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Local Experts: Miami, Carla Torres

By Local Expert Carla Torres

Best Burgers in Miami

In a city full of buns, it’s a tough time to be a burger. Chefs are stepping up their patty game more than ever before, capitalizing on America’s quintessential dish and vexing to be the one not forgotten. Finding the perfect burger is a bit like searching for nirvana. Those who have achieved such bliss do so by taking inventive and creative risks with the traditional recipe. With the competitive gourmet burger business at its peak, it takes more than a flimsy potato bun and thin beef burger to make a memorable bite. Miami’s best burgers are a sum of their equally stellar parts: hand-crafted patties, secret-recipe sauces, and toppings that range far beyond deconstructed salad.

Like the city itself, Miami’s best burgers bring color and heat, and often take cues from the region’s various cuisines. Hailing from retro diners and urban beer gardens, they are served with thick-cut steak fries and fresh slaw, and make even the plates they’re served on look good enough to eat. 

Lokal

True to its name, Lokal owner Mathew “Kush” Kuscher sources all his ingredients from local farms. Kobe-style beef for their burger patties comes from nearby Cowart Ranch and is hand-ground on location every day. For a true taste of Miami, bite into the pressed Frita burger, topped with guava jelly, Gruyere cheese, bacon, and a haystack of crispy potato sticks. If a pastelito and a burger had a love child, this would be it. 

Swine

You’d expect nothing less from a porcine joint named than a patty that blends short rib, brisket, and smoked pork. The Swine burger is the only burger on the menu and all that’s needed. Bacon joins the pig party, while American cheese, Swine special sauce, and homemade dill pickles kick it up an extra notch. For best results, eat it upside down. 

Blue Collar

Chef Danny Serfer cooks up burgers designed by different Miami food bloggers during National Burger Month. The other 11 months of the year, he serves Blue Collar regulars his signature Real Juicy Cheeseburger. The dry-aged NY strip patty lives up to its title when matched with melted American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion—all held together on a toasted Portuguese muffin.

Michael Mina 74

Michael Mina’s lives up to this chef’s reputation for first-rate beef. The Dry-Aged Steak Burger sources its meat from Locker 28, an in-house dry-aging room for steak. The wagyu brisket and chuck patty is crowned with smoked bacon and Gouda, and a tangy secret sauce and black pepper bun complete the triumphant burger. Also on the menu, Korean BBQ patties that will make you wonder why salmon burgers aren’t a thing. 

Pincho Factory

Pincho Factory gave Miami its famed Toston Burger, and recast the city’s idea of a burger bun. From the open kitchen, watch cooks prepare crispy tostones—fried plantain patties—which bookend two short rib, brisket, and chuck patties. Jack cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and house made cilantro sauce are layered throughout the Latin American masterpiece. No bun necessary. 

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