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Many states and restaurants claim to be the birthplace of the hamburger. However, we believe the exact origins are less important than the results: Flavorful meat patties sandwiched inside a soft roll, with an almost endless array of possible toppings. From the simplest burger at a cookout to an over-the-top creation at a specialty restaurant, burgers come in varieties to suit ever taste and temperament.

And so, in honor of National Hamburger Month, we’ve rounded up 11 must-try versions of this most iconic of American foods.

Sweet & Salty at A&B Burgers, Beverly

As the name suggests, A&B knows a thing or two about burgers. The regular menu includes eight options and specials can expand that count. The Sweet & Salty is a perennial favorite, topping a Niman Ranch beef patty with burrata, bacon, fig jam, arugula. If you’re cutting back on red meat consider substituting a turkey patty or veggie burger, of if you’re feeling particularly indulgent, ask for the tender, flavorful wagyu beef.

Elm Square Oyster

Elm Square Oyster Co., Andover

A burger might seem like a more casual dish, but this one has definitely earned its place among the crudo, charcuterie, and seafood on Elm Square’s menu. The eight-ounce, all-natural, certified angus beef chuck patty is ground in-house, placed on a toasted brioche bun, and finished off with watercress, charred onion, grain mustard aioli, and cloth-bound farmhouse cheddar. During the summer months, Chef Michael Sherman has been known to serve a version embellished with crispy Ipswich clams, so keep your eye on the menu as the weather warms up. 

Harvest Burger at 1606 Restaurant & Bar, Gloucester

No matter how much the menu at 1606, the restaurant inside the Beauport Hotel, evolves, the quality of the burgers remains constant. The 1606 Prime Burger is an impeccable take on the classic bacon cheeseburger, but we recommend going a little more adventurous. The Harvest Burger is topped with the unexpected yet delicious combo of bacon, green apple, brie, and horseradish aioli. Grab a table near the window to enjoy scenic views of Gloucester harbor – if you can tear your attention away from your plate.

Smashburger #2 at STACKS, Haverhill

This new Haverhill eatery takes the classic burger in an original new direction with this creation. The Smashburger #2 tops a beef patty (or two, if you have the appetite) with peach jam, goat cheese, bacon, and sangria mayo, then sandwiches it all into a soft potato roll. Top it all off with a signature boozy milkshake for the ultimate indulgent meal.

The FRANK Hamburger at FRANK, Beverly

At FRANK, chef and co-owner Frank McClelland is known for transforming classic foods into extraordinary experiences – and the burger is no exception. Grass-fed organic beef is sourced from Maine Family Farms and topped with pepper jack cheese, spicy aioli, BBQ onion jam, and crispy onions, all on a seeded, house-made milk bun. Accompanied with hand-cut fries, it’s a burger you won’t soon forget. 

Double Burger at Ledger

Double Burger at Ledger, Salem

Riffing on that iconic fast food classic the Big Mac, Ledger serves up the Double Burger. Patties are cooked over a wood fire and topped with American cheese, lettuce, special sauce, charred onion, pickles, on, of course, a sesame seed bun. Avilable for dinner or brunch, when you can add eggs or bacon for a unique meal. 

Lexie’s, Newburyport

The only Massachusetts location of the new Hampshire-based mini-chain, the Newburyport Lexie’s serves up an impressive range of creative and delicious burgers. We suggest the Urban Cowgirl, which layers cheddar, bacon, avocado, crispy onions, herbed aioli, and BBQ sauce atop a beef patty cooked to your specifications. 

Burger No. 2 at The Double Bull, Peabody

The Double Bull is a destination for both food and games, so it makes sense that its burger menu should also have a playful side. The Burger No. 2 amps up the fun with two juicy four-ounce beef patties, chili, cheddar, pickled jalapeños, spicy ketchup, and Fritos – yes, Fritos.

The Double Bull’s Burger No. 2 | Photograph courtesy of The Double Bull

Cry Baby Burger at Sauce, Andover

Behind this non-descript storefront on an Andover side street cooks turn out some of the most inventive and flavor-packed burgers you’re likely to find. Those with a hankering for heat will want to take on the Cry Baby Burger, a juicy patty topped with habanero sauce, jalapenos, and pepper jack cheese, served on a griddled brioche bun. 

Sin Burger at The Blue Ox, Lynn

Why has the Blue Ox’s Sin Burger won Boston magazine’s Battle of the Burger three times? It could be the hand-packed patty or the applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, truffle aioli, and Swiss cheese. It is such a beloved staple at the Lynn restaurant that when Anthony Caturano (owner of award-winning Tonno) took ownership of The Blue Ox in 2019, he kept it on the menu.

The Fun Guy at Hop & Grind, Peabody

If you’re avoiding meat but not yet sold on frozen veggies patties and fake beef, the Fun Guy at Hop & Grind is the burger you’ve been waiting for. A patty composed of portabella and shitake mushrooms, brown rice, and grilled chickpeas is topped with roasted mushrooms, smoked gouda, spinach and onion salad, and black truffle aioli.

Do you have a favorite spot to get a burger on the North Shore? Let us know down below!