Despite originating in Hamburg, Germany, nothing says traditional America quite like a classic hamburger. Burgers have become a staple of the American diet, with over 50 million per year being consumed. In honor of National Hamburger Day on May 28th, we’re reviewing some of the best the country has to offer, from fast food joints to gourmet affairs.
The State that Started it All
The tradition of consuming a burger in a bun is thought to have started in Seymour, Wisconsin. The town hosts an annual Burger Fest, complete with the world’s largest burger parade, to celebrate the nation’s historical ties to the hamburger. What better place to kick off our list than with some of Wisconsin’s finest burger stands?
Kopp’s Frozen Custard
Founded in 1950, Kopp’s is known for their jumbo, juicy hamburgers as well as their frozen custard recipe. Still loved and frequented by locals today, it’s considered something of a Milwaukee staple. Don’t forget to try the featured frozen custard flavor of the day.
This burger stand began trading in 1909 and is famous for steaming their meat to keep it from drying out. The menu has stuck to its original roots and only serves plain burgers with or without onions, chips and sodas, but the cult following and long lines are testament to the quality you’ll receive.
Wedl’s Hamburger Stand
The secret recipe behind these burgers has been around since 1916, and the traditionally small-town stand has been consistently voted best burger in the area. As well as the sliders, you can also try locally made cheese curds and ice cream here.
Other notable Wisconsin eateries include American Legion Post 67 Hamburger Stand, where the deep-fried sliders are served by veteran volunteers; Graze for an upmarket patty made of sirloin and ribs; Kroll’s or Monk’s for classic burgers, and Oscar’s or Dotty Dumplings Dowry for a modern range of toppings.
Quintessentially American Burgers
If you’re looking for something more exciting than your classic hamburger, why not check out some of these unique burgers across the States?
Brooks Gourmet Burger & Dogs, Naples, Florida
Brooks serves a range of interesting flavors, such as Pesto and Goats Cheese or a Mexican themed burger, but the bestseller is the Donut Burger; half a pound of beef sandwiched between two glazed donuts.
Pizza Loves Emily, New York
Don’t be fooled by this restaurant’s focus on wood-fired pizza; the Emmy burger, served on a pretzel bun with the option of bacon vindaloo fries, is also top quality. As limited numbers are produced each day, you have to be quick to get hold of one.
Au Cheval, Chicago
Au Cheval is best known for their double cheese burger, which actually uses three patties, as well as maple-glazed bacon. As the restaurant is famous for cooking with eggs, you should add a signature fried egg to your burger to have it authentically ‘Au Cheval’ style.
As the name suggests, this diner is famous for their fruit pies and burgers. It’s been popular with the locals since it opened in 1963 and is best known for their classic Californian cheeseburger, topped with homemade Thousand Island sauce.
WesBurger’n’More, San Francisco
This joint started as a pop-up but developed such a fan base, it’s now moved into a permanent location. From the spicy ‘Hot Wes’ to the ‘PB&J’ created by San Francisco artist, Jeremy Fish, there’s a burger to suit everyone; they also cater for vegetarians.
The Best Fast Food Burgers
We couldn’t write about the best hamburgers without mentioning our favorite fast food chains. If you’re looking for a takeout burger that still tastes good, head to one of the following:
This West Coast institution is a favorite with locals and tourists alike, and the most popular order is a double-double, made with two beef patties and the chain’s special sauce. Find an open In-n-Out near you!
The best part about the handcrafted burgers at Five Guys is the huge variety of customizable toppings you can add to your order for free. Add to that thick, creamy milkshakes and some of the largest portions of fries in any American takeout and you have a recipe for success.
It’s no wonder that Shake Shack regularly ranks as the number one burger spot in the country, beating many pricier burgers to the title year after year. As well as offering hot dogs, frozen custard and a dog-friendly menu, the all-natural beef burgers are served with a delicious signature Shack Sauce.
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