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Where to find 12 unique burgers in the Hudson Valley

The Charro is a burger topped with lettuce,

(Credit: Chris Serico)

There’s nothing quite like the beefy, cheesy goodness of a cheeseburger. But what makes one unique?

Great burgers come in all shapes and sizes. Some eateries tweak the bun while others experiment with adventurous toppings. Sometimes, even a burger chain (gasp!) does a great job assembling one of America’s favorite foods, with its brilliant simplicity proving to be the unusual facet.

In no particular order, here are a dozen places in the Hudson Valley where you can wrap your mitts around a great burger.

-Compiled by Chris Serico

  • User rating 2
    The Entourage burger, a 10-ounce patty between two

    Westchester Burger Company $$ | Burgers, American 106 Westchester Ave. White Plains If you can get your hands on it (and mouth around it), order the Entourage, a burger in which 10 ounces of beefy goodness are nestled between two sourdough grilled-cheese sandwiches ($14). There are also locations in Rye Brook and Mount Kisco.

  • User rating 4
    The 10-ounce Bronx Bomber burger, topped with grilled

    Piper's Kilt $$ | Sports bar, Pub, Irish, Burgers 433 White Plains Rd. Eastchester Piper’s likes to brag that its burger is the best in Westchester, and that just might be true, at least for a lifetime achievement award, given the establishment’s longevity. Order the Bronx Bomber and you'll get a juicy patty smothered in grilled onions and Swiss ($8.50 for the 8-ounce burger, $10.75 to upgrade to the "Broadway style" 10-ounce variety).

  • The Charro is a burger topped with lettuce,

    Pony Express $ | American, Burgers 30 Wheeler Ave. Pleasantville Juicy burgers without hormones or antibiotics are served on soft kaiser rolls. Make a point to order the Charro, a burger topped with lettuce, pickles, smoked bacon, jalapeno cheese and spicy chipotle sauce ($8.25).

  • User rating 4

    AJ's Burgers $$ | Burgers, American 542 North Ave. New Rochelle Although AJ's has built a rep for its sliders, which are served in a skillet, those seeking a bigger bite should dive into AJ’s Club Burger, a double bacon cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, pickles, fried onions and chipotle sauce on a garlic roll, served with fries and a medium soda ($12.99).

  • Poppy's Burgers on Main Street in Beacon. (Jan.

    Poppy's $$ | Burgers, American 184 Main St. Beacon Serving grass-fed beef from Kiernan Farm in Gardine, chef/owner Paul Yeaple has a menu full of award-winning burger options. The Egg Head is the most unique of the bunch, a quarter-pound patty topped with cheese, diced onion and an organic fried egg ($8.50). For even more variety, add a house-made aioli -- jalapeno or mustard -- for 50 cents more.

  • A 22-ounce maple syrup-brined double thick pork chop

    Terrapin $$$$ | Eclectic, New American 6426 Montgomery St. Rhinebeck Terrapin’s Red Bistro is one of the best places to build your own burger, which could be a quarter- or half-pound of beef from the Hudson Valley Cattle Company in Sullivan County ($9 and $11, respectively), or Terrapin’s own veggie patty ($8). Toppings include nine varieties of cheese, bacon, avocado, sautéed portobellos, cured Moroccan olives and grilled eggplant ($1-$1.50). Additional freebie toppings include smoked onions and sherried onion confit. There are six bread options ranging from a soft brioche roll to sourdough sandwich bread.

  • The exterior of Little B's in Tarrytown, whose

    Little B's $ | American, Burgers 49 Main St. Tarrytown Served with fries, one sauce and three toppings for $10, the build-a-burger option at Little B’s starts with a burger bun, gluten-free bun, Kaiser roll or English muffin, which is then topped with an eight-ounce patty of beef, turkey, veggie or grilled chicken. In addition to the old standards, intriguing topping options include grilled pineapple, dried cranberries and hot cherry peppers. Every topping after the first three is 50 cents apiece. Sauce options include everything from ketchup and mustard to chipotle mayo and roasted garlic aioli.

  • User rating 4

    The Filling Station $ | Burgers, American 243 Rte. 9W Palisades Black Angus beef, free of antibiotics and hormones, is ground fresh daily at The Filling Station, where a six-ounce burger is made with a blend of brisket, hanger steak and short rib cuts, served medium on a toasted sesame seed bun. For a little kick, try the Texaco, layered with pepper jack cheese, double-smoked bacon, hot banana peppers and barbecue sauce ($8.95).

  • User rating 4
    The exterior of Red Rooster, a drive-in that

    Red Rooster $ | Burgers, American, Miniature Golf, Miniature Golf, Ice cream 1566 Route 22 Brewster Made from additive-free Angus chuck — ground fresh daily with the celebrated ratio of 85 percent lean beef to 15 percent fat — Red Rooster’s double-cheeseburger deluxe features two patties, two pieces of yellow American cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo and, if you ask for them, fried onions, on a seedless bun ($6).

  • User rating 4
    Two cheeseburgers with bacon, from Five Guys Burgers

    Five Guys Burgers and Fries $ | Burgers, Fast-food 240 Main St. White Plains Whether you top your two-patty $6 cheeseburger with old standbys (ketchup, mustard, lettuce and tomato) or more adventurous fare (jalapenos, green peppers, A1 steak sauce and grilled mushrooms), make a point to order the Cajun Fries. There are Five Guys' in Pelham, Nanuet, Kingston, Middletown, Fishkill, Newburgh, and other area locations.

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