The Best Hamburger in Portland

I lived in Santa Barbara for nearly twenty years. In all my time there, I just made do with whatever food people told me was good. I tried many burgers at various places until I found one that was…a little better than average. I meandered around various Mexican options until I found a good burrito and taco joint.

While I did eventually find some really good food in Santa Barbara, I went way too long just “making do”. Looking back, it was sort of silly. Why just make do when there’s lots of really good stuff out there just waiting to be discovered?

So moving to Portland, I decided to find all the best stuff as soon as I could. But Portland presented a different sort of problem. Santa Barbara in most cases has okay food and it’s always a lot more expensive than it has a right to be. The truly good stuff there took some time and effort to find. However, in Portland everything is what I’d classify as really good food. It’s also, by and large, a lot less expensive. I attribute this to the food cart culture. So, finding the “best” in a crowded food scene would take a lot of active effort.

So, I set out to find the single best of everything in town. First up is one of my personal favorites, the humble hamburger. There’s a LOT to choose from in Portland. So I started to narrow down my choices. Diana usually comes along for my eating adventures. So I enlisted her help finding the best places. After about a week of checking lists online, asking opinions from friends, and ease-dropping on the conversations of random strangers. We developed a list and started eating through it.

After about a month of highly unhealthy eating we settled on our favorite, which has since become an obsession of ours. “Killer Burger” stands out the most for it’s innovative menu and high quality. We’ve since made it our hamburger mainstay for eating out.


Every one of their burgers is delicious. But the one that stood out to us, and that we keep coming back for, is their most well-known and innovative burger. The “PBPB, Peanut Butter, Pickles and Bacon.” I know, I know. It sounds like a drunken concoction that is best forgotten the morning after. But you’ll have to trust me when I say it’s really very good.

The burgers themselves are well made, not over cooked which happens way too often, (in most places), good fresh topping, and just enough condiments. But, you can get a good basic burger many places. You go to Killer Burger for their specialty burger like the PBPB and Teemah. The PBPB is my personal favorite. It’s sweet, unctuous peanut butter sauce is perfectly complimented by sour pickles and smokey bacon. The Teemah is a great bacon and bleu cheese burger that doesn’t short you on the bleu cheese.

Killer Burger has become our regular hangout. Not only is the food good and reasonably priced, but the fries are bottomless, there’s a rotating menu of local beers, and they play tasteful heavy metal music in the dining area. It’s friendly and tasty every time. Killer Burger has since become our “we had a rough day and need something nice” spot.

Give me some direction on the topic for my next search. Thanks James

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