🍔 What’s the best city for burgers in the U.S.? 🍔
The best city for burgers in America is Richmond, Virginia! It’s no longer just the capital city of Virginia, it’s also the nation’s capital for burgers!
Burgers, they are a-changin’. McDonald’s recently made the news for announcing significant changes to its menu items, such as providing “gooier” cheese and frying onions directly on the grill with its patties. But not everyone is happy. Although most Americans are still loyal to standard beef or chicken burgers, more and more burger fans are opting for vegan options, which only further cement burgers’ popularity in the U.S.
This is good news for burger restaurants, whose revenue is set to total $176.8 billion this year. Burgers are an American classic that people consider a cheap and fast alternative to contemporary casual and fine-dining restaurants. Burgers are so beloved in the U.S. that genuine arguments about their origins are not unheard of. Many claim that burgers originated in Hamburg, Germany, but stateside, Texas, Wisconsin, Connecticut, New York, and even Ohio lay claim to inventing the modern hamburger.
Hamburg may be the best city for hamburgers in the world, but where are the best American burger cities? To find out, we analyzed data from Yelp, Numbeo, Google Trends, the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, and our own study of Americans’ burger opinions.
Our weighted rankings evaluated various criteria, including:
- 5x: Burger restaurants per 100,000 residents
- 3x: Percent of annual income required to buy a daily McDonald’s Value Meal
- 3x: Percent of annual income required to buy a pound of ground beef, daily
- 3x: Average Yelp rating for burger restaurants
- 3x: Average Yelp rating for American-style restaurants
- 3x: Price of typical burger ingredients, such as ground beef, cheese, tomatoes, and onions
- 2x: Online search activity for burger-related terms, such as “burger near me,” “cheeseburger,” and “veggie burger”
- 2x: American-style restaurants per 100,000 residents
🍔 Key Stats: Best Burger Cities
- Richmond, Virginia, is the No. 1 burger city in America. Jump to section👇
- Riverside, California, is the worst city for burgers in the U.S.👇
- Americans think the best burgers are in Los Angeles.👇
- Alternatively, Americans think the worst burgers are in Providence, Rhode Island.👇
- Burger production costs are lowest in Oklahoma City ($12.81), while the highest are in San Francisco ($22.22).👇
- Las Vegas has the most burger joints per 100,000 residents (21.5), while Dallas has the fewest (4.1).👇
- Portland, Oregon, has the highest-rated burgers in the U.S. (4.2 stars out of 5), based on Yelp data.👇
- Residents of Detroit have the most burger passion — a perfect score of 100, according to Google Trends.👇
- Charlotte, North Carolina has the most passion for veggie burgers, according to Google Trends, while Impossible burgers specifically are most popular in San Francisco, and turkey burgers are most popular in Baltimore.👇
The 50 Best Burger Cities, Ranked
The map below shows burger scenes across the U.S. If you can’t make it to Richmond, Virginia, our No. 1 burger city, California has three cities in the top 15 — more than any other state.
|Rank||City||Burger Restaurant Yelp Rating||Burger Passion Score*||Burger Restaurants / 100K Residents||American-Style Restaurants / 100K Residents||American-Style Restaurant Yelp Rating||Burger Ingredients Price**||% of Annual Income: Daily McDonald’s Value Meal||% of Annual Income: Daily Ground Beef|
|4||Oklahoma City, OK||3.9||76.0||14.0||12.7||4.0||$12.81||6.2%||2.8%|
|9||San Jose, CA||4.0||68.5||12.9||10.0||3.8||$17.13||3.5%||2.0%|
|10||Las Vegas, NV||4.1||84.8||21.5||17.5||3.9||$15.01||6.8%||4.2%|
|16||San Francisco, CA||4.1||68.5||5.9||6.0||4.1||$22.22||3.8%||2.6%|
|22||Salt Lake City, UT||3.7||72.0||13.2||10.6||3.9||$14.14||6.0%||3.5%|
|23||Kansas City, MO||3.9||90.3||7.7||7.3||4.0||$14.52||5.7%||3.6%|
|24||San Antonio, TX||4.1||69.5||13.2||7.5||3.6||$13.86||6.6%||3.9%|
|25||San Diego, CA||4.1||70.7||9.1||8.4||4.0||$17.31||6.0%||3.7%|
|27||Los Angeles, CA||4.2||71.9||6.0||3.2||4.0||$16.65||5.2%||3.1%|
|29||New Orleans, LA||3.9||75.4||19.9||17.9||3.9||$18.17||6.3%||4.4%|
|34||New York, NY||4.1||65.8||6.8||6.3||4.1||$21.46||5.3%||3.6%|
|42||St. Louis, MO||3.8||79.5||5.5||5.9||3.9||$15.76||4.5%||3.4%|
|47||Virginia Beach, VA||3.2||89.4||4.3||5.6||3.9||$15.80||6.9%||3.0%|
|*Average score out of 100, based on Google Trends scores.|
**Includes prices for ground beef, cheese, tomatoes, and onions.
The 15 Best Burger Cities
1. Richmond, VA
|🍔 Best for Burgers & Americana|
Part of what makes Richmond the No. 1 burger city is its plethora of American restaurants, which are the best bet for gourmet quality burgers. You’ll find 11.4 burger restaurants per 100,000 residents in Richmond. Burger restaurants are 26.9% more prevalent in Richmond compared to the average city in our study, which has 9.
An important part of a city’s burger scene is its affordability. We looked at the cost of a meal at McDonald’s if eaten every day for a year to measure the average annual cost of a daily burger combo in every city.
In Richmond, a daily meal at McDonald’s is much more affordable than in other cities. It costs only 4.8% of the average resident’s annual income, which is 15% lower than average (5.6%). Moreover, the city has a high burger passion score of 87.2 out of 100, which is 11.4% higher than the average score (78.2).
2. Milwaukee, WI
|💵 Extra Savings, Please|
Production costs do matter, especially for local “mom n’ pop” burger joints. In Milwaukee, a daily pound of ground beef costs only 2.5% of the average resident’s annual income, which is 24.9% lower than average (3.4%). A burger city for the people!
Milwaukee has more to offer than great beer and breweries. It’s also a great city for burger lovers. In Milwaukee, you’ll find 11.7 burger restaurants per 100,000 residents. Burger restaurants are 31% more prevalent in Milwaukee than the average city in our study (9).
The city also has more American-style restaurants on average, which is great news for foodies. Americana pairs extremely well with the pale lagers Milwaukee is known for. Milwaukee has 12.5 American-style restaurants for every 100,000 people, which is 43.3% higher than the average city in the study (8.7).
3. Denver, CO
|🌟 Highly Rated|
The average American-style restaurant in Denver has a Yelp rating of 4.1. That’s a 5% higher Yelp rating than the average score (3.9).
Denver is slightly cheaper for daily burgers than other cities. In Denver, the cost of a daily meal at McDonald’s amounts to 5.2% of the average resident’s yearly income. This is 7% lower than the studied city average (5.6%).
Additionally, Denver has 10.5 burger restaurants per 100,000 residents, making them 17.7% more common in Denver than the average city in our study (9). This is a standout attribute for a city that is also well known for being a haven for stoners, a particularly hungry bunch.
4. Oklahoma City, OK
|🐮 OKC’s Got Beef|
The ingredients for four DIY quarter-pound burgers in Oklahoma City cost $12.81, which is 21.6% less expensive than the average city in the study ($16.33).
Oklahoma City is another city with a lot of burger options from which to choose. There are 14 burger restaurants per 100,000 residents, which is 56.8% higher than the average city in our study (9). Just make sure you pack some napkins.
Similarly, OKC has 12.7 American-style restaurants per 100,000 residents, which is 45.7% more than average (8.7). With these two factors, OKC is a safe bet if you’re not only a huge burger fan but a fan of American cuisine as well.
5. Louisville, KY
|🥩 Even More Savings|
Louisville is great for amateur burger chefs. Residents of Louisville can buy a pound of ground beef daily for a price that amounts to only 3.3% of their average annual income, which is 2.6% less than the average cost in other cities in our study (3.4%).
Louisville is well known for being the birthplace of Kentucky Fried Chicken, but it’s also a fantastic city for burger aficionados.
Louisville has 61.1% more burger restaurants than average with 14.4 burger restaurants per 100,000 residents. The average metro only has 9 burger restaurants per capita.
Similarly, American-style restaurants are 46.5% more prevalent in Louisville, with 12.8 per 100,000 residents, compared to the average city in the study (8.7).
6. Cincinnati, OH
|🍟 Ole McDonald’s Had a Deal|
Ballin’ on a budget? In Cincinnati, a daily meal at McDonald’s costs just 4.9% of the average resident’s annual income — 12.8% less than the average city in our study (5.6%).
Hold on to your taste buds and buckle up because Cincinnati has 9.3 American-style restaurants per 100,000 residents, making them 6.9% more abundant in Cincinnati than in the average city in our study (8.7).
If you’re in the mood to get your hands dirty and cook up some delicious quarter-pound burgers in Cincinnati, it’ll only cost you $14.28 for the ingredients. That’s 12.6% less expensive than in the average city in our study ($16.33).
7. Birmingham, AL
|😎 Big Things Poppin’|
Talk about popular: In our survey of 1,000 Americans, 21.1% of respondents identified Birmingham as one of the best burger cities in America.
Looking for a meaty deal in Birmingham? Look no further. You can sink your teeth into some delicious burgers made with a pound of ground beef every day for just 2.7% of the average annual income, making it 20.9% cheaper than our study’s average city (3.4%).
Not in the mood for cooking? Birmingham has 12.3 burger restaurants per 100,000 residents, which is 37.1% more than the average city in our study (9).
8. Minneapolis, MN
|👩🍳 Top Chef|
Compared to the average cost in our study ($16.33), you can save 6.9% on the ingredients for four DIY quarter-pound burgers in Minneapolis ($15.21).
Get ready to satisfy your taste buds in Minneapolis. When you’re not indulging in the city’s famous Jucy Lucy burgers, a daily meal at McDonald’s costs only 4.9% of the average resident’s annual income. This is 13% cheaper than in other cities we studied (5.6%).
For those who like to grill themselves, purchasing a pound of ground beef daily will only set them back 2.6% of their income, which is a whopping 22.3% less than the average city we surveyed (3.4%). With such affordable options, there’s no excuse not to indulge in delicious meals every day in Minneapolis.
9. San Jose, CA
|🤑 More Money in the Bank|
Housing might be more expensive in San Jose, but burgers aren’t. In San Jose, a daily McDonald’s meal costs only 3.5% of the average resident’s annual income, 37.5% less than the study’s average (5.6%).
Looking for a bastion of burgers? Look no further than San Jose. With 12.9 burger restaurants per 100,000 residents, this city beats the average in our study (9) by 44%.
The American people also confirm San Jose as a key burger destination. About 16% of the 1,000 Americans we surveyed identified San Jose as one of the best places for burgers in America. It earned a top 10 spot in our survey results and in our ranking.
10. Las Vegas, NV
|🔥 Viva Las Burgers|
People in Vegas love their burgers. Las Vegas has an 84.8 average burger passion score out of 100, which is 8.4% higher than the average city in our study (78.2).
Burger lovers hit the jackpot in Las Vegas, which has the most burger restaurants in our study with 21.5 per 100,000 residents. That’s a whopping 140.3% more than the average city in our study (9)!
But that’s not all. Las Vegas also boasts 101.2% more American-style restaurants than the average city.
When it comes to burger quality, the average burger joint in Las Vegas has a Yelp rating of 4.1 stars, which is 5% higher than the average city in our study (3.9).
11. Indianapolis, IN
|💰 All About the McMeals|
In Indianapolis, a daily McDonald’s meal costs 5.1% of the average annual income. It’s 8.6% cheaper than the average city in our study (5.6%).
Indianapolis is one of the most affordable cities in our study, based on our cost-related metrics. Indianapolis residents really know how to get more bang for their buck when it comes to burgers. Purchasing a daily pound of ground beef in Indy costs only 2.9% of the average resident’s annual income, which is 12.8% less than the average among cities in our study (3.4%).
If you’re feeling DIY, the ingredients for four quarter-pound burgers will only set you back $14.65 in Indianapolis, making them 10.3% less expensive than the average city in our study ($16.33).
12. Columbus, OH
|🚶 Block After Block|
Columbus is another great city with a myriad of options for burgers. Burger restaurants are 13.9% more common in Columbus (10.2) than in the average city (9).
With 11.2 American-style restaurants per 100,000 residents, you’ll have no shortage of options to indulge in some classic comfort food in Columbus. Columbus boasts 28.2% more American-style restaurants compared to other cities in our study (8.7).
If you’re in the mood to make your own burgers, you’re in luck. The ingredients for four DIY quarter-pound burgers in Columbus will only set you back $15.44. That’s 5.5% less expensive than the $16.33 you’d pay in the average city, so why not fire up the grill and get cooking?
13. Portland, OR
|🏆 Rising to the Top|
It’s tough to please the average burger eater in the U.S., but Portland manages to edge the competition. The average burger restaurant in Portland has a Yelp rating of 4.22 stars – the highest in our study!
Portland’s American-style restaurants are also highly rated, with a Yelp rating of 4.1 on average — 5% higher than the average score in our study (3.9).
With 12.3 burger restaurants per 100,000 residents, burger joints are 37.1% more prevalent in Portland than the average city in our study (9). If that’s not enough, Portland also boasts 14.7 American-style restaurants per 100,000 residents, making them 68.2% more prevalent than in the average city (8.7).
14. Austin, TX
|🤠 A Stable of Burger Joints|
It’s no secret that Texans love beef and by extension, burgers. Austin is proof of that with its high number of burger joints per capita. With 12.5 burger restaurants per 100,000 residents, Austin has 39.2% more burger restaurants per capita than the average city in our study (9).
Looking for great American-style food in Austin? Yelp reviewers give the average American-style restaurant 4 stars, just higher than the 3.9 in the average city.
And according to our survey of 1,000 Americans, 7.2% named Austin as one of the best burger cities in America.
If you want to save money, the average cost of ingredients to make four DIY quarter-pound burgers in Austin is $15.09, which is 7.6% less expensive than in the average city in our study ($16.33).
15. Nashville, TN
|🎶 Music to Your Buns|
Folks in Nashville have high standards for music and burgers to boot. That’s why Nashville’s average Yelp score for burger restaurants is so impressive. The average burger joint has a Yelp rating of 4 stars compared to 3.9 in the average city.
Nashville is a haven for burgers and American-style food lovers. With 10.3 burger restaurants and 12.5 American-style restaurants per 100,000 residents, it’s hard not to indulge.
There are 15.1% more burger spots in Nashville than the average city (9) and a whopping 43.4% more American-style restaurants than the average city (8.7). Don’t miss out on the delicious options and unique flavors Nashville has to offer.
Americans’ Favorite Burger Cities
We asked 1,000 Americans to share their top five burger scenes around the country. Get ready to sink your teeth into our list of America’s top 10 and bottom 10 burger cities. Whether you’re a burger aficionado or a casual fan, this ranking is sure to satisfy your appetite for juicy insights.
- Los Angeles, CA: 43.6%
- San Diego, CA: 33.2%
- Sacramento, CA: 29%
- Phoenix, AZ: 26%
- San Francisco, CA: 23.5%
- Birmingham, AL: 21.1%
- San Jose, CA: 16%
- Chicago, IL: 15%
- Miami, FL: 14.2%
- New York, NY: 14.1%
- Providence, RI: 1.8%
- Columbus, OH: 2.7%
- Cincinnati, OH: 3%
- Portland, OR: 3.2%
- Pittsburgh, PA: 3.2%
- Oklahoma City, OK: 3.3%
- Cleveland, OH: 3.7%
- Salt Lake City, UT: 4.1%
- Milwaukee, WI: 4.2%
- Raleigh, NC: 4.3%
Providence appears the least often in Americans’ top five burger scenes. Something fishy is going on in Providence. The city has an affinity for Whoppers and Big Macs, with those burgers earning Google interest scores of 42 and 37 out of 100, respectively, compared to the national averages of 37.5 and 34.1. It’s clear that this city prefers national chains to local haunts that may be superior in taste.