According to USA Today, Americans consume nearly 50 billion burgers every single year. As a nation, we basically bleed ketchup. A hot, juicy hamburger is as patriotic as baseball or fireworks on the 4th of July. Cities across the fifty states all have at least one hometown burger stand that they tout as a must-try for locals and tourists alike. But, we now have definitive proof as to what city is truly the best for those who crave burger excellence.
Homebay recently released an exhaustive study that determined Richmond, Virginia is the burger capital of America. Using criteria like “total burger restaurants per 100,000 residents”, “average Yelp rating for burger restaurants,” and “online search activity for
burger-related terms”, the study ranked Richmond ahead of Milwaukee and Denver in the top three.
Does your city crack the top ten? Here’s the list of America’s Best Cities for Burger Lovers.
1. Richmond, VA
While Richmond has long been known for its reputation as a great city for history buffs, it can now add being a hot spot for burger lovers to its list of accolades.
Richmond sits at the head of the table due largely to its 11.9 burger spots per 100,000 residents, nearly 27% more than the average city in the study. Hotspots like Beauvine Burger Concept and Boulevard Burger & Brew are in the Premier League of local restaurants and are a must-try if you’re in town.
2. Milwaukee, WI
Wisconsinites are no strangers to claiming bragging rights when it comes to food and drink. They’re typically known for their long-standing relationship with beer and cheese. Now they can complete the trifecta by adding burgers to that list. The mouth-watering burgers found in Milwaukee stand out as some of the best in the country.
Wisconsin is home to the Midwestern burger chain Culver’s, which is like a cold-weather version of In-N-Out without the hype. It’s also a favorite of chef and TV personality Andrew Zimmern. Don’t want a burger chain? Try the retro Nite Owl Drive-In.
3. Denver, CO
Colorado as a state ranks 12th nationally in burgers eaten per year, so it’s no surprise that folks in the capital city have a lot to say about where the best spots are. Denver burger restaurants average a 4.1 rating on Yelp, higher than the national average. To be fair, you may want to take these reviews with a gram of salt because people who live in Denver tend to be a bit happier than other places.
4. Oklahoma City, OK
It’s no surprise Oklahoma City (OKC) finds itself in the number four spot with its plethora of burger joints, affordable prices, and its claim to fame as the home of the humble yet delicious onion burger. Born during the Great Depression, the onion burger is a simple delicacy that consists of just three ingredients: sizzling onions, a juicy beef patty, and a perfectly toasted bun.
If a classic burger is more your style, fear not; with 56.8% more burger options to choose from than in other cities in the study, it’s safe to say there’s something in OKC for everyone.
5. Louisville, KY
While the Colonel indeed has his own biases about Louisville being the best place on earth for fried chicken, there’s also a solid case to be made for this southern state’s burger scene. Louisville staple, Kaelin’s Restaurant, claims to be the “birthplace of the cheeseburger.” It has been serving up this delicious classic since 1934.
It turns out Louisvillians must really love their cheeseburgers because they Google the term “cheeseburger” more than any other city on the list, save for Detroit.
6. Cincinnati, OH
Culinary conversations about Cincinnati tend to focus on the local chili concoction that
they pour over spaghetti noodles and hotdogs. But the lesser-known burger scene deserves some notoriety too.
The study found that burgers were generally more affordable in the Queen City. That’s not
to say that they sacrifice taste for price, either. Take Zip’s Cafe, for instance, which has been a must-try hole-in-the-wall burger staple for nearly 100 years. You don’t stay in business that long if your burgers aren’t tasty.
7. Birmingham, AL
If bargain burgers are what you crave, Birmingham is your spot. Locals can enjoy a burger made with a pound of ground beef for 20.9% cheaper than the average city in the study.
Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint stands out by offering a burger special every day, including options like Thursday’s “When in Roam” burger covered with chipotle pimento cheese, American cheese, sweet jalapeno bacon jam, and crispy fried onions. Another favorite is the “Greg Brady” – a burger loaded with house-made mac N’ cheese, American cheese, and Martin’s BBQ potato chips.
8. Minneapolis, MN
Minneapolis is the birthplace of the famous “Jucy Lucy,” a classic beef patty stuffed with cheese that becomes oozy goodness once grilled. You can find iterations of this iconic dish all around town, including at The 5-8 Club or Matt’s Bar.
For those who like to grill out on their own, purchasing a pound of ground beef daily will only set you back 2.6% of their income, which is 22.3% less than the average city surveyed. These affordable prices allow locals to buy in bulk and store some in the fridge for their next cookout.
Whether you check out a new burger joint or grill one at home, there’s no excuse not to indulge in delicious meals every day in Minneapolis.
9. San Jose, CA
Besides being home to some of the world’s most innovative companies, this East Bay city is also ground zero for some creative burgers. At Sliders Burgers, patrons can choose between classic or wagyu beef, bison, salmon, lamb, elk, wild boar, and even several vegan and vegetarian options.
California is one of the healthiest states in the country, so it makes sense that, according to the study, San Jose residents searched the terms “veggie burger” and “impossible burger” more than the majority of other cities.
10. Las Vegas, NV
Burger lovers have hit the jackpot in Las Vegas. With an influx of people moving in alongside an estimated 38.8 million visitors each year, Vegas needs to keep up with the American demand for burgers. It features more burger restaurants than any other city, with 21.5 restaurants per 100,000 residents. That represents a staggering 140.3% more than the typical city in the survey.
There are plenty of signature burgers to sample all over town, like the iconic Hangover Burger at Bar Code Burgers, which features a mouth-watering over-easy egg, crispy onions, tomato, bacon, American cheese, and special Code Sauce.