10 of the Valley’s Best Under-the-Radar Burger Spots

10 of the Valley’s Best Under-the-Radar Burger Spots

By Rebecca L. Rhoades

December 5, 2022

These restaurants serve some of the best burgers in the Valley that you may not know about

The burger is one of the most popular foods in the United States. In fact, each American on average eats about 60 burgers per year.

From fast-food chain offerings to gourmet creations topped with peanut butter or lobster, the handheld phenomenon—which was invented in Hamburg, Germany, but found its way into the popular American imagination during the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair—has become synonymous with American cuisine.

When it comes to finding a great burger in Greater Phoenix, the options are seemingly endless. Some restaurants have earned cult followings for their burgers, frequently topping “Best Of” lists.

But there’s also a bounty of eateries—from hidden neighborhood haunts to Valley newcomers to those with diverse menus—that serve fresh, flavorful, high-quality burgers. Maybe one of these 10 will become your next favorite burger spot.  

1. Brightside Burgers

685 S. Gilbert Road, Gilbert 

10 of the Valley’s Best Under-the-Radar Burger Spots
Photo courtesy Brightside Burgers

When Cider Corps opened in Mesa, it served as something of an incubator, bringing attention to pop-up eateries like Myke’s Pizza. Now, the cidery is doing the same for chef Adam Allison’s newest concept in Gilbert: a food truck that serves locally sourced scratch-made burgers.

Favorites include the titular Brightside Burger, an upscale take on a traditional cheeseburger with two Angus patties and Brightside’s signature sauce, as well as the French Onion Burger, which features a Parmesan crisp tucked between two Angus patties, Gruyère cheese, caramelized onion, and truffle aioli. It’s served with a French onion dipping broth. Taproom customers can wash them down with a fruit-filled cider. 

2. Chelsea’s Kitchen

5040 N. 40th Street, Phoenix


10 of the Valley’s Best Under-the-Radar Burger Spots
Photo courtesy Chelsea’s Kitchen

This popular neighborhood-casual restaurant has been serving up its seasonal fare made with locally sourced farm-fresh ingredients since 2005.

With three burger options on the menu, there’s something for everyone. You can’t go wrong with the traditional Chelsea’s Cheeseburger, served on a bun or lettuce leaf, while vegans will enjoy the Vegetarian Black Bean Burger, with creamy nut cheese. For some Southwestern inspiration, don’t miss the Green Chile Burger; house-made Angus beef patties are topped with freshly roasted green chiles and plenty of melted Tillamook cheddar.  

3. Eat Up Drive In

4001 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix


10 of the Valley’s Best Under-the-Radar Burger Spots
Photo courtesy Eat Up Drive In

Situated on a busy corner of Indian School Road surrounded by local and chain restaurants, this drive-thru concept offers a homestyle alternative to run-of-the-mill fast food.

The Wood Grilled Cheeseburger with classic toppings and signature “Awesome Sauce” is a customer favorite. For an extra ooey-gooey cheesy meal, pair your burger with a side of mac ‘n’ cheese or potato gratin. 

4. Hatch-It: Green Chile Burgers & Tacos

5345 N. 7th Avenue, Phoenix


10 of the Valley’s Best Under-the-Radar Burger Spots
Photo by Rebecca L. Rhoades

The green chile cheeseburger may have been invented in New Mexico, but this blink-and-you’ll-miss-it eatery on a busy corner of North 7th and Missouri avenues brings the distinctive fiery Santa Fe flavor to Phoenix.

Since it opened in 2019, it has garnered a loyal following of capsaicinophiles who line up for grilled patties topped with the celebrated peppers. Choose the signature Green Chile Santa Fe or try the Red Chile Chimayo; both are loaded with spicy chiles and guacamole.

If you crave more heat, all you have to do is ask. The eatery keeps a stock of hot Hatch peppers on-hand for those who relish the burn. 

5. Liberty Market

230 N. Gilbert Road, Gilbert


10 of the Valley’s Best Under-the-Radar Burger Spots
Photo by Timothy Fox Photography | Courtesy of Liberty Market

This longtime Gilbert favorite—co-owned by restaurateur Joe Johnston—was recently renovated, but the menu of hearty American fare remains.

Make sure to bring your appetite, because chef David Traina doesn’t skimp on his dishes. The Tower Burger, served on a grilled Kona bun from Noble Bread with tomato, red onion, iceberg lettuce, pickles, and chipotle aioli, has been a menu mainstay for years. Get it with a half-pound ground-chuck patty or sub for a plant-based Beyond Burger for $3 more. 

6. Miracle Mile

4433 N. 16th Street, Phoenix


10 of the Valley’s Best Under-the-Radar Burger Spots
Photo courtesy Miracle Mile

For more than 70 years, this New York-style delicatessen has been dishing out delicious East Coast delicacies, including bagels with lox, brisket by the pound, Hebrew National all-beef hot dogs, and mile-high pastrami and corned beef sandwiches served with a side of potato pancakes and a kosher dill pickle.

The chefs here put the same amount of passion into their ground beef as they do their brined meats, resulting in a selection of savory, made-to-order hamburgers. The signature Mile Burger is the best of both worlds: a one-third-pound beef patty and the deli’s mouthwatering pastrami. One bite and you’ll “fugheddaboud” all the rest. 

7. Patent 139 Brewing Co. 

1949 W. Ray Road, Chandler


10 of the Valley’s Best Under-the-Radar Burger Spots
Photo courtesy Patent 139 Brewing Co.

Opened in January 2022, this brewpub takes its name from U.S. Patent 139, which was granted to owner Tim Hass’s great-grandfather in 1935. Rudolph Gustav Hass patented a special type of avocado called Black Gold. Today, the black fruit is known as the Hass avocado.

Local brews and upscale canteen food are on the menu here, including three smashburgers. The Origin Burger showcases the Hass avocado, but we suggest trying the Figgy Piggy Burger, which is topped with fig and balsamic jam, bacon, fried goat cheese, arugula, onion, and garlic aioli. 

8. Rusconi’s American Kitchen

10637 N. Tatum Boulevard, Phoenix


10 of the Valley’s Best Under-the-Radar Burger Spots
Photo by David Blakeman | Courtesy of Rusconis

Wedged between a fast-food Chinese chain and a breakfast eatery, this family-friendly restaurant at the corner of North Tatum and East Shea boulevards may appear at first glance like just another strip-mall diner.

But the flame in its logo hints at something special inside: contemporary regional dishes infused with aromatic wood elements. Hidden among a menu filled with wood-grilled entrees is the mouthwatering Harris Ranch Kitchen Burger. Goat cheese, balsamic onions, and arugula give a refined flavor boost to this half-pound Angus patty.   

9. Southern Rail

300 W. Camelback Road, Phoenix


10 of the Valley’s Best Under-the-Radar Burger Spots
Photo courtesy Southern Rail

Chef Justin Beckett is known for his soulful melding of fine dining and Southern cuisine.

While the menu features obvious Mason-Dixon delights such as fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese, collard greens, and po’ boys, the cheeseburger delivers familiar flavors with a down-home twist. Two house-made 4-ounce patties, formed daily by hand, are complemented by house-made pickles and house-made brioche rolls. Add a Cajun kick with a side of traditional Louisiana gumbo. 

10. Tarbell’s Wine Bar

3209 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix


10 of the Valley’s Best Under-the-Radar Burger Spots

At this intimate eatery inside Tarbell’s Wine Shop, you’ll find not only some of the best bottles of red and white but also a first-rate hamburger made from locally sourced ingredients. The American Classic Burger is just that: a classic. Topped with American cheese, tomato, lettuce, and onion, it is served with Chef Mark Tarbell’s homemade secret sauce on a challah bun by Noble Bread. Pair it with your choice of thick-cut or thin fries, crispy chickpeas, or chicharrones. 

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