Few foods are more all-American than the perfect juicy hamburger (preferably with a side of fries and a chocolate milkshake). “Whether you’re hungry for the old favorite you remember from your teen years, or you want an international or more healthful spin on everyone’s favorite food, there’s probably a local burger joint that can satisfy your craving,” said Shula Burger. If you’re hitting the road on vacation, here are five amazing burger joints to check out throughout the nation.
1. Billy Bob Dairyland, Branson, Missouri
This iconic American diner takes you on a trip back to a simpler time, when the malteds were thick and the half-pound burgers perfectly grilled and juicy. Of course you’ll order a burger, but save some room for the chili cheese fries and decadent fried pies. Fans of this retro hotspot love not only the incredible food, but also the old-school ambience and super-friendly staff. Don’t be fooled by the unassuming exterior–Billy Bob Dairyland is a can’t-miss stop if you’re in the Branson area. Just remember to bring cash, since this old-fashioned spot doesn’t take credit cards. And since this is a relatively small spot, it’s best to avoid the dinner rush if you have a large crowd.
2. Mission Burger at Mission Bowling Club, San Francisco
Bowling isn’t exactly synonymous with gourmet fare, but the amazing Mission Burger bucks the trend. Before your game or when you’re ready to celebrate your win, order up this burger that’s rated one of the top five in the nation by Food Network. It’s made from a mixture of brisket and chuck that’s shaped into a gigantic patty before being seared in beef fat for a flavorful crisp. Toppings include Monterey Jack, caramelized onions, and signature housemade caper aioli. In addition to bowling, this alternative nightspot also features drinks and brunch.
3. Secret Burger at Alden and Harlow, Boston, Massachusetts
As reported by Thrillist.com, this burger from Alden and Harlow is not only one of the best in the country, it’s also one of the most exclusive. Each day, the restaurant makes just 40 burger patties and when they’re gone, they’re gone. If you manage to be one of the lucky ones, you’ll be treated to a perfectly composed, classic burger made from a mix of beef, brisket, and short rib, topped with a creamy sauce, crispy cheese, and the ideal amount of shredded lettuce. This is a great date spot, too, with a modern yet relaxed ambience and locally sourced comfort food that will make it a local favorite.
4. Double Cheeseburger at A-Frame, Los Angeles
Roy Choi is the award-winning chef behind this unusual and delicious Asian-style burger, boasting sesame seed mayo, fresh shiso leaves, tomato confit, pickled onions, sharp cheddar, and of course, the burger itself, all on fresh buttered brioche. If you have a big appetite and want a burger that’s bursting with flavors, head to A-Frame next time you’re in LA. In addition to the signature burger, the restaurant serves traditional Hawaiian dishes interpreted by the unique culture of Southern California.
5. Village Burger, Waimea, Hawaii
Local food is one of the biggest trends in sustainable gourmet, so it’s no surprise that burger joints that use the freshest local ingredients are popping up all over the country. Village Burger is one of the best of the bunch, featuring unexpected add-ons like chipotle goat cheese and more standard selections like fresh avocado. Choose the signature patty, which is a blend of select chuck and brisket cuts from nearby butchers.
If you keep a burger bucket list, add these five choices to the agenda so you can check them out when you’re traveling.