Red Robin Revamped Its Menu, So We Tasted And Ranked Every Burger

When was the last time you had a burger from Red Robin? If the answer is “years” or even “decades,” well… you probably haven’t heard that the chain just revamped its burger menu this month. And we’re not talking about adding a few new burgers to the roster — we’re talking big changes here!

New ingredients! New preparation methods! Reimagined builds! These shifts are so radical that unless you’ve been to the restaurant in October 2023, you can’t really say you have any idea of what a Red Robin burger tastes like. Seriously, you’re out of the loop.

Don’t worry if you’re not currently part of the RR Illuminati, though. We’ve tasted them all and we’re breaking down the winners (and losers) for you. But first, let’s talk about some of those changes:

  • In the past, Red Robin cooked its burgers through some type of conveyor belt oven (you know, like Burger King…). That’s gone now.
  • Instead, each burger is cooked the way it should be, on a flat-top grill resulting in burgers that are juicier and have that delicious Maillard crust.
  • They’ve upgraded their bacon, mayonnaise, and produce, brought in new brioche buns.
  • The brand now has an abundance of housemade sauces.

Looking back to the heyday of chain restaurants, Red Robin has always billed itself as a producer of “Gourmet Burgers.” Having tried the fully updated menu, I can tell you that they’re making good on that promise right now. Here are all 18 of the new burgers, ranked from least successful to most delicious. Let’s eat!

19. Turkey Burger

Red Robin
Dane Rivera

The Build:

Seasoned turkey patty, pepper-jack cheese, chipotle aioli, lettuce, and tomato

Tasting Notes & Thoughts:

The turkey patty is tender with a mildly spicy flavor and a heavy dusting of earthy black pepper. The chipotle aioli emphasizes the mild spice flavor while adding some sweet smokey notes to the mix which pair nicely with the pepper-jack cheese.

Overall, this burger is getting most of its flavor from the spicier elements of the build, while the meat itself is kind of flavorless and neutral. Giving the Turkey Burger the bottom spot feels mean but it is what it is. A real burger is always going to beat a turkey burger — still, if for some reason you’re opting for turkey burgers over the real thing, you’ll be glad to know that the turkey patty can be subbed into any burger on Red Robin’s menu, giving you a nice variety of flavors to explore.

The Bottom Line:

It’s good… for a turkey burger.

18. Red Robin Gourmet Cheeseburger

Red Robin
Dane Rivera

The Build:

Pickle Relish, onion, pickles, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and cheese (I went with American).

Tasting Notes & Thoughts:

There is a strong sweet tang to this burger that hovers over the beef flavor, with a pleasing, acidic aftertaste. It reminds me of the best McDonald’s cheeseburger, but significantly elevated.

It’s a great burger but at the end of the day, it feels a little boring compared to everything else on the menu. If you want a straight-up delicious cheeseburger, start here, but if you want something more interesting or adventurous, every other burger on the menu will get you there.

The Bottom Line:

A standard cheeseburger with a strong tangy flavor. It’s fine but every other burger offers a lot more than this.

17. Monster

Red Robin
Dane Rivera

The Build: Two beef patties, choice of cheese, onion, pickle relish, lettuce, tomato, and mayo

Tasting Notes & Thoughts:

It’s the Gourmet Cheeseburger but with double meat and cheese. The flavor is slightly different from the single patty version, there is less emphasis on that pickle relish tang and a greater focus on the meaty flavor of the beef and the salty flavor of the cheese.

Altogether this burger is beefy and salty with a slight tang and a sweet aftertaste. Still, I’m not in love with this double cheeseburger form factor. Don’t get me wrong, I love a double but this is jaw-dislocatingly-thiccccccc.

The Bottom Line:

Any of Red Robin’s burgers can be given the Monster treatment, which is great if you’re really hungry, but for most appetites, this burger is simply too big. At least it earns its name.

16. Bacon Cheeseburger

Red Robin
Dane Rivera

The Build:

Bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and any cheese of your choice.

Tasting Notes & Thoughts:

Here is the thing, Red Robin has to have a standard bacon cheeseburger. If it didn’t, the menu would feel like it’s missing something. And for a bacon cheeseburger, it’s good, the bacon is crispy, smokey, perfectly cooked, and slightly sweet, and the lettuce, tomato, and mayo combination is classic.

But this is far from the best burger Red Robin serves that has bacon on it. As such, we can’t rank it higher than we have it here.

The Bottom Line:

Your standard bacon cheeseburger. Again, Red Robin is at its best when it’s being adventurous and this is just too by the books to stand out.

15. Red’s Double

Red Robin
Dane Rivera

The Build:

Red’s Secret Tavern Sauce, American cheese, lettuce, and tomato.

Tasting Notes & Thoughts:

It should be pretty clear now that the more basic a burger build is, the lower it’s going to rank on this list, which makes the Red’s Double a bit tough for me to rank. On one hand, the build is too simplistic to be notable, but on the other, the “tavern” form factor is my favorite on the menu.

Red Robin’s ‘Tavern’ burgers feature smaller patties and are served on a sesame seed brioche bun. I like the smaller patties, it helps to create a better bread-to-meat ratio without being too filling and overwhelming.

But the Red’s Double is the weakest burger of the excellent Tavern line. It’s essentially a smaller version of the Gourmet Cheeseburger, featuring the same build in a smaller footprint.

The Bottom Line:

Significantly better than the almost identical Gourmet Burger but the weakest of the Tavern line.

14. Bleu Ribbon

Red Robin
Dane Rivera

The Build:

Steak sauce, bleu cheese crumbles, fried onions, and chipotle aioli.

Tasting Notes & Thoughts:

This one smacks your tastebuds with a sharp tang at first bite. The fried onions add some sweetness and deepen the savory quality of the beef patty, working as a nice counterbalance against all that tang while the chipotle aioli brings in some mild smokey spice that builds on the aftertaste.

I don’t know that I’d ever seek out a bleu cheese burger, but I can’t deny the experience of eating one is incredibly enjoyable.

The Bottom Line:

For hardcore bleu cheese fans. Tangy, savory, and a bit spicy.

13. Whiskey River BBQ

Red Robin
Dane Rivera

The Build:

Whiskey River BBQ Sauce, fried onions, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and mayo.

Tasting Notes & Thoughts:

Sweet, smokey, and rich, this is a fairly standard BBQ barbecue burger featuring a classic build. Red Robin’s Whiskey River BBQ leans on the sweet and rich side with little to no spice.

The Bottom Line:

It’s a good BBQ burger but Red Robin covers similar ground on a few other builds and does it better than what this offers.

12. Royal Red Robin

Red Robin
Dane Rivera

The Build:

Over-easy egg, bacon, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayo.

Tasting Notes & Thoughts:

It’s breakfast in a burger! The egg ups the savory quality of this burger and pairs perfectly with the crunchy, sweet, and slightly smokey bacon and the beef patty. The lettuce, tomato, and mayo are fine accompaniments, but the real star is that egg, which oozes all over the burger at first bite.

That egg soaks nicely into the brioche bun, resulting in a mess of a burger — given the flavor, we’re willing to give it a pass.

The Bottom Line:

Whether or not you like this burger is going to come down to the egg. If you want an egg on your burger, this is fantastic, and all the ingredients are complementary. If you’re not down for a fried egg on your burger, this isn’t going to win you over.

11. Smashed Avocado n’ Bacon

Red Robin
Dane Rivera

The Build: Smashed avocado, bacon, Swiss cheese, onion, lettuce, tomato, and mayo.

Tasting Notes & Thoughts:

Red Robin’s preparation changes have greatly improved the Smashed Avocado n’ Bacon burger. The old burger used pre-made guacamole that was squeezed out of a pouch but this new version is topped with avocado that is freshly smashed daily in the restaurant, allowing you to taste all that addictive buttery flavor.

That creamy quality pairs nicely with the beef patty and even better with the bacon, giving you a flavor that is buttery, smokey, and wonderfully savory. I like the choice of Swiss here as well, it adds a nice nutty character to the burger.

My only issue is that I don’t think this burger needs the mayo. The avocado does more than enough.

The Bottom Line:

Delicious. Avocado fans rejoice, this is one of the best bacon avocado burgers in the restaurant space.

10. Smoke and Pepper

Red Robin
Dane Rivera

The Build: Black-peppered bacon, cheddar, lettuce, dill pickles, and Smoke & Pepper ketchup.

Tasting Notes & Thoughts:

This burger is deceptively simple. The build suggests that Smoke and Pepper is pretty standard stuff, but everything here is elevated just a bit. The black pepper adds some earthy floral notes to the smokey bacon, and the briney pickles are complemented nicely by the slightly smokey and peppery ketchup.

Each beefy bite has an interesting woody finish to it.

The Bottom Line:

Smokey, floral, and earthy, Smoke and Pepper makes the case that simple black pepper is one of the most underrated seasonings.

9. Sautéed Shroom

Red Robin
Dane Rivera

The Build: Fresh sautéed garlic mushrooms, Swiss cheese, garlic aioli.

Tasting Notes & Thoughts:

A garlicky umami bomb bursting with flavor! The Sautéed Shrrom goes heavy on the mushrooms, it’s hard to taste much else aside from the one-two punch of shroom and garlic, but if you strain to taste the Swiss, you’ll get some of the creamy nuttiness mid-bite. But by the finish that mushroom flavor takes over completely.

The Bottom Line:

Delicious and umami-rich, but if you aren’t in love with mushrooms, you probably won’t like this one.

8. Banzai

Red Robin
Dane Rivera

The Build:

Teriyaki-glazed patty, grilled pineapple, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and mayo.

Tasting Notes & Thoughts:

Bright, tangy, and sweet, the Banzai burger is super juicy and meaty. The teriyaki is nicely caramelized on the beef which brings considerable brown sugar sweetness to each bite which is balanced out by the bright tangy pineapple notes. The pineapple itself is very fleshy, which gives the burger a nice decadent quality.

Once again, I don’t think Red Robin needs the mayo here, it’s not adding much to the burger and gets lost in the combination of teriyaki and pineapple.

The Bottom Line:

A delicious sweet and tangy burger that is decadent and satisfying without coming across as overwhelming.

7. Haystack Double

Red Robin
Dane Rivera

The Build: American cheese, Campfire Mayo, crispy onion straws.

Tasting Notes & Thoughts:

The build is incredibly simple, you have the American cheese providing some salty notes, the proprietary Campfire Mayo bringing some smokey tang into the equation, and crispy onion straws adding sweetness, crunch, and accentuating the savory beefy quality of the meat patty.

Yes, it’s not as inventive as some of Red Robin’s other burgers, but it’s a delicious double cheeseburger, and when done right that’s hard to beat. Once again, Red Robin’s Tavern line continues to impress me.

The Bottom Line:

One of Red Robin’s simplest burgers, but also one of its most delicious. A standard double cheeseburger that stacks up well against any of your favorites.

6. Cheesy Bacon Fondue

Red Robin
Dane Rivera

The Build:

Bacon, American cheese, mayo, side of Cheesy Bacon Fondue for dipping.

Tasting Notes & Thoughts:

Heavy on the salt and cheesy flavor, the magic of this burger is in the fondue dip. On its own, its a simple bacon cheeseburger, but once dipped the salty and smokey notes are turned up to ten.

The fondue also makes a fantastic dip for french fries.

The Bottom Line:

Super salty with a sweet smoked finish. If you love cheese and bacon, this burger is for you.

5. BBQ Burnt Ends ’n Bacon Burger

Red Robin
Dane Rivera

The Build:

Smoked burnt ends, fried onions, Whiskey River BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, black peppered bacon, pickles, and mayo.

Tasting Notes & Thoughts:

The initial bite is smokey and sweet before hitting deep beefy savory territory. A bit of earthy brine and sweet and spicy notes from the pickles and onions serve as a counterbalance to the sweetness, taking your tastebuds on a nice journey through several sensations.

The burnt ends add a rich smokiness to the finish and make the whole thing a bit chewier as you’ll find yourself working on the ends long after the beef has melted in your mouth. This burger is only available for a limited time, so if you hit up Red Robin soon, it’s definitely worth the pickup.

The Bottom Line:

Very smoky and sweet, a great take on a barbecue burger and vastly superior to the Whisky River BBQ burger.

4. Pig Out Double

Red Robin
Dane Rivera

The Build:

Bacon, bacon crumbles, brown-sugar-glazed patties, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayo.

Tasting Notes & Thoughts:

The best Tavern-style burger on the menu, the Pig Out Double doubles down on the bacon and beef, resulting in a savory burger that is very sweet with a pronounced smoky finish.

That sweetness comes from the patties being cooked in a brown sugar glaze which deepens the flavor of the beef, adding a richness to every bite that is addicting.

The Bottom Line:

Smokey, crunchy, and sweet, the Pig Out Double is another simple build that delivers flavor greater than the sum of its parts.

3. Scorpion

Red Robin
Dane Rivera

The Build:

Pepper jack cheese, fried jalapeños, Scorpion Pepper sauce, pickles, red onions, lettuce, tomato, roasted garlic aioli.

Tasting Notes & Thoughts:

A strong kick of heat immediately overwhelms the taste buds with a subtle sweet and garlicky finish. All the ingredients in this burger work together nicely, the pepper jack cheese brings on a slight nutty flavor which pairs nicely with the smokey and strong Scorpion pepper sauce, while pickles and red onions bring in some briney sweetness to combat some of the spice.

But be warned, the pickles and onions can only do so much, this burger is dangerously spicy. It’s one of Red Robin’s most popular menu items and it’s easy to see why — everything from the flavor to the crunch of this burger feels designed to please the senses.

The Bottom Line:

Red Robin’s spiciest burger. If you love strong heat and big flavors, this is the burger for you.

2. The Southern Charm

Red Robin
Dane Rivera

The Build:

Brown-sugar-glazed patty, bacon, Whiskey River BBQ sauce, cheddar, caramelized onion, lettuce, and tomato.

Tasting Notes & Thoughts:

As you can tell from the build, the Southern Charm covers a lot of the same ground as a lot of other burgers on Red Robin’s menu, but of all the BBQ bacon burgers on the menu, the Southern Charm does the flavor best.

That’s all because of the caramelized onions. Where the other BBQ bacon burgers go for decadence, adding crispy onions, burnt ends, and any other crunchy and salty ingredients to enhance crunch and flood the tastebuds with salt, the Southern Charm leans on the sweet notes of the Whiskey River BBQ sauce with caramelized onions which deepened the savory notes, and add some natural spicy sweetness to each bite.

The caramelized onions mixed with the brown-sugar-glazed patties is a perfect combination, resulting in a rich beefier burger that melts in your mouth with each bite.

The Bottom Line:

If you love BBQ and bacon, the Southern Charm does it better than any other Red Robin burger. It’s sweet, rich, and wonderfully satisfying bite after bite.

1. Burning Love

Red Robin
Dane Rivera

The Build:

Fried jalapeños, house-made salsa, pepper-jack cheese, lettuce, tomato and chipotle aioli.

Tasting Notes & Thoughts:

It was nearly a tie between our second place and first place pick but I had to give the top spot to Burning Love. This burger captures all of the spicy magic of the Scorpion but takes a step back from the decadence.

The combination of fried jalapenos and a big grilled jalapeno at the top of the burger adds a mild spice that is wonderfully vegetal and pairs nicely with the smokey notes of the Chipotle aioli, the mild spice of the pepper-jack cheese, and the umami-rich flavors of the house-made salsa.

The mild spice is hot enough to satisfy the tastebuds but not overwhelming to the point that eating the burger feels like a challenge. It strikes a nice middle ground between hot and savory.

The Bottom Line:

Red Robin’s best burger. A gourmet experience that takes the familiar flavors of a great cheeseburger and elevates it to new heights.

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