Red Mill Burgers

Review by: Michael Stern

There was a diner called the Red Mill in Seattle for thirty years starting in 1937. Twenty seven years after it closed, a new Red Mill opened in Phinney Ridge, and a hamburger legend was born. No doubt, Seattle is a significant burger city; and many of its connoisseurs believe Red Mill’s rate near the top. Flame broiled to a smoky savor, they come in many configurations from the basic version (lettuce and sauce) to deluxe (lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion and sauce) and include patties topped with blue cheese, barbecue sauce and/or peppery bacon. You can get a double – that’s a half-pound of meat – and you even can get a meatless garden burger. We are fond of the verde burger, which is topped with roasted green chilies, jack cheese, red onion, lettuce, tomato, and the Red Mill’s proprietary sauce. Condiments and dressing are applied in abundance, so while the meat patty itself is good, it’s all those extras that put it over the top.

On the side, onion rings are essential. They are big hoops with fragile crust and thick ribbons of sweet, caramelized onion inside. And there is a whole menu of milk shakes and malts, plus fresh-squeezed lemonade.

As if burgers, o-rings, and shakes weren’t enough to like this place, we should add that it has a strict NO CELL PHONE policy. If you do need to take or make a call, there’s a Starbuck’s next door.

Seattle’s first Red Mill is in Phinney Ridge at 312 N. 67th St. The phone is 206-783-6362.

What To Eat

Onion Rings

Double Bacon Deluxe w/Cheese

Milk Shake


Red Mill Burgers Recipes


What do you think of Red Mill Burgers?

3 Responses to “Red Mill Burgers”

Darren Blanton

March 9th, 2023

We’re coming to New Orleans for Easter week and we love eating great burgers



    March 28th, 2023

    Let us know how you like it!


Jon Bonne

June 7th, 2001

For all its salmon lore, Seattle has always had a great glut of terrific burger joints. Between Dick’s Drive-In and Kidd Valley, Seattlites for decades have easily been able to find cheap and far superior alternatives to the national chains.

But the pinnacle of Seattle burgers remains Red Mill Burgers. This duo of locally owned no-frills burger joints is unmistakable: Just look for the neon mill hung over the door. The locations are hardly convenient, and the decor is uninspired, but the juicy patties they serve up — with a quirky variety of trimmings — make you soon forget everything but the tray in front of you. Locals swear by the Verde burger, with its Anaheim chiles and cheese. You might opt instead for the chunky blue-cheese burger with bacon.

Whatever you do, though, do not skip the onion rings — which are truly the reason to go to Red Mill. Thick, huge and juicy, the rings are fried to a golden brown, with a solid batter protecting the tender onion inside. These, indeed, are onion rings to dream about.

Red Mill also has a selection of above-par shakes and some non-beef burger options. Be prepared for a short wait at lunchtime and make sure to turn off your cell phone. The staff is zealous — perhaps too much so — about a no-cell policy.


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