waffle fries. Company Burger now has two locations Downtown and Uptown.
8115 Oak St.
Oak Street’s one-stop shop for great burgers, fries, and shakes. Build your own with one or two patties and choice of Swiss, cheddar, or American cheese along with toppings like avocado, grilled onions, and a fried farm egg. And if it’s not hot enough outside for you, spice things up with “The Heat,” one of their specialty burgers topped with Sriracha mayo, jalapeños, and pepper jack cheese.
838 Esplanade Ave.
This popular restaurant on Esplanade is where folks from all walks of life gather to enjoy great steaks, burgers, and loaded baked potatoes. Their all-beef, hand-formed patties come topped with a mound of shredded cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and sliced Vidalia onion on a sesame seed bun. This is the kind of place where you come for the burgers and stay for the drinks.
4500 Freret St.
If you live Uptown, chances are you’ve wrapped your hands around the pimento cheese burger from this Freret Street neighborhood favorite. As an ode to the Mississippi Delta, High Hat melts house-made pimento cheese on top of their grilled burger and serves it with hand-cut fries. Talk about turning the ordinary into extraordinary.
8801 Oak St.
Chef and owner Brack May keeps things simple with his “Locally World Famous Cowbell Burger” – a grass-fed, all-beef burger on a toasted potato roll with lettuce, tomato, and red onion. But he gets fancy with his signature ketchup and agogo sauce made from sambal chilis, roasted garlic, and honey. Zinfandel, bacon, and onion compote, along with homemade pimento cheese are also optional toppings.
845 N Carrollton Ave.
Chef Isaac Toups is a cured, roasted, braised, and grilled meat genius. So it should come as no surprise that the man who started serving Jameson shots down a bone marrow cavity and into his customer’s mouths would come up with a stellar burger. His pork and beef patty is topped with pickled squash, cheddar cheese, bacon, and an herbed aioli. Super hungry? Go big or go home with the Chef’s Lunch of 3 boudin balls, the burger with house-made potato chips, and a pint of local beer for $22.
3001 Tchoupitoulas St.
Stop in the NOLA Brewing Taproom on Tchoupitoulas for a pint of local brew and one of Neil McClure’s awesome, 1/3-pound Two Run Farms all-beef burger with cheddar, smoked onions, lettuce, and tomato. The hardest part is choosing between the four-cheese macaroni, molasses-stewed collard greens, or roasted corn and jalapeño cornbread from the list of sides. Not to mention the six different optional sauces that span the Southeast barbecue flavor preferences from Alabama to North Carolina.
3000 Elysian Fields Ave.
You’ve seen their sandwiches at local food festivals (did someone say “Ray Ray Po-boy”?) but the only way to get your hands on a Sammy’s burger is to visit the Elysian Fields restaurant yourself. The burgers are 3/4-pound and served on fresh Leidenheimer bread — and they’re all $9 and under. Unless, of course, you want the Godzilla, a modest 24 ounces of ground chuck topped with melted cheddar and dressed for $12.99.