1. Copper Onion: The Copper Onion Burger is the kind of rare blessing that delivers in all seasons, times of day, and states of personal well-being. The grass-fed beef is topped with caramelized onions and duck fat aioli (add cheddar if you know what’s good for you), and the result is a dizzyingly delicious blend of salty, savory, creamy perfection. Best of all, this bit of heaven is available on CO’s brunch, lunch, and dinner menus, so your chances of having the best day ever just got a lot whole better. 111 E Broadway, Mon - Fri 11:00a - 3:00p, 5:00p - 10:00p, Sat - Sun 10:00a - 3:00p, 5:00p - 11:00p.
2. Crown Burger: This local chain’s biggest claim to fame comes in the form of the Crown Burger--purportedly the original pastrami burger in the west--but any other variation of their classic, char-broiled patty that you pick off of the menu is sure to be delicious as well. Essentially, when you’re craving a classic cheeseburger, Crown always delivers. Plus, they get bonus points for their heaping servings of onion rings and unregulated, limitless fry sauce pumps. Multiple Locations, hours vary.
3. Lucky 13: The degree of excellence with which every Lucky 13 burger is constructed speaks to the immense expertise behind this spot. Every bun is perfectly prepped and, similarly, your chances of encountering a patty that is anything but sumptuous here are minuscule at best. Better yet, thanks largely to their ability to nail the basics, every variation on Lucky 13’s menu is worth digging into. While, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, we suggest you head for the Nut-Butter Burger (topped with house-smoked bacon, peanut butter, cheddar cheese), the more classics offerings should not be overlooked. 135 W 1300 S, Mon - Sun, 10:00a - 2:00a
4. HSL: A slightly more “mature” take on the all-ages classic, HSL’s burger is topped with American cheese, red cabbage, and tomato jam--all locally sourced--and served with a side of pickled fixins and malt vinegar fries. Upscale? Yes. But it’s downright delicious. 418 E 200 S, Mon - Thurs, 5:00p - 9:00p, Fri - Sat, 5:00p - 10:00p
5. Cotton Bottom Inn: The folks at Cotton Bottom have been slinging no-frills burgers and fries from their corner spot in Holladay since 1966, and, judging by the die-hard following of regulars they’ve racked up in that time (particularly of the aprés ski variety), we’d say they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. This bar (see: a 21+ joint) is an established institution, to be sure, and the famed Garlic Burger assuredly holds a place in SLC’s hall of fame. Slathered with a top-secret, in-house-made garlic butter, this burger is as unreplicable as it is positively popping with flavor. Just be sure to BYO post-dinner breath mints. 6200 Holladay Blvd E, Mon - Sat 11:00a - 10:00p, Sun 11:00a - 8:00p
6. Proper Burger: Boiled down to its most basic, the ingredients at Proper are delicious...but Proper isn’t basic at all. Along with a laundry list of delectable and very imaginative burgers (including the Rising Sun, with kimchi, miso aioli, fried egg, Sriracha, and cucumber pickle, or the Johnny Utah, with house-smoked turkey pastrami, American cheese, Russian dressing, coleslaw, and zucchini pickles), there’s also a whole host of stand-alone add-ons, so you can dress your own creation from the ground up. For our money, though, you can’t go wrong with the spot’s namesake: the Proper Burger. 865 Main St, Sun - Wed, 11:00a - 10:00p, Thurs - Sat, 11:00a - 1:00a
7. East Liberty Tap House: The Taphouse Burger at ELTH is everything that you’d expect in a solid burger, but with a couple of key additions. A perfectly juicy patty topped with American cheese, pickles, butter lettuce, and ketchup would, on its own, suffice, but the inclusion of grilled onions and a truly delectable peppercorn aioli elevate this offering from good to great. 850 E 900 S, Mon - Sun, hours vary.
8. Hires Big H: A mainstay in SLC’s food scene since 1959, Hires consistently delivers on what feels like the quintessential Utah burger. Since this spot’s opening--and well before “special sauce” became so widespread--every eponymous Big H burger has been slathered with fry sauce, as opposed to more traditional condiments. The rest of the burger (including the delightfully soft buns that often stick to the roof of your mouth upon first bite) is still distinctly reminiscent of the quality fast-food of the 50s and 60s and, as such, no meal here is complete without the restaurant’s other staple: a frosty mug of rootbeer to wash it all down. 425 S 700 E, Mon - Thurs 10:30a - 11:00p, Fri - Sat 10:30a - 12:00a.
9. Burger Bar: Family-owned and -operated since 1956, this retro, walk-up spot may be a bit of a drive to the north (Roy, to be specific), but the burgers are worth the trek. Burger Bar serves up delicious old-fashioned patties and fries, but they’re perhaps most known for their “Exotic Meat of the Month,” which sees scrumptious variants of the traditional beef patty, like bison, rabbit, and shark. Grab a shake and a side of onion rings and head to the Motor-Vu Drive-In (just down the road) to complete your American Graffiti-themed date night. 5291 S 1900 W, Roy, Mon - Thurs 10:00a - 10:00p, Fri - Sat, 10:00a - 11:00p
10. B&D Burgers: Located just a stone’s throw from the University of Utah, this spot has been a fav of Utes and alumni since 1981. Aside from insanely good milkshakes, the charbroiled burgs here are chock full of flavor, but the Big Barney, in particular, is akin to the most delicious, homemade Big Mac we’ve ever had. Starving students will appreciate the Tuesday special: all burgers are $2 with the purchase of a side. 222 1300 E, Mon - Fri, 10:30a - 9:30p, Sat - Sun, 11:00a - 9:00p
11. The Park Cafe: Predominantly known for their ridiculously dank breakfast offerings, during lunchtime, The Park serves up a burger that perfectly embodies all the good of a backyard BBQ. The patty is thin, crispy and covered in a gooey layer of cheddar cheese, the bun is doughy, and the toppings are rough-cut and served on the side. Plus, beyond idyllic appeal, you also get the option to round out your plate with a serving of the Park’s much-acclaimed potatoes, which, by themselves, are worth the trip. 604 E 1300 S, Mon - Sun, 7:00a - 3:00p