We love the burger here in metro Detroit.
But, alas, I feel like there’s not enough coverage of the tasty burgers made here. All too often, lists and “best of” lists lean on national chains with no personality whatsoever.
Like my cars, I prefer Detroit-made deliciousness. In a bid to open up your taste throttle to try some things that have a local flavor, I drew on my experience and hit up the whole Daily Detroit crew for the best local places to check out.
This list is completely opinion and the numbers are to help you knock off the checklist. It hasn’t been sponsored or voted on. The knowledge is hard-won through the meaty sacrifice of time and treasure to bring you the best burgers in Metro Detroit.
1 – Lovers Only
You don’t have to be in love to visit this burger paradise in Detroit’s Capitol Park, but you will fall in love with their burgers that hit the right balance of simple and sophisticated. You’d think making a burger is easy, but to get the right balance it’s an art. The Classic Smash is a gift from the gods. It’s how a burger should be. It’s not a stunt burger. It’s a gold standard. They have lunch specials for the busy downtown worker looking to knock one of these tasty places off the list while working for the man for $10 for fries, burger and drink. Shakes and cocktails, too.
Website – 34 Grand River, Detroit MI 48226
2 – Mercury Burger Bar
Working my way out from the city center, Mercury Burger Bar in Corktown is the place to go for a dinner that will set you straight before you hit nearby drinking dens like Sugar House, LJs, Motor City Wine or Two James with gusto. A well made burger with plenty of options, I often consider Mercury my first stop into a proper Corktown evening. Yes, there are other good restaurants around. But this is what will fortify your innards for inebriation while delivering intense taste. Also, big points for that patio and I’m very pro-tater tot.
Website – 2163 Michigan Avenue, Detroit, MI 48216
3 – Green Dot Stables
You can grab a cheeseburger slider here for $2 and pair it with a variety of affordable yet culinary creative sandwiches. So if you have that vegetarian friend, you can head here and be covered. Or try things with very little risk. One sleeper? Is the coney dog slider with venison chili. The bar will set you straight, too.
Website – 2200 West Lafayette Boulevard, Detroit, MI 48216
4 – Cutter’s Bar & Grill
If you’ve happened to find yourself in Eastern Market and are craving a burger, we suggest you head over to Cutter’s. It’s tucked away on Orleans and Division. Our recommendation? Try one of the stuffed burgers. it won’t disappoint. While you’re there be sure to order one of their giant baked potatoes.
Website – 2638 Orleans Street, Detroit, MI 48207
5 – Taystee’s Burgers
Don’t let the fact that the original location for Taystee’s Burgers is located in a gas station fool you. This place is the real deal. The burgers here are great, to say the least. If you like the heat, I suggest you try the Volcano burger. It’s packed with Halal beef, lettuce, tomato, jalapeño, jalapeño poppers, beef bacon, pepper jack cheese, nacho cheese, ketchup and mayo on a sesame bun.
They recently opened a second location in Dearborn Heights.
Website – 10419 Ford Road, Dearborn, MI 48126 and 26350 Ford Road, Dearborn Heights, MI 48127
6- Royale With Cheese
This place on Cass in Detroit summons the famous hamburger discussion line from Pulp Fiction for its name and has gotten praise for being one of the 10 best Halal restaurants in the country. So don’t sleep on this one. There are a wide variety of burgers to try. Pictured above is the “Mia Wallace,” with BBQ potato chips.
Website – 4163 Cass Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201
7 – Telway
Sure, Telway isn’t fancy. But you always know what you’re going to get when you go there and it’s open 24 hours. Whether you like your sliders with cheese or without, I highly recommend getting a side of onion rings. The best part is that there are two locations to choose from.
6820 Michigan Avenue, Detroit, MI 48210
27000 John R Road, Madison Heights, MI 48071
8 – Miller’s Bar
When you talk to people about what their favorite burger place is a large majority of them will say Miller’s Bar in Dearborn. Miller’s has built a reputation for delicious, juicy burgers since 1941 and people drive from far and wide to get one. There’s one other reason that Miller’s stands out in my mind. They use the honor system, where the staff takes your order and you tell them what you had when you pay at the bar.
Website – 23700 Michigan Avenue Dearborn, MI 48124
9 – Red Coat Tavern
The website might suck, but their burgers and onion rings are pretty darn tasty. Maybe that’s why this long-standing, top-notch place doesn’t make more lists. But no matter to me, as this is all about personal experience. I like to stick with the Original Red Coat Special Hamburger. But you can add whatever toppings that your heart desires.
Website – 31542 Woodward Avenue, Royal Oak, MI 48073 and
6745 Orchard Lake Road, West Bloomfield Township, MI 48322
10 – The Emory
The Emory has called Ferndale home since 2006 and has been a go-to place to grab a burger when me and my husband want to stick close to home. Just a tip — if you’re looking for a place that serves a burger during brunch, the Emory has you covered.
Website – 22700 Woodward Avenue, Ferndale, MI 48220
11 – House of Shamrocks
The burgers at House of Shamrocks in Hazel Park are big, juicy, and have a nice balance of meat to toppings. Also, the meat comes from nearby butcher shop Farm Field Table so you know the quality is top-notch.
Website – 23420 John R Road, Hazel Park, MI 48030
12 – Central Kitchen and Bar
If you like mushrooms on your burger, then you will probably really like the Detroit burger at Central Kitchen and Bar. It has roasted wild mushrooms with gruyere, zip sauce and is served on a brioche bun. Also, you get that awesome downtown city atmosphere.
Website – 660 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48226
13 – Marcus Hamburgers
Our next stop on the best burgers in Metro Detroit is Marcus Hamburgers over on the Eastside. Don’t let the hot dog bun fool you, that’s a cheeseburger. Marcus Hamburgers has been in business since 1929, so they are in for the long game. While you’re in the neighborhood don’t forget to hit up the Two Way Inn.
Website – 6349 E. McNichols Road, Detroit, MI 48212
14 – Geneva’s Burgers
Geneva’s has been serving up juicy burgers and diner food since it opened in 1954. It’s one of the places that my mom still stops to grab lunch when she finds herself on the Eastside. There have been a few locations since the diner opened, but you can find them in Eastpointe now.
Website – 17141 E. 8 Mile Road, Eastpointe, MI 48021
15 – Mason’s Bar and Grill
It should go without saying that Mason’s was going to make it on this list. The Livonia bar and grill has been turning out great burgers for decades. If you live on the west side of the region, you need to go here. And it is certainly worth the drive if you don’t live near Livonia.
Website – 3490 Farmington Road, Livonia, MI 48150
16 – Motz’s Burgers
We’ve got yet another long-time slider joint on this list, and for good reason. Motz’s burgers have been a Southwest Detroit mainstay for 90 years. Though the owners have changed throughout the years, the quality slider still remains the same. That’s all thanks to Tammy the cook who has been slinging the sliders for 30 years. The only downside is that they are only open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. So you need to plan your visit strategically.
Website – 7208 W. Fort Street, Detroit, MI 48209
17 – Basement Burger Bar
There is something to be said for a place that not only has a list of burgers for you to choose from like the Italian Stallion Burger with marinara, pepperoni, banana peppers, mozzarella sticks, and parmesan cheese. But there is also a sizable build your own burger menu at Basement Burger Bar. The best part is that you can pick the type of protein you want on your burger because we all know that sometimes we might want a burger but not want to eat beef.
Website – 1326 Brush Street, Detroit, MI 48226, 42452 Ford Road,
Canton MI 48187, 33316 Grand River Avenue, Farmington MI 481336
18 – Motor City Sports Bar and Grill
Don’t let the fact that there’s no website or that the Facebook page for Motor City Sports Bar hasn’t been updated since 2013 scare you away from checking this Hamtramck spot out. I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record here, but these burgers are thick and juicy. And a good way to get yourself ready for a night of drinking in Hamtramck.
Website – 9122 Joseph Campau St. Hamtramck, Michigan 48212
19 – Frank’s Eastside Tavern
If you find yourself over in Mount Clemens and you’re craving a burger, I suggest you check out Frank’s Eastside Tavern. It’s a pretty awesome place that has roots as a speakeasy and is actually in the basement of an old farmhouse. The menu is small, but the burgers are great.
Website – 126 Avery Street, Mount Clemens, Michigan 48043
20 – Zo’s Good Burger
Last, but certainly not least we have the burgers at Zo’s Good Burgers. These burgers live up to the name of the restaurant. Zo’s Good Burgers started out in a gas station back in 2013, but has grown to three locations throughout Metro Detroit. Another thing that is great about this place is that the meat is Halal.
Website – 2894 W Grand Boulevard, Detroit, MI 48202, 14311 Michigan Avenue
Dearborn, MI 48126, 849 N Inkster Road Garden City, MI 48135