The quest for America’s best burger
Thursday, October 01, 2015
The quest for the ultimate burger may never end. This quintessential American comfort food has gone through many facelifts and has been adopted by fancy chains all over the world. But at heart it still remains an uncomplicated, hearty dish that never fails to please.
Whether you hop into a 24-hour roadside dive or step into the latest trendy burger joint, it makes for good meal every time. In a recent survey, TripAdvisor came up with its own list of the nation's 10 best burger restaurants that have received millions of rave reviews. Experts like Fodors, Food and Wine, Gayot and The Daily Meal also have some interesting inputs to share.
Here's a look at the best of the best:
1. Hops Burger Bar — Greensboro, North Carolina
Hops Burger Bar is known for its premium Angus burger patties that are served on buttery brioche buns. Thick, big and juicy, these burgers come in myriad options, from the all-time favorite Hops Classic to the more exotic Hawaiian, which has blue cheese and grilled pineapple topped with sweet and spicy chili sauce. A side of crispy fries salted to perfection completes the dish.
2. Black Hills Burger and Bun Co. — Custer, South Dakota
This small, family restaurant is famous for its "Fat Smitty," a premium homemade burger that has a prime cut of juicy beef in it. The thick patty is piled high with all kinds of toppings that include bacon and fried egg, along with a tangy and savory garlic aioli. The food is always fresh, and the buns are homemade, offering each guest a deeply satisfying feel every time.
3. Gott's Roadside — St. Helena, California
Gott's has maintained its mid-century charm as it got rebranded in 2010 by the Gott brothers. The popularity of the burgers is evident from the long line guests face any time of the day. But the wait is worth it for the made-to-order burger that is always perfectly cooked. You can opt for the classic bacon cheeseburger or a more modern ahi tuna, Gott's signature burger. Unlike most other burger places, they also serve beer and wine making the burger quest more fun than usual.
4. Louis' Lunch — New Haven, Connecticut
Louis' Lunch provides the ultimate in authentic American burger experience. The history of the place is major pull, for elder Louis Lassen was credited to have served a ground beef sandwich to a customer when in a hurry and accidentally created America's favorite food. This 120-year-old institution is still run by his family in its historic location on Crown Street, offering a simple menu of burgers, chips, salad and pies. Neither the century-old interiors, nor taste of the food has changed, which is why it still rules as a favorite.
5. The Company Burger — New Orleans, Louisiana
The Company Burger has been named in several of the top burger lists this year, though it has been a hot favorite for years. The expertly crafted burger combines house-ground brisket and chuck that is cooked on a flattop griddle to become a juicy and delectable fare. The signature "Company Burger" is a perfectly cooked concoction that combines two thick patties with American cheese. This can be paired with red onions, house-made butter pickles and five mayo options through a sprawling condiments bar. Onion rings or special hand-cut fries are some of the delectable sides to go in for.
6. Burger Joint — New York, New York
Quite the Manhattan landmark, Burger Joint is known for its no-nonsense fare, contrary to the swanky and chic Le Parker Meridien location it stands upon. Once you step in, it converts from the chic to a deliberate feel of a dive and offers patrons a cheeseburger, a double cheeseburger or a hamburger with a pitcher of beer if you feel like it. There is graffiti on the walls of this tiny cash-only joint, and the vinyl booths are crammed against each other in this windowless space. But that hasn't deterred people from queuing up for hours to taste its hearty delicious burgers.
7. B Spot — Woodmere, Ohio
B Spot is making cool waves in the burger industry too. A restaurant built by chef Michael Symon, this stylish burger joint boasts of the "Yo!" burger that won the top prize at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. This signature burger is made with fried salami, topped with provolone, and served with shasha sauce and pickled onion. With an impressive beer list to go with it, this place has earned a top spot in many food and beverage lists.
8. Coyote Bluff Café — Amarillo, Texas
Coyote Bluff Café sports a quaint saloon-style burger joint, which offers huge portions and juicy patties with typical Texan charm and hospitality. Amarillo is known for its food, which is surprising for a small city, including its famous Big Texan restaurant. The hearty lean ground beef "Prairie Patties" are served in a variety of homemade buns with sauces. They have quite a collection of spicy sauces like the Coyote Hell Sauce, Tabasco and sautéed jalapeños for those who want to try out the famous "Burger from Hell."
9. Village Burger — Waimea, Hawaii
Village Burger is famous for its local-sourced ingredients that give its fresh taste and texture. The signature patties are made with select cuts of the freshest and juiciest chuck and brisket. These absolutely delicious burgers can be topped with a variety of options like Ahualoa chipotle-flavored goat cheese or fresh avocado, along with regular cheese and fries.
10. In-N-Out — California, Texas
In-N-Out is perhaps the one chain that has been able to entice every foodie to include its name on their lists. While the others are typically local legends, this West Coast burger chain has made a name for itself with its cooked-to-order burgers that are topped with signature sauce. A fresh-baked bun is paired with two patties made from juicy beef that are sourced from Southwest ranches. These are topped with two slices of American cheese, lettuce, tomato and a grilled or freshly sliced onion. Hand-cut crispy fries with its famous "Animal Style" burger makes for a complete indulgent experience.
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