The All-American Classic: Best Burgers in the USA

January 30, 2014

It’s two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions – on a sesame seed bun…

There is something so simple, and so American about a Sunday barbeque with your family and friends during the summer. There’s hot dogs and corn on the cob, lemonade and cold beers, maybe  a little watermelon for dessert. There are enough baked beans, cole slaw, and potato salad to feed a small army. But we all know the real star of the show is the great all-American hamburger. Eat it with cheese, eat with bacon, eat it with an egg. Make it out of black beans, turkey, beef, whatever you fancy, a burger will always be an classic comfort food that’s delicious any way you serve it. Still, there are some that are truly better than others.

In-N-Out Burger

Though this popular chain services five states, Californians claim it to be their taste bud’s pride and joy. In-and-Out might be considered fast food, but even world renowned chefs consider them to be a favorite. It was one of the few positively mentioned restaurants in Anthony Bourdain’s book, Fast Food Nation, and is Gordon Ramsey’s go-to take out place. So what makes them so popular?

The company claims it’s the quality of their food, and the efforts they take to make sure they’re serving up the best patties around. True purists, all of their burgers are just that: a hamburger with lettuce, tomato, maybe some onions, on a bun. A slice or two of American cheese if you’re up for it. If you’re feeling really crazy, go for Animal Style: a mustard cooked beef patty with pickle, extra spread (Thousand Island dressing) and grilled onions.

Le Burger Brasserie - The $777 Burger

Generally, the most you’d probably spend on a burger is $15 (and that’s in a pretty nice restaurant). But would you ever consider spending more? What would be your limit? Maybe $100? $200? What about close to $800?! At Le Burger Brasserie, you could buy one of the world’s most expensive burgers for an incredible $777.

But this is no ordinary meat on a bun. The actual patty is made from Kobe beef and is covered with fresh Maine lobster. If that was decadent enough, it’s topped off with imported Brie cheese, caramelized onions, crisp prosciutto and a splash of 100 year old balsamic vinegar. You can wash your extravagant dinner down with your own bottle of Rose Dom Perignon champagne.

Christopher’s Veggie Burgahs

Cambridge is home to many well known spots in Boston; Harvard University, chef Julia Childs’ former home, and dozens of historical hot spots, monuments, and museums in between. With hundreds of places to eat from, it can be overwhelming to pick one. But if it’s a burger you want, Christopher’s in Porter Square is the place to go. And while their beef burgers are a home run, it’s their veggie ‘burgah’ that hits a grand slam over the Green Monster. Made in house, topped with roasted red peppers and pesto. This could easily be the best veggie burger in all of New England.

The Mastodon at Kuma’s Corner

With humble beginnings as a corner bar, this Chicago staple is now the place to go if you support the same things they do: a love of beef, a love of community, and the need to head bang. Kuma’s Corner only carry local brews (no Bud Light here!) and consistently supporting different charities, as well as Chicago’s own music scene.

With heavy metal blaring from open to close, the burgers all have rocking names like Led Zepplin or Metallica. A local favorite hangout, even the Mayor pops in from time to time to get served up one of the best burgers in town. Though they’re all delicious, and all come on a pretzel bun. But the Mastadon, slathered in BBQ sauce, stacked high with frizzled onions and bacon, and melted sharp cheddar cheese makes this burger creates sheer heavy metal, taste bud bliss.

Some people think that burgers should be saved for fast food joints. Those people are sadly mistaken. A burger is the perfect combination of meat, bread and vegetables to make a complete (though not always wholesome) meal. No matter where in the world you may be, guaranteed you’ll always be able to track down a burger joint, because after all, a classic is always a classic. Add these restaurants to your itinerary on Trekeffect!


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Amanda Reffsin
Working for wanderlust, Amanda just completed a year teaching abroad in South Korea. She's currently back packing her way through Southeast Asia, with no intentions to ever stop traveling.
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