Every state has a few places that qualify as their best burger place. Minnesota is no exception. In fact Minnesotans love their burgers even more than hotdishes or meatloaf! But who decides what makes a great burger, and based on what criteria? Some people seem to think that a phenomenal burger should require that you unhinge your jaw to get it in your mouth. Others know it is all about the texture and flavor of the meat. If that is good enough, you barely need a bun.

Central Minnesota

Matt's Bar Allegations are that the article could end right here, and you can now die happy and go to burger heaven. The specialty is a delicacy called the Jucy Lucy (that is the way they spell it), which you may recognize as two patties crimped together, with cheese in between. Matt either invented it or perfected it, but people come from miles around to enjoy it. 3500 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-722-7072

Vincent: A Restaurant Winner of the Best Burger in Minnesota award of 2009, as declared by The Food Network. Vincent is a gourmet restaurant, and the burger in question is found on their Happy Hour menu. This burger is stuffed with braised beef tips and Gouda cheese. It may sound a bit odd, but the taste is both indescribable, and unforgettable. 1100 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, 612-630-1189

Caspar & Runyon's Shamrock Owned by the owner/operators of the renowned The Nook, this is one of those little hole-in-the-wall places that nobody gives a second glance. Word of mouth (including review of The Nook on Food Network Diners, Drive-ins & Dives) means this Irish pub is generally packed to the gills. Served on a fresh bakery bun and only ever using real cheese, C&R always make the best burgers. 995 W 7th Street, Saint Paul, MN 55102 651-228-9925

Northern Minnesota

Gordys Hi Hat Restaurant Nothing ever changes at Gordys. Their burgers are hand-pattied daily from fresh ground beef. This has made for fifty years of awesome burgers. 411 Sunnyside Dr., Cloquet, 218-879-6125

Big Daddy's Burgers The burgers are awesome and the portions are huge. If you cannot get back to the metro, this is the best Duluth has to offer. 2828 Piedmont Avenue Duluth, MN 55811-6712 (218) 206-2310

Southern Minnesota

Tender Maid Sandwich Shop Loose meat burgers, either plain or with cheese, is what the Tender maid Sandwich Shop is famous for. 217 Fourth Ave. NE, Austin, 507-437-7907

King's Place Fifty-four burgers to choose from. 54! Maybe it helps that King's place is located in the heart of dairy country. They are closed on Mondays, so you are going to want to plan ahead. All their burgers are named after baseball terms and chess board pieces. There is a burger for every palate. 14460 240th St. (Hwy. 61), Hastings*, 651-437-1418 *actually located nine miles south of Hastings.

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