1. Westport Flea Market Bar and Grill, Kansas City
The Burger: Take 5 ½ ounces of ground chuck from hometown favorite McGonigle's Market (the “Mini”), make it lightly toasted on rye bread and add Swiss cheese and grilled onions. This gives you the delicious Patty Melt, our pick for the regular folks. For the bigger eaters or those who like food challenges, try the Super Flea, five 10-ounce burgers topped with bacon and cheese and served with 2 pounds of French fries! If you eat it in 30 minutes, you get a T-shirt, your picture on the wall, and most likely a food coma.
Location: 817 Westport Road
2. The Tattooed Dog, Wentzville
The Burger: You can’t go wrong with any of the burger choices, but we suggest trying the Porkonator, made with 6 pieces of bacon, 2 pieces of American cheese, spring greens and a roasted garlic aioli on a corn-dusted Kaiser roll. Not your cup of tea? Another great option is the Benedicto, a burger with fried egg, bacon, American cheese, roasted garlic aioli, and spring greens on a pretzel bun. All burgers are served with house-made French fries.
Location: 403 Luetkenhaus Boulevard
3. The Eagle Drive-In, Joplin
The Burger: Very difficult to choose a favorite! Joplin’s Spiciest Burger includes fresh Jalapenos marinated in hot sauce with cheddar and spicy house-made salsa. Another option is The Bo Peep Burger, ground leg of lamb with mixed greens, tomato, feta, red onion, and tzatziki sauce. All of their gourmet burgers are 1/3 pound, ground in-house, and served on a whole-wheat roll with one gourmet side. The special eagle sauce is a must-try, and if you are feeling adventurous you can substitute meat with bison, elk or lamb for an additional $4.
Location: 4224 Hearnes Boulevard
4. Grad School, Springfield
The Burger: The Full Ride. Two seasoned skinny burger patties topped with caramelized onions, bacon, and soft sharp white cheddar cheese. Served with hand-cut, twice-fried French fries. Yum!
Location: 434 S. Jefferson Avenue
5. W.F. Cody’s South, Springfield
The Burger: It doesn’t matter if you get the ½ pound or the full pound patty, you’ve got to try the Cowboy Burger. Fresh ground chuck is loaded with sautéed mushrooms, topped with cheddar cheese, and served on whole wheat bun. Try it with a side of hand-battered fried dill pickles.
Location: 1440 E. Republic Road
6. Mad Cow, Columbia
The Burger: While the menu stays pretty basic, these made-to-order burgers don’t skimp on taste. Add the Mad Cow sauce, and the toppings of your choice to make it extra special.
Location: 503 E. Nifong Boulevard
7. The Santa Fe Restaurant, Ethel
The Burger: This hidden gem in the small town of Ethel is only open on the weekends and available entrees change each night. One choice might be a hamburger. Consider yourself lucky if it is. Occasionally, an offering is a hamburger the size of a dinner plate, a food challenge that promises the meal is free if you eat it all.
Location: 101 North Main Street
8. Joan’s Drive-In, Marshall
The Burger: This local favorite, a tiny, 12-seat diner, is only open for breakfast and lunch. The burgers are made with fresh ground beef, and well…we’ll let the picture (above) get your mouth watering.
Location: 164 Court Street
9. Kirby’s Sandwich Shop, Sikeston
The Burger: Another tiny small town diner and local landmark, Kirby’s started selling their 5-cent hamburgers in 1907! Mastered over the years, and more delicious than ever, the burgers now will cost you…$2.99.
Location: 109 N. Kingshighway Street
10. Danna’s BBQ & Burger Shop, Branson West
The Burger: Although Danna’s is better known for barbecue than burgers, the Danna Burger combines both with a 6-ounce patty piled high with pull pork and topped with barbecue sauce.
Location: Highway 13
11. Schindler's Tavern, Benton, New Hamburg
The Burger: The Bologna Burger is legendary in Southeast Missouri. It is a half-pound burger topped with a slice of fried bologna and smothered with grilled onions. In 2010, USA Today dubbed the burger the best in all of Missouri.
Location: 1029 State Hwy A
12. The Mississippi Mud Saloon, Altenburg
The Burger: Another hidden Missouri gem, The Mississippi Mud Saloon offers up the Mudburger, a 1/3-pound burger served between two grilled cheese sandwiches in place of a bun, but that’s just for starters. It’s also topped with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, bacon, fried cheese sticks, onion rings, fried mushrooms, pizza rolls and jalapeno poppers, all held together with a steak knife. Guaranteed to be one of the most unique burgers you’ve ever tried.
Location: 8492 Main Street
13. Sub Zero Vodka Bar, St. Louis
The Burger: The Sub Zero Vodka Bar has over twenty seriously amazing burgers on their menu. However, the must-try is The World's Fair Burger, a St. Louis classic. It combines two griddle-style, Midwest-raised, black Angus beef patties, bacon, jalapeno cheese sauce, roasted bell peppers and onions on a pretzel bun.
Location: 308 North Euclid Avenue
14. Stacked Burger Bar, St. Louis
The Burger: The regular menu offers monthly specials that are pretty special. However, the “Think You Could Do It Better?" build-your-own menu is what sets Stacked Burger Bar apart. Seventy-two (72!) options inspire one-of-a-kind creations sure to satisfy anyone's personal cravings. First, choose between ground chuck, chicken breast, black bean, local grass-fed beef, the "60/40" blend (beef/pork), Sriracha burger and turkey. Then, start with toppings from a seemingly unending list with unique choices like bourbon bacon maple jam, fried pickles, guacamole, sauerkraut, sautéed mushrooms, barbecued brisket and fried egg. That’s not even counting the large variety of cheeses, vegetables and buns!
Location: 7637 Ivory Avenue
15. Town Topic, Kansas City
The Burger: The Single. No, really…the single. Town Topic has been around for more than 75 years, and is considered a KC staple. Although there are two Crossroads locations and one in Mission, the place to go for a true experience is the Broadway restaurant, open 24/7.
Location: 2021 Broadway Street
There are a total of 23 burger joints we’ve now covered, are there still some we’ve left off the list? Have you visited any of these spots? What is your favorite? Share in the comments below.