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The Best Burgers in Charlotte, NC

Charlotte's Burger Scene Offers Diversity in Taste and Toppings

By Nan Bauroth on April 29, 2015


With four professional sports teams and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Charlotte, N.C., has a big appetite for burgers. Given that many residents are transplants from around the country, it’s only natural that Charlotte’s burger scene sports a diversity of toppings and seasonings that cater to every regional palate. Burger haunts also run the gamut, from uptown cool to total dives dating to the city’s heyday of dirt track fiends. Motorsports in Charlotte help drive the economy, but burger restaurants provide plenty of fuel. Here are six of the most awesome burgers in the Queen City:

The Liberty 

Courtesy of Liberty's Painted Hills Crunch Burger

Courtesy of The Liberty

Charlotte’s first true gastropub, The Liberty draws repeat crowds for its Painted Hills Natural “Crunch” Burger, a red meat wonder topped in pimento cheese, smoked bacon, lettuce and tomato, and then stacked to max with house chips. The Irish Black Angus Pub Burger is another house favorite. This one is so good you might consider moving to Charlotte just to be near it. 

Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar

Courtesy of Big Daddy’s Burger Bar Facebook

A continual local winner for best burger, the most popular, and so-bad-it’s-good item here is the monstrous Bacon Cheeseburger on Steroids seasoned in bacon salt and topped with three pieces of jalapeno bacon, another three strips of applewood bacon, one thick slab of Monterey Jack cheese, crispy fried onions and house made bacon mayo. 

Cowbell Burger and Whiskey Bar

Courtesy of Cowbell

Courtesy of Cowbell

This uptown retro hangout has it all – inventive burgers, music and a dynamite adult beverage selection, including “spiked” milkshakes. Patrons especially love their GFY Burger dressed to kill in foie gras, arugula, prosciutto, apricot marmalade and creole mustard, accompanied by a side of Disco Fries dripping in brown gravy.

Bang Bang Burgers

Courtesy of Bang Bang Burgers

Courtesy of Kyo Nam

Winner of Best Burger at the 2015 Brew and Moo Contest held by Creative Loafing, Charlotte’s alternative entertainment weekly, Bang Bang Burgers sells a ton of their Hangover, a hefty “hair of the dog” patty topped with cheddar, fried egg, grilled onions, potato bacon hash and tangy Bang Bang sauce. During this year’s Final Four, hoops fans went crazy for the Blue Devil burger featuring bleu cheese and deviled egg filling topped with crispy grilled egg white garnished in green onions and paprika.

Pinky’s Westside Grill 

Courtesy of Pinky’s Westside Grill

This funky dive on West Morehead Street is easily spotted because of the vintage VW Beetle on its roof, a hangover from the lot’s days as 3G Automotive. Patrons go for the Mexi-Burger slathered in black beans and sour cream or White Trash Burger done up with with provolone, fried pickles and onion rings, plus a heaping side of 12 hush puppies. All burgers also come Ding Dong style with crunchy peanut butter, honey-cilantro slaw and hot sriracha sauce. Food Network’s Guy Fieri and Nascar Driver Clint Bowyer recently visited to film Pinky’s for an upcoming episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

Block & Grinder


Courtesy of Block & Grinder Facebook

The meat’s the thing at this farm-to-fork premium Butcher house. Their signature B&G Butcher House burger is ground in-house daily and cooked to perfection. The choice of toppings includes the latest burger maven craving – roasted bone marrow, along with shitake mushrooms and a local farm fried duck egg. Burger devotees can also try other creature burgers, including a Cajun bison burger, lamb burger and wild game burger of the day.  

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