Yelp / Tatiana H
If you’re like most red-blooded Americans, you most likely love burgers. Whether it’s a big patty cooked on your backyard grill or a thin gray sliver from your local fast food joint, you probably think you know about all the types of burgers that are out there. Well, we’ve got some news for you: You probably don’t.
Michael Stern / Roadfood.com
Wisconsin is renowned for its dairy, and they figured out a way to get as much dairy as possible onto a burger. Case in point: the butter burger, the most legendary version of which can be found at Milwaukee’s Solly’s Grille. Butter is spread on the buns before they’re toasted, the patties themselves are cooked in butter, and more is slathered on before serving. Your taste buds will thank you, your arteries won’t.
Yelp / Tim S
Deep-frying a burger is no easy feat: It’ll most likely end up greasy and gray. Not so at the Memphis institution Dyer’s, where thin patties are dunked in a vat of grease that’s strained and processed daily but never changed. The patties are then drained and served with cheese, onion, and pickles. It’s been around for more than 100 years, and while other restaurants deep fry their burgers, nobody does it better than Dyer’s.
Yelp / Carol M
Head to Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood and you’ll discover a burger style that you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else in America: the Frita Cubana. These burgers are made with thin patties, seasoned with paprika and topped with diced onions, spicy ketchup, and shoestring fried potatoes. If you’re looking for the true specimen, seek out the two most famous vendors, El Mago de las Fritas and El Rey de las Fritas.
Yelp / Gerry W
Green chiles are everywhere in parts of New Mexico, so of course they’ve found their way onto cheeseburgers. At Santa Fe’s Santa Fe Bite (formerly Bobcat Bite), 10-ounce patties are topped with roasted and chopped green chiles along with white melty cheese. While nearly every burger spot in the area sells a green chile burger, Santa Fe Bite’s is the most legendary.
Yelp / 5-8 Club
The Juicy Lucy is a Minneapolis legend, and there are two restaurants that both claim to have invented it (and to serve the superior version): Matt’s Bar (where it’s called the “Jucy Lucy”), and The 5-8 Club. To make a Juicy Lucy (which is also sometimes simply called a cheese-stuffed burger), American cheese is stuffed between two burger patties, which are sealed together and cooked on a flat-top.
Photo Modified: Wikimedia Commons / Arian Arthur
When is a bacon cheeseburger not a bacon cheeseburger? When it’s sandwiched between two glazed doughnuts. The ultimate in gluttony, this is actually a popular regional treat in Georgia. It was named after the late soul singer Luther Vandross (the jury’s still out on whether he invented it or not). A superior version can be found at Cypress Street Pint & Plate in Atlanta, where the doughnuts come from local favorite Sublime Doughnuts.
Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill / Facebook
Pimento cheese is a popular Southern delicacy, but has yet to really make much headway north of the Mason-Dixon. It’s made with grated cheese (usually Cheddar), chopped pimentos, spices, and a hefty dose of mayo, and goes with everything from Ritz crackers to — of course — burgers. There’s no set formula for a pimento cheese burger; it just needs to have pimento cheese on it. If you’re in Austin, a top-notch version can be found at Moonshine Grill.
Yelp / Tatiana H
You most likely think you know what a real slider is, but you probably don’t. Nowadays just about every sports bar serves what they call sliders, but they’re actually just mini hamburgers. Those are not sliders. Real sliders can be found at a handful of restaurants like White Manna in Hackensack, New Jersey; they’re thin patties that are cooked on top of thin-sliced onions on a griddle, and are topped with cheese and served on a potato bun. They couldn’t be more different than what you find at your local pub.
You’ll only find this regional specialty at a handful of restaurants, most of which are in northeastern Mississippi, western Tennessee, and northwestern Alabama. They were invented in 1917 by a cook named John Weeks, and really took off during the Great Depression. Invented as a way to extend ground meat, they’re made by mixing ground beef or pork with soy meal and flour and deep frying them. They’re usually topped with mustard, pickles, and onions. They’re so popular in the area that the town of Cornith, Mississippi, hosts a popular Slugburger Festival annually.
Yelp / Voravut R
A tiny lunch counter in Meriden, Connecticut, called Ted’s is one of the only places left that’s serving steamed cheeseburgers, which grew in popularity in the 1920s but today are all but extinct. Ground beef and blocks of cheese are cooked inside separate compartments of a steam cabinet, and while the beef doesn’t get much in the way of char, the molten cheese more than makes up for it. There’s nothing else quite like it.