When you think of a food that's all-American, the first thing that comes to mind is likely the burger. The simple sandwich of (typically) ground beef on a bun allows for considerable creativity. To celebrate this classic, we’ve tracked down the absolute best restaurant for burgers in every state as well as Washington, D.C.
Juan E. / Yelp
In order to assemble our list, we started by taking a look at our annual ranking of the 101 Best Burgers in America, which is compiled via a survey with hundreds of burgers on it given to a panel of noted writers, journalists, bloggers and culinary authorities from across the country to vote on. We also extensively researched beloved burger joints in big cities and small towns alike, dug through online reviews and combed existing best-of lists, both in print and online.
The star of the menu at Chez Fonfon in Birmingham, Alabama, is the Hamburger Fonfon. To make this impressive burger, chefs grind chuck in-house and form it into 8-ounce patties. Those patties are then cooked to medium and topped with Comté — a nutty cheese from France — and served with fries.
Tommy’s Burger Stop is renowned in Anchorage, Alaska, largely thanks to its wide variety of burgers, which start with 5.5-ounce patties of Cajun-seasoned Australian beef. There are more than 10 different types of burgers on the menu including the R.L.E. Hello Burger featuring two patties, bacon, grilled mushrooms, onions, jalapeños and American cheese.
This beach-themed Scottsdale, Arizona, burger joint has a massive selection of burgers available with 5- or 10-ounce patties of custom-ground sirloin, brisket and USDA chuck. At Rehab, you can build your own burger or select one of the inspired creations like the Spicy Mac-N-Cheese Burger, which features mac and cheese spiked with unexpected ingredients such as poblano peppers, jalapeños, green chilis and bacon. In case that isn't spicy enough for you, a splash of Sriracha adds an extra kick.
In Little Rock, Arkansas, Big Orange burgers are made with all-natural beef and as many fresh, local ingredients as possible, and most of them have a decidedly gourmet twist. Take for example the pièce de résistance White Truffle & Pecorino burger made with premium Black Angus beef, pecorino cheese, arugula, fig jam, white truffle and mayo.
The Office Burger at Father’s Office in Los Angeles features arugula, bacon, caramelized onion, Gruyère and Maytag blue cheese on an elongated sandwich bun. It’s a very juicy burger with funk, freshness and rich flavor. The fries are also ace, but just know that there’s no ketchup on the premises.
Steuben’s is a popular neighborhood diner in Denver, Colorado, that serves American regional specialties. The menu presents what is regularly named the best green chile cheeseburger in town. It’s a fat beef patty topped with American cheese, Hatch green chiles, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo and mustard on a brioche bun.
The tiny Louis’ Lunch, widely heralded as the birthplace of the burger, is a must-visit for any culinary pilgrim in New Haven, Connecticut. Here, burgers are made from a blend of five cuts of meat, ground fresh daily, hand-rolled and cooked to order in the restaurant’s original cast-iron grills from 1898. The end product comes with cheese, tomato and onion on white toast.
Nobody in Wilmington, Delaware, is doing better burgers or shakes than Farmer & the Cow, which sources high-quality ingredients to create its burgers. Don’t miss the Morning Glory with bacon, scrapple, fried egg and spiced maple syrup or the That’s What Brie Said with bourbon apples, prosciutto, aged balsamic and brie.
Looking for something to do in Florida that isn’t Disney or the beach? Eat. Popular Miami restaurant Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink is renowned for its House-Smoked Bacon Cheddar Burger with lettuce and heirloom tomato on a brioche bun served with fries or salad greens.
If you can't find a burger you want to eat at Atlanta's The Vortex Bar and Grill, well, you just may not like burgers. This spot has over 20 burgers on its menu, including the Blue Shroom, which features blue cheese, sautéed mushrooms and bacon, and the Zombie Apocalypse, with pulled pork, spicy honey BBQ sauce, pepper jack cheese and two eggs over-easy, all served on Texas toast. If that sounds crazy, wait until you hear about the Coronary Bypass Burgers, which use two bacon grilled cheese sandwiches as the buns, adds flame-grilled sirloin patties, more cheese, more bacon, a fried egg and 4 ounces of mayo for good luck. This burger comes in single, double, triple and quadruple versions. Safe to say it is not one of the best foods for your heart.
Yelp/ Nadine C.
The no-frills W&M is a classic, old-school restaurant that has been serving burgers to hungry Honolulu locals since 1940. The burgers here are basted with a sweet and tangy barbecue sauce that’s a long-held secret recipe. Order the Royal Hamburger, which comes with lettuce, tomato, onion and a perfectly melted slice of cheese; or try the Hal Special with layers of thin-sliced barbecue steak.
Bittercreek Alehouse in Boise, Idaho, has been going strong for 25 years and attracted legions of regulars thanks to a healthy selection of craft beers and insanely delicious burgers made with 100% grass-fed beef. Opt for the popular Huntsman burger, topped with two English cheeses — Gloucester cheddar and Stilton blue — applewood smoked bacon, pickle, green leaf, onion and special sauce.
The beauty of the burger served at Chicago’s Au Cheval lies in its simplicity: two patties (or three, if you order a “double”) of ground beef topped with cheddar, dijonnaise and sliced pickle served on a soft toasted bun. A fried egg and thick-cut bacon are also offered, but that’s just gilding the lily. The line at this gem may be long, but this is one of many restaurants worth waiting in line for.
Indianapolis old-timer Workingman's Friend has been turning out stellar thin, crispy burgers since 1918. Order the giant double cheeseburger, and you’ll receive two cheese-topped patties stacked on top of each other with a segment of bun in between to absorb some of the juice. At $6.75, it’s one of the best burgers you’ll find for under $10.
Zombie Burger & Drink Lab in Des Moines, Iowa, has more than 20 different burgers, with cheeky horror-themed names like The Walking Ched and They’re Coming to Get You Barbara. The Undead Elvis is among the most popular and features peanut butter, fried bananas, bacon, American cheese, egg and mayo. There are also few vegan-friendly options on the menu.
Started as a six-seat counter in Salina, Kansas, in 1922, Cozy Inn gained popularity for serving 5 cent mini-burgers griddled with onions that came to be known nationally as sliders, though the Cozy Inn was only inspired by the birthplace of this beloved dish. Cozy offers single sliders and sliders by the half dozen, but don’t ask for cheese — there is none. Don’t ask for fries either. Just grab a bag of chips, and expect to leave smelling like onions.
Mussel & Burger Bar in Louisville, Kentucky, offers 15 different burgers, and the beef used is from 100% certified Black Angus cattle, house-ground daily and served on house-made buns. No meal here would be complete without the breakfast-inspired B.B.B. with maple-glazed pork belly, a fried egg, caramelized onions, aged white cheddar and maple syrup aioli. Seafood-lovers will also be happy about the Seafood Burger, which is made of crab, shrimp, lobster, peppers, onions and chives. That patty is served with a spicy crabmeat aioli and avocado on a pretzel bun.
The namesake dish at The Company Burger starts with two thin patties made from premium Black Angus beef, which are given a light crust on the flat-top before being loaded with red onion, bread and butter pickles, and American cheese. The famous New Orleans dish is fantastic as is, but you can add a fried egg or bacon if you please.
BRGR Bar has staked the claim that it serves the best burgers in Portland, Maine, thanks to its owners’ meticulous ingredient sourcing. The beef burgers are an aged custom primal blend from Maine Family Farms, and the bison is from a farm in Berwick, Maine. Build your own or go with one of more than 10 specialties, including the OO-Mommy topped with gorgonzola, beer-battered onion rings, lettuce, bacon and onion jam.
The Abbey Burger Bistro is renowned in Baltimore. It offers a wide selection of patties including bison, lamb, Black Angus beef, Kobe beef, game meats, crab cake and more. There are also 15 cheeses and more than 40 toppings to choose from ranging from crab dip to raspberry habanero sauce to peach and herb salad. Go to town and build your dream burger.
Cambridge, Massachusetts, restaurant Craigie on Main offers a really great burger that’s thick and dripping with flavor. It features a sustainably raised local beef patty on a locally made sesame bun topped with farmstead cheddar, housemade pickles and mace-flavored ketchup.
New Buffalo, Michigan, spot Redamak’s is only open from March 1 through October, so get there before winter hits if you can. Expect a wait, and when you finally snag a table, do what everyone else does: Order a burger — the Velveeta Cheeseburger, in particular. Cut and ground in-house, these 5 ⅓- or 8-ounce patties are cooked medium-well and draped with a glob of melty, oozy Velveeta. It’s served with ketchup, mustard, pickles and onion with lettuce and tomato on request.
Ah, the legendary Jucy Lucy. As the origin story goes, shortly after Matt’s Bar opened in Minneapolis in 1954, a hungry customer came in and asked for two burger patties with a slice of cheese in the middle. He took a bite and proclaimed it to be “one juicy Lucy!” — and an icon was born.
Yelp/ Aaron W.
Fine & Dandy has established itself as the destination for burgers in Jackson, Mississippi. There are nine offered for lunch, which come with two double thin patties, and seven at dinner served with big patties and your choice of fries or tots and dipping sauce. You can’t go wrong with The Nobleman, topped with smoked cheddar, bacon, smoked tomato, grilled romaine and chipotle dijonnaise. Fine & Dandy also makes one of the best chicken sandwiches in America.
Winstead’s is a household name in the Kansas City, Missouri, area, serving diner staples and steakburgers for 80 years. Single, double or triple patties are served with ketchup, mustard, pickles and a thick slice of onion on a soft white bun. You can add cheese, lettuce, tomato or bacon if you want to. Eat in or order via the drive-thru — though Winstead’s is so much better than your typical favorite fast food place.
The Burger Dive in Billings, Montana has fresh, never frozen 1/3-pound patties made with Angus beef served on a locally made bun. The winner among its many award-winning burgers is the “I’m Your Huckleberry” Burger, which is topped with housemade huckleberry Hatch chili barbecue sauce, bacon, goat cheese, roasted red pepper mayo and arugula. There are nearly 20 varieties on the menu here, and whatever you order, you can’t go wrong.
“Farm to table street food” is the name of the game at beloved Omaha, Nebraska, standby Block 16. The star of the menu is the Croque Garcon Burger, featuring a 1/3-pound patty topped with cheese, ham, a sunny-side-up farm egg, mustard and truffle mayo on ciabatta.
Burger Bar is a must-visit restaurant in Las Vegas. The burger that chef Hubert Keller favors so much he put his name on starts with a Kobe-style Wagyu meat patty and is topped with caramelized onion, baby spinach and blue cheese on ciabatta. Red wine shallot sauce is served on the side.
Lexie’s has multiple locations in New Hampshire — including a food truck Burger Bus — as well as one in Massachusetts. Lexie’s stellar burgers feature 4-ounce prime beef patties and deliciously creative toppings, as evidenced in burgers like the Hey Guy with cheddar, bacon, lettuce, melted onions and chipotle aioli or the Green Muenster with Muenster cheese, bacon, avocado and chipotle aioli.
White Manna has been serving standout sliders in Hackensack, New Jersey, since 1946. Walk up to the tiny counter, place your order with the grillman, and watch as he smashes a small bit of beef onto the flat-top with a handful of thin-sliced onions then sandwiches it into a Martin’s potato roll with cheese.
Burger Boy has been a local Cedar Crest, New Mexico, destination since 1982. Burgers here are 1/3-pound patties of fresh ground beef, seared on a flat-top and tucked into a bun with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and onion. That’s delicious enough, but you’re going to want to do as the locals do and get some chopped Hatch green chiles added.
Minetta Tavern is a classic New York restaurant, but it’s the Black Label Burger that put it on the map. Prime dry-aged beef, sourced by Pat LaFrieda — meat supplier to many high-end restaurants — is plump and dripping with fat. The meat is simply topped with caramelized onions and served with fries. It’s juicy, savory, salty and totally soul-satisfying.
Al’s Burger Shack in Chapel Hill creates burgers from all-natural, North Carolina pasture-raised cattle and serves them on a buttered potato bun with homemade toppings and sauces. Go for the Mookie, which comes topped with bacon-onion jam, roasted garlic aioli and blue marble cheese. If that’s not your jam, try the Kenny J with bacon, grilled onions, cheerwine BBQ sauce and spicy pimento cheese, a Southern classic.
JL Beers offers more than a dozen burgers made with never-frozen beef at several locations in North Dakota. The Original Hamburger Stand Burger, topped with only pickles and special sauce, is definitely enough to satisfy a craving, but you might as well go all-in and try the JL Burger with grilled onions, cheese, special sauce and two patties.
Celebrity food star Michael Symon’s B Spot Burgers has three locations in the Cleveland area. The Lola is the main attraction here, featuring a beef patty with thick-cut bacon, cheddar, pickled red onion and a sunny-side-up egg. There’s also the Fat Doug topped with Cleveland classics like pastrami, coleslaw, Bertman’s Stadium Mustard and Swiss cheese.
Grab a seat at the counter at Oklahoma City’s diminutive Nic’s Grill and get ready for burger magic. Massive patties are formed by hand and seared on a hot griddle, and if you order yours “with cheese and everything” it’ll be served with plenty of cheese, grilled onions, pickles, mustard, mayo and ketchup on a bun.
Size doesn’t matter, just ask the mini burgers at PDX Sliders. Head to this popular restaurant in Portland, Oregon, for 3- or 6-ounce burgers with swoon-worthy toppings, like bacon, aged cheddar, caramelized onions, butter lettuce and aioli on brioche — all of which comes on the Sellwood. Or go for the Hawthorne, featuring bacon, goat cheese and strawberry preserves on brioche.
Much like America’s finest Irish pubs, Village Whiskey is a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, bar known for its expansive whiskey selection — but the burgers are just as impressive. If you’re looking for something especially decadent, go for the Whiskey King, which comes topped with maple bourbon-glazed cipollini onions, blue cheese, applewood-smoked bacon and foie gras. Make sure to get some of the fabulous duck fat fries on the side too.
Laid-back Newport restaurant Mission is the go-to spot in Rhode Island for great hot dogs, hand-cut fries and, of course, burgers. The ones served here start with beef formed into thick, smallish patties. Some American cheese, a couple slices of high-quality crispy bacon and a smear of Mission Sauce — made from mayo, ketchup, cornichons, capers, fine herbes and brandy — is all you need for the perfect bite.
The Macintosh in Charleston, South Carolina, is a farm-to-table restaurant with a rotating menu of seasonal ingredients inspired by Southern cuisine. While you’ll find multiple palate-pleasers on offer, the "Mac Smash" is a go-to favorite. It comes stacked sky-high with aged cheddar, bacon and Mac Sauce with truffle fries on the side. It’s enough for two, but you may not want to share.
A beloved South Dakota landmark that draws locals and tourists alike, Custer’s Black Hills Burger & Bun Co. takes burgers very seriously. They are made from USDA choice chuck ground in-house daily, formed into 6-ounce patties and served on a house-made bun with your choice of toppings and a side. There’s a nice variety of burger styles including some plant-based recipes, but you can’t go wrong with The Western with cheddar, bacon, grilled onions and barbecue sauce.
A trip to Memphis, Tennessee, spot Earnestine & Hazel’s is a double win: It is one of the best dive bars in America, and it’s got one of the country’s best burgers. If you’re lucky enough to dine here, go for The Soul Burger, a simple concoction of bun, patty, onions, cheese, pickles and Soul Sauce. The only other option is The Double Soul Burger — also a wise choice. Don’t forget to check out the haunted jukebox, which is allegedly DJd by ghosts.
Dallas, Texas, is home to Maple & Motor, where the signature attraction is a cheeseburger — a half-pound of finely ground American beef flat-grilled in its own juices and topped with mustard, lettuce, red onion and dill pickle. That concoction is served on a hot, toasted, grill-shined bun. “If perfect ain’t enough, add a slunk of American, cheddar or pepper jack,” the menu says. The more cheese, the better, right?
Lucky 13 may look and sound like a sports bar, but don’t be fooled: It’s home to Utah’s best burgers. Choose from more than 10 options, including the The Celestial Burger with house-smoked bacon, grilled onions and cheddar. If you're feeling a little more adventurous, go for The Big Benny. This is a foot-tall burger with house-smoked bacon, ham, cheddar, Swiss, caramelized onions, Lucky 13 sauce and 18 ounces of fresh-ground chuck. That’s a big burger, but believe it or not, it’s not even close to the world record-holder.
If you live in Burlington, Vermont, you’ve heard of Al’s French Frys. The sprawling burger joint started as a french fry stand in the late 1940s, and over the years, it just kept growing. The latest incarnation still has a distinctly 1950s vibe. There are only two burgers served here — a regular burger and a cheeseburger with the usual fixings — available as single or double, both of which you can score for under $5.
Hidden on 2941’s upscale American, French and Mediterranean menu in Falls Church, Virginia, is the All-American Burger. This is a classic beef burger topped with melted cheddar, lettuce, onion and tomato on an olive oil bun. But don’t let the simplicity fool you: These simple, fresh ingredients work together in beautiful flavor harmony.
Sam’s Tavern has 12 gourmet burgers, but there is one in particular that’s perfect for all you bacon fans out there: Sam’s 50 Burger. The patty is half certified Angus beef and half hickory-smoked bacon, topped with avocado, buttermilk bacon ranch dressing, Gouda and more bacon. Sam’s is also known for its stellar bloody marys, a classic cocktail with an interesting origin story.
The Capital Burger/Yelp
Washington, D.C., has its fair share of famous landmarks and famous burgers. Take The Capital Burger for example, which has six burgers on its menu as well as hand-cut fries and boozy milkshakes. The namesake burger comes “French onion-style” with caramelized onions, Wisconsin Grand Cru Gruyere and shallot aioli.
Avenue Eats in Wheeling, West Virginia, has 14 burgers on the menu, all made from fresh grass-fed ground beef — aside from the black bean sliders — and creative toppings like brie and grilled pear, bacon and blue cheese, and poutine, inspired by the regional-favorite cheese and gravy french fry dish.
Solly’s Grille in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is beloved for great breakfast plates and even better burgers. The restaurant uses 1/4-pound, high-quality 100% sirloin beef delivered fresh daily from a local butcher and farm-fresh Wisconsin butter to make its cream of the crop Butter Burger served with Solly’s stewed onions. There are 13 different varieties on the menu altogether.
There are many breathtaking views in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, one of which involves a burger at Local. Choose from the signature flat-top burger, house-ground Idaho buffalo burger or a custom blend of ground ribeye, New York and filet mignon, then add whichever toppings you fancy, like six different cheeses; essentials like bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes and banana peppers; and specialties such as fried egg, pimento cheese and foie gras. If you’ve got beef with beef, consider checking out the best chicken sandwiches in America.
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