Courtesy of Bru Burger Bar
A burger is unfussy and versatile. You might prefer your burger with a beef pattie (or two or three), or a black bean patty (keep it veg), cheese (or not), avocado (or hold the green please), but whatever is nestled between two buns turns out to be a satisfying sandwich. You can make them at home, sure, but there’s something comforting about pulling up to your favorite burger place.
Burgers are classic American fare, and they’re on menus at your local pizza place and the most delicious steakhouses in America. But there are standouts — burgers that are too good to be ignored no matter where they appear. Here are the 101 best burgers in America.
As previously mentioned, burgers are ubiquitous, so we made sure to highlight bodacious burgers from all parts of the country, as well as female- and Black-owned businesses. And while amazing burger chains abound, this list is focused on smaller establishments and local favorites that have found success branching out to a few locations. We did not limit our search to burger joints only, although that is the majority of the list. To find them, we used internal expertise, scoured Yelp and other review sites, looked at coverage by local journalists and gathered suggestions from readers.
Although they’re each special in their own ways, many of the following burgers have the qualities you’d expect in a satisfying burger: a pillowy bun, juicy beef and all the right toppings cooked to please. Some have your standard ingredients — meat, cheese, lettuce and tomato — while some buck tradition with vegan offerings, ghost peppers or (gasp) not a lettuce leaf or tomato in sight. Here are the best burgers in America.
Since 2001, Cheeseburger Baby has been “keeping it classic” with cheeseburgers that have attracted the likes of popular song hitmaker and Grammy-award winning rapper Jay-Z. Owned by Stephanie “Queen of South Beach” Vitori, Cheeseburger Baby is famous for being the only female-owned burger joint in Miami. Favorites at Cheeseburger Baby include The Original — a half-pound cheeseburger that can be topped with anything from onion rings to chili — and Baby’s Favorite — The Original topped with applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese and a fried egg.
Karl Erich M./Yelp
Best described as a hidden gem, Burger Boy has been a Cedar Crest, New Mexico, hangout since 1982. Burgers at Burger Boy are third-pound patties of fresh ground beef tucked into a bun and topped with the classics: ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and onions. New Mexico is famous for its green chiles, so if you want to eat like a local, try the famous chile cheeseburger — a classic cheeseburger topped with green chiles.
Located in Compton, California, Mom’s Burgers is a blue-roof burger shack that will have you coming back for more. Burgers at this Black-owned spot are served the old-school way — in a greasy brown paper bag — and topped with iceberg lettuce, chopped white onions, ketchup, mustard, mayo, pickles and a slice of tomato. Locals rave about the legendary Chronic burger — a colossal burger topped with American cheese, fried egg and bacon.
Triple XXX Family Restaurant has been serving good eats for so long that its tagline is, “We were here before your mother was born.” Located in West Lafayette, Triple XXX is Indiana’s first and oldest drive-in restaurant. For over 90 years, the diner has whipped up signature burgers made with 100% sirloin and always paired with fries and a pickle. Triple XXX’s most famous burger is the Duane Purvis All-American. Made with a quarter-pound chop steak, creamy peanut butter, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion on a toasted sesame bun, the burger is so popular that it was featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.”
As the legend goes, Swenson’s was founded in 1934 by Wesley “Pop” Swenson after he claimed he wanted to “serve folks the best hamburger possible.” Eighty years later, you can find Swenson’s in multiple locations throughout Ohio serving up what has been called “America’s Best Cheeseburger.” The Galley Boy — a burger made with two beef patties, cheese, two secret sauces and topped with a signature olive — is an Ohio staple that can be served the classic way or spiced up with cajun spices and Tabasco sauce.
Thanks to its retro, neon-colored sign, you won’t miss Al’s French Frys in Burlington, Vermont, if you drive by, but you will miss the burgers once you leave. Founded in the ‘40s, Al’s originally gained notoriety because of the crispy fries, but today, it’s the burgers that keep the locals coming back for more. The cheeseburger — served with a single or double patty and topped with melty cheese — is a local favorite.
At first glance, the variety of old-school Italian hoagies might make you think The Jackson House in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is only great at making sandwiches better than mom used to make. But this Harrisburg gem is truly famous for its award-winning burgers. Most loved by locals is The Jackson — a half-pound beef patty topped with melted American cheese, crispy smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato and a special sauce.
Located in Watertown, Wisconsin, Zwieg’s Grill is a small, old-school diner that has been tossing burgers for more than 70 years. The double cheeseburger — made simple with a slice of American cheese on top — is a must, but if you really want to take your order to the next level, add a pile of flavorful grilled onions to your burger.
Just one look at White Hut in West Springfield, Massachusetts, and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time to a diner from a 1950s TV special. The burgers at White Hut (established in 1939) are made thin, crispy on the edges and juicy inside. If you ever find yourself at the Hut, try a cheeseburger with onions, tomatoes and pickles, and top it off with White Hut’s famous fried onions.
At the Redcoat Tavern, located in the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak, Michigan, burgers are half-pound beauties served on a traditional sesame seed bun and topped with shredded lettuce, tomato and a special sauce. You can keep things simple or take your order to a new level with additions like smoky ghost peppers, guacamole or burnt onions. And if you’re craving a decadent meal, the Brasserie burger — bacon, caramelized onions, Swiss cheese, tomato, watercress and Dijon mustard-mayonnaise stacked on a half-pound ground beef burger between a brioche bun — was named metro Detroit’s top gourmet burger by the Detroit Free Press.
At El Mago de las Fritas in Miami, Cuban and American culture meld to create delicious eats. Operated by father and daughter duo Martha and Ortelio Cardenas — who goes by “Mago” or magician — the food at El Mago is so good that even President Barack Obama has stopped in for a bite. When el Mago is at the grill (and he always is) make sure to order The Frita Traditional — a Cuban interpretation of a hamburger cooked with raw onion and Mago’s famous potato wisps.
A landmark that draws locals and South Dakota tourists, Black Hills Burger & Bun Co. is run by the husband-and-wife duo of Claude and Christie Smith. Burgers are made from chuck and served on a house-made bun with your choice of toppings and a side. There’s a nice variety of burger styles on offer (including a few veggie options), but the standout is the Western, with cheddar, bacon, grilled onions and barbecue sauce.
Locally owned and operated since 2011, Company Burger is famous for making its own buns, pickles, mayo, fries and onion rings, and grinding premium Black Angus beef to make burger patties. Burgers like the signature Company Burger are made to perfection with two crispy-on-the-edges thin patties, bread and butter pickles, red onions and American cheese to top it off.
A family-run, Black-owned business, Roxie’s Grocery has been operated by Red and Roxie Miller for 32 years (they’ve been married for more than 50). Since 1986, Roxie’s has been serving delicious greasy eats like the infamous Mr. Good Burger — two patties, four bacon strips and two types of cheese on a fresh bun.
With two locations in Manchester, Connecticut, Shady Glen Dairy Stores is well known by New Englanders as one of the best places for homemade ice cream and old-fashioned juicy burgers. Most famous is Shady Glen’s cheeseburger, also known as the Berenice Original. Four slices of cheese are placed on one burger patty, covering the center of the burger and meeting in the middle. As the burger cooks, the cheese curls around, creating cheesy wings and melting deliciously in the middle. Condiments are served on the side, making it clear that this burger is best devoured as is.
Located in Salt Lake City — known for its great skiing — Lucky 13 is home to some of the best burgers in Utah. Burgers at Lucky 13 are 7 ounces of local ground chuck cooked medium and served on a freshly baked bun. One of Lucky 13’s most famous burgers is named after legend Johnny Cash’s hit song, “Ring of Fire.” A patty topped with house-smoked bacon, roasted jalapenos, roasted habaneros, grilled onions and cheddar cheese, the Ring of Fire is just as hot as it sounds.
In Nashville and thinking about the iconic hot chicken? Maybe think again. At Hugh-Baby’s in Nashville, Tennessee, simplicity is key. A true Southern burger shop, Hugh-Baby’s believes in keeping burgers basic, but delicious, not fancy, but tasty. The cheeseburger is a custom beef patty ground in-house and served with American cheese, pickle, lettuce, onion, tomato and a comeback sauce that’ll leave you dying to come back as soon as you can.
Dubbed the best blue-collar burger place in town by the Indianapolis Star, this Indianapolis old-timer reportedly got the name Workingman’s Friend because owner Louis Stamatkin allowed regulars to run a tab until payday. Nowadays, it’s run by Louis’ granddaughter, Becky. Order a cheeseburger and you’ll receive two cheese-topped patties stacked on top of each other.
If you’re searching for an old-timey burger joint, look no further than Houston institution Lankford Grocery. Today, there are 20 burgers on the menu, topped with everything from mac and cheese, jalapenos, bacon and a sunny-side-up egg (the Grim Burger) to shoestring fries, Cuban sauce, Swiss cheese, red onions and ham (the Cuban). But go for the Double Meat Burger — a loaded burger with two patties, American cheese, mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion. It’s so good it was featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”
When you’re in New York, feeling fancy and craving a burger for dinner, head to Bowery Meat Company — a dinner-only high-class steakhouse with a burger that rivals the steaks. The BMC Dry Aged Burger, topped with raclette cheese, griddled onions and tomato aioli, and served with a side of crispy fries, is the way to go.
Burgers at Jack Browns in Harrisburg, Virginia, are made from 100% wagyu beef and prepared simple and basic without lettuce and tomato, so no matter what you order, you’re guaranteed a tender burger so good you won’t need condiments. The simplicity of the famous cheeseburger is proof — it’s just a wagyu patty topped with American cheddar and served on a golden bun. There are several locations of Jack Browns spread throughout the South.
Bud’s is a 70-plus-year-old off-the-beaten-path bar in the small town of Sedalia, Colorado. Cheeseburgers, served with pickles, onions and potato chips, are a staple at this roadhouse, but don’t ask for a side of fries — “No french fries, dammit” is written on the menu.
Juicy Burgers specializes in a custom experience. Located in Doral, Florida, you can skip out on Disney or the beach once you taste the Juicy Burgers Original — a 1/3-pound burger with lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, Thousand Island sauce and a slice of cheese if you’re craving it.
Courtesy of Salazar
With a menu that changes to reflect the seasons, you’re always bound to get fresh, seasonal eats at Salazer in Cincinnati, Ohio. But no matter when you take a trip to Salazar, you’ll get a simple yet amazing burger. Made with aged cheddar, bacon and tomato, the menu’s sole burger is placed on a “Kaiser Jose” bun and made to your liking.
Whether you’re a student roaming the University of Missouri’s beautiful campus or a local, there’s no doubt that Booche’s has some of the best burgers in Missouri. A Columbia tradition, Booche’s serves burgers the old-school way with minimal toppings, loads of cheese and a soft bun on wax paper. Booche’s is cash only, so have your dollars ready before you hit the door.
Visit Hawaii and you’ll get more than beautiful sunsets and remote islands, you’ll also get juicy barbecue burgers. Located in Honolulu, W&M Bar-B-Q Burgers — owned by husband and wife duo Walt and Joy Kunimitsu — has been serving burgers since it first opened in 1940. Their secret to longevity? A barbecue sauce recipe that has been passed down for generations. Try the Royal burger, a tender patty topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese and, of course, the secret barbecue sauce.
Wendy’s House of SOUL/Yelp
Located in Minneapolis and owned by Wendy Puckett, a Black female entrepreneur, Wendy’s House of Soul is most famous for its Soulrolls and Soulwiches. The Mogul Burger — a local favorite — is a half-pound deep-fried hamburger placed in a gluten-free wrap and filled with cheese, pepper, onion and turkey bacon. Another honorable mention is the Original 612 Burger — a handmade quarter-pound burger seasoned to perfection and topped with your choice of cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion.
A cozy neighborhood pub, Loretta’s serves tasty drinks and burgers for locals and travelers. Burgers are kept simple at Loretta’s — there are no gourmet burgers on the menu — but a special secret sauce helps take burgers to the next level. The Deluxe Cheeseburger — a third-pound of chuck loaded with Tillamook cheddar and special sauce on a potato bun with lettuce, tomato and red onion on the side — is an example of simplicity done right.
When you've been selling burgers since 1977 and guests are still asking for more, you must be doing something right. Formerly Chris Madrid’s Tacos and Burgers, Madrid’s dropped the taco half of the title after realizing what San Antonians really wanted: just juicy burgers. Burgers at Madrid’s come in two sizes — the regular (a quarter pound) and the macho (a half pound) — but no matter what size you prefer, order the Tostada Burger. Topped with Mama Madrid’s homemade refried beans, chips, onions and melted cheddar cheese, the Tostada Burger is the restaurant’s specialty burger for a reason.
Dating back to 1937, when burgers were slung from behind the counter for 5 cents apiece, Town Topic has since evolved into a Kansas City favorite. The cheeseburger is fresh, simple and lets the greasy flavors do the talking. If you've really worked up an appetite, top the cheeseburger off with hash browns and wash it down with a root beer float.
Sometimes referred to as the Godfather of Atlanta burger joints, The Vortex has been grilling up “the best damn burgers in the ATL” since 1992. Everything about The Vortex is organized chaos, like the name — chosen because the owners wanted a diverse group of people to enter the bar and “get sucked into the vortex” with the decorations scavenged, restored and donated from friends and patrons. But in spite of the craziness, good eats are guaranteed. If spice is your middle name, give the Hell’s Fury burger a go. It’s pepper jack cheese, atomic death sauce, habanero relish, a roasted jalapeno, lettuce, tomato, pickles and onions loaded on a ground sirloin patty between a soft bun.
At Sid’s, a friendly, no-frills El Reno, Oklahoma, diner, it’s all about the onion-fried burger. A ball of fresh ground beef is placed on a ripping-hot griddle and smashed down with a handful of thin-sliced white onions. The onions fuse into the meat as it cooks, and the end result is all crust and fried onions. Make it a double, and you get twice as much of this Oklahoma regional specialty.
Thurman Café has been serving all-American fare since 1942 to Columbus, Ohio’s German Village neighborhood, and it’s a great place for locals to stop in to sit or take out classics such as wings, pizza, fries and, of course, burgers. If it’s your first time there, make sure you order The Thurmanator, which comprises not one but two 12-ounce burger patties, American cheese, bacon, banana peppers, ham, lettuce, mayo, mozzarella cheese, sautéed mushrooms, onions and tomato, all served on a bun with fries on the side and a pickle spear.
Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink has established a reputation in Miami (and more recently, Cleveland, Ohio) for serving fresh, seasonal fare in a fun and inviting space. The menu is pretty expansive, but the burger is a certifiable star. The bun is brioche with heirloom tomatoes, lettuce, cheddar and bacon between.
The buns on the burgers at MEAT Eatery & Tap Room come stamped with the word “MEAT” in all caps, so if you couldn’t already tell by the name, these folks are serious about, well, meat. The Nancy Pants is the burger to order, and make sure you top it with the house-made bacon. The patty is only 5 ounces, but it comes dressed with American cheese, lettuce and tomato.
Courtesy Bru Burger
As implied by its name, Bru Burger Bar is an ode to the American classic: the burger. Locally sourced, burgers are made from a grind of sirloin, chuck and brisket before being placed on buns baked fresh in-house. The signature Bru Burger is a tasty heaping of taleggio cheese, bacon, tomato jam, caramelized onion, chopped lettuce and mayo on a patty, which is all loaded onto a soft bun. There are locations throughout Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.
Cowbell is a beloved New Orleans favorite. The “Locally World Famous Cowbell Burger” includes a natural beef patty on a toasted bun with lettuce, hand-cut fries, tomato, onion, ketchup and agogo sauces. It all sounds pretty by-the-numbers, but when you see — and more importantly, taste — the results, you’ll know why everyone's clamoring for more Cowbell.
Lucky Buns might be a staple in the Washington, D.C. area, but its tasty burgers are inspired by creations in South East Asia, Australia, the United Kingdom and beyond. Burgers are hand-formed Creekstone Beef seasoned to order and cooked just how you like it. Lucky Buns’ most famous creations are the OG Burger — a burger with double patties, Gouda, pickles, shaved lettuce, raw red onion, garlic mayo and yellow mustard — and the Lucky Bun — a burger similar to the OG but with “lucky sauce” instead of the mayo and mustard.
A love of coffee, barbecue and green chile cheeseburgers led to the creation of Sparky’s Burgers, BBQ and Espresso. Owned by married duo Teako and Josie Nunn, Sparky’s is a popular roadside attraction serving New Mexico’s most iconic dish — a green chile burger — with a side of great barbecue and live music. A trip to Sparky’s wouldn’t be complete without ordering the World Famous — a 7-ounce green chile cheeseburger with a side and drink.
Rather than having eccentric names for its tasty burgers, Allen Burger Venture in Buffalo, New York, decided to keep things simple by labeling each creation with a number. Choose the Five — a Jiffy peanut butter burger with pickled jalapenos, applewood bacon and white cheddar — or rep your favorite East Coast state with the Two, which is topped with New York State cheddar, caraway and horseradish aioli and comes with au jus for dipping.
For nearly two decades, Grandstand Burgers in Merriam, Kansas, has been perfecting its burger recipe, learning how to “make a good cheeseburger done right.” The Kelly Burger, the restaurant’s best-seller, is proof of that hard work. Made with two juicy patties, The Kelly Burger is loaded with bacon, two slices of gooey cheese, a slice of ham, mayo, ketchup, mustard, onions, pickles, lettuce and tomato. And if bacon is your middle name, Grandstand Burger has six variations of bacon burgers.
When you’re in Dallas and craving a burger from an old-school drive-in with a timeless feel, look no further than Keller’s Drive-In. In business for more than 50 years, Keller’s Drive-In has burgers that are cooked to order after a waiter walks to your car window to take your order. Most coveted at Keller’s is the No. 5 Special — a burger with double meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato and special dressing.
Monk’s Place is the type of place you might drive past every day without noticing but that will change your life once you finally give it a try. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Monk’s has been serving locals and curious travelers for 70 years. Burgers are served large (a third pound) or small (a quarter pound) and cooked on a flattop grill. Locals recommend the Large Cheeseburger, a third-pound burger with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and mayo with a side of sliced pickles.
Executive Chef Tory Miller, a James Beard Foundation best chef award winner, always dreamt of taking farm-raised ingredients to the next level. At Graze, that dream comes true every day. The restaurant sources its ingredients from small, regional farms, meaning all meals allow you to taste local, Wisconsin flavors. Menu items range from Bibimbap — a traditional Korean dish — to Wisco Dip — a dip that puts the cheese in cheesy — but the burgers are the highlight. Try the Seven Seeds Farm Double Cheese Smash Burger, a patty made from Seven Seeds Farm beef, American cheese, bread and butter pickles and burger sauce on a duck fat bun.
Voted the best burger spot in Baltimore by locals, Abbey Burger Bistro is a small pub serving burgers made from enticing flavors. The Spicy Korean Duck Burger uses gochujang spiced duck, for example, and the Peanut Butter Burger uses creamy peanut butter to elevate the taste. But when you want undeniable good flavor, locals recommend the Southwest Bison Burger. Made with bison meat, this burger combines jalapenos, salsa, avocado, pepper jack and spicy crème Fraiche on a classic bun.
Cassell’s, which opened in 1948, is one of California’s most beloved burger joints. The beef is ground daily in-house, formed in the original burger press and cooked on Cassell's original crossfire broiler. Cheddar, Swiss or American are draped over the top of the classic cheeseburger, and a bun completes the meal. All the usual condiments are available on the side — the mayo is house-made with organic eggs — and bacon, a fried egg or avocado are available as optional enhancements.
Recognized by the Library of Congress as the Birthplace of the Hamburger Sandwich, Louis' Lunch has been serving New Haven, Connecticut, since 1895. Louis' Lunch is family owned and currently operated by Jeff Lassen, Louis' great-grandson. With more than 120 years of experience, Louis' Lunch knows its way around a grill. Order the Original Burger — it's made with a proprietary blend of five cuts of meat, topped with cheese, onion and tomato, and served on white toast so you can "experience the meat's true flavor."
Opened in 1945, this Denver landmark has been slinging burgers and brews for over 70 years. The burgers start with a half-pound patty (or quarter-pound, if you prefer), and from there you can choose from 30 toppings ranging from a variety of cheeses to more out-there options like herbed cream cheese, peanut butter, grilled pineapple, sauerkraut, corned beef and raspberry jam.
Founded in 1999 by a pair of brothers, Gott’s Roadside sells California-inspired dishes cooked using locally sourced ingredients. The famed cheeseburger is made with Niman Ranch beef patties cooked medium-well, American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and secret sauce on a toasted egg bun.
Since 1973, the Brooks family has been serving some of Charlotte, North Carolina’s finest burgers in this small, cash-only restaurant. At Brooks’ Sandwich House, burgers are sold with a single or double patty and topped with mustard, onions and Brooks’ famous beef chili.
Voted the best burger spot in South Florida by locals, Jack’s Old Fashioned Hamburger House in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is an old-school burger shop that has been serving Floridians for nearly 50 years. Burgers are ground fresh and hand-pressed before being cooked on the grill and slapped between a bun. Try the Big Jack cheeseburger, a half pound of meat with a slice of cheese. Condiments like lettuce, tomato, grilled onions and bacon can be added for a little extra.
Brad Halsten, the owner and head chef of The Burger Dive, was recently crowned the “Burger Champion” at the World Food Championships, so you know the burgers at this Billings, Montana, location are some of the best in town. The “I’m Your Huckleberry” Burger is an award-winning creation made from a third-pound of Angus and covered in a Huckleberry Hatch barbecue sauce, bacon, goat cheese, roasted red pepper mayo and arugula on a Grains of Montana bun.
There are all kinds of tasty things on the menu at Mustards Grill, but the cheeseburger at this Napa Valley, California, destination is one of the true stars. Made simple without overwhelming toppings, the cheeseburger is topped with lettuce and mayo and served on a bakery bun with a side of fries.
Bobby’s Burger Palace/Yelp
Bobby Flay is one of the most well-known Food Network stars, but it’s his burgers that may end up being his biggest legacy. At Bobby’s Burger Palace, he’s serving a menu of patties griddled to order and served with a wide variety of toppings. Whether you order a bacon cheeseburger or a Dallas Burger (spice-crusted and topped with coleslaw, Monterey Jack, pickles and barbecue sauce), make sure you get it “crunchified,” or topped with a handful of potato chips. The classic Crunchburger is topped with just American cheese and chips.
You know a restaurant is dedicated to burgers when the menu is divided into two sections: “burgers” and “not burgers.” At the Farmer and the Cow in Wilmington, Delaware, burgers are topped with creative ingredients like pepperoni and bourbon apples and served with a side of fries. A local favorite is the “Moo Caliente” — a beef patty loaded with habanero, ghost aioli, onion straws, avocado crema and pepper Jack.
At Hopdoddy Burger Bar in Austin, Texas, burgers are put on a pedestal. There’s a variety of specialty burgers, but try the Classic: topped with bacon, tomato, cheese, house “sassy sauce” (a combination of mayo and housemade horseradish honey mustard), onion and red leaf lettuce.
Detroit Vegan Soul/Yelp
Founded by Kirsten Ussery and Erika Boyd, two Black female entrepreneurs, Detroit Vegan Soul was born out of the desire to make good, healthy food available to anyone and everyone. Every item on the menu is prepared without refined flours, sugars, dairy, eggs or animal products, including the DVS Burger — a housemade veggie millet patty with lettuce, cucumber, tomato, red onion and pesto aioli on a toasted whole wheat bun.
There are plenty of basic, let-the-meat-speak-for-itself burgers on this list. Butcher’s Cut at Atlanta’s Flip Burger Boutique isn’t one of them. This Jenga tower of a sandwich is stacked high with an Angus beef patty, Emmi Roth bleu cheese, melted onions, frisee, pickled shallots, red wine jam and soy truffle vinaigrette.
Voted the best burger in Orlando, Florida, by critics, the Lamb Burger at Bem Bom adds flavors from Mexico and Portugal to classic American dishes. The burger is served with feta compote, pico de gallo, apple ginger barbecue sauce, lemon mustard and Piri Piri.
A Virginia Beach favorite, Leaping Lizard Cafe has food so good it’s attracted Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” Loved by locals is the Hunter Burger, a fun rendition of the all-American classic made with a blend of venison and beef and topped with smoked Gouda, caramelized onions and mustard aioli on a warm bun.
Serving some of America’s best sliders since 1929, this humble Detroit mainstay is a must-visit for any burger lover passing through the city. When you’re in town, grab one of the famous sliders with cheese — a masterpiece with grilled onions, pickles, ketchup and mustard.
After winning season one of the Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race,” Grill ‘Em All opened its doors in 2013. A passion for heavy metal and good food led to burger creations like the Dee Snider (peanut butter, strawberry jam, bacon and sriracha on a bun) and Metallica (Swiss, avocado, bacon, ranch, lettuce, tomato and red onion). Try the Cowboy from Hell: pulled barbecue chicken, jalapeno bacon, cheddar, lettuce, red onion and garlic aioli on a beef patty.
At Maple & Motor, a Dallas staple, the cheeseburger is really where it’s at. We’ll let the menu description speak for itself: “A half pound of finely ground American beef flat-grilled in its own juices. Dressed in traditional Texas fashion with mustard, lettuce, red onion and dill pickle. Served on a toasted, grill-shined bun. If perfect ain’t enough, add a slunk of American, cheddar, or pepper jack.”
As its name implies, Village Whiskey has an impressive shelf of whiskeys — more than 200 selections to be exact — along with what has been called the country’s best burger. Born from the mind of James Beard award-winning chef Jose Garces, the Whiskey King burger really does rule. Made on a thick patty, the Whiskey King Burger is maple bourbon glazed cipollini, Rogue bleu cheese, applewood bacon and foie gras piled together for a fantastic creation.
Ranked as having the best burger in Chicago by one local reviewer, Table, Donkey and Stick is a restaurant named after a Brothers Grimm tale, with a menu just as creative and whimsically inspired. A must-try is the CDK Burger — a burger patty topped with bacon jam, cheese, house pickle and duck fat mayo served on a pretzel bun.
Described as a 44-year overnight sensation, Hodad’s has been serving California beachgoers juicy burgers that range from a standard double cheeseburger to a specialty Blue Jay Burger with bacon, blue cheese sauce and grilled onions. Keep it simple and dine deliciously with a double bacon cheeseburger — a patty with mayo, mustard, onion, ketchup, pickle, tomato, lettuce and, of course, loads of bacon.
Located in Buffalo Gap, Perini Ranch Steakhouse has served tender steaks to Texans visiting the Perini Ranch since 1983. Arguably the best dish on the menu, however, is the award-winning Ranch Burger. The Ranch Burger is a half pound of 100% ground chuck, seasoned, hand patted, grilled and topped with cheddar cheese, grilled mushrooms, green chiles and onions and served up with chips.
Emily - West Village/Yelp
Emily and Matt Hyland are good at a lot of things at their restaurants. A pizza fan? You can find them slinging some of the best pizza in America. But this list is all about the burgers, and they nail those, too. The Emmy Burger is a big burger beast made with a slab of beef topped with Grafton cheddar, caramelized onions and EMMY sauce on a soft pretzel bun.
Edmund’s Oast, located in Charleston, South Carolina, is the result of a brewery and seasonally focused restaurant colliding for delicious eats. The Edmund’s Oast Burger is a combination of American cheese, bread and butter pickles, onion, tomato and a special secret sauce served on a succulent patty on a warm bun.
Chez Fonfon might be located in Birmingham, Alabama, but the cuisine will make you feel as if you’ve been transported to Paris, France. The highly recommended Hamburger Fonfon is cooked medium and comes with comté — a cheese — and pommes frites.
Fatso’s Last Stand is best described as a restaurateur’s take on the neighborhood snack bar. Fatso’s is the go-to place for a classic Chicago-style hot dog and a perfectly char-grilled burger. Try the Double Fatso with Cheese — a char-grilled or griddled smashed burger cooked medium and served on a toasted bun with Fatso’s sauce, lettuce, tomato and onions.
Fans of “Top Chef” might know acclaimed chef Hubert Keller for his French cuisine, but the famous cook is also the brains behind Las Vegas’ Burger Bar. The Burger Bar is loaded with options from the build-your-own variety to a creation called the Rossini, with shaved truffles and foie gras on an onion bun, but one of the best on the menu is the burger named after the chef himself. The Hubert Keller Burger is a patty made from Kobe-style wagyu beef from Australia, topped with caramelized onions, baby spinach and blue cheese on a ciabatta bun. The burger is served with red wine and shallot sauce on the side.
Opened in 2011 by Chef Kevin Chung, 8oz Burger & Co is a must for burger lovers in Seattle, a true West Coast gem. With plenty of burgers to choose from, 8oz Burger & Co may not be best for the indecisive, but no matter which burger you choose, a fresh, house blend patty made with local and sustainable organic ingredients is coming your way. The restaurant’s signature burger — The 8 oz. — is made with arugula, balsamic onions, Hills bacon, Beecher’s flagship cheddar and truffle aioli and is served on an organic brioche bun.
At The Macintosh in Charleston, South Carolina, the Southern menu changes regularly, so the food is always fresh and in season. Chef partner and five-time James Beard semifinalist Jeremiah Bacon works hand in hand with executive chef John-Carter Ayanna to create fun, local favorites like the bone marrow bread pudding and the Mac Smash' C.A.B. Burger Double Stacked burger, topped with aged cheddar, Nueske’s bacon, truffle frites and mac sauce.
At The Burger Point, Black business owner Michael Strotter specializes in creating burgers ground fresh in house with both simple and decadent toppings. When you want to keep things simple at this Chicago burger joint, opt for The Classic — a grass-fed hamburger with American cheese, double smoked bacon, pickles, lettuce, tomato, diced onions, mayo, ketchup and mustard on a potato roll. When you want a gourmet burger, try The Blue Harvest — a patty topped with blue cheese and double-smoked bacon grilled together, topped with even more blue cheese and bourbon bacon jam and served on a patio roll.
Nic’s grill is a small restaurant with big flavor that has garnered so much local acclaim that it was featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” With only Nic and his sidekick on the grill, Nic’s serves classic burgers, cheeseburgers and bacon burgers. Try the cheeseburger with melted American cheese and grilled onions and thank us later.
If you’re a fan of fancy restaurants with plenty of Instagrammable photo ops, look no further than 4 Charles Prime Rib. This West Village supper club has chandeliers, plush leather seating and artwork lining the walls. But better than the decor at 4 Charles Prime Rib is the burger. The American Cheeseburger is served with lettuce and tomato upon request, with an option of bacon and/or egg on top.
Originally founded in 2005 in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood, Kuma’s Corner has become such a beloved burger spot in Chicago that five new locations have since opened. With offerings described as “the finest burgers available on this planet or any other,” Kuma’s guarantees that you’ll leave the corner bar happy and full. Spice things up with the High on Fire — roasted red pepper, prosciutto, grilled pineapple, sweet chili paste and sriracha hot sauce — or keep things simple with the signature Famous Kuma: applewood smoked bacon, cheddar, farm fresh fried egg, lettuce, tomato and red onion.
Using locally sourced produce and meat, Brickhouse Burgers and Shakes in Dallas is a family-owned restaurant that relies on a secret blend of seasonings to prepare the patties and, as they say, make “the world better one burger at a time.” Try the Brickhouse Burger, a menu favorite topped with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions and mayo. And if you’re a fan of the many ways an egg can take a meal to the next level, try the Brunch Burger — applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, homemade hash and a fried egg loaded onto a patty and served on a warm bun.
Located in New York’s East Village, Brindle Room is a cash-only gastropub serving savory, shareable dishes like Sebastian’s Steakhouse Burger. Cooked medium, the succulent burger is made with sweet caramelized onions and melty American cheese.
Known nationally as one of the last remaining six-stool diners in America, you’re guaranteed to get a classic, juicy and greasy burger from Cozy Inn in Salina, Kansas. Made similar to the burgers at popular fast food chain White Castle, the burgers at Cozy Inn are also topped with onions. For $1.19, you can try a Cozy Burger — a slider-sized burger on a bun with no toppings.
Mark’s Outing has been serving “Fatty’s Burgers” to the San Antonio community for over a decade. With both a food truck and a dining location, you can grab one of Mark’s burgers all around the city, but when you do order, make sure you get the original cheeseburger — a fresh ground beef patty topped with American cheese, leaf lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, red onions, mustard and mayo, and served on a toasted butter bun with a side of your choice.
Made with 44 Farms Texas beef, the burgers at Knife are almost as legendary as the chef preparing the meals. Three-time James Beard “Best Southwest Chef” semifinalist and “Top Chef” contestant John Tesar is calling the shots at this Dallas steak and burger house. Most famous on the menu is The Ozersky, a cheesy burger named after the late American food writer, Josh Ozersky. The burger is kept simple with a melty slice of American cheese and red onion and is served on a white bun.
Matt’s Bar and Grill is a Minneapolis landmark that has been serving Minnesotans since 1954. As the story goes, the famous Juicy Lucy was created after a local customer exclaimed “that’s one juicy Lucy” after biting into a custom hamburger with two hamburger patties and a slice of cheese in the middle. Today, customers can still order the award-winning Jucy Lucy to their liking.
Tommy’s Burger Stop is an award-winning burger spot in Anchorage, Alaska. Made with beef from Australia, each 5.5-ounce burger patty is seasoned with Cajun seasoning and seared on a grill. The R.L.E. Hello Burger — one of the restaurant’s famous specialty burgers — is two of those seasoned patties loaded with bacon, grilled mushrooms, onions, jalapeno peppers and American cheese.
Bishop Burger Barn might have some of the most mouthwatering burgers in the Bishop, California, area. Burgers are homemade and crafted by hand to perfection. Locals recommend the Wack-A-Mole burger — an Angus patty on a house bun, topped with guacamole, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion and mayo.
There’s definitely something special about the burger at Charleston, South Carolina’s Little Jack’s Tavern. Prepared on a griddle, the burger is topped with special sauce, griddled onions and American cheese. The double tavern burger is served with double the meat and double the cheese.
You’re not a burger connoisseur if you’ve never had an onion burger, and you don’t know onion burgers unless you’ve had one from Tucker’s in Oklahoma City. As the story goes, onion burgers became an iconic Oklahoma food after cafes in the 1920s realized that beef could be stretched further if thinly shredded onions were added to the mix. Today, Tucker’s is serving one of the best renditions of the iconic dish in the entire state. At the top of the menu is the Single Onion Burger with Cheese — the Oklahoma staple topped with your choice of shredded lettuce, tomato, pickles, fresh grilled jalapenos, ketchup, mayo and mustard.
Chef Joey Campanaro knows his way around a burger, and the one that he serves at his West Village restaurant, The Little Owl, is a New York legend. The bacon cheeseburger, in particular, is a delectable treat. Made with an 8-ounce beef patty, the burger is kept simple with American cheese, pickles and bacon as toppings, and served on a sesame seed bun with a side of crispy fries.
Known for serving farm-to-table street food, Block 16 is a husband-and-wife-owned eatery serving some of the tastiest burgers you’ll find in Omaha, Nebraska. According to locals, you can’t go wrong ordering the Block Burger — a third-pound burger served with Swiss cheese, mayo, mustard, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, onion and a pickle. But if you really want to ignite your taste buds, go for the 3 Happiness Burger — a third-pound patty with crab rangoon cream cheese, stir fry slaw and sweet and spicy chili on a sesame bun.
Located in Chicago, The Loyalist is the perfect fusion of upscale and downscale. Upscale? The restaurant is operated by two Michelin-starred chefs. Downscale? It’s a neighborhood bar with delicious eats. Although cuisine at The Loyalist is described as “casual French,” the highlight of the restaurant’s menu is The Loyalist Dirty Burg — a perfectly charred burger topped with American cheese and pickled and charred onion, served between a toasted sesame seed bun with a side of frites.
Whether you’re a vegan or a fan of beef, the plant-based burgers at The Slutty Vegan in Atlanta will rock your world. Founded by Black female entrepreneur Pinky Coleman, all burgers at The Slutty Vegan — from the Fussy Hussy to the Ménage à Trois — are eye-popping in name and toppings. Standouts are the One Night Stand — a plant-based patty loaded with vegan bacon, vegan cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato and a secret sauce on a vegan Hawaiin bun — and the Dancehall Queen — a burger made similarly to the One Night Stand, but topped with sweet jerk plantains.
Famous since 1938 for its freshly made burgers, The Nook has eccentric burger creations like the Harris Buckin Bronco Burger, a burger topped with onion straws, bacon, smoked cheddar and pulled pork. But the Nookie Supreme Burger — a double-decker cheeseburger with lettuce, special sauce and three (yes, three) layers of fresh-baked bun — is where the flavor is really at.
In New Orleans, you’re bound to find delicious Creole cuisine on every corner, but if you’re craving a tasty burger, there’s no place like Port of Call. The cheeseburger is a half pound of beef topped with lettuce, tomatoes and onions, plus pickles on the side. Unlike most burger places that serve their burgers with fries, Port of Call’s burgers are paired with a baked potato with butter, chives and bacon on top.
So what’s the secret to the burgers at Husk? Bacon is ground right into the patty. The cheeseburger is a delicious combination of two thin patties topped with American cheese, thinly sliced onions, pickles and a secret sauce placed between a warm brioche bun. The restaurant has expanded beyond Charleston into Nashville, Tennessee; Greenville, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia, becoming a Southern staple and an absolute go-to if you’re ever in the area.
Causwells has been open only since 2014, but this San Francisco spot enjoys a well-deserved reputation for being the best burger in town. It starts with two patties draped with American cheese, topped with Causwells sauce, lettuce, pickles and onions, and tucked into a toasted bun. Get it with a side of fries and tots for the ultimate happy meal.
At Stella’s Bar and Grill in Bellevue, Nebraska, the motto is simple: Good food doesn’t need to be fancy. Founded in 1936 by Estelle Francois Sullivan Tobler — a working mother who raised her four children alone while cooking up the famous “Stella hamburger” — Stella’s Bar and Grill is now operated by Stella’s great-great niece. Most famous at Stella’s is the Stella’s Staple Burger — a 6.5-ounce beef ball hand-pressed onto a cast-iron grill and topped with lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, mayo, cheese, bacon and a fried egg. The end result is a juicy and greasy creation served on a warm Rotella’s bun.
At Chomp Kitchen and Drinks in Warren, Rhode Island, everything from chicken tenders to grilled cheeses are available, but it’s the burgers that reign supreme. With nearly 10 different burgers on the menu, you can choose a creation like the mac and cheese burger — a beef burger topped with cheddar cheese, Gruyere mac and cheese and tomato jam — or the French onion burger — a beef burger with homemade French onion aioli, crispy onion chips, melted onions, Swiss and cheddar cheese, lettuce and tomato. But if you want to eat like a local, The Stack is where it’s at. The Stack is a beef patty topped with cheddar and American cheese, bacon, a pork patty, pepper jack cheese, pickled jalapenos, Mozambique fried chicken, chomp sauce, pickles, lettuce, tomato and melted onions. And if that sounds like a ton, each burger is served with a side of crispy fries.
Located in Brooklyn, New York, renowned steakhouse Peter Luger has been handling prime meat since 1887. The half-pound Luger Burger is proof that some things — especially succulent burgers — truly do get better with time. Simplicity at its best, the Luger Burger is a freshly grilled patty sans cheese or bacon served on a warm bun. When you’re out of lunch ideas, the Luger Burger is the perfect go-to option — the burger is available daily, but only until 3:45 PM.
Originally founded in 1939 at the New York World’s Fair, White Manna is a Hackensack, New Jersey, staple with burgers so legendary that celebrity chefs like Anthony Bourdain and Guy Fieri have stopped by to grab a bite. White Manna’s juicy burgers are topped with onion and cheese and served on a Martin’s potato roll. Pair your burger with a side of crispy fries or, if you’re a pickle fiend, add a 12-ounce cup of pickle chips.
If you’ve been to Chicago and saw a line wrapped around a restaurant’s corner, chances are you’ve caught a glimpse of Au Cheval. Like many on this list, the beauty of the burger served at Au Cheval lies in its simplicity: two patties (or three, if you order a double cheeseburger) served medium, topped with American cheese, Dijonnaise and a few pickles, served on a toasted bun. And if you want to take your burger to the next level, egg, bacon or both can be added to the juicy creation. And if that wasn’t enough burgers for you, here is the best burger joint in every state.
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