America’s Favorite Burger Joints

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Every state boasts its champion when it comes to burgers—whether thick and juicy, stacked with toppings, or dripping with cheese, there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of a burger.

Alabama: Callaghan’s Irish Social Club

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Try their legendary bacon cheeseburger amid live music and good vibes. Crafted from Angus beef, smushed and expertly grilled, it’s garnished with veggies and bacon. And instead of fries, enjoy a unique tomato, cucumber, and onion salad on the side.

California: San Francisco’s Zuni Cafe

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The burger stands out among the cafe’s celebrated dishes like ricotta gnocchi and cured anchovies. It is made from a long-salted grass-fed chuck and ground in small batches, it’s charred to crispy and placed on toasted rosemary focaccia with bright yellow aioli. Every element is made from scratch, delivering a deliciously crafted indulgence.

Florida: El Mago de las Fritas

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Ortelio Cardenas, the founder, has perfected his burger for over 35 years. Made from a blend of beef and pork seasoned with cumin, pepper, and paprika, this burger is served on a Cuban roll with onions and crispy potato matchsticks for a satisfying crunch.

Georgia: NFA Burgers

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This spot, led by pop-up veteran Billy Kramer, serves up sensational burgers. Made with top-notch Angus beef, smashed gently on the grill for that crispness, they are topped with pickles, mustard, secret sauce, and cheese, packed in a soft roll from Martin’s.

Hawaii: The Daley

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In Honolulu’s Chinatown, The Daley is a modern treasure known for its Hawaiian twist on smash burgers. Made with locally-raised grass-fed beef from Kunoa Cattle Company on Kaua’i, these burgers are cooked with onions and plated on potato buns.

Illinois: Top Notch Beefburgers

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This family-owned establishment has been grinding top rounds on location and frying potatoes in beef fat. Opt for their patty melt, available in quarter-pound, half-pound, or three-quarter-pound sizes. The patties are then sandwiched between crispy, buttery rye bread with grilled onions and American cheese.

Kansas: Cozy Inn

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These burgers are priced at around $16 a dozen. Placed on custom-baked rolls, each one-ounce patty comes with ketchup, mustard, and pickles—but no cheese or fries. Be sure to avoid rush hours, as there are only six counter seats!

Kentucky: Laha’s Red Castle

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Burgers here are small but mighty, made with fresh ground beef and topped with raw onions. Take advantage of the chili simmering nearby and add mustard for the ideal combination. It’s been a pilgrimage for burger enthusiasts since President Lincoln’s birth in 1809.

Louisiana: Judice Inn

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Alcide and Marc Judice, World War II veterans, returned home to Lafayette and founded this burger joint. They grind beef daily and use freshly baked rolls. Each burger is seasoned with pepper, including black and cayenne, and smothered in the tomato-based special sauce.

Maine: Palace Diner

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They’ve perfected the Big Mac formula with the “Palais Royale” at this historic diner in Biddeford. This smash burger masterpiece includes two hugely portioned patties, oozing cheddar cheese, ample shredded lettuce, pickles, and just the right amount of secret sauce on a toasted sesame seed bun.

Maryland: Hamilton Tavern

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The Crosstown Burger features melty horseradish cheddar cheese, crisp shredded iceberg lettuce, and red onion slices. Make sure to check out their specials, where creative additions like crab cakes on top of burgers elevate the flavor.

Massachusetts: Craigie 

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What started as a personal endeavor became a local sensation, drawing crowds throughout Boston. Made with grass-fed beef, Vermont cheddar, lettuce, red onions, and ketchup spiked with mace, all on a roll from Clear Flour Bakery. This particular burger has become legendary.

Nebraska: Stella’s Bar & Grill

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Each burger at Stella’s starts with 6.5 ounces of ground beef pressed onto a cast iron grill. The focus is on preserving the meat’s delicious juices. Quality buns are sourced daily from a nearby Italian bakery. Cheese and onion are all you need to add to this burger.

New York: Peter Luger

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While this restaurant is known for its steaks, the burger is a testament to the purity of beef. It’s a no-frills delight, made with half a pound of prime dry-aged beef, cooked medium rare, and arranged on a sesame bun with raw onion. 

Pennsylvania: Tessaro’s

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At this joint, the chef grills burgers on cast iron pans over hardwood coals. These burgers have exceptional flavor. Tessaro’s confidence in their product is evident—they offer a straight hamburger with no frills, although you can customize yours to your heart’s content.

Alaska: Club Paris

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In Anchorage, Club Paris is the go-to spot for steaks and martinis in a cozy atmosphere. Featuring reasonably-priced burgers made from the day’s filet mignon trimmings, this restaurant has options to satisfy any craving. Try the superior Paris Special!

Arizona: Harvey’s Wineburger

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Imagine sizzling beef on the grill, splashed with red wine for extra flavor and juiciness! Made with Bordeaux cooking wine and fresh ground beef, topped with crisp veggies and no other condiments, these burgers are an affordable treat. 

Arkansas: Ohio Club

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This colorful establishment has seen it all, from celebrity-studded nights to surviving Prohibition and the Great Depression. While burgers came later, they’ve become a top attraction at this historic venue, hosting everyone from Mae West to mafia dons over the years.

Colorado: Bud’s Bar

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Bud’s Bar in Sedalia has come a long way from its humble beginnings in the 1940s. This cash-only dive remains true to its roots, focusing solely on crafting great vintage-style burgers with onions and pickles.

Connecticut: Louis’ Lunch

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The first hamburger is a topic of much debate, but the Library of Congress leans towards New Haven, and we agree. Louis’ Lunch is where Louis Lassen started pressing steak scraps into sandwiches. Today, his great-grandson continues the story, serving juicy, default-to-medium-rare burgers.

Delaware: Charcoal Pit

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Known for frosted chocolate malts, monster ice cream sundaes, and chargrilled burgers, it’s a nostalgic spot to bring your loved ones. Try the 10 oz. Home Run burger with lettuce, tomato, onion, and American cheese. You might even catch a glimpse of President Biden, who’s been a regular since high school.

Idaho: Hudson’s Hamburgers

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Hudson’s Hamburgers in Coeur d’Alene has persevered through five generations of the same family. They’ve blessed the city with a magnificent recipe for success: ground beef smashed onto the flat top until crisp around the edges.

Indiana: The Workingman’s Friend

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Before smash burgers became trendy, Hoosiers simply called them burgers. This style is now nearly everywhere, from regional chains to vintage mom-and-pop spots like The Workingman’s Friend in Indianapolis. Over a century old, this woman-owned tavern has remained in the same Macedonian immigrant family.

Iowa: B&B Grocery

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Recently, this esteemed butcher shop successfully transformed into one of the most sought-after sandwich shops in the state. The burgers here are classic, with one key difference: letting the butcher cook your burger almost guarantees success. For just over ten bucks, try the Quadzilla.

Michigan: Motz’s

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Among the many bite-sized burger places in the region, Motz’s stands out as a beloved fixture. Take a seat at the stainless steel counter facing the grill and watch as the cooks press fresh ground beef onto the grill with onions, both caramelizing to perfection.

Minnesota: The Nook

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The Jucy Lucy, Minnesota’s iconic cheese-stuffed burger, may have been invented elsewhere, but ask anyone in St. Paul and they’ll point you to The Nook. Known here as the Juicy Nookie, it’s a wonderfully simple dish—meat oozing with your choice of American or cheddar cheese.

Mississippi: Latham’s Hamburger Inn

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Even almost five decades later, Hamburger Inn in New Albany still serves a version close to the original. Fried in a cast-iron skillet, it crisps up around the edges like a fritter and is placed on a griddled bun with toppings.

Missouri: Town Topic

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Kansas City has relied on Town Topic for ages, the diner at 20th and Broadway. It’s a constant in a world of restaurant turnovers. Fresh beef is pressed onto the flat top with plenty of onions, seasoning, resulting in another stellar smash burger.

Montana: Wally & Buck

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Their signature Wally burger, with sharp cheddar, bacon jam, secret sauce, griddled onions, and crisp vegetables, is a crowd-pleaser. The crisp brioche buns add to the experience. For non-meat eaters, there’s a creative rice and bean burger available in vegan options.

Nevada: Bazaar Meat

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Jose Andres offers some of the most unique dry-aged steaks you’ll ever taste. However, during the pandemic, the restaurant adapted with a winning idea: a burger that matches the excellence of their steaks. Served on a baked sesame bun, the patty is a 50/50 blend of wagyu short rib and brisket.

New Hampshire: Gilley’s PM Lunch 

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Gilley’s PM Lunch in Portsmouth is a gem of a diner, built by the Worcester Lunch Car Co. in 1940. New England experience, try the burger with baked beans and slices of white, buttered bread for dipping. And don’t forget the hand-cut fries made with Maine potatoes—they’re a must-have.

New Jersey: White Manna

Despite its small size, the burgers pack a punch. Fresh-ground beef, onions, and melted cheese on a miniature potato roll—satisfying! It may be one of the smallest burgers in America, but it’s certainly one of the best.

New Mexico: The Pantry

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In New Mexico, a burger without roasted green chiles is a missed opportunity. But there’s an even wilder local tradition—the Tortilla Burger. At this place, they serve up the most famous version. These messy creations feature generous amounts of ground beef wrapped in a flour tortilla with pinto beans drenched in red chile.

North Carolina: Brooks’ Sandwich House

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In North Carolina, livermush is as popular as scrapple is in  Pennsylvania. This salty, funky loaf, made from pig’s liver and leftovers from the slaughterhouse, remains an acquired taste. At Brooks’ Sandwich House, you can enjoy it atop one of their burgers, ordered “all the way” with mustard, onion, and beef chili.

North Dakota: JL Beers

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JL Beers, founded in downtown Fargo and now a regional mini-chain, excels at both beer and burgers. Their winning strategy? Keeping it simple. Their burger features top-notch meat on a deliciously basic bun, with just a touch of sauce and pickle. 

Ohio: Zip’s Cafe

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This state is a paradise for burger lovers. This neighborhood gem has been serving up top-grade burgers made with fresh chuck from local butcher Avril Bleh. Cooked on the flat top along with a local bun, these burgers let the meat shine.

Oklahoma: Tucker’s Onion Burgers

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The onion burger emerged when meat was scarce, and onions were abundant. Cooks in El Reno started blending onions into beef on the grill, creating an ingenious dish. Today, Tucker’s Onion Burgers in Oklahoma City carries on this tradition with high-quality beef.

Oregon: Naomi Pomeroy’s Expatriate Cocktail Lounge

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Portland’s burger scene flourished during the pandemic, with delicious options popping up everywhere. Among them, Naomi Pomeroy’s Expatriate cocktail lounge stands out for its Standard burger. For $18, you get two juicy 4 oz. patties topped with ketchup, mustard, onion, and plenty of American cheese.

Rhode Island: Stanley’s

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Surviving wars, cultural shifts, and now a pandemic, the restaurant faced tough challenges. Owner Louie Alberta expressed concern about its future. Locals rallied behind their beloved burger joint, raising nearly $20,000 to keep it alive. With this support, Stanley’s continues to serve up its burgers.

South Carolina: Rockaway Athletic Club

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The deliciousness of a pimento cheeseburger should make it a nationwide staple. It’s easy to whip up with sharp cheddar, pimentos, and mayo. The state is renowned as the spiritual home of this burger, and the Rockaway Athletic Club offers a delightful rendition in a lively indoor-outdoor bar setting.

South Dakota: Nick’s 

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Their signature burger may not win any beauty contests, but locals swear by its flavor. Over nearly a century, this unassuming burger, fried in beef tallow and topped with a mustard-based pickle and onion relish, has earned a loyal following.

Tennessee: Earnestine & Hazel’s

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From its days as a bar, jazz club, and even a brothel, the place is steeped in history and legend. Then there’s the Soul Burger, a late-night favorite adorned with cheese, pickles, grilled onions, and mustard.

Texas: Perini Ranch

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It’s not just the steaks that have people coming back—it’s also their celebrated Ranch Burger. Made with a half-pound of perfectly seasoned ground chuck, patted and grilled to perfection, this burger comes topped with cheddar, grilled mushrooms, onions, and a touch of green chiles.

Utah: Crown Burgers

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In the ongoing debate over the origin of the pastrami burger, both Los Angeles and Salt Lake City stake their claim. Crown Burgers has perfected this dish, featuring a quarter pound of beef, cheese, another quarter pound of pastrami, and a slathering of fry sauce.

Vermont: Prohibition Pig

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The West Jefferson burger at Prohibition Pig in Waterbury is a masterpiece. Topped with a pimento cheese fritter and heirloom tomato relish, it’s best savored immediately. Alternatively, you can opt for the classic with ketchup, mustard, or pickle, or enjoy it plain—either way, satisfaction is guaranteed.

Virginia: Texas Tavern

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The 91-year-old Texas Tavern in Roanoke recently reopened its ten counter stools after over a year of takeout-only service. Regulars returned eagerly for their $3 meal, the Cheesy Western—a cheeseburger with a fried egg, pickles, sweet relish, and optional onions.

Washington: Dick’s Drive-In

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Dick’s fresh, never-frozen beef patties, cooked in 1/8 lb. portions, and locally baked buns contribute to the iconic taste. With prices like $1.80 for a plain hamburger and hand-cut fries made from local potatoes, Dick’s is a great fast-food destination.

West Virginia: Jim’s Drive-In

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Jim’s Drive-In in Lewisburg, serving the community for over fifty years, is a gathering spot for locals and visitors alike. This family-owned establishment offers slaw dogs and burgers. The burgers, with their patties and perfect char, are plated simply with cheese, onions, lettuce, and tomato.

Wisconsin: Solly’s Grille 

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Solly’s Grille offers up quarter-pound sirloin burgers topped with their famous stewed onions. But what sets them apart is the finishing touch: a generous pool of salty Wisconsin butter that adds richness and flavor.

Wyoming: Grub’s Drive-In

Grub Burger Bar/Facebook

Back in the 1960s, when the Harlem Globetrotters visited Rock Springs, Nick Skorup, owner of Grub’s Drive-In, stepped up to feed them after they were turned away elsewhere. That’s the kind of guy he was. Skorup’s family still runs Grub’s, serving the Shamrock: two quarter-pound beef patties with cheese, mustard, pickles, and onions.

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