For all its residents requesting gluten-free buns and veggie patties, Portland has a vibrant burger scene, from classic smashburgers to ones piled with chef'ed-up toppings. When we say everyone in the city offers their take on the popular food, we mean it: One of the top-rated burgers in town is from Yakuza Lounge, a sushi restaurant.
For Portland Burger Week, running August 10 through 16, more than 30 restaurants will try to outdo each other by serving the best $5 burger around (usually, these stacks might go for $12). Many spots will be busier than usual, and many sell out each day, so go early—and remember to tip your harried server on the cost of a regularly priced burger. Below are our picks for where to go, but you can check out the full list of participants here.
For An Ultra-Cheesy, Southern-Style Cheeseburger: Burnside Brewing Co
The Dirty Burger (pictured) is a beef patty topped with pimento cheese sauce, smoked country ham, caramelized onions, fresno pepper slaw, Kool-Aid pickles, and a BBQ-spiced pork rind. Order one of the 14 house-made beers to go with it.
For An Out-of-the-Box Patty: Widmer Brothers Pub
Their patty isn't just chuck--it's blended with short rib and brisket. The whole thing is topped with caramelized onions, Tillamook cheddar, bacon, and a chili-peach BBQ sauce, and is served on a poppy seed bun.
For An Asian-Inspired Burger with a Kick: Slow Bar
This burger is topped with kimchi, chopped kale, and wasabi mayo.
For a Gyro-Burger: Ya Hala Restaurant
For a Lebanese take on a burger, this is a lamb patty stuffed with feta, topped with tzatziki sauce, grilled tomato, onions, and tahini mustard, served on a brioche bun.
For an Instagram-Busting Stack: Triple Nickle Pub
Eating this Jenga-high burger won't be pretty, but it will be delicious. The large patty is covered in Heineken fondue, sauteed onions, housemade BBQ chips, and banana peppers, somehow all smashed into a puffy bun.
Sarah Z. Wexler is on the Oregon beat for Travel + Leisure. Based in Portland, you can follow her on Twitter at @SarahZWexler.