On the burger trail

On the burger trail

By Lori Fredrich | Published: May 19 at 11:02am

The Prime Smokehouse Burger at MOTOR

Score: 41/50

For me, the beauty of this burger was in its execution: from the tasty beef blend to its delivery at the perfect medium-rare temperature. Was it the best burger ever? No, not exactly (I'm not sure such a thing actually exists); but, I'd happily eat it again.

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The Big Guy at On the Clock Bar & Grill

Score: 31/50

While On the Clock's burgers aren't exactly "off the hook," they're satisfying bar burgers at a fair price.

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The Double Brisket Burger at Palomino

Score: 44/50

The brisket burger at Palomino is a great example of a classic diner-style burger that's been elevated with the use of exceptionally high quality ingredients. It's a must try.

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The Prime Burger at Stella Van Buren

Score: 44/50

The burger at Stella Van Buren lives up to the restaurant's motto: "simple food prepared well."

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The Oversized Wisconsinite at Cafe Soeurette

Score: 44/50

After eating this one at Cafe Soeurette, I might just have to drive to West Bend for burgers more often.

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The Bigger Mac at Elsa's on the Park

Score: 31/50

  • 833 N. Jefferson St.
  • (414) 765-0615
  • elsas.com

The Bigger Mac is a great burger with one failing: its bun. It's proof positive that building a truly great burger is all about the balance.

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The signature burger at Bibinger's in West Bend

Score: 40/50

If you love meaty half-pound burgers, you'll find one at this historic gem just northwest of Milwaukee.

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The Riverwest Burger at Dino's Riverwest

Score: 35/50

If you like your burgers thick and meaty, Dino's might just have your number. Don't miss burger nights on Thursdays when burgers are just $5.

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The All American Cheeseburger at Wilson's in Door County

Score: 35/50

If it's old school you're looking for, then Wilson's Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlor in Door County is where it's at.

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The MOAB at Gina's Sports Dock in Pewaukee

Score: 35/50

  • W278 N2315 Prospect Ave., Pewaukee
  • (262) 695-9600

The burgers at Gina's Sports Dock are big and tasty. And they come alongside a great lake view.

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On the Burger Trail extra:

Lori’s 5 highest rated old school burgers

Last updated: September 2017

There's a reason why some of the area's old school joints serve up some of the best burgers around. They might not be loaded with frills or special toppings. But, they're well-executed burgers, made with quality ingredients, that all come with a big sloppy side of nostalgia. Read more.

The Kitchen Favorite at Fuel Cafe on 5th

Score: 30/50

The Kitchen burger had so much potential. It's a big meaty burger with a nice texture. But, it was missing something in terms of flavor.

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The Riverwest Burger at Dino's Riverwest

Score: 35/50

If you like your burgers thick and meaty, Dino's might just have your number. Don't miss burger nights on Thursdays when burgers are just $5.

Read the full review.

The All American Cheeseburger at Wilson's in Door County

Score: 35/50

If it's old school you're looking for, then Wilson's Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlor in Door County is where it's at.

Read the full review.

The MOAB at Gina's Sports Dock in Pewaukee

Score: 35/50

  • W278 N2315 Prospect Ave., Pewaukee
  • (262) 695-9600

The burgers at Gina's Sports Dock are big and tasty. And they come alongside a great lake view.

Read the full review.

The double cheeseburger at the Kiltie Drive-In

Score: 38/50

  • N48W36154 E. Wisconsin Ave., Oconomowoc
  • (262) 567-2648

Nostalgia. Friendly service. Great burgers. You can find them all at the Kiltie Drive-In.

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The Company Burger at Company Brewing

Score: 38/50

At Company you'll find more than solid burgers in a laid back venue with great beer and the food to match.

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The Milwaukee Burger at AJ Bombers

Score: 31/50

Is the Food Wars champion burger at AJ Bombers full of beefy goodness? Or just a lot of hype? As with most things, it's a bit of both.

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The Mc Dot at Red Dot

Score: 38/50

If you haven't eaten a burger at Red Dot, you should go. They're solid burgers at a great price in a spot that doesn't take itself too seriously.

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The double cheeseburger at Kroll's East in Green Bay

Score: 27/50

Does Kroll's East serve up the best butter burgers in the state? That's debatable. But, there's pure nostalgia in both the space and the burgers making it worth the stop nonetheless.

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The house burger at Easy Tyger

Score: 42/50

I ordered it once, and I'd order it again. If you love burgers, this is a nice one. And if you love slightly more unusual burgers, it's even better.

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The cheeseburger at Solly's Grille

Score: 25/50

It's Wisconsin. So, it certainly feels like heresy to diss the godfather of all butter burgers. But, hiking the burger trail is all about honesty. And, in this case, an excess of butter isn't able to make up the balance for an otherwise average burger.

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The cheeseburger at Nite Owl

Score: 40/50

There's something special about seasonal fare. Asparagus tastes best when it's fresh and local. Citrus fruits shine brighter in the winter. And the first burger of the spring or summer at Nite Owl is rock solid proof that "absence makes the heart grow fonder."

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The Classic at Miller Pub & Grill

Score: 34/50

Miller Time Pub makes a decent burger. The Classic wasn't a burger I'd go too far out of my way for, but it's one I'd eat again if I happened to be in the neighborhood and was looking for a dependable lunch.

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Cheeseburger at Fred's in Burlington

Score: 36/50

Take a drive down to Burlington, catch a movie and then stop over for a burger. But get your napkins ready. It's a juicy one.

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The Crave Burger at Crave Cafe

Score: 45/50

If you're looking for a "crave-worthy" burger, you'll find it here. In fact, I'm looking forward to trying out a few more of their offerings, like the Korean BBQ burger, next time I'm in.

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The All Purpose cheeseburger

Score: 42/50

The cheeseburger at All Purpose is just plain solid. And, while you can visit for any number of delicious reasons, there’s no shame in stopping by for nothing more than a burger and a glass of rose.

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Kewpee Sandwich Shop in Racine

Score: 38/50

  • 520 Wisconsin Ave., Racine
  • (262) 634-9601

In the end, pay a visit. At Kewpee’s you’ll find a solid, unpretentious burger that’s served with a smile, and a big fat nod to the past.

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Big Boy burger at Kil@wat

Score: 28/50

If you bear a fondness for the original Marc’s Big Boy burger, there’s a walk down memory lane to be found at Kil@wat. The Big Boy Burger is available for lunch; but, it can also be found among the appetizers on the dinner menu, served cut into quarters for $10.

Read the full review.

On the Burger Trail extra:

Lori’s 5 highest rated burgers

Last updated: May 2017

Eager to try a great burger? Check out the five highest scoring burgers on the Burger Trail so far. Read more.

The Cream City Special at Merriment Social

Score: 44/50

Go, get a burger. Really.

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The Big KC Burger at Swingin’ Door Exchange

Score: 40/50

I’m giving this burger a nice big nod. I’d eat it again, and you probably should, too. If you need to feel slightly more virtuous in your decision, order the spicy vermouth carrots (also good) on the side instead of fries.

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The Big O at Oscar’s Pub & Grill

Score: 43/50

If you haven't yet tried a burger from Oscar’s, you’d be remiss not to put it on your list. And if you have, well, you know what I’m talking about. While I can’t guarantee mariachi on your next visit, I can assure you there’s a great burger waiting for you.

Read the full review.

Camino

Score: 39/50

If you haven’t been to Camino, consider this your invitation to try it out.

Read the full review.

Related reading:

In search of Milwaukee’s perfect pizza

By Rick Rodriguez

Hangover Burger at Stack’d Burger Bar

Score: 39/50

If you’re looking for a place to hang where you can grab a nice, juicy burger with plenty of choices for toppings, Stack’d is a great bet.

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The Lucy at Crafty Cow

Score: 34/50

Next time you’re in Oconomowoc, grab a craft brew at Crafty Cow and order one of the crazier burgers on the menu. After all, it’s one place where the burger is really all about the toppings.

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The Sconnie Cheese Burger at Cafe Calatrava

Score: 42/50

  • 700 N. Art Museum Dr.
  • (414) 224-3200
  • mam.org

Never thought of eating a burger at the Milwaukee Art Museum? Well, you should.

Read the full review.

Brass Monkey Pub & Grill

Score: 35/50

If you happen to be near the airport and you’re craving some of that classic burger flavor, you’ll find it at Brass Monkey.

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Mainstream Bar & Grill

Score: 40/50

Mainstream’s burger is big, bold and well worth the drive to Waukesha. Be sure to try the crisp housemade potato chips (and dip) while you’re there.

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Hooligan’s Super Bar

Score: 35/50

If you happen to be on the East Side and find yourself growing hungry for a burger, Hooligan’s is a fine spot to satiate your craving.

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Sal’s Pub & Grill

Score: 30/50

In the end, if you’re looking for a juicy, juicy burger, the sort that drips down your arms when you eat it, you'll find that at Sal’s.

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Mazo’s

Score: 40/50

There’s something to be said for a burger that stands solid, even without reliance on frills. In fact, it's likely the utter simplicity of the Mazo's burger that makes it a true Milwaukee classic.

Read the full review.

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