When the call of a burger just can’t be denied, don’t head to the fast-food chain … there is so much better out there! These five restaurants all offer something completely different than the next, with the similarities ending at the ground beef patty, attention to detail and the promise of burger-addiction. No longer can a burger only get dressed with ketchup, mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickles and onion. Oh, no. How about peanut butter? Eggs? Onion rings? Sushi?! If you haven’t tried these five local favorites, make plans to as each is well worth it, and we’re pretty sure that you’ll be telling your friends about your meal the next day!

The Best Burgers in Charlotte

Savor Café

1404 W Morehead St., Charlotte, NC 28208 • (704) 334-0098
Hours: Lunch: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Dinner: Wednesday through Saturday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Closed Sunday

Savor Café works with local farmers to get the freshest ingredients for their fabulous menu. They have two delicious burger options: a build-your-own burger, with thousands of possible combinations, and their signature Adam Bomb Burger. The Bomb is cajun-rubbed and topped with grilled tomatoes, pepperjack cheese and a roasted red pepper/caramelized onion aioli. It’s their signature for a reason and is definitely worth trying out.

Best burgers in Charlotte, Savor Cafe

Savor Café‘s Adam Bomb Burger is a go-to if you like spicy, Cajun flavors.

Bad Daddy’s

15105 John J. Delaney Drive, Charlotte, NC 28277 • (704) 919-2700  
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

1626 East Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28203 • (704) 714-4888
Hours: Sunday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

8625-A Lindholm Drive, Huntersville, NC 28078 • (704) 237-4055
Hours: Sunday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

And, of course, the airport has one!

Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar has 18 locations in four states including Colorado, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina. But, the original location will always be the Dilworth location right here in Charlotte. Queen City first sunk its teeth into a Big Daddy Burger in 2007, and by the end of the year there were two locations. Basically, we just can’t get enough. They are all about sourcing from local farmers and purveyors whenever possible, and they always please with big, bold, delicious hamburgers! They have 11 different burgers from which to choose, or you can create your own unique burger. That said, if you are a bacon lover, and fearing calories is not your speed, check out this burger: The “Bacon Cheeseburger on Steroids,” which includes Monterey Jack cheese, three pieces of jalapeño bacon, three pieces of applewood smoked bacon, house-made bacon mayo, shredded iceberg lettuce, tomato, red onion and pickles. To see the full menu of options, check out their website here.

Best burgers in Charlotte, Bad Daddy's

Can’t go wrong with pimento cheese on a Bad Daddy’s burger. We also really like their tots!


1600 W. Morehead St., Charlotte, NC 28208 • (704) 332-0402
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Pinky’s has delicious burgers, and you can get a single, double or triple with each patty weighing in at a full 5 ounces. But, let’s not stop there! How about ordering your burger with peanut butter, honey-cilantro slaw and Sriracha sauce? Yes, now you are seeing the creativity of this place! And, no worries if you’d rather substitute a chicken breast, black bean burger or turkey burger for your ground beef patty — each are sure to make your taste buds very happy. And, cheese lovers take note that seven cheese options are offered for your cheeseburger, and toppings include everything from the traditional to things that make us go “hmmmmm … ,” but we’re intrigued!

Best burgers in Charlotte, Pinky's Westside Grill

Pinky’s Westside Grill is a Charlotte staple for a juicy burger in an eclectic setting. You’ll also want to grab some of their fried pickles as a side.

South 21 Drive-In

3101 E. Independence Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28205 • (704) 377-4509
Hours: Tuesday, 11 a.m to 3 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Closed Sunday and Monday

South 21 Drive-In is a classic, Southern drive-in that has been known for their delicious hamburgers since 1955. While some may go for the filet of trout, we can’t help but order the burger time after time. This is just a good ol’ fashioned burger without any of the fancy fixins and options such as one patty or two, with or without cheese, and even how much cheese do you want?! Drive up and remember that chain fast-food places are not the only drive-ins found in Charlotte!

Best burgers in Charlotte, South 21 Drive-In

Check out South 21 for a unique dining experience that’s been a Queen City tradition for decades.

Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar

4310 Sharon Road, Charlotte, NC 28211 • (704) 365-1922
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Cowfish takes two things that seem to be paired quite a bit recently in Japan: burgers and sushi. With four locations (Raleigh, Charlotte, Orlando and Atlanta), we’d say the concept is taking off in America as well! For appetizers, true to concept, you’ll find a variety of options including Japanese favorites edamame and seared tuna, but you’ll also find American favorites such as fries and fried pickles. And while they offer classic burgers, they are known for their a “burgushi,” which is a fusion of burgers and sushi. You read that right, burger + sushi … and getting out of your comfort zone is half the fun. A prime example is The Taste Explosion Roll for $15, which includes seasoned certified Angus beef, applewood bacon, jalapeño, spicy mayo inside, coated with tempura flakes and topped with Roma tomato and pepperjack cheese, then baked. Lastly, it’s drizzled with cashew cilantro pesto. Yum!

Best burgers in Charlotte, Cowfish

The whole “sushi and burger” thing might sound a little strange, but we promise you’ll keep going back. Image: Facebook

Did we miss your favorite? If so, let us know at [email protected]. Until then, happy burger-ing in the Queen City!


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