Wild Willy’s

Grass Fed Burger
The Rio Grande Burger – Roasted Green Chilies and Cheddar Cheese

I love it when I learn cool and interesting things from the community of readers of this blog. Close to a year ago, I conducted a giveaway where the question was, “what is your favorite steak and/or burger place?”

Two places showed up over and over again – enough for me to notice. One was Peter Luger in New York City (not a surprise, considering it actually won a Michelin star in 2011!! – post coming soon!). The other was this humble little burger place in Watertown called Wild Willy’s.

I finally had a chance to try Wild Willy’s the other day to see what all the loyalty and hype was about.
French Fries
French Fries

I soon discovered that Wild Willy’s is unique in that it is one of the few (cheaper) places that serves grass-fed beef. For an extra $1.50, you can substitute grass-fed beef in any of the burgers on the menu. Grass-fed beef is a great option for a variety of reasons. Most notably, grass-fed beef is healthier. It’s reported to be lower in saturated fat and have higher omega-3 content and than traditional corn-fed beef. I really like having the option to pay just a bit more for it.

“The Spicy Cactus” – Black Bean Veggie Burger

On top of the classic burgers, their menu offers various other interesting burgers such as the Annie Oakley (blue cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions) or the Rio Grande (roasted New Mexico green chilies and cheddar cheese). They even have a surprisingly delicious black bean veggie burger called The Spicy Cactus. I was surprised at how tasty it was – it had a crusty grilled edge just like a normal meat burger, and somehow the patty had tons of umami flavor. The salsa that was paired with the burger added juiciness and a kick to the burger. I was very pleasantly surprised.
Onion Rings
Onion Rings
The burgers may not be as creative as, say Bartley’s (still my favorite!) or the recently opened 5 Napkin burger. However, the menu has a solid variety that’s sufficient for most people. Additionally, at around $6 a burger (or closer to $8 if you want grass-fed), it’s definitely cheaper than Bartley’s, where burgers run closer to $10.

I would probably say it’s somewhere between Five Guys and Bartley’s in terms of “fast-foodness” (you order at a counter and they bring it to you), though taste-wise I’m not sure if it’s actually better than Five Guys. Bryan still says he much prefers the burgers from In & Out in California, which cost about the same (if not less).

The French fries and onion rings were quite solid, though the mac & cheese was forgettable.
Mac & Cheese
Mac & Cheese

Overall, Wild Willy’s has a good concept and executes it solidly: they provide no-frills high quality burgers at reasonable prices. Granted, there are better burgers Boston. However, if you’re just looking for a solid burger and you’re not looking to spend too much, Wild Willy’s is a fine option.

If I ever find myself in Watertown again, I would most definitely be happy to return.

Wild Willy’s
46 Arsenal St
Watertown, MA 02472
Wild Willy's Burgers on Urbanspoon

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  1. Elva McCarty says

    That green chile cheese burger looks almost exactly like one you’d get here in NM! It looks like they may have used cheddar though, and most places here use American cheese…maybe it just hadn’t melted yet. The chile looks spot on…Love to see that New Mexico chile is making it’s way around the globe!!!

  2. Diana says

    I enjoy ALL your posts but I do enjoy posts about your cheaper, casual dinning more. As a transplant, I want to know what the locals eat. Great blog and thanks!

    PS. So far, contenders from California (In-N-Out, Father’s Office, and Umami) still reign as best burgers I’ve ever eaten.

  3. mchan says

    ha, your post took me back to that saturday! I half expected to see a LS playing on BL’s phone lurking in a picture..

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