If you're a burger enthusiast and happen to be living in Tucson, you're in for a treat. Tucson, our charming desert city, is nothing less than a paradise for burger lovers. A visit to any of the best burger joints here is sure to leave you with a newfound appreciation for this classic American dish. In this article, we've compiled a comprehensive guide to help you find the best burger in Tucson. So, whether you're a Tucson resident or just visiting, read on to discover the hidden (and not-so-hidden) gems that this city has to offer.
The history of burgers in Tucson
Before we dive headfirst into the best burger spots in Tucson, let's take a moment to appreciate the history of burgers in this city. With fast-food chains like McDonald's and Burger King taking over the world in the 1950s and 60s, the humble burger became a staple food in many parts of the globe, including Tucson. Soon enough, the city's culinary scene began embracing the burger with open arms, and the rest is history. Today, Tucson is home to some of the most delicious and creative burger joints in the country, boasting a wide range of global flavors and ingredients.t
One of the earliest and most iconic burger joints in Tucson is the beloved "Lindy's on 4th". Established in 2008, Lindy's quickly became a local favorite for their juicy, flavorful burgers and extensive beer selection. Their menu features unique burger creations like the "Dirty Sanchez" with jalapenos and guacamole, and the "Peanut Butter and Jelly" burger. Lindy's has since expanded to multiple locations throughout Tucson, and has even been featured on national food shows like "Man vs. Food".
The top 10 burger joints in Tucson
When it comes to burgers, Tucson certainly isn't short on options. The city boasts several fantastic burger joints, each offering its own unique take on this classic dish. Here are our top 10 picks for the best burger joints in Tucson:
- Diablo Burger
- Culinary Dropout
- Trident Grill
- Lindy's on 4th
- The Drunken Chicken
- Noble Hops
- In-N-Out Burger
- Fatso's Pizza
- RA Sushi Bar Restaurant
- Brother John's Beer, Bourbon & BBQ
Diablo Burger is a popular burger joint in Tucson known for its signature burgers made with all-natural, grass-fed beef. Their menu features several delicious options, including the classic Diablo burger, the Green Chile Cheeseburger, and the Northern Arizona burger.
Culinary Dropout is a restaurant that combines classic American fare with a playful and innovative twist. Their burgers are no exception, with options like the 21 Burger and the Bistro Burger, both of which are delicious and satisfying.
Trident Grill is a sports bar and grill that serves up some of the city's best burgers. Their menu features several classic options, including the Trident burger and the Elk burger. The burgers at Trident Grill are always cooked to perfection and served with a generous helping of toppings.
Lindy's on 4th is a popular bar and grill that serves up some of the tastiest burgers in Tucson. Their menu is extensive and features several creative options, including the Slaughterhouse Five burger and the Korean BBQ burger.
The Drunken Chicken is a local favorite that serves up some of the city's best burgers. Their menu boasts several delicious options, including the Drunken Chicken burger and the Smash Burger.
Noble Hops is a gastropub that serves up some delicious burgers made with grass-fed beef. Their menu features several creative options, including the Cowboy Burger and the Bluegrass Burger.
If you're looking for a classic fast-food burger experience, you can't go wrong with In-N-Out Burger. This popular chain serves up delicious burgers, fries, and milkshakes that are sure to satisfy any craving.
Fatso's Pizza is a casual restaurant that serves up some of Tucson's best burgers. Their menu features several tasty options, including the Fatty burger and the BBQ Bacon burger.
While RA Sushi Bar Restaurant may be best known for its sushi, their burgers are also worth a try. Their menu features several delicious options, including the RA Burger and the Chili Shrimp burger.
Brother John's Beer, Bourbon & BBQ is a popular restaurant that serves up Southern-style barbecue and delicious burgers. Their menu features several creative options, including the PB&J Burger and the Sausage Burger.
But Tucson's burger scene is not just limited to these top 10 picks. There are several other burger joints in the city that are worth checking out. One such place is Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar, which offers a variety of gourmet burgers made with certified Angus beef and served with hand-cut fries. Another great option is Monkey Burger, which serves up delicious burgers made with locally sourced ingredients and creative toppings like peanut butter and bacon.
If you're looking for a vegetarian or vegan burger option, Tucson has got you covered as well. The Tasteful Kitchen is a plant-based restaurant that offers a delicious veggie burger made with quinoa, black beans, and sweet potato. Another great option is Lovin' Spoonfuls, which serves up a vegan burger made with a house-made patty and topped with avocado, sprouts, and vegan mayo.
What makes a great burger?
While the perfect burger can mean different things to different people, there are a few key ingredients and techniques that are essential for any great burger. Firstly, the meat needs to be of good quality, preferably made from grass-fed or locally-sourced beef. The patty should be cooked to perfection – juicy and tender yet still medium-rare in the center. The bun is also crucial, it should be toasted and slightly sweetened with a glaze, and the perfect amount of condiments to top the patty should be used.
Another important aspect of a great burger is the toppings. While classic toppings like lettuce, tomato, and onion are always a safe bet, adding unique toppings can take a burger to the next level. Some popular options include avocado, bacon, fried egg, or even mac and cheese. The key is to balance the flavors and textures to create a harmonious and satisfying bite.
Finally, the atmosphere in which the burger is enjoyed can also play a role in its greatness. Whether it's a backyard barbecue with friends, a cozy diner booth, or a trendy gastropub, the ambiance can enhance the overall experience of eating a burger. So, while the ingredients and cooking techniques are important, don't underestimate the power of a great setting to elevate a burger to greatness.
The most unique burger toppings in Tucson
One of the best things about Tucson's burger scene is the variety of unique toppings that are available. From green chilies to fried eggs and everything in between, there's no shortage of creative and delicious toppings. Here are some of the most unique burger toppings in Tucson:
- Green chilies
- Mac and cheese
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Fried egg
- Hash browns
But that's not all! Tucson also offers some truly out-of-the-box burger toppings that you won't find anywhere else. For example, at one local restaurant, you can order a burger topped with crispy grasshoppers for a crunchy, protein-packed twist. Another popular spot offers a burger with a generous helping of tangy kimchi, adding a spicy kick to your meal. And for those with a sweet tooth, there's even a burger topped with caramelized bananas and Nutella. With so many unique options to choose from, Tucson's burger scene is truly one-of-a-kind.
How to make the perfect homemade burger
If you're looking to make the perfect burger at home, there are a few key tips to keep in mind. Firstly, make sure you're using quality meat, preferably grass-fed beef. Season the meat with salt and pepper, and form it into evenly sized patties. Cook the patties on a cast-iron skillet or on the grill, and be sure to let them rest for a few minutes before serving. Toast the buns, and add your favorite toppings for the perfect homemade burger.
Another important tip for making the perfect homemade burger is to not overwork the meat when forming the patties. Overworking the meat can result in a tough and dry burger. Also, consider adding some additional ingredients to the meat mixture, such as Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, or diced onions, to add extra flavor. And don't forget to melt your favorite cheese on top of the patties for a deliciously gooey finish.
Vegan and vegetarian burger options in Tucson
While burgers are typically associated with meat, there are plenty of delicious vegan and vegetarian options in Tucson. Many of the city's top burger joints offer veggie burgers made from beans, vegetables, and other plant-based ingredients. Here are some of the best vegan and vegetarian burger options in Tucson:
- The Impossible Burger
- Black Bean Burger
- Ahi Tuna Burger
- Mushroom Burger
- Beyond Burger
For those looking for a unique twist on the classic veggie burger, Tucson also offers some creative options. The "Southwest Burger" features a black bean patty topped with avocado, salsa, and jalapenos, while the "Greek Burger" is made with a falafel patty and topped with tzatziki sauce and feta cheese.
Additionally, many of these burger joints offer gluten-free options for those with dietary restrictions. The "Portobello Burger" is a popular choice, featuring a grilled portobello mushroom cap as the patty and served on a gluten-free bun. With so many delicious and diverse options, Tucson's vegan and vegetarian burger scene is not to be missed.
The best fast food burgers in Tucson
While fast food burgers may not always be the healthiest option, they can certainly hit the spot when you're craving something delicious and indulgent. Here are some of the best fast-food burgers in Tucson:
- In-N-Out Burger
- Five Guys
- Juicy Burger
Gluten-free burger options in Tucson
For anyone with a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, it can be challenging to find delicious gluten-free options. Fortunately, many of the best burger joints in Tucson offer gluten-free buns or lettuce wraps. Here are some of the best gluten-free burger options in Tucson:
- Diablo Burger
- Culinary Dropout
- Fatso's Pizza
- Trident Grill
- In-N-Out Burger
The most Instagram-worthy burgers in Tucson
For anyone looking to add some Instagram-worthy content to their feed, Tucson's burger scene offers plenty of photo-worthy options. From towering burgers to colorful toppings, here are some of the most Instagram-worthy burgers in Tucson:
- The Frankie burger from Lindy's on 4th
- The PB&J Burger from Brother John's
- The Classic Diablo Burger from Diablo Burger
- The Big One from Juicy Burger
- The Ahi Tuna Burger from Trident Grill
The best side dishes to pair with your Tucson burger
Of course, no burger is complete without a tasty side dish. From crispy fries to refreshing coleslaw, here are some of the best side dishes to pair with your Tucson burger:
- Onion Rings
- Mashed Potatoes
- Tater Tots
A burger lover's guide to Tucson
If you're a true burger enthusiast, you'll want to make the most of your time in Tucson. Here are some tips for getting the most out of Tucson's burger scene:
- Try a few different burger joints to get a sense of the city's diverse offerings.
- Don't be afraid to try something new! Some of the most creative and delicious burgers come from unexpected places.
- Be adventurous with your toppings. Tucson's burger scene offers plenty of unique and flavorful options.
- Pair your burger with a cold beer or refreshing cocktail for the ultimate dining experience.
How to find the hidden gem burgers in Tucson
While some of Tucson's burger joints are well-known and beloved, others are hidden gems waiting to be discovered. So, how can you find the city's best-kept burger secrets? Here are a few tips:
- Ask locals for their recommendations. Tucson residents are often happy to share their favorite hidden burger spots.
- Do some research online and read reviews to find lesser-known burger joints with great reviews.
- Be willing to explore different parts of the city. Some of the best burgers in Tucson can be found off the beaten path.
The best beer and burger pairings in Tucson
For beer-loving burger enthusiasts, Tucson offers the perfect pairing. Here are some of the best beer and burger pairings in the city:
- A classic cheeseburger and an ice-cold Lager.
- A spicy burger with an IPA.
- A bacon cheeseburger with a hearty Stout.
- A mushroom burger paired with a wheat beer.
How to order a custom-made burger at your favorite Tucson spot
While most of Tucson's burger joints offer a variety of predetermined burger options, many restaurants also allow you to build your own custom burger. Here's how to order a custom-made burger at your favorite Tucson spot:
- Start by choosing your meat – beef, turkey, veggie, etc.
- Choose your bun – sesame, brioche, gluten-free, etc.
- Pick your toppings – lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, bacon, etc.
- Finally, add any sauces you'd like – ketchup, mustard, mayo, BBQ sauce, etc.
By following these tips and exploring the vast array of burger options available in Tucson, you're sure to find your perfect burger match. So, what are you waiting for? Get ready to sink your teeth into the best burger in Tucson!