Slideshow: Staff Picks: Favorite Burgers for $5 and Under

Sliders at White Manna, Hackensack, NJ
Sliders at White Manna, Hackensack, NJ

"I don't even need to think twice about this one: a White Manna double with cheese and onions. Not only is this burger (or two of them) under $5, but there's the added bonus of it restoring my faith in burger-manity every time I eat it. Last summer, I had a particularly rough burger experience at a certain Mexican lunch spot near NYU. That weekend I hopped in the car and headed out to the Manna for some slider therapy. These are the perfect sliders—if you don't trust me just ask Nick Solares." —Sam Levison, Providence correspondent

I'm not sure whether the sliders at White Manna in Hackensack are $1.25 or maybe up to $1.50, but either way, you can stuff your burger-hole with a trio of 'em for under a fiver. And when I say slider, I mean slider in the true sense of the word. These guys are thin beef patties steamed over a bed of griddled onions, served in Martin's mini potato rolls with nothing but ketchup and a pickle slice (if you ask for it, that is). Burgers don't get much simpler or better than this." —J. Kenji López-Alt, Serious Eats Chief Creative Officer

"White Manna, no contest. The onions! The melty cheese! The pickles!" —Carey Jones, Serious Eats Senior Managing Editor

Video: How sliders are made at White Manna »
White Manna review »

358 River Street, Hackensack NJ 07601 (map); 201-342-0914

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Cheeseburger at Little Big Burger, Portland, OR
Cheeseburger at Little Big Burger, Portland, OR

"Favorite burger under $5? Easy: Little Big Burger in Portland. The burger is deceptively small, but only because the 1/4-pound patty is thicker (and therefore less wide) than the usual ultra-thin patty served at this weight. The meat's girth allows for both a crisp crust and a bonafide medium pink center. Top it off with red onion, shredded lettuce, and LBB's homemade pickles and sriracha ketchup, along with a puck of creamy chèvre (don't bother with the puny cheddar here), and you'll be hard-pressed to find a better burger for $3.75. Make it a meal with an order of the house fries, my favorite version anywhere." —Adam Lindsley, Portland correspondent

Little Big Burger review »

122 NW 10th Ave., Portland OR 97209 (map); 503-274-9008; littlebigburger.com

[Photograph: Adam Lindsley]

Jimmy Rhea's Special Cheeseburger at Rhea's, Atlanta
Jimmy Rhea's Special Cheeseburger at Rhea's, Atlanta

"The priciest menu item at this 30-year-old micro-chain (3 restaurants in the northern 'burbs) is $6.99. But all three burgers ring up at less than five bucks. Jimmy Rhea's Special Cheeseburger is the "expensive one" at $3.29; adding bacon and a second patty still keeps it under six. The thin diner-style burgers are griddled up on a flattop 'til crusty with a perfect blanket of American cheese, then served on buttered-and-toasted French bread. Sloppy, juicy, ooey, gooey... and grossly underpriced. Rhea's may be the best bang for your burger buck in the entire Atlanta area." —Todd Brock, Atlanta correspondent

Rhea's review »

675 W. Crossville Road, Roswell, GA 30075 (map); 770-992-5272

[Photograph: Todd Brock]

Burgers from Bill's Hamburgers (Bill and Hiroko's), Van Nuys, CA
Burgers from Bill's Hamburgers (Bill and Hiroko's), Van Nuys, CA

"I'm going to reach back to my very first review here at AHT almost five years ago (how burger time flies!). Bill's Hamburgers, now Bill and Hiroko's, makes a Southern Californian masterpiece of griddled, thin patty deliciousness." —Damon Gambuto, Los Angeles correspondent

Bill's Hamburgers review »

14742 Oxnard Street, Van Nuys CA 91411 (b/n Kester Ave and Cedros Ave; map); 818-785-4086

[Photograph: Damon Gambuto]

Mini Burger at Super Duper, San Francisco
Mini Burger at Super Duper, San Francisco

"When I visit Super Duper, I typically maximize my beef intake with a Super Burger (in the photo above). But at $6.50, that would put me over budget for this post. So I'll downgrade to their Mini Burger for only $4.50 and come away almost as happy. The four-ounce patty of fresh-ground Niman Ranch beef develops a crust of flavorful brown bits from the griddle, and still leaks plenty of chin-coating burger juice. You can make up the difference in heft by asking them to throw on some jalapeños or grilled onions—for free, which is a nice touch." —David Kover, San Diego correspondent

Super Duper review »

Multiple locations listed at superdupersf.com

[Photograph: David Kover]

Single Fatso with Cheese at Phil's Last Stand, Chicago
Single Fatso with Cheese at Phil's Last Stand, Chicago

"There are so many fantastic cheap burger options in Chicago that this staff pick is actually painful for me, like, physically. If you can't get a good burger for $5, you're not looking hard enough.

Phil's Last Stand is just one of the great places you can get a cheap burger, and the single Fatso with cheese will set you back a whopping $4.50. I don't care what you griddle freaks say; char-grilling any burger just adds so much extra backyard barbecue flavor as well as some coveted crust. Make sure to top it with grilled onions—they make a world of difference, adding a sweet caramelized flavor that goes so well with the char-grilled beef. This patty might look thin, but it's deceptively juicy.

The problem is, Phil's is one of so many places that serves up an amazing cheap burger in Chicago that no matter what I pick, I'd be wrong anyway. What's your pick for Chicago?" —Dennis Lee, Chicago correspondent

Phil's Last Stand review »

2258 West Chicago Avenue, Chicago IL 60622 (map); 773-245-3287; philslaststand.com

[Photograph: Dennis Lee]

Classic Slider at Mark, NYC
Classic Slider at Mark, NYC

"Mini-burgers don't usually excite me, but the sliders at Mark on St. Marks Place in New York's East Village just are so so satisfying, with their moist meat, soft buns, and griddled onions. I don't like the too-bacony bacon-in-the-meat slider, but the classic is delicious." —Maggie Hoffman, Drinks editor

Mark review »

33 St. Marks Place, New York NY 10003 (b/n 2nd and 3rd Aves; map); 212-677-3132; stmarksburger.com

[Photograph: Nick Solares]

Double with Cheese and Bacon at Clark White Diamond, Clark, NJ
Double with Cheese and Bacon at Clark White Diamond, Clark, NJ

"The double on a poppy seed kaiser roll with cheese and bacon was the first burger love of my life." —Jim Lehnhoff, Serious Eats account director

Clark White Diamond review »

1207 Raritan Road, Clark NJ 07066; map); 732-574-8053

[Photograph: Nick Solares]