By now, a great many visitors are aware of Las Vegas’ status as a major food destination.  Haute cuisine from around the world can be found everywhere on the Strip and beyond.  But what if you’re not in the mood for rich, fancy food?  Where can a hungry visitor or local go when craving something as simple as...a hamburger?  Well, luckily, burgers are a hot food trend in Vegas right now, and there is a wealth of burger joints all over town.

In-N-Out Burger is a West Coast favorite, but there was much excitement around Las Vegas when White Castle, a cultish Mid-Atlantic upstart, opened a 24-hour franchise at Casino Royale in January of 2015. Demand was so great, they actually had to close up shop on opening day, because they ran out of stock!

But Vegas is always looking for the newest of the new, and these days, that means Shake Shack.  Restauranteur Danny Meyer’s simple outdoor eatery in New York’s Madison Square Park has expanded to include locations all over NYC, and now, two restaurants in Las Vegas: one in Summerlin, and the other at the northeast corner of New York New York Hotel and Casino.  This prime location on the Strip, serves up the very same 100% all-natural Angus beef burgers, griddled hot dogs, crinkle cut fries, and frozen custard shakes, in a bright, open space, with soaring ceilings, glass walls, and an exterior that resembles the wooden prow of some great, futuristic sailing ship, jutting out above the sidewalk.

Looking for something a little more upscale, yet still fun and casual?  Try Burger Bar, in Mandalay Place, the shopping promenade between Mandalay Bay and Luxor.  This combination restaurant/saloon/sports bar makes some of the best burgers I’ve ever tried.  Owner and celebrity chef Hubert Keller, has created a flexible menu, with a “build-your-own” feature, wherein you choose your protein, your bun, and finally, your toppings - the topping list includes categories like The Garden (baby spinach, jalapeño, etc,) The Dairy (various cheeses,) The Grill (grilled onions, peppers, etc,) The Farm (bacon, fried egg, etc,) The Ocean (shrimp,) and The Earth (various mushrooms, including black truffles!)  
Not up to making a lot of choices?  Well, there’s a selection of Chef’s Burgers, crafted especially for their menu - The Hubert Keller Burger, the Vegas Vegan, the Hangover Burger, and the decadent Rossini burger, made with Kobe Beef, sautéed foie gras, and shaved truffles!  At $60, it’s worth every penny!  An added bonus: the staff are all eye candy!  The boys are scruffy and cute, and the girls are knockouts!  I’ve taken countless friends to Burger Bar, both locals and visitors, and they’ve all loved it!

Over at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, another celebrity chef has grilled up some tasty creations.  At Gordon Ramsay BurGR, you can sample a selection of burgers, grilled over apple and alder wood.  There’s the old classic; the American Burger, with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, and onion, or you can order one of the fabulous variations, including the Britannia Burger, with English Sharp Cheddar, mango chutney, and arugula, the spicy, delicious Hell’s Kitchen Burger, with Asadero cheese, roasted jalapeños, avocado, and roasted tomato, or the Damnation Chicken Burger, with a fiery hot mayonnaise, and tangy Maytag blue cheese.  The meatless option, the Earth Burger, is made with portobello mushroom, Fontina cheese, arugula, and roasted tomato.  And while I realize this is an article about hamburgers, I can also highly recommend Ramsay’s Devil Dawgs; all-natural beef hot dogs simmered in Hellfire Sauce and grilled to perfection.  Oh!  Hot staff here, too!

Further north along the Strip, at the Mirage, is BLT Burger.  BLT, in this case, stands for Bistro Laurent Tourandel, a French born and trained chef, who owns successful eateries in the U.S. and around the world.  Combining the classic ground beef patty with gourmet toppings, these are burgers you don’t want to miss!  Try the American Wagyu, made with Wagyu Beef, Brie cheese, spinach, truffle aioli, and portobello mushroom, the Smoked Gouda Double Dip, with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and smoked Gouda cream, or either of my two favorites, the Cowboy Burger, with Barbecue Chipotle sauce, tobacco onions, and pepper jack cheese, or the Tex-Mex, with chili, jack cheese, avocado, salsa, jalapeños, onion, and sour cream.  The burgers here are big, flavorful and wonderfully sloppy!  Ask for extra napkins!  Be sure to order one of their amazing milkshakes, too.  I brought a friend of mine here - he had the classic Chocolate Shake, while I had one of the Spiked Milkshakes; The Toucan, which featured Fruit Loop flavored vodka.  My friend called the shakes “life altering!”  
There are others, of course - Hash House A Go-Go, at The Linq, makes their Famous One Pound Stuffed Burgers so big, they arrive impaled by a huge steak knife!  Holstein’s, at the Cosmopolitan, has 14 variations from which to choose, and the Heart Attack Grill, downtown, features waitresses dressed as nurses, serving up their infamous Bypass Burgers - from the Single, all the way up to the Octuple Bypass Burger...with 40 slices of bacon!!

The point here is this:  No matter what your tastes or budget, there are fabulous hamburgers to be had all over Las Vegas.  And now that I’ve finished this article, I think I’ll go celebrate.  With a burger!