282 Beacon Street, Somerville, MA 02143
--- Winner, Best Burger in Boston Area, 2009 (also 2008, 2007, 2006, and 2005) ---
Ahh, O'Sullivan's. This charming little Somerville restaurant is many things to many people; it is a sanctuary on snowy nights, an escape after a long day at work, and simply a comfortable place to discuss the news of the day over a beer and a burger. RF O'Sullivan is an institution of sorts, though in a limited way, as it is not a well known restaurant outside of the communities just northwest of Boston. Indeed, this dining spot, located on a mostly residential street where Somerville borders Cambridge, may be one of Metro Boston's great hidden gems.
O'Sullivan's could not be laid out any simpler; a wraparound bar with a few tables along the walls, a couple of TVs showing mostly sports, and a back wall made of stone with an electric fireplace built into it. Yet the eating is the thing at RF O'Sullivan. The burgers at this restaurant are award-winning (literally) and have no real competition. Imagine thick hunks of ground beef grilled like those at a summer barbecue, served with steak fries nearly half the size of a potato. Add a cold bottle of brew, and you have a perfect meal. Burger toppings, by the way, run the gamut from feta cheese to ham to gouda to jalapenos to mushrooms to even fried eggs (with or without BBQ sauce), which is a recent addition to the menu. Another newer item is one that bacon lovers might want to try; it's called the Baconattor Burger, which is a mix of ground bacon and ground beef.
O'Sullivan's has more than just burgers, however; their chili nachos are decadent, enormous (as big as a person's head), and quite tasty, their potato skins are substantial enough to be made into a meal, their chicken sandwiches are fresh and hearty, their oversized grilled hot dogs are decent, their steak and cheese rollup is overstuffed with thinly-sliced meat, and their nicely marinated steak tips, while not quite up there with the best in the Boston area, are certainly worth getting. So if you're not looking for a burger, O'Sullivan's is still a great option for lunch or dinner.
Yes, Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage in nearby Cambridge also has pretty amazing burgers; and it's true that UBurger in the Kenmore Square section of Boston and Kelly's Roast Beef in Revere and a handful of other burger joints and family restaurants serve some delicious patties. But no one makes juicy half-pound burgers quite like RF O'Sullivan. If you're skeptical of this claim, head over to this cozy little Somerville dining spot midway between Porter, Union, Harvard, and Inman Squares, and see for yourself. Beware, though; you might just forget about all the others very quickly.
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