Who doesn't love a good burger? The juicy patty, melted cheese, crispy bacon, and soft bun… It's the ultimate comfort food that never gets old. Lansing, Michigan, may not be known for its burgers, but the city's food scene has grown significantly in recent years, providing burger lovers with a variety of options to choose from. In this article, we'll explore the best burger joints in Lansing, the history of burgers in the city, what makes a burger the best, and much more. So, grab a napkin, loosen your belt, and let's dig in!
Top 10 burger joints in Lansing
Lansing is home to many burger joints that cater to all tastes and preferences. Some are old-school diners that have been around for decades, while others are trendy restaurants that offer unique and gourmet burger options. Here are our top 10 picks for the best burger joints in Lansing:
- The Grid Arcade and Bar
- Saddleback BBQ
- Meat BBQ
- Tavern and Tap
- Punk Taco
- Zaytoon Mediterranean
- Burgdorf's Winery
- Meat Southern BBQ and Carnivore Cuisine
Each of these burger joints has something unique to offer, whether it's the atmosphere, the toppings, the sides, or the drinks. Some of them also have vegan and vegetarian options for those who prefer a plant-based diet.
The Grid Arcade and Bar is not only a great place to grab a burger, but it also offers a fun and unique atmosphere. With classic arcade games and a wide selection of craft beers, it's the perfect spot for a night out with friends.
If you're looking for a burger joint with a southern twist, Meat Southern BBQ and Carnivore Cuisine is the place to go. Their burgers are made with high-quality meat and topped with delicious BBQ sauce and coleslaw. They also offer a variety of southern sides, such as mac and cheese and collard greens.
The history of burgers in Lansing
Like many other cities in America, burgers have been a staple of Lansing's food culture for decades. The first burger joint in the city opened in the 1930s, and since then, many more have followed. In the 1950s and 1960s, drive-in diners became popular in Lansing, and burgers became a favorite menu item for road-trippers. Today, burger joints in Lansing have evolved, offering more diverse and gourmet options that cater to the city's diverse population.
One of the most popular burger joints in Lansing is Crunchy's, which has been serving up burgers and beer since 1982. Their famous Crunchy Burger is a local favorite, featuring a juicy patty topped with bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and their signature Crunchy sauce. Another popular spot is Meat Southern BBQ & Carnivore Cuisine, which offers a unique twist on the classic burger with their BBQ Burger, featuring a beef patty topped with pulled pork, coleslaw, and BBQ sauce. Whether you're in the mood for a classic burger or something more gourmet, Lansing has plenty of options to satisfy your cravings.
What makes a burger the best?
What defines a "best" burger is subjective and varies from person to person. However, some qualities that most people look for in a burger include:
- Fresh, high-quality ingredients
- Patty cooked to perfection – juicy and flavorful
- Melted cheese that complements the patty
- Soft, fresh bun that holds everything together
- Crunchy and salty toppings, such as bacon or onion rings
- Perfectly paired sides and drinks
Burgers that meet these criteria are likely to please anyone, even the most picky eaters.
Another important factor that can make a burger the best is the cooking method. Some people prefer their burgers grilled, while others like them fried or even baked. The cooking method can affect the texture and flavor of the patty, so it's important to choose the method that suits your taste.
Additionally, the sauce or condiments used in a burger can make a big difference. From classic ketchup and mustard to more adventurous options like aioli or chipotle mayo, the right sauce can elevate the flavors of the burger and add a unique touch.
Expert reviews: Our top picks for the best burger in Lansing
We've scoured Lansing's burger joints and sampled many burgers to bring you our top picks for the best burger in the city. Here they are:
- The Grid Arcade and Bar – The Grid Burger
- Saddleback BBQ – The Meat Daddy Burger
- Meat BBQ – The Racer Burger
- Crunchy's – The Big Crunchy Burger
- Tavern and Tap – The Royale with Cheese Burger
Each of these burgers has its unique and delicious flavor that will leave your taste buds tingling. However, these are just our opinions, and we encourage you to try different burgers and form your own opinions.
If you're looking for a classic burger experience, The Grid Arcade and Bar's Grid Burger is the way to go. It's a juicy, perfectly cooked patty topped with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion, all served on a soft brioche bun.
For those who prefer a more adventurous burger, we recommend trying the Meat Daddy Burger from Saddleback BBQ. This burger features a beef patty topped with pulled pork, bacon, and cheddar cheese, all smothered in BBQ sauce. It's a messy but delicious experience that's worth trying.
Discovering hidden gem burger spots in Lansing
As much as we love the popular and trendy burger joints in Lansing, there are also many hidden gem spots that offer amazing burgers but may not get as much recognition. These include:
- The Circle BBQ
- Moriarty's Pub
- Conrad's Grill
- Jalapeno's Mexican Grill
- Pablo's Panaderia and Taqueria
These spots offer unique and flavorful burgers that stand out from the crowd. They are also affordable, making them a great option for those on a budget.
One of the hidden gem burger spots in Lansing that is worth mentioning is The Circle BBQ. This spot offers a variety of burgers that are cooked to perfection and served with delicious sides. Their signature burger, The Circle Burger, is a must-try for any burger lover.
Another spot that is worth checking out is Moriarty's Pub. This cozy pub offers a great selection of burgers that are made with fresh ingredients and served with hand-cut fries. Their burgers are juicy and flavorful, and their friendly staff makes the dining experience even better.
Vegan and vegetarian options for burger lovers
For those who prefer a plant-based diet or want to cut down on their meat consumption, Lansing has many vegan and vegetarian options that are just as delicious and satisfying as meat-based burgers. Some of our favorites include:
- Seoul Street
- The Purple Carrot Truck
- The People's Kitchen
- The Soup Spoon Cafe
These spots offer unique and flavorful vegan and vegetarian burgers that prove that you don't need meat to enjoy a good burger.
Additionally, many of these restaurants also offer vegan and vegetarian options for sides and toppings, such as sweet potato fries, avocado, and vegan cheese. This allows for a fully plant-based meal that is just as satisfying as a traditional burger and fries.
Furthermore, some of these restaurants also offer gluten-free options for those with dietary restrictions. This ensures that everyone can enjoy a delicious burger, regardless of their dietary needs.
The perfect sides to complement your Lansing burger experience
While burgers are undoubtedly the star of the show, they are even better when paired with the perfect side dishes. Here are some sides that we recommend to accompany your burger:
- French fries – crispy and golden
- Sweet potato fries – sweet and savory
- Onion rings – crunchy and salty
- Tater tots – crispy and comforting
- Coleslaw – creamy and tangy
The perfect drink to pair with your burger largely depends on your preference. Some people like to pair burgers with beer, while others prefer soft drinks or milkshakes.
For those looking for a healthier option, a side salad is a great choice to balance out the richness of the burger. A simple green salad with a vinaigrette dressing can provide a refreshing contrast to the savory flavors of the burger. Additionally, grilled vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers, and mushrooms can add a delicious and nutritious touch to your meal.
Burgers and beers: A guide to the best pairings in Lansing
If you're a fan of beer and burgers, Lansing has many options available that pair perfectly. Here are some of our favorite beer and burger pairings:
- The Grid Arcade and Bar – The Grid Burger with a local craft beer
- Tavern and Tap – Royale with Cheese burger with a Michigan IPA
- Burgdorf's Winery – Bacon Burger with a Michigan Cabernet Sauvignon
These pairings enhance the flavor of both the burger and the beer, creating a delightful dining experience.
But if you're looking for something a little different, try the vegetarian Impossible Burger paired with a Belgian wheat beer at HopCat. The citrus notes in the beer complement the plant-based patty, making for a surprisingly satisfying meal.
The best burgers for under $10 in Lansing
If you're on a budget but still want to enjoy a delicious burger, don't worry. Lansing has many options for burgers that cost under $10. Here are some of our favorites:
- Crunchy's – The Crunchy Burger
- Beggar's Banquet – The Beggar Burger
- Punk Taco – The Classic Burger
- Zaytoon Mediterranean – Lamb Burger
These burgers are affordable and tasty, proving that you don't need to break the bank to enjoy a good burger.
But if you're looking for something a little different, there are also some great vegetarian burger options in Lansing. The Green Door Bar & Grill offers a delicious black bean burger, while Meat BBQ has a tasty portobello mushroom burger. These options are not only affordable but also cater to those with dietary restrictions.
A journey through Lansing's most iconic burger joints
To truly experience Lansing's burger culture, you need to take a journey through the city's most iconic burger joints. These include:
- Burgdorf's Winery
- The Peanut Barrel
- The Tap Room
- The Green Door
These joints have been around for decades and have become a part of Lansing's history. They offer a classic burger experience that reminds us of simpler times.
Each of these burger joints has its own unique atmosphere and menu. Burgdorf's Winery, for example, is known for its juicy burgers and homemade wine. The Peanut Barrel, on the other hand, is a popular spot for college students and offers a wide variety of toppings to customize your burger. The Tap Room is a cozy pub with a great selection of craft beers to pair with your burger, and The Green Door is a vegetarian-friendly option with delicious veggie burgers.
How to make the perfect homemade burger, inspired by Lansing's top chefs
If you can't make it to any of Lansing's burger joints, don't worry. You can make the perfect burger at home with some inspiration from the city's top chefs. Here's how:
- Choose high-quality, fresh ingredients – the patty, bun, cheese, and toppings all matter
- Cook the patty on a grill or in a pan until it's brown and crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside
- Melt the cheese on top of the patty to create a delicious and gooey layer
- Toast the bun and add the patty and cheese on top
- Top the burger with your favorite toppings, such as lettuce, tomato, onion, and bacon
- Serve with your favorite sides and drinks
With these steps, you can enjoy a homemade burger that's just as good as those you'd find in Lansing's top burger joints.
Burger challenges in Lansing: Can you finish them all?
If you're a burger enthusiast looking for a challenge, Lansing has some burger challenges that will test your limits. Here are some of the most popular burger challenges in the city:
- The Double Dog Dare at Meat BBQ – Two ½ pound beef brisket and chuck patties, topped with bacon, cheddar cheese, and pulled pork
- The Grid Burger Challenge – A 1 lb. burger with six pieces of cheese, bacon, and all the fixings. Finish it within 20 minutes, and it's free!
- The Buffalo Burger Challenge at Crunchy's – Two ¼ pound burgers, six strips of bacon, six slices of American cheese, Buffalo sauce, and all the fixings. Finish it with 30 minutes and get a t-shirt and your picture on the wall.
These challenges are not for the faint of heart, but they are a fun way to test your burger-eating skills.
The impact of local ingredients on the best burgers in Lansing
Lansing's burger joints are known for using fresh and local ingredients in their burgers, which makes them even more flavorful and enjoyable. Using local ingredients not only supports the community but also ensures that the food is fresh and healthy. Some of the local ingredients that Lansing burger joints use include:
- Michigan beef
- Michigan cheeses
- Michigan-grown vegetables
By using these ingredients, Lansing's burger joints have established themselves as proponents of the "farm-to-table" movement, which emphasizes the importance of local and sustainable food practices.
The future of burgers in Lansing: Trends and predictions
As Lansing's food culture continues to grow, so too will its burger scene. Here are some trends and predictions for the future of burgers in Lansing:
- More vegan and vegetarian options
- More gourmet and unique burger options
- More emphasis on locally-sourced and sustainable ingredients
- More fusion burgers that combine different cultural flavors and ingredients
- More partnerships between burger joints and breweries, wineries, and distilleries
The future of burgers in Lansing looks bright, and we can't wait to see what new and exciting burgers will be created next.
And there you have it, folks – our exhaustive guide to the best burger in Lansing. From classic burgers to trendy and gourmet options, Lansing's burger scene has something for everyone. Whether you're a meat-lover or a vegan, budget-conscious or looking for a challenge, Lansing's burger joints will not disappoint. So, go out there and explore the city's burger culture – you won't regret it!