Who doesn’t love a good cheeseburger, especially one dressed with mayo, onion, tomato and lettuce?
National Cheeseburger Day is Sept. 18. and rumor has it that Lionel Sternberger created the cheeseburger by adding cheese to the cooking hamburger in 1924 at the age of 16 at his father’s sandwich shop, The Rite Spot in Pasadena, California.
Other restaurants also claim to have invented the cheeseburger. Louisville's own Kaelin's Restaurant said it invented the cheeseburger in 1934. One year later, a trademark for the name "cheeseburger" was awarded to Louis Ballast of the Humpty Dumpty Drive-In in Denver, Colorado.
Whoever did it first, here are 10 restaurants where you can celebrate the cheeseburger.
1801 Newburg Road. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. 8020atkaelins.com.
In 1934 in the Highlands, Carl and Margaret Kaelin opened a family restaurant that eventually became known as the “birthplace of the cheeseburger,” serving the first version of this timeless classic for over 70 years, according to the 80/20 @ Kaelin's website. This claim to fame is argued amongst historians and the real origins are unconfirmed for the record books.
The most popular items are the 80/20 burger that comes dressed with bacon, lettuce, grilled pickle onions, tomato, 80/20 sauce and white cheddar on a pretzel bun, and the classic cheeseburger dressed with American cheese, pickles, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, onions, classic sauce on a potato bun. It also serves a Ribeye Burger, Patty Melt, and for those who prefer not to eat beef, the Black Bean Burger.
3939 Shelbyville Road; 921 Summit Plaza Drive; 2651 S. Hurstbourne Parkway; 1451 Veterans Parkway, Jeffersonville, Indiana. drakescomeplay.com.
This popular restaurant specializes in burgers, beer, craft cocktails, sushi and other pub fare. Known for its smashed burgers made from fresh never frozen 100% USDA grade A sirloin, they are griddle seared and cooked and served on a butter-toasted bun with your choice of a side.
Each month, Drake's highlights a burger. This month it is the Chorizo Mini Burgers, a ground beef and chorizo blend, chili lime tater tots, salsa verde and cilantro crema on mini brioche buns; choice of one side. It also serves the All-American Mini Burgers, Mini Cheeseburgers, Big Blue Burger, Mushroom Swiss Burger, Drake’s Patty Melt, Mini Juicy Luckys, Cheddar Burger, BBQ Burger, Morning Glory Burger and Queso Burger. Drake's also sells a Black Bean Avocado Burger for those who don't eat meat.
13303 Shelbyville Road; 4226 Shelbyville Road, 4116 Summit Plaza Drive; 4901 Outer Loop; 15000 Veterans Parkway, Jeffersonville, Indiana and 2221 State St. New Albany, Indiana. Monday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. fiveguys.com.
Five Guys boasts on its website as the place to get a fresh, juicy burger with all the toppings you could stuff between fresh-baked buns. Its burgers are never frozen and Give Guys also serves all beef hot dogs, milkshakes, sandwiches, and fries.
The menu includes cheeseburger and bacon cheeseburger that come in two sizes, regular (two patties) and little (one patty). There are 15 toppings to choose from for your burger. French fries are the sole side item, available only in ‘Five Guys style’ or seasoned ‘Cajun style.’ The fries are cut fresh and cooked twice, making them firm on the outside and mashed potato on the inside, according to its website.
829 E. Market St. Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. grindburgerkitchen.com.
Grind Burger Kitchen began in the spring of 2012 as Grind Gourmet Burger Truck. In 2014, it opened its first brick-and-mortar restaurant on Preston Highway and quickly outgrew that space. Today, you can find Grind in the NuLu neighborhood.
It serves burgers, sandwiches and salads. All the burgers are 1/3 pound of house-ground, hand-trimmed, grass-fed beef and cooked to order. There are numerous types of burgers, including the Grind, which comes dressed with lettuce, tomato, red onions, choice of cheese or build your own; the B&B is made with Brie cheese, bacon, smoked habanero jam; and the Southern is made with sharp cheddar pimento cheese, bacon and spicy dill pickles. You can also find a veggie option, a house-made patty that is a blend of chickpeas, lentils, quinoa, mushrooms and roasted veggies dressed with smoked ketchup, lettuce, tomato and onion and a vegan bun. Each burger comes with a choice of side.
You can also visit its sister restaurant, Oskar's Slider Bar, to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day (or any day!).
2723 S. Hurstbourne Parkway; 303 W. Cardinal Blvd.; 5608 Outer Loop; 6600 Bardstown Road; 12949 Shelbyville Road. Hours vary. homerunburger.com.
The baseball-themed restaurant lets customers build burgers their way or guests can choose from burgers listed on the “All-Star Line Up” section of the menu. Home Run Burger & Fries also serves beer-battered cod, fish ‘n chips, crispy chicken, a beef chili cheese hot dog, chili, salads and numerous sides. The fries are hand-cut in-house and can be served plain, Cajun-style, or with bacon, cheese, or chili.
Customers can choose from the classic burger, cheeseburger, bacon cheeseburger, and then add as many toppings as they wish without any additional charge. Other burgers include the Bases Loaded, Heater, Mama T’s, Mushroom Swiss, Smokehouse, Bacon & Bleu, and Reuben. For vegetarians, it serves a Veggie Original Burger and the Black Bean Vegan Burger.
1007 Bardstown Road. Lunch, Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner, Monday-Thursday, 5:30-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5:30-11 p.m. jackfrys.com.
Founded in 1933, Jcak Fry's closed for 10 years and reopened in 1987 and now is are celebrating 90 years, according to its website. The bar is set high at this white-tablecloth restaurant, decorated with a hodgepodge of Louisville memorabilia. Entrees include, Poulet Rouge, braised short ribs, salmon, pork chop, swordfish, scallops, beef filet, Bucatini, lamb chops, and yes, the locally famous "Jack’s Burger."
Jack’s Burger is a local dry-aged chuck with caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, and habagardil pickle on brioche bun, and served with fries. Available with cheddar or Swiss. Reservations are recommended for lunch and dinner.
113 S. 7th St.; 9200 Taylorsville Road. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. mussel-burger-bar.com.
Mussel and Burger Bar is a go-to destination for burgers, mussels, and beer in a fun atmosphere. The burgers are 100% certified Black Angus Beef patties (unless specified otherwise). All meat is ground in-house daily and served on a house bun (unless specified otherwise).
There are 15 burgers to choose from, from the classic burger to the seafood burger. The classic burger comes with American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, bread and butter pickles; the Good Ole Bacon Burger comes with cheddar cheese, Nueske’s bacon, red onions, tomato, lettuce on a pretzel bun; The Local Burger comes with Lawson Farms grass-fed ground beef topped with smoked gouda cheese, tomato, onions, and lettuce; and the Seafood Burger, patty of crabmeat, shrimp, lobster, peppers, onions, and chives, served with spicy crabmeat aioli, tomatoes, lettuce and avocados on a pretzel bun. Mussel and Burger Bar also serves the Spanish Blue, The Italian Job, Mediterranean, C.E.O., B.B.B, Argentinian, Chorizo Burger, Southern Bell, Wild Mushroom burgers and a vegetarian option.
1611 Norris Place. Monday, Thursday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Wednesday, 3 p.m. to midnight (bar only). shenanigansbar.com.
The neighborhood Irish Grille considers itself an Irish Pub, Kentucky Pub, Bourbon Haven, Sports Bar and Neighborhood Bar with great cheeseburgers and more and good drinks, according to its website. The outdoor area is decorated with plantings and decorations that make guests feel at home.
The grille has five burgers to choose from: Bellarmine Burger comes with cheese, BBQ sauce and bacon and cheddar; the Deerwood Burger, blackened with grilled onions and blue cheese; the Aztec Burger, jalapenos, pepper jack, served with spicy Aztec sauce and the Beyond Burger, non-GMO, soy and gluten-free patty dressed your way. These are served with one side.
9409 Shelbyville Road, 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily; 312 S. Fourth St., Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. smashburger.com.
It is called Smashburger for a reason. This chain serves smashed-to-order burgers, handspun Haagen-Dazs milkshakes, chicken sandwiches, salads, and sides. The smashers (cooks) use a special smashing technique to create a caramelized, crispy sear that seals in all the juicy goodness within.
Smash Burger’s signature burger, the Classic Smash Burger comes dressed with American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, pickles, Smash Sauce, and ketchup on a toasted bun. The menu also includes Bacon Smash Burger, Smoked Bacon Brisket Burger, BBQ Bacon Cheddar Burger, Avocado Bacon Club Burger, Colorado Burger and the Truffle Mushroom Swiss Burger. All burgers come in single or double burgers.
1258 S. Shelby St. Tuesday-Thursday, 5-10 p.m.; Friday, 5-11 p.m.; Saturday, 2-11 p.m.; Sunday, 2-10 p.m. toastystavern.com.
Toasty's Tavern is "where class is a state of mind," according to its website. The industrial-chic destination offers burgers, sandwiches, fries, cocktails and beer with vegan/vegetarian options. The most popular item at the neighborhood bar and restaurant is its cheeseburger, which was voted "Best Burger in Town" in 2022.
The cheeseburger is a smashed Fischer Farm Patty with griddled onions, iceberg lettuce, sharp American cheese, pickles and Toasty sauce. Toasty's also serves a vegan burger that has a smashed impossible patty, griddled onions, iceberg lettuce, vegan cheddar, pickles and Vegan Toasty sauce.
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This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Places to get a cheeseburger in Louisville: Toasty's Tavern, Kaelins