As fresh as that Farm Bowl may be, there’s nothing just quite as satisfying as a juicy and mouthwatering burger. Featuring many delectable and noteworthy options, the Village has more than a few burgers that any meat-lover must try before graduation. And though definitely not lacking in variety, it’s fair to say that not all of the Village’s burgers are created equal.
So, whether you’re a freshman unacquainted with the Village’s culinary scene, or a seasoned upperclassmen seeking to stimulate your palate to the highest degree, check out The Forum’s guide to the Best Burgers of the Village to navigate Claremont’s most enticing offerings.
Possibly one of the most well-known and esteemed restaurants in the village, Eureka’s quality and consistency is pretty unparalleled. Known for its gourmet burgers, each comes with a side option of fries (regular or sweet potato), a goat cheese crumble salad, or an order of onion rings.
Located inside the Packing House, you can enjoy Eureka’s delicious offerings both inside or outside, featuring a sleek wooden patio.
While the burgers are definitely Eureka’s claim to fame, consider trying some of its other noteworthy menu items including– but not limited to– the cheesy truffle fries, crispy lollipop corn dogs, or crunchy glazed brussels sprouts. Featuring a wide selection of craft brews, Eureka additionally offers many options for beer-connoisseurs and fanatics.
The Burger Rundown:
Sometimes, simplicity is simply the way to go. A personal favorite, Eureka’s original burger consists of a thick patty on a bakery-style bun served with iceberg lettuce, pickles, red onion, tomato, hickory smoked gouda, and a house-made special sauce.
If the classic Eureka is too basic for your increasingly refined palate, the bone marrow porcini butter burger can provide you with the culinary nuance you’re looking for. Topped off with charbroiled onion, mustard aioli, and a roasted Roma tomato, this rich burger will keep you full for more than just a couple of hours.
Special thanks to Alejandra Vazquez-Baur CMC ‘17 for this recommendation.
Shoestring onion rings, thick bacon, rich cheddar, and a tangy beer barbecue sauce make for an interesting blend of textures on Eureka’s signature patty. While bold and flavorful, no one ingredient is too overpowering, creating a nicely balanced combination.
The Back Abbey
The original burger institution of The Village, the Back Abbey’s fame seems to have taken a toll after Eureka’s inauguration in 2011. While it’s a little more low-key, any member of Claremont’s gastronomically-inclined population can confirm that the Back Abbey has its own prestigious selection of enticing burgers.
Including a laid-back, airy patio, this modern gastropub also features a solid array of starters, including pan-seared crab cakes and a hearty charcuterie-cheese platter dubbed “The Ploughman.”
Another must-try item is the fries. Arguably the best in the village, these delicious potatoes are fried in duck fat and then given another soak in canola oil, producing a beautifully crispy and golden exterior. Served with horseradish chive sauce, remoulade and a house-ketchup, the fries can be ordered in both half and full portions (get the full order).
The Back Abbey
A 6 oz dry-aged grind patty gently nestled between a warm brioche bun, this burger includes a sharp aged gouda, creamy mustard aioli, caramelized onions, and crispy bacon.
A more refined take on the Burger King’s Bacon-Cheese Whopper, the intensity of the gouda and fattiness of the bacon pair well with the more subtle flavors of the aioli and onions to create a well-balanced bite.
As the name suggests, the Backyard features a number of different vegetables, including green leaf lettuce, Roma tomatoes, pickles, and red onion. Piled atop one-year aged white cheddar and that same 6 oz proprietary blend patty, the crunch of the veggies with the creaminess of the melted cheddar creates a nice contrast in textures.
Grilled Vegetable Burger
Even if you’re a die-hard meat-fanatic, this ‘burger’ is worth tasting. A grilled portobello mushroom topped with zucchini, eggplant, mixed bell peppers, salsa verde, and crumbly feta, this delicious sandwich will help you surpass the US Health Department’s dietary guideline recommendations without even trying.
Special thanks to Stephanie Mace ‘16 for this pick.
While still relatively new, the Whisper House has already established itself as a village classic. Themed as a speakeasy, Whisper House advertises itself as a “purveyor of unique entrees and hand crafted cocktails reminiscent of the Prohibition era.” Also located in the Packing House, the “shh house”– as some are known to call it– is another great option if you want to enjoy your meal outdoors on its spacious and modern patio.
A simple, but nonetheless tasty assortment of cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and 1000 island, Whisper House throws in fried pickles to give its “O.G.” an extra crunch.
Heroes and Legends
Laid-back, unassuming, and affordable, Heroes and Legends is everything Bardot isn’t, in the best of ways. Featuring truly monstrous portions of American staples, H&L merits its status as one of the best comfort food restaurants of the village. Offering free unlimited peanuts, guests are even encouraged to throw their shells on the floor when finished. Though also famous for their french fries, which come with every burger (normal, curly or sweet potato), consider adding an order of their indulgent chili cheese fries if you’re trying to go all out. A mountain of seasoned curly-fries topped with melty cheese, chili, and onions, this behemoth of an appetizer can easily feed at least five.
This one’s a must-try for all kobe-lovers. Fatty and well-marbled, this extremely tender patty coats your mouth with a savory lusciousness unattainable from other blends. Perched atop a buttery brioche bun and smothered with a combo of Swiss Gruyere cheese, Blue cheese crumbles, beer-balsamic caramelized onions, and roasted garlic aioli, this truly is a legend of a burger.
Old-Fashioned Patty Melt
If you’re looking to mix-up the standard burger and bun combo, this variation is bound to hit the spot. Soaking up the juiciness of H&L’s freshly ground chuck-beef patty, the richness of a melty Swiss-Cheddar cheese blend, and the succulence of divinely grilled onions, the toasted parmesan bread slices on this melt make for a truly mouthwatering sandwich. It’s worth ordering medium-rare (or even rare) to maximize its juiciness.