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Best Burger (MSP)

I am looking for the best burger in town.
I have several favorites, what are yours?

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  1. Turtles Bar and Grill in Shakopee, MN.
    Lions Tap (a little over-rated) in Eden Prairie, MN.
    Matts Bar in South Minneapolis, MN.
    Buck Hills Ski Area in Burnsville, MN.
    Chili's Bar and Grille that's everywhere in the U.S.

    1. I had a really good cajun burger at the American Sports Cafe, right off of 280 & Como. The place is a dive, and I remember it being smokey (Not sure how/if that changed with the smoking ban). But I do remember the burger being tasty (with far too much juicy fattiness to it to be anything like the ones I make at home, which I must obviously use leaner beef for), and it was cheap too. It is definately a townie type bar (Think Mayslacks in NE) but they make a pretty darn good burger.

      1. The best in town is, hands down, Town Talk Diner's.

        12 Replies
        1. re: Jordan

          Salut in Edina, i know, I know. Parasole Group.

          Town Talk has not wowed me with a solid med rare when a rare/med rare was ordered. Frickles? Not again.

          Dive burger: The Nook
          Diner burger: The Convention Grill
          Pedigree (Thousand Hills) burger: Cafe 28
          Patio burger: Craftsman
          Chain burger: Culvers

          1. re: blowphishery

            I second the Nook. I particularly like the Nook's Moliter burger (i.e, Lucy with Pepperjack cheese) and their Lodge Burger. The buns are from PJ Murphy's bakery down the street and the accompanying fries are hand cut.

            I like the cajun Lucy (variant on the Lucy--burger stuffed with jalapeno peppers with pepperjack cheese) at the the Groveland Tap in St. Paul, as well as their turkey burger (same turkey burger more or less as Highland Grill and Longfellow Grill. It's got peanuts, jalapeƱo, onion, garlic and curry mixed in with the ground turkey and has pepperjack cheese on top, along with some kind of fancy mayo).

            I think 112 Eatery's burger on an English muffin with brie cheese is fantastically decadent.


            Highland Grill
            771 Cleveland Ave S, Saint Paul, MN 55116

            Groveland Tap
            1834 Saint Clair Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105

            Nook [DUPLICATE]
            492 Hamline Ave S, St Paul, MN 55116

            Longfellow Grill
            2990 W River Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55406

            112 Eatery
            112 N 3rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401

            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              I have to fight the urge to try burgers all the time when I go places because I'd never try anything else on the menu. I tend to get burgers only when I'm at a place that specializes in them. As such, I have not tried the brie burger at 112.

              I have tried the kobe/brie/truffle oil/english muffin burger at Bulldog. Can't say how it compares to 112, but it is a damn good burger. Best I've had in a long while.

              Bulldog NE
              401 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414

              1. re: pgokey

                I've had every dessert and all but 1 or 2 of the entrees, appetizers, and side-dishes on the menu at 112 Eatery, so, it was not hard for me to work in trying their burger. ;-) . Still, I have a lot of favorites on their menu, so, when I get their burger, I usually get it to share with my dining companion (they'll gladly slice it in two for you) so I can get some other things, too.


              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                It looks like I'll be eating at Nook on Thursday. I assume the prices are low? How much is the lucy there?

                1. re: pgokey

                  Reasonably low prices. I want to say the lucy runs around $7 ish, and includes a lot of fries. Right folks?

              3. re: blowphishery

                I intensely disliked the frickles a year ago, when I first visited Town Talk. I tried them again last week and was very impressed. Something has changed ... I'm not exactly sure what ... and they're pretty addictive right now.

                1. re: Jordan

                  I had them for the first time on Friday. I was so excited to try them, and wanted to like them so much. Alas, my table did not finish the order. The two guys I was with are both East Coast transplants, so they find our penchant for battered fried food curious - when I ordered them, they both said "That's so Midwestern of you!"

                  But I just wasn't digging the flavors. I think the pickle chips should be thicker, and didn't like the sweetness of the pickles. I also thought the dill sauce had an odd after taste.

                  Maybe the tongue needs an orientation period with them.

                  1. re: pgokey

                    Hmm. Maybe it's me who's adjusted, then. I had pretty much the same reaction as you when I first had them. I tried them again last week and was very impressed.

                    Also, TTD's new appetizer of house-smoked salmon on potato pancakes is killer.

                    1. re: Jordan

                      Yeah, I was suggesting the process as more of a universal that has yet to happen to me, but apparently happened to you.

                      I think I'll still wait until someone else orders them.

                    2. re: pgokey

                      pgokey, I'm with you! I so wanted to love the frickles, especially since I love fried food and would eat a baby's finger if it was fried! But I felt like the pickle chips were too thin, and I didn't like the honey-mustard dill sauce all that much either. The sweetness of the beer batter and the dill sauce was just too much. I do still love their cheese curds though.

                2. re: Jordan

                  I do like the sauce on their kitchen sink burger.


                3. I don't have a favorite, but my husband had a burger at The Happy Gnome the other night and raved about it. He said normally for him a burger is a burger, but theirs was really really good.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: cheetobrain

                    We like the burgers in the bar at WA Frost's in St. Paul. I remember it not being cheap but they're really good when you're in the mood for a burger. I also remember really liking the Convention Grill's burgers.

                    W.A. Frost & Co
                    374 Selby Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55102

                    Convention Grill & Fountain
                    3912 Sunnyside Rd, Minneapolis, MN 55424

                    1. re: cherrylime

                      I have to retract my WA Frost burger comments above. Had it last night(first time there since the chef turnover) and it was at best average but probably below average. Not such a good thing for a $10 burger. The burger itself was tasteless, needed seasoning badly. The bun was either stale or had just been sitting out in the kitchen and was starting to dry out. Disappointing, especially since we went there especially for the burger. I should have know because we shared the garden salad as a start and it was also bad. Again flavorless with just a few mixed greens and halved cherry tomatoes. Couldn't detect any flavor in the dressing except oil.
                      The other reason we went was for some good draft beer. They didn't have any pale ales or amber beers at all. 3 or 4 wheat beers and guiness and one of the belgian trappist type beers. All and all not a successful trip.

                    2. re: cheetobrain

                      I'm not a big fan of the Happy Gnome, although I understand their beer list is very extensive. If I'm in that Selby/Dale area of St. Paul in need of a burger, I prefer the Muddy Pig down the street and around the corner on Dale, or Sweeney's a couple more blocks farther on Dale. Neither are my favorite burgers in the Cities, but I prefer both to Happy Gnome. I don't know why but I have a particular weekness for bleu cheese burgers and the one at Sweeney's hits the spot for me sometimes. These are both neighborhood bar-type places, btw, as are The Nook and the Groveland Tap.


                      Sweeney's Saloon & Cafe
                      96 Dale St N, Saint Paul, MN 55102

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        For a good bleu cheese burger, try Jax. They have only one burger on the menu. It comes with a different kind of cheese, but they'll substitute bleu cheese if you ask. Which I did, and I loved the result.

                        Disclaimer: I don't eat many burgers - the average is 2 or 3 a year - so I'm not an expert. But I am very picky about my rare and treasured burger experiences. Jax meets all my requirements for a great burger.


                        Jax Cafe
                        1928 University Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55418

                    3. I'd give a second to the Convention Grill.

                      I also enjoy the 5-8 Club for a jucy lucy (as well as Matt's).

                      Downtown, I'd recommend The Burger Place (f/k/a L. Phillips) in the Soo Line Building. (It also had a sibling in the U.S. Courthouse, but I haven't been there for a while so I don't know if it's still there.) I also like the burger at My Burger.

                      Vincent also has a high fallutin' burger with short ribs and smoked gouda worked into it. (I've had it at the happy hour where it wasn't too expensive.)

                      Places mentioned so far (other than Chili's - too many):

                      Matt's Bar
                      3500 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                      Town Talk Diner
                      2707 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406

                      Happy Gnome
                      498 Selby Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102

                      Vincent A Restaurant
                      1100 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

                      Turtle's Bar & Grill
                      132 1st Ave E, Shakopee, MN 55379

                      Lions Tap Family Restaurant
                      16180 Flying Cloud Dr, Eden Prairie, MN 55347

                      Buck Hill Ski Area
                      15400 Buck Hill Rd, Burnsville, MN 55306

                      American Sports Cafe
                      2554 Como Ave, St Paul, MN 55108

                      The Burger Place (L Philip's Cafe)
                      501 Marquette Ave Ste 220, Minneapolis, MN 55402

                      My Burger
                      601 Marquette Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55402

                      58 club [SEE 5-8 CLUB]
                      5800 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55417

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: bob s

                        I second My Burger. I wish they had a location other than the skyway though..
                        it's hard to get there when I'm not working downtown.

                        1. re: cherrylime

                          Their website lists a second location in Center City open through September. I don't know if that's easier for you.... ;-)

                          516 Grand Avenue
                          Center City, MN 55012

                          My Burger has great shakes, but I slightly prefer the burgers and fries at The Burger Place.

                          More places in thread:

                          Craftsman Restaurant
                          4300 Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406

                          Cafe Twenty-Eight
                          2724 W 43rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55410

                          Nook [DUPLICATE]
                          492 Hamline Ave S, St Paul, MN 55116

                          Salut Bar Americain
                          5034 France Avenue South, Edina, MN 55410

                          Buffalo Tap
                          4990 W 123rd St, Savage, MN 55378

                      2. Buffalo Tap in Savage on RT13 has a very good burger and also darn good wings.

                        1. There's a new entrant in the Gourmet Burger category - Harry's Food and Cocktails. They've been open a few weeks in the former Nochee space, and Steven Brown (of Levain fame) is doing the cooking.

                          We ate there after the Aquatennial fireworks. The burger has about 5 varieties - I went with "The Frenchie" which had truffle oil, brie, and grilled onions. It was very, very good - although the bun really didn't hold up to the burger. We also tried the Tomato Salad and the Asparagus - both were excellent.

                          It is a great place to go before or after an event at The Dome, and they have a pretty big patio. My only complaint is that they're not open for lunch. (Here's the story from the Star Tribune that tipped me off to the place - it is more about the space than the food, but does describe the decor, and confirm that Steven Brown is cooking http://www.startribune.com/535/story/...


                          Harry's Food and Cocktails
                          500 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55415

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Danny

                            No lunch? Rats. It's a block from my office.

                            1. re: Danny

                              I'm so glad Steven Brown is cooking somewhere again..that Star Tribune article is bizarre though; barely mentions him and talks about all that crazy corporate restaurant stuff. That stuff turns me off. I know Steven will be able to rise above it
                              all though w/his beautiful food, he always does.

                            2. I had the burger at Cafe Maude the other night and was impressed. Ordered it medium rare, and it actually came out medium rare. Tasted beefy in the best sense of the word, and was thick without being obscene -- great bun, too. That said, I'm definitely a Culver's Butterburger guy. But I realize that my preference for thin, small, char-heavy burgers is an anomaly.

                              Cafe Maude
                              5411 Penn Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55419

                              4004 Silver Lake Rd NE, Minneapolis, MN 55421

                                1. re: elrushbo

                                  Here's a link to elrushbo's report on his lunch visit to bank, wherein he mentions a fantastic burger: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/424109

                                  P.S. Anne--thank you for the bleu cheese burger tip at Jax!


                                2. I had the blue cheese and mushroom burger at Bryant Lake Bowl tonight. I was actually a little disappointed. The mushrooms were really good, but the blue cheese all had melted and ran all over the plate - it was almost watery in its melted state. And the beef taste inherent to grass fed cows was ruined two ways: the blue cheese was sharp enough to overpower whatever beef flavor there was, and the burger was pretty well cooked. The server didn't ask how I wanted it done, and it came medium-well. There is no better way to ruin the flavor of beef than to overcook it.

                                  1. Love, love, love the burger at Vincent! Like a really high-class Jucy Lucy! Also second the Convention Grill and Matt's Bar. I also like the 5-8 Club version of the Jucy Lucy. It's just a little thicker and less charred than Matt's version.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: drew13000

                                      A second on the Vincent burger. I have enjoyed that bit of decadence for dinner and was pleased to see them grilling and selling them on Bastille Day on Brit's patio.

                                      Another good Jucy Lucy for rich people is at Mairin's Table, which has a version with gruyere. Nummy!

                                      Vincent A Restaurant
                                      1100 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

                                      Mairin's Table
                                      23 4th St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413

                                    2. Try Ike's on 6th downtown Minneapolis.

                                      1. Craftsman has great burgers, particularly the venison burger.

                                        Also good is the Monte Carlo's burger, but we always get them takeout, I can't stand that place.

                                        Casey's, a total dive bar on Nicollet, has a decent burger. You expect Cisco, but you get a handpattied burger. Only good because it is two blocks from my house.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: churchka

                                          Hands down best burger is the Juicy Lucy at Matt's Bar. Its exactly what a burger should be, Yummy, oozing with (in this case molten) cheese and cooked on a grill you can see. I order a basket of fries (again perfectly yummy) with it and puncture my burger with the fries until it cools enought to eat.

                                          Actually, I think I'll go get one soon.

                                          1. re: linc

                                            I chowed down on a Matt's Bar Jucy Lucy today at noon. I expected a bigger burger but it tasted great just the same. It only cost $4.50. Not bad.

                                            1. re: linc

                                              I'm with linc on this one. Absolutely Matt's is the best. Washing the magma like cheese down with a cold beer tops the event off perfectly.
                                              Lake Street Garage used to have a pretty good burger. New owners I think.

                                            2. re: churchka

                                              I second the buger at Monte Carlo and agree about the place. We ate at the bar and that was fine, but I would not want to eat in the dining room. My Burger is another favorite.

                                            3. I'll say it again, Convention Grill in Edina has great burgers...love their fresh cut fries....and they have the best grilled cheese sandwich that I have ever had in my life---I have them add fried onions and tomatoes to it.

                                              1. Well, the new Harry's Food & Cocktails is not it, I'm afraid.

                                                Steven Brown has a half-dozen burger types on the lunch menu. I tried one with manchego and smoked paprika. Though ordered medium rare, it came out well done. It seemed like it had been high quality beef before the cook ruined it. The beef flavor overwhelmed the not particularly generous portion of cheese. Forget about tasting any of the undoubtedly expensive paprika.

                                                Disappointing. I will try the place again, once they get opening week problems out of the way, and we'll see if it improves.

                                                2 Replies
                                                  1. re: Jordan

                                                    That is some crummy news. I'll keep my fingers crossed that they're just getting the kinks out.

                                                  2. It looks like I have a lot of work ahead of me~
                                                    Thanks for the feed.


                                                    1. Ike's has the best burgers!

                                                      1. I like to keep it simple, so it's the Convention Grill for me. Nothing better than sitting @ the counter for a late weekday lunch and putting Patsy Cline or Elvis or Hank Williams on the jukebox and pretending you've been transported back to the 50's

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: g rote

                                                          I had a really fantastic burger once at the Glockenspiel on West Seventh in St. Paul. Don't go for the apple strudel there though-they put cool whip on it.

                                                        2. No question, Convention Grill. Smoky cheddar and the burnt (not fried) onions!

                                                          1. Like Blowphishery, I sheepishly (yet confidently!) loved the burger at Salut. Maybe it's my love of salty things, but there was a good saltiness to the burger that made it quite enjoyable!

                                                            My experience at the Nook was subpar. I wanted to love it! And I did love the fries. But our service was terrible (we were sitting no more than five feet from the bar where our server avoided eye contact for nearly 15 minutes while she chatted with friends at the bar). When I walked over and asked her if she could take our order she appeared put out. Seriously annoying. Back to the burger: I had some sort of bacon and bbq "nookie". The sauce was so sweet it was inedible. And I'll eat darn near anything! I couldn't tell you what the actual meat tasted like, as I couldn't even scrape enough of the sauce off to enjoy the burger.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: freezedriedicecream

                                                              I went to Salut (on Grand) on Saturday night, and really enjoyed the burger. On top of that, the fries are some of the best in town. Hand cut and seasoned perfectly.

                                                              I'd also recommend the Bulldog NE. I had a burger there about 2 weeks ago, and it was excellent.

                                                              I've never been to Matt's or the Nook, so I can't speak to the Jucy Lucy side of things.

                                                            2. Had a great buffalo burger at Buster's on 28th last night. It's covered in a chipotle cream cheese that gives it some kick. They've solved their ventilation issues by leaving the door open, apparently. This means that I spent my meal swatting away a persistent fly.

                                                              Buster's on 28th
                                                              4204 28th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406

                                                              1. Most people don't think of Mickey's for their burgers, but every once in awhile I really enjoy their patty-melt and a shake.

                                                                Mickey's Diner
                                                                36 7th St W, Saint Paul, MN 55102

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: bworp

                                                                  Totally back Salut's burgers... very good, but not without a price!!

                                                                  Also, hit up the Nook last nite.. showed up just in the nick of time as there was a 45 minute wait right after we got our table..
                                                                  I had the Moli and my GF had the classic... soooooo good. I think the classic is better. The american cheese is definitely the secret weapon!

                                                                  I daresay better than Matt's.. which says a lot being a native son of the "right side of the river.." Plus, the service was FANTASTIC; which i can rarely, honestly say. The place was packed, and full of amateurs, but our server was really composed and nice, and managed to buy us a round!!