5 Minnesota burgers that are worth the drive

These local favorites may become your new favorites.

The Breakfast Burger at Big Daddy's in Duluth is a 1/3-pound beef patty with cheddar cheese, bacon, peanut butter and an over-easy egg. Between two slices of French toast. It’s intense.
Melinda Lavine / Duluth News Tribune

Minnesota is more than just the Juicy (or "Jucy") Lucy.

From Duluth to Detroit Lakes, to Brainerd and beyond, you can find all kinds of great burgers in Greater Minnesota.

Here are five burgers that are worth the drive in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Big Daddy’s Burgers (Duluth)

Rooted in old-school food ideals, big appetites and big portions of hot and savory, Big Daddy’s Burgers in Duluth is a great retro stop.

The menu touts its fair share of inventive burgers, but try out The Breakfast Burger. It comes with large, glistening strips of bacon and two slices of melted cheddar cheese, resting on a 1/3-pound beef patty with an over-easy egg, peanut butter.


Between two slices of French toast. With a side of syrup.

It’s a throwback to the comforts of childhood. Saturday morning breakfasts with sausage and eggs and pancakes; and peanut butter, a kid’s go-to.

Big Daddy’s Burgers
2828 Piedmont Ave.
Duluth, MN 55811

Hot Chip Burger Bar (Rochester)

The "cheeseburger walrus" from Hot Chip Burger Bar is made up of a 5-ounce local, grass-fed beef patty, popcorn chicken, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and maple black pepper aioli.

Voted the best burger in Rochester in 2020, Hot Chip Burger Bar has a unique combination of burgers and a very popular selection of vegan burgers that gives anyone who walks in something on the menu for them.

Hot Chip Burger Bar has an average 4.5 stars out of 5 in more than 900 reviews on Google:

"Came down with my cousin from Woodbury!! We split a vegan burger and a regular burger both were amazing!! The french fries are bangin!! You need to sell that seasoning blend I'm just saying!! The view from the patio is beautiful!! We already have plans on coming back down!! I definitely recommend this place vegan or not!!"

Hot Chip Burger Bar
1190 16th St SW #600
Rochester, MN 55902

Sunlite Bar & Grill (Detroit Lakes)

A pair of Sunlite Bar and Grill bacon cheeseburger baskets sit ready to be run out to patrons on Jan. 10, 2022. The Sunlite Bar and Grill on County Road 21 in Detroit Lakes has come under new ownership as a long-time employee and his wife bought the bar in January.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune

The Sunlite Bar & Grill is famed for its delicious burgers, and most recently earned first place as the 2021 Best of the Lakes Best Burger joint.


The secret? "It's all fresh-ground, hand-pattied," said co-owner Margo Gerdes. She said they patty dozens of pounds of ground beef (from the local Hoffman’s Meat Market) every morning for their award-winning burgers.

Sunlite Bar & Grill
21001 Co Hwy 21
Detroit Lakes, MN 56501

Dunmire’s Bar & Grill (Brainerd)

Horseshoe Burger.jpg
The popular Dunmire’s Bar & Grill in Brainerd, Minnesota, balances comfort foods with surprises. Dunmire's Horseshoe Burger features a light mix of horseradish with a five-cheese sauce on Texas toast topped with the burger.
Facebook / Dunmire Bar & Grill

The popular Dunmire’s (best burger winner in the 2021 Best of the Brainerd Lakes 2021) balances comfort foods with surprises.

Take the Horseshoe Burger, featuring a light mix of horseradish with a five-cheese sauce. It’s an open-faced sandwich with Texas toast topped with the burger, which is topped with french fries and bacon with the horseradish cheese sauce smothering the entire entree.

Dunmire’s Bar & Grill
12110 MN-210
Brainerd, MN 56401

JL Beers (Moorhead+)

JL Beers' "Not Just a Nutter Burger" combines beef with bacon, cheese, peanut butter and jelly. Aaron Godard / The Forum

JL Beers does one thing (well, two) really, really well: Burgers. (And, also, beer.)

The classic burgers at JL Beers in Moorhead were named the Best Burger in the 2021 Best of the Red River Valley 2021.

What makes a JL Beers burger better than the rest?


“Our fresh hamburger is hand-pattied and made to order,” co-owner Lance Thorson said. “It’s topped off with our own seasonings and sauces, as well as additional fresh ingredients. Lastly, it’s all happily nestled in our pillow-soft bun.”

And don’t forget a side of fresh potato chips.

JL Beers
2902 Highway 10 East
Moorhead, MN 56560
Find other Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota locations

Reporting by Melinda Lavine, Duluth; Erich Fisher, Rochester; Michael Achterling, Detroit Lakes; Jeremy Millsop, Brainerd; and staff, The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. Compiled and edited by J.J. Perry.

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