While it’s unknown exactly where—or how—the burger originated (although some say that the cheeseburger got its start right here in Denver), one thing is for certain: It’s a food that seems to define America. In honor of National Hamburger Day, we rounded up five local versions worth trying. From classic to crazy, there’s a burger here for every taste.
Barbecue lovers, step right up. Recess Beer Garden’s McKlusky is a hybrid of two beloved summertime cookout classics—a burger and a pulled pork sandwich. The patty is topped with melt-in-your-mouth shredded pork, crispy onion straws, salty pepper Jack cheese, and smoked barbecue sauce. Be sure to pair it with a side of the crunchy tots and a local craft brew. 2715 17th St., #103, 720-638-0020
Neighborhood: City Park West
Seasoning, spice, and everything nice—that’s how we describe the S.O.B. burger at the Vine Street Pub. The patty is crusted in a savory blackening seasoning and comes topped with sautéed green chiles, jalapeños, crisp bacon, Jack and cheddar cheeses, and LTO (lettuce, tomato, and onion). This juicy American classic will likely keep you full all day long. Psst: Head to Vine Street Pub on Mondays, when you can nab a burger and a beer for just $10.
1700 Vine St., 303-388-2337
Neighborhood: Congress Park and Highland
When it comes to creative combos, Tag Burger Bar excels. Our pick is the TAG American Slam, which is piled high with thick strips of applewood-smoked bacon, grilled Canadian ham, delicately fried potato strings, sharp aged cheddar, a runny egg, tomato, and shredded lettuce. It’s served on a squishy seeded bun with a house-made pickle on the side. We recommend pairing this masterpiece with the sweet-and-salty duck fat fries. 1222 Madison St., 303-736-2260; 3759 Lipan St., 720-225-2485
We couldn’t possibly list our favorite burgers in the area without mentioning the Sink. This long-running Boulder staple boasts one of the best burgers around: the Texas Onion Straw. The juicy grass-fed patty is accented with cheddar and provolone cheeses, freshly sliced jalapeños, a creamy chipotle aïoli, and crisp onion straws. Add a few of the slightly sweet house-made pickles and the side of seasoned Creole fries, and you’ve got a winner. 1165 13th St., Boulder, 303-444-7465
Peanut butter tastes good on everything—and the Jiffy burger from the Dark Horse is proof. This take on the classic burger combines our favorite childhood lunchtime spread with a thick patty, crispy bacon, melty provolone, lettuce, tomato and onion. While it might sound a little strange, it’s delicious, especially when you pair it with the dive bar’s famous curly fries. 2922 Baseline Rd., Boulder, 303-442-8162