Eating hamburgers is an American pastime. But in restaurants, this no-frills menu item is getting decidedly more upscale — so upscale in fact that we've decided to highlight the world's most expensive burgers. It shouldn't be any surprise, but New Yorkers don't just have an appetite — they have an expensive one.
The $666 Douche Burger
When you hear New York City food truck, you think cheap eats. But at 666 Burger, you can find a foie gras-stuffed burger for — you guessed it — $666. Topped with lobster, truffles, caviar, Gruyere that's been melted with champagne steam, a barbecue sauce made with coffee beans that have been digested (and pooped out) by an Asian palm civet and served in a gold-leaf wrapper, the Douche Burger is about as pretentious as you can get.
$295 Burger Topped with Diamond-Crusted Gold Toothpick
Shortly before the Douche Burger, it was the burger at New York's Seredipity 3 that made headlines for being the world's most expensive. At $295, the burger includes a patty of Japanese Waygu beef infused with a 10-herb white truffle butter and topped with 18-month cave-aged handmade cheddar cheese, shaved black truffles, a fried quail egg, creme fraiche, Kaluga caviar and blini on a white truffle-buttered Campagna roll. It's held together with a solid gold Fleur de Lis toothpick encrusted with diamonds. For dessert, you can also order a $1,000 sundae.
The Absolutely Ridiculous Burger
Meet the Absolutely Ridiculous Burger at Mallie's Sports Bar & Grill in Southgate, Mich. This Guinness World Record holder for biggest burger on the planet weighs in at 185.6 pounds. After forking over $499, you know you won't be going hungry for a while. If you want it delivered, that'll be $2,000.
The uSocial Burger
An Australian advertising agency uSocial slapped a $10,000 price tag on a burger for charity. The burger itself is made of Australian Wagyu beef with a solid white truffle core, topped with a slice of aged cheddar, some Jamón Ibérico de Bellot (a rare Spanish ham that's kind of like the pig version of Kobe — the ham is from free-range Iberian pigs fed only acorns during the last stage of their lives), sliced white truffle, 24-carat gold leaf and drizzled with an eight-year-old balsamic vinegar. This is served on a 24-carat gold leaf, saffron and black truffle brioche bun.
The Fleurburger 5000
So The Fleurburger plays a bit fast and loose here. The burger itself — Kobe beef (an entirely made up term anywhere outside Japan) topped with foie gras, black truffles and a truffle sauce, served on a brioche truffle bun — costs only $75 at Las Vegas' Fleur restaurant. But pair it with a bottle of 1990 Château Pétrus Bordeaux, and the tab's going to run you $5,000.
The 777 Burger
Another burger and alcohol pairing, the 777 Burger with a bottle of Rose Dom Perignon champagne from Paris Las Vegas comes to $777. The patty is topped with Maine lobster, caramelized onions, Brie, crispy prosciutto and balsamic vinegar aged 100 years.
DB 'Royale' Double Truffle Burger
Celebrity chef Daniel Boulud (DB Bistro Moderne in New York and Daniel Boulud Brasserie in Las Vegas) stuffs his burger with boneless red wine-braised short ribs and tops it with root vegetables, preserved black truffle and more black truffles, served on a toasted parmesan and poppy seed bun — yours for $120. A less extravagant version is also available for $32.
This burger from Boca Raton restaurant The Old Homestead Steakhouse is made of three types of beef: American Prime, Japanese Wagyu and Argentine beef. Served with a Chipotle ketchup (with ingredients including truffle and champagne), $10 of each $125 burger is donated to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
$160 Truffle and Lobster Burger in Korea
The W Hotel in Seoul serves up a 180,000 won (US$159) burger that's topped with seared foie gras, a lobster tail, shaved black truffles, a dark red wine truffle sauce and truffle aioli on a brioche bun.
$186 Burger King
Believe it or not, Burger King makes this list. The fast food chain debuted a menu item called The Burger in 2008 at its West London branch. What's inside a £95 (US$186) burger? Wagyu beef, white truffles, onion tempura prepared in Cristal champagne, Spanish prosciutto served on an Iranian saffron and truffle bun. Proceeds from The Burger go to a local charity, so you don't have to feel so guilty about 1. traveling all the way to London to eat at Burger King and 2. spending $186 on lunch for yourself.
Check out More Slideshows from Discovery.com...
How to Brew Your Own Beer (in an Apartment) Best and Worst of Summer Blockbusters: What To See, What To Skip, Who To Watch for 8 Surprisingly Fuel-Efficient Luxury Cars The Wildest Places Left on Earth