The Detroit Free Press recently did a “six week study” on the best burgers in the Metro Detroit area. You can read the whole article here, but here are some highlights.
23700 Michigan Ave., Dearborn
Metro Detroit’s most famous bar burger is an undeniably delicious no-frills classic: a thick patty of fresh ground beef on an honest bun, brought to your table on a square of waxed paper. Help yourself to pickles from a jar on the condiment tray; sliced onion is served on request. Want cheese? It’s Swiss or Velveeta, sliced off long loafs and melted onto the patty into near-oblivion. You won’t get a bill; just tell the bar man what you had and he’ll tell you what you owe. For its fans, the bare-bones service and semi-divey setting only enhance the growing Miller’s mystique. Hamburger, $4.75; cheeseburger, $5.50.
157 E. Main, Northville
Burger lovers of several persuasions wrote to extol the hand-formed, half-pound, Certified Angus Beef burgers at cozy Poole’s Tavern in downtown Northville. You can keep it low-key and simple, or amp it up with add-ons like bacon, cheeses, mushrooms or grilled onions (75 cents-$1 each). The kaiser rolls are substantial, and the toppings are fresh and flavorful. Hamburger: $5.75
Vivio’s Food & Spirits
2460 Market, Detroit
Serving Detroit’s Eastern Market district for more than 30 years, Vivio’s turns out “beefy, moist burgers” that are “always cooked exactly to your order, and to perfection,” wrote major fan Dave Gohn. As promised, these Certified Angus Beef burgers are big, juicy and well-prepared. Price includes fries. Cheeseburger: $7.75.
1384 Michigan, Detroit
The burgers at this legendary sports bar, a stone’s throw from old Tiger Stadium, are seriously savory, juicy and tender. Readers –and we — love the ones cooked behind the bar, with Worcestershire sauce and black pepper added while the beef sizzles on the grill. The grilled sesame-seed buns add great toasted flavor, too. Ardent Nemo’s fan Kelli Kavanaugh says, “My medium-rare always comes out medium-rare, and their own special blend of mustard sauce is wickedly good.” She’s right. That hot mustard rocks. Hamburger, $4; cheeseburger $4.50
28028 Woodward, Royal Oak
Vinsetta’s Build Your Own Burger checklist lets you choose your burger size — up to a pound — and then top it with ingredients most of us have never thought of. Choose from 10 cheeses; 20 regular but interesting toppings; 11 premium toppings (from fried egg to Chablis mushrooms) and 18 sauces, including spicy sour cream, onion marmalade and peanut sauce. And the kitchen makes your creation look great, no matter how over the top you’ve topped it. Base prices include one cheese, four regular toppings and one sauce; additional charges for extra items. Hamburger (one-third pound): $7.99.