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The Lost Leschi Burger

Updated: Aug 26, 2023

I love a tasty burger. Here in the Leschi area, we’re fortunate enough to be the beneficiaries of a number of high quality ones. From the BluWater to Daniel’s and Meet the Moon to Heyday. We’re doing it right, and this is something we ought to appreciate. We tend to think of the hamburger as originating in classic mid-century Americana, and so it is interesting to me that our local history with burgers in Leschi may go back quite a bit farther than we might have thought. A few years ago, I was cleaning out a closet in my house. Now, it’s an old house, perhaps one of the first in the area, built prior to 1900. It’s been cobbled together over the years in a number of shall we say “novel” ways. There was a shelf at the top of the closet, which viewed from the bottom appeared to be just a run-of-the-mill wood plank. However, once I got up onto my stepladder and finished removing all the clutter that was up there, I was shocked to discover what appeared to be a sign.

It had clearly been there for a long time. There’s some lore in the family that at one point, shortly after getting married in 1919, my great grandmother, former Leschi resident Trudy Ward and her newlywed husband Charles, attempted to make a go of it selling hamburgers. Up to this point, we had no particular evidence of this enterprise; only a story from a relative who has since passed. But here in front of me was a physical remnant of that time. And I have to tell you that it was exciting to see.

What I’d really like to know is what this establishment was like. Was it just a hamburger stand? Where was it located? And most importantly, what did these burgers taste like? Because I want one! The sign currently remains part of this closet; however, it has been suggested that the artifact might be better located in a museum. If one is so interested, and we can suitably patch up the closet shelf so that it remains functional, that would probably serve everybody’s best interests. If you happen to have any information about Ward’s Hamburger Specialists, our lost Leschi hamburger establishment, please contact the Leschi News so we can consume the rest of this tasty mystery.

My Top Seattle Burgers:

Heyday—located just next door in the Mount Baker neighborhood, right on the edge of Leschi. The BYOB is great. While it’s a bit pricey to put everything together, you will not be disappointed in the result. Everything this restaurant does is done correctly. (10/10)

Yard House—Another favorite. This is a gourmet burger, and it is delicious and particularly juicy. Order it medium rare. You will want to eat here every day. (9/10)

Nordstrom Grill—Go to the one Downtown. There’s something special about eating here. The burger is delicious and for some reason you’ll feel like it’s 1940. (8/10)

Dick’s Drive-In—While not a gourmet burger per se as the others presented here, I would be remiss if I wrote about burgers in Seattle and didn’t mention Dick’s. This place is great. The Dick’s Deluxe is the way to go. It’s cheap, delicious, and my gosh order some fries to go with! (10/10, in its own league)

~Brian Ward, Leschi resident

Editor’s note: Brian always orders a cheeseburger in his search for perfection as he is then comparing apples with apples!


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