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From Classic to Creative: Around the U.S. in 10 Burgers

Several burgers sitting in front of the American flag.

If you love burgers and are looking to start a bucket list, we’ve done it for you! From West Coast to East, it’s time to feast your eyes on 10 of the most popular American burgers.

On our trip around the country, we’ll highlight the favorites of each locale, and a few places you can check out while you’re there.

Connecticut: Steamed Cheeseburger

Many claim the “cheeseburger sandwich” was invented in the tiny state of Connecticut, which is where we’ll start our adventure. In the town of Meriden (just south of Hartford), you’ll have an opportunity to check out a small lunch counter called Ted’s Restaurant.

Since 1959, Ted’s has been serving unique steamed burgers, for which each patty is handcrafted and placed in a unique steaming cabinet. The meat cooks in its own compartment, and then steamed, gooey cheese is placed on top for an extra special bite.

Sound strange? Don’t judge this burger until you’ve tried it yourself; many claim it’s the best around.

California: California Burger

A turkey burger topped with thick slices of avocado.
Josie Grant/Shutterstock

Avocado often comes to mind when thinking of the sunny state of California. And that only makes sense, as Cali is responsible for most of the U.S. production of that fatty fruit. Therefore, it also only makes sense that the California burger is known for being topped with avocado or guacamole. If you haven’t given it a try, we highly recommend it.

Even better, it’s usually topped with bacon, as well! So, if you’re visiting this state, be sure to try one. You should be able to get them everywhere.

Texas: San Antonio Bean Burger

Don’t get this one mixed up with the veggie burgers you’ve got in the back of your freezer, because these babies are as meaty as can be. The beef patties get topped with refried beans, Fritos, white onion, and Cheez Whiz.

You’ll find these in the heart of San Antonio, Texas. If you’re thinking this sounds like a heart attack on a plate, you’d be right, but it’s still a must-try.

Alaska: Arctic Roadrunner

If you’re wondering how they do things in the last frontier, well, they do them uniquely—and this is coming from someone who’s spent some time there. Even the burgers have a classic Alaskan touch that many adore.

If you ever find yourself in Anchorage, be sure to check out the Arctic Roadrunner, where we highly recommend you try the wild salmon patty instead of beef.

New Mexico: Green Chile Cheeseburger

A sizable burger decked out with cheese and green chili sauce.
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Green chiles are a popular staple across the state of New Mexico, so it’s no wonder its most famous burger features the peppers too.

Depending on where you go, you can order these juicy burgers with either chopped green chiles or chile sauce as the ultimate condiment option.

Florida: Frita Cubana

These thin beef patty burgers first appeared in Miami in the early 1960s, and some refer to them as “Cuban” burgers. Now, you’ll find them all over the city, as they’ve become a staple over the years.

They consist of a thin patty, topped with shoestring potatoes, onion, and spiced ketchup. You’ll enjoy the subtle kick of the paprika-seasoned meat, but you’ll especially love the crispy fries on your burger.

Wisconsin: Butter Burgers

You’d think Wisconsin would be best known for the cheese that tops its burgers, but it’s butter burgers that take the cake! If you love butter, this is a must-try. The buns are buttered, plus a generous pat melts on top of the patty while it’s cooking.

If you aren’t overly concerned about your figure (life is too short—just eat it!), we recommend these rich, butterrific patties.

New York: Shake Shack Burgers

A person holding a Shake Shack burger in front of a bag with the company's logo on it.
The Art of Pics/Shutterstock

What started as a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park in New York City has evolved into a popular worldwide chain. Although you can get it in many locations, nothing quite beats enjoying a griddle-seared burger from the original source.

Next time you’re in New York City, be sure to make a stop at one of the most famous burger joints around.

North Carolina: Carolina Burger

If you ever find yourself near the Smoky Mountains, be sure to order a Carolina burger that comes topped with chili, coleslaw, and Carolina sauce.

This unique and flavorful combination is popular among the locals, so you owe it to yourself to give it a try.

Maine: The Seven Napkin Burger

If you’re looking for the perfect quiet vacation spot, Owl’s Head, Maine, is an excellent choice! Firstly, this charming coastal town is just beautiful. Secondly, it has something called a Seven Napkin Burger. If you’re ever there, be sure to stop in at the General Store and ask for one.

It’s stuffed with a juicy patty (cooked to your liking) and topped with all the classics, plus the traditional ketchup, mayo, and mustard. Have fun with this behemoth—and don’t forget the napkins!

If you’re ever road-tripping across the 50 states, be sure to stop in and try some of these famous burgers along the way.

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »
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