New Burger Finds

Hamburger expert and photographer George Motz has once again discovered that the USA is loaded with great mom ‘n pop burger joints. Here’s a list of his new favorite burger finds.

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"The Moonshine Store is way out there. It sits, by itself, at a truly rural crossroads in East Central Illinois surrounded by cornfields. The nearest city is hours away so enjoy the endless 2-lane roads through the heart of farm country." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"The Moonburger is the only thing on the menu at the Moonshine Store. A condiment table provides limitless options, but I prefer mine plain. For me, the Moonburger's own juices are condiment enough."
- George Motz
960 1280

George Motz  

"Brookings is a pretty big town, but the closest major city (Minneapolis) is over 4 hours away. The classic burger counter has been in the same spot since 1929 and barely a thing has changed." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"The burgers at Nick's are small but pack a tasty punch. That's because they are cooked the old-fashioned way, in a tank of rendered beef fat. The only condiment available is a housemade mustardy pickle relish that has been at Nick's since the beginning." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"I was very lost trying to find the 105 for the first time; not surprisingly, my cell phone had no reception here. What was once only a gas station/grocery store has now become a destination for great burgers to travelers willing to venture off (way off) the interstate between Houston and Austin." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"The tasty burgers at 105 Grocery are available as a double, but beware -- the patties weigh in at around 1/2 pound each, making a double a full pound of beef. Grab a beer from the cooler and strike up a conversation with a stranger, some of the friendliest in America." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"There's not much in Gunder, IA. At one point this tiny town surrounded by rolling cornfields was almost wiped off the map (literally). But almost 30 years ago, an enterprising chef at The Irish Shanti created a burger so ridiculous that Gunder remained on the official map of Iowa." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"The Gunderburger is ridiculous but so tasty. It'll be your only meal of the day so skip breakfast. Chef Hans purposely uses a standard-sized white squishy bun to enhance the protruding 1-lb. patty and its cartoonish pile of ingredients. You'll need a nap after this one." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"This tiny burger shack is truly a destination. Hours from Oklahoma City in Mangum, Slick's is not on the way to anything. It's about as simple as it gets -- fresh ground beef burgers served at a walkup window (there is a community table in the kitchen for those in the know.)" - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"Cooked on a flattop griddle and served on a toasted white squishy bun, the Giant Double Cheeseburger is hamburger perfection and comes standard with lettuce, tomato, chopped onion, pickles and mustard. I want one now." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

Photos

"The Moonshine Store is way out there. It sits, by itself, at a truly rural crossroads in East Central Illinois surrounded by cornfields. The nearest city is hours away so enjoy the endless 2-lane roads through the heart of farm country." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"The Moonburger is the only thing on the menu at the Moonshine Store. A condiment table provides limitless options, but I prefer mine plain. For me, the Moonburger's own juices are condiment enough."
- George Motz
960 1280

George Motz  

"Brookings is a pretty big town, but the closest major city (Minneapolis) is over 4 hours away. The classic burger counter has been in the same spot since 1929 and barely a thing has changed." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"The burgers at Nick's are small but pack a tasty punch. That's because they are cooked the old-fashioned way, in a tank of rendered beef fat. The only condiment available is a housemade mustardy pickle relish that has been at Nick's since the beginning." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"I was very lost trying to find the 105 for the first time; not surprisingly, my cell phone had no reception here. What was once only a gas station/grocery store has now become a destination for great burgers to travelers willing to venture off (way off) the interstate between Houston and Austin." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"The tasty burgers at 105 Grocery are available as a double, but beware -- the patties weigh in at around 1/2 pound each, making a double a full pound of beef. Grab a beer from the cooler and strike up a conversation with a stranger, some of the friendliest in America." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"There's not much in Gunder, IA. At one point this tiny town surrounded by rolling cornfields was almost wiped off the map (literally). But almost 30 years ago, an enterprising chef at The Irish Shanti created a burger so ridiculous that Gunder remained on the official map of Iowa." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"The Gunderburger is ridiculous but so tasty. It'll be your only meal of the day so skip breakfast. Chef Hans purposely uses a standard-sized white squishy bun to enhance the protruding 1-lb. patty and its cartoonish pile of ingredients. You'll need a nap after this one." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"This tiny burger shack is truly a destination. Hours from Oklahoma City in Mangum, Slick's is not on the way to anything. It's about as simple as it gets -- fresh ground beef burgers served at a walkup window (there is a community table in the kitchen for those in the know.)" - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

"Cooked on a flattop griddle and served on a toasted white squishy bun, the Giant Double Cheeseburger is hamburger perfection and comes standard with lettuce, tomato, chopped onion, pickles and mustard. I want one now." - George Motz 960 1280

George Motz  

Ramon Puig Guayaberas

Ramon Puig Guayaberas

Between burgers, George makes a stop at Ramon Puig Guayaberas for a lesson in Latin style. Brought to the US by Ramon Puig in the 1970s, the Guayabera shirt is traditional Latin formal wear. 960 1280

  

El Mago de las Fritas

El Mago de las Fritas

George eats a Cuban frita at El Mago de las Fritas in Little Havana. 960 1280

  

El Mago de las Fritas

El Mago de las Fritas

El Mago de las Fritas in West Miami has their own unique and tasty take on the frita. 960 1280

  

El Mago de las Fritas

El Mago de las Fritas

George with the magician himself, Ortelio Cardenas, owner of El Mago de las Fritas. 960 1280

  

El Rey de las Fritas

El Rey de las Fritas

The frita at El Rey de las Fritas. Opened in the 1960s, this restaurant is where the first Cuban frita in Miami can be found. 960 1280

  

El Rey de las Fritas

El Rey de las Fritas

George discusses his beverage options with Mercedes, owner of El Rey de las Fritas. 960 1280

  

Pincho Factory

Pincho Factory

The food prep area at Pincho Factory where George tries the Nicaraguan-inspired Toston Burger, a sumptuous blend of beef framed not by a bun, but by 2 large fried plantains, or tostones. 960 1280

  

Pincho Factory

Pincho Factory

Pincho Factory in Miami follows their burgers with a sweet-and-salty dessert – chocolate-covered fries. 960 1280

  

George visits Bayfront Park

George visits Bayfront Park

George visits Bayfront Park, where he finds the Latin Burger and Taco food truck. 960 1280

  

George meets Jim Heins

George meets Jim Heins

George meets Jim Heins, owner of the Latin Burger truck, which is reminiscent of Cuban street vendors, called friteros. 960 1280

  

Latin Macho

Latin Macho

This burger beauty can be found at the Latin Burger truck and is called the Latin Macho -- 2 ground beef and chorizo patties, topped with cheese, onions and caramelized jalapeños. 960 1280

  

Holly Springs, MS

Holly Springs, MS

George near the train tracks in Holly Springs, MS. The Mississippi Central Railroad, which was the backbone of the northern Mississippi area back when it was a major supply line, is still used today. 960 1280

  

Bill's Hamburgers in Amory, MS

Bill's Hamburgers in Amory, MS

George dives in at Bill's Hamburgers in Amory, MS. Bill’s Hamburgers has been around since the Great Depression and serves the same kind of burgers that Mississippians were eating back then. 960 1280

  

Bill’s Hamburgers

Bill’s Hamburgers

Current owners of Bill’s Hamburgers, Reid and Janice Wilkerson, won’t tell you what’s added into the beef, but whatever it is it certainly doesn’t take away from the delicious meaty flavor that’s only complimented by the signature toppings of mustard and onions. 960 1280

  

Bill's Hamburgers

Bill's Hamburgers

George outside Bill's Hamburgers in Amory, MS. 960 1280

  

Lamar Lounge in Oxford, MS

Lamar Lounge in Oxford, MS

George talks to Amos Harvey, manager at Lamar Lounge in Oxford, MS. Lamar Lounge has deep ties to Mississippi’s music scene -- the bar was even once owned by pop legend Eddie Fisher. 960 1280

  

Lamar Lounge

Lamar Lounge

At Lamar Lounge, the burger is only seasoned with salt and pepper, and the thick sear on both sides of the patty seals in the juices. It’s a hearty burger to have while listening to some great local blues acts. 960 1280

  

Lamar Lounge

Lamar Lounge

The owner of Lamar is also part owner of a record label called Fat Possum, and when you walk in the door at Lamar Lounge, you are immediately treated to some great local music. 960 1280

  

Lamar Lounge

Lamar Lounge

George talks to musician, Jake Fussell, at the bar at Lamar Lounge. 960 1280

  

Latham’s Hamburger Inn

Latham’s Hamburger Inn

Latham’s Hamburger Inn, in New Albany, MS, serves a signature deep-fried “dough burger.” The dough burger got its name because during the Great Depression and World War II, resourceful people would add extra ingredients to their meat rations as a way of stretching the beef. 960 1280

  

Latham's Hamburger Inn

Latham's Hamburger Inn

George and local burger expert John T. Edge eat cheeseburgers at Latham's Hamburger Inn. 960 1280

  

Latham’s burger

Latham’s burger

Latham’s burger is the only burger George has in Mississippi that is deep fried, but the doughy consistency locks in the meaty flavor, and the fried crunch makes the burger taste like a beef fritter. 960 1280

  

Phillips Grocery in Holly Springs, MS

Phillips Grocery in Holly Springs, MS

Phillips Grocery in Holly Springs, MS, is a former grocery store that is now a burger joint, and it’s located just a few feet from the Mississippi Central Railroad. 960 1280

  

Phillips Grocery

Phillips Grocery

George’s favorite burger at Phillips Grocery is the double with cheese, and the tangy combination of mustard, pickles and onions only enhances the fantastic flavor of the beef. 960 1280

  

Phillips Grocery

Phillips Grocery

The people of Holly Springs can bask in the nostalgic decorations at Phillips while hearing the all-too-familiar train whistle in the background and enjoying a juicy double cheeseburger. 960 1280

  

Phillips Grocery

Phillips Grocery

George talks to the owner of Phillips Grocery, Larry Davis, who has been using the same burger recipe for years. He purchased the secret recipe along with the restaurant back in 1989. 960 1280