We at The Daily Meal began ranking our country’s burgers back in 2013, when we detailed what we had found to be the 40 best, and last year, we took it up to a comprehensive 101. In order to compile this year’s ranking, we assembled a list of nearly 250 burgers from all across the country, from Hollywood, Florida, to Anchorage, Alaska. Building upon last year’s suggestions from various authorities on the subject, we dug through online reviews and combed existing best-of lists, both in print and online, that were published since our 2014 burger ranking. Even though each of the burgers we found was unique, certain qualities were universal must-haves: high-quality beef (you'll find no turkey or black bean burgers here), proper seasoning, well-proportioned components, and an overall attention to detail that many would call “making it with love.” As usual, we didn’t include large chains like Shake Shack and In-N-Out — we celebrated the best chain burgers earlier this year — choosing instead to focus on smaller-time restaurant owners.
We divided these burgers by region and compiled a survey that was taken by a panel of 70 noted writers, journalists, bloggers, and other culinary authorities from across the country, among them Hamburger America author George Motz, along with the knowledgeable Daily Meal staff, City Editors, and contributors. Participants were asked to vote for their favorites, limiting themselves to places they’ve actually visited. We tallied the results, and the 101 burgers that received the most votes are the ones you’ll find in this story.