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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

23 Essential Metro Detroit Burger Destinations

Classic cheeseburgers, old-school sliders, and big ‘ol Hawaiian burgers

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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 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 there are too many. From the old-school sliders at Telway Hamburgers to the gourmet variety at Green Dot Stables to new American cheeseburgers served at Grey Ghost or Mexican renditions of the Hawaiian burger at Wicho’s Burgers food truck, 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.
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Basement Burger Bar

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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 Band Wagon Burger topped with pulled pork, barbecue sauce, onion rings, and a sunny-side-up egg.

Miller's Bar

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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

Taystee's Burger

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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.

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

Wicho's burger

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When choosing between a burger and a taco (or burrito or torta) is impossible, there’s Wicho’s Burger, a Mexican food truck now situated on a parking lot at Vernor Highway and Lansing in Southwest Detroit, that features a variety of specialty burgers that the ownership says is reminiscent of the street food vendors found in Jalisco like the Hawaiian, prepared with all the typical fixings, plus a thick slice of pineapple, and ham. The truck is faithfully posted at its usual spot from 2:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 2:30 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Wicho’s Burger truck, situated on a parking at Vernor and Lansing.
Serena Maria Daniels

Telway Hamburgers

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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 bag of burgers and diner coffee to go.

Motz Burgers

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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 start at only $2.50 each. Add cheese for only 25 cents more.

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

Green Dot Stables

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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 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

Mercury Burger & Bar

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

Nemo's Bar

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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.

Mister Dips

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Mister Dips, the griddled burger and fancy soft serve joint situated in Parker’s Alley in downtown, features three burgers, including the Classic Wedge Dip, made with crispy bacon, tomato, iceberg lettuce, and blue cheese mayo. Round out the meal with waffle fries and one of the spot’s Dairy Dips — sweet soft-serve ice cream cones that come in several flavors.

Cutters Bar & Grill

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It’s all about burgers at this Eastern Market institution and here, they can’t get much fresher. Guests can select five, eight, 16 (or two 16-ounce) patties made with ground beef seasoned with house spices, and sourced directly from Saad’s down the street. For the truly daring, opt for a stuffed burger, like the Cutter’s Stuffed — consisting of an eight-ounce seasoned patty filled with bacon and cheddar cheese.

A burger with two thick patties and three buns, is held together with a steak knife and surrounded by french fries on a plate.
Cutter’s
Gerard + Belevender

Grey Ghost Detroit

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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.

Honest John's Bar & Grill

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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.

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

Royale with Cheese

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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 Food Exchange

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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.

Motor City Sports Bar

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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.

California Burgerz

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Loosely inspired by the aesthetic of that one famous burger chain on the West Coast, California Burgerz carries an all-halal menu of seasoned curly fries, thick milkshakes, and juicy Angus beef burgers, like the LA Bacon Burger that comes with a quarter-pound patty, beef bacon, pickles, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, two slices of American cheese, the spot’s signature CB sauce, all on a brioche bun.

One-Eyed Betty's

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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.

Kozy Lounge

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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.

Vinsetta Garage

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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.

Redcoat Tavern

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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.

Mt. Chalet II

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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.

Hunter House Hamburgers

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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.

Basement Burger Bar

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 Band Wagon Burger topped with pulled pork, barbecue sauce, onion rings, and a sunny-side-up egg.

Miller's Bar

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.

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

Taystee's Burger

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.

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

Wicho's burger

Wicho’s Burger truck, situated on a parking at Vernor and Lansing.
Serena Maria Daniels

When choosing between a burger and a taco (or burrito or torta) is impossible, there’s Wicho’s Burger, a Mexican food truck now situated on a parking lot at Vernor Highway and Lansing in Southwest Detroit, that features a variety of specialty burgers that the ownership says is reminiscent of the street food vendors found in Jalisco like the Hawaiian, prepared with all the typical fixings, plus a thick slice of pineapple, and ham. The truck is faithfully posted at its usual spot from 2:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 2:30 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Wicho’s Burger truck, situated on a parking at Vernor and Lansing.
Serena Maria Daniels

Telway Hamburgers

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 bag of burgers and diner coffee to go.

Motz Burgers

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 start at only $2.50 each. Add cheese for only 25 cents more.

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

Green Dot Stables

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 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

Mercury Burger & Bar

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

Nemo's Bar

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.

Mister Dips

Mister Dips, the griddled burger and fancy soft serve joint situated in Parker’s Alley in downtown, features three burgers, including the Classic Wedge Dip, made with crispy bacon, tomato, iceberg lettuce, and blue cheese mayo. Round out the meal with waffle fries and one of the spot’s Dairy Dips — sweet soft-serve ice cream cones that come in several flavors.

Cutters Bar & Grill

A burger with two thick patties and three buns, is held together with a steak knife and surrounded by french fries on a plate.
Cutter’s
Gerard + Belevender

It’s all about burgers at this Eastern Market institution and here, they can’t get much fresher. Guests can select five, eight, 16 (or two 16-ounce) patties made with ground beef seasoned with house spices, and sourced directly from Saad’s down the street. For the truly daring, opt for a stuffed burger, like the Cutter’s Stuffed — consisting of an eight-ounce seasoned patty filled with bacon and cheddar cheese.

A burger with two thick patties and three buns, is held together with a steak knife and surrounded by french fries on a plate.
Cutter’s
Gerard + Belevender

Grey Ghost Detroit

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.

Honest John's Bar & Grill

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.

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

Royale with Cheese

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 Food Exchange

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.