Survey 2011: Best Hamburger in Portland

Tasty n Sons Burger

In 2010, Cafe Castagna ran roughshod over the competition for best hamburger. Slow Bar came in 2nd, and Carafe, Higgins and Castagna tied for 3rd.

This year Cafe Castagna once again stomped the other choices, but interestingly, the other restaurants all have opened in the last year.

Out of 1020 votes cast:

  1. Cafe Castagna -11% of the total. 1758 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Portland, OR 97214. (503) 231-9959 Map
  2. Grüner – 5%. 527 Southwest 12th Ave. Portland, OR 97205(503) 241-7163 Map
  3. Foster Burger – 4.9%. 5339 Southeast Foster Road, Portland OR 97206 – (503) 775-2077 Map
  4. Tasty n Sons – 4.1%. 3808 North Williams Ave. Portland, OR 97227 (503) 621-1400 Map

My choice – not that anyone cares as this is a highly subjective category – is Cafe Castagna. The Grüner burger didn’t seem special to me, I’ve never had the Foster Burger, and though I enjoy Tasty N Sons version, it varies wildly from day-to-day – undercooked/overcooked/salt bomb. On a good day, it’s great. Toro Bravo was 4th.

Always the diplomat.

You can see all of the “Best of Portland” results here.

Your thoughts are welcome

  1. CO says

    FD, your reaction to the Gruner burger was the exact reaction I had to the Castagna burger. Polar opposite burger palates it seems. That said, there are no slouches on that list. It makes me happy some crap hole like Helvatia Tavern or Stanich’s didn’t make the grade.

    • says

      But ya know, sometimes a burger from Helvetia or Stanich’s, or as you called it a “crap hole”, tastes pretty effing good! IMO, of course!

      • says

        I have a soft spot in my heart for the crappy $5 bar burger. Bistro burgers are like hot women at a dive bar – out of place, garish, and not worth trying to score.

  2. says

    I predict Lucy’s Original will be in the top 3 on next year’s list. I have been having really good experiences on a regular basis at the truck.

  3. DA says

    Screen Door has been the best burger I have eaten in this town. I did thoroughly enjoy the juicy lucy at Lucy’s original. It’s not as good as at the 5-8 club in Minny, but its the best $5 burger in PDX.

  4. Silent Partner Pdx says

    I cannot get that perfect little flavor-bomb of a burger at Bar Bar out of my mind. Hits all the right notes. Thanks to Peter Bro for making me try it!

    • Pascal says

      I have been in Beaverton a lot lately and I discovered a place called “Fresh Grill”, located across the parking lot from Best Buy at Washington Square. It might not be what you call a “Bistro” burger or a “Gourmet” burger, but it’s pretty damn good! The place looks like an upscale fast place and is very suitable for families. Burgers are cooked to order and the cashier ask you if you want “pink or no pink”! It has a wonderful charred flavor, and if you ask for pink, it ends up pink and very juicy. Fries are good, onion rings are just fine and they serve beer and milkshakes! Don’t make a special trip there, but if you find yourself in the area, it is well worth it.

  5. portlandoregonwine.com says

    Just tried the sliders at Blueplate, as they were featured on Diners,Dives,Drive-ins. They were on TV for a reason, it’s my new favorite burger in town. Unbelievably good.

  6. Adam says

    I’ve eaten all four of the burgers listed above, and while I am a HUGE fan of the Cafe Castagna burger, it’s just not in the same league as the one Gruner. (CC’s still in my Top 5 Portland burgers, though).

    But hey, that’s just, like, my opinion, man.

  7. Jim Prouty says

    Went to Blast Burgers in Lake Oswego today; the burgers were great (not cheap though) and a nice selection of beers (including Kilt Lifter, my fave!).

  8. SaltyCod says

    I haven’t been to Gruner, love the Castagna burger.
    It’s been about 2 years since I’ve been there, but Veritable Quandry had my favorite burger vote for a while.
    Foster Burger… just is not good. I wish it were otherwise, because I live nearby, and I love the posters (there used to be SO many good music venues in this town. Kinda sad.) Anyway, the bun is soggy and not anything special to begin with, and the meat is just extra extra fatty, but not especially flavorful.
    Also, I do a Pulp Fiction Travolta every time I see their $7 milkshake on the menu. Nope, no booze in that.
    In fact, Foster Burger doesn’t even have the best burger in the immediate vicinity. Slingshot bar has a remarkably good kitchen and their burger is certainly not one of the best in the city, but it is the best burger on Foster Road.

    • Jonathan Schell says

      Interestingly I used to think that Castagna had the best burger, but then their head chef left and the burger quality went down. Where did that head chef go? Well he opened his own restaurant — Clyde Common. So the burger there should be what the old Castagna burger used to be ;)

      I think metrovino is one of the better burgers in town. My girlfriend thinks that Eastburn is the best burger — she says that she also likes it because of the sweet potato fries with leeks. I was also quite impressed with Gilt’s burger when I went there.

      • says

        Thanks for the comment. I haven’t had a burger at Castagna in ages, so can’t say. I should go back. The burger at Clyde is just fine, but the rest of the food has gone way downhill from what it was a few years ago. I need to do a new review. I like the Metrovino burger as well, but haven’t had Eastburn or Gilt.

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