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A burger with layers of iceberg lettuce, tomato, and white melted cheese with potato chips.
A burger from Nemo’s in Corktown
Michelle and Chris Gerard

20 Essential Metro Detroit Burger Destinations

Classic cheeseburgers, old-school sliders, and burgers slathered in fondue

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A burger from Nemo’s in Corktown
| Michelle and Chris Gerard

It's easy to see why a good burger is so loved. A juicy, ground beef patty sandwiched on a fresh, fluffy bun acts like a blank canvas for the culinarily adventurous. No matter how the patty is topped — be it with American cheese, kimchi, or jalapeno poppers — the potential flavor combinations are limitless.

Here in metro Detroit, there's a burger for every appetite and budget — some would even argue there are too many. From the old-school sliders at Telway Hamburgers to the gourmet variety at Green Dot Stables to new American renditions of classic cheeseburgers served at Grey Ghost, it can be tough to sort out which is best. Below find 20 essential spots worthy of a burger bucket list.

A number of metro Detroit restaurants have resumed dine-in service. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: For updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the state of Michigan’s coronavirus tracker. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Miller's Bar

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23700 Michigan Ave
Dearborn, MI 48124
(313) 565-2577
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Ask anyone from Dearborn and they’ll tell you the same: The best bar burger around is found at Miller’s. This old-school burger destination first opened its doors in 1941 and has been impressing locals and visitors alike since. The burgers, fries, and onion rings are served up “commando style” on simple squares of wax paper for a no-frills gut bomb. This spot is open for dine-in as well as carryout and goes by the honors system. (Pay before you leave.) Remember to take cash or expect to pull some from the machine on site, unless, of course, you’re ordering online for carryout.

A Miller Bar’s red building features a sign surrounded by neon starbursts on a sunny, cloudless day. Brenna Houck

2. Taystee's Burger

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10419 Ford Rd
Dearborn, MI 48126
(313) 724-6535
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Situated in a gas station in Dearborn near the Ford-Wyoming Drive-In are some of the best burgers in metro Detroit. Favorites like the Taystee Special are stacked ridiculously high with coleslaw, fries, a fried egg, tomato, oozing cheddar cheese, and spicy mayo on a brioche bun. All burgers are made with fresh, halal beef on a flat top grill. Recently Taystee’s added a bigger location in Dearborn Heights, minus the gasoline fill-ups that were so darned convenient. Online ordering for pickup and delivery is available through Doordash.

A cheeseburger with beef bacon sits on half a bun and a piece of red and white checkered paper. Eater

3. Telway Hamburgers

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6820 Michigan Ave
Detroit, MI 48210
(313) 843-2146

It may not look like much, but this 24-hour greasy spoon makes a mean slider. Not only are the burgers here easy to eat, but they’re gentle on the wallet. Order them in a sack of four for just a few bucks. Visit the Detroit or Madison Heights location for a greasy bag of burgers and diner coffee to go.

4. Motz Burgers

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7216 W Fort St
Detroit, MI 48209
(313) 843-9186
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Detroiters have been turning to Delray slider spot Motz since 1929. While there are fancier burgers on the menu, many go for the simplicity of a griddled burger or perhaps go wild with the double-stack. Motz’s old-school burgers are only upstaged by throwback prices: Sliders only $2.25 each. Add cheese for only 25 cents more. Place an order by phone and take it to go.

Little sliders in a red basket with grilled onions in a sunny restaurant.
Little sliders with grilled onions
Michelle and Chris Gerard

5. Green Dot Stables

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2200 W Lafayette Blvd
Detroit, MI 48216
(313) 965-1523
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The wonderful thing about Green Dot’s diverse menu of sliders is that they’re $4 (or less), so customers can mix and match multiple mini burgers. The cheeseburger is everyone’s standby, but for adventure seekers the Mystery Meat is a must. Past specials have included kangaroo burgers, salmon, wild boar, elk sausage, and even shark. Green Dot currently offers dine-in seating and patio seating, in addition to carryout; place an order by phone or online.

green dot sliders and fries
The wonderful thing about Green Dot’s diverse menu of sliders is that they’re $4 (or less), so customers can mix and match multiple mini burgers.
Michelle and Chris Gerard

6. Mercury Burger & Bar

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2163 Michigan Ave
Detroit, MI 48216
(313) 924-5000
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Choose from 15 different burgers at this Corktown hotspot. Many items on the menu pay homage to the city including the Southwest, which features a chorizo slider, jalapenos, munster cheese, tortilla strips, avocado, and pickled carrots. Pair it with a boozy Hummer milkshake or poutine tater tots slathered in dark gravy. Mercury Burger & Bar has ample outdoor seating as well as dine-in options.

7. Nemo's Bar

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1384 Michigan Ave
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 965-3180
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With more than 50 years of service to the Corktown neighborhood, this baseball bar has staked a spot in the Detroit burger pantheon. Order the burger and dress it up with Nemo's special mustard sauce. Takeout is an option and the bar also features tented patio. Don’t forget to take cash.

8. Big Girl Burgers and Biscuits at Bunny Bunny

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1454 Gratiot Ave
Detroit, MI 48207
(313) 974-6122
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This Sunday-only pop-up at Bunny Bunny does two things really well: burgers and fried chicken biscuit sandwiches. The former is a classic burger with absolutely crispy griddle edges (we’re talkin’ a caramelized beef halo) topped with all the classic trimmings — cheese, pickles, onions — on a poppyseed bun with a side of crinkle cut fries just for good measure. Pre-order a meal online on the weekends for curbside pickup and take it home or bring it to the Cøllect rooftop for a dine-in experience.

A burger with a crisped edge and a fried chicken and biscuit sandwich in a box. Brenna Houck

9. Grey Ghost Detroit

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47 E Watson St.
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 262-6534
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Whether it’s a dry-aged steak or a patty, Grey Ghost's kitchen has a way with beef. This burger is definitely a step up from the typical burger stand meal, but the preparation is classic with two griddle patties layered with melty slices of American cheese, chopped lettuce, and special sauce with mayonnaise and onions. Putting an egg on it takes the whole experience to another level. The restaurant is currently open for dine-in and patio service, but customers can also get a burger to-go or as a kit to cook at home. Place orders online or by phone for curbside pickup.

10. Honest John's Bar & Grill

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488 Selden St
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 832-5646
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Find good, classic pub burgers at this Selden Street bar. Served up with all the fixings on a bun, the classic 100 percent ground chuck burger is a thing of beauty. Kick it up a notch with barbecue, bacon, and cheddar burger. Served until midnight, it’s surely one of the best late-night eats in the city. Honest John’s is currently open with an expanded patio service, carryout, and indoor dining. Customers can also order delivery via pretty much every third-party app.

A burger on a sesame bun with sliced tomato, red onion, bacon, lettuce, and cheese with a basket of fries.
Served up with all the fixings on a bun, the classic 100 percent ground chuck burger is a thing of beauty
Michelle and Chris Gerard

11. Royale with Cheese

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4163 Cass Ave
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 315-3014
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This popular Midtown restaurant takes its name from a familiar line uttered in Pulp Fiction about McDonald’s in France, but the relationship to limp fast food burgers ends there. Burgers here come with a range of creative toppings such as the Mia Wallace with candied turkey bacon, mesquite barbecue chips, roasted corn and poblano peppers, melty cheese, and honey-ancho barbecue sauce. The restaurant offers indoor seating but also takes orders by phone and through Doordash.

12. The Food Exchange

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8451 Harper Ave
Detroit, MI 48213
(313) 579-5616
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Located on Harper Avenue in Detroit, this hole-in-the-wall restaurant is home to the Big Baby: a 12-ounce patty topped with corned beef, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, American and Swiss cheese, ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise. It’s big enough to split it with a friend and is available for carryout or delivery. Place orders by phone or online.

13. Motor City Sports Bar

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9122 Joseph Campau St
Hamtramck, MI 48212
(313) 875-4710
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Find thick, buttery patties at this neighborhood bar in Hamtramck. The cheeseburgers here are classic, huge patties with American cheese melting over the side. The beef is perfectly seasoned. Add a side of waffle fries and a pitcher of draft to complete the meal. Motor City Sports Bar is open for dine-in service but also accepts orders for takeout.

14. Kozy Lounge

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150 E 10 Mile Rd
Hazel Park, MI 48030
(248) 547-5017
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This family-owned neighborhood bar has been satisfying late-night munchies for more than 50 years. Kozy Lounge serves up big, juicy burgers like the award-winning Kat Burger with jalapeños, bacon, Swiss cheese, and a touch of honey to balance the spice. The bar is open for dine-in service, but customers can also order pickup and delivery through Doordash.

15. One-Eyed Betty's

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175 W Troy St
Ferndale, MI 48220
(248) 808-6633
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This Ferndale beer and whiskey bar is known for its Betty burger, stacked high with bacon, sharp cheddar, garlic aioli, greens, tomato, and onion, and served with hand-cut fries. The restaurant is currently popping up at Rosie O’Grady’s while the building undergoes renovations. Place orders online through the Hometown Restaurant Group app.

16. Vinsetta Garage

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27799 Woodward Ave
Berkley, MI 48072
(248) 548-7711
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Vinsetta Garage offers juicy charbroiled burgers to suit any taste. Try the Vinsetta burger, made with two 4-ounce patties, slices of American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, dill pickles, maple bacon, and special sauce. The restaurant is offering dine-in service for walk-ins and reservations as well as online ordering for curbside pickup.

17. Redcoat Tavern

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31542 Woodward Ave
Royal Oak, MI 48073
(248) 549-0300
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Another Royal Oak institution, the Redcoat Tavern brings an A-game when it comes to burgers. Opened in 1972, regulars will argue that the location offers the best burger around. Each one is made with freshly ground beef and served “continental style” on a sesame seed bun, but many customers spring for the Piedmontese beef patties. From there, choose from even more modifications and toppings such as sauteed mushrooms, smoked gouda, and dijon mustard. The restaurant is open for indoor dining, but also accepts carryout orders by phone.

18. Mt. Chalet II

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32955 Woodward Ave
Royal Oak, MI 48073
(248) 549-2929
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Regulars at this Royal Oak burger bar usually start with a Piedmontese beef patty and work from there. Build a custom burger with options like pretzel rolls, gorgonzola cheese, and Russian dressing or spring for one of five sliders. The restaurant is open for dine-in service and offers patio seating, but also accepts orders by phone and online for carryout.

19. Hunter House Hamburgers

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35075 Woodward Ave
Birmingham, MI 48009
(248) 646-7121
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Nestled up against Woodward Avenue and surrounded by relatively new construction, Hunter House Hamburgers’ bright-white hamburger stand is a holdout from a different era. This blue-collar spot specializes small, greasy griddled sliders served on steamed buns with pickles and caramelized onions. Dine inside, sit on the patio, or grab a sack full to go.

20. Basement Burger Bar

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33316 Grand River Ave
Farmington, MI 48336
(248) 957-8179
Visit Website

Whether customers are in the mood for a straight-forward cheeseburger or a bison patty piled high with barbecue sauce and onion straws, Basement Burger Bar has a burger to suit the occasion. The original Farmington location is an underground ode to customizable burgers, though the restaurant does offer house specials like the Bandwagon Burger topped with pulled pork, barbecue sauce, onion rings, and a sunny-side-up egg. The restaurant group is open for dine-in and carryout, as well as offering online ordering.

1. Miller's Bar

23700 Michigan Ave, Dearborn, MI 48124
A Miller Bar’s red building features a sign surrounded by neon starbursts on a sunny, cloudless day. Brenna Houck

Ask anyone from Dearborn and they’ll tell you the same: The best bar burger around is found at Miller’s. This old-school burger destination first opened its doors in 1941 and has been impressing locals and visitors alike since. The burgers, fries, and onion rings are served up “commando style” on simple squares of wax paper for a no-frills gut bomb. This spot is open for dine-in as well as carryout and goes by the honors system. (Pay before you leave.) Remember to take cash or expect to pull some from the machine on site, unless, of course, you’re ordering online for carryout.

23700 Michigan Ave
Dearborn, MI 48124

2. Taystee's Burger

10419 Ford Rd, Dearborn, MI 48126
A cheeseburger with beef bacon sits on half a bun and a piece of red and white checkered paper. Eater

Situated in a gas station in Dearborn near the Ford-Wyoming Drive-In are some of the best burgers in metro Detroit. Favorites like the Taystee Special are stacked ridiculously high with coleslaw, fries, a fried egg, tomato, oozing cheddar cheese, and spicy mayo on a brioche bun. All burgers are made with fresh, halal beef on a flat top grill. Recently Taystee’s added a bigger location in Dearborn Heights, minus the gasoline fill-ups that were so darned convenient. Online ordering for pickup and delivery is available through Doordash.

10419 Ford Rd
Dearborn, MI 48126

3. Telway Hamburgers

6820 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48210

It may not look like much, but this 24-hour greasy spoon makes a mean slider. Not only are the burgers here easy to eat, but they’re gentle on the wallet. Order them in a sack of four for just a few bucks. Visit the Detroit or Madison Heights location for a greasy bag of burgers and diner coffee to go.

6820 Michigan Ave
Detroit, MI 48210

4. Motz Burgers

7216 W Fort St, Detroit, MI 48209
Little sliders in a red basket with grilled onions in a sunny restaurant.
Little sliders with grilled onions
Michelle and Chris Gerard

Detroiters have been turning to Delray slider spot Motz since 1929. While there are fancier burgers on the menu, many go for the simplicity of a griddled burger or perhaps go wild with the double-stack. Motz’s old-school burgers are only upstaged by throwback prices: Sliders only $2.25 each. Add cheese for only 25 cents more. Place an order by phone and take it to go.

7216 W Fort St
Detroit, MI 48209

5. Green Dot Stables

2200 W Lafayette Blvd, Detroit, MI 48216
green dot sliders and fries
The wonderful thing about Green Dot’s diverse menu of sliders is that they’re $4 (or less), so customers can mix and match multiple mini burgers.
Michelle and Chris Gerard

The wonderful thing about Green Dot’s diverse menu of sliders is that they’re $4 (or less), so customers can mix and match multiple mini burgers. The cheeseburger is everyone’s standby, but for adventure seekers the Mystery Meat is a must. Past specials have included kangaroo burgers, salmon, wild boar, elk sausage, and even shark. Green Dot currently offers dine-in seating and patio seating, in addition to carryout; place an order by phone or online.

2200 W Lafayette Blvd
Detroit, MI 48216

6. Mercury Burger & Bar

2163 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48216

Choose from 15 different burgers at this Corktown hotspot. Many items on the menu pay homage to the city including the Southwest, which features a chorizo slider, jalapenos, munster cheese, tortilla strips, avocado, and pickled carrots. Pair it with a boozy Hummer milkshake or poutine tater tots slathered in dark gravy. Mercury Burger & Bar has ample outdoor seating as well as dine-in options.

2163 Michigan Ave
Detroit, MI 48216

7. Nemo's Bar

1384 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48226

With more than 50 years of service to the Corktown neighborhood, this baseball bar has staked a spot in the Detroit burger pantheon. Order the burger and dress it up with Nemo's special mustard sauce. Takeout is an option and the bar also features tented patio. Don’t forget to take cash.

1384 Michigan Ave
Detroit, MI 48226

8. Big Girl Burgers and Biscuits at Bunny Bunny

1454 Gratiot Ave, Detroit, MI 48207
A burger with a crisped edge and a fried chicken and biscuit sandwich in a box. Brenna Houck

This Sunday-only pop-up at Bunny Bunny does two things really well: burgers and fried chicken biscuit sandwiches. The former is a classic burger with absolutely crispy griddle edges (we’re talkin’ a caramelized beef halo) topped with all the classic trimmings — cheese, pickles, onions — on a poppyseed bun with a side of crinkle cut fries just for good measure. Pre-order a meal online on the weekends for curbside pickup and take it home or bring it to the Cøllect rooftop for a dine-in experience.

1454 Gratiot Ave
Detroit, MI 48207

9. Grey Ghost Detroit

47 E Watson St., Detroit, MI 48201

Whether it’s a dry-aged steak or a patty, Grey Ghost's kitchen has a way with beef. This burger is definitely a step up from the typical burger stand meal, but the preparation is classic with two griddle patties layered with melty slices of American cheese, chopped lettuce, and special sauce with mayonnaise and onions. Putting an egg on it takes the whole experience to another level. The restaurant is currently open for dine-in and patio service, but customers can also get a burger to-go or as a kit to cook at home. Place orders online or by phone for curbside pickup.

47 E Watson St.
Detroit, MI 48201

10. Honest John's Bar & Grill

488 Selden St, Detroit, MI 48201
A burger on a sesame bun with sliced tomato, red onion, bacon, lettuce, and cheese with a basket of fries.
Served up with all the fixings on a bun, the classic 100 percent ground chuck burger is a thing of beauty
Michelle and Chris Gerard

Find good, classic pub burgers at this Selden Street bar. Served up with all the fixings on a bun, the classic 100 percent ground chuck burger is a thing of beauty. Kick it up a notch with barbecue, bacon, and cheddar burger. Served until midnight, it’s surely one of the best late-night eats in the city. Honest John’s is currently open with an expanded patio service, carryout, and indoor dining. Customers can also order delivery via pretty much every third-party app.

488 Selden St
Detroit, MI 48201

11. Royale with Cheese

4163 Cass Ave, Detroit, MI 48201

This popular Midtown restaurant takes its name from a familiar line uttered in Pulp Fiction about McDonald’s in France, but the relationship to limp fast food burgers ends there. Burgers here come with a range of creative toppings such as the Mia Wallace with candied turkey bacon, mesquite barbecue chips, roasted corn and poblano peppers, melty cheese, and honey-ancho barbecue sauce. The restaurant offers indoor seating but also takes orders by phone and through Doordash.

4163 Cass Ave
Detroit, MI 48201

12. The Food Exchange

8451 Harper Ave, Detroit, MI 48213

Located on Harper Avenue in Detroit, this hole-in-the-wall restaurant is home to the Big Baby: a 12-ounce patty topped with corned beef, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, American and Swiss cheese, ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise. It’s big enough to split it with a friend and is available for carryout or delivery. Place orders by phone or online.

8451 Harper Ave
Detroit, MI 48213

13. Motor City Sports Bar

9122 Joseph Campau St, Hamtramck, MI 48212

Find thick, buttery patties at this neighborhood bar in Hamtramck. The cheeseburgers here are classic, huge patties with American cheese melting over the side. The beef is perfectly seasoned. Add a side of waffle fries and a pitcher of draft to complete the meal. Motor City Sports Bar is open for dine-in service but also accepts orders for takeout.

9122 Joseph Campau St
Hamtramck, MI 48212

14. Kozy Lounge

150 E 10 Mile Rd, Hazel Park, MI 48030

This family-owned neighborhood bar has been satisfying late-night munchies for more than 50 years. Kozy Lounge serves up big, juicy burgers like the award-winning Kat Burger with jalapeños, bacon, Swiss cheese, and a touch of honey to balance the spice. The bar is open for dine-in service, but customers can also order pickup and delivery through Doordash.

150 E 10 Mile Rd
Hazel Park, MI 48030

15. One-Eyed Betty's

175 W Troy St, Ferndale, MI 48220

This Ferndale beer and whiskey bar is known for its Betty burger, stacked high with bacon, sharp cheddar, garlic aioli, greens, tomato, and onion, and served with hand-cut fries. The restaurant is currently popping up at Rosie O’Grady’s while the building undergoes renovations. Place orders online through the Hometown Restaurant Group app.

175 W Troy St
Ferndale, MI 48220

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16. Vinsetta Garage

27799 Woodward Ave, Berkley, MI 48072

Vinsetta Garage offers juicy charbroiled burgers to suit any taste. Try the Vinsetta burger, made with two 4-ounce patties, slices of American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, dill pickles, maple bacon, and special sauce. The restaurant is offering dine-in service for walk-ins and reservations as well as online ordering for curbside pickup.

27799 Woodward Ave
Berkley, MI 48072

17. Redcoat Tavern

31542 Woodward Ave, Royal Oak, MI 48073

Another Royal Oak institution, the Redcoat Tavern brings an A-game when it comes to burgers. Opened in 1972, regulars will argue that the location offers the best burger around. Each one is made with freshly ground beef and served “continental style” on a sesame seed bun, but many customers spring for the Piedmontese beef patties. From there, choose from even more modifications and toppings such as sauteed mushrooms, smoked gouda, and dijon mustard. The restaurant is open for indoor dining, but also accepts carryout orders by phone.

31542 Woodward Ave
Royal Oak, MI 48073

18. Mt. Chalet II

32955 Woodward Ave, Royal Oak, MI 48073

Regulars at this Royal Oak burger bar usually start with a Piedmontese beef patty and work from there. Build a custom burger with options like pretzel rolls, gorgonzola cheese, and Russian dressing or spring for one of five sliders. The restaurant is open for dine-in service and offers patio seating, but also accepts orders by phone and online for carryout.

32955 Woodward Ave
Royal Oak, MI 48073

19. Hunter House Hamburgers

35075 Woodward Ave, Birmingham, MI 48009

Nestled up against Woodward Avenue and surrounded by relatively new construction, Hunter House Hamburgers’ bright-white hamburger stand is a holdout from a different era. This blue-collar spot specializes small, greasy griddled sliders served on steamed buns with pickles and caramelized onions. Dine inside, sit on the patio, or grab a sack full to go.

35075 Woodward Ave
Birmingham, MI 48009

20. Basement Burger Bar

33316 Grand River Ave, Farmington, MI 48336

Whether customers are in the mood for a straight-forward cheeseburger or a bison patty piled high with barbecue sauce and onion straws, Basement Burger Bar has a burger to suit the occasion. The original Farmington location is an underground ode to customizable burgers, though the restaurant does offer house specials like the Bandwagon Burger topped with pulled pork, barbecue sauce, onion rings, and a sunny-side-up egg. The restaurant group is open for dine-in and carryout, as well as offering online ordering.

33316 Grand River Ave
Farmington, MI 48336

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