On the burger trail
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On the burger trail

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

The Winner's Burger at Oscar's Winner's Circle

Score: 42/50

If you like the burgers from Oscar's on Pierce, you'll likely find another happy place at Oscar's Winner's Circle.

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The Tuesday night burger at Goodkind

Score: 47/50

I got nothin' to say except go and eat one of these burgers.

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The Burger Night Burger at Bavette La Boucherie

Score: 48/50

Is the Wednesday night Bavette burger the best in the city? It very well could be.

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Tre Rivali's Beef Burger

Score: 47/50

The Tre Rivali burger is a worthy indulgence.

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The Davido Burger at Boo Boo's Sandwich Shop

Score: 46/50

  • Boo Boo's Sandwiches
  • 405 S. 2nd St.
  • (414) 885-1532
  • boo-boos.net

Damn, Boo Boo's, you make a fine burger.

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The Buckley's Burger

Score: 45/50

If you are looking for something delicious – but distinctively different – you'll find it in the Buckley's Burger.

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The Double B Burger at Double B's BBQ

Score: 41/50

  • Double B's BBQ
  • 7420 W. Greenfield Ave.
  • (414) 257-9150
  • doublebs.com

In some ways, this was two sandwiches in one. There was plenty of pork, and the burger was a meaty half-pounder. Both made the $12 price tag well worth the cost.

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The Weezy Burger at Burger Moto

Score: 46/50

If you want a great classic smash burger with fresh, imaginative toppings, look no further than Burger Moto.

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The Big Wayne at Cedarburg's Wayne's Drive-in

Score: 39/50

Take a mini-road trip to Cedarburg for a bit of nostalgia and a burger that's distinctly Wisconsin.

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The KRK Burger at Kopp's Frozen Custard

Score: 44/50

  • 7631 W. Layton Ave., Greenfield, (414) 282-4312
  • 5373 N. Port Washington Rd., Glendale, (414) 961-3288
  • 18880 W. Bluemound Rd., Brookfield, (262) 789-9490
  • kopps.com

Was this burger worth a 67-year wait? Of that I'm not altogether certain. However, if you're a fan of Kopp's burgers, and love burgers that take things a little bit over-the-top, this burger is likely to put a smile on your face.

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The Burger at The Tandem

Score: 42/50

Want a hefty, great tasting burger that relies very little on its toppings for flavor? That's exactly what you get at The Tandem.

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The (secret) off-menu cheeseburger at Meraki

Score: 47/50

So now that the cat's out of the bag about Meraki's delicious secret cheeseburger, you really have no choice but to get there and try it out for yourself. If you want to try a burger with a bit more flair, stop over between 9 p.m. and midnight on Thursday evenings when they feature a special themed late-night burger with toppings that jive with the vinyl they've chosen for that particular evening.

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The Becher Burger at Ka-Bob's Bistro

Score: 36/50

Some people are burger patty people. Others are topping people. If you're one of the latter, you just might find your niche at Ka-Bob's Bistro.

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The Burger at Northpoint Custard

Score: 33/50

If you're looking for a char-grilled burger and a great view of Lake Michigan, Northpoint isn't a bad bet at all. Be sure to add a bit of custard for the full experience.

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The cheeseburger at Triskele's

Score: 39/50

This simple satisfying burger doesn't rely on any frills; but it's a tasty value-driven find.

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The Mushroom Swiss Burger at Bass Bay Brewhouse

Score: 47/50

Bass Bay Brewhouse has a menu filled with delicious burgers. Among them, the mushroom Swiss is a standout.

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The Mr. Fungi at Cudahy Burger Joint

Score: 38/50

If you're looking for a solid diner-style burger, you can find one right on the main drag in Cudahy.

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The Filling Station Burger at Riverwest Filling Station

Score: 44/50

Hungry for a more-than-solid burger in Riverwest? This might be the hidden gem you've been looking for.

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The Fritzburger at Fritz's Pub

Score: 41/50

If you haven't had a Fritzburger, it's high time you tried one. After all, you've got a limited amount of time to enjoy this laid back take on an Old World favorite.

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The mushroom Swiss burger at The Gingerbread House

Score: 35/50

You can get a decent Mushroom Swiss burger – with a side of charm – at The Gingerbread House in Muskego.

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The Gorgie Burger at Jackson's Blue Ribbon Pub

Score: 40/50

If you're craving the flavors of spring, it's time for a Gorgie Burger.

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The DW Burger at Drink Wisconsinbly Pub

Score: 30/50

Drink Wisconsinbly's namesake burger was a bust for me, making me wonder if I should have opted for their butter burger instead.

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The Brew Burger at Good City Brewing Co.

Score: 47/50

In the end: Good City makes a really great burger.

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The Joe Mama Burger at Joe Mama's Bar & Grill in Colgate

Score: 41/50

Not a burger for the faint-hearted, nor the lactose intolerant, the Joe Mama's burger is a celebration of excess at its finest.

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The cheeseburger at Kopp's

Score: 45/50

  • 7631 W Layton Ave, Greenfield, (414) 282-4312
  • 5373 N Port Washington Rd, Glendale, (414) 961-3288
  • 18880 W Bluemound Rd, Brookfield, (262) 789-9490
  • kopps.com

I love dining in places with atmosphere, where I can kick back, relax and enjoy my meal. But if there's a burger I'm happy to eat sitting outside on a concrete ledge, inside standing beside a table or plopped down on the seat inside of my car, this is still the one.

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The Draft Burger at Bier & Burger

Score: 37/50

The burgers at Bier & Burger are imaginative and well-presented; but they're not the sort of burgers I'd seek out sans bun and toppings.

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The StiltBurger at the Stilt House in Cedarburg

Score: 43/50

The StiltBurger is well built, satisfying, and it pulls together a nice combination of sweet, salty and umami flavor into every bite.

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The Bleu Burger at Matty's Bar in New Berlin

Score: 40/50

Although it had its flaws, Matty's Bleu Burger was only a few tweaks from being among the best I've had yet on the Burger Trail.

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The Atlas Burger at Atlas BBQ

Score: 39/50

If you find yourself at this barbecue joint, but you're not craving barbecue, the burger is a solid choice.

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The Bacon, Avocado Cheddar Burger at The Knick

Score: 45/50

If you love big juicy burgers that are prepared well to order, don't overlook The Knick.

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The Jake's Burger

Score: 46/50

Don't be fooled by its strip-mall location. If you love a well-cooked burger with toppings to match, you'll find it at Jake's Burger.

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The Peppercorn Horsey at North Avenue Grill

Score: 42/50

The Peppercorn Horsey is definitely a burger to put on burger bucket list.

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The Bliss Burger at Route 76 Diner

Score: 25/50

Maybe it was a case of reality not meeting expectations. Nonetheless, in the end, there was little bliss to be found in the Bliss Burger.

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The Foolery at Foolery's Liquid Therapy

Score: 41/50

Although a bit unwieldy (thanks to its pile of toppings) and a bit pricier than average, The Foolery was a burger worth eating. Potentially even more than once.

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Thee Dirty Burger at The Vanguard

Score: 41/50

In the end – traditional or not – Thee Dirty Burger from The Vanguard is filthy good.

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The Cheeseburger at Dr. Dawg

Score: 42/50

  • 6969 N. Port Washington Rd.
  • (414) 540-0400
  • drdawg.net

Dr. Dawg's burger is proof that great burgers can often be found in unexpected places.

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The Plaza Burger at Cafe at the Plaza

Score: 37/50

There's nothing fancy or fussy about it. In fact, The Plaza Burger is as classic as the cafe in which you're eating it.

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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 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.

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.

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 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.

Read the full review.

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.

Read the full review.

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.

Read the full review.

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.

Read the full review.

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.

Read the full review.

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.

Read the full review.

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.

Read the full review.

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.

Read the full review.

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.

Read the full review.

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.

Read the full review.

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.

Read the full review.

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.

Read the full review.

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.

Read the full review.

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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