America is burger obsessed, and not just with the Big Mac. We’re a nation who increasingly looks to food and dining experiences to define our social status. That’s why some of today’s burgers aren’t just made out of any old cow, but rather massaged Wagyu imported from Japan. They aren’t simply dressed in ketchup and mustard—instead, they’re crowned with generous shavings of black truffles and glistening caviar.
Back in 2001, Daniel Boulud’s DB Royale Double Truffle Burger shook things up with its $27 sticker price. Fast forward to 2013, when Mallie’s in Michigan unleashed a $1,999 luxe burger on the world. The race to slap a restaurant’s name onto the biggest, the baddest, and the most expensive of all burgers is as quintessentially American as burgers themselves.
From quadruple-figure burgers paired with bottles of vintage wine, to gold-flaked variations wrapped in hundred-dollar bills, here’s a look at patties that allow you to literally put your money where your mouth is.
THE FLEURBURGER 5000
Where it came from: Fleur
What it is: No city does over-the-top quite like Las Vegas, home to the The Fleurburger 5000, which is America’s (and the world’s) most expensive burger. Priced at a wallet-busting $5,000, the decadent Kobe beef burger comes loaded with foie gras and black truffles, and its is encased in a truffle-infused brioche bun. When you order the Fleurburger, you automatically receive a bottle of Chateu Petrus 1995, which the restaurant has listed at $5,300—so, technically, you’re getting the burger for free. You get to sip the wine out of a Ichendorf Brunello glass, which you’re allowed to keep for bragging purposes. You know, just in case you want to prove to your friends how you spent $5,000 in Vegas…on a burger. (Photo: Viagourmet)
THE ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS BURGER
Where it came from: Mallies Sports Grill & Bar
What it is: Weighing in at 338.6 pounds, Michigan’s 540,000-calorie “Absolutely Ridiculous Burger” features 15 pounds of lettuce, 30 pounds of bacon, 30 pounds of tomatoes, and 36 pounds of cheese. The burger takes 22 hours to prepare, and it requires the strength of three grown men to lift the patty into the oven. According to the menu, “There is ABSOLUTELY no reason for this burger. But if you order it, we’ll make it, and you figure out what to do with it!” (Photo: Mallie’s)
THE 777 BURGER
Where it came from: Burger Brasserie
What it is: Consider this the poor-man’s version of the Fleurburger 5000—it only comes with Dom Perignon. The 777 Burger, also native to Las Vegas, is a surf-and-turf Kobe beef and Maine lobster combo topped with caramelized onions, imported Brie, crispy prosciutto, and 100-year aged balsamic vinegar. Eaters who aren’t feeling the usual sesame seed bun can opt for a caramelized onion bun, aged parmesan cheese bun, or oven-dried tomato ciabatta. (Photo: Refined Guy)
THE 666 DOUCHE BURGER
Where it came from: 666 Burger
What it is: Wrap a patty in six sheets of gold leaf and it immediately becomes a part of the haute-burger pantheon, even if it’s served out a food truck in New York City. 666 Burger‘s appropriately-named Douche Burger is “a f—ing burger filled and topped with rich people s–t,” according to the truck’s Facebook page. What the burger’s creator means to say is that it is a gold-leaf–embellished, foie gras-stuffed Kobe patty topped with Gruyere melted with Champagne steam, lobster, truffles, caviar, and Kopi Luwak coffee bean-infused BBQ sauce. And it’s all wrapped up in three Benjamins. “When you are done with it you’ll have three greasy hundred dollar bills and have to decide what to do with them,” explains the truck’s owner. “That’s why it is called the Douche Burger.” And to top it all off, the burger is served by a man in a mink coat. How fitting. (Photo: Mackenzie Keegan)
LE BURGER EXTRAVAGANT
Where it came from: Serendipity 3
What it is: In 2012, Guinness World Records named Serendipity 3 as home to the world’s most expensive burger. For $295, you get a Wagyu beef patty infused with white truffle butter and topped with cave-aged cheddar, shaved black truffles, a fried quail egg, and caviar. If that isn’t already luxe enough, the finishing touch to the burger is nothing less than a solid gold toothpick encrusted with diamonds. Serendipity 3 is no newcomer to wallet-crushing menu items—the restaurant is also home to the Food-Long Haute Dog, which was named world’s most expensive wiener in 2010. (Photo: Bob the Chef)
THE INDULGENCE BURGER
Where it came from: Beer & Buns
What it is: The newest player in the luxe burger game is Beer & Bun’s kobe beef, foie gras, crispy pancetta, white truffle, and caviar burger. “We were inspired to create a burger with ingredients that you wouldn’t find in any regular market or farm,” Chef Nok told the Daily Meal. “The Kobe beef has a buttery tenderness and melts in your mouth, the foie gras adds a rich, earthy and round texture, the caviar adds a sense of luxury and an added burst of flavor, and the white truffles complete the dish offering a perfect garnish.” That’s what they all say. (Photo: Daily Mail)
DB ROYALE DOUBLE TRUFFLE BURGER
Where it came from: DB Bistro Moderne
What it is: At $120, the Double Truffle Burger looks like a wimp compared to its fancy schmancy burger mates. But truthfully, it features the same foie-and-truffle combo found in nearly every other expensive burger. What makes the DB Royale Double Truffle Burger different is that instead of being topped with couture ingredients, the ground beef patty is stuffed with red wine-braised short ribs, foie gras, root vegetables, and preserved black truffle. The fancified patty is topped with a double load of fresh black truffles, and it sits on top of a homemade toasted parmesan and poppy seed bun slathered in fresh horseradish and tomato confit (a.k.a., fancy ketchup). (Photo: A Beauty Feature)