Best Burgers in Michigan

Friendly warning! We are working to be accurate. But these are unusual times, please check that these restaurants remain open.

From classic cheeseburgers and unique flavor combinations to unconventional fresh takes on this American cuisine, I have narrowed down my top 5 favorite local burgers in West Michigan.

I love burgers almost as much as I love tacos. There’s a reason that burgers can be found in most American restaurants, no sandwich comes close to beating its flavor! I get super excited when I see unique burgers with homemade sauces and unexpected toppings.

For the last two years, I have traveled all over West Michigan to discover new burger joints. It wasn’t until the beginning of 2020 when I decided to create a list of my top 5 favorite local burgers.
When COVID hit and Gov. Whitmer issued an order to close all bars, dine-in restaurants, gyms, coffee houses, and most public places on March 16, 2020, I had to stop my tour until most of the restaurants were able to open up again with a dine-in option. I am thankful that I was able to complete my burger tour this year.

Choosing just 5 burgers was a very difficult process because there are many great burgers here in West Michigan. There are many more delicious burgers to try than just my top five, but being someone who had to do the “hard work” (I take burger patties very seriously), believe me when I say that you absolutely have to add these to your bucket list of burgers to try.

*They are listed in no particular order

Southwest Burger at Schaendorf Brewing Co.
420 Water St, Allegan, MI 49010

Southwest burger

The Schaendorf Brewing Company is a family-friendly restaurant that has been run by local dairy farmers since 2018. They have some of the most delicious food around because they offer such fresh farm-to-table cuisines. The brewery itself was built back in the late 1800s and is a beautiful historic building being restored in downtown Allegan. I love this place; it looks like an excellent spot where friends can get together for a good time.

The burger: Their southwest burger has pico de gallo, Havarti cheese, southwest sauce, and fresh jalapenos on top.
I’m not sure exactly what they put in their southwest sauce, but it tastes incredible! The southwest burger is a spicy burger that is oozing with flavor. The beef is seasoned to perfection and is one of those burgers that you simply can’t put down once you start eating. I love that they use brioche buns because they tend to hold up well under all the burger’s weight and juices as you eat. Each of their 7-ounce burgers comes with your choice of fries, potato chips, coleslaw, or cottage cheese. They cut their own fries every day, and those are deliciously addicting. Hands down, this restaurant knows how to make fantastic burgers, and I highly recommend their southwest burger.

El Aguacate Burger at Brick and Porter
47 Monroe Center St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

El Aguacate

Located in the heart of Grand Rapids, this pub has a pleasant atmosphere, and their menu features many classic pub food options. Every Thursday, they have a special where you can get $5 off all burgers ordered between 5 and 11 pm. Thursdays also have an all-day happy hour, so this would be a great place to go for a night out right before the weekend hits.

The burger: I was born in Mexico and we use aguacate for almost anything. In case you didn’t know, aguacate is the
same as avocado. The El aguacate burger on the Brick and Porter menu immediately caught my eye, and I’m happy to say that it is a smashing hit. It is a whopping half pound grilled burger topped with fried avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, and melted pepper jack cheese. What really makes this well-seasoned burger stand out is the spicy jalapeño aioli sauce. It adds some nice heat at the end and is one of my new favorite burger sauces that I wish I knew how to replicate. Their burgers are served on a brioche bun and includes an order of beer battered fries on the side. Gluten free buns are also available for only $2 more.

Cottage Burger at Cottage Bar
18 La Grave Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Cottage burger

This bar has been a Grand Rapids favorite since 1927. Cottage Bar still has its original art deco mahogany bar inside and is the oldest bar and restaurant in downtown Grand Rapids. It is open for lunch and dinner Mondays through Saturdays. In the summer months, they have an outdoor cafe where guests can sit and enjoy their meals as well.

It seems that the people behind this restaurant have done something right because their high standards have been maintained all through the ages even though it’s gone through a few different owners. The Cottage burger was voted best burger in Michigan by USA Today. After hearing that, I just had to try it for myself. Their third pound burgers are always cooked to order and served hot and fresh. The Cottage burger is topped with bacon, lettuce, tomato, green olives, melty Swiss and American cheeses, and their signature hickory mayonnaise. For me, what makes a perfect burger is being able to taste each ingredient individually. The Cottage burger is served on a dark rye bun, which isn’t seen very often for most burgers. All of the flavors of this famous burger created such a distinct flavor that really
wowed me. I think there must be something in that hickory mayonnaise that makes it taste so special.

Fletcher’s Best Burger at Fletcher’s Pub in Texas Corners
6946 W Q Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49009

Fletcher’s Best Burger

This place has a sports bar vibe to it. Fletcher’s Pub has two locations, one on Oakland Drive in the Oakwood Plaza and one in Texas Corners in Kalamazoo. The Oakwood Plaza location used to be where Kalamazoo’s Main Street Grille was over 10 years ago. Both locations offer the same menu and they have some tasty food options. There are a lot of different daily and weekly specials offered at Fletcher’s Pub.

I knew when I walked in and took a look at their menu, I had to try Fletcher’s Best Burger. Personally, I am a lover of burgers that have sunny side eggs on top. This number is a half pound burger topped with smoked white cheddar cheese, homemade bacon jam, garlic aioli sauce, lettuce, tomato, and finished off with a sunny side up egg. Let me just say that this is certainly a mouth-watering favorite of mine now! The bacon jam and garlic aioli along with that runny egg really did it for me. Those flavors make you experience a spectacular mouthful of goodness in every bite. It is hard not to love this juicy burger but be sure to grab extra napkins before you dig into it.

West Village Double Cheeseburger at Butcher’s Union
438 Bridge St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

West Village Double Cheeseburger

Everyone is welcome at this modern gastropub. Butcher’s Union is located just north of downtown Grand Rapids on the west side of the Grand River. They don’t require reservations, but it is best to add your name to the waitlist on busy weekend nights. This pub sources local ingredients from trusted farmers to help support the community. Their goal is to be a place where passion, purpose, and a good time can all come together.

The West Village Double Cheeseburger is the most expensive sandwich on their menu but it is worth every penny. You get double the beef which means it has double the amount of flavor! It has a special Butcher’s Union beef blend topped with melted cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, spicy pickles, and creamy aioli. This is way better than your average double cheeseburger because you will have melty cheese on both beef patties. The caramelized onions and spicy pickles add a really nice touch along with the creamy aioli that ties all the ingredients together. It sits on an onion brioche bun which is simply perfect for this burger. Add on a side of hand cut fries for just $2 more and you are looking at a satisfying meal.

Honorable Mentions

Breakfast Goat Burger at The Old Goat Tavern
2731 W Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49006

Provisions Cheese Burger at Noco Provisions
4609 Cascade Rd SE, Grand Rapids Charter Township, MI 49546

Provisions Cheese Burger

Burdicks Burger at Old Burdick’s Bar & Grill
1st Floor of Radisson, 100 W Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49007

Burdicks Burger

The Burger at Brewery Vivant
925 Cherry St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506

The Burger

Govn’t Cheese Burger at Stella’s Lounge
53 Commerce Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Govn’t Cheese

About the author

Adrian Sotelo

This likeable, laid-back Mexican guy began his love affair with food back in 2010, selling restaurant equipment from a local shop in Grand Rapids (Charney Commercial Sales). By establishing good relationship with owners of bakeries, restaurants and pizzerias, Adrian launched his first Latino magazine named “Farandula” (show business). There he gained a profound appreciation for entertainment, cuisine and lifestyle.

His growing passion for the food industry led him to learn more about it. He launched FoodieGR back in 2014, focusing only on local restaurants in Grand Rapids. A year later, he expanded, covering West Michigan and now covers the entire state of Michigan and the U.S. His social media outlets have over 50,000 combined followers.

Do you like to discover new restaurants in Michigan?
Click here to Join Michigan’s favorite food group