"With Colorado-based Smashburger having opened its first international location in Kuwait this year, the worldwide burgerscape is about to change for the better," declares Motz, who's a huge fan of the rapidly expanding five-year-old chain. The restaurants serve freshly ground Angus beef burgers (formed into balls, then smashed on the grill, thus the name) with classic toppings like American cheese and other standard fixings, plus regional variations. The Kuwait City edition is served on a spicy chipotle bun and topped with hot pepper cheese, grilled jalapeños, labneh, spinach, tomato, and cucumber.
New Zealand: Fergburger
Motz praises Queenstown's "beloved" Fergburger for its Big Al, billed by the eatery as "a double serving of prime New Zealand beef (1/2 lb), lashings of bacon, a whole lotta cheese, 2 eggs, beetroot, lettuce, tomato, red onion, relish, and a big wad of aioli." In short, an apt expression of Fergburger's original mission statement, circa 2001: "Let there be burgers for the people to eat when they are drunk to hell." Sober diners and hamburger purists can opt for a regular Fergburger, simply topped with lettuce, tomato, red onion, aïoli, and tomato relish. But whichever they choose, they'll be assured they're getting quality ground beef: "The beef they use at Fergburger is New Zealand grassfed prime," explains Motz. "It's the same New Zealand beef you buy at Whole Foods without the 8,700 miles of travel."
Russia: Starlite Diner
Steel, recently returned from Russia, recommends that when in Moscow, homesick Americans—and burger lovers of all nationalities—hit Starlite Diner, "a quintessential version of an American diner, replete with route signs, record albums and funky clocks adorning the walls, vinyl booths, and $10 milkshakes." Starlite offers items that you wouldn't find in most diners back home (Okroshka soup, anyone?), but its burgers are classic American-style. "The 'Cowboy' is their best, with BBQ sauce, Cheddar cheese, bacon, and caramelized onions," Steel advises. "You do pay the price of homesickness, thoughfour people can't get out of there for less than $100."
United States: Classic and Creative Picks
Ozersky declined to endorse a single burger overseas, but he named several favorites right here at home. "Burgers in the U.S. come in two varieties: the classical, orthodox, old-school burgers, 4 ounces or less, and produced with the regularity of hexameters; and gourmet creations, generally of atomic size, which tend to rely on specialized buns, toppings, or seasoning," he explains. "The best of the first kind is to be found, for my money, at places like Pie 'n Burger in Pasadena, California, and Keller's drive-in in Dallas; and there is no best of the second kind, which are all equally awful. Some artisans have tried to elevate the traditional burger with admirable success, though—among these I would count the Company Burger in New Orleans, Schnipper's and Bill's in New York, and Shake Shack everywhere."Found the best burger in Bali? A can't-miss specimen to compete with our burger masters' favorites? Share your burger picks around the world with us via Facebook and Twitter.
*This article has been modified to reflect a correction from a source.