Location: 16180 Flying Cloud Dr, Eden Prairie Hours: 11AM-10PM Daily
When it comes to acclaimed burger joints in Minnesota, the Twin Cities metro usually garners most of the mentions, but a little known spot in Eden Prairie is a MUST stop for burger lovers. The restaurant known as The Lions Tap is situated along the Minnesota river in an area that can only be described as rural (not suburban). Their claim to fame is perfectly made medium rare patties with precision, no frills, no bullshit, no “jams” or “aiolis,” just good ass burgers. Their menu only extends to five burgers and 1 side, crinkle cut fries that always come out perfect, just like the burgers. One of the few mom & pop shops to beat McDonalds in court (undisclosed settlement), it’s no longer about funds, it’s all about the love at the Lions Tap. Although technically a brewery, this is a family establishment, so be mindful of dinner rushes and weekends to avoid crowds. If you have the time, I highly recommend you take a trip to the southwest ‘burbs to enjoy this gem, click the link below for more information.
Located in downtown St. Paul, Mickey’s Diner is quite possibly Minnesota’s most iconic diner. The classic box car was originally designed in New Jersey then transported to Minnesota in 1939. Known for their pancakes and breakfast plates, this is a place where a slim wallet can take you far. Milk shakes and malts are a must with any burger, everything is cooked to order so you’ll know it’s fresh when it hits the table. If it’s hockey season beware, things can get crowded quick, Mickey’s is a very small diner so make the trip during off hours. Click the link below for their official website.
Location: 907 W Belmont Ave, Chicago P: 773-525-7900 Hours: Mon-Fri: 11AM-Midnight, Sat-Sun: 11AM-2AM
Philly’s Best is hands down one of the best restaurants that offer the Philly style cheese steak in the Chicago area. There are 3 locations, but our go to is the one on Belmont avenue; situated between Sheffield avenue & Clark street in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. Once inside, any true philly steak enthusiast will quickly notice the authenticity of this place’s attitude; in comparison to OG steak places in Philly (Pat’s & Geno’s). The sandwiches themselves stack right up to the originals and they serve some pretty good pizza as well, if you’re on a budget don’t worry; you’ll leave full for about $10. If you’re ever near Wrigleyville or the Lincoln Park area i’d highly recommend a visit, you definitely wont be disappointed.
Minneapolis isn’t very well known for it’s Jamaican cuisine, but a little food court stall from the Burnsville Mall has began making big waves in south Minneapolis. On a summer day you can’t miss Pimento, reggae can be heard blasting from the open store front from at least half a block away. Within that block you’ll no doubt smell the chicken & pork that’s been catching people’s attention. Formerly neighbors, Tomme Beevas linked his home recipes with Yoni Reinharz’ business savvy and a restaurant was born. After winning the Food Network’s, Food Court Wars and spending a few years in Burnville, the duo decided to open a new location in Minneapolis. The food indeed lives up to the hype. Succulent jerk rubbed chicken falls off the bone onto a bed of rice, plantains, beans and Jamaican slaw. They also offer some damn good pork and oxtails for those looking to get that truly authentic feel. The staff is helpful and the menu can be navigated with ease by just about anyone. Food for 2 will run you about $20, not bad for a fairly balanced meal with a home cooked feel; on Wednesdays they offer a solid 6 wings for $5 deal. If you live in the vicinity of 26th street & Nicollet, GET FAMILIAR! Otherwise it’s well worth the trip, click the link below for more information.
The cheeseburger is about as American as it gets, whether you’re kickin back at a dive bar or eating at one of the fanciest places in town, you’re sure to find one on the menu. As we all know, Minneapolis is home to a unique brand of burger, the Jucy Lucy. While Marquee restaurants like Matt’s Bar and 5-8’s Club fight over inventors rights, one place in the Twin Cities has created an entirely new lane for the cheese-filled burgers. The Blue Door Pub has quickly risen the ranks to becoming the “go to” place to get “Minneapolis’ burger” or the popular blue-cheese filled Blucy, the good people at The Blue Door are taking things to the next level. The original St. Paul location is great (a tad small), but Minneapolis’ Longfellow location has them beat by a mile. The dining room is much larger resulting in shorter wait times and a more enjoyable atmosphere. Throw in $2 drafts from local brewers (Indeed, Summit) during happy hour (2PM-5PM) and a clear cut winner starts to emerge. The menu is chalk full of tasty Frankenstein like burgers, take the “Hawaiian” for example. This Jucy Lucy comes stuffed with pineapple, Canadian bacon and mozzarella cheese making for an extremely daunting sight when placed in front of you. Bacon Lucy? Sure, stuffed with cheddar and bacon it’s definitely a favorite among regulars. All in all, The Blue Door Pub is for the adventurous; Matt’s Bar retains it’s true spot as THE home of the Jucy Lucy, but The Blue Door Pub is for people who want to spice things up. If you’re ever in the Longfellow area, or if you some how manage to get a table in St. Paul; stop in and grab yourself one of the Cities’ best burgers.
Location: 1024 N Western Avenue, Chicago P: 773-451-5625 Hours: Mon-Fri: 11AM-2AM, Sat: 11AM-3AM, Sun: 11AM-Midnight
Best burgers in the city…hands down…the end…Seriously though, the burgers at this place could speak for themselves. Located on Western Ave in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood, Lockdown is far from your average bar. For starters they strictly play heavy metal and the theme is half jail cell half dungeon; their beer menu is chalk full of craft brews, and they have down right awesome food. Take “The Death Sentence” for instance, 20 oz of beef, double stacked with bacon and yellow cheddar; topped with carmalized onions on a pretzel roll. They offer a wide variety of cheeses as well including Brie, Chevre, Gorgonzola and Merkts Cheddar to name a few. Top 5 burger spots dead or alive, that means EVER in Chicago, if you don’t believe go check out Lockdown yourself.
This little establishment is a must stop for Chicago dog lovers and cheeseburger fiends. Uncle Franky’s, the original establishment, offers a legit Chicago style menu at a reasonable price. The food itself is absolutely on point. Whether it’s a Chicago dog, a Juicy Lucy, Italian Beef, Philly Cheese Steak, or some freshly cut fries; Uncle Franky’s does it right. The tiny building is located smack dab in the neighborhoods of NE, and can easily be missed. Next time you are cruising down Broadway, keep yours eyes peeled, you might want to make the stop.
The Dogwood Coffee Bar is one of the premier places to get a cup of joe. Freshly roasted beans and experienced baristas make for a great local brew. Located in the heart of uptown, Dogwood coffee can often times be overlooked by all the other shops. It doesn’t help that they put the coffee bar in the mall, which makes it rather hard to see from the outside. When it comes down to it, the Dogwood Coffee Company certainly knows their stuff. Each individual cup of coffee is brewed with care through a “manual” brewing process, where they use a Chemex coffee maker or a Clever Coffee Dripper. Dogwood coffee is freshly roasted in NE, Minneapolis, making for some of the best beans around. This is a highly recommended stop for coffee drinkers.
When people living in Minneapolis think of where to get a good cup of coffee in a comfortable setting, most would probably name one of the numerous shops in Uptown or the Northeast neighborhoods. Nestled in the Stevens Square neighborhood sits one of the city’s best kept secrets, the Boiler Room. Situated on 3rd Avenue near 19th street, the Boiler Room is slowly establishing itself as the areas “go to” coffee shop. Providing 3 house blends along with a plethora of other drinks including mochas, espressos and a variety of teas; I’ve found the Boiler Room to be much better than your average Starbucks or Caribou. They also serve up some awesome waffles, rice crispy treats, brownies, cookies and amazing muffins; the chocolate chip banana nut being a favorite. Free Wi-Fi (of course) and a homey atmosphere like your best friend’s basement will have you wondering where the last 4 hours went. If you’re ever near 3rd ave or the Stevens Square neighborhood make sure to stop in for a cup of Joe, you wont be disappointed.
The Twin Cities’ BBQ scene has been lacking for quite some time, but things have began to change around the metro. One place that has been doing it’s thing for years is John Hardy’s down in Rochester. The small, shack style restaurant sits right off highway 52 for any wayward traveler looking to fill up while on the road. If you came here for decor and fine dining service, you came to the wrong place. Here you’ll lineup to order just like everyone else and you’ll receive the same awesomely prepared food, just like everyone else. The ribs are a crowd favorite, but the sampler is also worth tackling if you want variety. Dry rub guy/gal? Do you like a plethora of sauces? They’ve got you covered. If you happen to be in the Rochester make sure to stop by 1 of their 2 locations for some of the best BBQ in the state. Click the link below for more info.