Burgers are booming. Edinans just can’t get their fill of the quintessential American sandwich, it seems, and even if you are watching your diet, there’s no lack of vegetarian and lean-meat options, too. Everything from greasy spoons to the fanciest restaurants round out their menus with a selection of classic or gourmet burgers, especially at lunchtime, when people are minding the budget and the clock. And some old classics, like Convention Grill and Snuffy’s Malt Shop, have been flipping burgers for decades. We submit the best of them all, a round-up of our city’s most sizzlin’ patties.
Talk about indulgence: At the top of our list you’ll find a loaded burger that makes no apology for its fat content. Tavern on France’s widow-maker ($12.50) is a half-pound of fresh Angus beef, seasoned and topped with melted cheddar cheese, caramelized onion, Philly beef, mushrooms, Tavern’s four-cheese sauce and onion strings, all served on a grilled ciabatta bun with shredded lettuce and garlic aioli. The popular after-work spot also serves a veg-head burger ($10), made with marinated grilled portabella mushrooms, roasted peppers, marinated tomatoes, melted Monterey jack cheese, olive tapenade, spring greens and garlic aioli on grilled herb focaccia—full of fresh, summery flavors and great for vegetarians. Lastly, if you’d like to be the one calling the shots about what comes on your burger, the build-your-own options are endless here, starting at $9, with dozens of toppings from banana peppers to blue cheese crumbles and your choice of bun. All burgers come with a choice of chips, house-made coleslaw, waffle fries or garlic mashed potatoes.
6740 France Ave. S.; 952.358.6100
Hours: 11 a.m.–midnight Mon.–Thurs., 11 a.m.–1 a.m. Fri.–Sat., 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Sun.
Pearson’s Big Burger
Pearson’s might be gone, but the legendary Pearson’s big burger ($9.50) still lives on at the 50th St. Café, which took over the spot last year. A throwback to Pearson’s 1950s drive-in days, two quarter-pound patties are topped with cheese, lettuce and a secret sauce, layered in a three-tiered bun. The namesake burger for the new restaurant, the 50th St. burger ($9.50), is another favorite, a half-pounder topped with American and Swiss cheeses, bacon, lettuce, tomato and onion. All burgers come with a side of waffle fries or sweet-potato tater tots.
3808 W. 50th St.; 612.927.4464
Hours: 7 a.m.–3 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 8 a.m.–3 p.m. Sun.
Good Earth Burger
The Good Earth burger at Good Earth is about as guilt-free as it gets without going meatless. An all-natural, lean-beef patty is topped with all kinds of good stuff, like caramelized onions, Portobello mushrooms, avocado, gruyere cheese, sunflower sprouts and red pepper aioli, served with your choice of chips or field greens ($13.95). The Good Earth planet burger takes that healthful approach a step further, with a vegetarian patty made of azuki and pinto beans, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, cashews and mixed veggies, served on a whole-wheat bun with lettuce, tomato and pickles ($9.95).
Galleria, 3510 W. 70th St., Edina; 952.925.1001
Hours: 7 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 7 a.m.–9 p.m. Sun.
“Burgers are a personal thing,” says John Rimarcik, owner of Convention Grill, “and everyone has their own favorites.” He likes them cooked on a one-inch solid steel flattop grill in the most classic, traditional way, as they have been since 1974. For the most part, the burgers (starting at $5) are simple and only come with a pickle. If you desire, add-ons like lettuce, tomato, onion cheese, bacon and mushrooms enhance the flavor. Another popular way to eat them here is made up like the plaza burger ($5.50), named after a famous burger from the Plaza Bar in Madison, Wis., with raw onion and sour cream on top, served on a pumpernickel bun.
3912 Sunnyside Rd.; 952.920.6881
Hours: 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Sun.–Thurs., 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Fri.–Sat.
Peter’s By the Sea Burger
An ode to the Australian heritage of partner David Burley, the Peter’s By the Sea burger ($10) is a beef patty sandwiched between two pieces of grilled sourdough, topped with caramelized onions, a mustard pickle relish, ketchup and an egg over hard. The concept hails from a beach shack where Burley once worked. The original was topped with a slice of beet, but that didn’t go over so well with the Minnesota crowd, says partner Stephanie Shimp. The other burger to take note of at Edina Grill is the top-selling turkey burger ($11), very moist and flavorful, mixed with veggies, ground peanuts and spices, and topped with pepper jack cheese and a poblano pesto aioli.
5028 France Ave. S.; 952.927.7933
Hours: 7 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Thurs., 7 a.m.–11 p.m. Fri.–Sat., 7 a.m.–9 p.m. Sun.
Three-napkin Stack Burger
Burgers fly out the door during lunchtime at Pittsburgh Blue, when the portion size and cost of a top cut steak can be daunting. The three-napkin stack burger, which derives its name from the number of napkins that you’re probably going to need while eating it, is a 7 oz. fresh patty, topped with thick-cut bacon, steakhouse chili made with short ribs, cheddar cheese and an onion ring ($14.95). The patty melt ($10.95) is also an unmistakable classic, served on rye bread with Swiss cheese and sautéed onions. Both burgers come with french fries, but many substitutions are available.
Galleria, 3220 W. 70th St.; 952.567.2700
Hours: 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Thurs., 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Fri.–Sat., 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Sun.
Bar Americain Burger
How could you not fall in love with a burger when it’s been topped with bordelaise, a traditionally French red wine, butter and shallot reduction? The Bar Americain burger ($12.95) at Salut, made with an Angus ground beef patty, caramelized onion and blue cheese crumbles, uses just such a sauce, and fans adore it. The burger comes with hand-cut fries. At lunch, the lighter portion size of mini-burgers has won customers over, like with the mini turkey burger ($7.95), a 2 oz. patty of turkey, vegetables, egg and fresh herbs, seared on the flattop and topped with aged cheddar, chili aioli, avocado, lettuce and tomato. There’s also a mini-size version of a Big Mac, made with two all-beef patties, special sauce and you know the rest ($7.95).
5032 France Ave. S., Edina; 952.929.3764
Hours: 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Thurs., 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Fri.–Sat., 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Sun.
Surprised to hear of something as newfangled as a bison burger in a malt shop? Snuffy’s has one, topped with your choice of American, cheddar or pepper jack cheese, lettuce and tomato ($5.75). But the staple burger, of course, is the Snuffy burger, a quarter-pound patty topped with lettuce, tomato, bacon and your choice of American, cheddar or pepper jack cheese ($5.75). Make it a double for $7.25. Malts are the perfect accompaniment, and there are some interesting ones, like the chocoffeelate, made with coffee instead of milk and Swiss chocolate ice cream ($3.45/half size or $4.45/full).
4502 Valley View Rd.; 952.920.0949
Hours: Noon–9 p.m. Sun., 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Mon.–Sat.