American & Burgers
Beef to goetta, topped with an egg or not… no matter how you like to eat your burger, Northern Kentucky has several unique options that should be on the top of your must-try list. We've narrowed this list down to the top mentions, but don’t overlook the listings below for more mouth-watering recommendations.
Best Burger Restaurants in Covington
Located in Mainstrasse Village, Cedar opened in the fall of 2020. Perfect timing, right?! Despite the unrelenting coronavirus pandemic, the secret is out--Cedar is incredible. They have tons of brunch options and delicious cocktails, so the burger may be easy to overlook on the menu... but don't. The Cedar Burger is a house-made 80/20 blend of ground beef & local goetta. If that's not enough to entice you, it comes served with house-made bacon jam, arugula, green olive garlic aioli, an heirloom tomato, and served atop a Sixteen Bricks bun. Whether enjoyed on their awesome patio or inside, my mouth is watering reminiscing about how tasty this burger is!
Blinker’s Tavern, Covington
Can't mention burgers in Covington without adding Blinker's Tavern to the list! Blinkers features burger Mondays, when they offer a burger with saratoga chips at lunch and fries at dinner for only $7.95. It's a great deal, and to be honest, their burgers are so tasty that they're my go-to order even when it's not a Monday!
Bard’s Burgers & Chili, Latonia
Bard's has been featured on Food Network's series Ginormous Food--and for good reason! They're home of the Bardzilla Challenge--an 11-patty Bardzilla burger with 22 slices of cheese and two pounds of fries ($40) that's free if you eat it all within an hour. Now that's a lot of food... six pounds to be exact! But they have a regular menu, too, and it has tons of options. The burgers are made from 1/3 pound fresh ground 80/20 beef seared to perfection, served on a toasted bun with premium condiments and add-ons available such as an assortment of cheeses, chili, fried egg, goetta, gravy, mushrooms, onions, and peppers.
Smoke Justis, Covington
Smoke Justis specializes in meats, so it's no surprise that their burgers are delicious. The menu has a few variations to choose from, including the black bean burger and my personal favorite, the federal burger. It comes topped with the usual fixings and served with house barbecue sauce, which also doubles as a great dip for their hand-cut fries.
Best Burger Restaurants in Newport
York Street Cafe, Newport
From the moment you walk into York Street Cafe, you'll feel like you've been taken back to grandma's house. From the decor to the cooking, the entire place is an experience--in a good way! The waitress’ recommendation went straight to their burgers being made from meat that gets delivered daily from Ebert's Meat Market down the street. Served with fresh garden condiments and a side of chips, the burger is very tender but the next course will definitely steal the show... dessert.
O’Bryon’s Bar & Grill, Newport
Whether you like American, Cheddar, Pepper Jack, Provolone or crumbled Bleu Cheese, O'Bryon's has you covered! In the heart of Newport, this comfortable neighborhood pub is known for their chicken wings, but the burger is a great option too! They also offer a black bean burger option and a plethora of add-ons, including a fried egg, wing sauce, fried jalapenos, onion ring, and more. Yum!
Five Guys Burgers & Fries, Newport
Speaking of lots of toppings, Five Guys boasts 250,000 ways to order a burger. Located at Newport on the Levee, Five Guys uses fresh ground beef and no freezers at any of their locations. The fresh-cut fries are fried in peanut oil and complement the burgers perfectly. It's a great place to grab some quick grub while you're at the Levee watching live music or indulging in some cocktails from The Bridgeview Box Park.
We know, you go to Hofbrauhaus for the pretzels, sausage, kraut, and bier... but don't forget about their burger options! The menu boasts several options including an American cheeseburger, smoke-haus burger, or the dunkel bourbon burger, which is grilled and topped with their homemade dunkel bourbon glaze, provolone, and smoked bacon--yum! There's also a vegetarian burger option as well as a menu full of other German favorites. And, it's located just across the street from Newport on the Levee!
Best Burger Restaurants in Bellevue & Ft. Thomas
The Elusive Cow, Bellevue
We were impressed with the selection of burgers at The Elusive Cow! Their menu states that their meats come from local farmers in Brown and Adams Counties in Ohio and Oldham County in Kentucky. The fresh ingredients are accompanied by a plethora of delicious breads, cheeses, toppings to add to any burger, which can be ordered as beef, turkey, or bison meat. Yum!
Midway Cafe, Ft. Thomas
The burger selection at Midway Cafe is so large that it has a "continued" section on another page of the menu! All of their burgers are supplied by Eberts Meats in Newport, so you can support two local businesses at the same time. The burger options span everything from classic to The Fort (onion rings, cheddar, BBQ), to The Cincy Pig (bacon, ham, goetta on a burger and topped with pepper jack cheese and BBQ) and other options in between, including a veggie burger.
Hometown Heroes, Dayton
It's quite literally a hole in the wall and if you're driving too quickly you might miss it. But take our advice, and don't. The prices are very reasonable, they have great wings, and a great beer selection. The menu also has several appetizers (ooey gooey fries anyone?), eight burger options, including a goetta burger, a full page of other sandwiches, and dreamy desserts, such as funnel fries, raspberry vanilla sopapillas, or ice cream sundaes.
Darkness Brewing, Bellevue
Darkness Brewing is such a cool hangout spot! The food truck menu may change, but right now they have an excellent selection of burgers, plus tacos, cauliflower bites, grilled cheese, and more--including brunch! And all of this is in addition to their amazing beer selection, which started from an at-home brewing operation. You've got to check it out!
Best Burger Restaurants in Florence
Nothing says brunch quite like a Morning Glory Burger from Drake's: pepper jack cheese, fried egg, bacon, fire-roasted salsa and fresh cut toppings. With 12 different burger options on the menu, you're sure to find a favorite. All burgers are served with crinkle-cut fries or tater tots, and the menu also includes a great sushi selection, steaks, sandwiches, and appetizers. Wash it all down with a cocktail or your favorite beer!
859 Taproom & Grill, Florence
The burgers at 859 Taproom & Grill are made with fresh, never frozen Kentucky-raised Wagyu beef. And I must mention that they pair perfectly with any of their more than 30 beers on tap--the largest beer wall in Northern Kentucky! If you aren't into burgers, their menu includes plenty of other options including tacos, wings, and shareables. Daily specials, pint nights, happy hour, and their focus on local and regional breweries make this bar and restaurant a local favorite.
Kitchen 1883, Union
Although attached to/inside a Kroger store, Kitchen 1883 has one of the best burgers around. Don’t miss the Mushroom Swiss burger with grilled mushrooms, garlic aioli, Swiss cheese, crispy onion straws on a toasted brioche bun and pickles on the side. Catch it on burger & beer night and you can add a Braxton brew for only $2! If you've never been to Kitchen 1883, definitely explore the menu a bit. Such incredible dishes are coming out of this unsuspecting location.
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