The Best Cheeseburger in Every State (Smart People Love #21)

Savor the juiciest bites on a coast-to-coast quest for the ultimate cheeseburger.

Woman eating a cheeseburger
Updated May 28, 2024
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An American icon in bun form, the cheeseburger beckons in countless variations. But with so many contenders, where do you find the ultimate melty masterpiece?

We've scoured the nation, state by state, to unearth the most popular, well-rated, and downright beloved cheeseburgers out there.

So step up your travel game and get ready to embark on a coast-to-coast burger odyssey.

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Alabama: Bama Burgers (Pelham)

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Though their menu offers far more, the bacon, mushroom, and Swiss burger at Bama Burgers is a local favorite.

They serve only breakfast and lunch each day, and the crinkle-cut fries are the perfect side.

Alaska: Tommy’s Burger Stop (Anchorage)

bobex73/Adobe man taking bite of beef burger

For more than 20 years, Tommy’s Burger Stop has been creating unique cheeseburgers and a full menu of intense burger options.

This eclectic burger joint has a Burger Stop Cheeseburger spiced with their signature Cajun seasoning. They only use high-quality Australian beef for their burgers.

Arizona: Happy’s Hamburgers (Scottsdale)

Тарас Нагирняк/Adobe couple eating fast food at restaurant

A true old-fashioned burger joint, Happy’s Hamburgers offers handcrafted, made-fresh-daily cheeseburgers featuring carmelized onions on a steamed bun.

Choose from half-pound burgers or go with their sliders (there are happy hour specials when you buy them in bulk.

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Arkansas: Patrick’s Butcher Boy Burgers (Fort Smith)

mast3r/Adobe friends eating burger at cafe

Patrick’s Butcher Boy Burgers makes a serious cheeseburger using only fresh Grade-A chuck.

Most of the menu is scratch-made each day. The recipes have been handed down from Old Man Patrick and remain as juicy and flavorful as ever.

California: Broderick Roadhouse (West Sacramento)

Irina Schmidt/Adobe boys enjoying on cruise with father

The menu at Broderick Roadhouse is scratch-made comfort food, and the cheeseburger is one of the best in the region as a result.

While other options exist, it’s had to pass up the Gold Rush Burger, which is topped with bacon mac and cheese, applewood-smoked bacon, garlic aioli, and fried onion crisps.

Colorado: Skirted Heifer (Colorado Springs)

Jacob Lund/Adobe african american woman eating burger

The Skirted Heifer menu uses Fronteire National Meats grass-fed beef locally raised without hormones or antibiotics. Then, they drape a “skirt of cheese” over the side of the burgers.

Check out The Classic Skirted Heifer, or if you want more heat, the Pueblo Farmer, with its pueblo chilies, pepper-jack cheese, and homemade guac.

Connecticut: Ted’s Restaurant (Meriden)

New Africa/Adobe hungry man with cutlery and burger

Ted’s Restaurant, a family-owned and operated establishment, not only offers fantastic burgers but also gives you a free one after you’ve visited 10 times.

Their steamed burgers are tempting, including their Steamed Cheeseburger, which you can top in any way you desire, from the Buffalo Bleu to the Hot & Spicy varieties.

Delaware: Restaurant 55 (Dover)

Ivan Zhdan/Adobe boy eating mini burger at cafe

Restaurant 55 offers many burger options, all made from the finest ingredients, including meat obtained from the local butcher daily.

One of the best cheeseburgers on the menu is the Bacon Jam Burger, which is topped with bacon jam and lettuce, tomato, and onion confetti.

Florida: Charm City Burger Company (Deerfield Beach)

JacobLund/Adobe friends having fun at restaurant table

A fast-casual destination with some great outdoor seating overlooking the water, Charm City Burger Company offers one of the best burgers in Florida.

The Good Ole includes the proprietary Charm blend stead burger topped with the traditional fixings. For more cheese, go with the Southern Belle, which also has a spicy BBQ sauce.

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Georgia: NFA Burger (Dunwoody)

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What makes NFA Burger so unique? It could be the Sassy Sauce, or it may be that they use fresh beef and grill it fresh when ordered.

NFA Burger’s menu makes it simple. Choose a double, triple, or quad, top them with traditional fixings, or go bold with turkey chili, hatch green chiles, or jalapenos.

Hawaii: Chubbies Burgers (Honolulu)

olegganko/Adobe A woman eating a cheesebuger

Simple, friendly, and made to order from locally sourced goodness, the cheeseburgers at Chubbies Burgers are easily some of the best quality you’ll find.

They use Angus beef smashed on a griddle with the toppings you love. One of the best options is the Teri Deluxe, with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and a housemade teriyaki-onion jam.

Idaho: Holy Cow Idaho (Downtown Nampa)

Drazen/Adobe boyfriend feeding fries to girlfriend

Holy Cow Idaho is a fun destination, but they’re also serious about their high-quality beef that comes from local farms.

One of the best options is the Rude Boi, which includes a third pound of grass-fed wagyu beef with homemade pimento cheese, bacon, charred jalapenos, and more.

Illinois: Scratch on Lake (Oak Park)

Astarot/Adobe woman eating burger at restaurant

Scratch on Lake makes the best cheeseburgers that are all house-ground made with prime cuts of brisket and chuck.

For a solid upgrade to their Classic, go with Three Little Pigs, a house-ground pork patty with bacon jam, thick-cut bacon, a massive load of cheese sauce, and Sri-Racha sauce.

Indiana: 317 Burger (Indianapolis)

eskstock/Adobe friends eating fast food at cafe

You’ll need one of the fantastic local craft brews to wash down the cheeseburgers at 317 Burger, thanks to all of that cheese.

For cheese lovers, the 317 Burger is ideal with its Swiss, American Gouda, and provolone cheese, along with garlic aioli and bacon.

Iowa: Short’s Burger & Shine (Iowa City)

Drazen/Adobe man eating burger with friends

If you want something a bit more upscale, Short’s Burger & Shine offers a gourmet menu alongside craft beers.

Everything is made local with fresh ingredients, including the 18 South Clinton, a simple option with lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles that you can then add a special sauce to for a bit more.

Choose from cheese sauce, blue cheese spread, mango jalapeno, and many others.

Kansas: Dempsey’s Burger Pub (Wichita)

Studio Romantic/Adobe burger with beer on table

You can’t go wrong with delicious gourmet bites in an Irish pub setting. Whether you’re feeling chicken, salmon, or veggie patties, Dempsey’s Burger Pub has got you covered.

The mouthwatering Bourbon Apple Brie Burger takes the cake as locals' favorite burger. It features a housemade wagyu beef patty topped with bourbon-candied apples, brie cheese, local microgreens, bacon, and garlic aioli.

Kentucky: Grind Burger Kitchen (Louisville)

Kzenon/Adobe man preparing cheeseburger in food truck

The Grind Burger Kitchen does a few things right to be named one of the best options for a good, gooey cheeseburger destination.

It could be that it's piled high with toppings you choose, including thick-cut bacon and homemade pimento cheese.

Louisiana: Maplewood Burgers Lake Charles (Lake Charles)

dusanpetkovic1/Adobe mature man eating burger at restaurant

At Maplewood Burgers Lack Charles, you can enjoy a typical cheeseburger and still believe it’s the best. However, they have a lineup of stuffed cheeseburgers that are even more tempting.

Choose one stuffed with BBQ brisket or shrimp if you want, but for cheese lovers, the Stuffed Mac & Cheese is by far the best.

Maine: Butcher Burger Old Port (Portland)

Haider Azim/Adobe man looking at crispy chicken burger

Creating a unique blend of burgers that would get attention in a town known for its lobster rolls wasn’t an easy process, but Butcher Burger Old Port has done a fantastic job with it.

You could go with any of the cheeseburgers on the menu for a satisfying experience, but the Surf & Turf Burger, with its hand-picked Maine lobster, is an exceptional choice.

Maryland: The Habit Burger Grill (Rockville)

LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/Adobe woman preparing homemade cheeseburgers

If you like charbroiled burgers, The Habit Burger Grill is the place to go. Choose a double or the original for carmalized onions, lettuce, tomato, and mayo.

If you want more (of everything), check out the Santa Barbara Charburger, which packs avocado, cheese, and more on grilled sourdough.

Massachusetts: Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage (Cambridge)

romaset/Adobe man eating cheeseburger

At Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage, which serves the Harvard Square crowd, you’ll certainly find a great burger.

For something original, check out The Hallouminati, which comes with fried halloumi, bacon, red onion, arugula, tomato, and a bit of house-hot honey on top.

Michigan: Mercury Burger & Bar (Detroit)

sonyachny/Adobe stylish woman holding burger outdoors

A fun, lively grill is the perfect place to relax with friends, especially when you want a classic diner vibe. They have hot dogs and milkshakes and a full line of draft beer.

It’s the Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger that gets the attention, though, with its big size. This is a ground-daily, hand-pressed burger topped with what you want.

Minnesota: Matt’s Bar and Grill (Minneapolis)

antgor/Adobe waiter bringing burger for client

Having served the region since 1954, Matt’s Bar and Grill is certainly the place to go when you want comfort food (the huge order of fries is enough to satisfy any craving).

Yet, they go further with their cheese-stuffed patty in the Jucy Lucy burger. They even recognize it as a customer-demanded burger that’s all handmade with molten hot cheese.

Mississippi: Ed’s Burger Joint (Hattiesburg)

creativefamily/Adobe girl eating burger with fries

If you’re in Hattiesburg and want to catch the game, head over to Ed’s Burger Joint. The hot dogs and shakes are good, but the burgers are excellent.

The Heavy Eddie, with two huge certified black Angus patties topped with two grilled cheese sandwiches (there are six slices of cheese here), really hits the over-the-top status.

Missouri: Chuck-A-Burger Drive-In Restaurant (St. Louis)

Robert/Adobe man preparing beef burgers

Let’s go old school here for the best cheeseburger in St. Louis at Chuck-A-Burger Drive-In Restaurant. It’s a true 1950s treasure and a classic car show gathering destination, too.

As for the food, check out the Original Chuck-A-Burger, served with the toppings you love. You can even get a triple if you like.

Montana: Best Burger (Bozeman)

Joshua Resnick/Adobe couple eating burger at carnival outdoors

Does its name live up to the hype? Locals think so since Best Burger is noted for its delicious food.

As far as cheeseburgers go, they are made with 100% Angus beef and served freshly made. Also note they have a lineup of breakfast burgers, in case you can’t wait for lunch.

Nebraska: Block 16 (Omaha)

Rawpixel.com/Adobe multi ethnic people at pub

Block 16 is noted for a number of things, including its strong garden-to-table philosophy, and perhaps that’s why it is also the best place for a cheeseburger in Omaha.

They source their ingredients locally and don’t include preservatives whenever possible. The Croque Garcon Burger includes a Jon’s Natural burger, ham, cheese, an egg, and truffle mayo.

Nevada: Bar Code Burgers (Las Vegas)

Studio Romantic/Adobe burgers with beer on pub table

The perfect destination for watching the game, Bar Code Burgers is all about big meals and lots of comfort food.

They pride themselves on offering a menu sports fans want to enjoy. One of the best cheeseburgers here is the Bar Code, which has beer, onion jam, bacon, aioli, and blue cheese butter.

New Hampshire: Black Mountain Burger Co. (Lincoln)

BGStock72/Adobe multi ethnic female friends having lunch

The made-to-order burgers at Black Mountain Burger Co. are exceptional. It’s a chill vibe setting with scratch-made patties and excellent cocktails.

Make sure to check out their burger of the month offerings. If you want a tried and true option, the Brie & Bacon Burger is a hit with its house-made maple mayo and brie cheese.

New Jersey: Stuffed Grassfed Burgers (Montclair)

BGStock72/Adobe couple enjoying meal at restaurant

Their name says it all. They offer grass-fed, antibiotic-free burgers that are stuffed with tons of ingredients (you choose what you want).

When you visit this counter-service destination, you can choose from a number of burgers, including a build-your-own option. The Original is exceptional with aged white cheddar cheese.

New Mexico: Sparky’s (Hatch)

Kzenon/Adobe waitress serving american diner at restaurant

Sparky’s is a fun destination and burger diner you’ll love spending time in. Sit outside, enjoy the live music, and grab a specialty shake.

The food isn’t second, though. The simplest of options is the Hatch Green Chile Cheese Burger, which is bursting with flavor and a bit of heat to go with it.

New York: 5 Napkin Burger (New York)

Kzenon/Adobe couple eating hamburger in restaurant

A bistro-like establishment, 5 Napkin Burger has the best cheeseburger in New York, hands down.

The namesake 5 Napkin Burger is a 10-ounce patty with imported gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, and a rosemary garlic aioli to top it off.

North Carolina: Hops Burger Bar (Greensboro)

BGStock72/Adobe girlfriend feeding fries to boyfriend

Hops Burger Bar is a relaxed burger destination noted for its locally sourced ingredients and local craft brews.

You’ll find lots of interesting options on the menu, like fried crab balls, but the French Dip Burger is one of the juiciest options you’ll find anywhere.

North Dakota: Sickies Garage Burgers & Brews (Fargo)

Prostock-studio/Adobe woman smelling burger on orange background

A full bar with local brews, Sickies Garage Burgers & Brews actually has much more to offer, including a large menu in a garage-themed eatery.

Their Supercharged Burgers include a Glazed Doughnut Burger, a Macaroni and Cheese Burger, and the Hot Momma, which is topped with ghost pepper cheese.

Ohio: The Rail (Strongsville)

tashechka/Adobe toddler excited about burger at restaurant

The Rail is noted for its sports-themed, relaxed eatery vibe, but it also has some of the most notably good burgers served alongside rosemary fries and huge shakes.

The Ultimate Cheat Day combines cheddar, pepper jack, an egg, pepper jack cheese sauce, a fried local chicken breast, tomatoes, and so much more, all in one burger.

Oklahoma: Nic’s Grill (Oklahoma City)

Marius Venter/peopleimages.com/Adobe friends laughing while having lunch

Here’s a small, hole-in-the-wall location that offers an incredibly flavorful menu, including the best cheeseburgers around.

The Fat Dena is a solid choice as it’s a chili-topped burger with shredded pepper jack cheese, guacamole, and sour cream.

Oregon: Five Stars Family Burger (Cornelius)

ASDF/Adobe family eating burgers at outdoor restaurant

Five Stars Family Burger provides 100% oak charcoal BBQ grill burgers, and they are some of the most decadent, well-made burgers you’ll find.

If you want something a bit more unique than the best basic cheeseburger, check out the spicy Kimchi Bacon Cheeseburger. It’s

Pennsylvania: Old School Burgers (Willow Grove)

bodnarphoto/Adobe male student eating burger at restaurant

A build-a-burger destination, Old School Burgers Willow Grove is the type of location you can take the whole family to and not worry about complaints.

It’s hard to choose, with options like the Kevin Bacon (with extra cheese), the Tombstone (with BBQ and cheese), and the Rocky (with garlic parm, grilled onions, and marinara).

Rhode Island: Stanley’s Famous Hamburgers (Central Falls)

KEA/Adobe cheese burger besides fries and drink

Stanley’s Famous Hamburgers is a true retro joint where you’ll sit on one of the counter stools for a meal.

These are burgers that eat like a big meal. Choose from the Pepper Cheese Burger, The Double Tomato Cheese, or the Mushroom Burger, among many others.

South Carolina: Steve’s Classic Burgers (Columbia)

Daniel Rodriguez juicy falafel and vegetable hamburger

Steve’s Classic Burgers is the gold standard when it comes to cheeseburgers. It’s a simple, down-to-earth location noted for its burgers, chili hot dogs, and cobblers.

The Barnyard Burger, with its 1/4 thick slice of bologna on top of Texas Toast, on top of a burger, with an egg, makes it one of the most over-the-top options on the menu.

South Dakota: Murph’s Burgers & Fries (Sioux Falls)

Olga Miltsova/Adobe double cheeseburger with tomato and onion

Creative food and really good Incredibles make Murph’s Burgers and Fries the best place to get a cheeseburger in South Dakota.

This location is a fun, truck-themed restaurant known for its cheeseburgers loaded with bacon jam.

Tennessee: Hopdoddy Burger Bar (Nashville)

Deno/Adobe big mac on black plate

For the best cheeseburger in Nashville, check out the eco-minded Hopdoddy Burger Bar, noted for not just hand-crafted, all-natural meats but also homemade buns.

You have a lot of options to select from here, including the Roosevelt, which is made from 100% fresh ground grass-fed bison and is topped with goat cheese, fig and cherry honey, and shallots.

Texas: Annie’s Hamburgers (Houston)

Olga/Adobe cheese and bacon burger on table

A truly local diner, the laid-back feel of Annie’s Hamburgers makes it a fun destination with fair prices, freshly made lemonade, and huge breakfast portions.

But it’s the burgers that bring people in. Choose from a single or double, topped with what you love. The BBQ burger is a saucy treat that’s hard to beat.

Utah: Fat Jack’s Tap House (Salt Lake City

Lukas Gojda/Adobe hamburger sliders on wooden table

Fat Jack’s Tap House may be known for its brews and beers on tap, but they also have a solid bar menu of food, including one of the best cheeseburgers around.

These hand-crafted burgers are served on a toasted brioche bun made fresh daily. Try the Angry Bleu Burger, with smoked bleu cheese, bacon, grilled onions, and a bit of hot sauce.

Vermont: The Shopping Bag (Burlington)

annapustynnikova/Adobe hamburger with fries on cutting board

Here’s a juicy, huge cheeseburger noted for its fresh ingredients and from 100% USDA beef that’s butchered and ground in-house.

The Sizzler is a half-pound burger with bacon, provolone, and American cheese, along with their housemade seasoning and standard fixings. It’s a greasy mess of goodness.

Virginia: Boulevard Burger and Brew (Richmond)

craftykat/Adobe fresh street food burgers

Boulevard Burger and Brew serves up alcoholic milkshakes and gourmet burgers. With a fun atmosphere and indoor and outdoor seating, it’s the place to be on a warm night.

While the menu is big, the best cheeseburger, according to locals, is the Mr. Moe’s Chili Cheese Burger, which has a big scoop of homemade chili right on the burger.

Washington: The Gourmet Burger Shop (Gig Harbor)

Brent Hofacker/Adobe grass fed bison hamburger

A counter shop destination, The Gourmet Burger Shop offers some of the freshest seafood baskets and fun sides around.

Its burgers are all worthy of consideration, but the Bacon Cheddar, with its aged cheddar and grilled onions, is a favorite option here.

West Virginia: Big Red’s Shanty (Morgantown)

ManuPadilla/Adobe double cheeseburger in white wrap

Another small destination, Big Red’s Shanty, is the right place to go when you want the very best cheeseburger in the state piled high with custom-selected fixings.

One of the best options is the Monster Burger, which is a huge 1/2-pound burger topped with anything you want — from pineapple to roasted banana peppers and a variety of cheeses.

Wisconsin: Fred’s Parkview (Burlington)

Fischer Food Design/Adobe burger with fries on wooden board

A beautiful destination with an exceptional view, Fred’s Parkview is a bit more upscale than some destinations, but this long-time destination is noted for its handmade burgers.

As a cheese lover, you’ll want to consider the Olive Burger, which has sliced green olives on top and is then covered in melted, goody mozzarella cheese.

Wyoming: Homestretch Bar & Grill (Casper)

korchemkin/Adobe girl holding burger with fries

Stop in for happy hour and good hospitality, and then enjoy the best cheeseburger in Wyoming at Homestretch Bar & Grill, a location noted for its free video games and excellent service.

With a full menu of foods and drinks, the burger you’re after is The Superior Patty Melt with its grilled patty and onions, Thousand Island dressing, and Swiss cheese combination.

Bottom line

JacobLund/Adobe couple dining at a restaurant

Instead of declaring a winner, perhaps it's best to leave the title of "best cheeseburger" up to personal adventure.

After all, the beauty lies in the hunt, in uncovering that hidden gem, that timeless diner where generations have savored the same perfection.

So grab your best cash back credit card, hit the road, and remember, the juiciest prize often awaits in the most unexpected corners.

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