If you’ve had one burger, you’ve had them all, right? Not so fast. These delectable variations from around the country include your favorite ingredients—and some you’ve never thought of—combined in innovative new ways. If you’ve never added butter to your burger, or pastrami, or pork belly, you’ll definitely want to check ’em out…
Juicy Lucy/Juicy Nookie, St. Paul, Minnesota: Instead of melting cheese on top of the burger, this one has melted cheese inside of the meat patty. (They actually put cheese between two beef patties and then seal them together.) Multiple Minnesota bars claim to be the inventors of this tasty concoction. The one pictured here is from Casper’s and Runyon’s Nook—they call theirs the Juicy Nookie burger.
Butter Burger/Solly’s Burger, Milwaukee: As people in America’s Dairyland have long known, everything’s better with butter, including meat. And Solly’s Grille in Milwaukee is the home of the original butter burger: 100 percent fresh sirloin beef, stewed onions, melted cheese and a generous dollop of Wisconsin sweet butter served on a dry-toasted bun. Delicious.
Grass-Fed Beef With Pork Belly/Esme Burger, Brooklyn, New York: Esme may be known for pairing seasonal cocktails with American plates in a cozy atmosphere, but the burger stands out on its own. It’s a half-pound patty of grass-fed Angus beef served on a fresh potato roll from an ancient Manhattan bakery. Top that with Bibb lettuce, pickled green tomatoes, red onion, Reyes blue cheese and crispy Berkshire pork belly, and you’re good to go.
Pastrami Burger/Crown Burger, Salt Lake City: If you don’t think Jewish luncheon meats are the perfect complement to quarter-pound beef patties, you’ve never been to Crown Burgers, a small SLC chain. Sure, this charbroiled burger is decked with cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion and served on a sesame seed bun, but it’s the hot pastrami that adds a smoky, salty flavor. A little fry sauce (ketchup, mayo and spices) keeps it moist.
Brent Burger, Richmond, Virginia: Can’t decide between a grilled cheese sandwich and a good old fashioned burger? With 821 Cafe’s specialty, you get the best of both worlds: a pound of beef served between two grilled cheese sandwiches. You can even sub in feta, goat cheese, or brie instead of cheddar, American, Swiss or provolone.
Bamba Burger, Vienna, Virginia: Taqueria chain Taco Bamba is better known for their tacos, natch, but their Bamba burger boasts a creative combination of meats and toppings. It’s got Torta Angus Beef and braised bacon barbacoa plus Monterey Jack cheese, fries, pickled jalapeños, guacamole, and salsa stuffed in a toasted bun. For once, you don’t have to be nuts to order a burger at a taco place.
Helicopter Burger, Minneapolis: The Anchor Fish and Chips boasts delicious fried Alaskan cod and hand-cut fries, but the casual eatery also serves a decadent burger you’ve got to try. It’s a grass-fed patty on a buttered bun topped with tangy, creamy Irish cheddar, a fried egg and a salty slab of ham. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, but we promise this meal is well worth the wait.