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Indy tastemakers and their favorite local burgers (Part 3)

Celebrate Indy Burger Week with these selections by industry insiders


Chris Eley curing some meat at Smoking Goose. - SUBMITTED PHOTO
  • Submitted Photo
  • Chris Eley curing some meat at Smoking Goose.

Indy Burger Week is June 20 - 26 and we will be sharing with you some of the best burgers around the city according to industry insiders and Indianapolis tastemakers, all week long. This is Part 3 of 5.  

Chris Eley, Owner/Proprietor at Goose the Market and Smoking Goose –

“It is funny you should ask about this because I just had a really good burger at Big Woods in Speedway yesterday. Probably one of the best I've had out in awhile. On the menu I believe it is called the JB Burger [short for James Beard]. I can't find a menu on their website but from my recollections it was ground brisket, chuck, short ribs ground with porcini mushrooms, Tulip Tree brie, demi-glace, caramelized onions and some other crap that I can't recall. Anyways, the burger was worth the trip.

“One of my other favorites is the Room 4 Burger. I am not sure that Greg does it all the time since he switched up Room 4, but I am pretty sure he still brings it back occasionally on the Recess menu.

“Another recent one that I think is gone now was the burger that was on the opening menu at Rook. Again, I hope he brings it back. I'd have to dig up the original menu or see if I could get the details from Carlos but it was amazing. I ate it three times in two weeks.

“Classic: I like the Red Key Tavern.”

Renee Wilmeth, Food writer/editor/reformed food blogger/OG –

“In the restaurant burger' category, the lamb burger from Recess is my fave. It's a classic, thick, juicy restaurant burger with a great bun that sort of falls apart at the end because of all the good juice coming from the burger. It used to be a staple on the menu at Room Four and is now still on the menu from time to time. Always inspires me to do my best Samuel L. Jackson impression: 'Now that's a tasty burger!' Runner-up, when you're craving the same style of good burger is the burger at Tinker Street.

Workingman's Friend giant double burger and onion rings, a thing of perfection. - CAVAN MCGINSIE
  • Cavan McGinsie
  • Workingman's Friend giant double burger and onion rings, a thing of perfection.

“In the 'thin burger' category, my favorite is the burger at Workingman's Friend. Thin, crispy edges, and most importantly, toasted bun with butter to make it crispy which serves as the perfect vehicle for condiments. And, yes, I do add that huge ol' slice of onion.”

Alan Sternberg, Executive Chef at Cerulean –
The famous Mug Double and tots. - CAVAN MCGINSIE
  • Cavan McGinsie
  • The famous Mug Double and tots.

“As far as burgers go, I'm trying to think of my favorite burger in town. Right now it would have to be The Mug's burger from Clustertruck [or The Mug in Greenfield]. I know they're working on a new location in Irvington that I'll probably be a frequent patron of when it's done. I also really like Matt Kornmeyer's burger on Scratch Truck.”

Neal Brown, Founder/Chef at Neal Brown Hospitality, including Pizzology and Libertine –

“It's gone forever I'm afraid. Barking Dog Cafe, hands-down favorite. Workingman’s Friend is second.”

Check back tomorrow for Part 4 and don't miss out on Part 1 and Part 2.


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