Green Chile Cheeseburger
KoriKobayashi/istockphoto

Juicy Lucys, Sloppers, and Other Regional Burgers Worth Traveling For

View Slideshow
Green Chile Cheeseburger
KoriKobayashi/istockphoto

Regional Burgers Worth a Trip

Hamburgers are an American staple. They're everywhere, and the assortment of regional burgers is just as diverse as the country. It's possible you'll find pimento cheeseburgers in Seattle, or a butter burger in Texas, but there are regions of the country where one style is embraced above all others. When you want to explore America's burger culture, here are some of the most memorable spots to visit.


Related: Best Hole-in-the-Wall Burger Joint in Every State

Jucy Lucy
Brandon J./Yelp

Jucy Lucy

Region: Twin Cities, Minnesota

Where to get it: Matt's Bar


If an oozy, gooey burger sounds great to you, get your mouth on a Jucy Lucy. The cheese is stuffed inside, and biting into it releases a river of the molten stuff — making it smart to let a burger cool for a minute or two first. Two bars claim to be the originator, including endearingly divey Matt's, where all they do is American-stuffed lucys and spell it "jucy." The other claim hails from the 5-8 Club, roughly four miles down the road.


Related: Legendary Restaurant Rivalries Across America


Slopper
Albert P./Yelp

Slopper

Region: Pueblo, Colorado

Where to get it: Gray's Coors Tavern


The Pueblo slopper is the only burger that needs to be served in a bowl. Ladles of green chili, the Colorado specialty made from green chiles that acts as a sauce and a stew, cover a whole cheeseburger, bun and all. Raw diced onions are scattered on top with a handful of french fries, if you'd like to mash up chili fries and your burger (you do). The whole thing is as messy as it sounds — this is knife and spoon territory.

Borroum's Drug Store Slugburger
Caitlin C./Yelp

Slugburger

Region: Mississippi

Where to get it: Borroum's Drug Store


The origins of the slugburger remain a mystery, but what is clear is that it was created during lean times. The small patties in slugburgers are made from beef that's stretched with inexpensive filler of some kind, including potato flakes, flour (leading to one of its names, doughburger), soy grits, or even pork. It's fried so the outside of the patty is crispy, then topped with simple additions such as mustard, onions, and pickles. The name probably comes from its price at one point: a nickel, otherwise known as a slug.


Related: Things We Can Learn From the Great Depression

Green Chile Cheeseburger
©TripAdvisor

Green Chile Cheeseburger

Region: New Mexico

Where to get it: Santa Fe Bite


New Mexicans are obsessed with their green chiles and put them on everything, including cheeseburgers. The mildly hot peppers are roasted and skinned before being chopped and thrown on burgers at practically every restaurant in the state. The combination of rich beef, creamy melted cheese, and sweet-but-hot roasted green chiles is a pure and perfect culinary mix. Santa Fe Bite says it goes through 4,000 pounds of roasted green chiles from the village of Hatch every year.


Related: Beloved Local Eats That Can Be Shipped to Your Doorstep

Frita Cubana
@TripAdvisor

Frita Cubana

Region: Miami

Where to get it: El Mago de las Fritas


Most people know about the Cubano sandwich with pork and pickles, but Miami also has a signature Cuban burger: the frita Cubana. It's got a patty that's highly seasoned with chorizo spices or made with a beef and chorizo mix, plus grilled onions and a crown of matchstick-thin crispy fried potato sticks on a Cuban bread roll. Cheese, ketchup or special sauce, and fried eggs are typical add-ons, but the standard remains as it was on Cuban streets in the early 20th century before making the jump to Miami in the '60s.


Related: Amazing Sandwiches From Around the World

Oklahoma Onion Burger
Cyndi G./Yelp

Oklahoma Onion Burger

Region: Western Oklahoma

Where to get it: Robert's Grill


Born out of the Great Depression, the onion burger is made up of more onion than beef. Onions were cheap, and beef was not, so the owner of the now-closed Hamburger Inn, Ross Davis, smashed handfuls of shaved onions into the burger patty. They meld with the meat and char on the edges, sticking out of a bun like an octopus. El Reno, where they were created, is still the best place to get them, though their popularity has spread.

San Antonio Bean Burger
@TripAdvisor

Bean Burger

Region: San Antonio

Where to get it: Chris Madrids


It's no surprise that a San Antonio favorite burger is a Tex-Mex creation. The bean burger tops a beef patty with refried beans, onions, Fritos or crushed tortilla chips, and Cheez Whiz — something that was new and novel back when the burger was invented in the 1950s. The most popular version is at Chris Madrids, where it's called the tostada burger and comes with a thick layer of melted cheddar in place of the Whiz.


Related: Easy, Tasty Recipes That Celebrate Beans

Butter Burger
@TripAdvisor

Butter Burger

Region: Wisconsin

Where to get it: Solly's Grille


Popularized around the country by Culver's, the butter burger is a Wisconsin invention. It involves adding butter to a burger in some way, from cooking the beef in butter to buttering the toasted bun. At Solly's just outside of Milwaukee, the butter is smeared on the bun after cooking in truly massive amounts, and bastes the beef as it melts. It forms a golden pool around the burger on your plate if you don't eat it fast enough. If that's a little much, you can order it with light butter.


Related: 55 Foods Worth Traveling For

Fluff Burger
@TripAdvisor

Fluff Screamer

Region: Eastern Pennsylvania

Where to get it: Tony's Lunch


The tiny town of Girardville is home to one of the most bizarre burgers on the list. The fluff screamer is what happens when a teenage girl requests marshmallow fluff on her chili burger and the restaurant owner's teenage niece relents and makes it. That happened in the 1970s at Tony's Lunch, and the weird combination of spicy chili sauce, onions, butter, and fluff was good enough that it's become a legend worthy of a pilgrimage. Cheese and a side of chocolate milk are optional.


Related: The Most Outrageous Burgers You Can Order

Deep Fried Burger - Dyer's
@TripAdvisor

Deep Fried Burger

Region: Memphis, Tennessee

Where to get it: Dyer's


We're not talking about deep frying the whole sandwich, bun and all. But the beef patties at Dyer's are cooked by deep frying them — in grease that's more than a century old. The beef is smashed thin on the counter, then placed in the skillet of hot fat to cook. If you order a cheeseburger, the cheese is placed on the cooked patty and dunked quickly to melt. When the restaurant was founded in 1912, cooks kept the burger cooking grease and have used it ever since, filtering it every night and adding fresh oil as necessary.

Squeeze Burger
@TripAdvisor

Squeezeburger

Region: Northern California

Where to get it: Squeeze Inn


Cheese lovers, take note. The squeezeburger is known for its cheese skirt, a ring of crispy, caramelized cheese that sticks out from the burger like the rings of Saturn. It's made by piling shredded cheddar over and around the burger patty on the griddle, then letting it cook until it's a cheese cracker. Since you can't just go in and bite it like a typical burger, there are many ways to attack the cheese skirt, including folding it up onto the patty or tearing it off and eating it like chips.


Related: The Funkiest Cheeses in the World

Steamed Cheeseburger
@TripAdvisor

Steamed Cheeseburger

Region: Central Connecticut

Where to get it: Ted's Restaurant


Most burgers are grilled or griddled; cheeseburgers from the central Connecticut region can be cooked in a special steamer. That means they don't get any browning or crust, but they do stay incredibly juicy and moist in their individual metal containers. If you want cheese on a burger, a hunk of white cheddar is steamed in its own little bowl to melt, then poured over the top like a fondue.

Sliders - White Manna, NJ
@TripAdvisor

Sliders

Region: New Jersey

Where to get it: White Manna


The term “slider” has come to mean any small sandwich, but it actually refers to a type of tiny burger that has a strong foothold in New Jersey. They're made by pressing small balls of beef onto a griddle, then topping them with onions. When the burger is flipped, the onions cook and the buns are placed on top to steam while the beef finishes cooking. White Manna has been serving up one of the best versions in a tiny building since 1946.


Related: 31 Things You Didn’t Know About White Castle

Luther Burger
©TripAdvisor

Luther Burger

Region: Georgia

Where to get it: Cypress Street Pint & Plate


According to legend, Luther Vandross created the first luther burger. That's as unlikely as it sounds. What probably happened was that a restaurant ran out of hamburger buns and a resourceful cook grabbed the doughnuts instead. The outlandish but simple creation eventually appeared on “The Tonight Show” in 2005, and soon it was the crazy new thing to try at state fairs everywhere. 


Related: The Most Outrageous Foods at State Fairs Across America

Jersey Burger
@TripAdvisor

Jersey Burger

Region: New Jersey

Where to get it: White Rose Diner


Not only do New Jerseyans go crazy for sliders, they gobble up Jersey burgers too. These are made with Taylor Ham, also known as pork roll, a processed meat product made in the state since 1856. Someone griddled up some slices of the ridiculously popular breakfast product, slapped it on a burger, and voila, created a burger so irresistible to locals that you can find it on diner menus all over.


Related: The Best Breakfast Burger In Every State

Carolina Burger
©TripAdvisor

Carolina Burger

Region: The Carolinas

Where to get it: Diamond Restaurant


All over the Carolinas you'll find a barbecue-influenced topping style for hot dogs and burgers. It may not always be called Carolina style on menus, but it's ubiquitous, and comes with chili, onions, coleslaw, and a Carolina-style mustard sauce. Some spots use straight mustard, some give you the slaw on the side, but they're all a delicious combination of hot and spicy, cool and crunchy, and tangy. 


Loose Meat Sandwich
@TripAdvisor

Loose Meat Sandwich

Region: Iowa

Where to get it: Maid-Rite


Iowans love their beef as well as pork tenderloin, and preferably in the form of loose meat sandwiches. Think of them as a sloppy joe without the sauce. Ground beef is cooked with seasoning and piled on a hamburger bun with mustard, pickles, and onions. If you think that sounds difficult to eat, you're correct — many places serve them with a spoon so you can get everything that falls out.


Related: Local Burger Chains the Rest of the Country Needs

Pimento Cheeseburger
©TripAdvisor

Pimento Cheeseburger

Region: Deep South

Where to get it: Rockaway Athletic Club


It's hard to pin down the history of a burger that's as ubiquitous as the pimento cheeseburger, but many sources say it's been served at various restaurants in Columbia, South Carolina, since the 1950s. It's a simple thing — just a burger topped with pimento cheese, the Southern spread made with sharp cheddar, some roasted red peppers (pimentos), and just enough mayonnaise to hold it all together — but when it melts atop a burger, it's a gooey, creamy, and tangy topping, and especially tasty when combined with a slice of fried green tomato.


Related: Old-School Appetizers That Are Classics for a Reason