The burger. We all have our opinions about what makes the best burger and we all have our hometown favorites. With summer road trips on the horizon, we thought we would compile a guide to some of Michigan’s most beloved burgers all over the state. Some are legends, known all over. Others are small town heroes. We hope we’ve put together a decent sampling of some of the spots that you know and love.
23) Bates Hamburgers, Livonia
One of many classic Michigan slider joints, fans of this spot swear by the cheeseburgers and milkshakes.
22) Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger, Ann Arbor
This Ann Arbor burger place is a favorite among University of Michigan undergrads and alumni alike. While Blimpy closed temporarily and later relocated, patrons continue to seek this spot out.
21) Buck Burgers and Brew, St. Joseph
This west Michigan bar gets points for its inventiveness and selection of burger toppings, paired with a huge variety of craft beers.
20) Dons Drive-In, Traverse City
Ambiance is often nearly as important as substance and this Traverse City 50s-style drive-in wins in both areas.
19) Goog's Pub and Grub, Holland
With burgers like the Bourbonator, toppings like Mac and Cheese and peanut butter, and onion rings that fans rave about, this place is a go-to anytime your near the Lake Michigan shoreline.
18) Halo Burger, Flint
This decades-old chain is a Flint-area institution.
17) Hunter House Hamburgers, Birmingham
Birmingham has become known as a Metro Detroit foodie haven, but this no-muss, no-fuss slider joint offers a classic alternative.
16) Motor City Sports Bar, Hamtramck
This blue collar sports bar does a mean burger, along with its chevapi and criss-cut fries.
15) Motz's Hamburgers, Detroit
This southwest Detroit institution, and its sliders, brings back plenty of memories
14) Old Tavern Inn, Niles
Not only is this the oldest bar in Michigan, but it makes a quality, classic burger that keeps its fans salivating.
13) Red Coat Tavern, Royal Oak
This suburban Detroit place makes arguably the best burger in the state and has been topping "best burger" lists for years.
12) Red Knapp's Dairy Bar, Rochester
This is a classic 50s joint, where you're best served to order a burger, malt and onion rings.
11) Roast, Detroit
Celebrity meat guru Michael Symon set up shop in Detroit in 2008 and introduced the city to quite possibly the fanciest $3 burger we've ever tasted... This beefy specialty served with a fried egg on an English muffin is only 3 bucks during happy hour.
10) Sidetrack, Ypsilanti
Beef, topped with a creative mix of cheeses like Gorgonzola, eggs and bacon, this place always attracts a huge crowd.
9) Slabtown Cafe and Burgers, Traverse City
We rave about Michigan cherries... But as burger toppers? That's the kind of innovation you can expect to find at this spot in Traverse City, no less.
8) St. Cece's, Detroit
The food that comes out of St. Cece's is really inventive, what with its regular pop-up dinner nights and ever-changing menu. The burgers, though, really are an underrated gem among this Corktown pub's already exciting offerings.
7) Telway Burger Station, Detroit, Madison Heights
Who knew that a cup of Joe and a bagful of sliders made such a great combo? If you're a regular of this Detroit institution, you're already in on that unspoken local secret.
6) Sleder's Family Tavern Traverse City
Come here for the daily burger specials, the bison burgers and the array of taxidermy on the wall (and don't forget to kiss the moose).
5) The Butler, Saugatuck
This place gives you a simple, classic burger, amid a nice lakeside, boat club atmosphere.
4) The Full House Restaurant, Ypsilanti
If you're looking for an affordable burger and a beer spot, locals swear this joint rivals any of higher-priced competition.
3) The Antlers Restaurant Sault Sainte Marie
The homage to Michigan hunting turns out a great selection of burgers, including bison.
2) The Station Grill, Muskegon
Modeled after a classic 1940s gas station, this is a wildly popular Muskegon burger joint.
1) The Thirsty Whale, Norway
This is your quintessential Up North spot, complete with charming nautical regalia and a decent array of hearty burgers.
So there you have it. We know we can’t possibly name all the hidden burger gems that are tucked away in each and every town. So we ask you, loyal readers, to tell us some of your favorite burger joints… Bon apetit!