We have to hand it to the burger. Though it is, in theory, a sandwich, this meat monument has managed to become a culinary category all its own with patty spin-offs such as veggie, lamb, turkey, and bison, plus the seemingly endless combination of toppings ranging from the classic (lettuce, tomato, onion, and cheddar) to the contemporary (sauteed veggies, aioli, Gruyere) to the regional (Southwest, Mediterranean, Southern).
So in order to not put too much on your plate, we're sticking to the basics, bringing you our list of the 10 best beef burgers in metro Phoenix.
See also: 10 Best Tacos in Metro Phoenix
Sweet and Spicy Burger at The Grind
The sweet and spicy burger at the Grind serves as a tasty testament to the fact that sometimes opposites really do attract. This powerful flavor foil carries out its culinary chemistry with candied jalapeños, spicy ratatouille, and fresh wild arugula on coal-fired beef stacked so high, you'll probably need a fork and knife for backup. Messy as it may be, the Grind signature delivers sweet, spice, and everything nice.
Know Poblano Burger at Rehab Burger Therapy
Everyone has his or her own burger preference. Some like it rare. Some like it well done. And some, well, like it hot. For those hot-head hamburger lovers, the go-to grub of choice is the Know Poblano Burger at Rehab Burger Therapy. Piled high with sautéed spicy onions, grilled poblano peppers, and melted manchego cheese on 10 ounces of 100 percent USDA ground chuck, this spicy sandwich does not mess around.
French Onion Burger at St. Francis
There are some toppings that are just notorious for bringing out that extra flavor in a burger: cheese, onions, and, of course, bacon. So naturally when all three of these condiments are piled onto a single patty, the result is downright saintly. St. Francis' French onion burger tops its one and only hamburger with fresh arugula, smoked bacon, Gruyère cheese, and crispy French onions that deliver as much taste as they do texture.
Delux Burger at Delux
Delux is as much a destination for burger lovers and it is for late-night diners. Open till 2 a.m. all week long, this Camelback eatery caters to red meat cravings of all hours of the night and day. Our favorite midnight fix? The Delux Burger. All-natural Niman Ranch premium beef is decked out with caramelized onions, applewood-smoked bacon, Gruyère and blue cheeses, baby arugula, and Delux's signature bun, a demi-baguette. Looks like insomnia just got a lot more rewarding.
Zinc Burger at Zinc Bistro
Leave it to a French restaurant to make even a hamburger seem decadent. The Zinc burger at Zinc Bistro deliver ground beef at its most gourmet with a brioche bun, vine ripe tomatoes, lemon garlic arugula, and your choice of either bacon blue cheese or truffled gruyere. Available only on Zinc's day menu, this luxury lunch item deserves to be eaten pinky up.
PB+B Burger at Welcome Diner
Given the success of Welcome Diner's more famous dishes like the Bumblebee, the Big Jim, and the New Orleans-style red beans and rice, we were inclined to take a culinary leap of faith and order its much talked about PB+B burger. And, as usual, we were not disappointed. Thinking outside the jar, the Welcome Diner smears crunchy peanut butter over a juicy beef patty and tops it off with bacon, cheddar, and bread and butter pickles. Does it sound like something your stoner roommate would create? Perhaps. But unlike his ideas, this one is actually worth remembering.
Bootlegger Burger at Bootleggers
When we found out Bootleggers was opening a second location in Old Town Scottsdale, our taste buds did a little dance. Because that's all the more opportunity for us to get our hands on one of the newest burgers to make a name for itself around town. The Bootlegger burger features a half-pound patty, literally dripping juice when it arrives, covered in zesty house sauce, muenster cheese, whiskey onions, crimini mushrooms, bacon, and the final touch, a pretzel bread bun.
Cowboy Burger at Relish Burger Bistro
We'll be honest, the Phoenician could use a makeover. But the one thing that doesn't need fixing is the Cowboy burger at the resort's Relish Burger restaurant. This gourmet grill item offers cheddar cheese, bacon, thick-cut onion rings, sliced jalapeños, and steak sauce -- all held together neatly with a tooth picks, and less neatly with your mouth. It's the type of generous portions you expect from a dish called "the Cowboy" and a restaurant at the Phoenician.
Grilled Angus Burger at Grassroots Kitchen & Tap
Not every burger needs to be over the top, decked out in fancy cheeses, sautéed condiments, and served on high-end pastry to be delicious. In fact, simple can be just as satisfying -- case and point, the classic burger at Grassroots Kitchen & Tap. This traditional take on an American favorite offers crisp iceberg lettuce, sliced tomato, red onions, pickles, sharp cheddar, mayo, mustard, and an angus beef patty that stands on its own. You can also opt to add bacon or pork belly on your burger but our thinking is, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
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Big Ass Burger at Roaring Fork
The Roaring Fork does its best to serve up some piece of the Southwest in every one of its dishes, from appetizers to entrees, desserts to sides, and the Big Ass Burger is certainly no exception. This ass-kicking burger carries its weight with poblano peppers, cheddar cheese, smoked pepper bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, and a side of thick-cut fries. Try as you might, hungry as you may be, odds are you won't be finishing this burger till lunch the next day.
This post has been edited from its original version.