There’s something to be said about an eatery that strives to do the humble hamburger justice — which explains why it finds its way onto the menus of both dive bars and fine dining establishments. There’s purists looking for the classic ground beef with yellow American cheese, but many restaurants mix it up the burger blends with short rib, brisket, and even bacon. There are always new places popping up in Charleston, but these are the 12 Lowcountry establishments that have and continue to serve the best burgers in town.Read More
The Best Burgers in Charleston
Order fancy burgers in French restaurants or classic cheeseburgers in dive bars
The Tattooed Moose
Dive bar with famous food Tattooed Moose offers a classic example of two thin patties, onions, lettuce, tomato, American cheese, and special sauce between toasted kaiser rolls. Don’t leave without ordering a side of duck fat fries.
Edmund’s Oast chef Bob Cook knows his meats, so it should be no surprise that he puts out not one but two superior burgers. Cook brings the Artisan Meat Share burger, from his former restaurant, with a slightly sweet bacon jam and spicy jalapenos for a fun balance. The Edmund’s Oast version is the classic bread and butter pickles, special sauce, onion, and tomato with patties and bun.
Herd Provisions is a Wagener Terrace neighborhood favorite. The regular menu offers an all-American burger with pickles, lettuce, onion, plus secret sauce, but on Mondays, the restaurant tries out new versions, like a recent special with barbecue sauce, crispy onions, arugula, pickled peppers, provolone, and burger patty mixed with Neuske’s ground bacon.
Moe's Crosstown Tavern
Moe’s has flipped burgers for over 20 years, making this dive a go-to destination any time a craving strikes. The well-worn griddle puts out expertly seared thick beef patties at an astonishing pace. The menu offers a ton of topping variations — try the goat cheese and poblano combo or the more traditional fried green tomato BLT option.
During most days of the week, Maison puts out stunning plates of classic French flavors, but on Wednesdays, chef Vandy Vanderwarker releases a burger that is simply a work of art. The kitchen builds everything from scratch, including the duck fat bun. This burger is house-ground beef, house-made duck sausage, melty caramelized onions, a rich Gruyere sauce, and a bordelaise that takes the umami levels up to 100. After the first bite, you will need a knife and fork to finish this masterpiece.
Home Team BBQ
The smoke masters at Home Team BBQ always have a burger on the menu, topped with harissa mayo and a King’s Hawaiian roll, but you should look out for the on-off burgers, usually posted on Instagram. A recent special included a thick, pit-smoked patty with bacon and jalapeno mayonnaise.
Bistronomy By Nico
Spring Street restaurant Bistronomy by Nico offers a French take on the burger on Monday nights. Made in limited numbers, the patties are formed from North Carolina-raised wagyu beef and topped with a generous amount of Gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, and cornichon ketchup. It’s best enjoyed with a glass of French red wine.
Tully’s offers the ideal version of a late-night burger. It’s got all the definitive markers of a classic: sesame bun, griddled patties, shredduce (shredded lettuce), American cheese, and thinly sliced tomato and onions. Find the walk-up window on the side of the Music Farm.
Customers only have one chance to devour the celebrated Ted’s burger each week. Stop by on Saturday for this Charleston staple, which is made using Painted Hills natural beef and grilled in the Big Green Egg. It’s one of the thickest patties on the peninsula.
The Living Room at The Dewberry
Posh hotel the Dewberry isn’t the first place you’d look for a big meaty burger, but its stunning midcentury modern bar, the Living Room, offers a great example of the usually humble offering. The high-quality beef is topped with onions, bordelaise, Emmenthal cheese, a potato bun, and a tiny cornichon on top. Pinkies up.
Big Gun Burger Shop & Bar
Dive bar/punk rock venue Big Gun specializes in burgers and excels at the classic with American cheese, onion, pickles, and special sauce. It’s an easy stop to squeeze in on the way to, or from, the bars on King Street. Though, if you want to stay put at Big Gun, check out the extensive collection of craft beers and whiskeys.
Battle the South-of-Broad crowds for a seat at the bar at classic steakhouse Oak if you want to try a prime example of a burger made with Certified Angus Beef. The patty is a combination of New York Strip, filet, and brisket (which could be why it rings in at $21). The burger is topped with Nueske’s bacon and served with truffle fries. Feel extra fancy and start the night with a dirty martini and oysters before tucking into the burger.