Burger photo via Shutterstock
By Amalissa Uytingco
America may be classically known for its burgers, but when it comes to beef, much of what is offered in the market comes from grain-fed cattle. The grain, usually of a corn or soy base, quickly and cheaply fattens up the animals, therefore making it the most cost-efficient form of feed. Despite the economical payoff, the consequences of grain-fed beef not only includes the unnatural prying of cattle away from the grass pastures from which they are evolutionarily accustomed to feeding, but also a change in the nutritional composition of the beef itself.
Similar to how a person’s diet influences the quality of his or her health, a cow’s diet impacts the quality of its meat. According to Authority Nutrition, the health benefits of grass-fed beef outshine those of grain-fed beef. Grass-fed beef contains up to five times the amount of heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids that grain-fed beef contains. The former also has double the level of Conjugated Linoleic Acid, or CLA, which is a fatty acid associated with reduced body fat. Furthermore, grass-fed beef contains more Carotenoids, Vitamin E, and micronutrients such as Potassium, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, and Sodium.
In honor of the health advantages of grass-fed beef, below is a list of ten places that offer great-tasting organic, grass-fed burgers in order from East to West coast:
1. Elevation Burger (locations in Maine, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, and Texas)
First launched in Washington, D.C., this fast-food burger chain offers burgers made with 100 percent organic, grass-fed beef that is ground daily in-house. The standard Elevation Burger consists of two patties, whereas the Kid’s Burger only has one. However, there also exists another option called the Vertigo Burger, wherein a customer can build their own burger of three to 10 patties stacked with a variety of toppings from typical add-ons like lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles, to condiments like blue-cheese dressing and balsamic mustard.
2. Bareburger (locations in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Ohio)
Bareburger is another well-known, well-established chain restaurant proudly offering organic, all-natural burgers. Customers can either choose from their pre-made offerings or create their own—choose a 6oz. patty, a bun, veggies, a type of cheese, a type of bacon, and a sauce. According to the menu, all Bareburger meats are “free-range, pasture raised, humanely raised, antibiotic, and gluten-and-hormone-free.”
3. Korzo Haus (New York, NY)
Korzo Haus’ beef patties are a proprietary blend of grass-fed, freshly ground beef. There are three beef burgers on the menu: the Original, which consists of a Korzo-blend beef patty, applewood-smoked bacon, allagauer emmentaller, Korzo organic ale mustard, and dill pickles; the Slav, a Korzo-blend beef patty topped with slow-cooked pork neck, spiced sauerkraut, caraway seeds, juniper berries, and bryndza; and the Otto, which is a Korzo-blend beef patty served with American cheese, iceberg slaw, hot pepper aioli, thin tomato slices, and raw onions.
4. Yeah! Burger (various locations in Atlana, GA)
The restaurant’s name is meant to stir excitement about the sustainably raised ingredients used in its food. Although it offers pre-made burgers like the Fig & Goat Cheese, which includes a double stack of grass-fed beef with arugula, fig jam, caramelized onions, and local goat cheese, Yeah! Burger also lets its customers create their own burgers with the “Make It Your Own!” option. Choose from a variety of meats, including 100 percent grass-fed White Oak Pastures beef, buns, toppings, and sauces.
5. Goodfriend Beer Garden & Burger House (Dallas, TX)
The Goodfriend menu lists ten types of burgers, not all of which are beef; however, those that are made with beef patties are certified 100 percent grass-fed Texas Wagyu beef. Choose from a fun list of beef burgers such as the Pepper Bomb, which is a beef burger with spicy house harissa, roasted tomatoes, lettuce, and chipotle cheddar, or the Schnitzengrueben, a beef burger served with sauerkraut, house thousand island dressing, and fried pickles.
6. Butcher & The Burger (Chicago, IL)
What is unique about this business is that it is both a butcher shop and a burger joint. Customers can fully personalize their burgers by selecting from a wide range of patties, such as a grass-fed beef patty; original spices like curry-coconut-honey; buns, including a pretzel bun; fun toppings like wasabi mayo; and decadent extras, one of which is notably sautéed foie gras.
7. Skillet Diner (Seattle, WA)
The Skillet Diner online menu lists only two beef burgers—the Burger and the Basic. However both are made with sustainably raised, grass-fed beef accompanied by delectable toppings. The Burger consists of bacon jam, arugula, and creamy bleu cheese. On the other hand, the Basic is comprised of the burger, lettuce, pollo’s special sauce, pickles, and American cheese. Both options come with hand-cut fries, soup, or salad.
8. Hopworks Urban Brewery (Portland, OR)
Hopworks Urban Brewery may specialize in the making of beer, but it also offers dining options for those who want to pair food with their alcohol. This brewery advocates for sustainably made food, thereby sourcing all-natural, grass-fed beef from Painted Hills farm for their burgers. A customer-favorite burger is the Bomber BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger, a beef burger served with mayo, lettuce, tomato, and onion, then topped with melted Tillamook cheddar, Velvet ESBBQ sauce, and natural smoked bacon.
9. Roam Artisan Burgers (San Francisco, CA)
Using high quality ingredients, Roam is a diverse burger restaurant that allows customers to either create their own burgers from scratch or to choose a patty, a bun, and a pre-made style. These creative styles range from the French and Fries (truffle parmesan fries, gruyere, avocado, caramelized onions, watercress, and Dijon mustard) to the Heritage (applewood-smoked bacon, fontina, butter lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions, and herb mayo). Furthermore, all patties, including the veggie one, are made of all-natural, organic ingredients. The beef specifically is 100 percent grass-fed sourced from Pacific Pastures.
10. Burger Lounge (various locations in Los Angeles, CA and San Diego, CA)
Burger Lounge is a burger chain restaurant that began in La Jolla, motivated by the idea that a hamburger should excel both in taste and in quality—that is, using ingredients that promote a sustainable environment. Hence, beef burgers on the Lounge’s menu are made with 100 percent American grass-fed patties.