10 Burgers That Get Seriously Sauced

These 10 spots across the country prove that the right sauce can separate a great burger from a mind-blowing burger.

Photo By: Lauren di Matteo c/o Belcampo Meat Co. ©2015, Lauren di Matteo. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Bradley Hawks

Photo By: Samantha Egelhoff

Photo By: Marla Aufmuth ©Marla Aufmuth

Photo By: Townsman

Putting the Special in the Sauce

Burgers are beautiful, right? Whether big and juicy or smashed down and crisped on the edges, they can do no wrong. But sometimes a burger goes from good to great thanks to a slather of special sauce. Whether the sauce is mixed with hot peppers, pickles or kimchi, these 10 spots across the country are paying as much attention to it as the patty.

Chicago: Jake Melnick's Corner Tap

Chef Nick Santangelo at Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap in Chicago uses his special sauce on both the housemade burger and the steak sandwich. It’s a fearless combination of ketchup, balsamic, garlic, Dijon, raisins, orange juice and Worcestershire. Thing is, Santangelo also offers a Bloody Mary Ketchup, made with ketchup, Worcestershire, celery salt, lemon juice, cracked pepper and horseradish. Good luck deciding.

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Queens, NY: Astor Bake Shop

Chef George McKirdy serves one of the best burgers in New York City at Astor Bake Shop, his sweet corner restaurant in Astoria. Made from a custom Pat LaFrieda blend, his juicy burger is topped with lettuce, tomatoes, the cheese of your choice, pickles and a very special sauce, which is made from dried ancho, chipotle and piquillo peppers, fresh garlic, onions and tomato, all folded into a base mayonnaise that's seasoned with salt and pepper — outstanding.

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Madison, Wis.: Graze

At James Beard Award-winner Tory Miller's farm-to-table gastropub, Graze, the Graze Burger is made from fresh ground bacon, sirloin, rib eye and short ribs. As though it needed any fanfare, it's served on a sesame seed-topped brioche bun made with SarVecchio cheese capped off with caramelized onions and finished with two special sauces: a Worcestershire-Cabernet jus and a Swiss Emmental compound butter that melts from the heat of the burger.

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Cleveland: B Spot

Michael Symon's YO! Burger at B Spot is piled high with fried salami, capicola, hot peppers and provolone cheese. To gild the lily, Michael serves it up with a good dose of ShaSha Sauce, a vibrant combination of hot banana peppers, mustard, garlic, white wine vinegar and sugar. 

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Marin, Calif.: Belcampo Meat Company

The two-handed Belcampo Cheeseburger is made with a 1/3 pound of premium Belcampo beef, topped with butter lettuce, caramelized onions, Grafton cheddar and their house sauce (a combination of homemade ketchup and house aioli), and served on a brioche bun. Get it at any of Belcampo's locations — including Downtown LA, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, San Francisco and Marin County. 

More About: Belcampo Meat Company

Beverly Hills, Calif.: Wally's

"What is the most-important thing in a burger is the first bite," says Chef David Feau of Wally's in Beverly Hills. "You should taste a bit of everything." He tops his burger, a Wagyu beef patty, with sliced heirloom tomato, old Amsterdam cheese (an aged Gouda) and fresh market greens. The Wally's sauce is a "sauce Choron", which is a classic French cuisine Bearnaise sauce with tomato and pickled shallot. It's the perfect bite.

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Atlanta: The Optimist

At Ford Fry's fishing camp-inspired restaurant, The Optimist, The Opti Burger is made with house-ground beef and cooked on the plancha so the edges get nice and crispy. The burger is topped with white American cheese, caramelized onions, dill pickles and Comeback Sauce — a Creole remoulade with celery, horseradish, mayo and Creole mustard. 

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Nashville: Little Octopus

At Nashville's Little Octopus, Executive Chef Daniel Herget tops off his grass-fed burger with Manchego cheese, tomato and Bibb lettuce before slathering on a fiery sauce that includes piquillo peppers, sambal, garlic and lime juice. It's too good.

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Philadelphia: The Olde Bar

At The Olde Bar, located in the historic Bookbinder's space in the Old City, Chef Jose Garces' burger is made of house-ground, grass-fed beef and served on a sesame roll with a special sauce made from a bold combination of Welsh rarebit and oyster stout onion jam: heavily caramelized Vidalia onion, Dock Street Oyster Stout, a pinch of sugar, roasted garlic, fresh thyme and Worcestershire sauce. 

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Boston: Townsman

Chef and owner Matt Jennings' Townsman Burger is an old-school-inspired burger. It's an 8-ounce chuck-and-neck-blend patty served on a housemade potato roll with shredded iceberg lettuce, housemade American cheese and a gribiche-inspired Combat Sauce, which is in reference to a historical area in downtown Boston that used to be called "The Combat Zone" and is just down the street from the restaurant. This feisty and fabulous sauce is made from Kewpie mayonnaise, minced cornichons, red onion and locally made gochujang.

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