The Best Burger in Every State
Whether thick and juicy, piled high with toppings, or oozing with cheese, the best burger in each state proves that nothing hits the spot quite like the classic dish.
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The best burgers from coast to coast
From coast to coast, burgers are one of America’s favorite foods. But the best burger isn’t always where you’d think to find it. Sometimes, it’s served out of a gas station or otherwise off the beaten path. Other times, it’s in a traditional restaurant.
Though these spots might not be able to answer why a hamburger is called a hamburger or who invented the hamburger in the first place, they can certainly whip up a treat for your taste buds. Each of the state foods on our list offers a take on the beloved meal, and they’re all worth a visit on your next road trip.
These joints are some of the most loved and reviewed by burger fanatics, and they’ve been awarded by critics and competitions. In other words, it’s pretty much a no-brainer that they made our list. So whether you like your burgers thin and crispy or thick and juicy, here’s where you can find the best burger in every state.
Alabama: Vicki’s Lunch Van
There may be tons of fast-food restaurants in Alabama, but skip ’em. Head to Vicki’s Lunch Van for your burger instead. As the name would suggest, what was formerly a van is now a physical location for Vicki’s in Montgomery. Ask for a four-, six-, or eight-ounce patty with your choice of toppings—including mayo, ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and cheese—and either fries or chips. Looking to switch things up? The beloved Gunter pile is a six-ounce burger smothered with crispy grilled onions, gravy, and cheese, served over a bed of fries.
Alaska: Tommy’s Burger Stop
Hop off the plane at Anchorage International Airport and head to the nearby neighborhood of Spenard for a Cajun-seasoned burger at Tommy’s Burger Stop. Made with 100 percent USDA-grade beef from Australia, these 5.5-ounce patties are seared and served on a toasted potato bun with the works: crisp lettuce, sliced tomatoes, mayo.
Choose from more than 10 burgers, from the classic Burger Stop to specialty options loaded with unique flavor combos. Not in a burger mood? Po’boys, salads, and Philly-style cheesesteaks round out the eclectic menu.
Arizona: Rehab Burger Therapy
Build the burger of your dreams at Rehab Burger Therapy, a beach-themed restaurant in Scottsdale that offers a selection of five- or 10-ounce patties made from a custom blend of ground sirloin, brisket, and USDA chuck.
Or try one of Rehab’s other creations, like the Spicy Mac-N-Cheese Burger, featuring a hot twist on macaroni and cheese, with green chiles, bacon, poblano peppers, and jalapeños. If spice isn’t your thing, branch out with the PBJ & Bacon Burger, which comes topped with peanut butter, grape jelly, bacon, and beloved sriracha sauce.
Arkansas: Big Orange
Head to one of Big Orange‘s three locations, including two in Little Rock, and take your pick from four patty options—premium Black Angus beef, half beef and half veggie, turkey, or veggie—and specialty burger offerings, all worthy of the “best burger” title. Don’t miss out on the signature White Truffle and Pecorino burger, which comes complete with pecorino cheese, arugula, fig jam, white truffle, and garlic mayo for a truly decadent burger experience.
California: Pie ‘n Burger
An institution in Pasadena since the ’60s, Pie ‘n Burger offers classic diner fare seven days a week to locals and burger tourists. Alongside pickles, tomato, house-made Thousand Island dressing, iceberg lettuce, and melted cheese is a perfectly cooked thin patty best enjoyed at the counter with a milkshake and fries on the side.
Colorado: The Cherry Cricket
With two locations in Denver, The Cherry Cricket has been a burger institution since 1945. Start by picking your burger base, then go wild with locally sourced and house-made toppings, like crowd-favorite mac and cheese. Tip: Pair one of the award-winning burgers with a craft beer from a Colorado brewery.
Connecticut: Louis’ Lunch
Since 1895, Louis’ Lunch has been proudly serving burgers to the New Haven community. Founder Louis Lassen is credited with having created the first hamburger in the United States when he pressed steak scraps into a sandwich for a local in a hurry. Louis’s legacy lives on today, with his descendants cooking up juicy burgers in the original cast-iron grills. The patties are dressed with melted cheese, tomato slices, and grilled onions and served on white toast, just as Louis liked it.
Delaware: Farmer & The Cow
At Farmer & the Cow in Wilmington, creative burgers with cheeky names start with a house beef blend of chuck, brisket, and filet. Breakfast lovers can dig in to the Morning Glory, which features bacon, scrapple, maple, Swiss cheese, and a fried egg. If you prefer to take a walk on the spicy side, give the Moo Caliente a try. For more of the best dining, check out the best coffee shop in each state.
Florida: MEAT Eatery & Tap Room
If you weren’t already clear on what exactly you were eating, MEAT Eatery & Tap Room in Islamorada and Boca Raton brands “meat” into each bun for a little reminder (and a fun touch). Order yourself a single or double Nancy Pants with Cheese—a five-ounce Angus burger, American cheese, lettuce, and tomato—for a burger experience you won’t regret.
Georgia: NFA Burger
Head out of Atlanta and into the suburbs for a can’t-miss NFA Burger. Operating out of a Chevron gas station in Dunwoody since 2019, this spot has a simple menu that’s well worth the drive. NFA grills its Angus beef patties to crisp, caramelized perfection before topping them with pickles, mustard, a secret house “sassy sauce,” and cheese. It’s all served on a soft Martin’s roll.
Hawaii: W&M Bar-B-Q Burgers
When in Honolulu, head to W&M Bar-B-Q, which has been serving hungry locals and visitors since 1940. Burgers are basted with a secret tangy barbecue sauce, and you can’t go wrong with the signature Royal Hamburger, which arrives topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, and cheese. Better yet, give the Hal Special a try. It features the same fixings as the Royal but with layers of barbecue steak on top. Don’t forget to grab a side of the crab macaroni salad, made with macaroni, real crab meat, potato, and peas.
Idaho: Hudson’s Hamburgers
In the leading potato production state, the obvious choice to pair with fries is a juicy burger from Hudson’s Hamburgers in Coeur d’Alene. It all began in 1907, when Harley M. Hudson opened a tent known as the Missouri Kitchen. Five generations later, the Hudson family serves up fresh-made burgers with thinly sliced onions, pickles, melted American cheese, and the option of house-made hot sauce.
Illinois: Au Cheval
Hungry diners line up for hours to get their hands on a burger at Chicago’s Au Cheval. The “single” cheeseburger has two patties, and the “double” has three, but adding bacon and an egg to complement the already rich combination of meat, pickles, onions, and Dijonnaise is always a good idea. Looking instead for quantity over quality? Check out the best all-you-can-eat buffet in every state.
Indiana: Bru Burger Bar
With nine locations in Indiana, plus extra in Kentucky and Ohio, Bru Burger Bar is a convenient place to stop when you’re in the Midwest. Featuring a signature grind of sirloin, chuck, and brisket, plus locally sourced produce (some even grown in Bru’s own greenhouse), the chef-crafted burgers will have your mouth watering in no time. Cheese lovers should look out for the Garlic Three-Cheese, a combination of Swiss, American, mozzarella, roasted garlic, and truffle aioli that makes for a decadent dining experience.
Making regular appearances on Best Burger of Iowa lists is BurgerFiend in Cedar Rapids. Take your pick of single, double, triple, or quad burgers featuring patties made with USDA choice Angus beef. And don’t skimp on the toppings—you can load up on sauces, veggies, and cheese. Rounding out the menu are milkshakes, sandwiches, hand-cut fries, and “fiend fries” (gyro, tzatziki, American cheese, caramelized onions, and jalapeños).
Kansas: The Cozy Inn
If White Castle is the only Kansas-founded burger join you know, it’s time to take a trip to The Cozy Inn in downtown Salina. In 1922, Bob Kinkel opened the restaurant with only six seats at the counter, and not much has changed since. One-ounce patties are grilled with onions and served on custom-baked rolls, with ketchup, mustard, and pickles available, if you like. But heads up: You won’t find any cheese or fries at this spot—just classic sliders served fresh.
Kentucky: Mussel & Burger Bar
Located in Louisville is Mussel & Burger Bar, featuring 15 different burgers made with 100-percent-certified Black Angus beef, ground in-house daily. Try the decadent Southern Bell topped with pimento cheese, rémoulade sauce, and fried green tomatoes—it won’t disappoint. Breakfast lovers will gravitate toward the BBB, stacked high with a fried egg, maple-glazed pork belly, caramelized onions, aged white cheddar, and maple syrup aioli, all on a house-made bun.
Louisiana: The Company Burger
When in New Orleans, beignets are obviously a must-eat, but don’t forget to make time for a visit to The Company Burger. The classic order? Two Black Angus beef patties cooked to medium with a nice crust and served with bread-and-butter pickles, cooked red onions, and American cheese. Keep it simple, or add bacon or a fried egg on top—the choice is up to you! Dress your burger to your liking at the condiment bar and enjoy it before a stroll through the Big Easy.
Maine: Palace Diner
Housed in a 1920s rail car, the Palace Diner in Biddeford (just outside Portland) serves up breakfast and lunch until 2 p.m. If you’re able to score a spot at one of the 15 counter seats, order the Palais Royale, a double version of the classic cheeseburger that features two smashed patties, cheddar cheese, iceberg lettuce, pickles, and the diner’s special sauce, piled onto a sesame seed bun and served with fries. Can’t grab a seat in the railway car? Place an order online to enjoy from anywhere.
Maryland: The Abbey Burger Bistro
With four locations in and around Baltimore, The Abbey Burger Bistro boasts an extensive menu of specialty burgers served alongside house-made chips. You can’t go wrong with the Baltimore Burger, featuring an Angus beef patty, cheddar, applewood bacon, and crab dip on a classic bun. But other menu items feature patties made from lamb, turkey, spiced duck, Kobe beef, shrimp, and bison. Next, check out the best deli in every state.
Massachusetts: White Hut
There’s no fuss or frills to be seen at White Hut, located in Springfield. Founder Edward Barkett purchased the restaurant in 1933 for $300, and the local institution has been serving up classic diner fare ever since. Thin patties are topped with white American cheese and buttery fried onions, served on a seedless bun with the option to add extra fixings. If you’re feeling extra hungry, order one of the classic hot dogs too, or opt for a creamy signature shake.
Michigan: Miller’s Bar
Just outside of Detroit is Dearborn, where Miller’s Bar has been grilling up some of the best burgers in town since 1941. Made with a special blend of meats and topped with a thick slice of Velveeta cheese, burgers here are served “commando style” on wax paper with a side of pickles and white onions. Place your order and pay at the bar counter (cash only) by the honor system, then get ready to dig in.
Minnesota: Matt’s Bar
It might look simple from the outside, but the unassuming Matt’s Bar hides a culinary gem: the Jucy Lucy. As the story goes, a customer walked into the Minneapolis spot in 1954 and asked for a slice of cheese between two burger patties, proclaiming it a “juicy Lucy” after taking a bite.
Decades later, you can find similar burgers across the Twin Cities (with both spelling variations), but the original is considered one of the best burgers in the state and still can’t be beaten. Don’t bother bringing your credit cards, though—this joint is cash only.
Mississippi: Stamps Super Burgers
It’s no surprise that the best-selling item at Stamps Super Burgers in West Jackson is the original Stamps Super Burger, which features a freshly seasoned and mixed patty loaded with classic burger toppings on a white or wheat bun. Hand-cut fries seasoned with the Stamps signature spice blend are a must-try side, and you can further support this Black-owned business by purchasing a jar of the spice blend to take home with you.
Missouri: Gordon’s Stoplight Drive-In
South of Saint Louis, in Crystal City, is Gordon’s Stoplight Drive-In, a local gem that’s been slinging burgers since 1948. The menu features classic diner fare, like shakes, fries, and chili, but the Jumbo Burger with house-made slaw, barbecue sauce, and chopped onions on a toasted bun is the longtime favorite most worthy of your visit. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, try the massive Quadzilla, which has four patties stacked high and is sure to keep you feeling full.
Montana: Naps Grill
Naps Grill in Hamilton is a well-known gem in the Treasure State, with an expansive bar menu and hearty eats to enjoy. Classic burgers are available in three-, six-, and 12-ounce patties, with the Belly Buster weighing in at a whopping 24 ounces split between two patties. If that’s not daring enough for you, ask about the Bitterroot Beast Burger Challenge: three 12-ounce patties complete with onions, mushroom, cheese, and bacon, served with a pound of french fries and a 16-ounce milkshake.
Nebraska: Honest Abe’s
With four locations around Lincoln and an impressive selection of classic and rotating burgers—plus an additional specialty burger featured each week—there’s bound to be something on the menu for you at Honest Abe’s. For a mix of sweet and savory that will leave you full but craving more, try The Count, a perfectly cooked patty topped with black forest ham, Swiss cheese, raspberry jam, a fried egg, and cinnamon cream cheese.
Nevada: Rollin Smoke Barbeque
As the name suggests, Rollin Smoke is best known for barbecue. But it also happens to be one of the best burger places for hungry Las Vegas diners. The Outlaw features hamburger meat mixed with brisket, onion, and bell peppers before being piled high (and we mean high) with a massive amount of onion strings, red cabbage slaw, lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, and chipotle aioli. This isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s definitely for meat lovers! Still have room? Indulge in an ice cream sundae or peach cobbler à la mode.
New Hampshire: Lexie’s
With a budget-friendly menu and four convenient locations in the Granite State, Lexie’s has become a beloved spot for locals and visitors alike. The crew kindly asks that customers not make substitutions to their specialty burgers—which includes menu items like the Fun Guy, topped with blue cheese, crispy onions, mushrooms, and horseradish sauce—but they’re happy to help you create your dream beef, chicken, or bean burger with the build-your-own menu option.
New Jersey: White Manna
Head to Hackensack for some of the most beloved burgers in the Garden State. Founded at the 1939 World’s Fair as an introduction to fast food, the business opened on the banks of the Hackensack River in 1946. White Manna‘s sliders are made from extra-lean local ground beef and cooked with grilled onions and cheese before being served hot on a Martin’s potato roll. Add a side of crinkle-cut fries and a cup of garlicky pickles to round out your order at this retro diner.
New Mexico: Sparky’s
Sparky’s is more than your average burger joint. The restaurant in Hatch considers itself a full-on roadside attraction. With weekly live music events and quirky decor that you’ll want to examine after your meal, Sparky’s is not just about the World Famous burger, though go ahead and order it. Your seven-ounce patty will come topped with melted cheese and a helping of green chiles, and you’ll get a free side and drink to boot. It’s a simple yet delicious burger to remember.
New York: Peter Luger
Here’s a food fact for you: One of the most famous spots to enjoy a steak in New York also whips up one of the best burgers in the entire state. At Peter Luger in Brooklyn and on Great Neck, Long Island, the focus is on the quality of the beef, and the prime dry-aged meat that goes into Luger’s juicy, medium-rare burgers will have you begging for more. The burger is served on a sesame bun with raw onion, and the restaurant recommends you enjoy it as is.
North Carolina: Brooks’ Sandwich House
Don’t let the name fool you. Brooks’ Sandwich House in Charlotte serves up more than sandwiches, though you will find them on the menu. The cash-only spot has been open since 1973, and it knows how to treat your taste buds, so order as recommended: “all the way.” That means topped with mustard, onions, and a helping of smoky beef chili. But don’t make a weekend trip out of it, as the place is open only Monday through Friday.
North Dakota: Sickies Garage
Sickies Garage was founded in 2012 in Fargo and now has multiple locations slinging the award-winning burgers. It can be hard to narrow down your pick from the 50 burgers on the menu—they range from original to signature and supercharged—but the Jalapeño Cream Cheese burger is one that fans love most. It starts off with an American Kobe beef patty, topped with peppered bacon, pepper jack cheese, and a jalapeño cream cheese spread, served on a Parmesan and black pepper bun. For a Midwestern treat, go for the County Fair Burger, which is topped with cheese curds.
Ohio: Swensons Drive-In
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone in Ohio who hasn’t tried a Galley Boy from Swensons Drive-In. This double-patty burger is served on a buttery toasted bun with cheese and two secret sauces. Though the popular drive-in (with multiple locations across the state) has never shared what exactly those secret sauces are, they best resemble tartar sauce and barbecue sauce. The burger is finished off with a signature olive on a toothpick for a recognizable flair.
Oklahoma: Nic’s Grill
The onion burger was born out of necessity during the Great Depression, and it has stood the test of time. It’s the one food you have to try in Oklahoma, and there’s no better place to order it than Nic’s Grill in Oklahoma City. Served alongside a pile of shoestring curly fries, the patty is made from a mix of ground beef and thinly shredded onions, all cooked up and served on a bun for a burger experience you won’t forget.
Oregon: Dandy’s Drive-In
There’s nothing fussy about Dandy’s Drive-In in Bend, one of the most stunning mountain towns in America, where the restaurant has been serving up the best burgers via roller-skate-wearing carhops since 1968. Chuck patties are the star of every burger on the menu, like the classic Dandy Burger, which comes with dill pickles, shredded lettuce, and the famous house sauce on a potato bun. Enjoy your choice of burger with a milkshake and crispy fries, which you can chow down in your car or take to go.
Pennsylvania: Burgatory Bar
Head to one of Burgatory‘s Pittsburgh-area locations for a specialty burger. Get ready to Meat Your Maker with one of the most popular options, a dry-aged Wagyu beef patty with a sweet onion crust, topped with aged Gruyère cheese, roasted tomatoes, organic field greens, and truffled shallot aioli, or try making a custom creation from the expansive selection of toppings. While you’re there, wash down your burger with a specialty milkshake to round out the experience.
Rhode Island: Harry’s Bar & Burger
Burgers at Harry’s Bar & Burger in Providence start with a freshly ground Hereford beef base. That’s pressed with onions on a Martin’s potato roll and topped with special sauce—and it only gets better from there. Every order comes with two sliders and the option to add a third if you’re feeling hungry. The Crunch burger adds American cheese, lettuce, pickles, and fried onion strings to the party for just $6.99.
South Carolina: Grill Marks
Head to one of the Grill Marks locations in Greenville or Columbia to enjoy the best burger in the state. You can build your own, selecting everything from the type of patty to the toppings and bun. If that’s not decadent enough for you, go with the French Connection, which features roasted garlic, brie, caramelized onions, and Cabernet ketchup. Try to leave room for a Grill Marks shake, which arrives piled high with toppings and whipped cream—a dessert in itself.
South Dakota: Sugar Shack
If there was a definition of roadside eats, it’d be Sugar Shack in Deadwood. Just 30 miles from Mount Rushmore, this spot has been a favorite of bikers and locals for years. Half-pound burgers like the classic Sugar Burger—made with grilled onions and peppers, plus Swiss cheese—keep the outdoor picnic-style seats full of hungry eaters, and they won’t break the bank.
Tennessee: Earnestine and Hazel’s
Earnestine and Hazel’s has been keeping the spirit of Memphis alive for three decades, and it’s even been named one of the most haunted places in America—a bonus if you’re looking for a side of spooky with the famous Soul Burger. Enjoy live soul, jazz, and blues music with your simple beef patty, bun, onions, cheese, pickle, and specialty Soul sauce.
Texas: Tookie’s Hamburgers & More
When in the land of barbecue, head out of Houston and toward Kemah, where you’ll find a barbecue joint that offers—you guessed it—burgers and more. This ’70s-inspired spot has been serving perfectly charred burgers for more than 30 years, and you can’t go wrong with a Tookie’s classic cheeseburger. You’ll get your choice of cheese along with mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and onions. Or indulge in the Squealer, which features bacon ground into the beef patty, mayo, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and onions.
Utah: Crown Burgers
Crown Burgers has been a fixture in the Salt Lake City area since it started serving classic drive-in eats in 1978. It has since expanded to multiple locations to better serve the loyal fan base that eats up the Crown Burger, a quarter-pound burger grilled with cheese and topped with a quarter-pound of pastrami.
Vermont: Worthy Burger
Take your pick of one of the many craft beers and ciders on tap to wash down the namesake burger at this favorite Vermont spot. The Worthy Burger starts with a six-ounce, grass-fed beef patty, topped with Plymouth cheddar cheese, a secret sauce, Bibb lettuce, and red onion and served with hand-cut fries twice-fried in Wagyu beef tallow. While you can’t go wrong with a classic, keep an eye out for unique special menu items, like the Italian Burger, which is stacked high with provolone cheese, soppressata, peperoncino, Italian dressing, and garlic aioli.
Virginia: Repeal Bourbon & Burgers
Located in Virginia Beach, Repeal Bourbon & Burgers offers a true taste of the Chesapeake Bay with its Krabby Patty, a grass-fed beef burger topped with crab cake, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickled red onion, and peach rémoulade. Served with each of the 12 burgers on the menu is your choice of sides, ranging from truffle mac and cheese to flavor-dusted fries that put McDonald’s fries to shame. The over-21 crowd would be remiss to skip a sip of whiskey from Repeal’s expansive selection.
Washington: Lil Woody’s
Lil Woody’s works with local vendors to source the ingredients used at its Seattle locations, so you’ll get hand-cut fries made from Washington potatoes, handcrafted buns made in Tacoma, and beef from neighboring Oregon. The namesake burger is simple and delicious: a quarter-pound patty topped with Tillamook cheddar, chopped onions, diced pickles, ketchup, and mayo. Take things up a notch with the Big Woody, which contains all the same fixings as the Lil Woody, plus the addition of Hills bacon, tomato slices, and lettuce.
West Virginia: Fat Patty’s
Head to one of the three Fat Patty’s locations in West Virginia (there’s also one in Ashland, Kentucky) for a tasty selection of starters, build-your-own pizzas, and, of course, burgers. Keep it simple with the Patty Burger, or try a slightly more adventurous fan favorite, the Raspberry Popper Burger. The latter starts off with a fresh beef patty and is topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, cream cheese, sautéed jalapeños, and the signature Fat Patty’s raspberry melba sauce for a sweet-and-spicy finish.
Wisconsin: Solly’s Grille
Established in 1936 as Solly’s Coffee Shop, Solly’s Grille in Milwaukee is still family-owned and -operated—and a favorite of locals and out-of-towners alike. Stop in for Solly’s Big Boy Burger, a menu staple with two 100 percent local sirloin patties with bread in the middle, specialty Big Boy sauce, Wisconsin butter, shredded lettuce, and stewed onions on a brioche bun, which all makes for a messy but memorable dining experience in America’s dairyland. The restaurant even offers at-home burger kits with easy-to-follow instructions and everything you need to recreate the experience in your own kitchen.
Wyoming: Liberty Burger
Liberty Burger‘s custom blend of tenderloin, chuck, and brisket makes this an obvious spot to visit while in Jackson (or Texas, where you’ll find five more locations). The namesake burger comes with tomato, lettuce, onion, and pickles, but you can add bacon and cheese or make it a double, if that’s what your stomach dictates. And if beef isn’t your thing, try the lamb, chicken, bison, turkey, ahi tuna, or Impossible Burgers also on the menu. The restaurant focuses on doing its part to protect the environment by using tree-free compostable packaging and reusable bags for food, and donating empty bottles to local brewers and artists.