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Monday, August 17, 2015

Staff Picks - Best Burgers in Btown

Categories: Wine & Culinary

Anybody who knows food knows about the James Beard Foundation, a culinary program that inspires and recognizes the top chefs in the country through annual awards. Bloomington is lucky enough to have two JBF award nominated chefs in Dave Tallent and Daniel Orr. And now, we have a burger that has been recognized by the James Beard Foundation! 

Big Woods Bloomington recently won the Better Burger Project, a nation-wide program that challenged chefs to make a better burger (appropriate name, right?) using at least 25% fresh mushrooms and promoting it through social media use. Big Woods Bloomington created a masterpiece in the Triple B burger, using a blend of ground chuck and sirloin, plus ground short rib and crimini mushrooms, porcini mushroom powder, pimentos and roasted green chilies. They topped it with caramelized onions, arugula, tomato, mustard made from their Six Foot Blond beer and a big creamy slab of brie cheese. I tried it, I loved it, I dribbled some sauce on my pants, then I shared photos on Instagram, and so did about 500 other people. They  won the competition and they now officially have the Better Burger in America. 

quaff on burger

 The Triple B Burger at Big Woods Bloomington So juicy, so messy, so delicious!

So that got us thinking: besides this divine creation from Big Woods, what are some of our other favorite burgers in town?  Here's our short list, just a sampling of what's available. 

  • Mike - Burger Builder at Crazy Horse is one of my favorites. 8 oz. of Angus Beef grilled to medium rare. Topped with grilled onions, cheddar, house bacon and tomato plus fries and all enjoyed with two pints of cold Bloomington Brewing Co's Kirkwood Cream Ale.
  • Carol - I love a good burger but I make a pretty good one at home, so my favorite when dining out is the Lamb Burger at the  Irish Lion. The seasonings they use combined with sour cream on the bun make it my "burger of choice."
  • Laura - With over 20 different burgers to choose from, the task might seem daunting, but you can't go wrong with any choice you make at Opie Taylor's. From a traditional "cheeseburger" to the tricked out Cyndiana Burger, named after one of their servers, every burger is hot and juicy and cooked to order. You'll find different takes to make your burger special, from Cajun, to BBQ, to teriyaki, there is something for everyone. With the burger comes the choice of one side and I suggest the onion rings, best around too!!
  • Danielle - Veg-heads like me will want to go to Opie Taylor's, where you can substitute a delicious black bean patty for any other burger on their menu. Can't go wrong with a Buffalo Ranch (Veggie) Burger!
  • Julie - I've been going to Hinkle's Hamburgers since I was a kid to chow down on their crispy-edged, super greasy, grilled onion-smothered burgers.  They're classic thin burgers cooked on a griddle.
  • Abby - No doubt about it: Bad Elmer's Favorite from Upland Brewery. You can't go wrong with sharp cheddar, applewood-smoked bacon, BBQ, and those addictive Upland fries. Pair it with a pint of Bad Elmer's Porter and be prepared for a pleasant food coma.
  • Marcia - When I want a burger my mind goes to the Sweet Lou burger at BuffaLouie's. The burger is juicy and delicious and topped with their sweet bbq sauce, cheese, bacon and battered onion ring. To top it off, it's a special on Thursdays. Love this burger!


Turns out Bloomington has just as many great burgers as great pizzas! Who knew? Well, we did, and now you do, so go out and enjoy those juicy, delicious meat patties and share your favorites with the rest of us on Facebook and twitter and Instagram (#visitbtown). 

Julie Warren

Julie Warren

Julie was raised in Bloomington and attended IU, and all of that experience and knowledge comes in handy as the Director of Tourism. She loves live music, ice cream, swimming, craft beer, and of course her adorable family.