George Motz’s Hamburger America Book

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.

Burger Scholar George Motz with El Mago Shirt
Burger Scholar George Motz with El Mago Shirt

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.

Restaurants in the Hamburger America Film

Hamburger America Film Poster

There are 8 burger restaurants featured in the Hamburger America documentary.

The Billy Goat Tavern and Grill

Chicago, Illinois

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 Burgers

Memphis, Tennessee

Dyer’s has been selling deep-fried hamburgers since 1912. This segment, when moving to their new location, is burger magic.

Louis’ Lunch

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

Meers, Oklahoma

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 Grille

Glendale, Wisconsin

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 Restaurant

Meriden, Connecticut

Ted’s is home to the steamed cheeseburger. The cheese on this burger is mesmerizing.

The Wheel Inn Drive-In

Sedalia, Missouri

The Guber Burger is featured, a burger with melted peanut butter.

Special Intro to Hamburger America

In 2011, George recorded this intro to Hamburger America for me. It played right before the film screened at my 2011 Burgie Awards.

Hamburger America Documentary

Here is George Motz’s Hamburger America documentary in its entirety for your watching pleasure.

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


Hamburger Station


The Apple Pan
Capitol Burgers (1965-2018) – CLOSED
Cassell’s Hamburgers
George’s Bar & Grill
Gott’s Roadside
Hinano Cafe
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
The Spot
Val’s Burgers


Bud’s Cafe & Bar


Clamp’s Hamburger Stand
Harry’s Place
Louis’ Lunch
Shady Glen
Ted’s Restaurant


Charcoal Pit

District of Columbia

Ben’s Chili Bowl
Tune Inn


El Mago de las Fritas
El Rey de las Fritas
Le Tub


Ann’s Snack Bar


Hudson’s Hamburgers


Billy Goat Tavern & Grill
Charlie Beinlich’s Food & Tap
Fast Eddie’s Bon Air
Hackney’s on Harms
Moonshine Store
Paradise Pup
Top Notch Beefburger Shop


Hinkle’s Sandwich Shop
Powers Hamburger Shop
Triple XXX Family Restaurant
Workingman’s Friend
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
Paul’s Tavern
Taylor’s Maid-Rite


Bobo’s Drive In
Cozy Inn Hamburgers
Nuway Cafe


Dovie’s Cafe
Laha’s Red Castle Hamburgers


Camellia Grill
Judice Inn
Port of Call
Ted’s Frostop Diner


Harmon’s Hamburgers


Mr. Bartley’s
White Hut


Greene’s Hamburgers
Hunter House Hamburgers
Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger
Miller’s Bar
Motz’s Hamburgers
Schlenker’s Sandwich Shop


Band Box Diner
Convention Grill
Gordy’s Hi-Hat
Hi-Ho Tavern
Lions Tap
Matt’s Bar
Casper & Runyon’s Nook


Bill’s Hamburgers
Latham’s Hamburger Inn
Phillips Grocery


Carl’s Drive-In
Town Topic
White Knight Diner


Matt’s Place Drive-In
The Missoula Club


Bob’s Bar
Stella’s Bar & Grill

New Hampshire

Gilley’s PM Lunch

New Jersey

Holiday Snack Bar
Krug’s Tavern
Rossi’s Bar & Grill
White Manna Hamburgers
White Rose System

New Mexico

Sante Fe Bite
Owl Bar & Cafe
The Pantry

New York

The Blazer Pub
Brennan & Carr
Corner Bistro
Donovan’s Pub
JG Melon
Joe Jr. Restaurant
P.J. Clarke’s
Tara Inn

North Carolina

Brooks’ Sandwich House
Duke’s Grill
Hub Grill – CLOSED
Snappy Lunch
South 21 Drive-In
What-A-Burger Drive-In

North Dakota

Dakota Drive-In


Bob’s Hamburg
Crabill’s Hamburgers
Gahanna Grill
Hamburger Wagon
Johnnie’s Tavern
K’s Hamburger Shop
Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe
The Spot
Swenson’s Drive In
The Thurman Cafe
Wilson’s Sandwich Shop


Claud’s Hamburgers
Folger’s Drive-Inn
Hamburger King
Harden’s Hamburgers
J&W Grill
Johnnie’s Grill
Linda-Mar Drive-In
The Meers Store & Restaurant
Robert’s Grill
Sid’s Diner


Giant Drive-In
Helvetia Tavern
Stanich’s Tavern


Charlie’s Hamburgers
Coney Island Lunch

Rhode Island

Stanley’s Hamburgers

South Carolina

Northgate Soda Shop
Rockaway Athletic Club

South Dakota

Nick’s Hamburger Shop


Alex’s Tavern
Brown’s Diner
Dino’s Bar
Dyer’s Burger
Fat Mo’s
Rotier’s Restaurant
Zarzour’s Cafe


Adair’s Saloon
Bellaire Broiler Burger – CLOSED
Blake’s BBQ and Burgers – CLOSED
Boots Burger
Burger Bar
Burger House
Casino El Camino
Chris Madrid’s
Christian’s Tailgate Bar & Grill
Dirty Martin’s Kum-Bak Place
Ed’s Place
Herd’s Hamburgers
Hut’s Hamburgers
Keller’s Drive-In
Kincaid’s Hamburgers
Lankford Grocery
Longhorn Cafe
Morris Neal’s Handy Hamburgers
Melios Bros Char Bar
Stanton’s City Bites
Tookie’s Hamburgers
Top Notch Hamburgers


Crown Burgers


Dot’s Restaurant
The White Cottage Snack Bar


The Cavalier Store
Texas Tavern


Clark’s Restaurant
Dick’s Drive-In
Eastside Big Tom
Red Mill Burgers


American Legion Post #67
Anchor Bar
Bud Willman’s Lunch
Charcoal Inn South
Dotty Dumpling’s Dowry
Joe Rouer’s Bar
Kewpee Sandwich Shop
Mickey-Lu Bar-B-Q
Nite Owl Ice Cream Parlour & Sandwich Shoppe
Pete’s Hamburgers
The Plaza Tavern
Solly’s Grille
Village Bar
Wedl’s Hamburger Stand and Ice Cream Parlor

7 thoughts on “George Motz’s Hamburger America Book”

  1. In Texas, both Bellaire Broiler Burger and Blake’s BBQ and Burgers have permanently, and unfortunately, closed. 🙁


Leave a Comment