Best Burger in Vegas?

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Pub 1842

Michael Mina’s Pub 1842 at the MGM

Every once in awhile, I’ll read a blog post or message forum thread in which people express their opinions about “the best burger in Las Vegas”. Of course “best” is always subjective, dependent on personal taste, and it’s impossible for anyone to really say what is the “best” of anything, unless they’ve sampled a burger at every single one of the hundreds of restaurants in a given city. Still, it’s fun to discuss, because most of us who are carnivores will probably have a burger at some point during a trip to Vegas, and reading about other people’s favorites may inspire us to try some of them for ourselves on a future trip.

On my last trip to Vegas, I had my “burger-of-the-trip” at Pub 1842 at the MGM Grand. I had lunch here on a Monday when it wasn’t very busy. As is often my habit, I bypassed the booths and tables and sat at the very long bar, which is just inside the door. Even in the middle of the day, the pub was pretty dark, so I can’t really describe the decor. Luckily, the bar is fairly well lit, so I could see to read the menu and the bill. There are the ubiquitous TVs set to sports above the bar so you have something to look at while you eat and drink. Sports bores me, but I got a kick out of their funny bar signs.

Bar Signs

These weren’t even the funniest ones.

My bartender was pretty cool. (I think that’s a requirement of the job, because I can’t think of a bartender I’ve ever met that wasn’t cool.) He didn’t rush me as I read the menu, but was available when I was ready to order. I chose the 1842 burger, my theory being that since it bears the Pub’s name, it ought to be the best damn burger they serve. Makes sense, right? (Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.)

Well, let me just go on record right here and now and say THIS was the best burger I’ve eaten in my 15 years of traveling to Las Vegas. It was better than the Burger Bar, better than BLT Burger, better than the Cheeseburger in Paradise at Margaritaville, better than I Love Burgers, far, far, better than the former KGB Burger, and wherever else I’ve had a burger in the city. (You don’t honestly expect me to remember every place, do you?)

The 1842 burger is topped with caramelized onions and mushrooms and comes with a side of fries and truffle aioli. It also typically comes with a bun, but I passed on the bun so the bread wouldn’t fill me up. I ordered it cooked medium-well, which still had some pink in the middle. It was so moist and delicious and perfect and there’s a reason for that: My bartender told me they grind their own hamburger.

Not only was the burger scrumptious, but the BBQ spiced fries were amazing, too. They were fried crispy and tasted both sweet and salty. Instead of putting the aioli on the burger, I dipped my fries in it. Oh my God, it was a heavenly taste sensation. I could eat those fries with the aioli every day of the week.

1842 Burger

My personal “best burger” in Vegas. Not my best photo though.

Because it was a blisteringly hot day in Vegas, I was dehydrated and only drank water with my food (served out of a mason jar, of course, because: trendy). But I’d go back for a drink here any time to sample some of their many, many beers (bottled, canned and quite a few draft selections as well).

So there you have it. I have officially weighed in on the “best burger in Vegas” debate. Also, if you’re the type of person who likes the cachet of being able to say you ate at a Michael Mina restaurant without your meal bearing the price tag of one of his pricier restaurants, here’s your chance. Don’t limit yourself to the 1842 Burger, either. The Pub’s creative menu features lobster grilled cheese, the Peanut Butter Crunch burger, a vegetarian falafel for the anti-meat crowd, and lobster fritters, among other things.

Cost of lunch: $14 before tip (in late August 2015).


As an aside, I just want to thank those of you who have contacted me via email and Twitter to express concern about my long absence from this blog. It’s been four months since my last post, and even that was written by someone else. Don’t worry; I’m fine. The quick story is that I had to take a break from blogging for awhile to focus on a number of other “real life” priorities that needed my time and energy. I’ll try to get back to a semi-regular blogging schedule now.

11 thoughts on “Best Burger in Vegas?

  1. Jmk615

    I love 1842, as I stay at MGM twice a year, it is a favorite. I still also love Burger Bar and Holstein’s. Not a fan of the Public at Monte Carlo any longer. They were always a favorite of mine, went there in Oct 2015 and they lowered the price but the quality went down too.

    1. Gray Cargill Post author

      I should have read your first comment first. I thought you were recommending the Pub at Monte Carlo. I thought the quality was pretty low there a few years ago; sorry to hear it’s gotten even worse. (Good drinking at the bar, though.) I like all the topping options at the Burger Bar, I just wish the actual burgers were as good as Pub 1842. Toppings can only do so much for a burger. I have yet to have an actual burger at Holsteins, even though I’ve eaten there a couple of times. Crazy. I need to do that soon. Thanks, jmk615!

  2. Jay

    Welcome back, I hope all is well.

    We’ll take up your advice and try this burger during our next visit (maybe in June or July). Our last trip was in September, and we usually squeeze in a January/February trip — but with the Canadian dollar right now, it doesn’t make sense.

    1. Gray Cargill Post author

      Thank you, Jay! I am fine. I hear you on the money front. It’s disappointing when you have to reduce the number of trips to Vegas for financial reasons. Here’s hoping you get there sooner than you think!

  3. Jason's Travels

    Just this weekend, I had a really good burger at Citizen in Mandalay Bay. We wanted to the Burger Bar – in the sky way to the Luxor – but the wait was insane. We found Citizen by chance, then, and decided to give it a try, since we were all so hungry. Can’t say anything but that being a good idea, since burger was perfect and the fat fries awesome. My brother got the fish and chips, and we joked all weekend it was the size of a shark. And that’s not an understatement. The thing was huge.

  4. DB

    Was such an awesome surprise to receive a blog post from you in my Inbox! Welcome Back! Missed you and your posts! Glad to hear you are ok. I was thinking maybe you decided to hit the campaign trail with your state’s hometown hero… 😉 Anyway, thanks for the review of Pub 1842. I’ve stayed at MGM Grand many times and never got around to eating there. There’s just so many restaurants to eat at in Vegas! Will definitely try it out next time I am out there. Thanks again and look forward to reading your posts! Happy 2016!

    1. Gray Cargill Post author

      Thank you so much, DB! LOL, no I try to stay as far away from politics as I can (except for voting, of course). I agree, there are definitely too many great restaurants in Vegas to be able to try them all. But we certainly try, don’t we? 🙂 Happy 2016 to you too!

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