The eternal question: Was the hamburger invented in Germany or America?
The verdict is still out, but here’s one thing we do know: The U.S. is home to a million different kinds of delicious burgers, from basic patties with lettuce and tomato…to a concoction with pineapple and peanut butter we’re kind of scared to try.
Here, the best burgers in all 50 states, in our humble opinion. Bring your elastic-waist pants.
ALABAMA: VICKI'S LUNCH VAN
OK, the original van has retired and this shop is more of a lunch stand, but it still serves some of the tastiest no-frills burgers ever, slathered with mayo, ketchup, mustard and cheese.
2520 Fairground Rd. (at Crestview St.), Montgomery; Yelp
ALASKA: TOMMY'S BURGER STOP
Shhh, the secret to the deliciousness is the Cajun seasoning added to each patty before it’s cooked.
1106 W. 29th Pl. (at Spenard Rd.), Anchorage; 907-561-5696 or tommysburgerstop.com
ARIZONA: DIABLO BURGER
As guilt-free as a big, sloppy burger gets: It’s made from 100 percent local, range-raised, antibiotic-free and hormone-free beef from the sustainability-thinking Diablo Trust ranches.
Multiple locations; diabloburger.com
ARKANSAS: C-J’s Butcher Boy Burgers
The secret to this juicy burger that doesn't skimp on toppings is that they grind their beef on site every day. The retro '50s décor isn't too shabby, either.
2803 N Arkansas Ave, Russellville; 479-968-2300 or Yelp
CALIFORNIA: FATHER'S OFFICE
This heavenly creation made with dry-aged beef, arugula, Gruyère cheese and a bacon-onion compote is like eating French onion soup in burger form. Word to the wise: Do not ask for ketchup here; they’ll laugh you away.
Multiple locations; fathersoffice.com
COLORADO: CHERRY CRICKET
You’re the boss at this build-your-own-burger joint--you could even top your patty with grilled pineapple and peanut butter. (But, um, we wouldn’t recommend it.)
Multiple locations; cherrycricket.com
CONNECTICUT: LOUIS' LUNCH
We're obsessed with the amazing burgers at b restaurants, but we've gotta give a shout-out to Louis' Lunch, the first-ever restaurant to serve hamburgers in the U.S. (They're still super old-school, so if you want ketchup or mustard, you're out of luck.)
261-263 Crown St. (at College St.), New Haven; 203-562-5507 or louislunch.com
DELAWARE: THE CHARCOAL PIT
How amazing are these diner-style burgers? Just ask Obama.
Multiple locations; charcoalpit.net
FLORIDA: CHARM CITY BURGER COMPANY
Ready for the most epic breakfast ever? Sink your teeth into the Big Sloppy, served with double meat, double cheese, double bacon, a hash brown and a fried egg.
1136 E. Hillsboro Blvd. (at SE 12th Ave.), Deerfield Beach; 954-531-0300 or charmcityburgers.com
GEORGIA: ANN'S SNACK BAR
Live a little and order the Ghetto Burger, a double cheeseburger topped with chili, bacon, grilled onions, ketchup and mustard on a toasted bun. Then take a nap.
1615 Memorial Dr. SE (at Wyman St. SE), Atlanta; 404-687-9207 or Yelp
HAWAII: W & M BAR-B-Q BURGER
Before you hit the beach, grab a Royal B.B.Q. Burger with lettuce, tomato, onions and cheese. (But like your mom always says, eat it at least an hour before you go swimming.)
3104 Waialae Ave. (at Third Ave.), Honolulu; 808-734-3350 or Yelp
IDAHO: THE SAVAGE GRILL
Breaking news: You can get the Savage Burger with a side of tots. When in Idaho…eat potatoes.
907 Mulkey St. (at Union Ave.), Salmon; 208-756-2062 or Yelp
ILLINOIS: AU CHEVAL
This trendy Chicago diner actually slips a third patty onto the double cheeseburger to achieve optimum cheese-to-meat ratios. Thanks, guys.
800 W. Randolph St. (N. Halsted St.), Chicago; 312-929-4580 or auchevalchicago.com
INDIANA: THE WORKINGMAN'S FRIEND
Double cheeseburger + onion rings = a match made in burger heaven.
234 N. Belmont Ave. (at Turner Ave.), Indianapolis; 317-636-2067
IOWA: THE CIDER HOUSE
Local farm-raised beef is seasoned with dry farmhouse cider to create this epic plate of deliciousness.
102 N. Second St. (at W. Broadway Ave.), Fairfield; 641-980-0423 or jeffersoncountyciderhouse.com
KANSAS: JOHNNY'S TAVERN
Mmm, we’ll take a Dodge City Burger with bacon, barbecue sauce, cheddar and onion rings.
Multiple locations; johnnystavern.com
KENTUCKY: PROOF ON MAIN
Go for the bison burger, piled high with shredded lettuce and apricot-laced jezebel sauce. Just try it.
702 W. Main St. (at N. Seventh St.), Louisville; 502-217-6360 or proofonmain.com
LOUISIANA: THE COMPANY BURGER
This masterpiece made with house-ground brisket and chuck is, hands down, the best burger in New Orleans, if not the entire state.
Multiple locations; thecompanyburger.com
MAINE: Harmon’s Lunch
These tasty burgers are dished up without lettuce, tomato or mayo but don't fret—there's a reason why this joint has been a local favorite since 1960.
144 Gray Rd, Falmouth; 207-797-9857 or Yelp
MARYLAND: THE ABBEY BURGER BISTRO
When we’re in Balti, we’re ordering the Bistro Burger, made with Roseda Farm beef and topped with cheddar, bacon and a gooey sunny-side-up egg.
Multiple locations; abbeyburgerbistro.com
MASSACHUSETTS: EASTERN STANDARD
A juicy patty with Vermont cheddar and a soft bun, served with herb fries. (Oh, fancy.)
528 Commonwealth Ave. (at Newbury St.), Boston; 617-532-9100 or easternstandardboston.com
MICHIGAN: THE BROWN BEAR
You haven’t lived until you’ve ordered the Bear Burger Supreme, featuring a pound of beef, ham, peppers, mushrooms, cheese, tomato and onions. You just haven’t.
Multiple locations; or Yelp
We’re not saying this burger made the list because it comes with a side of hush puppies, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.
Multiple locations; revivalmpls.com
MISSISSIPPI: PHILLIPS GROCERY
This old-school joint was originally a saloon, but it became a grocery store (that also serves delicious burgers) in 1919. Go for the cheeseburger and jalapeño corn nuggets.
Multiple locations; Yelp
MISSOURI: FIVE STAR BURGERS
We think we have a crush on the Gateway Burger, with smoked bacon, cheddar, onion rings and homemade barbecue sauce. (Is it weird to have a crush on a burger? Yes? Too bad.)
Multiple locations; 5starburgersstl.com
MONTANA: SLIPPERY OTTER PUB
Come for the elk burger, stay for the crinkle-cut sweet potato fries.
139 N. Canyon St. (at Firehole Ave.), West Yellowstone; 406-646-7050 or Yelp
NEBRASKA: STELLA'S BAR & GRILL
You miiiight want to split the decadent pastrami burger—with five slices of brined meat on an already towering burger with Swiss cheese, mustard and lettuce—with a buddy.
106 Galvin Rd. S. (at Power Dr.), Bellevue; 402-291-6088 or stellasbarandgrill.com
NEVADA: HOLSTEINS SHAKES AND BUNS
This gourmet burger is cooked to perfection, then topped with aged goat milk cheddar, garlic aioli, tomato confit and applewood-smoked thick-cut bacon.
3708 S. Las Vegas Blvd. (at W. Harmon Ave.), Las Vegas; 702-698-7940 or holsteinsburgers.com
NEW HAMPSHIRE: WILD WILLY'S BURGERS
Hickory-smoked bacon? Cheddar? Pickles? Zesty barbecue sauce? We’re naming our first child Willy.
724 Columbus Ave., Rochester; 603-332-1193 or wildwillysburgers.com
NEW JERSEY: ARTHUR'S TAVERN
Juicy, delicious and bigger than a softball, this one ticks all the boxes.
700 Speedwell Ave. (at Franklin Pl.), Morris Plains; 973-455-9705 or arthurstavern.com
NEW MEXICO: SPARKY'S
The green chile cheeseburger at this low-key spot is so famous, burger fans travel from all over the country to try a bite.
115 Franklin St. (at W. Hall St.), Hatch; 575-267-4222 or sparkysburgers.com
NEW YORK: THE SPOTTED PIG
There’s tons of competition for the greatest burger in NYC (we still love you, Minetta Tavern), but even Shake Shack’s head chef Mark Rosati agrees—the Spotted Pig’s chargrilled masterpiece is where it’s at.
314 W. 11th St. (at Greenwich St.); 212-620-0393 or thespottedpig.com
NORTH CAROLINA: JOHNSON'S DRIVE-IN
This old-school fast-food joint has been serving burgers and fries to locals for the last 70 years--and the prices are so low, you’ll think you’re still in 1946.
1520 E. 11th St. (at E. Raleigh St.), Siler City or Yelp
NORTH DAKOTA: SICKIES GARAGE BURGERS & BREWS
Yes, that’s an eggs Benedict burger with a side of tots. No, we’re not sharing.
Multiple locations; sickiesnd.com
OHIO: KEWPEE BURGER
Founded in 1923, this burger institution is the second-ever fast-food chain in the U.S. (White Castle was the first). Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas ate here as a kid and loved it so much, he decided to go into the burger business. So try a bite of history.
Multiple locations; kewpeehamburgers.com
OKLAHOMA: TUCKER'S ONION BURGERS
Ever had an Oklahoma Onion Burger? They were popularized during the Great Depression, when beef was combined with onions so restaurants could make more burgers with less meat. Now it’s a tasty local tradition you have to try.
Multiple locations; tuckersonionburgers.com
OREGON: PILOT BUTTE DRIVE-IN
This throwback drive-in has all sorts of classic diner fare, but we're partial to the 18-ounce burger piled with mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and onions on a handmade bun.
Multiple locations; Yelp
PENNSYLVANIA: VILLAGE WHISKEY
This is yolk porn at its finest. Oh, but if you’re not in the mood for an egg, you can also get it topped with maple Bourbon glazed cipollini and blue cheese. #yesplease
118 S. 20th St. (at Sansom St.) Philadelphia; 215-665-1088 or philadelphia.villagewhiskey.com
RHODE ISLAND: HARRY'S BAR AND BURGER
It’s all about the sliders at this Providence favorite. You’re looking at the M.O.A.B. (short for “Mother of All Burgers,”) with cheese, bacon, mushrooms and fried onion strings.
Multiple locations; harrysbarburger.com
SOUTH CAROLINA: NU-WAY RESTAURANT & LOUNGE
This charmingly divey spot is home to the Redneck Cheeseburger, drenched in a secret pimento cheese sauce. We could never stay mad at you, cheese…
373 E. Kennedy St. (at Chestnut St.), Spartanburg; 864-582-9685 or facebook
SOUTH DAKOTA: BLACK HILLS BURGER & BUN CO.
In addition to the classics, this low-key restaurant features a rotating (and always offbeat) burger of the week--Pork Thai Burger with peanut sauce, anyone?
441 Mt. Rushmore Rd. (at N. Fifth St.), Custer; 605-673-3411 or blackhillsburgerandbun.com
TENNESSEE: BURGER REPUBLIC
If a Jalapeño Popper Burger is wrong, then we don’t wanna be right.
Multiple locations in Nashville; 615-915-1943 or burgerrepublic.com
It’s all about perfecting the basics at Chester’s…and then smothering them in chili.
Multiple locations; chestershamburgers.com
UTAH: LUCKY 13
Tip: Try to resist ordering the Breath Enhancer on a date. (It’s topped with chunks of garlic.)
135 1300 S. (at Jefferson St.), Salt Lake City; 801-487-4418 or lucky13slc.com
VERMONT: WORTHY BURGER
We’re not worthy of this cute little grass-fed patty with all the fixin’s! But we will definitely order one.
56 Rainbow St. (at Park St.), South Royalton; 802-763-2575 or worthyvermont.com
VIRGINIA: MELT GOURMET CHEESEBURGERS
What’s the only thing better than munching on a buffalo burger with roasted garlic, caramelized onions, Wisconsin sharp cheddar and horseradish sauce? Washing it down with a double dark chocolate milkshake.
525 Market St. (at Plaza St. SE), Leesburg; 703-443-2105 or meltgourmetcheeseburgers.com
WASHINGTON: PALACE KITCHEN
With half a pound of hand-ground Oregon county chuck and a bun from Seattle’s Dahlia Bakery, the Palace Burger Royale is definitely worthy of its name.
2030 Fifth Ave. (at Lenora St.), Seattle; 206-448-2001 or palacekitchen.com
WASHINGTON, D.C.: FIVE GUYS
Before this chain popped up all over the U.S., it was a tiny family business in nearby Arlington. Keep the Cajun-style fries coming, guys.
Multiple locations; fiveguys.com
WEST VIRGINIA: AVENUE EATS
Hey, don’t knock the Brie and Grilled Pear Burger until you’ve tried it.
1201 Valley-View Ave. (at Washington Ave.), Wheeling; 304-905-8300 or avenueeats.com
WISCONSIN: KROLL'S EAST
No trip to Wisconsin is complete without a butter burger (yep, that’s a burger with a bun drenched in butter), and this Green Bay institution is the spot to get 'em.
1658 Main St. (at Deckner Ave.), Green Bay; 920-468-4422 or krollseast.com
WYOMING: THE BIRD
Which burger is the best at this Jackson Hole hot spot? With names like Ghetto on a Good Day, Filthy Harry and Polish Lawn-Mower, you really can’t go wrong.
4125 US-89 (at Pub Pl.), Jackson; 307-732-2473 or thebirdinjh.com