There's nothing humble about the hamburger in the Twin Cities. Our Midwestern pride comes out with this seemingly simple dish, crafting innovative variations while never missing the essential equation: patty + bun + toppings = tasty glory.
Finding the top 10 in the Twin Cities took careful consideration to materials used--burger patty, bun, and toppings--and then how they were prepared. For such a staple dish, the burger is easy to ruin.
And there are intangibles. One of the pleasures of going out to eat is the location. The restaurants below range from some of the classiest in town to classic neighborhood bars where the meals are served wrapped in paper, without any plates at all. Both extremes work perfectly for our towns' best burgers.
|The classic Vincent Burger, available at the restaurant or at Target Field.|
10. Vincent Restaurant
How big is the Vincent Burger, the classy downtown restaurant's version of the Jucy Lucy? During the baseball season, you can chow down on one at Target Field, amid all the other ballpark delicacies. All burgers start with the meat, and chef and owner Vincent Francoual has that covered, using a mix of traditional ground beef and braised short ribs. Then, in place of American cheese, the interior is stuffed with smoked Gouda, making a dish that even the most committed Francophobe will love. If you stop by the restaurant during happy hour, the lounge offers a specially priced version of the burger that lets you experience the singular item without paying as much for a full meal at many restaurants.
1100 Nicolett Mall, Minneapolis.
|Photo by Tony Nelson|
|The Jucy Lucy is worth a lunchtime rush wait.|
9. Matt's Bar
Oh, the Jucy Lucy. Love it or be confounded by it, there's no doubt this creation is as Minnesotan as Mary Tyler Moore and talking endlessly about the weather. Matt's Bar is one of the places to claim the creation of the dish (and the originator of the unusual spelling. So what is it? Take a pair of hamburger patties, smash them around a hunk of cheese, and cook until the insides are molten. Let it cool a bit, and you have a dish in which the cheese and meat flavors merge into a greasy-spoon masterpiece. Matt's Bar brings the ambience as well, and you'll feel like you've walked right into a joint from the past, right down to the menu board with the various dishes, with--of course--the Jucy Lucy at the top in a place of pride.
3500 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis.
|Burgers are only one of the Bulldog Northeast's delights.|
8. The Bulldog Northeast
For the past five years, this eatery has been racking up accolades from not just the local press and customers, but from publications across the country. It seems that everyone is in love with its extensive offerings and friendly atmosphere, where good old-fashioned trimmings (sports on TV) are merged with fresh takes on old favorites like hot dogs or unexpected delights, like a steak tartare on the appetizer menu. The half-pound patties start with domestic Kobe beef that is ground in-house daily. From there, you can go with the basic or jump to one of the special offerings, like the truffle, the Good Morning (ham, eggs, and American cheese on an English muffin) or the Ninja (fresh jalapenos with pepper jack cheese, I think you can see where the name comes from). Burgers are served with fries, or for an additional charge, you can move up to the Bulldog's famous, perfectly deep-fried tater tots
401 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis.