Food & Wine Names Best Bacon Burgers, Goes to Wrong Corner

village-whiskey-whiskey-king-burgerFood & Wine makes a list of the best bacon burgers in the country and curiously choose Shake Shack’s SmokeShack burger as Philadelphia’s best. True, the 20th Street location was the first Shake Shack to feature the SmokeShack as a regular menu option and we are fans of the New York based chain. But look around, like really, look out the window from Shake Shack and at Village Whiskey. In a list of bacon on burgers, it is difficult to imagine ignoring Village Whiskey’s Whiskey King. The $26, half-pound of beef burger, topped with maple bourbon glazed cipollini onions, Rogue blue cheese, applewood bacon and for good measure, foie gras has to be in the conversation.

Best Burgers in the US – Philadelphia [Food & Wine]
Village Whiskey [Official Site]

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  • anonymous commenter

    This article is funny because my girlfriend and I actually did a taste test one day. We shared a burger at Shake Shack and then shared one at Village Whiskey. We were surprised to find that Shake Shack won…hands down! It was the first day of Restaurant Week, so perhaps that is why. Regardless of the reason, Shake Shack won the best burger of that corner on our list.

  • cementbrunette

    I had the burger at Village Whiskey and was not impressed at all. I also felt really claustrophobic in there.

  • Dan

    Village whiskey, as with virtually all Garces’ restaurants, is for unimaginative suburban social climbers.

    Nothing there matches the hype – except the prices. They sell you a 2oz shot of whiskeys you can get anywhere for more than half of what the bottle costs (2oz of Eagle Rare for $14, bottle at the PLCB $23). They have very few rare selections (they don’t even carry Pappy) so it is basically geared to people who have no idea what they’re doing. Yet Philly Mag continuously pumps his over-hyped places.

    I know, I know I just need to get over it…

    • Rick

      Totally agree on the whiskey. There are about three bottles that can’t be sourced from a liquor store.

    • stacker4414

      You can’t connect exorbitant whiskey prices to food quality …but the whiskey is definitely overpriced. But it’s not terribly different from the pricing of wine at most restaurants which won’t hesitate to charge you over half the price of a bottle for a 5 oz pour. Restaurant margins are generally highest in the drink department so outside of BYOs, most everyone gets hosed when it comes to the liquid side of the meal… so it doesn’t really correlate with food quality at all and is hardly confined to Jose Garces…. That being said, best burger in town for your buck has gotta be the Royal Tavern’s with Standard Tap a close second.

      • barrygster

        The beer prices at VW are criminal. $6 for a 12oz pour of Kenzinger — that’s an $8 pint for a light session beer.

        Agree about Royal Tavern. Catahoula’s “My Burger” is also great and way underrated.

    • Some girl

      Village Whiskey served me one of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten. It wasn’t their Whiskey King, it was their regular $12ish burger with egg.

      Signed,
      Not an unimaginative suburban social climber.

      (So there.)

      • Dan

        Fair enough. I’ve had their burgers and thought they were decent, but nothing special. I can’t recall if their burgers came with any side (fries, salad, etc.), but it seems that the food prices here are slightly over what others are charging. The few times I’ve been there I was more struck by their bizarrely pretentious attitude and their ridiculously over-priced drinks.

        In fairness, his food is far more overpriced at his tapas places. Amada, for example, has been working the same tired and over-priced menu since opening. You need like 5 of their simply prepared $10+ small plates to be approaching satiation and their liquor prices are criminal (a cheap tempranillo for $13 a glass and a poorly made cocktail with cheap ingredients for $13). Really not trolling, just not impressed with his places and think of them more as safe (but expensive) bets for out-of-towners with adoration for celebrity chefs.

  • Julie

    You people are nuts. Village Whiskey makes the best burgers anywhere.

  • Burgermesiter

    The Shake Shack burgers just aren’t nearly as good as the hype. There are just soooo many better AND local burgers in the region to give my money to a New Yorker tresspassing on Philly turf.

    • J Ferg

      Well said

  • J Ferg

    Shakeshack is a fast food burger. It should be compared to 500 degrees or Five Guys. It is an apple to the oranges like Pub + Kitchen, Village Whiskey, Standard Tap, etc. Food + Wine did zero investigation into this. It’s insulting considering the extent of amazing burgers in town. I’m on F + W’s website now voicing my displeasure.

  • greg

    The burger at Village Whiskey is overpriced and bland. If you want a good burger without all the hype and room to eat it without having someone breathing down you neck, go to Standard Tap or Alla Spina. They each have some of the better burgers in the city.

  • dan marcantuno

    the burger and fries at dandelion blow them all away.

  • Tomaaas

    Village Whiskey’s burger is just a case of the emperor’s new clothes. The meat is nothing special and boring, they LIE that they actually use cipollini onions which apparently are in season year round, they glaze it with cheap bourbon and honestly putting foie gras and bacon on a burger is just a stupid lack of restraint.

    Both Dandelion and Pub and Kitchen had better burgers.

  • Gastarbeiter

    I like both. Need to get over the Philly cringe. We’re a big enough food town to love an NY import when it’s genuinely good. Shake Shack rocks, especially with bacon added, and should open more PA branches ASAP. That said, at the end of the day, my last meal will be a Pub & Kitchen burger.