Minnesotans are known for being exceptionally nice and polite, and they’re also known for appreciating no-frills dining. So it’s no surprise that Minneapolis, the state’s largest city; nearby Saint Paul; and the surrounding suburbs are home to a number of excellent hamburger establishments, from hip new eateries to small-town charmers. Minneapolis doesn’t mess around when it comes to burgers, and there’s a patty there for every palate.
Here are some of the best burgers in the Minneapolis area and where to find them. These dishes are sure to inspire mouthwatering devotion from locals and travelers alike.
Jucy Lucy -- Matt’s Bar
There’s no better place to begin exploring the Minneapolis burger scene than the king of neighborhood burger joints, Matt’s Bar. This spot opened in 1954 and has been providing legendary burgers and friendly service ever since. It’s even credited with the ultimate Minnesota culinary creation: the Jucy Lucy. Informed fans know that if jucy is spelled the right way, they’re at the wrong place. This burger consists of two patties that are connected by a molten cheesy center. It’s the quintessential Minneapolis burger and must be respected as such. Do not miss a visit to Matt’s Bar -- just be prepared, since this establishment accepts cash only.
Juicy Lucy -- The 5-8 Club
This place is another South Minneapolis legend, though there are now three other locations besides the original one. What started as a speakeasy in the 1920s is now a well-known burger mecca. The 5-8 Club also claims to be the birthplace of the famous Juicy Lucy burger (notice it’s spelled properly this time). Regardless of what diners believe, the half-pound, cheese-stuffed, pickle-topped sandwich at this restaurant deserves to be on a list of Minneapolis’s best burgers.
Cheeseburger -- Saint Dinette
In the hip Lowertown enclave of Minneapolis’s twin city, Saint Paul, is Saint Dinette, where customers pay just $14 for a chef-driven cheeseburger. Of course, people keep coming back for more! The American cheese is crafted in-house from a little bubbly plus Wisconsin's famed dairy products, Gruyère and Cheddar cheese. Diners can also enjoy the raw bar for a little surf-and-turf action.
Ellsworth Lucy And Popper Lucy -- Groveland Tap
Another Saint Paul spot, Groveland Tap, offers two interesting spins on the Jucy/Juicy Lucy. The first features fresh cheese curds from Ellsworth, Wisconsin, instead of traditional melty cheese inside the burger. And if you prefer some heat, you should try the Popper Lucy, with its cream cheese infused with roasted jalapeños and red peppers. Groveland Tap also offers a number of beers, a bunch of great appetizers, and decadent desserts.
The Helicopter -- The Anchor Fish & Chips
Despite its name, this joint makes one of the area’s greatest hamburgers. Located in the artsy Northeast Minneapolis neighborhood, The Anchor Fish & Chips is just a 10-minute drive from downtown Minneapolis. Its best burger is The Helicopter, a grass-fed beef patty sourced from nearby Peterson Farms. It’s topped with Irish Cheddar, a fried egg, and ham -- a winning combination. If you're looking for a plain burger, simply order the creatively named The Burger. Both dishes are served with hand-cut chips (fries). Please note that the restaurant does not accept reservations, so plan accordingly.
Strategy -- King’s Place
Known as King’s Bar & Grill or King’s Place, this Miesville, Minnesota, eatery is well worth the hour-long trek from the Twin Cities. First, there are more than 90 burgers to choose from! Second, the burgers are pretty small, so you won’t be stuffed afterward. It’s hard to pick a burger with so many options to choose from, but consider topping your patty with something on the creative side, like pineapple, giardiniera, or peanut butter. Better yet, go with a partner or friend and order two funky items to split. For a great odd-couple combination, order the Strategy burger, which features sharp Cheddar cheese and creamy coleslaw on top of a tasty patty. Surprisingly, it works!
112 Cheese Burger -- 112 Eatery
Next on our list is Minneapolis’s own 112 Eatery, near the popular North Loop Warehouse District. Its elevated version of the classic American cheeseburger can’t be beat. After all, a burger without cheese is like a hug without a squeeze. The 112 Cheese Burger consists of grass-fed beef from Iowa topped with creamy Brie and served on an English muffin. House-made spicy pickles add a pop of flavor to this well-balanced dish. 112 Eatery also offers an extensive wine list. Reservations are recommended.
Double Cheeseburger -- Stewart’s
Across the river in Saint Paul at Stewart’s lies another delicious burger just waiting to be discovered. You’ll love the 100 percent grass-fed beef patty from Wisconsin’s Peterson Craftsman Meats on the restaurant’s famed Double Cheeseburger. The burgers are freshly ground in-house every day and topped with American cheese, mustard aioli, and sautéed onions. These straightforward ingredients combined with the laid-back atmosphere make for the perfect low-key burger destination.
Blucy -- The Blue Door Pub
Local favorite The Blue Door Pub offers five convenient metro area locations: the original Saint Paul spot, one adjacent to the main University of Minnesota campus, another at the corner of Lyndale and Lake, an airport outpost in Terminal 1, and one in South Minneapolis’s Longfellow neighborhood. Its signature and trademarked Blucy is the burger menu’s standout. This beloved version of the Jucy/Juicy Lucy features funky blue cheese on two Angus beef patties. The switch is a total game changer. Enjoy the decadence of the Blucy with tater tots, fries, or deep-fried green beans, and wash it all down with a local brew for maximum enjoyment.
Double Barrel Burger -- Red Cow
Red Cow, a classic neighborhood tavern, also has multiple area locations, including one in Saint Paul, one at 50th and France, one in Uptown, and one in the North Loop. Red Cow offers a huge list of burger options, and all are “thinly smashed, house-ground, 21-day aged ribeye, chuck, short rib, and brisket,” according to the eatery’s website. The standout is the $15 Double Barrel Burger with white American cheese, special sauce, and grilled onions on a double patty.
The Burger -- Parlour Bar
With locations in two different hip areas (Minneapolis’s North Loop and Saint Paul’s West Seventh), Parlour Bar offers a simple yet refined take on the burger. At just $15, The Burger combines ground chuck, ribeye, and brisket; it’s topped with white American cheese and served on an egg bun. The original spot, in the basement of Borough, even hosts craft cocktail classes on occasion. Visitors to both locations can expect to enjoy an inventive cocktail alongside their yummy cheeseburger.
Game Burger -- The Happy Gnome
This Saint Paul establishment is especially well known for its large beer list, but the burgers are also stunners. The Happy Gnome’s regular cheeseburger patty is made with ground chuck and topped with aged Cheddar. For something a bit more out of the ordinary, try the Game Burger with elk and bison; it’s topped with a Scandinavian-inspired lingonberry sauce. You’ll love the delicious hand-cut fries and the solid selection of appetizers.
Bull’s Horn Burger -- Bull’s Horn Food & Drink
Another of Minneapolis’s best burgers can be found at Bull’s Horn Food & Drink in South Minneapolis. Despite its laid-back neighborhood eatery feel, high-end touches such as house-made American cheese and salty thick-cut bacon make its burger stand out. Get the double version if you’re extra hungry! The husband and wife who run the restaurant also offer daily tray specials, a full and tasty takeout menu, and a respectable drinks selection.