Two homemade beef burgers with mushrooms, micro greens, red onion, fried eggs and beet sauce on wooden cutting board. Side view, close up

Burgers are defined by Merriam Webster as fried sandwiches made of meat or other foods that are shaped into a round, flat shape and are sandwiched between two bread rolls. Ever wonder what the best burger is in North Carolina?

We have some answers. I love eating hamburgers. A medium-rare burger with cheese, lettuce, and some ketchup is my favorite. Americans love burgers, whether they’re eaten on the go or at a backyard BBQ. They are juicy, delicious, and go well with fries. As a result of Food & Wine, we now know where to find the best burger in North Carolina.

The following list includes classic, straight-shooting burgers and the old-school establishments that are still making some of the best burgers. Below are some Southeast and Eastcoast favorites as well. Did your favorite burger make it to the number one spot in the state? Let us know.

  • North Carolina

    The Brooks’ Sandwich House in Charlotte has long been a reliable source of the stuff; here, however, a slice is served with a burger. If you ask for it “all the way,” you’ll get mustard, onion, and beef chili.

  • Alabama

    In addition to live music and good times, Callaghan’s Irish Social Club has developed over the decades into a premier spot for a bacon cheeseburger and great live music. The bedrock is hand-smushed, though never smashed, Angus beef on a vintage flat-top, topped with quality vegetables, plus very good bacon. To balance out the fries, there is a refreshing tomato, cucumber, and onion salad.
  • Connecticut

    Louis’ Lunch is located in Connecticut. In the late 1800s, Louis Lassen started pressing steak scraps on upright grills and serving them as sandwiches. Despite the passing of Lassen’s great-grandson, the establishment still prepares and serves its juicy, default-to-medium-rare burgers the same way as it always has. If you order the sandwich fully dressed, you will get grilled onions, ripe tomato slices, and nicely melted cheese; don’t ask for anything else.

  • Delaware

    Located in Los Angeles, the Charcoal Pit stands as a whimsical relic of an era gone by, a swooping, neon-lit coffee shop where you can get frosted chocolate malts, and monster ice cream sundaes, fresh onion rings, and hamburgers prepared on a charcoal grill. You should order the 10 oz. Home Run burger, is a straightforward classic topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, and a slice of American cheese.

  • Florida

    Let’s say you’re looking for the best burgers in Miami. Actually, you’re looking for the best Frita. This beef and pork blend is seasoned liberally with cumin, pepper, and paprika served on an absorbent Cuban roll, and topped with onions and crispy potato matchsticks, for a crunchiness that cannot be beaten.

  • Georgia

    NFA Burgers begin with some top-quality Angus beef grilled until the edges are crispy-caramelized. Pickles, mustard, the house secret sauce, and cheese are the standard toppings, and Martin’s soft rolls hold it all together. It looks so good to me!

  • Kentucky

    In 1934, Laha’s Red Castle opened in Hodgenville, a small town. There are small but mighty burgers here, and they are mighty affordable. Fresh ground beef is pressed down on the flat top, then raw onions are thrown on top.

    National cheeseburger Day! Let’s have some fun, share in the comments how you eat your Laha’s…. #nationalcheeseburgerday #since1934 #bestinkentucky

    Posted by Laha's Red Castle on Saturday, September 18, 2021
  • Louisiana

    After serving in World War II, brothers Alcide and Marc Judice opened the Judice Inn in Lafayette, and until this date, if you’re in the mood for a Cajun burger, you want this still-in-the-family hangout where they grind the beef and bake the rolls daily. There is an abundance of flavor not found in your typical American beef patty—like pepper, black pepper, and cayenne—and the burgers are well seasoned as well, drenched in the house tomato-based special sauce with lettuce and raw onion on the side.

  • Maine

    Biddeford is home to the Palace Diner. The Palais Royale is the place to go if you want great burgers. The sandwich comes with two generously sized smash burgs, cheddar cheese melting everywhere, shredded lettuce, pickles, and just enough secret sauce on a toasted sesame seed bun.

  • Maryland

    A Baltimore neighborhood institution, Hamilton Tavern serves one of the city’s best tavern burgers, and it’s the blessed simplicity, but with excellent local ingredients, that sets them apart from the rest. One might be satisfied with that beautiful, organic Roseda Farms beef on a fresh, locally-baked sesame roll on its own, but the house favorite, the Crosstown Burger, is nicely complemented with a slab of melty horseradish cheddar cheese, plenty of crisp icebergs, and a disc of red onion.

  • Massachusetts

    Craigie on Main in Cambridge serves grass-fed local beef, cheddar from Vermont, lettuce, red onions, and housemade ketchup spiked with the mace on a perfectly made roll from Clear Flour Bakery, making it the state’s best burger.

  • West Virginia

    Jim’s Drive-In in Lewisburg serves up stellar shakes, slaw dogs (as is the style here), and good, honest, quality burgers—scraggly, hand-formed patties sent out with a magnificent char. Cheese, onions, lettuce, and tomato—that’s all you need. Except maybe an order of the onion rings.

  • Virginia

    In Roanoke, Texas Tavern serves the city’s most iconic $3 meal. This is a cheeseburger with a fried egg, pickles, sweet relish, and if you want onions as well. The restaurant was founded in 1930 by Nick Bullington and is currently owned by his great-grandson Matt.

  • Mississippi

    Latham’s Hamburger Inn in New Albany still serves something very close to the original article, almost a century after the burger’s heyday—fried in a cast-iron skillet, it crisps up around the edges, almost crunchy like a fritter. It’s served on a griddled bun with the usual fixings.

  • New Hampshire

    Gilley’s PM Lunch in Portsmouth is one of the best diners in the country. Skip the bun, even if you’re going for a classic cheeseburger or chiliburger-for a true taste of New England, order the burger served with baked beans and buttery white bread for dipping. Make sure you try the hand-cut fries made with Maine potatoes.

  • New Jersey

    White Manna in Hackensack is a burger paradise. You can enjoy a daub of fresh-ground burger, onions on top, cheese melting everywhere out of the pliable, miniature potato roll. The result is one of the smallest, best burgers in America. Yummy!

  • New York

    One of New York’s most iconic steakhouses is Peter Luger in Brooklyn. You can also get some great burgers there! The burger is served medium rare on a quality sesame bun with plenty of raw onion and includes over half a pound of prime dry-aged beef.

  • Pennsylvania

    Tessaro’s Tavern, a legendary Pittsburgh tavern run by the Harrington family, is known for its in-house butcher. Locally sourced and grilled on cast iron over hardwood coals, these hamburgers are tucked into fresh buns from a nearby bakery, typically with the utmost care. 

  • South Carolina

    Something as simple and delicious as a pimento cheeseburger shouldn’t be off the menu all over the country. While pimento cheese is found throughout the South, so too are pimento cheeseburgers, but most can agree that Columbia, South Carolina’s capital city, is the spiritual home (at least of the latter). At the fun-loving Rockaway Athletic Club, which is neither an athletic club nor a club per se, but rather a late-night indoor-outdoor bar, you’ll find a perfect example.

  • Tennessee

    In addition to being a bar, jazz club, and brothel (up until the early 1990s), the restaurant tells many stories, ghost stories for sure, and tales of legends, musical and otherwise, who have passed through its doors. You might want to try the Soul Burger, one of the more famous dishes in the city that isn’t barbecue. It is not rocket science to make these burgers; they are topped with cheese, pickles, grilled onion, and mustard, and are usually consumed late at night on the way home.

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