As warmer weather approaches, it’s only fitting to feast on the All-American meal: burgers and French fries. Not too far away from SPU are two Seattle-based burger joints, Red Mill Burgers and Blue Moon Burgers, that rival each other for best burger.
When deciding between the best burgers, it takes more than just a taste to make a conclusion. The atmosphere, the menu variety and the deals are all deciding factors.
In one corner of the burger battle is Red Mill Burgers, located on Dravus Street in Interbay. This joint has been around since 1994 in Phinney Ridge and only has two locations, Interbay and Phinney Ridge. Seattle Weekly has named Red Mill Burgers “Best Burgers in Seattle” for 10 years in a row. It was also featured on a 2009 episode of Man vs. Food.
In the other corner is Blue Moon Burgers, opened in 2000 and located in Fremont across the bridge. They are locally sourced and have locations in South Lake Union, Fremont and Capitol Hill.
Round One: Atmosphere
Almost any time you walk into Red Mill Burgers you will find a line. Sometimes it’s extra long, but usually the staff are pretty fast. The diner is somewhat small and usually filled with families or groups. Seating is a little difficult to find, but there are several booths and a few tables with chairs. Red Mill is draped in paintings and has a 1950s dive diner feel. Black and white tile flooring and red benches really hit the old school diner look.
Blue Moon has its share of long lines, but it has more seating options inside and out. It’s spacious with lots of tables for big groups, and there are tables outside for people to relax in the afternoon sun. They have a more modern decor with artistic photos on the walls. To skip the long lines, use Blue Moon’s mobile app to order.
Round Two: The Menu
Both restaurants are in the same price range — around $5–$15 a meal. Red Mill is known for its double bacon deluxe burger with cheese, a delicious burger filled with peppered bacon, lettuce, American cheese and the Red Mill special Mill Sauce. Other well-known burgers are their Red Mill Deluxe and their Verde Burger. A special note from Red Mill: Peanut oil is used to fry everything, so allergy prone people beware. They also offer chicken burgers for a healthier option and a variety of shakes.
Blue Moon has a diverse menu and even allows customers to build their own burger. Their signature burgers include The Blue Bayou, a burger filled with cajun spices, blue cheese and their Blue Moon sauce on a SODO roll. They have burgers of the month and a variety of gluten-free options as well.
Round Three: Specials and Deals
Red Mill doesn’t have many specials, but their traditional burgers are classic and never need mixing up.
Blue Moon has monthly specials in different categories: Burger of the month, side of the month, shake and local beer of the month listed online. They also have half-priced Wednesdays after 4 p.m.
So how does one decide which is better? It depends on what you want in a burger joint. Do you like an outstanding traditional burger in a old school diner or a burger with a new twist in a more urban setting? The final round? That’s up to the customers.