According to 70 burger experts, it does
The Lola, chef Michael Symon’s burger with bacon, Cheddar, pickled red onions, and a sunny-side up egg.
Iron Chef Michael Symon is an agent of positive change for faltering Midwest cities. He is credited with helping to “save” his hometown of Cleveland by opening two critically acclaimed restaurants, Lolita and Lola. So, perhaps there is no better culinary figure to take on the task of proving that Detroit really is “America’s Great Comeback City,” and he’s doing just that with his restaurant Roast, located in the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel in downtown Motor City. However, the chef also recognizes the importance of good, down-home, American fare, as seen in his burger joint, B Spot Burgers.
Symon has won too many burger contests to recall, and with good reason — the man understands good food, he understands meat, and more importantly, he understands how to make a great burger. The Lola, Symon’s burger with bacon, Cheddar, pickled red onions, and a sunny-side up egg, is going to be on the rarer side, the saltier side, and the gooey-dripping side. If you’re really into burgers, and really know the way chefs like to make them, well… you’ll be into the Lola.
We at The Daily Meal recently published our 101 Best Burgers in America for 2015. Building on last year’s list, we assembled a poll that included nearly 250 burgers from all across the country, from Hollywood, Florida, to Anchorage, Alaska. 70 burger experts then voted for their favorites, and we published the top 101. Two from Michigan made the cut, with Symon’s Lola coming in at #80, out scoring the World Famous Ground Round with Cheese at Miller's Bar in Dearborn, which makes Symon’s burger the best burger in Michigan.
The Best Burger in Every State in America
After we tried to figure out the best pizza in every state, it was inevitable that burgers would be next. After all, we spend much of our year consuming them for our 33 best/personal satisfaction. So, over the course of the last three months, we've set about researching, eating, and fighting about everything from pork belly pastrami-covered burgers in Pennsylvania, to griddled patties in Indiana, to quite possibly the best damn bar burger in Minnesota.
Note: this was not just a list compiled from other lists which were compiled from other lists until you've reached the end of the Internet. If we didn't eat it personally, one of our other National Food/Drink editors or City editors or contributing writers did. We tried to show our work whenever possible, and give credit to others in the running. But at the end of the day, we think we've got a case for a burger you're going to love in every single state in the Union. And if you disagree, let us know in the comments. We'll happily come eat more burgers.
Chez Fonfon (address and info)
The burger: Hamburger Fonfon
Alabama all-star chef Frank Stitt ditches any fancy pretenses in favor of a simple, half-pound burger that's consistently our favorite to come out of Dixie. A buttery bun nestles the holy trinity of burger toppings -- red onion, lettuce, and tomato -- into oozing Comte, a cheese whose nutty sweetness is the perfect choice to stand up to and balance out a patty that hefty.
Tommy's Burger Stop (address and info)
The burger: Burger Stop cheeseburger
It's small. There are maybe two tables. During the busy eating hours you will wait in line. But that line is there for a reason. The weekly specials are famous and eclectically named -- ranging from the recent Big Poppa burger (essentially, as they put it, "a deconstructed jalapeño popper"), to the likely most famous of all Battered Husband (Swiss, Cajun-battered fried jalapeños, garlic jalapeño aioli). But stunts aside, Tommy's regular cheeseburger could likely compete for best in a lot of other, bigger states as well.
Credit: Jennifer Bui/Thrillist
St. Francis (address and info)
The burger: Chile burger
Though we're also big fans of Monkey Burger in Tucson and The Stand, our pick had to go to the uptown Phoenix eatery's chile burger. Yes, yes, New Mexico (and even Colorado) like to lay more claim to the ubiquity of green chile-topped burgers, but this one, with pickled fresno chile, sweet-and-sour onions, chipotle aioli, and Jack cheese creates a beautiful symphony of hot meat and cheese with cold crunchy veggies. Worth visiting, even from New Mexico.
Pig Trail Bypass Country Cafe (address and info)
The burger: The Hooshburger
Let's start with a little geography lesson: the Ozark National Forest sits in the Northwestern corner of Arkansas, basically blocking University of Arkansas students in Fayetteville from the most direct route Southeast to Little Rock. There's a winding backroad that cuts straight through that wilderness running North to South, known as the Pig Trail Bypass. Confused? It's okay. You probably only have a relative idea of what we're talking about if you're a motorcycle enthusiast or are well versed in the downfall of former UA coach/motorcycle enthusiast Bobby Petrino's wreck.
4505 Burgers & BBQ (address and info)
The burger: The Best Damn Grass Fed Cheeseburger
How do you select the best burger in a land mass the same size as Japan or Sweden? With five major cities and countless towns waving their best in your face? This choice alone kept me up for nights. There are some serious contenders here, everyone from the beyond famous burger at LA's Father's Office, to the classic at Rocky's in SD, to the underrated Sunset Burger in Leggett, and the Squeeze Burger in Sacramento. Oh, and I haven't even mentioned the Larchmont Burger, or Trick Dog. BUT ANYWAY, after much soul searching, I went with 4505. It's been on my best burgers in the country list twice, and everything seems handmade to complement everything else, from the sesame-scallion bun, to that dry-aged beef, Gruyere, red onion, and special sauce.
Crave (address and info)
The burger: Love Stinks
Crave now boasts three locations (Castle Rock's the original), but here's what you really need to know: they recently swept the Denver Burger Battle (people's choice and judge's choice) with their Love Stinks, a garlic-bomb topped with with roasted garlic cream cheese, fried onion strings, roasted red pepper, candied bacon, and red pepper aioli. Oh, and more roasted garlic. It's one thing to conceive some crazy burgers (and they do). It's another to make them truly work (and they do).
K. LaMay's (address and info)
The burger: Steamed cheeseburger
As someone from New England who went to college in Connecticut, I had to ask myself a lot of questions: how do you not choose Louis' Lunch in the state that essentially invented the cheeseburger? Or the legendary Ted's, if you're going to pick in Meriden? Or hell, the cheeseburger at Shady Glen in Manchester? Or go with your favorite burger from college, at the Wood-n-Tap in Hartford? Well, first doesn't always equal best, and in this case, Kevin LaMay (who essentially apprenticed at Ted's as a teenager) has figured out the perfect ratios with his slightly bigger steamed cheeseburgers on fresh Kaiser rolls with molten hot cheddar. It also gets the vote of Meriden native/noted cheeseburger connoisseur Devin McGoldrick, so you know it's high praise.
Redfire Grill (address and info)
The burger: REDfire Burger
For two years in a row, the Delaware Burger Battle recognized the REDfire Burger as one of the top in the state, probably because the Hockessin steakhouse is serious about their ingredients -- a local butcher grinds their proprietary blend of brisket, ribeye, and ground chuck daily. That patty is grilled and topped with aged cheddar, maple-pepper bacon, and a house-made, "souped up" 1000 Island dressing with a mild kick from Thai chilies.
M.E.A.T. Eatery and Tap Room (address and info)
The burger: Inside-Out Juicy Lucy Burger
You might expect this burger to be, uh, inside out, but it's a regular Juicy Lucy, with spicy, gooey pimento cheese inside the patty. However, geniusly, bacon gets all cozy with the pimento and -- the real kicker here -- American cheese is added on top, along with the tomato and lettuce. It's classic burger meets classic Juicy Lucy and it's a marriage we're so happy to be a part of.
Credit: Jennifer Bui/Thrillist
Holeman & Finch (address and info)
The burger: The Burger
2014 was the year of the restaurant burger: they littered secret menus, drew diners for lunch-only specials, and forced diners to dinner before 6pm to grab one in nightly limited-runs. But H&F was the trendsetter, with its gold standard of a simple burger: double cheeseburger with American, red onions, pickles, ketchup, mustard, and a house-made bun only available after 10pm (limited to 24!) and at brunch. And, thankfully, the burger finally graduated to the real menu at the end of last year, so we can have it any damn time we please. That is, if you get a reservation (also now available!) or can handle the wait-time.
Kua 'Aina (address and info)
The burger: The avocado burger
One of our picks for the 33 best burgers in the country, this one wasn't really close. Though then again, neither is Hawaii. If you see Obama there (and you definitely will, he reportedly loves it), tell him to get the avocado burger with grilled onions. Then hilariously quote the movie Blue Crush.
Boise Fry Co. (address and info)
The burger: Original bison burger
It sounds slightly cliché to pick a place best known for its fries to represent the Land of Potatoes, but just because Boise Fry Co. is named for beef's favorite side doesn't mean the burgers are an afterthought. In fact, the fry joint makes an immaculate burger, made of fresh-ground meat that's hand-patted and grilled up right before your eyes. And while the beef is a thing of beauty, we'd recommend springing for the Original bison burger, which occupies the perfect zone between thick and thin, and comes hit with garlic aioli and red onion gastrique. Big Jud's might be the most famous Boise burger spot (and a damn fine one), but for a perfect patty without all the fuss, BFC is your BFF.
Au Cheval (address and info)
The burger: Single cheeseburger with an egg
This was not difficult. Au Cheval has the kind of burger than makes you question every other burger you've had previously in your life. Also, Aziz Ansari really likes it.
Workingman's Friend (address and info)
The burger: Cheeseburger
If you know how much I like smashed, griddled burgers from legendary, classic places (see the White Hut anything I ever write about burgers), then Workingman's Friend was an easy pick for me. Apologies to the mini-chain of Scotty's Brewhouse, and Bub's in Carmel, but the Stamatkin's legendary spot (opened in 1918) does the perfectly cooked diner burger with American and a mound of griddled onions. Most people opt for the double cheeseburger, but I prefer to order two and take them down one at a time.
Short's Burger & Shine (address and info)
The burger: 1006 Melrose
The Rusty Duck and Coon Bowl have won awards for their burgers. Django in Des Moines goes French with theirs, and it's damn good. Christy Creme and Hamburg Inn have nostalgia and tradition on their side. But the best burger we've had in Iowa was the 1006 Melrose at Short's Burger & Shine. The black Angus beef from local Iowa farmer Ed Smith speaks for itself, and though they've got all sorts of fancified options, we always order the simple cheeseburger and sub out the cheddar for American on our yearly pilgrimage to Iowa. Then we go to the Vine.
Credit: Jennifer Bui/Thrillist
The Cozy Inn (address and info)
The burger: Sliders
We like Harry's in Manhattan, and we love The Burger Stand at the Casbah in Lawrence, but we had to go with the legend. Once you just accept the fact that you're going to smell like griddled onions for the rest of the day, and start to own it, you can truly embrace these delicious sliders. Just don't ask for fries.
Dovie's Cafe (address and info)
The burger: Cheeseburger, unsquozed
The slightly faded, RC Cola-emblazoned plastic sign hanging on the facade is Dovie's first calling card that it's all old-school the second is that its burgers are deep-fried. The biggest decision you'll face here is whether you want your burger squozed or unsquozed -- that is, whether you want the soybean frying oil pressed out before your burger hits wax paper that'll serve as your plate. Did we mention it's old-school?
The Company Burger (address and info)
The burger: The Single
I love this burger so much that, when I still lived in New Orleans, I looked at apartments based on their proximity to Company Burger, and, every time I've gone back to visit, it's the first place I ask friends to meet me. It's that good: a perfectly balanced and flavored, tender patty with American, red onions, and bread & butter pickles. How many mayos you want from the mayonnaise bar is TOTALLY up to you. But you should probably definitely get both onion rings and fries to try them all.
Harmon's Lunch (address and info)
The burger: Cheeseburger, loaded
In the Pine Tree State, it came down to a question of old versus new. I like the cheeseburger seared on the flat top at Nosh in Portland a whole lot. But my heart and nostalgia of summers spent traveling up through Maine with my grandparents just to eat those delicious loaded burgers at Harmon's made it the pick for the state. Though they now serve fries and shakes, they still abstain from nonsense like lettuce and tomato, and you should always get two cheeseburgers, loaded with mustard, red relish, and fried onions. Plus, how can you not love a place with a sign that reads "This is not Burger King. You don't get it your way. You take it my way, or you don't get the damn thing"?
Hamilton Tavern (address and info)
The burger: The Crosstown
The Baltimore spot lives up to the tavern name: dark, cozy, neighborhood vibe, solid beers, and the exact perfect burger that we like to eat in a place that basically demands you settle in for a long night of drinking. The Crosstown's patty has local beef covered with hot horseradish-cheddar, onion, and shredded iceberg to cool things off. There's also sticky-spicy bacon as an optional add-on, and you should always, always add that on.
White Hut (address and info)
The burger: Cheeseburger with grilled onions
First of all, I love me the burgers at JM Curley, The Gallows, Eastern Standard, Craigie on Main, and several others in my hometown. I have written about almost all of them before, and said very nice things. But the White Hut is not just my favorite burger place of all time, it might just be my FAVORITE SINGLE PLACE IN THE WORLD. Two cheeseburgers with fried onions at the counter, at the original in West Springfield. I've been eating that meal since before I had teeth. And so, I'm sorry to all the others, but it was always going to be the Hut here.
Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger (address and info)
The burger: Triple with lots of things
Michigan does not lack for quality burgers, but "Blimpy's," as it's commonly abbreviated, is an icon, serving stacks of hand-ground patties since 1953. Tragedy nearly struck when University of Michigan acquired its building for graduate housing, but a fundraising campaign kept it alive and well in a new location, along with its 2,147,483,648 ordering combinations. Get a triple (at least), know that onion rings are a must, and mind the ordering etiquette.
Non-Beef Burgers: 11 Burger Recipes That Don’t Have a Cow
Despite the inroads made by alternative options like turkey burgers and meatless burgers, beef is still the defining protein for burgers by default. Still, even the most avid Big Mac munchers crave the occasional break. (Vegetarians, vegans, and the red-meat averse have their own, well-grounded reasons for avoiding cows, of course, but we’ve got them covered too.) Here are 11 burger recipes that taste amazing and contain approximately (okay, exactly ) zero beef.
If you’re making a meat-based burger, these tips for juicy burgers still apply to other proteins, but for veggie burger pointers, learn how to make your meatless burger awesome. And if you’re feeling really ambitious, you can make your own hamburger buns too.
1. Kimchi Chicken Burgers
Ground chicken patties give burgers an admirable low level of fat, but they present a challenge: How to make them taste anything other than bland? Enter this recipe. Not only does it call for ginger and garlic in the patty, but tops it with a high-flavor, optionally spicy slaw spiked up with Sriracha and kimchi. Get our Kimchi Chicken Burger recipe.
2. Breakfast Turkey Burgers
A burger—for breakfast? Absolutely. Especially when it’s made from a patty containing not lethargy-inducing beef, but relatively light ground turkey. Chopped fresh sage, fennel seeds, and a touch of sugar give it the nicest breakfast-sausage flavor. A fried egg is a must. Get our Breakfast Turkey Burger recipe.
3. Blue Cheese Chicken BLT Burgers
This is not a chicken burger for the faint of heart! We blended the two best sandwiches—the burger and the BLT—to create a twist on both, taking it a step further by stuffing the burger with a piece of creamy-salty blue cheese. Get our Blue Cheese Chicken BLT Burger recipe.
4. Black-Eyed Pea Vegan Burgers
Chowhound’s Black-Eyed Pea Vegan Burgers
Mushrooms and black-eyed peas give these vegan burgers the right moisture and density, plus bold natural flavors. Will you know you are not eating a chuck burger? You will. Will you enjoy it anyway? Absolutely. Get our Black-Eyed Pea Vegan Burger recipe.
Related Reading: 11 Best Veggie Burgers
5. Middle Eastern Lamb Burgers
Beef burgers are great, but every once in a while you might want something different to throw on the grill. Try this lamb burger: meaty and juicy, with loads of aromatic spices, and topped with a cooling Cucumber and Cumin Yogurt Relish that beats ketchup any day. Get our Middle Eastern Lamb Burger recipe.
6. BBQ Bacon Turkey Burgers
One way to give generally mild-tasting turkey burger patties some flavor personality is to slather them with BBQ sauce. That’s what we call for here—along with piling on crispy bacon, of course. These are turkey burgers for inveterate haters of such a concept. Get our BBQ Bacon Turkey Burger recipe.
7. Chicken Cordon Bleu Burgers
Chicken Cordon Bleu is a classy dish—chicken breast sandwiched with Gruyère cheese and prosciutto. It literally turns into a sandwich here: a ground chicken burger patty that meets up with Black Forest ham and Swiss cheese. Get our Chicken Cordon Bleu Burger recipe.
8. Falafel Burgers
The problem with veggie burgers is that they can come across as mushy bean patties, which—let’s face it—many are. In this twist on Middle Eastern falafel, raw chickpeas are soaked for enough hours to make them soften, then ground to form the basis of delicious parsley-tinted patties that do not cook up like mush pucks. Get our Falafel Burger recipe.
9. Grilled Salmon Burgers
These homemade salmon burgers are not the thin, mealy little pucks you may be accustomed to from the freezer case—they’re thick, juicy, and full of flavor, especially if you top them off with one of the sauces or relishes in our salmon burger guide. Get our Grilled Salmon Burger recipe.
10. Apple and Cheddar Breakfast Sausage Burgers
Remember that breakfast turkey burger up top? This is its porcine cousin: a juicy patty of sage-flecked breakfast sausage grilled alongside a maple-glazed apple slice, the two then stacked together with melty sharp cheddar cheese for a truly inspired take on the run-of-the-mill breakfast sandwich. Get our Apple and Cheddar Breakfast Sausage Burger recipe.
11. Pork and Chorizo Chile Burgers
Plain ground pork can be a little pedestrian, but mixing it with spicy Mexican chorizo lends tons of flavor and extra fat to keep things juicy. Topped with grilled chiles and mashed avocado, these burgers are a delicious change of pace—and demand a frosty beverage to wash them down. Get our Pork and Chorizo Chile Burger recipe.
Classy classy! This recipe is absolutely top notch and is so yummy! The home made components of this recipe change the whole meal for the better. You won’t be able to go back to a regular fast food burger after you try this!
Lindsay loves cooking fun and creative meals for friends and family. At home, you can find her trying out a new recipe found on Pinterest while trying to balance her husband's sweet tooth with her healthy eating habits. If she's not in the kitchen, you'll find Lindsay photographing people she loves and going out with friends to try the newest restaurant in her small town.
Arizona: Jalapeno Popper Burger at Rehab Burger Therapy
It's no longer a secret that Rehab Burger Therapy is the home of the best burgers in Arizona. Where it gets challenging is picking which one is the best of the best. While this burger place has a lot of scrumptious options, it's the Jalapeno Popper Burger that you really need to try. This thing is even more than the name suggests. In addition to the expected fried jalapeno and cream cheese, it also has cheddar cheese and delicious guacamole.
Rehab Burger Therapy is in Scottsdale and has a fun, beachy atmosphere.
Use A Hamburger Press
The other trick to making a great Meatloaf Burger is to use a non-stick hamburger press to keep them uniform in shape and size. We also like to use patty paper to prevent the beef from sticking to the hamburger press and to keep each Meatloaf Burger separated until we’re ready to grill. Patty paper is essentially wax paper, but it’s already cut into small squares so it’s convenient and ready to use whenever you have a craving for a Meatloaf Burger.
25 of the Craziest Burger Toppings in the U.S.
There are plenty of ways to dress a burger besides lettuce, cheese, and tomato. (Sushi? Um, okay.) In preparation for National Hamburger Day on May 28, we’re serving up the most unique burger-enhancing toppings in the U.S.
1. HOT FUDGE // MCGUIRE'S IRISH PUB // PENSACOLA, FLORIDA
Why wait for dessert? Patrons of the Irish saloon can mix sweet and savory by ordering a three-quarter-pounder Black Angus beef burger covered in a scoop of hot fudge-drizzled vanilla ice cream.
2. RAMEN // RAMEN BURGER // VARIOUS LOCATIONSJason Wong, Flickr // CC by NC-ND 2.0
Keizo Shimamoto's iconic Ramen Burgers can be found stateside at various flea markets and food courts across New York. This burger packs USDA prime beef patties between noodle-buns seasoned with scallions and shoyu glaze. At the height of the craze, hundreds of diners lined up to try this phenomenal burger creation.
3. CREAM CHEESE // GRILL 'EM ALL // ALHAMBRA, CALIFORNIA
Heavy metal-inspired Grill 'Em All's food truck and restaurant (Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider has eaten there!) has two cream cheese-topped offerings: Napalm Death, which also has pickled jalapeño, jalapeño poppers, and habanero aioli and the Witte with deep-fried bacon, Sriracha, grilled onion, and malt vinegar aioli. Cream cheese is a frequent addition to their rotating burgers of the week, and the joint has been featured on Food Network's The Best Thing I Ever Ate and won Season 1 of The Great Food Truck Race.
4. PEANUT MAYONNAISE // MATT'S PLACE // BUTTE, MONTANACraig L., Yelp
At The Treasure State’s oldest drive-in restaurant, the most popular menu choice is a surprising one. Those in the know opt for the Nutburger—a beef patty covered in a crushed peanut mayonnaise.
5. PULLED PORK // B SPOT // VARIOUS LOCATIONS
A carnivore’s delight! The menu at this casual eatery, with eight locations in the Midwest including Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit and Indianapolis, includes the award-winning Porky: a burger covered in pulled pork, coleslaw and Cleveland-style barbecue sauce (made with brown mustard).
6. MANGO, PEAR, AND PINE NUTS // FLIP BURGER BOUTIQUE // ATLANTA
At Top Chef All Stars winner Richard Blais’ upscale burger joint—where they claim to “take the American classic and flip it on its head”—you can order burgers comprised of steak tartare, shrimp, lamb, and bison. But perhaps the most unique offering is the raw tuna tartare patty that comes dressed with soy dressing and wasabi mayo, and topped with Asian pear, avocado puree, pine nuts, and a mango sphere.
7. BACON GRILLED CHEESE // VORTEX BAR & GRILL // ATLANTA
Atlanta’s Vortex Bar & Grill ups the ante with their Triple Coronary Bypass: two patty melts and a bacon grilled cheese serve as buns. The sandwich consists of two slices of white bread, four slices of thick, buttery Texas toast, 18 strips of bacon, 24 ounces of sirloin, 18 slices of American cheese, three fried eggs, and mayo. The 7000-plus calorie meal comes with cheese- and bacon bits-covered tots.
8. FRIED BANANA AND PEANUT BUTTER // BOSTON BURGER COMPANY // BOSTONChristina O., Yelp
Many burger joints offer tributes to Elvis Presley and his love for peanut butter and banana sandwiches. (Order up variations at The Vortex Bar & Grill in Atlanta and Grumpy’s Bar & Grill in Minneapolis.) At Boston Burger Company it’s The King, which is layered with peanut butter, bacon, and fried bananas, and dusted with cinnamon and sugar. Have mercy!
9. DOUGHNUTS // CYPRESS STREET PINT & PLATE // ATLANTA
The concept of doughnuts-as-buns isn’t exclusive to famed Minneapolis food truck Eli's Donut Burgers—The Original in Portland, Oregon offers a glazed buttermilk donut slider appetizer, and Chicago’s Buzz Bar was known to serve up a doughnut burger with truffle aioli and caramelized strawberries. Presently, at Cypress Street Pint & Plate, the Sublime Doughnut Burger is served with applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, and caramelized onions sandwiched between local bakery Sublime's freshly baked doughnuts. (Sublime has their own take on the burger, as well.)
10. CAESAR DRESSING // LITTLE MIKE'S HAMBURGERS // OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA
The specialty at this Oklahoma City institution is the Caesar Burger, which is drenched in the creamy dressing. Bonus: You can tell yourself you basically ordered a salad.
11. STUFFING AND CRANBERRY SAUCE // WAHLBURGERS // VARIOUS LOCATIONSWahlburgers
Celebrate Thanksgiving all year at Wahlburgers, the famous burger chain backed by Mark Wahlberg and his brothers Paul and Donnie. (So far there are locations in Massachusetts, Florida, Nevada, New York, and Pennsylvania.) The famed siblings crafted the Thanksgiving Day Sandwich with seasoned turkey, stuffing, and roasted butternut squash, and slathered it with housemade orange cranberry sauce and mayo.
12. JAM // WEST EGG CAFÉ // ATLANTA
At West Egg Café, burgers are topped with tomato jam, pimento cheese, and bacon to create the “PB&J." At Boston Burger Company, "the Sophie" uses fig jam with prosciutto, goat cheese, candied walnuts, and arugula.
13. CAVIAR // SERENDIPITY 3 // NEW YORK CITY
Ordering the Le Burger Extravagant at this Manhattan tourist landmark will get you a Wagyu beef burger infused with 10-herb truffle butter, topped with 18-month-old cave-aged cheddar, shaved black truffles, fried quail egg, and Kaluga caviar. Of course, you’ll need to plan in advance (48 hours) and pony up a whopping $295 for this burger, which is held together with a solid gold, diamond-encrusted toothpick. (You can finish off the decadence with the $1000 Tahitian vanilla bean and edible gold leaf sundae.) If that’s too rich for your blood, they also offer a more modest caviar burger with sour cream and cucumber, a steal at $18.50.
14. FRIED ICE CREAM // FLORIDA STATE FAIR // TAMPA, FLORIDA
Among the fare for sale at the annual Florida State Fair in Tampa: a bacon cheeseburger covered in lettuce, onions, pickles, tomatoes … and one sizeable scoop of deep fried ice cream.
15. PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY // SLATER'S 50/50 // SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIAAselicia S., Yelp
The Southern California outpost (there are also shops in Anaheim Hills, Huntington Beach, Pasadena, Rancho Cucamonga, and San Marcos) has no shortage of creative dishes. See: the Sriracha Burger and the Hawaiian, which comes with spam. But the Peanut Butter & Jellousy may be the most out there, with peanut butter and strawberry jelly covering a slab of beef and bacon (plus, it gets major points for its name).
16. FRITOS // FIFTH THIRD BALLPARK // COMSTOCK PARK, MICHIGAN
Each year, just north of Grand Rapids, fans of the city’s minor league baseball team the West Michigan Whitecaps are given the chance to vote a new food item into the stadium’s concession stand. The 2009 offering stuck: a giant slab of five patties, American cheese, chili, salsa, nacho cheese, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, and Fritos. The burger can be cut into four pieces with a pizza cutter for sharing, but finishing the entire 5000 calorie sandwich by the end of the game earns you a T-shirt and your photo in the Fifth Third Burger Wall of Fame. Batter up!
17. FOIE GRAS AND TRUFFLES // BURGER BAR // LAS VEGAS
Indulge your late night cravings on the Las Vegas Strip with chef Hubert Keller's $60 Rossini burger. He tops Australian Wagyu beef with sautéed foie gras, shaved truffles, and black truffle sauce. Or feel free to add your own creation. The restaurant’s list of toppings includes coleslaw, macaroni salad, asparagus, pineapple, and large shrimp, among others.
18. KIMCHI // UMAMI BURGER // VARIOUS LOCATIONS
The popular chain—with locations in California, New York, and Chicago—offers a Korean barbecue-inspired dish that comes with Gochujang glaze, sesame aioli, Korean ketchup, and caramelized kimchi.
19. SHRIMP // BURGER & BEER JOINT // VARIOUS LOCATIONS
At this Sunshine State favorite, you can order burgers named after classic rock songs like the Paradise City, where the beef is thick (a half pound) and topped with poached and seared Cajun spiced shrimp.
20. MAC AND CHEESE // ZOMBIE BURGER + DRINK LAB // DES MOINES, IOWASanDee W., Yelp
At the quirky, undead-themed restaurant you can choose from cleverly named burgers such as the Dawn of the Dead, They’re Coming to Get You Barbara, and The Walking Ched. The last shoves a burger, cheddar cheese, and a scoop of macaroni and cheese between two pieces of deep-fried mac and cheese.
21. PIZZA // NOSH // PORTLAND, MAINE
This is no ordinary pizza burger. At Nosh, the Slab Burger uses two slices of pie to sandwich a beef patty, provolone cheese, red pepper, marinara, and pesto.
22. HOT DOG // MOTHER'S FEDERAL HILL GRILLE // BALTIMORE, MARYLAND
No need to decide between two barbecue classics at this Maryland eatery. Order up The Dog [PDF] and have your Angus beef topped off with an all beef hot dog, chili, and cheese sauce.
23. SUSHI // 26 BEACH // VENICE, CALIFORNIAChristine T., Yelp
This oceanside spot claims to make the only California roll hamburger in the world. To make the one-of-a-kind burger, they take a beef patty then stack it with snow crab salad, avocado, sushi ginger, lettuce, tomato, nori, and wasabi shoyu mayonnaise.
24. BUTTER AND MAPLE SYRUP // BUTTERMILK KITCHEN // ATLANTA
Breakfast burger? Bring it on! Order the special Dad’s Waffle ($13 at this Southern eatery) and bite into a huge burger patty on a sourdough waffle, doused in butter and maple syrup.
25. COMMUNION WAFER // KUMA'S CORNER // CHICAGO
In 2013, the Chicago kitchen created a holy controversy with their "Ghost" burger. After local Catholics objected to the deity—a burger with ghost chile aioli, goat shoulder, a red wine reduction they dubbed the blood of Christ, and an unconsecrated communion wafer—the restaurant promised to donate $1500 to the Catholic Charities of the Chicago Archdiocese. Their offering was refused.
Coarse grind refers to the setting on the grinder attachment that is used to grind the meat. A coarse grind means the meat is ground using plates with larger holes in it, producing a coarser texture.
You'll almost always get a coarse grind with store-bought ground beef and pork. It's with ground turkey and chicken that you might run into a finer grind, because ground poultry tends to include more cartilage, and the finer grind helps make those bits more palatable. Still, a finer grind produces a mushy texture. The meat is not so much ground as it is extruded into almost a paste. Needless to say, this is not a desirable texture for a burger.
So what is a Smashburger?
It's a super-thin burger cooked on a griddle with lots of flavor from the browned bits that develop during cooking. Those bits form a delicious and flavorful crust with a wonderful texture.
How do I cook a Smashburger on the Blackstone Griddle?
There's no right or wrong way to cook a smash burger on the Blackstone griddle.
After cooking dozens of them, I have found the best method includes using parchment paper, a bacon press, and a sturdy spatula.
Typically, I will make four burgers per pound of beef. But that's just what works best at my place.
Kenji from Serious Eats uses about 2oz of beef per burger and double stacks them.
Although I appreciate and respect his method I often use a larger bun than he does and like the burger to still hang over the edge. To me, that extra meat is almost like a tiny appetizer before the main bite when eating the burger.
The Serious Eats method uses a combination of both ground chuck and brisket for their burgers. Brisket-chuck burgers are phenomenal, but that blend of meat isn't always easy for me to come by.
Believe it or not, one of the best places I have found brisket burgers consistently is from WalMart. These brisket burgers make a wonderful smash burger on the griddle but I find they need to sit about 30 seconds longer than normal on the griddle before smashing.
Burger being smashed under parchment paper
If I'm not using a brisket burger blend, I use an 80:20, or even a 75:25 meat to fat ratio whenever possible.
Use freshly ground beef over previously frozen whenever you can to make the burgers even more delicious.
Why do they call it a smash burger?
Popularized from the restaurant chain called Smashburger, the name is derived from the method of pressing or smashing meat onto a hot griddle.
How hot should the griddle be for cooking smash burgers?
Rumor has it that the griddle used at the popular burger chain known for these burgers cooks at a temperature of 385°F.
What toppings go on the burger?
Burgers are a blank canvas.
Most enjoy at least some toppings on burgers and the most common would be lettuce, tomato, and onion.
I find that the thickness of the tomato and onion can actually change the flavor of the burger.
Slicing the tomato becomes very important. Too thick of a slice and the tomato adds more cold moisture than necessary which throws off the meat to topping ratio.
The same can be said for the onions. If the onion slice is too thick, its flavor can be overwhelming. But if you get the slices to the correct thickness it actually complements the burger quite well and accentuates how delicious the dish is.
To achieve the perfect thickness of onion and tomato slices, it's important to use a very sharp knife. I keep my favorite slicing knife sharp with the WorkSharp E2 using its automated sharpening cycle. If the knife needs a slight touch up I will use a ceramic honing rod and bring the edge back quickly.
For the tomato, I try and cut round slices slightly thinner than the thickness of a pencil. The onion gets sliced to about half that thickness.
What do you serve with one of these burgers?
If you're lucky enough to have the Blackstone Air Fryer Griddle Combo then there are so many options for making fries, tater tots, and onion rings.
I have shared my opinion about whether the Air Fryer Griddle Combo is really worth it after using it dozens of times.
Lately, I have been really enjoying making this spicy-sweet street corn with bacon and jalapeno as a delicious side dish for burgers.
The Best Bacon Burger In Every State
If you're in the mood for a stellar bacon + burger combo, you can make one of our more than 80 burger recipes or you can swing by your local bacon burger hot spot. We've unearthed the best pie shop, convenience store, and BBQ joint in every state, and now, we bring you the best bacon burgers from Alaska to Wyoming. We identified places on Yelp with rave reviews about bacon burgers, and then ranked them based on review volume, ratings, and more. Because you deserve nothing but the best.
"My favorite is the bacon burger with an egg on top and fries. It's just a great, delicious burger. Nothing I would change about it, except how messy it can be, but that's more user error than anything."
"Oh my goodness! Great burger! I ordered the burger with blue cheese and bacon. Such delicious cheese! The blue cheese stays on your burger held on by the provolone cheese so it's heaven on a bun. The bun was toasted to perfection! The handmade patty was so juicy! I highly recommend going there for a perfect burger! The onion rings were great too!"
If you're craving a good bacon burger, this place has a ton of options, like the PB& J Bacon burger, the Bacon & Blue burger, and the Spicy Mac-N-Cheese burger &mdash all featuring bacon, all delicious.