There’s almost no limit to what works well on top of a burger; countless foods provide a pleasing contrast in taste or texture to the meat and the bun. Sometimes—in the case of cool and crunchy coleslaw, say, or fiery peppers—that contrast is striking; other times, as with avocado or caramelized onions, it’s subtle. Here are 18 of our favorites.
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These turmeric-spiked pickles lend spicy sweetness to the burger at Zuni Cafe in San Francisco.
A meaty, sweet presence between beef and bun.
bolster a burger’s savory qualities.
sliced into strips add sour notes and snap.
Alfalfa sprouts, with their fresh, almost grassy taste, pair well with beef.
A velvety alternative to crunchy iceberg.
Few toppings are more delicious than sweet sauteed onions.
Coleslaw adds a cool crunch to burgers.
The soft yolk mingles beautifully with the beef.
Store-bought or homemade, it lends a briny, Mediterranean accent.
These brined peppers give mild heat.
An earthy alternative to sweet pickles.
Pickled jalapeno slices convey an aromatic, tingly heat.
Red onions are a classic topping; briefly soak slices in ice water to temper their intensity.
Roasted red peppers
Roasted red peppers give burgers a smoky, sweet accent.
A bold substitute for onions.
A few slices can stand in for mayo and impart a buttery richness.