Vegetarians – you might as well just skip this one. We’re talking meat here. The juiciest, messiest, most mouth-watering, dripping-in-between-your-fingers kind. Served with the crispiest fries, tastiest of tots— and milkshakes frothing with over-the-top gourmet yumminess. Hungry yet? The good news is that Seattle has some pretty amazing burger joints. The even better news is than nearly all of them are super kid-friendly. So let’s do this thing! Grab the fam. It’s time to get your burger on.
You need a wha—? Trust us on this one: just get your ‘lil tushies over to Fremont, grab a few fistfuls of napkins and get in line. While the owners describe Uneeda as a “casual, roadside style burger shack,” we found it to be more upscale than that, teeming with casual hipsters and eclectically clad families. Insider tip: Do bring a sweater or jacket as under cover seats are limited and most dining is done al fresco. Burgers are made with all-natural Painted Hills beef, or for $3 – 4 extra you can sub out grass-fed Kobe beef that hails from Whidbey Island. Our favorites include the #5 Sonora (roasted chili relish, jack cheese, cilantro) and the #8 Mushroom (Crimini mushrooms, porcini & black truffle salt, shallots & Gruyere cheese) both for $8. They don’t have a kids menu, but Uneeda’s classic no-frills burger is just $4, and kiddos can also order soup, hot dogs or a grilled cheese for $3.50 – $4. The fries we had were among the best, ever (skinny cut or waffle style, both for $2.50, or Poutine, hello! for $6). And make sure everyone saves room for dessert: All shakes are hand dipped and made with Snoqualmie Gourmet Ice Cream in flavors like salted caramel, black and blueberry and apple pie ($5). A great selection of microbrews, artisan sodas and wines are also on tap.
4302 Fremont Avenue North, Seattle, Wa (Fremont)
With over 5,000 square feet of dining space, Lunchbox is definitely a sit-down-and-enjoy your-meal-and-gaze-lovingly-at-the-retro-chic-décor kind of place. Here, burgers have become both an art form and a science. Our favorites include the world-famous “Dork Burger,” fashioned with a house blended duck & pork patty, Monterey jack cheese, lunchbox onions, and garlic mayo for $14.99 and “The Burger of the Gods™, with bleu cheese crumbles, candied balsamic onions and super gorgonzola spread for $12.99. Weekly “experiments” on the menu add to the fun and there are at least a dozen homemade sauces, toppings and sides to keep everyone sauced and satisfied. Speaking of—Lunchbox is home to a plethora of boozie shakes and retro-inspired cocktails, such as “The Drunken Elvis” (vanilla ice cream, graham cracker, peanut butter, banana, w/ a test tube spike of Malibu Banana, Absolut Vanilla and Baileys for $10) and “Too Skool 4 Kool” (vodka, rum, gin, Triple Sec, Kool Aid & Sour for $6). Kids menu items include cheeseburgers, grilled cheese, and corndogs, each for $4.99. Insider tip: due to the downtown locations of both spots, it’s no surprise that Lunchbox is popular with the business and happy hour crowd. For the most family-friendly experience, go after 6 p.m. on weeknights or anytime during the weekends.
1253 Thomas St, Seattle, Wa (South Lake Union)
989 112th Ave NE, Bellevue, Wa (Downtown Bellevue)
It’s almost as if All-American Fast Food Dining and Sustainably, Humanely-Raised Grass-Fed Beef met, had a baby, and named her Blue Moon. She’s a crowd pleaser to be sure, and we especially like that she’s creative and customizable. Choose your bun (whole wheat, ciabatta, gluten free), change up your meat (chicken breast, turkey patty, salmon patty, veggie patty, spicy black bean patty) and the result is a one-of-a-kind burger of your very own creation. For this reason, Blue Moon is a perfect spot for fussy eaters or particularly anyone with food sensitivity issues. They take their gluten-free options seriously and even have a dedicated fryer so that there’s no tot, fries or onion ring cross contamination. Adult-size burgers start at $5.79 and if you find the “build your own” process intimidating, you can always chow down on one of their signature burgers, like “The Blue Hawaiian” for $6.99. Kids can enjoy a Baby Blue Burger for $3.49, grilled cheese for $2.29 or a PB & J for $1.99. Don’t forget deluxe shakes and/or beer and wine to top things off.
920 Republican Street, Seattle, Wa (South Lake Union)
703 North 34th Street, Seattle, Wa (Fremont)
523 Broadway East, Seattle, Wa (Capitol Hill)
Red Mill Burgers
One Seattle dad we know said “I would also cross a river of broken glass with no shoes on for a cheeseburger with bacon from Red Mill.” And while we don’t know if we’d go quite that far… Red Mill does hit the spot, especially compared to other “fast” burgers around town. The fresh and plentiful toppings more than make up for the fact that the burger patties are a little on the thin side, and the fries and shakes (boysenberry, caramel, coffee, peach, creamsicle – all $3.39) are super yum. Plus, Red Mill has consistently won the Seattle Weekly “Best Burger Award” (er, make that the “Best Place to Get Fatter” award). Just beware that lines, especially in spring and summer, can be long and indoor seating is limited.
312 North 67th Street, Seattle, Wa (Phinney Ridge)
1613 W Dravus Street, Seattle, Wa (Interbay)
What can we say, it’s an institution. Since 1952 Burgermaster has been serving up a classic drive-in (that’s drive in, not drive thru) experience. And what kind of parent would you be if you didn’t let your kids enjoy a fine meal in the car? On any given weekend at the University location (the only B-master that isn’t a drive-in) you’ll find kids in cleats and grandparents with sensible purses all mingling together in this jovial, family-friendly atmosphere. Our favorites include the classic Burgermaster (patty, relish, American cheese, lettuce and tomato for $4.69) and the Kiddie Combo (Kiddie Burger, fries, drink and small treat for $4.39). All their beef is pasture raised and hormone and antibiotic free, and the buns are always on the lip-smacking side of buttery. The staff is very clear about Burgermaster not being “fast” food, so be prepared to savor the experience. In your car.
9820 Aurora Avenue North (Aurora)
10606 NE Northup Way (Bellevue/Kirkland)
18626 Bothell Everett Hwy (Mill Creek)
3040 NE 45th Street, Seattle, Wa (University Village/Sand Point)
We saved the best for last. No, really. Nothing quite compares to the classy, steak house atmosphere of Jak’s, and as we wrote in our fine dining with kids guide, we think they’ve got the best burger in town. The Jak’s Burger™ is a beautiful mound of ½ pound of Nebraska ground beef, served on a toasted bun with roasted red pepper mayo, lettuce, tomato and onion for $11.95. It comes with fries but we say spend the extra dollar or two and get the Caesar salad instead. Order it medium or medium-rare and keep the steak knife handy (but not too handy – beware of small hands!). You’ll also need to get there early ‘cuz Jak’s doesn’t take reservations.
3701 NE 45th Street, Seattle, Wa (Laurelhurst)
14 Front Street North, Issaquah, Wa (Issaquah)
4548 California Avenue Southwest, Seattle, Wa (West Seattle)
Looking for a meat-less option for your burger fix? Check out these juicy and delicious burgers that hold that beef.
What are your favorite burger spots in and around Seattle?