Miami Beach. It’s crazy, it’s weird and it’s a whole lot of fun. But when you’re in need of a patty pick-me-up, here are three burger joints that will always deliver. They’re fast, they’re tasty and you won’t have to worry about their artisanal origins.
It was our first time in Miami and we weren’t sure what to expect. What we found turned out to be even further outside our expectations – it was almost overwhelming.
Far from the laidback Florida we’d heard of where East Coast Americans go to retire, this place is insane. Nights run late, the music’s loud and the average age is way under the legal considering the number of bars that line the long stretch of beach.
The upside to this party town attitude is that Miami Beach – especially South Beach – has so many restaurants and bars per square metre it’s almost impossible to go hungry here. It’s also very difficult to decide where to go.
Here are 3 basic bitch beachside burgers that’ll leave you grinning and greasy.
Yes, they’re chain restaurants, but ones that came recommended by our Uber drivers. And remember, we wouldn’t tell you about them if we didn’t think they’d be worth going to.
Where to burger in Miami Beach – plus 3 that got away
This little list acts as a pretty good addendum to our top 10 burgers of all time list. As an obvious but important caveat, we also wanted to point out that Miami has more than just burgers in its repertoire.
1242 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL
With hundreds of stores from as far northwest as Anchorage, Alaska to this – its most south-eastern store, finding a BurgerFi in the States shouldn’t be too hard.
But don’t let the brand’s omnipresence put you off. The menus are mouth-watering, the service is personable and most importantly the burgers are fantastic.
Christina’s BurgerFi Bacon Cheeseburger came with double bacon, double natural angus beef and American cheese. It’s a good standard burger that really pays the bills.
My CEO on the other hand was pretty extreme. Double wagyu and brisket blend patties, homemade candied bacon, tomato jam, truffle aioli and a huge helping of aged Swiss cheese.
Of course, we ordered the Cry and Fry option for sides to share. The fries were moreish and the onion rings (the ‘cry’ element) were big enough to use as a spare if your car gets a flat.
Best of all, you can get craft beer on tap here, so keep your eyes peeled for what local brews are pouring when you go in to get your fix.
1500 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL
Now an international burger brand, Five Guys has come a long way from its Arlington, VA origins in 1986. And so it should. The concept is as good as the burgers.
The list of burgers is quite small – only 4 in fact. You can get a burger, cheese burger, bacon burger or a bacon cheeseburger. But you can then add any number of the 15 toppings to your order for free.
While you wait for your order, which is cooked fresh on a grill not a microwave, you can help yourself to a scoop of monkey nuts (unshelled peanuts) and the drinks are all free for refills.
The burgers when they come are juicy, generous and really hit the spot – especially if you’re out late. The fries are quite something too by the way.
1111 Lincoln Road (at Lenox Ave), Miami Beach, FL
Shake Shack only used to be available on the east coast of the States, but they’re almost everywhere now (apart from the west coast where In N Out still hold strong). There are currently 8 in Florida alone.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try one of these famous burgers. They’re bankable.
Similar to Five Guys in that the menu is quite small, it makes deciding what to have at Shake Shack quite easy. Even easier is the decision of whether to get fries or not.
Of course you do!
The crinkle cuts from Shake Shack are awesome – and infinitely better than the west coast’s In N Out (though I still think In N Out win the burger race).
The 3 that got away
I wish we’d had more time in Miami – and not just because there are so many burger places to explore here… though it’s mostly that.
Here are 3 burger joints that we’ll definitely hit up the next time we’re down in Florida. They’re much more of the artisanal bent or have more history with the Magic City than just being interstate imports.
So if you’re after a non-chain burger restaurant, here are 3 we’d try… though remember, even MacDonald’s started out as a two-man team in 1948.
764 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL
The kitsch ‘50s style of this diner shouts ‘classic American’ and that’s what you get here. Red and white tiles, ‘50s fonts on the menus and a burger that promises.
This place feels like you’re in a set from Back to the Future!
1505 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL
Miami Beach’s first burger joint, Cheeseburger Baby (or ‘CBB’ to the locals) turns out just the sort of face-smashing food you want after a night out in South Beach.
Again, it’s not a massive menu, but the food that’s there suggests you won’t need much more.
425 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL
One of Miami Beach’s newest burger additions, Burger Meister promises to do great things. A blend tacos and righteous burgers that we can do nothing but respect, Burger Meister could hold the key to Comfort Food Kingdom, where I shall move to when I retire.
Special mention: Blue Collar
6730 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL
We really wanted to add this one to our list, but as it’s not on the island that is Miami Beach, we couldn’t.
If there’s one place I really want to try the next time we’re in Miami, it’s Blue Collar. Owner-exec chef Danny Serfer has had this place since 2012 – and has crafted a menu that really speaks to me.
As far as burgers go, the temptation of his use of Portuguese muffin instead of a regular bun or brioche is enough to pull me in. Add to that the dry aged meat he uses and cheddar instead of jack cheese, and I’m there.
Much more than a burger joint, Blue Collar also offers hearty dishes for any time day. So it looks like I’ll have to go more than once!
Our time in Miami came after our 2nd trip to Cuba and before our long-haul to London, so we didn’t have long here. I’m pretty sure Miami has lots more to show us, so if you have any hot tips on where to go – and not just for burgers – talk to us.