A Burger Lover’s Dream: Discover 9 of the Most Iconic Classic Burgers in Portland’s Culinary Scene


In the diverse culinary environment of Portland, Oregon, where innovation meets tradition, one iconic dish reigns supreme: the classic burger. Among a sea of gourmet creations and avant-garde flavors, these nine restaurants have mastered the art of creating the quintessential burger experience.

From sizzling patties nestled between pillowy buns to the symphony of aromas created via painstaking ingredient selection, each mouthful is a testament to culinary skill and commitment to the ancient burger tradition. Join us on a tour through Portland’s burger scene to discover the city’s best traditional burgers, where nostalgia meets culinary delight in every savory bite.

Prepare to bask in juicy perfection as we explore the eternal appeal of Portland’s culinary staples.

1. Bless Your Heart Burgers!

This famous establishment’s specialty burger honors its creator, John Gorham. Duke’s mayo and Martin’s potato rolls enhance the perfectly cooked, juicy patties, making it a popular favorite.

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2. Bottle Rocket

Bottle Rocket, located within Cartopia, offers a lively ambiance in addition to its hamburgers. Their traditional burger features a flawlessly browned patties, caramelized onions, and a spicy mayo sauce that packs a taste punch.

3. Burger Stevens

This cart-turned-cult favorite has had some ups and downs. While some inconsistency has been noted, their nearly-perfect smash burgers with paprika-infused sauce have the potential to be genuinely amazing.

4. Clyde’s Prime Ribs

Aside from their well-known prime rib, Clyde’s also serves a delicious “Lounge Burger.” This simple dish combines tenderloin and brisket into a juicy patty, making it a delightful option.

5. Derby Kenton

Judith Stokes, the driving force behind Derby Kenton, has uncovered the secret to Portland’s best-kept smashed burger. Melty cheese, crunchy lettuce, and zesty mustard aioli take this burger to the top of the list.

6. Expat

This bar’s “American Standard” burger is far from ordinary. There are no frills, simply a properly cooked patties snuggled on a soft bun with American cheese, raw onion, and traditional condiments—a must-have for purists.

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7. Farmer and Beast

While they are recognized for their extensive cuisine, the “Beast Burger” is not to be missed. Two crushed patties, melty cheese, and their “really exceptional” sauce combine to create a flavor reminiscent of a backyard barbecue, perfectly encapsulating the essence of a classic burger.

8. Fuller’s Burger Shack

Fuller’s, an iconic Portland business, provides a classic cheeseburger experience. Their rendition features juicy char, crisp lettuce, and flawlessly melted cheese, maintaining true to its 1947 origins.

9. Grain and Gristle

While inconsistencies have been detected, their burger demonstrates a commitment to quality. Custom-ground beef from Oregon’s Hawley Ranch and precisely toasted buns provide a good foundation, but execution appears to vary.


Portland’s robust burger culture boasts a diverse range of flavors, from Bless Your Heart Burgers!’ flawless patties to Derby Kenton’s top-tier smashed burgers. Each institution adds its own twist to the classic burger, combining tradition with culinary artistry. Whether it’s the vintage charm of Fuller’s Burger Shack or the tasty punch of Bottle Rocket, Portland’s best traditional burgers offer a delicious and savory adventure for all burger lovers.

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