11 Burgers to Celebrate National Hamburger Day

The burger setup at My Brother’s Bar. Photo by Brittany Werges.

Saturday, May 28 is National Burger Day, and what better way to represent our country than to pig out on fat patties and wash it down with some Colorado craft beer. We’ve compiled what could be called a recommendation list for some, or a touring circuit for others, showing off the greatest burger-meisters in the city. Whether you’re hoping to bust a button on your jean shorts or do a few double takes at the menu, we’ve got everything from standard to ridiculous in the name of good burgers.

Best Classic Burger

Who: My Brother’s Bar
Where: 2376 15th St

The burger setup at My Brother's Bar. Photo by Brittany Werges.
The burger setup at My Brother’s Bar. Photo by Brittany Werges.

Any Denverite worth their salt should be able to recite the history of My Brother’s Bar. Sure, it’s a hallowed establishment with one hell of a story, but have we mentioned the burgers? Because sometimes, all you really want is a greasy cheeseburger served up with a fully-stocked condiment caddy. And that’s exactly what’s on the menu at My Brother’s Bar. Order the classic JCB—a burger smeared with jalapeño cream cheese—wash it down with a crisp pilsner and you’ll understand why My Brother’s Bar occupies a special place in Denver’s culinary history.

Best Happy Hour Burger

Who: Highland Tap and Burger
Where: 2219 W 32nd Ave

Highland Tap and Burger. Photo by Instagrammer @10KCalories.
Highland Tap and Burger. Photo by Instagrammer @10KCalories.

Opening in 2010, Highland Tap and Burger came to play ball with the big boys serving up the people’s choice winner at Denver Burger Battle with their Shroom Luvas. This elegant champion packs a blend of sautéed mushrooms with Ementhaler cheese and white truffle aioli, offering foie gras to finish. While the Tap lines up heavy hitters on their regular menu, their little league for happy hour may outdo the decorated all-stars. If you’re like Harold and Kumar, sliders just make you smile. The Tap will put the dimples on your face with simple thin patties, American cheese and pickles. That’s all it takes. Mixing and matching is encouraged with their root beer pulled pork and pulled chicken minis. At $2.50 per baby bun, you can order as many as you like and even if you can’t eat them all, aren’t they just adorable to look at.

Best DIY Burger

Who: Cherry Cricket
Where: 2641 E 2nd Ave

Photo courtesy of The Cherry Cricket's Facebook.
Photo courtesy of The Cherry Cricket’s Facebook.

The Cherry Cricket isn’t really a diamond in the rough, it’s more like an antique in a modern art museum. The self-proclaimed black sheep of Cherry Creek, the Cricket began bumping the meats and drinks in 1945. Since then, they’ve maintained their high caliber of awesome food and laidback atmosphere. In terms of our dear burgers, they put the ball of beef in your court. Start with either a half pound of Angus or a third of bison and layer toppings from there. They’ve got anything from peanut butter to sauerkraut for all the burger weirdness you can muster. Be sure to stop by and let your inner chef guide you to your masterpiece.

Best Ornate Burger

Who: Spanky’s Urban Roadhouse
Where: 1800 E Evans Ave

Give up the funk for Spanky’s burgers ladies and gentlemen. They defy expectations with their bizarre experiments. Just down the road from Mustard’s, the Roadhouse has been reinventing the hamburger with every new year. Their E.O.B.K. stacks a patty, bacon, fried egg and hash browns between two glazed donuts. The burger epitomizes sweet and salty, yet their Sweet and Spicy collaborates with sesame, crispy wontons, cucumber strings and mushrooms beneath a brioche bun.

Best Veggie Burger

Who: Hopdoddy Burger Bar
Where: 1747 Wynkoop St

Photo courtesy of Hopdoddy Burger Bar's Facebook page.
Photo courtesy of Hopdoddy Burger Bar’s Facebook page.

Austin, Texas spawned Hopdoddy and it has blossomed into the burger bar icon of the Southwest. Pickled throughout Arizona and California, the burgers can only be found in Colorado at Union Station. They represent their Mexican-American roots with toppings such as fried tortilla strips, chile con carne and pico de gallo. La Bandita is their veggie temptress featuring a black bean and corn patty topped with avocado, goat cheese, arugula and cilantro pesto on a whole wheat bun.

Best Budget Burger

Who: Irish Rover
Where: 54 S Broadway

The Irish Rover brings the noise at their Thursday specials. Half-priced burgers all day long. That’s a $5 ticket to masterful creations like the Brie with caramelized Granny Smith slices, bacon and creamy brie. They must hold a grilling academy in the back because these chefs churn out works of genius. The Jalapeño is graced with sautéed onions, grilled jalapeños, a fried egg, cheddar and your boy, bacon.

Best Non-Beef-Still-Meat Burger

Who: Fourteen Seventy-Two
Where: 1472 S Pearl St

This burger may not loosen your belt, but it can make a boy into a man over lunch. The Fourteener at 1472 crams the ground meat of bison, elk, wild boar, venison and antelope into one carnivorous sandwich. Why must we show our dominance of the food chain this way, I don’t really know. Add foie gras for $10 and you’ve got yourself a feast fit for a king. The rooftop patio stays breezy and the tunes at this place send you a neighborhood block party in the South paying tribute to the menu’s roots in the Carolinas and New Orleans.

Best Patio Burger

Who: Park Burger
Where: Multiple Locations

Park Burger. Photo courtesy of Park Burger's Facebook.
Park Burger. Photo courtesy of Park Burger’s Facebook.

The Park Burger phenomena took up residence in RiNo last year with a giant outdoor patio. This burger is a cornerstone of the summer keeping it mellow with only a few ingredients on each of their signature stacks. Denver Beer Company collaborated with Park Burger to make their very own session pale ale and it pairs smoothly with their large-and-in-charge Double Burger. A half pound of Angus heaps onto their whole wheat buns hearkening back to the original burger archetype. Accompanying the two quarter pound patties is lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and a house-made burger sauce. Throw some cheese on for $1 more.

Best Greasy Burger

Who: Mustard’s Last Stand II
Where: 2081 S University Blvd

Photo courtesy of Mustard's Last Stand Facebook page.
Photo courtesy of Mustard’s Last Stand Facebook page.

If you’re in the market for a throwback burger that your pops would envy, Mustard’s Last Stand is your new backyard. Most Mustard goers see their poster brat, the Ditka, and ignore the beef possibilities at the Chicago mainstay. Let it be known that these guys can whip up a patty that will blow you away. The cooks don’t hesitate to load you a double or even a triple stack of grassfed goodness. Garnished with Sport Peppers, this paper plate standard is guaranteed to stain and delight.

Best Chain Burger

Who: Good Times
Where: Multiple Locations

Photo courtesy of Good Times' Facebook page.
Photo courtesy of Good Times’ Facebook page.

Good Times are waiting around every corner. But literally, these burger stands pop up like prairie dogs all over the city. Putting the golden arches to shame, Good Times roamed right out of the Colorado plains just like their cows which are hormone free, grass-fed and humanely raised. Throw some Wild Sauce on your sliders and fries with homemade frozen custard in the cup holder and somehow you’ll still be smiling on I-25 in 5 o’clock traffic.

Best Late Night Special Burger

Who: Steuben’s Food Service
Where: Multiple locations

Photo courtesy of Stueben's.
Photo courtesy of Stueben’s.

Aptly subtitled as Food Service, Steuben’s winds back the clock to retrofit your Saturday night. Inspired by the owner’s uncle’s restaurant in Boston, Steuben’s carries the village vibe of New England out West. This month, Steuben’s raked in the top prize of Westword’s Best Burger of 2016 and frankly, 303 has nothing to say but amen to that. The Green Chili Cheeseburger kicks it O.G. until you reach the diced green chilies highlighting its majesty and slight deviation from the norm. That’s as wild as their burger menu gets, so grab a milkshake and a friend to hang out at one of Denver’s best diners.

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