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What is Atlanta’s Perfect Burger Order?

Nothing beats a burger.

Burger wrapped in red butcher paper and french fries
Diner Burger | The Vortex | Photo Credit: The Vortex

Whether it’s a flimsy fast food pickup or a steakhouse staple, there’s no food that evokes as much comfort in each and every bite. It’s more than a sandwich, more than a beef dish, and more than a grill-out option…it’s a burger!

We care deeply about burgers at Atlanta Eats, but we’ve also found that YOU, our readers and followers, care even more about them. We asked a few basic burger questions on our Instagram and got hundreds of responses. Y’all have strong thoughts about burgers, and we’re here for it!

Like we did last year with wings, we’re diving into all the responses to see what the average hungry ATLien has to say about burgers, fries, and more.

Here’s what we learned…

Best burger spot

Atlanta is fortunate to have no shortage of killer burger spots. The top pick, however, is as unassuming as it gets…so unassuming that it’s literally attached to a Dunwoody gas station. Those who have been enlightened know that we’re of course talking about NFA Burger.

Their patties are smashed to a thin crisp and served on a Martin’s potato roll with pickles, American cheese, mustard, and their proprietary Sassy Sauce. There’s a reason nearly 18% of you picked it as your favorite burger in town.

Other contenders in this category, receiving at least 3% of the votes are: 

Cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, and pickles from Houston's
Cheeseburger | Houston’s

There were countless other burger joints with a few votes, including:

Smashed or thick?

The most popular burger style of the past few decades has been thick and juicy, but there’s a new sheriff in town as of late: the thin and crispy smashburger


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A post shared by Hamp & Harry’s (@hampandharrys)

While both styles are justifiably beloved, the smashed variety ran away with the lead, winning 70% of the votes.

Pie chart showing 70% votes for thin burgers and 30% votes for thick burgers

Best cheese

Putting cheese on your burger is as American as, well…American cheese. Which makes sense because 43% of you picked exactly that as your cheese of choice on a cheeseburger. It was by no means a runaway, however, because 40% of you voted cheddar. No surprises here that two of the most popular cheeses in the country are commonly added to its most popular sandwich.

Cheeseburger | Evergreen Butcher & Baker | Photo Credit: Evergreen Butcher & Baker

A few others receiving votes were swiss, pepper jack, and bleu.


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A post shared by Lucky’s Burger & Brew (@luckys_brookhaven)

Favorite toppings

Meat and cheese only tell part of a burger’s story. Even the simplest ones still have something extra on them. It could be as classic as LTO (lettuce, tomato, onion) or something on the wild side (i.e. grilled pineapple…and people get riled up enough about it on pizza!)

Our readers are a bit more conservative when it comes to their burgers, with almost 40% submitting some variation of LTO. The next highest vote getter is grilled/caramelized/sauteed onions, with over 20% of the votes (I went ahead and combined them because they basically serve the same purpose on a burger). Bacon came in third place with 14%.


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A post shared by Atlanta Eats (@atlantaeatstv)

Other interesting submissions include:

  • Pickles (9%)
  • Jalapenos (4%)
  • Bacon jam (<1%)
  • Avocado (<1%)
  • “The Fat Elvis”: peanut butter, fried plantains, and bacon (literally one vote)

A notable omission that didn’t receive a single vote? Fried eggs. I’ve been harping on this point for a while now, but eggs just don’t belong on burgers! It’s aesthetically pleasing to see the runny yolk, but then what happens? How does eating the rest of that burger go? The egg slides out, the yolk gets on your hand, and the added flavor is negligible at best.

Moving on…

Let’s get saucy

While burgers can be juicy enough on their own, people simply love getting lost in the sauce. When it comes to your favorite burger sauces, you like to keep it simple. About 20% of you said mayo, 20% said ketchup, 13% picked ketchup AND mayo, and 13% picked “burger sauce”, which typically consists primarily of those two ingredients. Mustard had a surprisingly weak showing with only about 6% of the vote (stick to hot dogs, pal!), coming in right behind BBQ sauce with 9%

Double cheeseburger and fries from THE CHASTAIN
Cheeseburger | THE CHASTAIN

Honorable mentions go out to the fancy voter who said “wasabi mayo” and the one who said “all of the sauce”.

Do you want fries with that?

You sure do!


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A post shared by STATS Brewpub (@statsbrewpub)

A whopping 63% of respondents picked fries as their go-to sides when eating a burger. It’s hard to name a more classic combo than a burger and fries. No matter the shape – crinkle, shoestring, steak, waffle, classic – y’all love ordering fries with your burger (and if you’re anything like me, you have to eat at least three at a time).

Coming in a distant second place from the same spud family are tater tots with a little under 18% of the votes. Onion rings clocked in at 10% of the votes, then there’s a major drop in other responses, ranging from fried pickles to chicken nuggets (what is this, a Cookout tray?) to “depends on the place and their fries, tots, or rings” (you must be in politics).

Simply put, fries win big.

What did we learn?

Atlanta’s food scene is exploding. With dozens of impressive new restaurants opening each month and countless chefs vying for their chance to redefine what a dish can be, it sometimes feels like our idea of a proper meal changes by the day.

But we learned here that you can’t beat the classics.

Hundreds of our most food-focused followers voted on their favorite versions of something as classic as a hamburger and the results overwhelmingly favored simplicity.

Cheeseburger from Bocado
Burger Stack | Bocado

When push comes to shove, you want your smash burger with American cheese, mayo and ketchup, and lettuce, tomato, and onion on top.

Your go-to burger spot is a tiny restaurant attached to a Chevron station in Dunwoody, where you can get this exact order.

Alright, that’s enough data. I’m ready for a burger.

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