Godfather's Burger Lounge in Belmont, Calif., offers juicy burgers and piles of fries.
Char-Pit Kings Beach, Calif. (also Nevada’s Sand Harbor park)
“The Pit overlooks sparkling Lake Tahoe,” Marv Jacoby says. “The luscious burgers rival the best you’ve ever had. Grab one and head to the beach a block away.” charpit.com.
Godfather’s Burger Lounge Belmont, Calif.
“Godfather’s burgers are like a tango for your tongue,” Lisha Bronson says. “Owned by two brothers, it has cinematic decor. Everyone we’ve taken couldn’t wait to come back.” godfathersburgerlounge.com.
Lighthouse Grill Trinidad, Calif.
“Locals are addicted to the burgers made with grass-fed beef, home-baked buns, and lots of love,” Janine Volkmar says. “This tiny place in a seaside fishing town seats only 28—try the patio.” (707) 677-0077.
El Paseo Mill Valley, Calif.
“The sauce on Tyler Florence’s béarnaise burger kicks it into a previously unexplored part of the stratosphere,” Sean Reiter says. “Best burger I’ve ever had, and my worst mistake ever to split it.” elpaseomillvalley.com.
Superburger Santa Rosa, Calif.
“A juicy burger and shoe-string fries always hit the spot,” Corey Mostafa says. “What puts this place over the top is the nostalgic fun of eating at the old-fashioned U-shaped counter.” santarosasuperburger.com.
Duane’s Ono-Char Burger Anahola, Kauai
“The best burgers are the Local Boy and Local Girl, served with a pineapple slice and teriyaki sauce,” Kat Anderson says. “You never eat alone because of the ubiquitous chickens.” (808) 822-9181.
Wheeler’s Handout Nampa, Idaho
“Can’t be beat,” Joyce Huff says. “Delectable rectangular hamburgers oozing special sauce and accompanied by Tater Tots–style potatoes. My favorite for 57 years.” wheelershandout.com.
Foster Burger Portland
“The buns for these outstandingly delicious burgers are made at An Xuyen Bakery next door,” Bonnie Nygren says. “The meat is lean but thick and succulent—you don’t need any sauces.” fosterburger.com.
Jasper's Cafe Medford, Ore.
“The flavorful meats are ground fresh daily, and the patties are hand-pressed,” Marsha Markham says. “Adventuresome diners can order game meats such as elk, bison, wild boar, antelope, kangaroo, and water buffalo.” jasperscafe.com.
Terrebonne Depot Terrebonne, Ore.
“The train still goes by this former depot, where burgers are made from locally grown beef, cooked to order, and served with great side options like mango slaw,” Lee Miller says. terrebonnedepot.com.
Cotton Bottom Inn Holladay, Utah
“This cozy pub just below Little Cottonwood Canyon has plenty of good brews,” Chris Seibert says, “but the main attraction is the big, juicy garlic burger they’ve offered for 50 years.” cottonbottominn.com.
Shooting Star Saloon Huntsville, Utah
“Drive spectacular Ogden Canyon to the oldest saloon in Utah,” Jan Zehner writes. “It ain’t fancy, but it serves delicious burgers under a ceiling papered with dollar bills.” shootingstarsaloon.co.
Photography by Melissa Barnes
This article was first published in November 2013. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.