Where’s the Best Burger in Vegas?
Ask around town and you’ll be directed to plenty of favorite locations to pick up a terrific burger.
The cute Suite Assistant at Hotel32 at the Monte Carlo will direct you to In-N-Out. Eric Gladstone, a well-known Las Vegas foodie (and EscapeHatchDallas fan) was in love with Binion’s then became enamored with the burger at RM Seafood. The Burger Bar at Mandalay Place comes up all the time if you are talking to dealers about food, but my personal favorite has a lot more to do with the complete package than just the food.
I’m all about atmosphere, a place to sit where the food is but a fraction of the equation. My choice for best burger in Las Vegas?
BLT Burger at the Mirage.
BLT gives me options. I can sit at the bar and watch my meat being seared, have a beer and watch a game, or grab a table near the rail and watch as the tourists walk by in droves. The people-watching at BLT Burger is almost as impressive as the burgers.
At BLT, I always opt for the BLT, a seven-ounce, grilled CAB burger (Certified Angus Beef) with double-smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato and a smear of BLT Burger sauce, but here’s my secret: I have them drop in some jalapeños between those two soft buns that cradle the burger like you would a newborn. BLT gives you a choice between fat fries and skinny fries; which you choose really depends on how many beers you’re ordering. The fat fries will fill you up, and I’m convinced that they’re also like a protective alcohol sponge, so if you have a late night planned, you might want to go with the fat potatoes.
If you are into a $7 milkshake, BLT is quite crafty with its shake machine. Besides, what’s a burger without a milkshake (and a beer or two)? The Mocha Mudslide and the Lunch Box both deliver on decadence.
The Mocha Mudslide is a chocolate fanatic’s fantasy, a drizzle of dark chocolate syrup over a shake made with Oreo cookies and coffee ice cream. It’s the perfect combination of an iced coffee with a scoop of cookies and cream.
If you are a PB&J fan, the Lunch Box is the way to go, with its ideal whipped vanilla ice cream base and a mix-in of peanut butter and jelly.
Since you’re in Vegas for a few days, you can’t snack at BLT Burger every day, so here are a few notable mentions:
Margaritaville the Flamingo Las Vegas – Is it a cliché to get a Cheeseburger in Paradise? Possibly, but I like it because you can get a blended drink at the bar and the festive dining room feels very “Vegas.” The Mexicali burger comes with fire-roasted salsa and jalapenos, both of which are easily washed down with a Land Shark Lager.
Bradley Ogden at Caesars Palace – This is the fine-dining burger you wish you could order more often but, at $19, the price makes it more than just a little silly. However, if you enjoy a burger with plenty of caramelization, deep beefy flavor, and juiciness that soaks into a pillowy soft bun, you won’t be disappointed with this James Beard award-winning chef’s version of a classic burger.
Burger Bar at Mandalay Place – Hubert Keller does some magical stuff in the kitchen and the truth is his burgers in Las Vegas rival any on the strip. Don’t go expensive; opt for the simple Angus Burger at $12 and you will be satisfied. The kitchen always cooks the burger properly.
In-N-Out Burger on Tropicana –Order your burger Animal Style, which is what you say if you are in-the-know. It’s part of In-N-Out’s not-so-secret secret menu. Animal Style means you want a burger with grilled onions, leaf lettuce, tomato, a little extra spread, and mustard cooked right onto your beef patty.
I can’t argue with Ashley, the Suite Assistant at Hotel32 at the Monte Carlo who likes to recommend In-N-Out. Shouldn’t a burger anywhere cost less than $5? They do at In-N-Out. Unless you opt for four beef patties, which is just gross.
Zeke Quezada is the Las Vegas Editor for EscapeHatchDallas and Guide to Las Vegas for About.com, and, since he’s a media star, he rarely pays for anything in Vegas, including the burgers in this story. If it’s on the Las Vegas strip, Zeke has swam, slept, eaten, drank or lounged there.