Behold, the burger. A cornerstone in American cuisine, a blank canvas for culinary creativity, and an absolute necessity for every person moving into a new city scavenging for local eats. Fortunately, Nashville has near perfected the art of the burger, priding itself in its many fantastic burger joints that certainly do not disappoint. Whether it’s the local, grass-fed beef, good ol’ Southern sides, or condiments with a kick, Nashville’s burgers are really darn good, and we want to share the love. Here are the top 4 burger joints in Nashville that ace the cake.
1. Burger Republic
Burger Republic is as trendy as it is delicious, boasting specialty burgers that have actually won awards. That’s right – some of these burgers are more accomplished than you are. The most famous is the Tennessee Burger (Zagat’s 50 Burgers in 50 States) with maple-glazed Benton’s bacon, Jack Daniel’s honey glaze, and Memphis spice-dusted crispy onions. Another mind-blowing concoction is the 96 Burger (World Food Championship Highest Rated Burger), which consists of a bleu cheese angus beef patty topped with honey-balsamic glazed mushrooms, bacon, crispy shoestring fries, and garlic-horseradish aioli. Make sure to get a side of sweet potato truffle tots and one of their notorious “spiked milkshakes.” Try the Spiked Reese’s Malt with house-infused peanut butter cup vodka. Game over.
2. The Pharmacy Burger Parlor & Beer Garden
The very best of East Nashville and, quite frankly, the best burgers in the city. The Pharmacy won Nashville’s Best New Restaurant in 2012 and has lived up to that title ever since, serving 100% Tennessee-raised beef in every patty and buns that melt in your mouth. A crowd favorite is the Farm Burger, which consists of a beef patty garnished with Tripp country ham, Emerald Glenn Farm bacon, Willow Farm egg, and maple mustard. Self-proclaimed Nashville’s “Wurst-Burger Joint,” the Pharmacy is also its original biergarten, boasting an impressive selection of German beer that will wash down those burgers real nicely. And like any good pharmacy, this joint has an old-school soda fountain serving legendary milkshakes and root beer floats. If this isn’t the American Dream, we don’t know what is.
3. Burger Up
Located in the 12 South neighborhood, Burger Up is adored for their sophisticated atmosphere and, of course, their mouthwatering burger selection. Our personal favorite is the Ramsey Pimento Cheese Burger, which features their house made pimento cheese, red onions (ask for them caramelized), iceberg lettuce, tomato, pickles, truffle aioli, and Benton’s bacon on a jalapeño bun. Luckily for you vegetarians and general health nuts, this classy joint is also home to the perfect veggie burger, appropriately dubbed The Marathon. It’s got a quinoa and black bean patty topped with locally grown lettuce, tomato, red onions, and cilantro crème fraîche. Oh, and they’ve also got this special sauce you can smother all over your buns called their Jack Daniel’s maple ketchup. Do we have you hooked yet?
4. Gabby’s Burgers and Fries
The motto at Gabby’s Burgers is “Living the dream!”, and if your dreams are made of juicy all-American hamburgers paired with simple fries and creamy milkshakes, then it’s time to live it up! This joint is on the smaller side with lines always snaking out the door, but their burgers sure pack a powerful punch. The Gabby is the humongous signature burger here, with two giant beef patties and American cheese underscoring custom toppings that range from bacon to banana peppers to fried eggs. If you’ve got an eagle eye, maybe you’ll discover the secret menu – a wonderland a of specialty burgers that would make the most seasoned Gabby’s customer salivate like an excited puppy. We’ll let you in on the password to unlock the secret menu on their website – it’s ‘seamus.’ You’re welcome.