1. The Chuckwagon Restaurant, Adair
Named the winner of Iowa’s Best Burger contest for 2016 by the Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Iowa Cattlemen's Association, The Chuckwagon is a definite must visit. Their burgers are 6 ounces of hand-pattied deliciousness, and their Chuckwagon, a burger with onions, mushrooms, bacon, tomato and Thousand Island dressing, is epic.
Address: 113 South 5th Street, Adair, IA
2. Short’s Burger & Shine, Iowa City
Originally a shoe shine shop opened in 1920, the business was converted into a burger restaurant with a new kind of shine. They specialize in amazing burgers made with fresh black Angus beef from Ed Smith, a local farmer in Columbus Junction.
Address: 18 S Clinton St, Iowa City, IA
3. Ankeny Diner, Ankeny
Ankeny Diner serves up all kinds of classic dishes, and they serve a variety of half-pound burgers that are sure to satisfy.
Address: 133 SE Delaware Ave, Ankeny, IA
4. Zombie Burger, Des Moines
This unique zombie-themed burger joint is big on personality and flavor. With zombie-themed decor and burgers, you’ll find plenty of inventive and mouth-watering options. There’s even a burger with fried mac n’ cheese as buns!
Address: 300 E Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA
5. Vaughn’s Cafe & Bakery, Clarinda
Vaughn’s serves up big and juicy ⅓ pound burgers with tasty toppings like bacon and swiss, blue cheese or the Clarinda Burger, a huge 1/2 pound burger with Bacon, 1000 Island Dressing, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion on a toasted bun.
Address: 112 E Washington St, Clarinda, IA
6. Rides Bar & Grill, Fort Dodge
Rides Bar & Grill has a giant burger menu, all with car-related names like the ‘67 Mustang Fastback, a burger with swiss and mushrooms on a toasted bun, and the ‘75 Nova, a chili cheeseburger.
Address: 723 S 31st St, Fort Dodge, IA
7. Jethro’s BBQ, Des Moines
Jethro's is known for their Adam Emmenecker burger, a giant 5 lb. burger with a pork tenderloin, Angus steak burger, Texas brisket, applewood bacon, fried cheese and buffalo chicken tenders, all topped with cheddar cheese and white cheddar sauce.
Address: Several locations around Des Moines
8. Palisades Cafe, Mount Vernon
This charming restaurant with exposed brick walls and cozy booths offers great dishes that make the best use of local, seasonal ingredients. Try the Palisades burger with pickled beets, chevre, horseradish aioli and arugula for a mouth-watering and unique burger experience.
Address: 117 1st St W, Mt Vernon, IA
9. Brick City Grill, Ames
Brick City Grill is known for its 60/40 burger, made with 60% ground beef and 40% ground bacon, so you know it’s delicious and one-of-a-kind.
Address: 2704 Stange Rd, Ames, IA
10. Bluebird Diner, Iowa City
This retro diner-style restaurant has some amazing burger options using ingredients from local farms. For a spicy burger, try The El Lobo, an open-faced burger topped with chili verde and pepperjack cheese, or the Vesuvius, with Moroccan spice rub, spicy harissa, tzatziki and feta.
Address: 330 E Market St, Iowa City, IA