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A burger on a rounded brown bun with shredded lettuce and a side of fries in a red basket with checkered red and white paper.
A burger at Checker Bar in Detroit.
Michelle and Chris Gerard

23 Top Burgers in Metro Detroit

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

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A burger at Checker Bar in Detroit.
| Photo by 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 jalapeño poppers — the potential flavor combinations are limitless.

Here in metro Detroit, there's a burger for every appetite and budget — some would even argue 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 23 essential spots worthy of a burger bucket list.

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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 ever 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 goes by the honors system, but remember to bring cash or expect to pull some from the machine on-site.

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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Hidden in a gas station in Dearborn 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 Taytee’s added an even bigger location in Dearborn Heights, minus the gasoline fill-ups that were so darned convenient.

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 stacks a mean slider. Not only are the burgers here easy to eat, but they’re gentle on the wallet. Order four for $3.50. Add on a side of fries for less than a buck more.

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 shack Motz since 1929. While there are fancier burgers on the menu, many go for the simplicity of a burger or cheeseburger and perhaps go wild with the double-stack. Motz’s old-school burgers are only upstaged by throwback prices. Sliders only $2 each. Add cheese for only 25 cents more.

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 $3 (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.

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, münster cheese, tortilla strips, avocado, and pickled carrots. Pair it with a boozy Hummer milkshake or poutine tater tots slathered in dark gravy.

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. Avoid the crowds and stop in during the week for lunchtime specials and don’t forget to bring cash.

8. Roast

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1128 Washington Blvd
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 961-2500
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Roast is known for its more high-end menu, but during happy hour it’s all about the Roast burger. Somewhere between elite breakfast sandwich and burger, the rare patty is dressed up with egg, cheddar cheese, bacon, and a fried egg on an English muffin. Get it between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday in the bar only.

9. Checker Bar

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124 Cadillac Sq
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 961-9249
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Checker Bar’s burgers are all made with third-pound or half-pound patties from fresh ground beef aboard Brown’s Bakery sesame buns. The Checker Burger keeps things simple with fresh lettuce, tomato, and onion on top, but there are also more dressed up options like the Blues Burger with blue cheese, bacon, and bourbon-honey barbecue sauce. Choose from sides like shoestring fries and sweet potato tots.

10. Frita Batidos Detroit

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66 W Columbia St
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 725-4100
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This fast-casual Ann Arbor import’s burgers amp up the heat with a spicy blend of chorizo, shoestring fries, guacamole, and an egg. Many napkins will be required, but Frita is definitely a worthy addition to the crowded Detroit burger landscape.

11. 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.

12. Cutter's Bar & Grill

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2638 Orleans St
Detroit, MI 48207
(313) 393-0960
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This off-the-beaten-path Eastern Market bar doesn’t give its burgers fancy names. Rather, they’re listed by weight — anywhere from 3- to 32-ounces. Patties made from a fresh Saad ground beef are mixed with house seasoning and cooked to juicy perfection on a flat top grill. Top them with anything from blue cheese to pepperoni to habanero peppers.

13. 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 2 a.m., it’s surely one of the best late-night eats in the city.

14. 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 references to limp fast food burgers ends there. Burgers here come with a range of creative toppings such as the Royale with smoked brisket, corn relish, caramelized onions, avocado, smoked gouda, coleslaw, and creamy cheese fondue. For something a bit more eclectic there’s also the Kruncher with jalapeño chips, roasted green chili queso, corn relish, and a Cajun aioli. Take the meal to the next level with a custard shake spun with mix-ins like Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

15. 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.

16. 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.

17. 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.

18. One-Eyed Betty's

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175 W Troy St
Ferndale, MI 48220
(248) 806-6633
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Pair one of the 47 beers on tap at this Royal Oak beer bar with the Betty burger, stacked high with bacon, sharp cheddar, garlic aioli, greens, tomato, and onion and served with hand-cut fries.

19. Vinsetta Garage

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27799 Woodward Ave
Berkley, MI 48072
(248) 548-7711
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From duck patties to beef, 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.

20. Redcoat Tavern

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31542 Woodward Ave
Royal Oak, MI 48073
(248) 549-0300

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.

21. 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. It’s hard to go astray.

22. 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 sliders served on steamed buns with pickles and caramelized onions for $2.10 a piece (add cheese for 25 cents more).

23. Basement Burger Bar

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33316 Grand River Ave
Farmington, MI 48336
(248) 957-8179
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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 an sunny side up egg.

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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 ever 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 goes by the honors system, but remember to bring cash or expect to pull some from the machine on-site.

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

Hidden in a gas station in Dearborn 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 Taytee’s added an even bigger location in Dearborn Heights, minus the gasoline fill-ups that were so darned convenient.

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 stacks a mean slider. Not only are the burgers here easy to eat, but they’re gentle on the wallet. Order four for $3.50. Add on a side of fries for less than a buck more.

6820 Michigan Ave
Detroit, MI 48210

4. Motz Burgers

7216 W Fort St, Detroit, MI 48209

Detroiters have been turning to Delray slider shack Motz since 1929. While there are fancier burgers on the menu, many go for the simplicity of a burger or cheeseburger and perhaps go wild with the double-stack. Motz’s old-school burgers are only upstaged by throwback prices. Sliders only $2 each. Add cheese for only 25 cents more.

7216 W Fort St
Detroit, MI 48209

5. Green Dot Stables

2200 W Lafayette Blvd, Detroit, MI 48216

The wonderful thing about Green Dot’s diverse menu of sliders is that they’re $3 (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.

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, münster cheese, tortilla strips, avocado, and pickled carrots. Pair it with a boozy Hummer milkshake or poutine tater tots slathered in dark gravy.

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. Avoid the crowds and stop in during the week for lunchtime specials and don’t forget to bring cash.

1384 Michigan Ave
Detroit, MI 48226

8. Roast

1128 Washington Blvd, Detroit, MI 48226

Roast is known for its more high-end menu, but during happy hour it’s all about the Roast burger. Somewhere between elite breakfast sandwich and burger, the rare patty is dressed up with egg, cheddar cheese, bacon, and a fried egg on an English muffin. Get it between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday in the bar only.

1128 Washington Blvd
Detroit, MI 48226

9. Checker Bar

124 Cadillac Sq, Detroit, MI 48226

Checker Bar’s burgers are all made with third-pound or half-pound patties from fresh ground beef aboard Brown’s Bakery sesame buns. The Checker Burger keeps things simple with fresh lettuce, tomato, and onion on top, but there are also more dressed up options like the Blues Burger with blue cheese, bacon, and bourbon-honey barbecue sauce. Choose from sides like shoestring fries and sweet potato tots.

124 Cadillac Sq
Detroit, MI 48226

10. Frita Batidos Detroit

66 W Columbia St, Detroit, MI 48201

This fast-casual Ann Arbor import’s burgers amp up the heat with a spicy blend of chorizo, shoestring fries, guacamole, and an egg. Many napkins will be required, but Frita is definitely a worthy addition to the crowded Detroit burger landscape.

66 W Columbia St
Detroit, MI 48201

11. 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.

47 E Watson St.
Detroit, MI 48201

12. Cutter's Bar & Grill

2638 Orleans St, Detroit, MI 48207

This off-the-beaten-path Eastern Market bar doesn’t give its burgers fancy names. Rather, they’re listed by weight — anywhere from 3- to 32-ounces. Patties made from a fresh Saad ground beef are mixed with house seasoning and cooked to juicy perfection on a flat top grill. Top them with anything from blue cheese to pepperoni to habanero peppers.

2638 Orleans St
Detroit, MI 48207

13. Honest John's Bar & Grill

488 Selden St, Detroit, MI 48201

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 2 a.m., it’s surely one of the best late-night eats in the city.

488 Selden St
Detroit, MI 48201

14. 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 references to limp fast food burgers ends there. Burgers here come with a range of creative toppings such as the Royale with smoked brisket, corn relish, caramelized onions, avocado, smoked gouda, coleslaw, and creamy cheese fondue. For something a bit more eclectic there’s also the Kruncher with jalapeño chips, roasted green chili queso, corn relish, and a Cajun aioli. Take the meal to the next level with a custard shake spun with mix-ins like Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

4163 Cass Ave
Detroit, MI 48201

15. 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.

8451 Harper Ave
Detroit, MI 48213

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16. 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.

9122 Joseph Campau St
Hamtramck, MI 48212

17. 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.

150 E 10 Mile Rd
Hazel Park, MI 48030

18. One-Eyed Betty's

175 W Troy St, Ferndale, MI 48220

Pair one of the 47 beers on tap at this Royal Oak beer bar with the Betty burger, stacked high with bacon, sharp cheddar, garlic aioli, greens, tomato, and onion and served with hand-cut fries.

175 W Troy St
Ferndale, MI 48220

19. Vinsetta Garage

27799 Woodward Ave, Berkley, MI 48072

From duck patties to beef, 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.

27799 Woodward Ave
Berkley, MI 48072

20. 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.

31542 Woodward Ave
Royal Oak, MI 48073

21. 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. It’s hard to go astray.

32955 Woodward Ave
Royal Oak, MI 48073

22. 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 sliders served on steamed buns with pickles and caramelized onions for $2.10 a piece (add cheese for 25 cents more).

35075 Woodward Ave
Birmingham, MI 48009

23. 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 an sunny side up egg.

33316 Grand River Ave
Farmington, MI 48336

Related Maps