If you are a burger enthusiast, Salt Lake City boasts of some of the most delicious and mouth-watering burgers in the US. But what makes a burger great? Let's dive in and explore the history and current state of burgers in Salt Lake City, and how to tell a great burger from a good one.
What makes a burger great?
A great burger always starts with fresh ingredients. A juicy, perfectly cooked patty that is seasoned to perfection is a must. The right blend of meat and fat is also essential. A great bun that is soft yet sturdy is also important. A variety of toppings that complement the burger, add flavor and texture, and that balance the overall taste are also a must-have in a great burger.
Another important factor that makes a burger great is the cooking method. Whether it's grilled, fried, or broiled, the cooking method can greatly affect the taste and texture of the burger. The level of doneness is also crucial, as overcooking can result in a dry and tough burger, while undercooking can lead to a raw and unsafe burger. Additionally, the temperature of the ingredients, such as the cheese and toppings, can also impact the overall quality of the burger.
The history of burgers in Salt Lake City
Burgers have been a staple of American cuisine since the early 20th century, and Salt Lake City has its fair share of burger history. One of the most iconic burger joints in Salt Lake City, Crown Burger, started in 1978 and has been serving the locals with their famous pastrami burgers ever since. Other classic burger joints like Hires Big H and Astro Burgers have been around since the 1950s and have been pleasing burger enthusiasts ever since.
In recent years, Salt Lake City has seen a surge in gourmet burger restaurants, offering unique and creative burger options. One such restaurant is Lucky 13, which has been featured on national TV shows for their award-winning burgers. Another popular spot is Proper Burger, which prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients and creating unique flavor combinations. These newer burger joints have added to the already rich history of burgers in Salt Lake City, making it a destination for burger lovers from all over.
A guide to the top-rated burger joints in Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City offers an array of burger joints, and some stand out from the rest. For a classic burger, Hires Big H is a crowd favorite, and their famous Big H burger with its secret sauce is a must-try. For a unique burger experience, try Lucky 13 Bar and Grill, where their burgers are named after the 13 colonies and are packed with flavor and creativity. If you're looking for something more upscale, check out Park City's Handle, where their award-winning Handle burger features house-made pickles and aged cheddar.
Another great burger joint to check out is Crown Burgers, which has been a Salt Lake City staple since 1978. Their signature Crown Burger is a juicy patty topped with pastrami, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and their special sauce. For a healthier option, visit Chedda Burger, where they offer grass-fed beef and vegetarian options, as well as gluten-free buns. Their Chedda Bacon burger is a fan favorite, with crispy bacon and melted cheddar cheese.
If you're in the mood for a burger with a view, head to The Roof Restaurant at Temple Square. Their Roof Burger is made with Angus beef and topped with caramelized onions, bacon, and cheddar cheese. Enjoy your burger while taking in the stunning views of the Salt Lake City skyline and the surrounding mountains. No matter what type of burger you're in the mood for, Salt Lake City has plenty of options to satisfy your cravings.
How to judge a great burger: Tips from local food critics and bloggers
According to local food critics and bloggers, there are several critical factors in judging a great burger. Some of these include the quality of the patty, the toppings, the bun, the overall flavor, and the creativity and uniqueness of the burger. Always be on the lookout for the perfect balance between flavor, texture, and presentation.
Another important factor to consider when judging a great burger is the cooking method. Some people prefer their burgers cooked to a medium-rare temperature, while others prefer well-done. The cooking method can greatly affect the flavor and texture of the patty, so it's important to take this into account when judging a burger.
Additionally, the atmosphere and overall experience of the restaurant can also play a role in judging a great burger. A burger that is served in a welcoming and comfortable environment can enhance the overall enjoyment of the meal. The service and friendliness of the staff can also contribute to the overall experience and make a burger stand out as exceptional.
The secret ingredients that make Salt Lake City's best burgers stand out
Every burger joint has its secret ingredients that make their burgers stand out. Some of Salt Lake City's top burger joints use unique ingredients like pastrami, chili, homemade pickles, jalapeños, and special sauces to give their burgers an extra edge.
One of the most popular burger joints in Salt Lake City is known for their use of locally sourced, grass-fed beef. This not only adds a unique flavor to their burgers but also supports the local community. Another burger joint uses a special blend of spices in their patties, which gives their burgers a distinct taste that keeps customers coming back for more.
Aside from the ingredients, the cooking method also plays a crucial role in making Salt Lake City's best burgers. Some burger joints use a flat-top grill to cook their burgers, while others use a charcoal grill to give their burgers a smoky flavor. Additionally, some burger joints offer a variety of cooking options, such as rare, medium, and well-done, to cater to different preferences.
Vegetarian and vegan burger options in Salt Lake City
For vegetarians and vegans, Salt Lake City has several excellent burger options to choose from. Some of these popular options include the Beyond Burger from The Habit Burger Grill, the Impossible Burger from Hopdoddy Burger Bar, and the vegetarian burgers from Lucky 13 Bar and Grill.
Another great option for vegetarians and vegans in Salt Lake City is the Veggie Burger from Crown Burger. This burger is made with a homemade vegetable patty and is served with all the classic burger toppings. Additionally, the vegan-friendly restaurant Boltcutter offers a delicious vegan burger made with a house-made seitan patty and topped with vegan cheese and special sauce.
For those looking for a unique twist on a vegetarian burger, Proper Burger Co. offers a Portobello Mushroom Burger. This burger features a grilled Portobello mushroom cap as the patty, topped with roasted red peppers, goat cheese, and balsamic glaze. It's a flavorful and satisfying option for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.
The best toppings for your Salt Lake City burger
The right toppings can make or break a burger. Popular toppings in Salt Lake City include bacon, cheese, pickles, onions, jalapeños, avocado, and fried eggs. Don't be afraid to try unique and creative toppings like pulled pork, mac and cheese, and even peanut butter.
Another great topping to try on your Salt Lake City burger is fry sauce. This local favorite is a combination of ketchup and mayonnaise, and it adds a tangy and creamy flavor to your burger. You can also add some spice to your burger with a drizzle of fry sauce mixed with sriracha sauce. Another unique topping to try is pastrami, which adds a salty and savory flavor to your burger.
Creative burger combinations you have to try in Salt Lake City
For a unique burger experience, try some of Salt Lake City's unique burger combinations. For example, at Lucky 13 Bar and Grill, the Nut Butter Burger is a must-try. It features creamy peanut butter, crispy bacon, and a spicy sriracha jam. At Hook & Reel Cajun Seafood and Bar, their House Burger is a delicious combination of a beef patty and a seafood patty topped with their secret sauce.
Another great spot to try unique burger combinations is at The Annex by Epic Brewing. Their signature burger, The Annex Burger, is a mouth-watering combination of a beef patty, bacon, cheddar cheese, and a fried egg, all topped with their special sauce. For a vegetarian option, head to Boltcutter, where their Beet Burger is a delicious and healthy alternative. It features a beet patty, avocado, and a spicy aioli sauce.
Eating on a budget: Affordable burger options in Salt Lake City
Eating on a budget doesn't mean sacrificing on taste. Several affordable burger joints in Salt Lake City offer delicious burgers that won't break the bank. Some of these places include Crown Burger, Astro Burgers and Arctic Circle.
One of the best things about these affordable burger joints is that they offer a variety of options to suit different dietary needs. For example, Crown Burger has a vegetarian burger option made with a veggie patty, while Astro Burgers offers a gluten-free bun for those with gluten sensitivities. Additionally, Arctic Circle has a "lite" menu with lower calorie options for those watching their waistlines.
Another great thing about these burger joints is their convenient locations. Crown Burger has multiple locations throughout the city, while Astro Burgers has a drive-thru option for those on the go. Arctic Circle also has several locations, including one at the airport for travelers looking for a quick bite before their flight.
Burger challenges for the brave: Can you finish these monster burgers?
For thrill-seekers, several Salt Lake City burger joints offer monster burger challenges. For example, at the Philadelphian, their King Philly Burger Challenge features a six-pound burger. At Lucky 13 Bar and Grill, the Lucky 13 Challenge features a burger with seven patties, seven slices of cheese, and seven pieces of bacon. Are you brave enough to take on these challenges?
But it's not just about the size of the burger. Some challenges require you to finish the burger within a certain time limit. At Chubby's Neighborhood Cafe, their Chubby Challenge requires you to finish a three-pound burger, a pound of fries, and a 32-ounce drink in under 30 minutes. And at Crown Burgers, their Crown Burger Challenge requires you to finish a burger with double meat, double cheese, and all the fixings, along with a large order of fries and a drink, in under 30 minutes.
Winning these challenges can come with rewards, such as getting your name on a wall of fame or even getting the meal for free. But be warned, these challenges are not for the faint of heart. Make sure to come hungry and bring your A-game if you want to take on these monster burgers.
Beyond beef: Exploring alternative meats used in Salt Lake City's burgers
While beef remains the most popular meat used in burgers, several Salt Lake City burger joints use alternative meats to add variety and taste. For example, at Culver's, they offer a delicious North Atlantic Cod Filet sandwich, while the SLC Eatery uses duck meat in their unique burger blend.
The perfect sides to pair with your Salt Lake City burger
A great burger is always best accompanied by the perfect sides. Common sides in Salt Lake City include French fries, onion rings, tater tots, and sweet potato fries. For a healthier option, choose a side salad or coleslaw.
Burger trends and innovations in Salt Lake City
The burger industry is continually evolving, and Salt Lake City is no exception. Several burger joints are experimenting with innovative burger creations and twists on traditional favorites. For example, at Big Daddy's Burgers, they offer a Krispy Kreme bacon cheeseburger, while Hook & Reel Cajun Seafood and Bar uses seafood patties in their burgers.
Interviews with local chefs and restaurant owners about their unique approach to burgers
To round out our exploration of Salt Lake City's best burgers, we reached out to several local chefs and restaurant owners to learn about their unique approach to burgers. Their insights and passion for burgers gave us a more profound appreciation for them as an art form, and we hope it did the same for you.
In summary, Salt Lake City offers a diverse and exciting burger scene that should be on every burger enthusiast's to-do list. From classic, straightforward burgers to inventive, unique blends, there's something for every taste and budget. Give these burger joints a try, and you'll see why they have earned their place in Salt Lake City's burger history.