Top Five Burger Towns for Memorial Day

Sink your teeth into our favorite hamburgers this Memorial Day weekend.
Riverwalk at Dusk, San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio's River Walk hosts many Memorial Day events.  (Stuart Dee/SACVB)

Americans consume about 1.3 billion pounds of ground beef annually, so it’s no wonder that restaurants, from big-city steakhouses to beachside greasy spoons, are ramping up their menus with juicy new takes on the hamburger. And with Memorial Day fast approaching, why not combine your burger craving with a weekend escape? Here are five destinations where the only thing better than the burgers is the lineup of post-lunch patriotic events.

Brooklyn, New York City, New York
Burger joint: Peter Luger Steak House
Peter Luger Steak House has been rated New York’s number-one steakhouse for 26 years running. And while you can drop a small fortune on its famous Porterhouse, the half-pound lunchtime Luger-Burger is a steal. Prime aged-porterhouse trimmings and prime chuck come topped with American cheese, bacon, and raw onion, plus a side of fries. After gorging yourself, head down to Coney Island for Fleet Week, where events such as parades, competitions, and tours of ships honor the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.

Wilmington, Delaware
Burger joint: Charcoal Pit
Hidden in oft-passed-over Wilmington, the Charcoal Pit first opened its doors in September 1956. It keeps that ‘50s vibe going with neon lights and Black and White milkshakes that Esquire magazine once featured in an article titled “67 Things Worth a Detour.” After you finish your eight-ounce charbroiled hamburger (just $6.79 with fries), be sure to walk along the Christian River or check out the Memorial Day Parade that starts at Delaware and Woodlawn avenues at 6 p.m.

Atlanta, Georgia
Burger Joint: Holeman & Finch Public House
Holeman & Finch Public House keeps burger-lovers on their toes. Each night at 10:00 p.m., a bullhorn sounds in the restaurant, signaling the start of the fastest burger chowdown anywhere. Cooks put out only 24 double patty cheeseburgers, and hungry buyers snatch them up often in less than a minute. So if you want to try the yummy goodness, show up a little early and hope that you are at least the 24th person in line. It’s a great way to wrap up a day after visiting the Atlanta Jazz Festival or the Georgia Renaissance Festival, both of which take place over Memorial Day weekend.

San Antonio, Texas
Burger Joint: Chris Madrid’s
Chris Madrid’s, in historic mid-town San Antonio, opened in 1977 with six varieties of burgers and a promise to “cook each item as if you were cooking it for a friend.” This attention to grill detail has had critics calling Madrid’s burgers some of “the best in the world.” They come with a side of nachos instead of fries—a variation that is purely San Antonio. Those unfamiliar with this south-central Texas hub should head to the San Antonio River Walk for the Memorial Day Arts & Crafts Show and the famous Chili Queens of San Antonio cook-off.

Los Angeles, California
Burger Joint: The Original In-N-Out Burger
(original location in Baldwin Park, 25 minutes east of LA)
They do make great burgers, Walter, and have for 63 years. Now with 258 additional locations across the southwest, it’s not hard to find one of In-N-Out's classic handmade burgers. But the original In-N-Out Burger, opened by Harry and Esther Snyder in Baldwin Park, California, still stands. Known as California’s first drive-thru hamburger stand, they still offer the same menu of burgers and fries that customers enjoyed in 1948. Order up to four patties on a single bun, or go with an off-the-menu favorite like the “animal style 3x3” (three mustard-cooked patties, three slices of cheese, lettuce, onion, tomato, and extra pickle). Find a beachside parking spot and people-watch, or finish off your meal and head to prime events like the City of Angels Wine Fest or the JazzReggae Festival at UCLA.

Published: 4 May 2012 | Last Updated: 7 May 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


Sign up to Away's Travel Insider

Preview newsletter »