Best burgers in the nation: Part 1

Firmly established as one of the most American foods on the planet, the cheeseburger is a nearly ubiquitous menu item these days. However, a few places are taking the humdrum burger to soaring new heights. Though in this world of culinarily-inclined burgers, it can be difficult to sift through all the options. In this two-part series we take a look at those chefs that have raised ground beef to an art by compiling the entries of top lists from around the web.  Here is a rundown of where you can get your hands on the top ten contenders:

1. Alden & Harlow
Located at 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge, Mass., Alden & Harlow produces one of the most buzzed​-about beef patties in the United States. Labelled their “secret” burger on their menu, this sandwich includes an 8-ounce patty in between a house-made bun.

2. All Purpose
This classy pub in Milwaukee finds perfection in simplicity. The patty is topped with pickled red onions and a slice of melted gruyere and nothing else. Check out their Walker’s Point location at 814 South 2nd Street.

3. Ray’s to the Third
Don’t let the Spartan interior of this D.C.-area burger joint fool you – Ray’s to Third packs a serious ground beef punch. The Mack is the burger of choice for the dedicated carnivore, pick yours up at 1650 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Va.

4. Zuni Cafe
A San Francisco staple, Zuni cafe is widely accepted by Bay Area residents as the creme de la creme de la burger. What makes this burger unique is the substitution of rosemary foccacia for a bun and gourmet cheese options that include Roth Kase Private Reserve and Mountain Gorgonzola. Stop by for lunch at 1658 Market Street.

5. B&B Burger and Beer
This new burger restaurant from celebrity chef Mario Batali is located inside the Venetian resort in Las Vegas. This being Sin City, the burger selections are expansive and decadent. Adventurous cheese lovers should try the Royale with Cheese, which includes robiola cheese, grilled Treviso, and Parmigiano-mascarpone cream.

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