Picking the best burger in America is impossible. There are just too many variables — from bun texture to sauces to cheese choice to the varying patties. There are a few things we think a great burger needs, like a soft buttery toasted and slightly sweet bun, then someone throws a burger on some fry bread and all bets are off. Fact is, burgers contain multitudes. They can be amazing with melty and very processed American cheese and with crumbly piquant blue cheese.
That adaptability makes burgers both amazing and almost unquantifiable.It’s a fascinating aspect of the form.
Yet, here we are. We’re picking the best burgers in America, one for every single state in the Union. We’ve also added Washington, DC to the mix. The city has a dope burger scene that deserves our attention and respect. In the end, we were able to shake out the burgers that you have to at least try if you’re in the area. Some are greasy, others are cheffed up, and they’re all f*cking delicious.
ALABAMA: Vicki’s Lunch Van, Montgomery
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Can you say WOW! I had read a bunch of good things about Vicki's Lunch Van (@VickisVan) in Montgomery, Alabama but I can confirm that it is in fact awesome. This is the crumbly 4 oz. Burger with Cheese, Mayo, Ketchup, Mustard & Pickles (I skipped out on the LTO). #burgerbeastapproved #burgerbeastontheroad #montgomery #alabama #vickislunchvan
Let’s get out of the (chef) stars for a moment and come back down to earth. Vicki’s Lunch Van started as a literal van by the side of the road. The burgers were so good that they had to move into a burger shack to keep up with demand. Even now that they’ve expanded, you should expect a serious wait time when you go to Vicki’s.
Well-executed simplicity is the name of the game here. Vicki’s burgers aren’t breaking any new barriers. They’re just delicious and that’s more than enough. The local beef is ground on site and then flattened on the grill top to a superb thinness, which allows a nice crispiness to form around the juicy meat. Tangy mayo, crunchy cucumber chips, bright iceberg, fresh tomato, and spicy-sweet onions round out the burger. From there you can add some crisp bacon and plenty of melty American cheese. It’s a classic done right.
We highly recommend getting here early. The line will be long. We also tend to lean more towards ordering a classic cheeseburger here and letting it shine instead of opting for a more complicated entry. It’s simple, delicious, and hugely satisfying.