Image: Darwin Bell/Creative Commons
Eating hamburgers is an American pastime. But in restaurants, this no-frills menu item is getting decidedly more upscale — so upscale in fact that we've decided to highlight the world's most expensive burgers. It shouldn't be any surprise, but New Yorkers don't just have an appetite — they have an expensive one.
Image: Mackenzie Keegan
The $666 Douche Burger
When you hear New York City food truck, you think cheap eats. But at 666 Burger, you can find a foie gras-stuffed burger for — you guessed it — $666. Topped with lobster, truffles, caviar, Gruyere that's been melted with champagne steam, a barbecue sauce made with coffee beans that have been digested (and pooped out) by an Asian palm civet and served in a gold-leaf wrapper, the Douche Burger is about as pretentious as you can get.
Image: Serendipty 3
$295 Burger Topped with Diamond-Crusted Gold Toothpick
Shortly before the Douche Burger, it was the burger at New York's Seredipity 3 that made headlines for being the world's most expensive. At $295, the burger includes a patty of Japanese Waygu beef infused with a 10-herb white truffle butter and topped with 18-month cave-aged handmade cheddar cheese, shaved black truffles, a fried quail egg, creme fraiche, Kaluga caviar and blini on a white truffle-buttered Campagna roll. It's held together with a solid gold Fleur de Lis toothpick encrusted with diamonds. For dessert, you can also order a $1,000 sundae.
Image: Mallie's Sports Bar and Grill
The Absolutely Ridiculous Burger
Meet the Absolutely Ridiculous Burger at Mallie's Sports Bar & Grill in Southgate, Mich. This Guinness World Record holder for biggest burger on the planet weighs in at 185.6 pounds. After forking over $499, you know you won't be going hungry for a while. If you want it delivered, that'll be $2,000.
The uSocial Burger
An Australian advertising agency uSocial slapped a $10,000 price tag on a burger for charity. The burger itself is made of Australian Wagyu beef with a solid white truffle core, topped with a slice of aged cheddar, some Jamón Ibérico de Bellot (a rare Spanish ham that's kind of like the pig version of Kobe — the ham is from free-range Iberian pigs fed only acorns during the last stage of their lives), sliced white truffle, 24-carat gold leaf and drizzled with an eight-year-old balsamic vinegar. This is served on a 24-carat gold leaf, saffron and black truffle brioche bun.
The Fleurburger 5000
So The Fleurburger plays a bit fast and loose here. The burger itself — Kobe beef (an entirely made up term anywhere outside Japan) topped with foie gras, black truffles and a truffle sauce, served on a brioche truffle bun — costs only $75 at Las Vegas' Fleur restaurant. But pair it with a bottle of 1990 Château Pétrus Bordeaux, and the tab's going to run you $5,000.
Image: Paris Las Vegas
The 777 Burger
Another burger and alcohol pairing, the 777 Burger with a bottle of Rose Dom Perignon champagne from Paris Las Vegas comes to $777. The patty is topped with Maine lobster, caramelized onions, Brie, crispy prosciutto and balsamic vinegar aged 100 years.
Image: DB Bistro
DB 'Royale' Double Truffle Burger
Celebrity chef Daniel Boulud (DB Bistro Moderne in New York and Daniel Boulud Brasserie in Las Vegas) stuffs his burger with boneless red wine-braised short ribs and tops it with root vegetables, preserved black truffle and more black truffles, served on a toasted parmesan and poppy seed bun — yours for $120. A less extravagant version is also available for $32.
Image: Old Homestead Steakhouse
This burger from Boca Raton restaurant The Old Homestead Steakhouse is made of three types of beef: American Prime, Japanese Wagyu and Argentine beef. Served with a Chipotle ketchup (with ingredients including truffle and champagne), $10 of each $125 burger is donated to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
Image: W Seoul
$160 Truffle and Lobster Burger in Korea
The W Hotel in Seoul serves up a 180,000 won (US$159) burger that's topped with seared foie gras, a lobster tail, shaved black truffles, a dark red wine truffle sauce and truffle aioli on a brioche bun.
Image: Burger King
$186 Burger King
Believe it or not, Burger King makes this list. The fast food chain debuted a menu item called The Burger in 2008 at its West London branch. What's inside a £95 (US$186) burger? Wagyu beef, white truffles, onion tempura prepared in Cristal champagne, Spanish prosciutto served on an Iranian saffron and truffle bun. Proceeds from The Burger go to a local charity, so you don't have to feel so guilty about 1. traveling all the way to London to eat at Burger King and 2. spending $186 on lunch for yourself.