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The ultimate guide to the best burgers in Dayton

Sure, you can fire up your grill this Memorial Day weekend. But before you do, let some of Dayton’s finest burgers inspire you.

The Gem City is home to some incredible burgers, each as distinct as the place that crafts it.

>> Best of Dayton 2017 Winners: Food & Dining

Below are just a few of our favorite Dayton burgers. Yours not on the list? Tell us all about it at contact@dayton.com.

Tank’s Bar & Grill, 2033 Wayne Ave., Dayton, 937-252-2249

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A cheeseburger and hand cut fries at Tank's. Photo: Tank's Facebook page. (HANDOUT)

Why? Juicy, thick and grilled just right, Tank’s burgers can be served topped with nothing or a laundry list of items at no additional cost. Banana peppers and horseradish, anyone?
Menu includes: Cheeseburger, $6.99; Hamburger, $6.79; Tankburger (half-pounder), $7.99 (double the patty for $5)

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Voltzy’s Rootbeer Stand, 4668 Springboro Pike, Moraine, 937-299-1440

The Yuna Lee burger, Fried Mac & Cheese and Orange Creme Float at Voltzy’s Root Beer Stand in Moraine.

Why? What Voltzy’s lacks in grandeur it makes up in great-tasting sliders and character – plenty of it. Burgers are made to order.
Menu includes: About a dozen ways to order a burger, starting with a basic $1.30 hamburger and $1.40 cheeseburger. Double patty both of those for $2.25 and $2.45.

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The Oakwood Club, 2414 Far Hills Ave., Oakwood (937)-293-6973

The Oakwood Club won the “Best Fine Dining” category for Best of Dayton 2012. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF

Why? Oakwood Club steaks are an area favorite, but some of the tastiest beef is used to make the burgers.
Menu includes: Oakwood Club Steak Burger, $8.95; Oakwood Club Roquefort Steak Burger, $9.50 (cheese is 25 cents more).

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EO Burgers, 4482 Glengarry Drive, The Greene, Beavercreek, 937-431-1242

(Lisa Powell)/EO Burgers has opened at The Greene in Beavercreek. Pictured is the EO classic cheeseburger with parmesan fries. (Lisa Powell)

Why? The people love EO. The EO stands for EXTRAORDINARY. This fast-casual restaurant offers traditional burgers and a series of premium burgers and sliders.
Menu includes: EO Classic Burger, $6.99; EO Classic Cheeseburger and Bourbon Street Burger, $7.99 each; Kobe Burger, $11.99 and the Santa Barbara (guacamole, jalapeno, Monterey Jack cheese with a special sauce), $9.99.

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Coco’s Bistro, 250 Warren St., Dayton, 937-228-2626

Bacon, sweet caramelized onions and Boursin cheese help set the Bistro Burger apart. (Staff photo by (Amelia Robinson)) (Amelia Robinson)

Why? Start with the creamy Boursin cheese, thick Applewood smoked bacon and sweet caramelized onions and go from there. The Bistro Burger is always on the lunch menu, but not available for dinner.
Menu includes: Bistro Burger with side, $16.

 

Pine Club, 1926 Brown St., Dayton, 937-228-5371

Pine Club owner David Hulme says business has flourished during the second half of 2015, thanks at least in part to The Food Network declaring the Dayton restaurant one of the "Top 5 Steakhouses" in the country in July. TY GREENLEES/STAFF (Ty Greenlees)

Why? The Pine Club may be famous for its steak. But its burger is also pretty legit. Beef and lamb are ground in-house before being cooked to perfection.
Menu includes: Pine Club Hamburger Platter with onion rings or fries, $12.75; Pine Club Cheeseburger Platter with onion rings or fries, $12.95.

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K’s Hamburger Shop, 117 E. Main St., Troy, 937-339-3902

Marcia Ryan, owner of K's hamburger shop in Troy, discusses an order with Bob Skoog during the 70th anniversary celebration of the downtown eatery. PHOTO BY (JAN UNDERWOOD) (JAN UNDERWOOD)

Why? Low frill, all-American burger in a retro burger shop, with beef ground in-house. What more do you need? Well, besides a delicious milkshake ...
Menu includes: Cheeseburger, $2.90; Hamburger, $2.70.

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Slyder’s Tavern, 836 Watervliet Ave., Dayton, 937-258-1222

Slyder's Swiss bacon cheeseburger with fries. (Photo by (Amelia Robinson)) (Amelia Robinson)

Why: Winner of our 2017 Best of Dayton poll, the juicy meat is packed with flavor. This restaurant in Dayton’s Belmont neighborhood consistently appears on — often topping — local best burgers list.

Menu includes: Hamburger with chips, $6.05 (7 oz.) and $6.75 (10 oz.); Cheeseburger with chips, $6.45 (7 oz.) and $7.15 (10 oz.).

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Watermark, 20 S. 1st St., Miamisburg, 937-802-0891

(Watermark Restaurant Facebook)

Why: Another top choice on our 2017 reader’s choice poll, Watermark’s signature Weare-Burger is an all-prime grilled burger, topped with house-made bacon jam, dill pickles, pickled red onion, choice of blue cheese or Swiss, on a brioche bun. The burger may be ordered “pink” or “not pink.”

Menu includes: The Weare-Burger served with dressed greens or fries, $14.95

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Nick’s Restaurant, 1443 N. Detroit St., Xenia, 937-372-3202

The Big Nick burger is a half pound of juicy Angus beef. (Jim Ingram)

Why: The bar and eatery has been a staple of its community since it opened in 1949 under then owner and namesake Nick Malavazos, and reopened in 2009. The signature burger, the Big Nick, is king of them all. It’s a half pound of juicy Angus beef with your choice of trimmings and the restaurant’s special sauce. It’s a mountain of meat, so come starving or come with friends to help you finish it.

Menu includes: Big Nick with choice of: lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, Nick’s special sauce & add 50¢ for cheese and $1 for bacon. $8.99

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Gameday Grille and Patio, 7576 State Route 48, Waynesville, 937-886-3572

The Urban Meyer Burger served at Gameday Grille and Patio in Waynesville is patterned after the personality of the Ohio State coach himself. (Jim Ingram)

Why: The OSU-graduate owners present their tribute to the school’s superstar football coach with the Urban Meyer Burger.  It’s a fresh half-pound Angus patty topped with a butterflied quarter-pound Angus beef hot dog, with a sweet and tangy wing sauce while pepper jack cheese tried to hold it all together.

Menu includes: Urban Meyer Burger (half-pound patty topped with a grilled all-beef Hot Dog, Pepper jack Cheese and signature Sweet Heat Sauce) for $12.25 and the Who Dey Burger (a half-pound burger topped with an Onion Rings, Sautéed Mushroom and Jalapeno, Chili, Bacon, Swiss and American cheeses and signature BBQ Sauce) for $12.25

>> Why you’ll want to finish this burger, but shouldn’t

Benjamin’s The Burger Master100 N. Main St., Dayton, 937-223-8702

Burger with a side of orka at Benjamin’s The Burger Master. (Staff photo by Amelia Robinson)

Why: Slider-style burgers with names like Poor Richard’s Burger and the Big Ben to pay homage to the restaurant’s namesake, Benjamin Franklin.

Menu includes: full-size, made-to-order burgers range from the $2.79 hamburger ($3.79 double) to the $3.79 bacon cheddar burger to the $3.79 mushroom swiss burger.  

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Blind Bob's, 430 E. Fifth St., Dayton, 937-938-6405

The Island Delight burger from Blind Bob’s is a half-pound patty, stuffed with sweet pineapple and zippy pepper-jack cheese, with a teriyaki glaze, more cheese and served with a tangy wasabi-mayonnaise. (Contributed photo by Alexis Larsen)

Why: You will find robust stuffed burgers, including the Island Delight burger ($10) — a half-pound patty, stuffed with sweet pineapple and zippy pepper-jack cheese, covered in a teriyaki glaze with a tangy wasabi-mayonnaise — and the Italian Burger ($10) — a half-pound patty, stuffed with provolone cheese and cooked basil and green peppers, topped with marinara and a mound of caramelized onions. 

Menu includes: a vegetarian friendly Garden Burger ($8), a quarter pound “Little Lisa’s Burger” ($8) for those looking for something a little more petite. Add cheese, veggies, bacon, seasonings and extra goodies for 50 cents to $2. Don’t forget the sauce for an extra 50 cents.

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Smokin’ BBQ, 200 E. Fifth St., Dayton, 937-586-9790

Smokin BBQ pulled pork bacon cheeseburger via Facebook

Why: This place is known for its barbecue, but one of the best things on the menu is the burger. This burger will literally melt in your mouth. No chewing required.

Menu includes: a full half-pound patty that’s been smoked for more than 2 hours in beef broth for $5. You can add cheese or a tomato for 50 cents each or bacon for $1.50.

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Sam and Ethel’s, 120 E. Main St., Tipp City, 937-667-0113

Derek Long serves up meals at Sam & Ethel’s In Tipp City, while his wife, Heather (background), works the grill. Contributed photo by Mickey Zezzo

Why: Think homemade. The “S&E Burger” includes two quarter-pound patties, a “special S&E sauce,” onion straws and the fixings on a grilled double-decker bun. 

Menu includes: The burger is $8.49. You can add cheese for 50 cents or bacon for 99 cents.

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The Hamburger Wagon, 12 E. Central Ave., Miamisburg, 937-847-2442

Miamisburg's Hamburger Wagon is a perennial favorite -- and despite the name, this wagon stays put so you always know where to find it. (Lauren Rinehart for Dayton.com)

Why: The Hamburger Wagon has served the Dayton area for 100 years and has been ranked as one of the top 150 Hamburger Joints in the U.S. by “Hamburger America”. These burgers are simple, crispy and delicious. No cheese on these burgers. Just pickle, onion, salt and pepper.

Menu includes: Get a single for $1.25 or a double for $2.50. You might also spot the mobile wagon at festivals and fairs this summer.

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White Lotus327 E. Third St., Dayton; (937) 222-7030.

White Lotus ( 327 E. 3rd St., downtown Dayton) The Yummy Burger: To start, White Lotus is an incredible spot. While I don’t know the specific history of this awesome food shack, you just have to walk in the front door to know that it’s storied. Behind a food counter out of the '70s and a row of bar stools stands a lovely yet intense proprietor. I have never seen her not wearing her signature large sunglasses inside while she cooks each dish to order. Hosting a menu that is a mix of Thai and American cuisine, I rarely get beyond the Yummy Burger, which used to be the name of the restaurant. This burger is a pretty standard preparation, sesame seed bun, half-pound ground beef patty, lettuce, tomato, mayo and American cheese. I’ll even note that I once asked to get my burger mid rare, but when I asked the lady, she was very stern and unwavering in her response: “no.” So, I had it her way and honestly I cannot tell you what she did to make this “The Burger.” I think she may slow cook it in melted butter. I have trained as a professional burgernaught, tasting many a cheeseburger and somehow this one has stuck with me. Trust the lady, she knows what she’s doing. Also, their Thai food ain’t bad either. (Contributed by Brian Johnson, marketing consultant and co-owner of Bad Dog Nice Taco)

Why: The White Lotus has an eclectic menu that includes Thai cuisine and yummy burgers. We recommend the Yummy Burger, hand-crafted with care just like mom used to make you at home. A half-pound hand-formed patty cooked to perfection.

Menu includes: The Yummy Burger is $4.95 and add cheese for 25 cents. You can also opt for the Yummy Bacon Burger ($8.20) or the Yummy Extreme Double Burger ($9.20).

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Note: prices are subject to change.

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