Special Report

Best Burger Joints in Every State

Courtesy of Irv's Burgers via Yelp

Nothing says America like a beef patty cooked to perfection, covered with condiments, sandwiched inside a bun (or even on toast in some interpretations).

We live in a land of burgers, and everyone’s preferences differ. The hamburger was never meant to be a fancy and expensive food, though many attempts have been made to make it that. 

No, the ideal burger restaurant is one that hasn’t franchised itself to death and that occupies modest quarters usually with minimal decoration, but that brims with personality and has grown into a local institution as well as just a place for food – in other words, a real burger joint. (What we’re not talking about here is the most popular fast food chain in every state.) 

To assemble a list of the best burger joints in every state, 24/7 Tempo consulted reviews and ratings on a wide range of websites, including Food & Wine, The Daily Meal, Thrillist, Eater, and Yelp, as well as state and regional restaurant listings for every state.

Click here to see the best burger joint in every state

Several of the places on the resulting list have been serving burgers since before the Great Depression, and continue to use the same methods and recipes they’ve been using since the beginning. Most of them steer clear of gimmicks, instead primarily delivering exceptional burgers with classic toppings. Some sell nothing more than burgers, in fact, with a few sides and drinks. Others serve a variety of other things, too, like sandwiches and hot dogs. It’s all quick, easy, cheap, and very good, in any case. (If franks are more your thing, check out this list of the best hot dog joint in every state.)

Some of the places on our list are found in big cities – Tampa, Los Angeles, St. Paul – but many are in the suburbs or even in rural areas, on old roads or main streets in small towns off the beaten path. All are worth seeking out if you’re a burger-lover.  

Source: Courtesy of Dub's Burgers

Alabama: Dub’s Burgers
> Location: Athens

Dub’s Burgers has been in business in Athens since 1961. The made-to-order spot sells burgers, hot dogs, chicken fingers, sandwiches, and fries, chips, or onion rings. What more do you need? Toppings are simple and straightforward and the burgers are cheap. As their website says, when the burgers are gone, they’re gone for the day, but there’ll be more tomorrow.


Alaska: Arctic Roadrunner
> Location: Anchorage

Arctic Roadrunner has been feeding burgers and more to the people of Anchorage since 1964. The location features a cozy wood fireplace and walls covered in photographs of good times in the restaurant and beyond. They serve beef burgers (the menu’s “Bigger, Better, Meaty Burgers” feature two five-ounce patties each) as well as salmon burgers, various sandwiches, and milkshakes.

Source: Courtesy of The Chuckbox

Arizona: The Chuckbox
> Location: Tempe

The Chuckbox, opened in 1972, cooks burgers to order over an open mesquite fire. The menu shows some Tex-Mex influences and offers burgers in a variety of sizes (the biggest is a whole pound of beef). They also have all sorts of sides, like deep-fried mushrooms, deep-fried zucchini, and jalapeño poppers, as well as more traditional stuff like fries and onion rings.

Source: Courtesy of Hamburger Station

Arkansas: Hamburger Station
> Location: Paragould

The menu at this place, located in an old concrete service station, catalogs a variety of sandwiches and salads as well as chicken and catfish dinners, but they’re famous most of all for their “Hum-Burger,” covered with grilled onions and sold in a variety of sizes. Specialty burgers include the Blue Moon (with bacon and blue cheese) and the chili Hum-Burger.


Source: Courtesy of Irv's Burgers via Yelp

California: Irv’s Burgers
> Location: West Hollywood and Los Angeles

When Irv’s opened in 1946 under the name Queen’s Burgers on a stretch of what was then part of the legendary Route 66, it was one of the city’s first roadside burger stands. Its motto was “No Lobster, Just Burgers” – both the name and the motto being references to a fancy restaurant just down the street called King’s, where lobster was the specialty. After numerous changes of ownership, the stand finally closed in 2018 – but was revived four years later and is going strong again. The basic burger here, called Just For You, includes cheese, pickles, and Irv’s sauce. Then there’s the Big Irv, which piles pastrami, a hot dog, chili, and cheese sauce on the patty.

Source: Courtesy of Bud's Café and Bar

Colorado: Bud’s Café and Bar
> Location: Sedalia

Bud’s, on the edge of the Denver metro area, keeps it simple. Opened in the 1940s, they sell burgers made from locally sourced beef, just as they have always done. There are very few options and sometimes that’s for the best. At Bud’s what you want is a burger with American cheese on top and pickles and onions on the side.


Connecticut: Louis’ Lunch
> Location: New Haven

How long have hamburgers existed? We’re not really sure, but Louis’ Lunch has been around and serving them since 1895 and claims to have invented them in the first place. The restaurant remains family-owned, with the fourth generation now in charge. Their menu is extremely simple: The only foods offered are “the original burger” (on white toast with only cheese, onion, and tomato as garnishes), potato salad, potato chips, and homemade pie.

Source: Courtesy of Gus & Gus' Place

Delaware: Gus & Gus Place
> Location: Rehoboth Beach

On the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk, Gus & Gus Place is known for its fantastic burgers (nothing fancy, just plain good ones) and fresh Idaho potato fries, but the place also serves cheesesteaks, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, and breakfast. There’s a small indoor seating area, but patrons often just order food at the window and take it to go as they stroll along the scenic Delaware shore.

Source: Courtesy of Jenn T. via Yelp

Florida: Thee Burger Spot
> Location: Tampa

Thee Burger Spot is a family-owned restaurant that proudly serves the local community – including players with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The restaurant offers classic burgers with traditional toppings and “gourmet burgers” that have all sorts of wild ingredients. They even have a pizza burger and a bacon cheeseburger that’s served between two Krispy Kreme glazed donut buns.


Source: Courtesy of Village Burger

Georgia: Village Burger
> Location: Dunwoody and six other locations

Village Burger boasts a family-friendly, community-minded atmosphere, and serves a straightforward menu of burgers, hot dogs, wings, salads, and sides. There’s also “premium ice cream” with numerous available toppings to finish off a meal, and wine and beer for those who want to hang out and enjoy the atmosphere.

Source: Courtesy of Kohala Burger & Taco

Hawaii: Kohala Burger & Taco
> Location: Waimea (Big Island)

Opened in 2010, Kohala has an old-style diner vibe and uses the islands’ abundance of grass-fed Hawaiian beef and local fish for its burgers and fish tacos, respectively (the owner grew up working in his family’s Mexican restaurant). Milkshakes, including a “famous” pineapple one, are an added treat.


Source: Courtesy of Jeff K. via Yelp

Idaho: Hudson’s Hamburgers
> Location: Coeur d’Alene

Hudson’s began in a tent in 1907 and is currently on its fifth generation of Hudson family owners. The classic burgers, served with Hudson’s secret sauce, have kept the place a hit for well over a century. The menu is simple enough: Besides hamburgers and cheeseburgers, they sell ham and egg sandwiches, drinks, pie, and not much else. They mastered the formula to success a long time ago and keep pumping it out.

Source: Courtesy of Fred W. via Yelp

Illinois: That’s a Burger
> Location: Chicago

Some purists may turn their noses up at the thought of a turkey burger but That’s a Burger on Chicago’s South Side would like you to put your disdain to the test, as such a burger is one of their specialties. The restaurant, in fact, offers a range of turkey, beef, veggie, salmon, and chicken burgers in a no-frills atmosphere.

Source: Courtesy of Michael W. via Yelp

Indiana: Triple XXX Family Restaurant
> Location: West Lafayette

West Lafayette is the home of Purdue University and this restaurant is right around the corner from campus. In business since 1929 and originally just a bar (dubbed a “thirst station”), it’s now a restaurant with a winding countertop, serving landmark burgers (ground in-house), fries, milkshakes, plus a number of other items, including “breakfast anytime.” The Triple XXX’s own root beer is famous.


Source: Courtesy of Arty's Ice Cream & Grill

Iowa: Arty’s Ice Cream & Grill
> Location: Wilton

Yes, we know the words “ice cream” come first in the name herebut that hasn’t slowed Arty’s from also having terrific burgers. Their menu varies some in that they have the traditional options as well as some wacky stuff like a deep-fried pizza burger and a burger with five pieces of cheese and five strips of bacon. (P.S. The ice cream is also amazing.)

Source: Courtesy of Grandstand Burgers

Kansas: Grandstand Burgers
> Location: Overland Park

Opened in 2002, Grandstand focuses on delicious ingredients and cooks burgers to perfection on its classic menu while getting creative with its specialty menu. The classics are mostly made up of burgers with lettuce, tomato, cheese, onion, ketchup, mustard, and mayo. The specialties feature burgers stacked with a plethora of ingredients, but without being too wacky (one has pepper jack cheese and fried avocado, for instance). They also have shakes, malts, fries, tots, etc.


Source: Courtesy of Laha's Red Castle

Kentucky: Laha’s Red Castle
> Location: Hodgenville

Laha’s has been around since 1934. They have burgers, chili dogs, regular dogs, chicken nuggets, French fries, onion rings, and that’s about it. Why reinvent the wheel? The food is cheap and the place is relaxed. You get a burger, you hang out, you enjoy life – a timeless formula.

Source: Courtesy of Judice Inn

Louisiana: Judice Inn
> Location: Lafayette

The Judice Inn has never been an inn but has always sold burgers, ever since it was built by hand by its founders Alcide and Marc Judice in 1947. They’d just returned from World War II and wanted to provide people with cheap, delicious food. Still a family business, the Inn adds a Louisiana taste to its burgers with its secret sauce. Zapp’s and Lay’s chips are available, but there are no fries.

Maine: Harmon’s Lunch
> Location: Falmouth

Harmon’s Lunch – also known as Harmon’s Burgers – is another spot that keeps it simple and delicious. The little white building houses some indoor seating and plain decorations; it has the feel of an old-fashioned side-of-the-road spot. They offer burgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese, fries, and onion rings and only accept cash.


Source: Courtesy of Jamal B. via Yelp

Maryland: Burger Bros.
> Location: Towson

Close enough to Baltimore to win the city’s “Best Burger” title from Baltimore Magazine, Burger Bros. – tucked away in a nondescript shopping center – doesn’t peddle any gimmicks. The menu offers burgers, turkey burgers, chicken sandwiches, chicken wings, hot dogs, fries, tots, and onion rings, and that’s more than enough.

Source: Courtesy of White Hut

Massachusetts: White Hut
> Location: West Springfield

White Hut serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For breakfast they have standard fare like omelettes and platters full of bacon and carbs. For lunch and dinner they serve “hamburgs” and “cheeseburgs,” hot dogs, and sides, along with desserts like ice cream, milkshakes, and floats. Their burgers are smothered in cheese, onions, and more.


Source: Courtesy of Motz's Burgers

Michigan: Motz’s Burgers
> Location: Detroit & Redford

Founded in 1929, Motz’s aims to be a community restaurant that provides delicious food. The family-run spot specializes in sliders, and for under $3 each, customers can really pile them up. They’re smothered in sweet onions and cheese and served on Michigan Bread burger buns. Motz’s also serves chicken and fish sandwiches (at the Detroit location only) as well as shakes and sides.

Source: Courtesy of The Nook

Minnesota: The Nook
> Location: St. Paul

Guy Fieri has paid a visit here, and loved the massive burgers covered in traditional toppings. The specialty, though, is a choice of stuffed burgers with various fillings – one of which is named after, yes, Guy Fieri (it’s stuffed with pepper jack and topped with roast beef, shredded cheddar, and bacon). The restaurant is connected to a bowling alley, so customers can have fun while – or before or after – they eat.

Source: Courtesy of Latham's Hamburger Inn

Mississippi: Latham’s Hamburger Inn
> Location: New Albany

Located on Main Street in the small town of New Albany, just up the road from Tupelo, this place serves towering burgers covered in cheese, mustard, onions, and pickles, and there’s one with an egg added. The menu also features loaded fries, ham sandwiches, grilled cheese, hot dogs, BLTs, and other sorts of traditional diner food.


Source: Courtesy of Amber R. via Yelp

Missouri: Billy Bob’s Dairyland
> Location: Branson

Billy Bob’s is a Branson staple – sometimes described as a local legend. The establishment harks back to the golden days of diners and doesn’t try to do anything fancy. Burgers come straightforward, with normal fries and with cheese if you want it. They also offer BLT’s, regular or foot-long hot dogs, and Frito pies.

Source: Courtesy of Richwine's Burgerville

Montana: Richwine’s Burgerville
> Location: Polson

“The best burger goin'” is the motto at Richwine’s, a family-owned drive-in restaurant that’s been around for more than 60 years. Their beef is locally sourced from Montana cattle and hand-ground on the premises, then turned into double or triple burgers covered in the usual toppings. They also offer some seafood options and foot-long hot dogs. The restaurant is seasonal and open from March to September.


Source: Courtesy of Brett M. via Yelp

Nebraska: Bob’s Bar & Grill
> Location: Martinsburg

Bob’s whips up cheeseburgers, cheeseballs, and hamburgers on Main Street. The plain-enough building houses amazing food and a friendly atmosphere. Bob’s is not the type of place that skimps on the portions or flavors. It’s also reasonably priced and they have a variety of sides like mushrooms, mozzarella sticks, and even gizzards. The place keeps it old-fashioned and only accepts cash or checks.

Source: Courtesy of Hannah J. via Yelp

Nevada: Beefy’s
> Location: Reno

Beefy’s is known for a variety of delicious foods (hot dogs overflowing with toppings, smothered fries, piles of onion rings, and tasty chicken wings, etc.) but their fresh-ground burgers served on toasted buns are renowned. There are more than 20 variations. There are also over 40 craft and imported beers.

New Hampshire: Gilley’s Diner
> Location: Portsmouth

Gilley’s Lunch cart was built in 1940 and was hauled into Market Square each evening to serve locals. It was originally towed by a horse and eventually a truck. Now Gilley’s doesn’t move but the same diner car is used and the truck that towed it is even still attached to the front. The owners have worked hard to retain the original charm even if they’ve added additional space and expanded the menu. They serve up inexpensive burgers, plain or with cheese or chili, with single or double patties. A few sandwiches, some hot dogs, and six variations on fries are also on the menu.


Source: Courtesy of Anthony V. via Yelp

New Jersey: White Rose Hamburgers
> Location: Highland Park

Open until midnight on the weekends, White Rose is a classic diner that’s known for all sorts of food – most definitely including its burgers, which are mostly straightforward variations involving various sizes and combinations of bacon and cheese. The place serves breakfast all day, and you can get a burger for breakfast if that’s how you roll. There are also numerous sandwiches and other specials for those looking to mix it up a bit.

Source: Courtesy of Day's Hamburgers

New Mexico: Day’s Hamburgers
> Location: Las Cruces

Great-Grandma Day opened this place in 1932 and the tradition is still being carried on by the Day family four generations later. A place that goes by the mantra “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” Days serves up burgers that get as large as a triple stack. They come with mustard, onion, lettuce, mayo, and chili on request. There are also hot dogs and burritos and classic sides (and in the morning, there are breakfast burritos, biscuits, and eggs).


New York: Corner Bistro
> Location: New York City

Corner Bistro claims to be “the last of the bohemian bars in West Greenwich Village,” and has kept its original charm from days long past. Today, the bistro serves up massive burgers, sandwiches, and all the good sides (the fries are highly regarded). This is the sort of place that’s all about a massive chunk of quality beef topped high with ingredients.

Source: Courtesy of Brooks' Sandwich House

North Carolina: Brooks’ Sandwich House
> Location: Charlotte

Is a burger a sandwich? Whether it is or not, this “sandwich” place specializes in burgers par excellence – nothing fancy, just bacon and/or cheese. The house chili, however, made from a recipe they’ve perfected for 50 years, is not to be missed. Twins David and Scott Brooks opened their restaurant in 1973 and have kept it running since then. These days, the third generation of the Brooks family has joined in, and hasn’t changed the quality that made it great in the first place.

Source: Courtesy of Finish Line Burgers & Brew LLC via Facebook

North Dakota: Finish Line Burgers & Brew
> Location: Velva

The menu here offers the ultimate build-your-own-burger experience: Choose a meat (beef, venison, or chicken burger or something else entirely, from brisket to chicken-fried steak) and a bun (there are eight options), then layer on cheese, toppings, and condiments from a huge selection. Feeling really, really hungry? Then forget all those choices and opt for the Rudland Burger Challenge. That’s six half-pound patties, 20 slices of pepperoni, 10 slices of pepper jack, and 10 slices of bacon, all on Texas toast, with a pound of fries on the side. Eat it all in an hour or less and the meal is free and you’ll get a memorial T-shirt and a place on the Wall of Fame.


Source: Courtesy of Bob's Hamburg

Ohio: Bob’s Hamburg
> Location: Akron (2 locations)

Established in 1931, making it Akron’s oldest continuously operating restaurant, Bob’s is an old-style streetcar diner. The menu offers classic options with traditional toppings and specialty burgers that get a bit more creative, like the Mozzarella Cheeseburger with mozzarella sticks, provolone, and marinara, or the Fired Up Hamburg with pepper jack, jalapeños, Tabasco, mayo, and lettuce. The place also serves as a community gathering spot and puts on a variety of events.

Source: Courtesy of Johnnie's Hamburgers & Coneys

Oklahoma: Johnnie’s Hamburgers & Coneys
> Location: El Reno

“Fried Onion Burgers Since 1946” is the motto here. A neighborhood favorite, Johnnie’s offers pancakes, omelettes, and full breakfasts to kick off the day, then a range of options for lunch and dinner – but the place specializes in straightforward hamburgers, single, double, or triple. The coneys (hot dogs) are famous too.


Source: Courtesy of Big Burger Drive-In

Oregon: Big Burger Drive-In
> Location: Molalla

Opened in 1967, Big Burger is a third-generation family-owned burger spot in the town of Molalla, about 30 miles south of Portland. They keep it simple and classic with burgers served with lettuce, pickles, onions, tomatoes and homemade sauce. Besides that, customers can choose to stack on the patties up to three high and add bacon and cheese. Big Burger also sells seafood baskets, chicken strips, and milkshakes.

Source: Courtesy of The Burger Shack

Pennsylvania: The Burger Shack
> Location: Whitehall

The Burger Shack stuffs ingredients inside most of their burgers to make flavor-blasted patties. Those patties are made of locally sourced, organically raised beef to keep things natural, and the fillings might include cheddar and bacon (with more cheddar and bacon on top) or mozzarella (with a topping of fries, Cooper cheese, and house BBQ sauce). The place also serves up chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, grilled cheese, pulled pork, and more, including several vegetarian and vegan options.

Source: Courtesy of Stanley's Famous Hamburgers

Rhode Island: Stanley’s Famous Hamburgers
> Location: Central Falls

In 1932, in the midst of the Great Depression, Polish immigrant Stanley F. Kryla opened this restaurant, aiming to sell cheap and delicious burgers, and his successors have kept this dream alive for more than 90 years. The restaurant continues to offer the original basic Stanley Burger for less than $3, and has a variety of other variations that add on tomatoes and mushrooms, among other things.


Source: Courtesy of Ike's Korner Grill

South Carolina: Ike’s Korner Grill
> Location: Spartanburg

Ike’s isn’t shy when it comes to portions, and makes sure everyone gets their money’s worth. The spot sells a variety of food including fried seafood plates and sandwiches as well as celebrated burgers – 7 oz. patties with a choice of American, Swiss, or cheddar. There’s also a pimiento cheese burger that adds a local favorite food to an already delicious patty.

Source: Courtesy of Nick's Hamburger Shop

South Dakota: Nick’s Hamburger Shop
> Location: Brookings

In 1929 Harold and Gladys Nikalson traveled from Iowa to open a burger restaurant that used a unique tank-fry method. In the 1930s, the restaurant boomed into a small empire of 77 burger emporiums. However, those days are long gone and the only remaining one is in Brookings, home of South Dakota State University. This is another burger joint that has kept it simple and traditional, only selling classic burgers, sodas, milkshakes, and homemade pie.


Source: Courtesy of Dyer's Burgers

Tennessee: Dyer’s Burgers
> Location: Memphis

The original Dyer’s was opened in 1912 by Elmer “Doc” Dyer. The founder took his time to perfect his craft and the restaurant continues to use his methods. The secret is said to be in the cooking grease, which has been transported around as the establishment has relocated several times over the years. Dyer’s serves classic burgers (with options to add up to three meats and three cheeses), as well as wings, chicken tenders, and shakes.

Source: Courtesy of Grumps Burgers

Texas: Grumps Burgers
> Location: Granbury and 5 other Texas locations

Founder Collier Albright left his corporate job in 2001 and set out to create a terrific burger restaurant. The menu is simple – the usual options plus variations with queso, guacamole, and Swiss cheese with mushrooms (plus a patty melt on Texas toast) – but the place does something right as they’ve found success in a very competitive market and won numerous awards.

Source: Courtesy of Ann B. via Yelp

Utah: Milt’s Stop n’ Eat
> Location: Moab

Milt’s is Moab’s oldest restaurant, opened in 1954 in the middle of America’s diner craze. The restaurant has kept the old-school vibe alive and continues to sell similar food to what it sold when it first opened. Classic burgers come with traditional toppings but they are available in both beef and elk versions. There is also a specialty burger menu that features burgers enhanced with such ingredients as chili, blue cheese, eggs, pulled pork, and beef brisket.


Source: Courtesy of Archie's Grill

Vermont: Archie’s Grill
> Location: Shelburne

Archie’s was opened in 2010 as a community-friendly restaurant aiming to sell great food. There is also a fairly expansive vegetarian and vegan menu as well as soups, salads, wings, and dogs, but the burgers are the thing. They’re sourced from local beef and come with a good variety of toppings. including options like horseradish, Cabot cheddar, Harrington’s bacon, and even Vermont maple syrup.

Source: Courtesy of Market Burger Fries & Shakes

Virginia: Market Burger Fries & Shakes
> Location: Purcellville

Market Burger serves locally sourced beef for great burgers. They offer more traditional options as well as a newer variety of things. Their specialty “Market Burger” has cheddar, egg, herb mayo, lettuce, and tomato. They also have turkey burgers and a Southwest black bean burger.


Washington: Fat Smitty’s
> Location: Port Townsend

Fat Smitty’s, on Discovery Bay, specializes in burgers and BBQ pork sandwiches. They pile the burgers high and occasionally throw in some extra patties and buns for good measure. The place is cash-only, and dollar bills cover the walls and ceiling. Besides burgers, they also have a variety of seafood, hot dogs, and sandwiches.

Source: Courtesy of Gonzoburger

West Virginia: Gonzoburger
> Location: Charleston

Gonzoburger, in the Elk City district of Charleston, is the second restaurant by owners Frank and Julia Gonzales (their first is a Mexican restaurant called Mi Cocina de Amor). The focus is on custom burgers and craft beer. They use 100% certified Angus beef in their massive burgers and offer everything from a classic interpretation with special house sauce to the spicy El Fuego with Anaheim green chiles, jalapeños, roasted red peppers, pepper jack, and sweet habanero sauce.

Source: Courtesy of Solly's Grille

Wisconsin: Solly’s Grille
> Location: Milwaukee

Solly’s has been family-owned and -operated since 1936 and has picked up several awards for its burgers along the way. Solly’s is another diner that offers exactly the foods you’d expect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. However, they’re most known for their “butterburgers,” luxuriating in fresh Wisconsin butter, with stewed onions added.


Source: Courtesy of Broadway Burger Station via Facebook

Wyoming: Broadway Burger Station
> Location: Rock Springs

Onetime Godfather’s Pizza franchisee Carl Tygum and his family took over this ’50s-themed diner in 2006. The community-focused restaurant serves serious burgers, like the James Dean – two half-pound patties on a sesame seed bun with a choice of three add-ons – or the teriyaki burger (with teriyaki sauce and optional pineapple on a cornmeal bun). There’s also an elk burger as well as a choice of specialty sandwiches.

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