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Cheeseburger with crinkle fries and ketchup and mayo from Oma’s Hideaway
The Oma-Zing burger at Oma’s Hideaway.
Molly J. Smith / Eater Portland

18 Mind-Blowing Burgers in Portland and Beyond

Take a bite out of the city’s beefiest burgers, from out-there masterpieces to the most supreme smash burgers

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The Oma-Zing burger at Oma’s Hideaway.
| Molly J. Smith / Eater Portland

Whether stacked with multiple patties or just one, caramelized on the flat top or char-broiled, crowned with a tower of toppings or just a swipe of special sauce, the American hamburger, in its many variations, has remained on menus and people’s plates through wars, revolutions, space exploration, and even pandemics like COVID-19. Portland, a city that is as in love with meaty meals as it is its vegan fare, is absolutely stacked with burgers, served in dive bars and wine bars, out of food carts and hotels, smashed and squished or stacked six inches high.

While Portlanders enjoy their burgers every which way — made with chicken, lentils, black beans, and more — listed below is a map guide featuring a list of Portland businesses that are currently slinging their versions of the classic beef burger. Those looking for beef-less wonders may prefer this veggie burger and sandwich map.

Note: Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

ABV Public House

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This unassuming and dimly lit taproom runs a small menu including a handful of burgers served on brioche buns. The taproom also offers a wagyu smash burger on Tuesdays, but the real standout here is the “wagyu of the week” special, wherein the chef uses wagyu from Mason Hill to experiment with everything from jalapeno cream cheese to bacon jam. The burgers here can also be washed down with anything from its expansive selection of 35 taps, or any can or bottle of beer from its large bottle shop.

A large hamburger is shown on a white plate on a wooden bartop, with a row of beer taps in the background.
The Wagyu of the Week burger at ABV.
Ron Scott / Eater Portland

Wolf's Head Smokehouse

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Wolf’s Head Smokehouse has established itself as a top-tier barbecue spot at Beaverton’s BG’s cart pod, while also receiving praise from local food writers for its smash burger. It’s composed of two three-ounce patties made with freshly ground brisket, two slices of American cheese, dill pickle, onions, and house sauce, with the option of subbing one of the patties for chopped pork with Carolina-style mustard sauce, or a full slice of brisket with barbecue sauce and pickled jalapeno. Wolf’s Head also spawned a new burger cart in Forest Grove at the Zesti cart pod in 2021, but has since moved to the Beaverton pod as well, with an opening scheduled for June 1st. Customers can expect to find more options for the smash burgers, such as tomatoes, fried eggs, bacon, and the like, along with seasonal malted milkshakes.

The upscale strip mall in Lake Oswego known as Mercato Grove is home to a handful of restaurants all part of local restaurateur Kurt Huffman’s ChefStable group. While local sandwich heavyweight Lardo has a location two doors down, it’s actually the filled doughnut shop — aptly named Fills — that has one of the best burgers in the city. The cheeseburgers come in the form of a single for four-fifty, and a double for six bucks, but Fills will also make a triple by request. Country Natural beef patties are stacked with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and chili aioli, but the real star of the show here is the fried brioche bun made in house. It’s crispy, soft, and airy, much like an unsweetened donut. It’s available daily after 11:30 a.m.

A cheeseburger is shown on a checkered paper next to a small brown bag of fries.
The double cheeseburger from Fills.
Ron Scott / Eater Portland

Farmer And The Beast

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Along a quaint street in Northwest Portland sits the food cart Farmer and the Beast, within the buzzy Nob Hill Food Carts pod. Although the cart serves a variety of local vegetable dishes, Farmer and the Beast is perhaps most known for its eponymous Beast burger. Featuring two smashed patties, American cheese, shaved yellow onion, pickle, iceberg, and its “truly special” sauce, this burger holds its own among the smash burgers in town, with a flavor reminiscent of a backyard cookout in all of the best ways.

Chef and owner Judith Stokes brings a vision of hamburgers both typical and experimental to this trendy counter-service bar in Portland’s Kenton neighborhood. A handful of rotating burgers are always evolving, incorporating ingredients like kimchi and peanut butter, while the twelve dollar, double patty smash burger maintains its foothold as the flagship Derby burger. Two slices of American cheese are layered between two smashed patties, along with shredded lettuce, house pickles, and slathered with Derby sauce, all held together with a Portland French Bakery brioche bun. All burgers come with shoestring fries with the option of a two dollar truffle fry upgrade.

A large hamburger with fries and ketchup sits on a white plate
The Derby Smash Burger
Ron Scott / Eater Portland

Tulip Shop Tavern

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Tulip Shop Tavern seems to understand the heavy weight a pickle plays in the balance of a burger: It provides the acid that cuts through the overwhelming richness of the one-two punch of ground beef and American. Instead of adding a pinch of diced pickle and calling it a day, Tulip Shop adds full chips and plenty of “special sauce,” which gives it that tangy hit. Tulip Shop also knows to lean into the char on a burger, which adds a little bit of that carbonic bitterness well complemented by the cheese. The move here is to spring for the double-double, a half-pounder on a fluffy-not-sweet milk bun.

Pleasure Burger

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Inside the small food hall at Pine Street Market is one of Portland’s newest contenders in the smash burger scene. Pleasure Burger keeps things simple, offering smash burgers, hot dogs, and parmesan-covered waffle fries. The burgers here are smashed all to bits, unleashing as much Maillard reaction-induced flavor as possible, with cheese on a squishy bun. Pros walk their burgers over to the waterfront on nice days.

Mid City Smash Burger

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For some, this food cart is the pinnacle of Portland smash burger excellence: Parked in front of an eye-catching Southeast Portland mural, Mid City’s thin, soft, smooshy smash burgers pack a punch, an American-cheese-fused blend of char-blistered beef and an acid-packed and surprisingly detailed burger sauce. This is one of the few smash burgers that really is ideal on its own — no second patty needed — and at $5 a pop, it feels almost criminally inexpensive. Mid City has also launched a second location at the Cartside pod on North Williams Avenue.

Bottle Rocket

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This charming cart located at the Cartopia pod on Hawthorne features hamburgers with simple upgrades: a buck more for cheese and another buck for two strips of bacon. Each patty comes topped with shredded iceberg lettuce, raw and grilled onions, kosher pickles, cheddar cheese, and Sriracha mayo, wrapped up in a Franz pub bun. Smart money’s on snagging a side of the fish sauce tots, which come topped with bits of pistachio and mint.

PDX Sliders

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For hypebeast creations topped with strawberry jam, Beechers aged cheddar, and more, PDX Sliders has been a Sellwood standby. The restaurant’s Hawthorne — slathered in strawberry jam, goat cheese, and bacon — is a distinctive draw here, but purists may prefer the Sellwood, the restaurant’s take on a bacon-cheddar cheeseburger with caramelized onions. Even the small-sized “sliders” here are a full meal, though every burger can level up to a full-sized sandwich.

Occupying a many-windowed corner of Portland’s Northeast 28th Street restaurant row, Mexican sandwich shop Guero slings many a delicious torta to its frequent phalanx of hungry regulars. Included in its offerings is the popular and consistently delicious hamburguesa: Two well-seasoned Painted Hills beef smash patties get hit with a laundry list of toppings, including creamy avocado, American cheese, ham, and chipotle mayo. The pleasant pop of pickled jalapeños, sweet grilled onions, and chiles plays off the queso botanero. Guero offers takeout and delivery, with an outdoor patio.

Expatriate

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Concordia’s Expatriate isn’t known just for its creative cocktails and drinking snacks like the nachos made with fried wontons, lemongrass beef, and Thai chile cheese sauce, the bar has also added an exemplary cheeseburger to the menu, no twists (or lettuce or tomato) at all. The quarter-pound burgers come two to an order and are draped in American cheese, topped with a few slices of raw onion and squirts of Heinz ketchup and French’s mustard on a soft An Xuyen roll.

Oma's Hideaway

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Once upon a time, tall burgers with fat patties and stacked toppings reigned king in Portland; a smash was out of the question, juiciness ranked more important than char. Now that Portland is absolutely inundated with smash burgers, a true, juicy burger feels almost refreshing, especially when it has a clear concept outside the tried-and-true ketchup-mayo-onion-pickle. Oma’s Hideaway may be known for its succulent game hens and lacquered meats, but the thick, almost intimidating Oma-zing burger is a treasure, a beast slathered in chili jam and American with a full layer of house pickles. What sets it apart, however, is the swipe of lime leaf butter on the bun — it adds just a touch of fragrant sweetness.

Bless Your Heart Burgers 33rd Avenue

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Northeast Portland burger shack Bless Your Heart’s standard burger comes in the form of a cloud-soft potato bun slathered with extra creamy Duke’s mayo, as well as classic ketchup and brown mustard. Rounding it out is the caramelized Northwest Natural beef patty, the distinct crunch of sweet onions, shrettuce, and the balancing jolt that house-made pickles provide. The overall outcome is a burger that’s fast food in style but homemade in taste. Chili burgers, veggie burgers, and guacamole-ranch burgers are also on the menu.

Bark City BBQ

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Next to John’s Marketplace in the cart space formerly occupied by Holy Trinity sits another one of Portland’s top notch barbecue joints, Bark City. True to its name, Bark City serves smoked proteins with a focus on the caramelized “bark” that smoked meat develops as it cooks. It’s this tasty bark that Bark City blends into its burgers via a smoked-brisket-infused patty, topped with tallow-caramelized onions, pork belly, iceberg, pickles, and the signature zingy “Barky” sauce.

Sure Shot Burger

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Situated in the parking lot of a beer hall, Sure Shot — originally known as Rough Draft Burger Shop  — is a burger shack in every sense of the word. The burgers here are simple, but hover near smash-patty perfection: The cart’s most popular burger, simply called the “double,” is comprised of two buttery patties, double cheese, pickle, onion, and a house burger sauce. As a whole, the burger has all of the trappings of a fast food burger, if a fast food burger was even richer, cheesier, and had twice the amount of caramelization.

Super Deluxe

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What has been billed at Portland’s answer to In-N-Out opened its first location on Southeast Powell in 2018 in a former Taco Time building. It now operates two other locations, which is testament to its success in the Portland burger business. Its menu is simple and clean, much like its brightly colored design. From the beginning, an In-n-Out-style burger that essentially comes “animal style” by default was the idea — every burger is stacked with tomatoes, pickle chips, lettuce, and a slather of special sauce, though adding a few slices of bacon is always a smart choice.

Fuller's Burger Shack

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A favorite of former Simpsons writer and fast-food gourmand Bill Oakley, Fuller’s Burger Shack is the burger-centric offshoot of the classic Portland diner, oddly tucked in the Cascade Station development. Here, the burgers stay simple, with a rotating special each month; however, the restaurant’s Fuller Burger — with smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, and pickles — shines, a deft balance of toppings and crispy-charred patty.

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ABV Public House

A large hamburger is shown on a white plate on a wooden bartop, with a row of beer taps in the background.
The Wagyu of the Week burger at ABV.
Ron Scott / Eater Portland

This unassuming and dimly lit taproom runs a small menu including a handful of burgers served on brioche buns. The taproom also offers a wagyu smash burger on Tuesdays, but the real standout here is the “wagyu of the week” special, wherein the chef uses wagyu from Mason Hill to experiment with everything from jalapeno cream cheese to bacon jam. The burgers here can also be washed down with anything from its expansive selection of 35 taps, or any can or bottle of beer from its large bottle shop.

A large hamburger is shown on a white plate on a wooden bartop, with a row of beer taps in the background.
The Wagyu of the Week burger at ABV.
Ron Scott / Eater Portland

Wolf's Head Smokehouse

Wolf’s Head Smokehouse has established itself as a top-tier barbecue spot at Beaverton’s BG’s cart pod, while also receiving praise from local food writers for its smash burger. It’s composed of two three-ounce patties made with freshly ground brisket, two slices of American cheese, dill pickle, onions, and house sauce, with the option of subbing one of the patties for chopped pork with Carolina-style mustard sauce, or a full slice of brisket with barbecue sauce and pickled jalapeno. Wolf’s Head also spawned a new burger cart in Forest Grove at the Zesti cart pod in 2021, but has since moved to the Beaverton pod as well, with an opening scheduled for June 1st. Customers can expect to find more options for the smash burgers, such as tomatoes, fried eggs, bacon, and the like, along with seasonal malted milkshakes.

Fills

A cheeseburger is shown on a checkered paper next to a small brown bag of fries.
The double cheeseburger from Fills.
Ron Scott / Eater Portland

The upscale strip mall in Lake Oswego known as Mercato Grove is home to a handful of restaurants all part of local restaurateur Kurt Huffman’s ChefStable group. While local sandwich heavyweight Lardo has a location two doors down, it’s actually the filled doughnut shop — aptly named Fills — that has one of the best burgers in the city. The cheeseburgers come in the form of a single for four-fifty, and a double for six bucks, but Fills will also make a triple by request. Country Natural beef patties are stacked with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and chili aioli, but the real star of the show here is the fried brioche bun made in house. It’s crispy, soft, and airy, much like an unsweetened donut. It’s available daily after 11:30 a.m.

A cheeseburger is shown on a checkered paper next to a small brown bag of fries.
The double cheeseburger from Fills.
Ron Scott / Eater Portland

Farmer And The Beast

Along a quaint street in Northwest Portland sits the food cart Farmer and the Beast, within the buzzy Nob Hill Food Carts pod. Although the cart serves a variety of local vegetable dishes, Farmer and the Beast is perhaps most known for its eponymous Beast burger. Featuring two smashed patties, American cheese, shaved yellow onion, pickle, iceberg, and its “truly special” sauce, this burger holds its own among the smash burgers in town, with a flavor reminiscent of a backyard cookout in all of the best ways.

Derby

A large hamburger with fries and ketchup sits on a white plate
The Derby Smash Burger
Ron Scott / Eater Portland

Chef and owner Judith Stokes brings a vision of hamburgers both typical and experimental to this trendy counter-service bar in Portland’s Kenton neighborhood. A handful of rotating burgers are always evolving, incorporating ingredients like kimchi and peanut butter, while the twelve dollar, double patty smash burger maintains its foothold as the flagship Derby burger. Two slices of American cheese are layered between two smashed patties, along with shredded lettuce, house pickles, and slathered with Derby sauce, all held together with a Portland French Bakery brioche bun. All burgers come with shoestring fries with the option of a two dollar truffle fry upgrade.

A large hamburger with fries and ketchup sits on a white plate
The Derby Smash Burger
Ron Scott / Eater Portland

Tulip Shop Tavern

Tulip Shop Tavern seems to understand the heavy weight a pickle plays in the balance of a burger: It provides the acid that cuts through the overwhelming richness of the one-two punch of ground beef and American. Instead of adding a pinch of diced pickle and calling it a day, Tulip Shop adds full chips and plenty of “special sauce,” which gives it that tangy hit. Tulip Shop also knows to lean into the char on a burger, which adds a little bit of that carbonic bitterness well complemented by the cheese. The move here is to spring for the double-double, a half-pounder on a fluffy-not-sweet milk bun.

Pleasure Burger

Inside the small food hall at Pine Street Market is one of Portland’s newest contenders in the smash burger scene. Pleasure Burger keeps things simple, offering smash burgers, hot dogs, and parmesan-covered waffle fries. The burgers here are smashed all to bits, unleashing as much Maillard reaction-induced flavor as possible, with cheese on a squishy bun. Pros walk their burgers over to the waterfront on nice days.

Mid City Smash Burger

For some, this food cart is the pinnacle of Portland smash burger excellence: Parked in front of an eye-catching Southeast Portland mural, Mid City’s thin, soft, smooshy smash burgers pack a punch, an American-cheese-fused blend of char-blistered beef and an acid-packed and surprisingly detailed burger sauce. This is one of the few smash burgers that really is ideal on its own — no second patty needed — and at $5 a pop, it feels almost criminally inexpensive. Mid City has also launched a second location at the Cartside pod on North Williams Avenue.

Bottle Rocket

This charming cart located at the Cartopia pod on Hawthorne features hamburgers with simple upgrades: a buck more for cheese and another buck for two strips of bacon. Each patty comes topped with shredded iceberg lettuce, raw and grilled onions, kosher pickles, cheddar cheese, and Sriracha mayo, wrapped up in a Franz pub bun. Smart money’s on snagging a side of the fish sauce tots, which come topped with bits of pistachio and mint.

PDX Sliders

For hypebeast creations topped with strawberry jam, Beechers aged cheddar, and more, PDX Sliders has been a Sellwood standby. The restaurant’s Hawthorne — slathered in strawberry jam, goat cheese, and bacon — is a distinctive draw here, but purists may prefer the Sellwood, the restaurant’s take on a bacon-cheddar cheeseburger with caramelized onions. Even the small-sized “sliders” here are a full meal, though every burger can level up to a full-sized sandwich.

Güero

Occupying a many-windowed corner of Portland’s Northeast 28th Street restaurant row, Mexican sandwich shop Guero slings many a delicious torta to its frequent phalanx of hungry regulars. Included in its offerings is the popular and consistently delicious hamburguesa: Two well-seasoned Painted Hills beef smash patties get hit with a laundry list of toppings, including creamy avocado, American cheese, ham, and chipotle mayo. The pleasant pop of pickled jalapeños, sweet grilled onions, and chiles plays off the queso botanero. Guero offers takeout and delivery, with an outdoor patio.

Expatriate

Concordia’s Expatriate isn’t known just for its creative cocktails and drinking snacks like the nachos made with fried wontons, lemongrass beef, and Thai chile cheese sauce, the bar has also added an exemplary cheeseburger to the menu, no twists (or lettuce or tomato) at all. The quarter-pound burgers come two to an order and are draped in American cheese, topped with a few slices of raw onion and squirts of Heinz ketchup and French’s mustard on a soft An Xuyen roll.

Oma's Hideaway

Once upon a time, tall burgers with fat patties and stacked toppings reigned king in Portland; a smash was out of the question, juiciness ranked more important than char. Now that Portland is absolutely inundated with smash burgers, a true, juicy burger feels almost refreshing, especially when it has a clear concept outside the tried-and-true ketchup-mayo-onion-pickle. Oma’s Hideaway may be known for its succulent game hens and lacquered meats, but the thick, almost intimidating Oma-zing burger is a treasure, a beast slathered in chili jam and American with a full layer of house pickles. What sets it apart, however, is the swipe of lime leaf butter on the bun — it adds just a touch of fragrant sweetness.

Bless Your Heart Burgers 33rd Avenue

Northeast Portland burger shack Bless Your Heart’s standard burger comes in the form of a cloud-soft potato bun slathered with extra creamy Duke’s mayo, as well as classic ketchup and brown mustard. Rounding it out is the caramelized Northwest Natural beef patty, the distinct crunch of sweet onions, shrettuce, and the balancing jolt that house-made pickles provide. The overall outcome is a burger that’s fast food in style but homemade in taste. Chili burgers, veggie burgers, and guacamole-ranch burgers are also on the menu.

Bark City BBQ

Next to John’s Marketplace in the cart space formerly occupied by Holy Trinity sits another one of Portland’s top notch barbecue joints, Bark City. True to its name, Bark City serves smoked proteins with a focus on the caramelized “bark” that smoked meat develops as it cooks. It’s this tasty bark that Bark City blends into its burgers via a smoked-brisket-infused patty, topped with tallow-caramelized onions, pork belly, iceberg, pickles, and the signature zingy “Barky” sauce.

Related Maps

Sure Shot Burger

Situated in the parking lot of a beer hall, Sure Shot — originally known as Rough Draft Burger Shop  — is a burger shack in every sense of the word. The burgers here are simple, but hover near smash-patty perfection: The cart’s most popular burger, simply called the “double,” is comprised of two buttery patties, double cheese, pickle, onion, and a house burger sauce. As a whole, the burger has all of the trappings of a fast food burger, if a fast food burger was even richer, cheesier, and had twice the amount of caramelization.

Super Deluxe

What has been billed at Portland’s answer to In-N-Out opened its first location on Southeast Powell in 2018 in a former Taco Time building. It now operates two other locations, which is testament to its success in the Portland burger business. Its menu is simple and clean, much like its brightly colored design. From the beginning, an In-n-Out-style burger that essentially comes “animal style” by default was the idea — every burger is stacked with tomatoes, pickle chips, lettuce, and a slather of special sauce, though adding a few slices of bacon is always a smart choice.

Fuller's Burger Shack

A favorite of former Simpsons writer and fast-food gourmand Bill Oakley, Fuller’s Burger Shack is the burger-centric offshoot of the classic Portland diner, oddly tucked in the Cascade Station development. Here, the burgers stay simple, with a rotating special each month; however, the restaurant’s Fuller Burger — with smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, and pickles — shines, a deft balance of toppings and crispy-charred patty.

Related Maps