Sure, we all love Allen Burger Venture and Grover’s. These places are indisputable hamburger giants in the pantheon of great Western New York burger joints. But what about the lesser-known places? Well, we also have plenty of those. Places to snag a stellar rendition of that iconic American comfort food abound, and it’s not hard to see why.
Who doesn’t love a juicy burger set between the perfect bun? One of the best things about a burger, besides the taste, is that it is infinitely customizable. You can keep it simple with just the basics—cheese, lettuce, pickle—or snaz it up with any sweet or savory topping that appeals to your burger sensibilities.
Below are a handful of places to explore some excellent burgers. Many include non-traditional ingredients or creative structures (aka stuffed burgers), but there is nothing wrong with to go-to classic burger done exceptionally well. It is, after all, an art as much as a science.
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4723 Transit Road, Depew / Website
Visit the Transit Music Lounge for some truly fantastic burger options. These include “The Heater” featuring pepper jack cheese, jalapenos, cajun onions and a hot siracha aioli sauce; the “Bacon Blue Burger” with creamy blue cheese, crumbly blue cheese and bacon; “Pizza Burger” smothered in marinara and topped with provolone cheese and pepperoni; and the “Portobello Mushroom Burger” featuring portobello mushrooms and swiss cheese. They also feature a build-your-own-burger where you can craft the burger of your beefy dreams.
2. Union Pub
This cozy, historic pub dates back to 1864, and it serves up some pretty awesome burgers. The half-pound burgers are always made from fresh ground beef, served on a toasted Costanzo roll and served with hand-cut fries.
“The Golden Standard” is topped with bacon, mayo, a fried egg, crispy cheddar cheese, and house-made Carolina relish. The “Transit Pub Burger” is stuffed with bacon and topped with provolone cheese, battered onion rings, a fried egg, and transit sauce. The “Buffalo Bleu Burger” comes topped with hot sauces, fries, crumbled, and creamy bleu cheese. The “Jalapeno Popper Burger” features cream cheese, jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, bacon, and jalapeño jelly. There is also a build-your-own burger option.
3480 Main St., Buffalo / 716-833-5000
This burger joint has made its name by making waves of its juicy, perfectly-cooked burgers. The charcoal cooked burgers are made from grass-fed freshly ground beef that are made with a sirloin blend. They are served on a brioche bun.
They feature 13 different kinds of burgers. Some standouts include the “Burger Authority” which comes topped with caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, pepper jack and romaine cheese, and the “New York Times”, a double beef patty with cheddar and cherrywood smoked beef bacon.
4. Rock Burger
- Niagara Falls – 8529 Niagara Falls Blvd., Niagara Falls
- Cheektowaga – 2810 Union Rd, Cheektowaga, NY 14227
- Tonawanda – 1750 Niagara Falls Boulevard, Tonawanda, NY 14150
716-299-0395 / Website
This burger joint features fantastic-tasting burgers with a creative twist. Most notably, they serve up “stuffed” burgers, along with “un-stuffed” burgers that come in sizes regular, which is one burger, “Rock Monster”, which is three, and “Rock Mammoth”, which is six. The stuffed burgers are a half pound patty, served with chips.
There are 11 different kinds of stuffed burgers, with all of them holding Niagara Falls-themed names, such as “The Daredevil,” “The Goat Island”, and “Barrel Jumper.” “The Tight Rope Walker” is stuffed with double bacon and double cheddar topped with more bacon and cheddar as well as a fried egg. “The Fried Cheesy Tour Guide” is stuffed with mozzarella and banana peppers topped with red sauce and mozzarella. Hungry yet?
5. Stack Burger
Stack Burger offers unique takes on the traditional burger, and we’re 100 percent here for it. Take the “X-Treme Grilled Cheese” for example, a fusion between the best of a cheeseburger and a grilled cheese, or the “French Onion Burger” featuring stewed French onions, charred cheese, and French onion spread. Other intriguing options include the “Hawaiian” with thick cut bacon, grilled pineapple, jalapeños, cheese, and stack sauce, and the “Taco Burger” with taco-seasoned burger meat, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, and tortilla chips.
Did one of these places close? Send us a note!
This post was originally published in 2019 and has been updated.