Burgers are one of America's favorite comfort foods, even outranking hot dogs for some people. From California to Connecticut, local eateries serve up versions both classic and inventive for prices in the same neighborhood as a Whopper or Big Mac. We looked into the nooks and crannies of the country to find inexpensive, crave-worthy burgers in every state.
ALABAMA: HAMBURGER HEAVEN
Known for burgers for over 30 years, Hamburger Heaven has kept prices low. The daily special is a cheeseburger with pickles, onions, Hamburger Heaven sauce, and mayo for $3.49. Each of the five locations in Birmingham is locally owned and operated.
ALASKA: BURGER QUEEN
The hamburger runs $7.50, but this roadside stand is famous for its oversize portions. It also boasts free delivery, for when you want the burger to come to you.
ARIZONA: LENNY'S BURGER SHOP
City: Phoenix and vicinity
At $3.99 for a hamburger, this burger shop with five outposts in the Phoenix area is a staple for local burger lovers. At Lenny’s Burger Shop, everything on the menu is fresh and never frozen, and the '50s-style decor attracts nostalgia buffs.
ARKANSAS: BUBBALU’S BODACIOUS BURGERS & CLASSY DOGS
City: Hot Springs
Who wouldn’t be enticed by a restaurant offering “bodacious burgers”? But the affordable prices are just as alluring. Hefty one-third pound burgers go for $5.25 at BubbaLu’s, while the Doublelicious Burger is only $8.25. Not surprisingly, lines form fast at the ’50s-style diner, but it’s a restaurant that’s worth the wait.
CALIFORNIA: OLYMPIAN BURGERS
Olympian Burgers sells burgers for as little as $3.65, as well as inexpensive stuffed breakfast burritos and omelets. The restaurant also takes pride in its special recipes for salsa, Thousand Island dressing, and onion rings.
This little burger hut is popular among university students looking for cheap and tasty comfort food. Snarfburger’s small $4.25 burgers come fully loaded with cheese and sauces, including mayo and hot sauce. Sauerkraut, A1, relish, and Thousand Island dressing are also available.
CONNECTICUT: MERRITT CANTEEN
Featured on Food Network and in business since 1942, Merritt Canteen specializes in burgers. Small burgers start at $2.25, and third-pounders go for $3.50. In addition to extra toppings such as fried peppers and chili cheese, turkey, bison, and veggie patties are available.
DELAWARE: THE DOG HOUSE
This bare-bones greasy spoon boasts $3.55 hamburgers and $3.75 cheeseburgers. It's not fancy, but it is dependable American comfort food. Bring cash, because credit cards are not accepted at the Dog House.
FLORIDA: THE BURGER PLACE
The Burger Placeis a no-frills, patty-flipping outpost that serves all its burgers on homemade buns. While it may not be a tourist attraction, it is a beloved spot for locals to enjoy burgers starting at $4.60 for a quarter-pound patty.
GEORGIA: GRIND HOUSE
Specializing in Southern hospitality and house-ground burgers, Grind House has junior burgers for $4.99, with cheese, grilled onions, and sauteed mushrooms available for 50 cents each. The Grind House empire now includes four outposts.
HAWAII: W&M BAR-B-Q BURGER
This bare-bones spot in Honolulu is a local go-to for inexpensive, fast-food-style burgers that are purported to be a step above the big chains. Tourists in the know can pop in at W&M to try a hamburger for $4.
IDAHO: FRANKIE'S BURGERS
City: Mountain Home
Frankie's is a straightforward joint offering a burger for $5.95, including fries. The menu has many of the usual suspects for toppings, including pickles, tomatoes, and onions. Almost everything is under $10.
ILLINOIS: BIG & LITTLE'S
Forget ketchup and mustard -- at Big & Little's, try spicy Thai sauce, Samurai sauce, chili aoli, or sweet and spicy chili sauce. A classic burger, which costs $5.50, can still come with the usual condiments if preferred.
INDIANA: HINKLE'S SANDWICH SHOP
It's almost hard to believe the prices are so low at this sandwich shop, which opened in 1933. Hinkle's offers burgers for $1.60 and cheeseburgers for 10 cents more, although lettuce and tomato are an additional 39 cents each.
IOWA: JIM'S CONEY ISLAND
City: Des Moines
Family-owned for 40 years, this burger joint pays homage to New York's Coney Island. The restaurant offers plain hamburgers for $2.65 and "Coney style" burgers with chili for $2.95.
KANSAS: BROADWAY BURGERS & BBQ
Broadway Burgers & BBQ sells basic hamburgers for $3.09, and a burger combo with fries and a drink is $5.29. The family establishment always serves up friendly hospitality on the side.
KENTUCKY: HOME RUN BURGER
This humble Louisville spot is beloved by locals and people passing through for honest food at cheap prices. At Home Run Burger, the basic burger goes for $4.39, and a bacon cheeseburger is less than $6. The original has won a number of "Best Burger" awards over the years.
LOUISIANA: JUDICE INN
The Judice Inn is a local institution that has been around since 1947, when the owners built the original building themselves with the help of friends and family. Hamburgers have the distinction of a "secret sauce" made daily on the premises and run $3.60 -- including sales tax.
MAINE: BURGER BOY
Burger Boy is a seasonal fast-casual place with the look of an old-fashioned drive-in burger stop. The burgers start at $2.35 and can be upgraded to include fries and slaw for $5.05.
MARYLAND: SUNSHINE GENERAL STORE
The small Sunshine General Store is an unassuming culinary hotspot, charging $5.95 for a half-pound burger and $6.40 for a cheeseburger. Go early, as lines often start forming by 11 a.m.
MASSACHUSETTS: THE FILL-A-BUSTER
Insiders know this Boston cafe offers great value, with a burger and fries for only $4.95. Serving the neighborhood for more than 35 years, the Fill-A-Buster has a loyal following.
MICHIGAN: LAURA'S LITTLE BURGER JOINT
A Decatur staple, this seasonal, no-frills walk-up shop sells burgers starting at $4.95. Typical add-ons such as bacon and cheese are available at Laura’s, with a focus on consistency over creativity.
MINNESOTA: MATT'S BAR
This Twin Cities landmark has a $7.50 Jucy Lucy, but budget seekers can get a burger for $3.95 and a cheeseburger for $4.50. Be prepared to wait, as Matt’s has many devoted followers.
MISSISSIPPI: STAMPS SUPERBURGER
This greasy spoon is a bare-bones place serving burgers for $5.95 and cheeseburgers for $6.45. The small sign and plain décor inside and out might not catch the eye, but Stamps Superburger is worth a visit for great, cheap burgers.
MISSOURI: BOOCHES BILLIARD HALL
This college-town pool hall serves a legendary burger that has been named to a national top 10 list. Served unceremoniously on wax paper and starting at $3.50, it's a deliciously unpretentious bargain.
MONTANA: NAP’S GRILL
Located in the tiny town of Hamilton (pop. 4,674) at the far western edge of the state, Nap’s earns high praise for the quality and the size of their burgers. Diners can enjoy 3-ounce, 6-ounce, and 12-ounce burgers for $3.25, $5.75, and $8.75, respectively. Sliders are $7.50, and there’s a Belly Buster for $17.
NEBRASKA: LOUIE M'S BURGER LUST
Louie M's is an Omaha favorite for American classics. Score a half-pound hamburger or cheeseburger for less than $6 every day for lunch. Other options under $7 include a taco burger and a Cajun burger.
NEVADA: TASTY GRILL
"Home made" burgers start at $6.99 at this Las Vegas eatery. Tasty Grill gets rave reviews from diners, who praise the location for cleanliness, service, and food quality.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: LEXIE'S JOINT
City: Portsmouth and three other cities
This upbeat restaurant with a "Peace, love, and burgers" motto now has four locations across New Hampshire. The menu features $5.75 burgers such as the Blue Angel, which comes with blue cheese, barbecue sauce, onions, and bacon.
NEW JERSEY: WHITE MANNA HAMBURGERS
This burger joint in Hackensack (not to be confused with White Mana in Jersey City) sells hamburgers for $1.05 and cheeseburgers for $1.25 and is the stuff of myth and legend in New Jersey. With an almost cultish following, White Manna is generally packed for dine-in and takeout orders at all hours.
NEW MEXICO: SPARKY'S BURGERS
There's no better place to try a green chile cheeseburger ($10.49 -- but includes one side order and a drink) than at Sparky's Burgers in Hatch, the town that provides the namesake to the famed New Mexican chile. The colorful art-deco restaurant has also become a major roadside destination for its exceptional wood-fired barbecue dishes, as well as weekly live music events.
NEW YORK: THE STARLIGHT
Half old-school diner and half hipster joint, the Starlight offers the Tom, a $6 burger. The American-cheese-topped patty on a soft bun is a throwback to classic diner fare, in an atmosphere to match.
NORTH CAROLINA: ONLY BURGER
This food truck-turned-restaurant (with two locations, no less) specializes in all types of burgers, from beef to vegan and even lamb. At Only Burger, a classic hamburger with traditional toppings costs $4.99. Smaller sliders are also on the menu for $2.59. Fried green tomato and pimento cheese sliders are also available.
NORTH DAKOTA: SICKIES GARAGE BURGERS & BREWS
City:Fargo and two other cities
With three locations in North Dakota, this roadside stand with a biker vibe offers a Garage cheeseburger for $6.99 and Supercharged burgers starting at $7.99. At Sickies, you can choose from a Jameson burger (made with Jameson whisky barbecue sauce), a pizza burger and more.
OHIO: THE HAMBURGER INN DINER
Burgers at this humble restaurant go for as little as $4.25. Double and triple versions are available for more per patty. A classic luncheonette-style diner, the Hamburger Inn has been owned by the same family since 1932 and is also the home of the Monster Hangover Burger.
OKLAHOMA: TUCKER'S ONION BURGERS
This burger joint pays homage to the 1920s tradition of including onion in the patty to stretch the beef. These days there's no shortage of high-quality beef, but the onion remains in the recipe. At Tucker's Onion Burgers’ three Oklahoma City locations, a basic burger starts at $5.49, which includes a long list of free toppings.
OREGON: LITTLE BIG BURGER
With eight locations around Portland, Little Big Burger features local and natural products. It offers $4.25 beef and veggie burgers, and the $2.95 truffle fries are also a bargain.
PENNSYLVANIA: CONEY ISLAND OF SCRANTON
This New York-themed restaurant has been continuously operating in the same location since 1923, and although the prices likely have gone up since then, they haven't gone up much. A Texas hamburger at Coney Island of Scranton costs $3.25, and a cheeseburger sets diners back $3.50. There's also a location in Dickson City.
RHODE ISLAND: HARRY'S BAR & BURGER
With two locations in Providence, Harry's Bar & Burger is popular with university students for its $3.99 mini-burgers, which come two per order. Harry's features local beef in its patties and is committed to making this classic food from quality ingredients. Harry’s also has locations in Lincoln and Newport.
SOUTH CAROLINA: STEVE'S CLASSIC BURGERS
Steve's Classic Burgers is a faith-based food ministry and restaurant that offers daily low prices across its menu, with junior burgers starting at $3.99. Burgers are marinated overnight to ensure a juicy and flavorful patty.
SOUTH DAKOTA: LEWIE'S SALOON & EATERY
Lewie's slings half-pound burgers for $5.50 every day. The restaurant cultivates a fun, community vibe with trivia nights and free Wi-Fi. Not far from Sturgis, bikers are welcome!
TENNESSEE: TONY B'S FRESH HAMBURGERS & FRIES
Open since 2010, Tony B's has become a local staple for grilled burgers and fresh-cut fries. Starting at $5.85, the burgers come with the basics (tomato, lettuce, onion, pickle, mayo, and mustard). Be warned: Tony B's is closed on weekends.
TEXAS: HUT'S HAMBURGERS
Located in the foodie city of Austin, Hut's Hamburgers proudly offers burgers made from grass-fed, humanely raised Texas beef, starting at $6.25. It also offers vegan, buffalo, and chicken patties, with a variety of topping options. Even gluten-free buns are available at an additional charge.
UTAH: CALIFORNIA BURGERS & DELI
City:Salt Lake City
This humble eatery is known for inexpensive burgers. At California Burgers & Deli, prices start at $3.50 for a hamburger, $4 for a cheeseburger, and 50 cents extra for the usual add-ons, like hot peppers and mushrooms.
VIRGINIA: CARYTOWN BURGER & FRIES
Located in a 19th century house, this quirky burger joint offers one-third pound hamburgers for $5.99 and cheeseburgers for $6.49. With three locations, Carytown Burger & Fries takes pride in using fresh meat, never frozen.
WASHINGTON: FREDDY JUNIOR'S
A late-night haunt known for cheap mini-burgers, Freddy Junior's offers a variety of specialty burgers that start at $2.50. The offerings range from grilled pineapple and jalapeños to blue cheese and fried onions. Almost everything on the menu is less than $5.
WEST VIRGINIA: CROCKETT'S LODGE
With prices starting at $7.95, this pub serves up classic burgers with a few twists, like a mac 'n' cheese burger. In addition to good burger prices, Crockett's Lodge offers a full bar with equally low drink prices.
WISCONSIN: MARY'S PLACE
This Wisconsin Dells outpost is beloved for straightforward sausage sandwiches and hot dogs but also serves up burgers. A basic hamburger starts at $3.95 and a cheeseburger is $4.25. At Mary's Place, the menu is simple, the atmosphere is homey, and the prices can't be beat.
WYOMING: BROADWAY BURGER STATION
This longtime favorite offers a homemade alternative to fast food chains. Broadway Burger Station’s basic burger is a "juicy patty on a warm bun" for $5.99. Add-ons and specialty burgers include toppings such as cheese, pastrami, and bacon.