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
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.
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.
313 14th Ave. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
The best thing about a campus burger joint is probably the price tag. At Annie’s Parlour, $4.95 will get you a perfectly juicy hunk of beef, simply prepared and ready for face-stuffing consumption. Pair this with a classic Annie’s malt and you’ve got one heavenly meal on your hands – and if made properly, all over your hands as well.
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
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.
219 3rd Ave. N.
Sometimes the best burgers are the ones you can wrap your hands around. With a perfect char around this simple beef patty and a surprisingly tasty bun, the burger speaks for itself. It’s a crowd pleaser and a true classic.
Ike’s Food and Cocktails
50 6th St. S.
The burgers are a must at this 50s-era Minneapolis staple. Combining tasty cheeses and fried-to-perfection onions, the burgers simply sing. It’s location is perfect for the baseball fan looking for a bite to eat or the nostalgic visitor wanting a trip back to the Rat Pack days. In either scenario, the burger is a perfect order.
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.
-Sara Boyd is a Web Producer at WCCO.com.