50 States of Burgers

Once a simple beef patty sandwiched between two buns, the humble hamburger has evolved to reflect the culinary culture of every state in the U.S. Here’s a quick tour of where to find a world-class burger in each state. Some are simple, some are elaborate, all are delicious.

By: Joe Sills
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Photo By: Vicki’s Lunch Van

Photo By: Cosmic Kitchen

Photo By: Paradise Valley Burger Company

Photo By: The Fourth Quarter

Photo By: Pie ’n Burger

Photo By: The Cherry Cricket

Photo By: HAPA Food Truck

Photo By: Buddy’s Burgers

Photo By: Teak Neighborhood Grill

Photo By: Village Burger

Photo By: Annie’s Fresh Island Burgers

Photo By: Idaho Burger Grill

Photo By: Moonshine Store

Photo By: Bru’s Burger Bar

Photo By: BurgerFiend

Photo By: The Burger Stand at The Casbah

Photo By: Grind Burger Kitchen

Photo By: Judice Inn

Photo By: East Ender

Photo By: Abbey Burger Bistro

Photo By: White Hut

Photo By: Mercury Burger Bar

Photo By: Red Cow

Photo By: Burgers and Blues

Photo By: Gordon’s Stoplight Drive-In

Photo By: Burger Bob’s

Photo By: Honest Abe’s Burgers and Freedom

Photo By: Rollin’ Smoke Barbecue

Photo By: Lexie’s

Photo By: Vagabond Kitchen and Tap House

Photo By: Tesuque Village Market

Photo By: Emily Bolles

Photo By: Winnie’s Tavern

Photo By: Sickies Garage

Photo By: Bearden’s

Photo By: Choate House

Photo By: Dandy’s Drive-In

Photo By: Burgatory Bar

Photo By: Luxe Burger Bar

Photo By: The Tattooed Moose

Photo By: Sugar Shack

Photo By: Burger Basket

Photo By: Whataburger

Photo By: Lucky 13 Bar & Grill

Photo By: Worthy Burger

Photo By: {RA} Bistro

Photo By: Boomer’s Drive-In

Photo By: Tailpipes Restaurant

Photo By: Dotty Dumpling’s Dowry

Photo By: Branding Iron

Alabama: Vicki’s Lunch Van

After a decade on the road, this Montgomery-based food trailer became so popular that it opened a permanent building in 2011. Vicki’s homemade, classic burgers are still regularly regarded as tops in the state.

Alaska: Cosmic Kitchen

Salmon burgers await at Cosmic Kitchen in the far-flung town of Homer, Alaska. You won’t find fresher salmon, and the burger comes topped with tartar sauce and a local secret: cosmic seasoning.

Arizona: Paradise Valley Burger Company

Home to the creme brulee-inspired masterpiece seen here, Paradise Valley Burger Company in Phoenix serves up a southwest original with two beef patties, bacon, Havarti, atomic thousand island sauce, an egg, pickled onions and burnt sugar on the bun.

Arkansas: The Fourth Quarter

This North Little Rock dive serves up an unbeatable, classic cheeseburger on pepper Jack or cheddar with a toasted bun. The half-pound, handmade burger comes with a side order of grunge music and house chips. No fries needed.

California: Pie 'n Burger

The doors opened at Pie 'n Burger in 1963, and the recipes never changed. Burgers at this old-school Pasadena eatery are a nod to the California of old. Here, classic, juicy burgers can be paired with house-made pies like banana, coconut, chocolate, lemon, butterscotch and peanut butter.

Colorado: The Cherry Cricket

The Cherry Cricket in Denver has been dishing out burgers with a full complement of choose-your-own toppings since 1945. Mac and cheese is a crowd favorite, but respect the Cherry Bomb appetizer: Colby jack nuggets, cherry peppers and raspberry jam or ranch.

Connecticut: HAPA Food Truck

This Stamford-area food truck has blended American street food and Asian Pacific flavors into a signature, ube burger. The HAPA Burger features grass-fed beef, Vermont cheddar, a load of toppings and a sweet bun made from purple yams.

Delaware: Buddy’s Burgers

Sandwiched almost halfway between Baltimore and Philadelphia, the Newark location of Buddy’s is famous for topping burgers with its handmade sauces like chili habanero, and serving with hand-cut fries. Save room for a shake. Their custom flavors are made to perfection.

Florida: Teak Neighborhood Grill

Teak’s is the place to go for a beer and a burger in Orlando. The veteran-owned neighborhood grill serves up 37 signature burgers, like the Cronie Burger. The Cronie is loaded with smoked Gouda, an over-medium egg and a half pound of Angus beef. Of course, you can also sink your teeth into one of the classics, seen here.

Georgia: Village Burger

Village Burger is an Atlanta-area institution. In a gentrifying world spawning its share of $20 burgers, you can still grab a Village Burger with fries or onion rings for around $10 at each of its three area locations. Locals regularly vote Village Burger one of the best meals in Atlanta for under $10.

Hawaii: Annie’s Fresh Island Burgers

Annie’s has taken home more than a half decade of consecutive best burger awards in Kona, and it’s easy to see why. Their Fire Cracker Burger is crafted from eight ounces of Big Island, grass-fed beef, an in-house lime cilantro slaw, pepper Jack and roasted jalapenos.

Idaho: Idaho Burger Grill

Idaho Burger Grill founder Krysten Davis has an actual college degree in beef production. It’s safe to say she knows her way around a cow like few others, and the proof shows at this St. Anthony establishment just over an hour from the gates of Yellowstone National Park.

Illinois: Moonshine Store

Paper plates, buns bursting with flaky beef and American cheese collide at this humble general store in Martinsville, midway between St. Louis and Indianapolis. Moonshine Store’s perfect, simple cheeseburger has garnered a statewide following in Illinois for a reason—sometimes, less is more.

Indiana: Bru’s Burger Bar

With 10 regional locations, Bru's is becoming a Midwest institution. Its Indianapolis location regularly earns top honors for the best burger in town, and it’s easy to see why. A mountain of caramelized onions, egg and traditional toppings crown this Circle City sandwich king.

Iowa: BurgerFiend

The juicy, USDA Choice Angus patties at this Cedar Rapids restaurant melt in your mouth. The tender texture is the result of years of perfection in the owner’s home kitchen, before opening BurgerFiend in 2013. At BurgerFiend, the fries are hand cut, the soda comes in glass bottles and milkshakes are available in flavors like Oreo, Butterfinger and Nutella.

Kansas: The Burger Stand at The Casbah

Fresh is king at The Casbah. At this Lawrence eatery, you can grab a classic burger with toppings and a farm-to-market bun, or a signature sandwich like the Black and Blue Burger: blackened seasoning, blue cheese crumbles and house-made green apple chutney. A side of sweet potato fries and marshmallow dip takes any burger to astronomic levels of taste.

Kentucky: Grind Burger Kitchen

Grind Burger Kitchen is on a mission to reshape Louisville’s burger scene. Their B&B Burger is crafted from a custom-blended, hand-ground patty and served with bacon, brie and house-made habanero jam.

Louisiana: Judice Inn

Judice Inn has been a must-stop for Louisiana travelers for more than 60 years. The Lafayette staple does simple burgers the right way, with a no-frills approach that’s kept customers coming back for four generations. Go light on the toppings and soak in the timeless flavor.

Maine: East Ender

A local following is growing for the smoked burger at this upscale Portland eatery. The foundation begins with a schmalz bun and Monterey Jack cheese. Upgrades like shishito peppers, north spore mushrooms, bacon and avocado complete a package that is served with thrice-cooked fries.

Maryland: Abbey Burger Bistro

If you can make a burger from it, chances are Abbey Burger Bistro has it. Though its name was built on black Angus beef, the Baltimore pub also crafts in antelope, duck, bison, lamb, turkey, Kobe beef and shrimp.

Massachusetts: White Hut

Founder Edward Barkett purchased this Springfield restaurant for $300 in 1933 and never looked back. The White Hut is as no-frills as it gets. Here, thin patties, melted American cheese and a fine coat of pickles and onions combine for a New England classic that’s been served for almost 90 years.

Michigan: Mercury Burger Bar

The Southwest Detroit Burger at Mercury Burger Bar is here to steal your soul. Inside, a chorizo slider comes stacked with layers of jalapenos, munster cheese, tortilla strips, avocado and zanahorias—a pickled, spicy carrot. It’s an innovative burger fitting one of America’s most creative music capitals.

Minnesota: Red Cow

One burger, four meats. Red Cow in Minneapolis ages ground chuck, ribeye, brisket and short rib for 21 days before topping their custom patties with grilled onions, a house sauce and American cheese on their award-winning Double Barrel Burger.

Mississippi: Burgers and Blues

Soak in the best of the 'Sipp with beef and blues. This burger joint that’s part juke joint opened in Ridgeland (on the outskirts of Jackson) in 2010. Thanks to the success of their Sonic Boom Burger—crowned with habanero mayonnaise, fried jalapenos and hot pepper cheese—Burgers and Blues has opened a second location in the area.

Missouri: Gordon’s Stoplight Drive-In

This vintage, American drive-in sits just outside of St. Louis in Crystal City and regularly garners top honors from Missouri burger hounds. At Gordon’s, crispy beef hangs from the fringes of a toasty bun and melted cheese. It’s a combination that’s simple, effective and timelessly delicious.

Montana: Burger Bob’s

Stack crispy bacon and barbecue sauce on top of a classic, American cheeseburger and you’ve got the Cowboy Bob. This 1/3-pound beef behemoth has been a Bozeman favorite that’s kept the grill rolling at Burger Bob’s since 1994.

Nebraska: Honest Abe’s Burgers and Freedom

Honest Abe’s in Lincoln bills itself as the birthplace of a burger revolution. Its Hotel California Burger is a prime example of why. It features cumin-lime mayonnaise, fried tortilla strips and guacamole atop a bed of familiar condiments and a juicy patty.

Nevada: Rollin’ Smoke Barbecue

Rollin’ Smoke is becoming a cultural movement in Las Vegas, where three locations are dishing out mountains of pulled pork and the infamous outlaw burger. Brisket, onion, bell pepper, onion strings, red cabbage slaw, cheddar and chipotle aioli complement the usual toppings on this mega-meaty treat.

New Hampshire: Lexie’s

Lexie’s original Portsmouth location opened in 2010, and they’ve gone on to add five more locations after the success of custom burgers like the Urban Cowboy, seen here. This four-ounce beef patty comes topped with onion rings, barbecue, cheddar, bacon, avocado and house chimichurri.

New Jersey: Vagabond Kitchen and Tap House

The eight-ounce Spartan Burger at Atlantic City's Vagabond Kitchen and Tap House comes loaded with fried onions, porkroll, homemade spicy ranch aioli and an optional fried egg. It’s one of a bevy of crowd-pleasers like the lobster-topped Surf and Turf Burger and the crab mac 'n' cheese-topped Crabby Mac Burger.

New Mexico: Tesuque Village Market

This giant, juicy burger is hidden on the outskirts of Santa Fe. There’s no mistaking the Tesuque Village Market. The mural-covered building is as authentic New Mexico as it gets. Its signature burger—which comes with a half pound of beef crowned with your choice of guacamole, green chili strips, habaneros, fried egg, mushrooms, bacon and avocado—is too.

New York: Emily

This Fulton Street pizzeria is quickly gaining fame for a beefy secret: Emily makes one of the best burgers in New York City. Lines are forming for their dry-aged, seven-ounce burger wrapped in a pretzel roll. Available only in limited quantities during the week, The Emmy Burger has become so addictive that it’s now served in unlimited numbers on weekends.

North Carolina: Winnie’s Tavern

Originally a drive-in, this tavern in Wilmington does the simple things and has a reputation of doing them exceptionally well. Drinks and brews here all come from a can, and burgers can be upgraded with toppings like fried green tomatoes, pimento cheese or simple sides like onion rings or sweet potato fries.

North Dakota: Sickies Garage

Sickies Garage has five locations throughout the Dakotas, including the original in Fargo. They’ve risen to fame atop a custom burger menu touting the likes of a jalapeno peanut butter burger, the Twin Cam—a burger between two grilled cheese sandwiches, lathered in nacho cheese—and the glazed doughnut burger seen here. This beauty comes with American cheese and peppered bacon inside of a bed of sugary temptation.

Ohio: Bearden’s

Bearden’s has been serving fresh steak burgers in Rocky River (just outside of Cleveland) since 1948. The never-frozen patties are made to order. The Cowboy Burger, seen here, is a favorite of regulars, who keep coming back for the sweet tang of barbecue sauce, cheddar and onion rings. No one trick pony, Bearden’s also offers taco, veggie and peanut butter burgers.

Oklahoma: Tucker’s Onion Burgers

Born in the 1920s under the shadow of the Great Depression, Oklahoma’s onion burgers are unlike any other burger in the country. And many Sooners will tell you that Tucker’s in Oklahoma City is the cream of the crop. This old-school staple is made with black Angus beef and layered with cheese and savory onions.

Oregon: Dandy’s Drive-In

Dandy’s Drive-In hasn’t changed much since it opened in Bend in 1968. Sure, the vehicles are newer, but carhops on roller skates still bring this fresh, juicy burger right to your window. Dandy’s burgers are best eaten with a custom-made milkshake, along with signature fry sauce and a bed of crispy fries.

Pennsylvania: Burgatory Bar

Candied bacon, Cajun-dusted ground beef, bread and butter pickles and peanut butter and habanero jelly collide in the Piggy Butter & Jelly at Pittsburgh’s Burgatory. Other options include a dry-aged wagyu beef burger, an elk burger and a bison burger. This hellacious gourmet burger joint operates seven locations in the Steel City area.

Rhode Island: Luxe Burger Bar

The Frankenstein Burger at Providence’s Luxe Burger Bar is truly a giant. Four gold-label Hereford patties, two jumbo, all-beef hot dogs, four slices of smoked bacon, American cheese, coleslaw and chili combine to create this monster. The beast comes on two buttered rolls and a double order of fries.

South Carolina: The Tattooed Moose

Charleston has a well-earned reputation for food culture, and the Tattooed Moose is the epitome of that reputation at work. The bar’s namesake burger puts two quarter-pound patties with your choice of five cheeses (including pimento) on a kaiser roll with garlic aioli and special sauce. Save room for the mind-blowing Duck Club while you’re there.

South Dakota: Sugar Shack

Deadwood’s Sugar Shack is a roadside legend. It’s been pulling bikers out of the Black Hills for years. Grab a seat at the bar, watch your burger sizzling off of the grill and onto your plate. Prices—around $10 for a combo—won’t break the bank, and portions are generous.

Tennessee: Burger Basket

You’ll find one of Tennessee’s best burgers lurking an hour east of Memphis in the tiny town of Brownsville. These hulking hamburgers are handcrafted, juicy and served by a small-town staff who knows how to treat their customers well. Still, you don’t earn top honors for being nice. Burger Basket is a Volunteer State institution because of the overflowing flavor.

Texas: Whataburger

The Lone Star State has no shortage of incredible, gourmet burgers and all-American dives. But its greatest contribution to burger culture? That’s the regional phenomena that is Whataburger. Whataburger’s flagship location is in Corpus Christi, but you can find them in almost any Texas town of size. Simple. Cheap. Fast. Somehow, amazing.

Utah: Lucky 13 Bar & Grill

Lucky 13 in Salt Lake City takes burgers seriously. So seriously, in fact, that they offer a 12-inch-tall signature burger called the Big Benny and a burger wrapped in grilled cheese sandwiches. More popular, though, are specialties like the ham-topped Pigpen Burger, the pastrami and swiss and the spicy ring of fire.

Vermont: Worthy Burger

Fresh flavor is the name of the game at Vermont’s Worthy Burger. These handcrafted burgers are grilled over local hardwoods and served with farm-fresh ingredients including locally sourced cheddar cheese. Both the original location in South Royalton and Worthy Burger 2, an hour up the road, have a hardcore local following.

Virginia: {RA} Bistro

The funnel cake burger at {RA} Bistro is a work of art. This cheeseburger is rolled in funnel cake batter, flash fried, then dusted with powdered sugar. The Lynchburg eatery offers a wide selection of custom cocktails and appetizers to complement their one-of-a-kind signature burger.

Washington: Boomer’s Drive-In

Boomer’s Drive-In in Bellingham is a taste of the way burgers were served in simpler times. Burgers are unapologetically loaded (read messy) and served by carhops with waffle fries and handmade milkshakes to your car under the drive-in canopy.

West Virginia: Tailpipes Restaurant

Grilled ham, sharp cheddar, chipotle ketchup, red onions and a fried egg top the ’57 Chevy Burger, a signature sandwich at Morgantown’s Tailpipes Restaurant. Tailpipes is a diner-style restaurant that looks straight from the era of Elvis. But don’t let the decor fool you; the restaurant is serving modern, gourmet-style burgers inside of its classic setting.

Wisconsin: Dotty Dumpling’s Dowry

Cheddar, swiss, provolone and smoked bacon accompany a signature English garlic sauce on the Melting Pot Burger at Dotty Dumpling’s Dowry in Madison. Served with a side of cheese curds—an absolutely must in Wisconsin—this burger has helped Dotty’s garner more than 60 local "best of" awards in its four decades of operation.

Wyoming: Branding Iron

Downtown Casper’s Branding Iron is a new gourmet burger joint that’s already raking in reviews. The Kona burger, seen here, is topped with pineapple, teriyaki sauce and jalapeno coleslaw on a jalapeno bun. Wash it down with a trip to Wonder Bar, just around the corner.

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