Burgers have been selling across the world with an increased ferocity over the past five years, and their popularity isn’t showing signs of slowing down. St Paul is the place to go in Minnesota for the discerning burger aficionado – we check out the 10 best burgers in the region.
Courtesy of Burger Moe’s
Bakery, Bar, Restaurant, American, Pub Grub, $$$
If you like beer with your burger, Burger Moe’s will be the place for you. With 60 beers on tap and over 25 more in a bottled variety, the restaurant showcases some of the best beer both from around the world and from craft brewers in the city. The inside is large and simple, with the bar area attracting plenty of attention, particularly on game days with sports fans crowding around one of five TVs. The large patio outdoors is another draw. All burgers are made from locally sourced 100% certified black angus beef inside a freshly baked bun from St Paul‘s own P.J. Murphy’s Bakery, and are served with fresh cut fries.
This fantastic pub draws in just as many customers for their events and beer selection as they do for their burgers. Enter through the eponymous blue door and you will find a laid back environment largely consisting of wooden furnishings, posters and TVs. The next thing that will hit you is the heavenly smell of meat. Its creative burgers, or ‘blucys’ are made using two fresh ground Angus beef patties to accompany and showcase the variety of different ingredients. You can try the set burgers, with influences such as French, Thai and Hawaiian, or create your own. For something a bit bigger, try their award winning Jiffy Burger, complete with pepper jack cheese, bacon, pickle, peanut butter and mayo.
Capital View Cafe‘s name derives from the splendid view that the restaurant has across the city, Minnesota’s state capital, from its Smith Avenue location. It is a family-run business that has been in operation since 1993. In addition to its burgers, it offers a range of Mexican and American favorites for breakfast, lunch and catering. All of their burgers are served as half-pounders with lettuce, tomato, pickle and a choice of fries, kettle chips or coleslaw. The burgers are made with the experience and expertise of the owners who have taken flavor influences from across the USA to create a mouthwatering menu which has earned them a loyal band of customers for over 20 years.
Mickey's Diner Exterior | Courtesy of Mickey's Diner
The Happy Gnome gives itself a lot to live up to and unfailingly succeeds. The interior is all wood paneling, wooden furnishings and traditional pub decorations, and the large wooden patio at the rear is a popular destination for drinkers and meat lovers during summertime. To wash down your burger you will be spoiled for choice, with 77 beers on tap, over 300 bottled beers, and a selection of over 250 whiskeys. The burgers use choice cuts of meat and veer away from the traditional beef and hamburgers, although these are on offer too, with game burger, duck burgers and mixed meat sliders being the top choices. For those who want their burgers upscale and their booze aplenty, this is the place to come.
Mickey’s Diner is something of a St Paul legend, with its reputation spreading far and wide – attracting customers from even further afield. It is an art deco-style dining car restaurant which has been in continuous 24 hour operation since it first opened in 1939. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 for being the only building of its kind in the state. Their meat is delivered fresh from a local butcher and their buns arrive fresh daily from a local bakery, and all of their burgers are cooked to perfection, as they have been for nearly 80 years, producing juicy, tender mouthfuls of meaty goodness. A classic, with good reason.
A small place with big burgers. A pub with a proud Irish heritage, The Nook – or Casper’s and Runyon’s Shamrocks Irish Nook, to take its original full name – is one of the city’s premiere destinations for game day drinking and eating with its year-round party atmosphere. Its impressive array of burgers are all served with a choice of homemade fresh-cut fries, coleslaw or chips and fried or raw onions and pickles, and are made to order with special USDA certified black Angus beef. They offer beef patties topped with a range of different ingredients, as well as a selection of stuffed burgers. Their Juicy Nookie burger, a stuffed cheeseburger, and Nookie Supreme Challenge, are long standing crowd-pleasers.
Inside Red Cow, you will be greeted with a sophisticated twist on the classic neighborhood tavern, where fine-dining meets local bar. The attractive exposed brickwork is complemented by the modern decorations and furnishings and impressive dark wood paneling and furnishings. On the menu there’s a range of Certified Angus Beef burgers, local grass fed burgers, and non-beef burgers including turkey, bison, tuna, lamb and vegetarian. The ingredients are all farm fresh and the toppings are some of the finest in the city, with prosciutto, a cherry red wine reduction and pork belly being just some of those on offer. There is even a variety of artisanal buns.
Overlooking Rice Park, The St Paul Grill draws in diners who want to eat good food with a view to match. The restaurant has won an impressive array of awards and has established itself as a firm favorite for locals and tourists for classic, upscale dining that is perfect both for date night or a more casual dinner with friends and family. It has an extensive menu, though has one of the more limited selections of burgers on our list, with only four. These are the Black and Blue, Bacon Cheddar, Breakfast and Vegetarian Portobello Mushroom burger, all of which are available gluten-free. For those who want their classic burgers with a touch of fine-dining, head to this great grill.
Sweeney’s Saloon places ‘having a good time’ on an equal footing with ‘having great quality food’. It is a neighborhood saloon which is packed nightly, on account of having one of the best atmospheres in town. The beef burgers are all a half pound of Certified Angus Beef, with vegetarian, bison and turkey burgers as alternative options. You can build your own burger or choose from their house specials, with flavors coming from Greece, the South and Dale Street, with this local burger and the Hangover Burger being the prime choice among locals.
Ward 6 has a turn of the century charm. The burgers come courtesy of Peterson Limousin Farms beef, and there’s the option of plain, with cheese, vegetarian, or, for those with a bigger appetite, opt for the Fatty Melt: the love child of a grilled cheese and a burger, with bacon. Neighborhood food made with drinking in mind, whether that’s with a beer or to cure hangover.