Perhaps it’s almost a no-brainer. We live in the Midwest. Out-of-towners almost expect us to have cows roaming the streets and cornfields at every corner. And with those two “staples” of our Midwestern stereotype under our belts, it’s only fitting that our restaurants produce some of the best burgers around. Heck, we’ve got an abundance of the ingredients, right? Now, when it comes to choosing a burger that’s “the best,” it gets a tad more difficult. Right away, we had to take out restaurants that serve the famous “Juicy Lucy” and create a separate list just for them (stay tuned).
But then what? A good burger is so subjective and arguments over whose is better can cause some major riffs. While some maintain a burger’s juiciness reigns supreme, others find a greasy factor carries the bigger weight. And for us, well, we just went with the 10 burgers that make our mouths water. Simple as that.
Vincent: A Restaurant
1100 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55403
When a restaurant only puts one burger on their menu, you know it’s gotta be a darn good burger. The Vincent Burger is exactly that. It’s like the chefs at Vincent took all the time and energy it would take to come up with a half dozen burgers, and simply – and brilliantly – put that into one glorious burger. Made with braised short ribs and smoked Gouda, this is even a burger best eaten with a raised pinky finger.
3912 Sunnyside Road
Edina, MN 55424
If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. This could easily be the Convention Grill’s motto. From their classic burgers to their 50s-style décor and true diner feel, Convention Grill always hits the spot. Their burgers may not look the prettiest but when paired with their homemade French fries and topped off with a hot fudge malt, it’s pure perfection.
The Bulldog, N.E.
401 E. Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55414
With 14 different burgers on the menu, ranging from classic to exotic, The Bulldog takes “bar food” to a whole ‘nother level. Made with freshly ground domestic Kobe beef – done in-house daily – and a wild imagination of combinations, The Bulldog takes on the burger world as only a true bulldog can – with ferocity and dignity.
Neato’s Food Truck
If you’re looking for a great burger on the go, be sure to scout out the classic blue burger truck on the streets of St. Paul. Whether it’s the classic burger, perfectly cooked, or their more adventurous offerings, like the mustard or jalapeno burger, Neato’s is sure to satisfy your burger cravings. And don’t forget to pair it with their oh-so-delish duck fat fries!
You may have heard of the “butter burger,” but it’s nothing compared to Lurcat’s butter with thyme and onion burger. Some may say it’s technically a slider – food snobs will insist it’s not – but whatever label you put on it, deliciously delectable must certainly come before it. And with the option to get this tasty treat on a late-night “bar” menu, it’ll change your entire view on late-night snacking.
The 112 cheeseburger looks simple enough and you might even order it and think, “What’s the big deal?” But after one bite of this English muffin creation, you understand. A hint of onion and thyme hits a savory note and turns straight into tastebud overload.
The Lion’s Tap
16180 Flying Cloud Drive
Eden Prairie, MN
You know you’ve found a good burger when you have to prepare with plenty of napkins – and even a napkin bib – before diving in. The Lion’s Tap burgers are those kinds of burgers. They’re nothing too fancy, and stick to the basics, but when you do burgers this well, there’s just no need for frills.
Longfellow and St. Paul locations
When burgers comprise most of your menu, you better be able to deliver a solid product. Luckily for us, the Blue Door does that and more. They’ve reinvented the classic Juicy Lucy with their blue cheese invention, the Blucy, and had the audacity to put peanut butter and mayo on a cheeseburger — and made us fall in love with the concept! The nerve!
2203 N 44th Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55412
It’s called the perfect burger for a reason. Combining beef and pork, this $14 burger is perfectly cooked on a perfect brioche bun with perfectly simple condiments to enhance its natural flavor. Perfect indeed.
Casper & Runyon’s Nook
Now I know I said we took off any burger joints that serve the Juicy Lucy, but as an exception, I just had to add The Nook to this list because they serve up so many great burgers — beyond Miss Lucy. Anything you can imagine going on a burger does at The Nook and sports fans can even give homage to their favorite all-stars, in burger fashion. In fact, the burgers here are so good, Food Network’s Guy Fieri even featured them on his “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” show on best burgers. I think that’s ’nuff said.