I’ve been to my fair share of food in Portland, and over time have collected a considerable list of worthy spots I’d be happy to sit down to any night of the week. I even get so drunk in love with burgers in the last year that I’ve written them a poem. This is a 21st century love affair, one that cannot be satiated with any old burger. Any old burger just won’t do–I love something a little odd about a burger. Maybe it’s an unexpected tangy topping or a fresh pile of greens. While I will eat a classic, I always enjoy a little twist (perhaps it’s the dill mayo on one of the below items). My city has been very good to me when it comes to variety – I want to share my top five favorite burgers of the moment in Portland, OR. But first, some poetry:
Ode To The Perfect Burger
It must have a bite, and
It must have crunch;
It must be a tangy delight–dripping with juicy goodness and
It may be of beef or elk.
It may be of ostrich so long as it can be served–medium-rare.
It may have cheese–Oh, please let that be true
But above all things–
It MUST not be Bleu.
The Spicy Bee’s Top 5 Portland Burgers
- Imperial’s Flat Top Burger | 410 SW Broadway Ave | This burger is just so well-balanced. Made up of lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, bread and butter pickles, sharp cheddar, and dill mayo, it nearly sounds like an epic Krabby Patty (yes, I just made a SpongeBob reference, what!?). An easy choice for happy hour at only $6, I highly suggest washing this guy down with their Vieux Carre as it is an excellent bang for your buck. On Happy Hour.
- C Bar’s Chef’s Burger (rotational) | 2880 SE Gladstone St | This rings in at #1 because I’ve taken things so far as to replicate the burger at home (pictured above–ain’t she a beauty?). One of the sweeter burgers I’ve enjoyed, the Chef’s Burger packs in tangy chevre, crisp red onion, spicy arugula, and a sweet mango chutney (I find mine at Trader Joes). Be sure to check the menu at CBar as Chef is known to change things up seasonally (right now it’s listed as Piedmont Farms Natural ground beef, arugula, tomato, onion, chevre, bacon, house made apple jam and aioli, which still sounds lovely.) On Happy Hour.
- Lil’wares Burger | 4537 NE Fremont St | I am fairly certain I first met this burger at Smallwares before it succeeded to Lil’Wares just down the way, although I could be wrong. A beef burger with american cheese, kimchi, hoisin, pickles, red onion, and basil, this lil’ guy is not for those who are looking for a classic bite – but the adventurous lot should check this thing out. Kimchi is a fermented cabbage, so it acts as a crunchy lettuce replacement.
- SlowBurger’s Jack & Dill | 2319 NE Glisan St| To be honest, I have yet to have anything but a great burger at SlowBurger, and I’m also a fan of their sister spot, SlowBar in SE and their happy hour. The go to for me is SlowBurger’s Jack & Dill. It’s pretty much got all my favorite things–Painted Hills Beef, Pepper Jack, applewood smoked bacon, jalapenos, dill pickle, sweet and sour iceberg lettuce slaw on a Grand Central brioche bun. You can tuck me in after one of those. I’m done for the night.
- Clyde Common’s Burger | 1014 SW Stark St | The newest addition to the list, and the catalyst for getting this post written, the “Olympic Burger” (they quoted it, not me, likely due to changes of lawsuit from the National Olympic Committee. We all know that story) at Clyde Common. This behemoth contains bacon jam, American cheese, fermented pickles, and fu manchu mayo. On Happy Hour.
Now go forth and find your perfect burger. Perhaps you’ve already found it? Tweet me – I’d love to put them to the test!