These Are The Top 10 Best (Non-Chain) Burger Restaurants In America And #1 Is In North Carolina

al's burger shack

TripAdvisor / Al's Burger Shack

There are few things in life that will leave you feeling as happy and content as eating a quality burger. Huge burger chains are competing all across America from Burger-Fi to In-N-Out to Shake Shack and Five Guys, but if you’re looking to get a truly incredible burger you should forget the chains and head to your local burger shack.

Earlier today, TripAdvisor released their list of America’s ’10 Best Restaurants for Burgers’ in 2018 and it’s all local burger shacks spread across the nation. #1 is in North Carolina and #10 is in Montana, so it really covers the entire USA and not just the best burger in LA or New York like you’ll find in some lists. This top 10 list was created on millions of reviews, ratings, and opinions from TripAdvisor users. “We have leveraged the feedback from diners browsing TripAdvisor to surface the best burger restaurants in America,” said Brooke Ferencsik, senior director of communications for TripAdvisor. Let’s check out the best burger restaurants in America, shall we?

1. Al’s Burger Shack – Chapel Hill, North Carolina (272 reviews and 4.5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor) — Located steps away from the University of North Carolina campus, Al’s Burger Shack prides itself on being local and sustainable – serving up juicy, all-natural, hormone and antibiotic-free burgers since 2013.
Signature burger: “Bobo Chili Cheeseburger” topped with chili sauce, slaw, chopped onion, yellow mustard and American cheese
What TripAdvisor diners say: “A must visit for all hamburger lovers. Big, juicy burgers and unique rosemary fries. Combine these with an attentive, local owner and friendly staff and you’ve got a winner!”
2. Brooks Gourmet Burgers & Dogs – Naples, Florida (2,540 reviews and 4.5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor) — With more than 40 years of combined hospitality experience, Todd Brooks and his wife moved their family to Naples to open Brooks Gourmet Burgers & Dogs in 2010. Now operating three locations, the couple has remained committed to delivering the perfect burger.
Signature burger: “Donut Burger” topped with American cheese and bacon between two glazed donuts
What TripAdvisor diners say: “They offer all kinds of unique burgers and yummy milkshakes. The burgers are excellent quality and cooked just right.”
3. Honest Abe’s Burgers & Freedom – Lincoln, Nebraska (555 reviews and 4.5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor) — Founded by cousins Gabe Lovelace and Erik Hustad, Honest Abe’s Burgers & Freedom has been serving 6-ounce patties to the Lincoln community since 2012.
Signature burger: “Greatest Burger Ever” topped with chopped bacon, griddled onions, “awesome sauce,” American cheese, ketchup and romaine lettuce
What TripAdvisor diners say: “If you are in the market for exotic and delicious combinations atop a wonderful beef burger you’ve come to the right place.”
4. Grumps Burgers – Granbury, Texas (314 reviews and 4.5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor)
Named after founder Collier Albright’s grandfather, Grumps Burgers continues to provide top-notch burgers and service in a fun, clean, affordable, and casual atmosphere.
Signature burger: “Queso Burger” topped with queso, mustard, lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion
What TripAdvisor diners say: “This is the best burger we have eaten, and not just in Granbury. We love the crispy bun, fresh toppings and meat.”
5. Slabtown Café and Burgers – Traverse City, Michigan (464 reviews and 4.5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor) — Located in a house in the Slabtown district – a west-side Traverse City neighborhood named after the housing style from logging days – Slabtown Café and Burgers patties up to 800 pounds of burger daily.
Signature burger: “Slabtown Special” double burger with American cheese, lettuce, grilled onions, topped with “Slabtown Sauce”
What TripAdvisor diners say: “Great menus of specialty burgers – the toppings are flavorful without overwhelming the burger. Good quality beef cooked perfectly!”
6. Burger Republic – Nashville, Tennessee (353 reviews and 4.5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor)
7. Pearl’s Deluxe Burgers – San Francisco, California (816 reviews and 4.5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor)
8. Back Door Grill – Steamboat Springs, Colorado (355 reviews and 4.5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor)
9. MacPhail’s Burgers – Jackson, Wyoming (861 reviews and 4.5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor)
10. The Burger Dive – Billings, Montana (574 reviews and 4.5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor) (via)

I’ve been to all of ZERO of these burger restaurants so far. The good news is that #2, Brooks Gourmet Burgers & Dogs in Naples, is just an 80 minute drive down the highway for me and I’m sure I’ll be passing through that way before too long and I can start making some headway on this burger bucket list.

You can visit TripAdvisor for an explanation of the methodology as well as links to all of the restaurants so you can read those reviews for yourself, check out the menu, and/or make a reservation.