T;; ;;;;; ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; ;;;;;;;;;;;;; ;;;;;; that features molten cheese oozing from the center of the pa;y—has lured countless tourists, numerous TV
shows and even President Obama to get a taste of its chin-dripping, finger-licking goodness. Twin Cities icons like Ma;’s
5-8 Club and The Nook jockey for bragging rights as the
top spot to savor this signature dish, and variations of it are
served at restaurants throughout the state.
But burger lovers needn’t stop there. From creatively topped
varieties and non-beef options to greasy diner-style classics,
a smorgasbord of America’s favorite sandwich awaits visitors
and residents alike in every corner of Minnesota. Set your GPS
to find one of these delicious options.
Summer road trippers heading up north would be wise
to plan their drives around a mid-day stop at Gordy’s Hi-Hat in Cloquet. Dishing up fresh hand-pa;ied hamburgers,
homemade onion rings and other classics since 1960, Gordy’s
was a hot spot long before Guy Fieri put it in the national
spotlight. Pair your burger with the famous onion rings, French
fries or cheese curds, and wash it all down with a freshly
blended shake or malt in flavors like Oreo, bu;erscotch and
Located between Hastings and Red Wing on Highway 61, the
tiny town of Miesville is home to quite possibly the biggest burger
menu in the state. King’s Bar & Grill o;ers more than 60 options,
with toppings like bacon, peanut bu;er and maple syrup—all on
one burger. The best part? Each burger is less than $6.
The drinks aren’t the only thing that have patrons flocking
to local chain JL Beers. The Moorhead location (there’s also one
in Minneapolis) dishes out a dozen specialty burgers, ranging
from the Original to the Philly cheeseburger. The fries are also
noteworthy, tossed in your choice of seasonings or topped with
extras like bu;alo sauce and blue cheese. As for the drinks,
there are 40 beers on tap, which can be ordered as flights, mixed
with other beers or in cocktail form. Leave the kids at home,
though; JL is a 21+ establishment.
The closest thing to a Juicy Lucy on this list, the Blucy at
The Blue Door Pub is a kicked-up version of the classic, with
about a dozen varieties featuring fancy cheeses on the inside
and unexpected additions on top. Try the original Blucy stu;ed
with blue cheese and garlic, or more adventurous iterations like
the Bangkok Blucy with coconut-soaked mozzarella, pickled
ginger mix and a side of curry. There are now three locations in
St. Paul and Minneapolis.
A Midwestern institution since 1926, Maid-Rite is more akin
to a sloppy joe than a burger, combining loose ground beef with
onions, pickles and mustard on a warm bun. There are only two
Maid-Rite franchises remaining in Minnesota—The Barn in
Brainerd is a local icon; the other is in St. Cloud. In addition to
Maid-Rite sandwiches, The Barn serves breakfast starting at
5: 30 a.m. and is famous for its homemade pies.
Come hungry to any of Newt’s four locations in Rochester,
where massive hamburgers are served with a mound of fries.
The signature Works Burger is a 3/4-pound pa;y covered with
American cheese, hardwood-smoked bacon and blue cheese
sauce on a Kaiser bun. Other topping options include fried
onions, peanut bu;er and fresh guacamole.
Sometimes it’s not the beef that makes the burger.
Minnesota’s state grain, wild rice, is enjoyed in many forms
throughout the state, and one of the tastiest ways is on a bun.
The historic Fitger’s Brewhouse in Duluth serves it up three
ways—the classic, with cheddar, sprouts and garlic mayo; pub
style with sautéed onions, mushrooms and Swiss; and one
topped with blue cheese and jalapeños.
Beyond the Juicy Lucy
Burger lovers will find a wide array of options to satisfy
their cravings. | ERICA WACKER
THE BLUE DOOR PUB, ST. PAUL