In early 2008 I ran across George Motz’s Hamburger America website. I didn’t realize the greatness I was about to experience.
The book was way before George’s show Burger Land on Travel Channel, his appearances as the Burger Scholar on his own show, and Alvin Cailan’s Burger Show. By the way, you can see me on the Burger Land episode in Miami.
There is the Hamburger America book, where Motz presents a hundred burger spots in 39 states. Many folks don’t realize there is also a 2005 documentary.
In it, George covers eight hamburger joints across the U.S. The film received a nomination for a James Beard Award, which is impressive in itself.
If you’re a burger fan, then you have found your nirvana. It will open your eyes for the first time to the regional specialties that make America great.
So, here are the burger joints in the doc and the book, their locations, and a little info to wet your whistle.
Hamburger America Table of Contents
- Restaurants in the Hamburger America Film
- Special Intro to Hamburger America
- Hamburger America Documentary
- Hamburger America Book Update
- Restaurants in the Hamburger America Book
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
Restaurants in the Hamburger America Film
There are 8 burger restaurants featured in the Hamburger America documentary.
The Billy Goat Tavern and Grill
A famous skit from Saturday Night Live (featuring John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, and Bill Murray) recreated the Billy Goat as the Olympia Diner, think Cheeseburger Cheeseburger. The little clip after the credits about the Billy Goat is probably the funniest thing in the film. The famed Billy Goat curse merits mention.
The Bobcat Bite
Sante Fe, New Mexico
The Green Chile Burger looks pretty amazing. No, really, take a good look at it.
Dyer’s has been selling deep-fried hamburgers since 1912. This segment, when moving to their new location, is burger magic.
New Haven, Connecticut
Established in 1895, Louis’ Lunch reportedly served the first hamburger in 1900. The Library of Congress website states that the first hamburgers and steak sandwiches in U.S. history were served at Louis’ Lunch sandwich shop in New Haven, Connecticut.
An old-school vertical contraption flame broils the burgers. You have never seen anything like that. Only cheese, tomato, and onion should top your burger but NEVER ketchup, mustard, or mayo. Two pieces of toasted white bread sandwich your burger patty.
The Meers Store
97% lean grass-fed Longhorn beef from their Longhorn herd. The owner is a character.
Some folks like mayo on their burgers we call this a Sissy Burger, others like ketchup on their burgers we call this Yankee Burger.The Meers Store owner Joe Maranto
Solly’s is home to the Butter Burger; you won’t believe it. It left me flabbergasted and in love at the same time.
Ted’s is home to the steamed cheeseburger. The cheese on this burger is mesmerizing.
The Wheel Inn Drive-In
The Guber Burger is featured, a burger with melted peanut butter.
Special Intro to Hamburger America
Hamburger America Documentary
Hamburger America Book Update
Hamburger America released its current edition in 2018. This new third edition features 200 burger joints you need to visit. To simplify your life, I’ve listed all of them below. You still need the book to hear George’s thoughts on each one!
Restaurants in the Hamburger America Book
The Apple Pan
Capitol Burgers (1965-2018) – CLOSED
George’s Bar & Grill
Irv’s Burgers (1970-2018) – CLOSED then REOPENED JULY 1st, 2022 UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP
Joe’s Cable Car (1965-2014) – CLOSED
Marty’s Hamburger Stand
Pie ‘N Burger
Rocky’s Crown Pub
Bud’s Cafe & Bar
Clamp’s Hamburger Stand
District of Columbia
Ben’s Chili Bowl
Billy Goat Tavern & Grill
Charlie Beinlich’s Food & Tap
Fast Eddie’s Bon Air
Hackney’s on Harms
Top Notch Beefburger Shop
Hinkle’s Sandwich Shop
Powers Hamburger Shop
Triple XXX Family Restaurant
Zaharako’s Ice Cream Parlor and Museum
B&B Grocery, Meat & Deli
Canteen Lunch in the Alley
Hamburg Inn No. 2
The Irish Shanti (Late 1970s-2019) – CLOSED
Bobo’s Drive In
Cozy Inn Hamburgers
Port of Call
Ted’s Frostop Diner
Hunter House Hamburgers
Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger
Schlenker’s Sandwich Shop
Band Box Diner
Casper & Runyon’s Nook
White Knight Diner
Matt’s Place Drive-In
The Missoula Club
Stella’s Bar & Grill
Gilley’s PM Lunch
Sante Fe Bite
Owl Bar & Cafe
Brooks’ Sandwich House
Hub Grill – CLOSED
South 21 Drive-In
The Meers Store & Restaurant
Coney Island Lunch
Northgate Soda Shop
Rockaway Athletic Club
Nick’s Hamburger Shop
105 Grocery & Deli- NO LONGER SERVES BURGERS
Bellaire Broiler Burger – CLOSED
Blake’s BBQ and Burgers – CLOSED
Casino El Camino
Christian’s Tailgate Bar & Grill
Dirty Martin’s Kum-Bak Place
Kuby’s – NO LONGER SERVES BURGERS
Morris Neal’s Handy Hamburgers
Melios Bros Char Bar
Stanton’s City Bites
Top Notch Hamburgers
The White Cottage Snack Bar
The Cavalier Store
Eastside Big Tom
Red Mill Burgers
American Legion Post #67
Bud Willman’s Lunch
Charcoal Inn South
Dotty Dumpling’s Dowry
Joe Rouer’s Bar
Kewpee Sandwich Shop
Nite Owl Ice Cream Parlour & Sandwich Shoppe
The Plaza Tavern
Wedl’s Hamburger Stand and Ice Cream Parlor