UTAH (ABC4) – For many hungry folks, nothing hits the spot like a good burger. The Beehive State has no shortage of locally owned and operated restaurants that serve a tasty hamburger.
Some places are known for their high-quality execution of the time-tested recipe of a meat patty served between a bun with the fundamental fixings of lettuce, tomato, and pickle, and other produce. Others have made their name with all manner of original toppings, welcoming atmospheres, and other menu items other than burgers to satisfy anyone with a hankering for a burger in Utah.
The following is a look at some of the most popular burger joints in Utah:
Locations at the Gateway Mall and on Foothill Drive in Salt Lake City
Chedda Burger offers a smaller menu than most places. Apart from the Chedda Burger and the Bacon Chedda Burder, the joint features four unique takes that challenge all assumptions about what a burger could and should be. Everything about Chedda Burger, from the décor to the food itself, gives off serious food truck vibes. That makes sense, considering the restaurant was founded in a food truck by its owner. Not only are the burgers themselves unique, but the original sides such as the Chedda Tots, Fried Brussels, and House Fried Chips, set Chedda Burger apart.
“Our burgers are a little off the wall, that makes us automatically unique.”– Samantha Kirk, manager, Chedda Burger at Gateway Mall
Locations in Salt Lake City, South Salt Lake, Sandy, and Layton
Crown Burger is just as much as part of Salt Lake City’s fabric as any other historical building in the city. The Book of Mormon Broadway musical featured the longtime burger institution’s sign on one of its set pieces, making Crown Burger’s logo arguably one of the most-viewed logos of all the burger joints on this list. Crown Burger features several SLC locations, but its flagship spot, located on 300 West, just a block away from Vivint Arena, is the most iconic. With a fireplace and chandelier in the dining area, it’s easy to forget you’re in a hamburger restaurant. Until you bite into the place’s signature burger, the Crown Burger, that is.
“We serve quality food and have a nice atmosphere. We have a fireplace, chandelier, you don’t find that in fast-food places. We’re family-owned. It has been since day one and it will be until the last day.”– Lloyd Katsanevas, manager, Crown Burger 300 South
Hires Big H
Locations in Salt Lake City, Midvale, and West Valley City
It could be said that if any restaurant was equipped to handle the changes the pandemic brought forth, it was Hires Big H. Nestled on 400 South, just before the hill leading up to the University of Utah, Hires Big H’s downtown location is known for still providing a drive-up experience, just like the good old days. It’s easy to order and then grab and go in the car thanks to this old-fashioned system. Some things have changed though, the ice-cold root beer served in a frosted mug is on hold for now, but the food is still the same. The fresh-cut fries, homemade fry sauce, and flour-topped buns make this diner-like Utah original a classic.
“During the pandemic, the car service has been a great service for people. They can just pull up and get food and then leave. Pretty much everything is homemade too, so I think the quality is the key thing.”– John Hale, manager, Hires Big H Salt Lake City
Located at 135 W 1300 S, Salt Lake City
Lucky 13’s website claims that the Salt Lake City restaurant, located just across the street from Smith’s Ballpark, has the “World’s Best Burgers.” They certainly have a strong case for the most unique burger selection in the area. The menu features eye-catching options such as The Nut Butter Burger, a bacon cheeseburger that also includes peanut butter, as well as the Breath Enhancer, ironically named due to its inclusion of fresh garlic and rosemary on a cheeseburger. Lucky 13’s crown jewel, however, might be The Big Benny, a foot-tall burger with bacon, ham, cheese, onions, and nearly two pounds of beef.
“We pride ourselves on using the best ingredients, but also putting together the best combinations that we’ve found. Our staff really takes pride in the company, so I think that wraps it up and takes it all home for us.”– Jasmine Gordon, manager, Lucky 13
JCWs: The Burger Boys
Located in American Fork, Lehi, Provo, Herriman, and South Jordan
The Burger Boys have been a Utah County staple for years. Slowly but surely, JCWs has been making its way north with new locations in Herriman and South Jordan. Not only does JCWs’ menu offer the classic staples of a burger joint; burgers with pastrami, blue cheese, guacamole, and other toppings, it also has salads, sandwiches, wings, and cheese fries. The shake menu, which allows customers to mix and match any number of add-ins, flavors, candies, and fruits is the cherry on top, so to speak.
“We get our milk from a local company for our shakes. We make them all by hand. Every single shake has the customer in mind and what the customer wants.”– Chey Neves, manager, JCWs: The Burger Boys American Fork
Located at 865 S. Main Street, Salt Lake City
The slogan at Proper is “Never Prim, Always Proper.” That might not compute until you read the definition of prim, which lists “stiffly” and “formal” as synonyms. Then it makes sense. Proper Burger is a laid-back place to grab a high-quality hamburger. Those so inclined can order their food at the restaurant and then head over to the Proper Bar next door to order a drink, they’ll bring your food right to you. The burgers also come in all kinds of varieties with fun names such as the “Johnny Utah,” “Pork City, USA,” or “Flyin’ Hawaiian.”
“We have the burger joint right next to our brewing and bar operation. There’s a good family feel for the burger restaurant and also you can go next door to the bar and play games. I think there’s a good feel here.– Jeff Springer, executive chef, Proper Burger
The above is just a small sampling of all the great places to grab a hamburger in Utah. Other acclaimed burger joints include Cotton Bottom Inn in Holladay, Burger Bar in Roy, Rich’s Burger-N-Grub in downtown Salt Lake City, and Nomad Grill in South Salt Lake among many others.
Whichever way you like your burger, one thing is clear: you’re never too far away from a good one in Utah.
This is not a sponsored post.
Recommendations from Utah burger lovers
Our list got a lot of great comments on social media regarding our list of best places to grab a burger. Many of our readers reminded us that some of the burger joints in the state can be found outside of the Salt Lake Valley and Utah County. These places are one-of-one originals in the Beehive State and carry a rich history of feeding burger lovers from Utah and abroad.
Located in Logan
John on Facebook mentioned MayMoes in Logan as one of his favorite places to have a burger. Located in Cache Valley, MayMoes has made its name as a Cajun barbecue grill that serves all kinds of boiled and grill seafood, including crawfish and shrimp. Its reputation spread to a national level when television personality Guy Fieri visited the restaurant on his popular show, “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.” His spray-painted signature is proudly displayed on the wall. According to MayMoes’ fans, the Marrow Butter Burger is a must-try
Sherald’s Frosty Freeze
Located in Price
Facebook commenter Ted claimed that Sherald’s Frosty Freeze was “the Absolute best burger in Utah.” Sherald’s looks like it came out of a 1950s time warp with a classic neon sign on top of the drive-in joint. The eye-catching display isn’t the original from the early 50s, but parts of the refurbished sign were constructed from the older sign, including the signature arrow. The crown jewel of Main Street in Price, Sherald’s offers a timeless menu of malts and fountain sodas to compliment a diverse menu of burger options. The Sea Burger, made with 100% halibut, seems particularly interesting.
Located in Ogden and South Weber
Many commenters also recommended Burly Burger in Ogden. At first glance, the restaurant’s logo character bears a passing resemblance to the Brawny paper towel guy. Make no mistake though, while the paper towel spokesman sells soft and absorbent cleaning supplies, there’s nothing soft about the burgers at Burly. The restaurant’s Facebook page reads “We won’t settle for wimpy little burgers. When you come to our establishment our goal is to make sure you leave satisfied or stuffed with some leftovers on your face!” Sounds like a challenge.
Any more that we’ve missed?