Written by: Reid Gan
Read More: https://medium.com/@reidgan
East Atlanta is a small specific neighborhood and village just south of I20 on the east side. Though it is home to one or two of the following burger joints, I’m referring to this next section as East Atlanta in a more broad “east of Atlanta” capacity. The inclusive area is host to indie shops, tattoo artists, dive bars, and street art, craft beer festivals, parks, and pretty much anything else you and your favorite hipster friend could whittle up out of thin air and a piece of wheat. One of my favorite aspects of East Atlanta is that you can’t possibly sum up the people that make it. It’s like a box of chocolates… in summation… I mean if you were to try to… nevermind; okay right, burgers.
This burger from Ration + Dram takes home the freshest toppings trophy. Crisp leafy romaine, a juicy tomato slice, two cuts of bacon, a peppered egg fried to perfection, and a thin layer of mayo surrounded the single patty. This is the type of yolk that oozed out as you bit through it, creating a neat mess, if you will, and oh, you will. A gentleman sitting next to me took a break from sketching to hold a flashlight over my plate to help me get a good photo.
“That looks amazing — try the chicken and dumplings next time.” — said Gentleman
The iconic Ghetto Burger. Almost everyone I’ve discussed this blog with has made sure to mention Ann’s Snack Bar. Ann, herself, passed away in 2015, but her family has stepped up to the plate to keep this tasty tradition thriving. A classic diner format, the snack bar has a list of rules that appears to have been there since day one. You get the sense that if not followed, you would be “Soup Nazi’d” on out. The Ghetto Burger consists of two hand-packed patties, seasoning, ketchup, mustard, cheese, chili, deep fried bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. Every bite tastes like a backyard barbecue on steroids and lives up to its reputation.
“Good, ain’t it?” — Josephine Culver, Ann’s sister
The Atlanta staple, Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q, calls this a burger, and that’s good enough for me. It’s a brisket sandwich, but I’m counting it until someone stops me. This is THE most flavorful thing on this list. The melted pimento cheese, jalapeño mayo, and the best bacon you’ll ever have make this “burger” really special. I’ll be honest with my advice… have a bed nearby. You’ll want to be horizontal almost immediately after finishing this plate.
“If you don’t get the Fox-a-Roni as a side you’re doing it wrong.” — Friend, and Fox Bros Advocate
The EARL Burger. In all its glory. This 8 ounce beast of pure Black Angus Beef practically changed my mind about burgers. I normally prefer a smashed double stack, but everything about this patty was perfect. The Earl boasts several different interesting burgers on the menu (El Diablo, Three Little Pigs) but if you’re going for the best classic half pound burger with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion and a pickle spear that you’ve ever had… you’re in for a treat.
“How did you get that bright of a picture at the Earl?” — Dive Bar Expert and Friend
I went with Grindhouse Style, which normally comes with lettuce, grilled onions, American cheese, pickles and Grindhouse sauce, but there’s a make-your-own section and plenty of options and styles to choose from. The Grindhouse sauce is their take on 1000 island, but I think it’s better. Peel back the wrapper as you eat if you like your outfit, because the flavor drips off this scrumptious double burger stack.
“Sit at the bar and skip the line, man!” — Bartender
With that, the flavor-packed list of the best burgers of East Atlanta comes to an end. Which one are you trying first?