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

  

George Motz talks to Matt Romero

George Motz talks to Matt Romero

George Motz talks to Matt Romero, a pepper grower in New Mexico. The arid climate is perfect for growing the New Mexican chile, a hot pepper native to the state that’s found its way into the local cuisine, especially burgers. 960 1280

  

Bobcat Bite in Santa Fe, NM

Bobcat Bite in Santa Fe, NM

Bobcat Bite in Santa Fe, NM, is where George and his friend, local burger expert Rob Dewalt, both had their first-ever green chile cheeseburgers. 960 1280

  

Bobcat Bite

Bobcat Bite

The Burger Land crew shoots George with owner John Eckre in the kitchen of Bobcat Bite. 960 1280

  

Bobcat Bite's green chile cheeseburger

Bobcat Bite's green chile cheeseburger

It’s hard to resist a burger as fresh and juicy as this simple 10-oz beast, topped with a little bit of mild cheese and a load of fresh green chile, made with locally grown peppers. 960 1280

  

Owl Bar & Cafe in San Antonio, NM

Owl Bar & Cafe in San Antonio, NM

George eats a green chile cheeseburger at Owl Bar & Cafe in San Antonio, NM, which is best known for its proximity to the Trinity Site, where American scientists detonated the first atomic bomb. 960 1280

  

The Owl Bar & Cafe

The Owl Bar & Cafe

The Owl Bar & Cafe holds the distinction of being the first restaurant to make the green chile cheeseburger. 960 1280

  

Owl Bar & Cafe in San Antonio, NM

Owl Bar & Cafe in San Antonio, NM

Owl Bar began as a grocery store in 1939, but the founder’s son started fixing burgers when the Trinity scientists began frequenting the establishment. 960 1280

  

The Pantry in Santa Fe, NM

The Pantry in Santa Fe, NM

George stands outside The Pantry in Santa Fe, NM, known for its twist on the New Mexican chile cheeseburger. 960 1280

  

The Pantry in Santa Fe, NM

The Pantry in Santa Fe, NM

Burger patties on the grill at The Pantry. 960 1280

  

George talks to Michael Singley

George talks to Michael Singley

George talks to Michael Singley, co-owner of The Pantry. The restaurant has had many owners since it opened in 1948, but it has barely changed a bit. 960 1280

  

The Pantry’s tortilla burger

The Pantry’s tortilla burger

The Pantry’s tortilla burger consists of a char-grilled patty and pinto beans, wrapped in a flour tortilla and smothered in so much red chile sauce that you have to eat it with a fork. 960 1280

  

Bode's General Store

Bode's General Store

George and local burger expert Rob Dewalt eat green chile cheeseburgers at Bode's General Store, an hour north of Santa Fe in Abiquiu, NM. 960 1280

  

The burger at Bode’s

The burger at Bode’s

The burger at Bode’s is a half-pound patty topped with 3 slices of aged cheddar and not-so-mild green chile that’s been caramelized on the grill – all served on a sesame seed bun with a heaping side of tater tots. 960 1280

  

Bode's General Store

Bode's General Store

Bode's General Store sells everything you could ever need – from kitchen appliances to New Mexico souvenirs – in addition to delicious cheeseburgers. 960 1280

  

New Mexico's red chile

New Mexico's red chile

New Mexico’s pepper pride is strong. There’s only one way to experience the slow burn of a green chile cheeseburger, and that’s to try one in its native land. 960 1280

  

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