On hot days like today, BBQ and picnic favorites like burgers are always the perfect meal to end the day. But when the weather is this warm, slaving over a hot grill to cook them is not ideal. Especially since many city-dwellers do not have the luxury of a yard to grill in.

There are plenty of local Boston favorites for people with a craving for a classic juicy burger and a side of fries, but I am always intrigued when a restaurant goes beyond the norm. Let me point you to a few restaurants in the area that are stepping up to the challenge, creating standout burgers with plenty of toppings. Check out my list of 10 places to get unique, delicious burgers in Boston:

1. Neptune Oyster
63 Salem Street, Boston, MA, (617) 742-3474
Burger highlights: The Neptune Burger includes a cheddar cheeseburger with fried oysters, garlic mayo, and relish, for $14.

2. Kingston Station
25 Kingston St., Boston, MA (617) 482-6282
Burger highlights: They have a veggie burger, tuna burger, and a regular cheeseburger, but the standout option is their Station Burger, served with a sunny side up egg, bacon, and gruyere cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, house cut fries and a pickle for $15.

3. The Publick House Beer Bar and Kitchen
1648 Beacon St., Brookline, MA (617) 277-2880
Burger highlights: The Publick House burger or the House Made Veggie burger (which is made of shaved carrot, green peas, zucchini, fresh cilantro, and cumin) are cooked to your temperature, served on an artisan bulkie, with plenty of optional accompaniments. Choose a cheese like blue cheese, cheddar, or Swiss, add some crispy bacon, grilled Portobello, saut©ed onions, or avocado, and add on a spread like truffle ketchup, Dogfish Head Indian Brown BBQ sauce, creamy Wostyntje beer mustard, McChouffe roasted garlic-asiago mayo, fresh herb mayo, or chili aioli. Then choose between hand-cut fries, mixed green salad, slaw, smashed potato, roasted fingerling potatoes, grilled asparagus, saut©ed broccoli, or a side Caesar salad to go along with the burger.

4. American Craft
1700 Beacon St., Brookline, MA (617) 487-4290
Burger highlights: Burgers are available in turkey, beef, or veggie, and are served on a hi-rise Challah roll with hand cut fries or mixed greens. What is so great is the possibilities are endless of what combination of burgers to try at each visit, since the menu lists a whopping 27 different things to add! They are owned by Publick House (option 3) and offer a choice of 7 cheeses, spreads like herb mayo, pesto, or even foie gras or truffle butter, and then toppings such as pickled peppers, ham, whipped potatoes, avocados, and sauerkraut.

5. R F O’Sullivans
282 Beacon St., Somerville, MA (617) 491-9638
Burger Highlights: They have a long list of specialty ½ lb sirloin burgers, all served with Sullie’s fries. Burgers available include the Blackjack burger, which has Cajun spices added to it, then is topped with a tangy creole mayo and cheddar cheese for $8.25. The Northender features homemade tomato sauce and melted mozzarella also for $8.25, or for $7.95 the Jalape±o burger comes with cheese, fresh jalapenos, and garlic and their Radish burger is served along with a tangy radish sauce.

6. Eagle’s Deli & Restaurant
1918 Beacon St., Brighton, MA (617) 731-3232
Burger Highlights: Featuring award winning burgers, ranging from a ¼ lb, up to the Challenge burger, which is 5 lbs of beef, 20 slices of cheese, and 20 slices of bacon and get this…it comes with 5lbs of fries!

7. Tavern in the Square
730 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, MA (617) 868.8800
Burger highlights: Rather than piling up ingredients between the burger and bun, they stuff toppings inside their burgers! The Stuffed Smoke House Burger is filled with cheddar cheese and bacon, and then topped with more cheese and BBQ sauce, and their Stuffed Bacon and Blue Burger is stuffed with bacon and blue cheese, and then topped off with additional blue cheese.

8. Not Your Average Joe’s
501 Fellsway, Station Landing at Wellington Circle, Medford, MA (781) 393-9681
Burger Highlights: A standout burger, the Baja Burger, pays tribute to the west coast featuring ground Angus sirloin with guacamole, pepper jack, pickled red onion, lettuce and crispy tortilla strips, served on a seeded brioche roll for $10.99, served with mixed greens or fries.

9. Mr. Bartley’s Gourmet Burgers
1246 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138 (617) 354-6559
Burger Highlights: Voted best burgers by the Boston Globe, there are so many unique combinations of burgers. But to name a few, the Professor Skip Gates is a teriyaki burger with grilled pineapple and their famous onion rings for $9.85, the Stimulus Package burger features BBQ, grilled onions, and bacon, with baked beans for $9.75, and for the vegetarians out there, the Drew Faust is a veggie burger with red peppers, feta, tomato, red onion, garlic mayo, and fries for $9.75.

10. Alta Strada Restaurant
92 Central St., Wellesley, MA (781) 237-6100
Burger highlights: “The Guilty Pleasure” burger is a ground beef patty melt with pancetta, onions, and provolone cheese, served on country bread, with Tuscan fries. It even comes with a Chocolate-Banana-Nutella Milkshake, all for $14. You can view the recipe to make at home if you can’t make the trek outside the city to the restaurant.


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