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Where's the Beef? Portland's Best Game Meat Burgers

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Everybody loves a juicy beef burger, but sometimes you want to mix things up with, say, elk. Or maybe a little buffalo, lamb, or venison? Luckily for us, Portland is loaded with spots serving up meaty non-beef patties to expand your burger horizons. If Eater's Burger Week has you craving something a little different, here's an updated map to guide you to the best beyond-beef burgers in town.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Besaw's

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2301 NW Savier St
Portland, OR 97210
(503) 228-2619
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Besaw's may be best known as a brunch establishment, but dinners are a standout in their own right. The evening menu boasts an Oregon elk burger topped with house-made American cheese, Sriracha aioli, and pickled onion on a sourdough bun. [Photo]

2. Buffalo Gap Saloon

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6835 SW Macadam Ave
Portland, OR 97219
(503) 244-7111
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Why, yes, you can have a buffalo burger at this SW "Saloon & Eatery" (how did you guess?). Here you can pick your meat, whether you go straight-up buffalo or half-beef, and customize it to your heart's content with any of the burger toppings and combos on the menu. Maybe the "Dakota" — with buffalo wing sauce and blue cheese — would be a good pick.

3. Deschutes Brewery & Public House

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210 NW 11th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 296-4906
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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]

4. Dick's Kitchen

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3312 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 235-0146
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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]

5. Foster Burger

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5339 SE Foster Rd
Portland, OR 97206
(503) 775-2077
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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]

6. The Observatory

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8115 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97215
(503) 445-6284
It's a lamb burger here served with tangy Briar Rose 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]

7. The Old Gold

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2105 N. Killingsworth
Portland, OR 97217
(503) 894-8937
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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]

8. River Pig Saloon

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529 NW 13th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
The Pearl's down-home 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]

9. Sunshine Tavern

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3111 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 688-1750
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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.

10. Victory Bar

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3652 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202
(503) 236-8755
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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]

11. Levant

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2448 E Burnside St
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 954-2322
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At Levant, burgers have an appropriately Middle Eastern bent, with a patty made from shwarma-spiced lamb topped with house-made feta "singles," secret sauce, and sumac-pickled red onion on a Moroccan-influenced anise seed bun. The only caveat? It's only available during brunch and happy hour.

1. Besaw's

2301 NW Savier St, Portland, OR 97210
Besaw's may be best known as a brunch establishment, but dinners are a standout in their own right. The evening menu boasts an Oregon elk burger topped with house-made American cheese, Sriracha aioli, and pickled onion on a sourdough bun. [Photo]
2301 NW Savier St
Portland, OR 97210

2. Buffalo Gap Saloon

6835 SW Macadam Ave, Portland, OR 97219
Why, yes, you can have a buffalo burger at this SW "Saloon & Eatery" (how did you guess?). Here you can pick your meat, whether you go straight-up buffalo or half-beef, and customize it to your heart's content with any of the burger toppings and combos on the menu. Maybe the "Dakota" — with buffalo wing sauce and blue cheese — would be a good pick.
6835 SW Macadam Ave
Portland, OR 97219

3. Deschutes Brewery & Public House

210 NW 11th Ave, Portland, OR 97209
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]
210 NW 11th Ave
Portland, OR 97209

4. Dick's Kitchen

3312 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214
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]
3312 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97214

5. Foster Burger

5339 SE Foster Rd, Portland, OR 97206
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]
5339 SE Foster Rd
Portland, OR 97206

6. The Observatory

8115 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215
It's a lamb burger here served with tangy Briar Rose 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]
8115 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97215

7. The Old Gold

2105 N. Killingsworth, Portland, OR 97217
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]
2105 N. Killingsworth
Portland, OR 97217

8. River Pig Saloon

529 NW 13th Ave, Portland, OR 97209
The Pearl's down-home 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]
529 NW 13th Ave
Portland, OR 97209

9. Sunshine Tavern

3111 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202
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.
3111 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202

10. Victory Bar

3652 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202
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]
3652 SE Division St
Portland, OR 97202

11. Levant

2448 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214
At Levant, burgers have an appropriately Middle Eastern bent, with a patty made from shwarma-spiced lamb topped with house-made feta "singles," secret sauce, and sumac-pickled red onion on a Moroccan-influenced anise seed bun. The only caveat? It's only available during brunch and happy hour.
2448 E Burnside St
Portland, OR 97214

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