Miss chomping down on that all-American cheese-stacked burger, yeah, we do too. That’s why we’ve rounded up a couple of our favourite melt-in-your-mouth burgers across America that are bound to give you a delicious case of the meat sweats. And while we’re (impatiently) waiting for these burger joints to open their heavenly doors once more, why not try your hand at creating these juicy masterpieces for yourself, “a-la-lockdown”. Just grab the ingredients and a couple of cold ones and fire up your grill. *Warning* you might want to grab a couple of napkins before you attempt to make these burgers at home.
SmashBurgers off the Sunset Strip
From hip taco trucks and show-biz Japanese fusion joints to some of your all-time favourite American food franchises, Los Angeles doesn’t disappoint when it comes to epic dinners and classic American diners. And when burgers are involved, sometimes it’s good to go out with a smash – Smashburgers in this case. The Smashburger trend really took off in LA last year, but we have no doubt that this funny-looking pancake-esque beef patty is here to stay. And we know just where to go – Love Hour.
After this pop-up’s smashing debut at Coachella last year, it’s safe to say that this takeaway burger van hasn’t looked back since. Their concept is beautifully simple: single, double, or triple Smashburgers. Giving each one of their burgers a hearty squish on their flat-top griddle, they develop a ridiculous mouth-watering crispy crust worth standing in line for. Each burger comes crowned with melting American cheese, thinly sliced pickles, and a healthy dose of onions both griddled and raw. Their seasoned fries are also absolutely killer too. Tossed to order in delicious flavours like smoky BBQ, fluffy garlic-parmesan, and sour cream and onion, you have the makings of an all-time great American meal.
During lockdown, Love Hour are still smashing it with drive in pre-orders and home kits, but if you can’t wait to make one of your own, we’ve linked a how-to-smashburger guide here.
Taste it for yourself on our Western Wonders Plus from Los Angeles
The San Fran Impossible Special
Ahhh San Fran. King of kale salads, healthy fruit juice fads and sustainable eating. But that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice our delicious burgers. Unsurprising this health-crazed city has invented the perfect juicy alternative to the fat-inducing burger. In steps the Impossible Burger – the Impossible Food’s meat-free creation that hit almost every San Fran restaurant menu and take away joint in the Bay Area by storm.
Made from soy protein, coconut oil, plant-based heme, potato protein and beets, that give it that deliciously red colour, the Impossible Burger tastes, looks and feels just like your traditional American burger… but it’s completely meat (and gluten) free! And the best place to try one of these bad boys for yourself is the Wipeout Bar & Grill, your ultimate San Fran ‘surf shack’ on Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39.
After you’ve soaked up the sights and smells along the bustling Jefferson St., walked past their historic red brick factories and gawked at the clumsy resident sea lions, a pit stop at the Wipeout take away bar is sure hit the spot. With all the classic impossible burger components and a healthy dose of pesto aioli, we’ve no doubt that you’ll wax lyrical about this meat-free bun for the rest of your trip.
Taste it for yourself on our Cities Sites and Craft Beer Delights West trip
The Big Apple Burger
Much like the never-ending debates over where to find the best bagels and pizza slices the size of your face in NYC, you can imagine that picking the best burger in the Big Apple is just as difficult. With some of the best late-night diners, Michelin-star steakhouses and sizzlin’ BBQ restaurants to choose from, we wouldn’t blame you if you’re bowled over by too much choice in this concrete jungle. But here to set the record straight, we’re gonna share one of our personal favourites – the melt in your mouth bacon cheeseburger at P.J. Clarke’s, on the northeast corner of East 55th Street in Manhattan.
Back in the 1950s, the famous jazz icon Nat King Cole dubbed the bacon cheeseburger at P.J. Clarke’s the “Cadillac of hamburgers”, and we can’t help but agree. Believe it or not, they’ve actually been making this juicy masterpiece in their saloon since the late 1930’s, and not much has changed since; it’s all about simplicity. The Cadillac comes with your standard tower of toppings; American cheese, cooling Bibb lettuce, plum tomatoes, a kosher dill pickle, a sliver of white Spanish onion with smoked country bacon on a classic Arnold hamburger bun, which their chefs refer to as the “glove.” No sauce needed. They may have shaken up their menu with falafel, lamb, and wagyu burgers in recent years, but trust us, the Cadillac’s a classic for a reason.
Taste it for yourself on our Southern Sun from New York trip
The Powerhouse Burger
We get it, sometimes all you’re really craving is a beautifully constructed meat patty – and you can rest assured that the nation’s powerhouse delivers. Opening to lines around the block back in 2008, Good Stuff Eatery in Washington DC is the fun, laid-back burger joint on Capitol Hill that pleases neighbourhoods, families and even some of DC’s top politicos!
The location couldn’t be more convenient either. You’ll find this renowned burger hot spot just a block away from the Library of Congress, three blocks from the Washington Visitor Center and two blocks from the Supreme Court. So, once you’ve had your fill of DC’s iconic monuments and vast museums, don’t miss your opportunity to come and chow down on the good stuff.
During the 2008 presidential election, Chef Spike Mendelson crafted the “Prez Burger” for Obama, which included dreamy streaks of Applewood bacon, onion marmalade, Roquefort cheese and melt-in-your-mouth horseradish mayo. This famous farmhouse burger was so popular, it remains on the menu to this day, sitting proudly alongside the “Michelle Melt”. Michelle’s Melt is a free-range turkey burger with caramelised onions, Swiss cheese, ruby tomato, cool lettuce and Southlawn herb garden mayo rapped inside a huge whole-wheat bun. Pair either of these prime burgers with their fluffy toasted marshmallow milkshake. Trust us, it’s the stuff of legends.
Taste it for yourself on our Best of the East trip