Best of the PittsBurgers: Butterjoint

July 2013

Every now and then, I really need a good burger.

The Butterjoint

A friend recently claimed he would give the ribbon for “Best Burger in Pittsburgh” to ButterjointLegume’ Bistro’s full service bar located in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. This friend happened to make that comment within earshot of a defensive chef from another establishment (to which I say, “show me what you can do and quit your whining!”). My friend’s harmless enthusiasm sparked a fierce debate amongst a foodie few. I was inclined to believe him, but I had yet to experience a Butterjoint burger for myself, so to the Butterjoint we journeyed!

Whiskey Sour

“Best Burger” is not a phrase I take lightly. Nor is it a blue ribbon I am quick to assign. Even though I have some fierce opinions and am quite passionate about burgers, I am more inclined to elect my burger locale based on the merits that strike in that moment. Do I want complete and utter control of my toppings? Am I mainly interested in the meat? How about the fries? Should there be an adult milkshake involved? Based on these whims and merits, I’ve come up with a few guiding principles. I’ll use these guidelines henceforth, on this here corner of the internet, whenever the topic of burgers arise. Without further ado..

Butterjoint Burger


214 N Craig St
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Neighborhood: Oakland

Meat Source: Keystone Cooperative Beef

The Farmers of Keystone Farmer’s Cooperative raise cattle in the vicinity of Uniontown PA. The high quality Choice Beef is fed on grass and locally grown grains. Because quality is their primary concern, Keystone’s cattle are raised without the use of hormones, antibiotics or pesticides in the feed. I wouldn’t have expected any less from the restaurant who pioneered local ingredients.

Meat Preparation Quality

Medium-rare is medium-rare, and this freshly ground burger is thick and juicy.


Lettuce and onions for the standard fare plus a few cheese options. The way to go is the “Fancy Burger of the Day.” In our case, that fancy burger had a garlic scape spread, shoestring onions and melted gruyere.


The burger comes with tallow fat fries and a side of garlic aioli sauce if you’re game. You should be game. It’s delicious!


I only ventured one cocktail deep on this particular visit, but when a bar delivers an outstanding whiskey sour, that’s a good sign- high caliber simplicity at its best!


Entering Butterjoint is like opening doors to a saloon, but not in the stereotypical way that makes use of a namesake font and cliche swinging doors. There’s the wooden bar, the well stocked shelves of glass bottles for extra glitz and glares, fancy light fixtures and an earthy tone. In short, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see someone walk in wearing those sleeve bands that prevent ink from soiling a fancy, collared shirt. It’s like a legitimate, upscale saloon, and I love it!


The “Fancy Burger of the Day” and fries will cost you $14, and considering what that money is supporting (responsible farming and local business), I happily fork over my $14.

Bread pudding

Just to top it alllllll off, there was a decadent bread pudding to really push us over the edge!

Butterjoint is pretty blue ribbon after all!

Stay tuned for more PittsBurgers!

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Yinzerella

    The Pub Burger at Meat & Potatoes is veerrrrry good.
    And if you ever visit Baltimore, get the Crosstown Burger at Hamilton Tavern.

    1. withthegrains

      I’m no stranger to that Meat & Potatoes burger. The advantage of the idea for these new guidelines is I have to go around town and eat lots of burgers. Have to! If I’m ever in Baltimore, you can show me the best of the town!

  2. Stephen Gross

    Ok, I checked it out. Here’s the deal: Yes, it is VERY good. However, it is not the best burger in the city. That honor belongs to Bar Marco. Meat & Potatoes certainly makes a *good* burger, but it is inferior to both Butterjoint ant Bar Marco.

    1. withthegrains

      Thanks for playing along! I don’t think I’ll ever select a single best burger. The whole impetus for my rating system was just a point of comparison because each place has its [rankable] merits, and depending on the mood, that might make that burger superior. I do love me a Bar Marco burger though and will have to put it through my official analysis in the near future.

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