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Portland's Non-Traditional (Non-Beef) Burgers, Mapped

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Photo of Foster Burger courtesy Avila/EPDX

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Everybody loves a good ol' beef burger, but for The Five Days of Meat, we thought we could mix it up with a little something different. It's not everyday that you think to go out for an elk, buffalo, lamb, or venison burger, but as it so happens, Portland is teeming with spots serving up wild game. Coupled with lots of toppings (and in some cases, additional opportunities to add more protein), these burgers switch up one of our all-time favorite meaty meals.


· All Previous Five Days of Meat Coverage [Eater PDX]

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Besaw's

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Besaw's may be labeled as more of a breakfast establishment, but they probably won't judge if you order one of its fun burger options as your mid-morning meal. For lunch, the menu hosts a wild game burger and dinner offers an Oregon elk burger, both topped with house-made American cheese, Sriracha aioli, and pickled onion on a sourdough bun. [Photo]

Buffalo Gap Saloon

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Why, yes, there is a buffalo burger on the menu at this SW "Saloon & Eatery" (how did you guess?). It comes with the traditional burger components, but you can also sub a buffalo patty on any of the burger combos on the menu. Maybe the "Dakota" — with buffalo wing sauce and blue cheese — would be a good pick.

Burnside Brewing Co.

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Take the traditional beef burger here and substitute the bison patty instead — it'll come seared in duck fat (hell yes) with caramelized onions, lettuce, and tomato on a hoppy-potato roll. Grab a pint of the summer seasonal Burnside Lime Kolsch — brewed with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, and the zest of 200 limes, to round out your meal. [Photo]

Deschutes Brewery & Public House

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What to eat with a delicious pint of Fresh Squeezed IPA? At this downtown brewhouse stalwart, there are two options for a burger branch out. The Crater Lake bison burger comes topped with a smoked pomegranate pork belly, asiago cheese, and frisee, or do the Durham Ranch elk burger with gruyere and a shallot and thyme mayo. [Photo]

Dick's Kitchen

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There is no shortage of unusual burger selections at this Paleo-centric diner. Not only is a water buffalo burger a staple on the menu, there's a weekly rotating "guest burger" which runs the game-meat gamut, from venison, elk, lamb, and wild boar to a house favorite, the "dork" burger, a mix of duck and pork. Most burgers are available in slider size, as well, for adventurous sampler platters. [Photo]

Foster Burger

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This SE spot has all the traditional components of a burger bar (and some not so much, like squid ink and kimchee), but it also offers an all natural, hormone-free lamb patty as a regular option over your usual beef. And to take it over the top, order "The Kiwi" with said lamb patty, pickled beet, egg, cheddar, lettuce, and pickles. [Photo]

Glisan Burger Barn

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At Portland's one-and-only burger barn, any Painted Hills beef patty can magically turned into a buffalo burger (for an extra three bucks). That sounds pretty good for the “Barnyard,” which comes with bacon, avocado, swiss, grilled onions, roasted red peppers, and the mysterious barn sauce. [Photo]

The Observatory

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It's a lamb burger here served with tangy goat cheese, roasted red peppers, marinated onions, and aioli. Also, at the connected lounge space Over and Out, you’ll find a chipotle elk burger with crispy onions, pepper jack, and a spicy-smoky mayo. [Photo]

The Old Gold

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You can tell that the staff at the Old Gold likes to keep it fresh, from a softball league on Sunday to special boards that read: "Soup of the Day: Whiskey." They also serve up an elk burger dressed with a dried cherry relish and fontina. [Photo]

River Pig Saloon

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The Pearl's newish neighborhood bar offers a towering buffalo burger with an organic bison patty, bacon, and cheddar. Add even more protein with an optional fried egg on top. [Photo]

Sunshine Tavern

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Jenn Louis's neighborhood tavern serves up a pork burger that arrives topped with Swiss cheese, preserved cabbage, and mustard. But guests can up the ante by adding optional non-beef toppings, from a slab of pork belly to chicken liver mousse.

TILT Swan Island

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Tilt's appropriately named "Lambtastic" burger features (you guessed it) a ground lamb patty, then stacks it with beer-battered onion rings, Swiss cheese, and slaw. [Photo]

Victory Bar

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This corner bar on Division is so anti-establishment that they don't do beef patties. Celebrate propaganda at Victory by ordering the venison burger with white cheddar and pickles on a brioche bun. But don't ask any questions about it: Visit the FAQ page on their website and it will be pretty clear as to why. [Photo]

Besaw's

Besaw's may be labeled as more of a breakfast establishment, but they probably won't judge if you order one of its fun burger options as your mid-morning meal. For lunch, the menu hosts a wild game burger and dinner offers an Oregon elk burger, both topped with house-made American cheese, Sriracha aioli, and pickled onion on a sourdough bun. [Photo]

Buffalo Gap Saloon

Why, yes, there is a buffalo burger on the menu at this SW "Saloon & Eatery" (how did you guess?). It comes with the traditional burger components, but you can also sub a buffalo patty on any of the burger combos on the menu. Maybe the "Dakota" — with buffalo wing sauce and blue cheese — would be a good pick.

Burnside Brewing Co.

Take the traditional beef burger here and substitute the bison patty instead — it'll come seared in duck fat (hell yes) with caramelized onions, lettuce, and tomato on a hoppy-potato roll. Grab a pint of the summer seasonal Burnside Lime Kolsch — brewed with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, and the zest of 200 limes, to round out your meal. [Photo]

Deschutes Brewery & Public House

What to eat with a delicious pint of Fresh Squeezed IPA? At this downtown brewhouse stalwart, there are two options for a burger branch out. The Crater Lake bison burger comes topped with a smoked pomegranate pork belly, asiago cheese, and frisee, or do the Durham Ranch elk burger with gruyere and a shallot and thyme mayo. [Photo]

Dick's Kitchen

There is no shortage of unusual burger selections at this Paleo-centric diner. Not only is a water buffalo burger a staple on the menu, there's a weekly rotating "guest burger" which runs the game-meat gamut, from venison, elk, lamb, and wild boar to a house favorite, the "dork" burger, a mix of duck and pork. Most burgers are available in slider size, as well, for adventurous sampler platters. [Photo]

Foster Burger

This SE spot has all the traditional components of a burger bar (and some not so much, like squid ink and kimchee), but it also offers an all natural, hormone-free lamb patty as a regular option over your usual beef. And to take it over the top, order "The Kiwi" with said lamb patty, pickled beet, egg, cheddar, lettuce, and pickles. [Photo]

Glisan Burger Barn

At Portland's one-and-only burger barn, any Painted Hills beef patty can magically turned into a buffalo burger (for an extra three bucks). That sounds pretty good for the “Barnyard,” which comes with bacon, avocado, swiss, grilled onions, roasted red peppers, and the mysterious barn sauce. [Photo]

The Observatory

It's a lamb burger here served with tangy goat cheese, roasted red peppers, marinated onions, and aioli. Also, at the connected lounge space Over and Out, you’ll find a chipotle elk burger with crispy onions, pepper jack, and a spicy-smoky mayo. [Photo]

The Old Gold

You can tell that the staff at the Old Gold likes to keep it fresh, from a softball league on Sunday to special boards that read: "Soup of the Day: Whiskey." They also serve up an elk burger dressed with a dried cherry relish and fontina. [Photo]

River Pig Saloon

The Pearl's newish neighborhood bar offers a towering buffalo burger with an organic bison patty, bacon, and cheddar. Add even more protein with an optional fried egg on top. [Photo]

Sunshine Tavern

Jenn Louis's neighborhood tavern serves up a pork burger that arrives topped with Swiss cheese, preserved cabbage, and mustard. But guests can up the ante by adding optional non-beef toppings, from a slab of pork belly to chicken liver mousse.

TILT Swan Island

Tilt's appropriately named "Lambtastic" burger features (you guessed it) a ground lamb patty, then stacks it with beer-battered onion rings, Swiss cheese, and slaw. [Photo]

Victory Bar

This corner bar on Division is so anti-establishment that they don't do beef patties. Celebrate propaganda at Victory by ordering the venison burger with white cheddar and pickles on a brioche bun. But don't ask any questions about it: Visit the FAQ page on their website and it will be pretty clear as to why. [Photo]

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