The biggest, juiciest hunks o' meat in 417-land, all in one place.
Burgers. Big, fat juicy burgers.
There’s just something about biting into an oozing-with-flavor beef patty that makes us nuts. For this feature, we found the most mouthwatering, flavor-filled burgers our local restaurants have to offer.
To make this list, the burgers had to have it all: The best beef. The tastiest cheese. The freshest buns. The most mouthwatering toppings. And we found them. These 15 burgers aren’t just your average burgers, they’re perhaps the best thing that ever happened to ground beef.
Roll up your sleeves, and dig in.
(Not a red meat fan? We didn't forget you! Read about our editor's week of veganism here).
The Jeramy, $11.95 >>>
Chester’s Restaurant, 2005 W. Hwy. 76. Suite 209, Branson, 417-334-7838, eatatchesters.com
With some burgers, Jeramy Chester (who The Jeramy was named after) or the restaurant’s two cooks pile tasty toppings right on top of the patties, which are made from special-order 81/19 beef. But with the spot’s stuffed burgers, two 4-ounce patties are filled with goodies, pinched shut and then thrown on the char-broiler. The Jeramy is one of those stuffed wonders. The tasty creation is filled with a whole-roasted green chile, crispy hickory-smoked bacon and provolone cheese. It’s served on a hamburger bun that’s slathered with tangy, mayo-based fry sauce. The burger is pierced with a knife before it’s delivered to the table. Served with a side of fries and a kosher New York–style dill spear, this burger is one you’ll be back for.
Pair it With: Cinnamon roll bread pudding for dessert.
Ticket to Ride
The Full Ride, $8
Grad School, 434 S. Jefferson Ave., Springfield, 417-866-8163
Depending on where you’re sitting in this tiny downtown restaurant, there’s a good chance you’ll hear your Full Ride’s two skinny burger patties sizzling on the flat top after you order. The ground beef is seasoned with salt, pepper and a secret blend of seasonings before it’s thrown on the griddle. But those patties are only the beginning. Served on a soft hamburger bun, this mouthwatering burger is loaded with a sweet pile of caramelized onions and a couple of pieces of oven-baked, double-smoked bacon. Then it’s finished with a melty, delicious slice of soft sharp white cheddar cheese. The hand-cut, twice-fried fries that come with it are an added bonus.
Pair it With: A funnel cake for dessert.
The Cowboy Burger, $6.95 (½ pound), $8.40 (pound)
W.F. Cody’s South, 1440 E. Republic Rd., Springfield, 417-883-0253
Available in half-pound or pound patties, W.F. Cody’s South’s Cowboy Burger is made from fresh ground chuck, delivered fresh every day. Owner Beth Bain says the never-frozen meat is tasty enough to stand on its own, so it’s not seasoned, but the burger is loaded with a tasty pile of sautéed mushrooms and blanketed with a piece of cheddar cheese. The simple-yet-tasty combination is served on a 100-percent whole wheat bun, which you’ll love sinking your fingers into as you quickly move the concoction from your plate to your mouth.
Pair it With: A side of hand-battered fried dill pickles.
Steak on a Bun
Steakhouse Burger, $12 >>>
Level 2 Steakhouse, 200 E. Main Street, located in the Hilton Branson Convention Center hotel, Branson, 417-243-3433, level2steakhouse.com
Why have a burger when you can have steak? At Level 2, the two become one. For the steakburger, Level 2 packs a hefty 8-ounce patty of ground steak onto a chewy-yet-soft salted pretzel bun and dresses it with a beautiful combination of cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and garlic aioli. The yummy burger is presented on a butcher’s block (cool, eh?) and paired with homemade steakhouse fries or onion rings. Steak, check. Mouthwatering melted cheddar, check. Unusual and delicious bun, check. It is quite a filling meal, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself eating every last bite.
Pair it With: A piece of Missouri gooey butter cake for dessert.
Bursting With Bleu Cheese
The Fernando, $7.75
Ebbets Field, 1027 E. Walnut St., Springfield,
417-865-5050; Ebbets Field South, 3662 S. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, 417-881-8780
This spot receives fresh beef four times a week. But this beef is not just any beef. It’s an ever-so-tasty combo of ground sirloin and ground chuck, and it’s never frozen before it’s formed into a massive 8-ounce patty and grilled. The Fernando burger is seasoned with Montreal seasoning, a basic salt-pepper-garlic blend that’s jazzed up with a few more exotic spices, and it’s covered with jalapeño peppers and creamy bleu cheese dressing before it’s delivered to hungry diners on a grilled corn-dusted kaiser roll. The peppers add a spicy kick, and the dressing cools it all off.
Pair it With: An order of fresh-cut fries.
The Ranch-lover’s Dream
Bacon Cheddar Ranch Burger, $8.29
Big Whiskey’s, 311 Park Central East, Springfield, 417-862-2449; 1440 W. Republic Rd., Springfield, 417-882-2249; bigwhiskeys.com
If you’re a lover of ranch dressing, a little drizzle of the stuff can make virtually everything better. Especially when it’s Big Whiskey’s homemade variety. Enter the Bacon Cheddar Ranch burger. Served on a sesame-seed kaiser roll, this Big Whiskey’s favorite features an 8-ounce, 100-percent Angus beef patty that’s topped with crisp strips of thick-sliced hickory-smoked bacon and melted cheddar cheese, then drizzled with the spot’s tangy homemade ranch. Lettuce, red onion and pickles are served on the side, as well as an order of fries. Ranch-lovers rejoice: This burger is for you.
Pair it With: A shot of Big Whiskey’s hand-selected single barrel Jack Daniels Whiskey.
The Wood-Fired Masterpiece
Hickory Cheddar Burger, $7.25
Springfield Brewing Company, 305 S. Market Ave., Springfield, 417-832-8277, springfieldbrewingco.com
Springfield Brewing Company’s Hickory Cheddar Burger is basted with the restaurant’s secret burger baste, which includes salt, pepper and Greek seasonings, before it’s prepared over a hickory fire. The flavor-enhancing baste gives the burger a taste that’s delicious enough to stand alone, but the restaurant doesn’t stop there. The lean beef patty is topped with a smoked cheddar cheese and placed on a buttered, grilled whole-wheat kaiser bun along with lettuce, tomato and red onion. The server will bring you ketchup and mustard, but we suggest trying a bite before you drown it with condiments. You’ll taste the baste, and chances are, you’ll love it.
Pair it With: A Mueller pale ale.
The Double Old Fashioned Burger, $5.99
Bistro Market, 401 South Ave., Springfield, 417-869-1840, bistromarket.net
Before Bistro Market opened, Chef James Clary dreamed of making a classic, no-fuss burger like the ones people enjoyed 50 years ago. He succeeded with the Old Fashioned Burger. Like all good burgers, the tastiness starts with the meat. The 4-ounce patties are formed from all-natural 100-percent Angus ground round that is ground fresh at Bistro Market every day. It’s cooked on a flat-top grill, so the outside of the meat gets that almost crispy finish, and it’s paired with a choice of American, Swiss, provolone, cheddar, pepper jack or bleu cheese. (But hey, you’re at a market. Clary says you can have anything in the deli case!) The second key component of this treat is the sweet Hawaiian bun, which complements the meat’s slight tang. Prepare to enjoy burgers like your grandparents used to.
Pair it With: A side of hand-cut pommes frites with garlic aioli.
C-Street Chopped Burger, $12.99 >>>
Savor, 234 E. Commercial St., Springfield, 417-831-5111, savortheloft.com
Savor’s C-Street Chopped Burger puts a gourmet twist on the beloved American beef-and-bun combo. The flavor starts with the melt-in-your-mouth, 100-percent ground ribeye patty made from free-range, grass-fed beef. The burger is seasoned with a little Worcestershire sauce, brioche bread crumbs and garlic, then dressed with a well-balanced array of toppings that includes crispy onions seasoned with rosemary, thyme, sage and cayenne. The burger also features candied bacon, which is made in-house with maple syrup, liquid smoke, brown sugar and fresh-cracked black pepper. It’s all topped with a cheddar mornay sauce, made from cheddar, smoked gouda, white wine and roasted chipotle, and served on a homemade brioche bun. Your taste buds are going to love you for this.
Pair it With: A side of sweet potato waffle fries.
Teeny Tiny Burgers
These miniature burgers prove that good things really do come in small packages. They’re a great meal if you’re in the mood to change up your traditional burger order, or perfect for sharing with friends.
Cheeseburgers, $1.50 each
Whisler’s, 208 W. McDaniel St., Springfield, 417-864-5565
Whisler’s burgers are 2-ounce patties of fresh beef, served on special mini buns and topped with American cheese, mustard, ketchup, pickle and onions. A few special options include the Pig and Bull (a burger with ham on it) or the Sow and Cow (which features bacon).
Baby Burgers, $3 each
Touch Restaurant, 1620 E. Republic Rd., Springfield, 417-823-8383, touch-restaurant.com
These delicious baby burgers are made from ground filet mixed with onions and mushrooms. They are served on a white slider bun, and come with fresh herb aioli and topped with caramelized onions.
The Chad, $10 for two >>>
Metropolitan Grill, 2931 E. Battlefield St., Springfield, 417-889-4951, metropolitan-grill.com
Really looking to treat yourself? Try the Chad. This meal features two 3-ounce wagyu burgers topped with melted smoked gouda and served on ciabatta bread. They’re paired with a heavenly four-cheese dipping sauce, made of Gorgonzola, provel, Parmesan and asiago cheese, and a side of Parmesan fries (which also go well with the dipping sauce).
Baby Burgers, $10.75 for two
Flame Steakhouse and Wine Bar, 314 W. Walnut St., Springfield, 417-862-4444, flamesteakhouse.com
These baby burgers are topped with Boursin cheese, caramelized onions and truffle aioli. They are made with the restaurant’s filet, ground and then formed into the delicious little patties.
Cubicles, $9 for two
The J.O.B. Public House, 319 E. Walnut St., Springfield, 417-831-1158
These miniature burgers combine seasoned ground beef with diced pickle and American cheese. After the burgers are cooked on a flat top, they’re put on a yeast roll and baked to a perfect finish.
The Sissy Sliders, $8.99 for three
Boomers Campus Sports Bar and Restaurant, 631 S. Kimbrough Ave., Springfield, 417-866-2700
The sliders at Boomers come in several varieties, including the Devil’s thumb (with blackened seasoning, jalapeños and pepper jack), the crispy (with an onion ring, ranch dressing and Swiss cheese) and plain, topped with cheese. Three come with fries for the $8.99 price, making it a very filling and affordable meal.
Sliders, $8 for two
Farmers Gastropub, 431 South Jefferson Ave., Suite 160, Springfield, 417-864-6994, farmersgastropub.com
The sliders at this spot are made with local ground beef, which the restaurant gets from Rockin Z Ranch or Flint Rock Bison Ranch. The patties are served on brioche rolls from Artisan’s Oven. They are ⅙-pound each, and they’re topped with delicious melted cheddar.
Spice Meets Tang
500 Club, $6.50 >>>
St. Michael’s Sports Bar & Grill, 301 South Ave., Springfield, 417-865-2315
Named after a club in Atlantic City, New Jersey, this best-selling burger features an entire half-pound of fresh ground beef. The meat is given a spicy kick with Caribbean jerk seasoning. The made-to-order burger is cooled off with some tangy Gorgonzola cheese, and it’s housed on a large kaiser roll (which is strong enough to withhold all eight meaty ounces). In the summer, the accompanying lettuce and tomato are bought fresh at local farmers’ markets. This is one club you’ll love to take part in.
Pair it With: A slice of banana cake for dessert.
Mushroom Swiss Burger, $7.95 (½ pound), $9.95 (pound)
W.F. Cody’s, 3138 E. Sunshine St., Springfield, 417-887-8083
Although the menu at W.F. Cody’s says the Mushroom Swiss Burger comes with Swiss cheese, manager Dee Votaw says that customers have their choice of cheddar, pepper jack, mozzarella or Swiss on any burger. The spot gets meat fresh every day, and both the ½-pound and massive pound burgers are served on delicious, hefty rolls. Lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles are all optional toppings, along with a few more exotic choices, including jalapeños and salsa. Burgers come with the choice of seasoned fries, home-cut fries or homemade chips, and customers can add Cajun seasoning if desired. Order up!
Pair it With: An order of breaded mushrooms.
Burger Meets Breakfast
The Roost Burger, $7.50 >>>
The Roost Bar and Grill, 2025 W. Sunshine St. Suite #104, Springfield, 417-865-4000, roostbarandgrill.com
The Roost has huge burgers. There’s no doubt about it. But not only are they large in size, they also pack a ton of that splurge-tastic, oh-my-goodness-this-is-delicious burger flavor. For The Roost Burger, the restaurant seasons two quarter-pound beef patties with a blend of garlic powder, fajita seasoning and a few other spices, then tops it with a piece of classic American cheese. (If you’re not an American cheese fan, other cheeses are available.) And then, it’s all topped with an over-easy fried egg. Although it sounds a little odd, the egg complements the burger in a truly magical way. The textures and flavors and juices create quite a messy combination, so grab a few extra napkins before you dig in.
Pair it With: A side of hand-battered onion rings.
Dressed to Impress
The Squeeze Burger With Cheese, $4.75 >>>
The Squeeze Inn, 404 Rb Rd., Stockton, 417-276-6302
Originally located in Sacramento, California, the Squeeze Inn’s Squeeze Burger With Cheese was once featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. And for good reason. Owner Ruth Noblett says the burger is prepared via a very special cooking process: After it’s about 75 percent cooked, it’s flipped over and buried in a massive handful of shredded cheddar cheese (roughly 4 ounces). Next, Noblett throws a few pieces of ice on the griddle and covers the burger and ice with a homemade metal hood (to trap in steam). This process forms a crispy cheese skirt around the patty. The dressed hunk of beef is served on a sesame seed bun and topped with mayonnaise, mustard, tomato, pickles, leaf lettuce and yellow and red onion. If you dare, you can also add maple bacon.
Pair it With: An order of hot dog rings for an appetizer. (To make hot dog rings, a quarter-pound hot dog is cut into spears, and each slice is dropped in a deep fryer. They curl when they cook, which is how they got their name)
The Everything Double Steak Burger With Cheese, $3.95 >>>
Taylor’s Steak Burger Drive-In, 139 Memorial Plaza, Springfield, 417-862-3278
Taylor’s owner Darlene Collins says the meat in this restaurant’s steak burgers comes from the hindquarter of the cow, and it’s ground fresh daily. On The Everything Double Steak Burger, this über-fresh meat is delivered via two thin steak patties and combined with American or Swiss cheese (Collins prefers Swiss), then loaded with mustard, ketchup, pickles and onions, which are available raw or grilled. The cheese is placed between the two patties, so it gets warm, gooey and melty, and it’s all served on a warmed bun. The spot opened in 1947, and the old-fashioned style burgers are just as tasty now as they were then.
Pair it With: A chocolate malt.
Simple Gets Delicious
The Cheeseburger, $4.19
Fall Guys Burger Company, 1211 Branson Landing Blvd., Branson, 417-544-9017
Debbie Fall, who owns Fall Guys Burger Company with her husband, Bob, and her son, Adam, says the family tried a hefty variety of beef cuts and blends before they found the ground beef to use for the burgers served at their Branson Landing restaurant. But when they bit into a patty made from the custom-blend ground beef they use today, they knew it was perfect. Burgers at Fall Guys Burger Company are built to order, and customers choose from toppings and condiments that include fresh veggies, grilled onions and even honey mustard and barbecue sauce. The burgers are cooked to order, then topped with American cheese (or pepper jack, upon request) and served on a warm, buttered bun that also comes hot off the grill. Simple, yet delicious.
Pair it With: The Gourmet Fries (the restaurant’s rough-cut French fries topped with melted aged cheddar cheese and bacon bits)
Think you have what it takes to conquer a massive burger challenge? These local restaurants will let you give it your best shot.
The Yet-to-be-Named Burger Challenge >>>
Chester’s Restaurant, 2005 W. Hwy. 76. Suite 209, Branson, 417-334-7838, eatatchesters.com
This burger is so big that it has to be charbroiled, then finished in the oven. When it’s all prepared, the gigantic burger is almost 8 inches tall and 1 foot wide! The 64-ounce beef patty is topped with a head of romaine lettuce, 20 pieces of cheese, three tomatoes, a whole red onion and a bunch of fry sauce. And it weighs approximately 7 pounds. It has never been eaten by one person within an hour. The first person to finish the burger and the fries within an hour gets the burger for free, a free T-shirt and perhaps the coolest prize of all: They get to name it. (Chester’s Restaurant needs at least 24 hours notice for the burger.)
Boomer’s 4-pound Challenge
Boomers Campus Sports Bar & Grill, 631 S. Kimbrough Ave., Springfield, 417-866-2700
This massive burger weighs 5 pounds before it’s cooked. The prepared weight is 4 pounds, and the enormous beef patty can be topped with cheese and the works (lettuce, tomato and onion) if the challenger dares. If it is eaten in 30 minutes or less, the burger is free. If not, it’s $29.99.
The Double E Burger Challenge
The Double E Burger & Ice Cream Shoppe, 3632 Mo. EE, Highlandville, 417-443-2000
Challengers have 30 minutes to complete this challenge. It consists of a 1.5-pound burger and 1.5 pounds of fries. The burger is topped with four pieces of cheese, plus lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and onions. If you finish, it’s free. If not, it’s $15. (Challenge held on Saturdays from 3 p.m.–7 p.m. And Sundays from 3 p.m.–6 p.m. The restaurant recommends calling ahead.)
Bair’s “Mac Daddy” Burger
Bair's, 5419 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield, 417-881-7266; 1644 US Highway 60 East, Republic, 417-732-5077, bairsall-american.com
This heavyweight burger weighs in at just less than 3 pounds. It features two 1-pound burger patties, covered with eight slices of bacon and eight slices of melted American cheese. It’s served on a massive bun and paired with a double order of fries. Challengers must eat it in 45 minutes or less (including the fries and garnishes). If you finish, it’s free. If not, it’s $18.99.
Web Exclusive: Make the Perfect Burger at Home
Want to enjoy a yummy burger from the comfort of your own dining room? Dave Grace, the meat department manager at Price Cutter Plus (3260 E. Battlefield, Springfield, 417-887-7860) shared a few tips on preparing a delicious burger in your own kitchen.
The Meat: Ground beef. Ground round. Ground sirloin. All the choices in the meat department may have you confused, but stop stressing and reach for the ground chuck. Grace says this ground meat, which is 81 percent lean and 19 percent fat, is the best for burgers. “Ground beef has too much fat, and it shrinks up,” Grace says. “The leaner meats get a little dry, but ground chuck has the perfect fat content to stay juicy.”
The Seasonings: Traditionally, burgers are seasoned to taste. A little salt is always a safe bet to enhance the beefy flavor. If you like onion, sprinkle on some onion powder, or throw some raw onions in the mix. Really, the choices are limitless (depending on your taste buds). Grace also recommended a few exotic ideas: To make a black and bleu burger, take a pound of ground chuck and mix it with a 4-ounce package of bleu cheese and a few shakes of course ground pepper, then form patties. For a cheddar bacon burger, mix a pound of ground chuck with 4 ounces of shredded cheddar and bacon bits.
The Formation: Grace says there is no science to forming a perfect patty, just grab a handful of as much meat as you prefer (he prefers 1/3-pound burgers) and sculpt it into a patty shape. At Price Cutter, they form uniform-shaped patties by laying the pound of meat on a piece of wax paper and cutting them out with a stainless steel patty cutters, which are available at select cooking stores.
The Cooking Process: Burgers should cook a total of approximately 12 minutes. If you’re grilling the burgers, Grace says they should be placed on the grill, which is heated to about 325°F, and cooked for 7 minutes, then flipped and cooked for 5 additional minutes. It is very important not to overcook the burgers, as the longer they cook, the more fat cooks out.