The Rules: must be locally owned and the burger must be less than $10
On a quest to find that state’s best bargain burgers under $10, we begin a trip back in time to some of Utah’s favorite hamburger drive-ins and dine-ins for the best quality-to-cost ratio with a dash of history.
This spot speaks to diners looking for a fancy burger without the fancy prices. That secret sauce is possible as it’s owned by the Utahns who started Avenues Proper and Proper Brewing. All but four burgers will run you less than $10. Try the Rising Sun with kimchi, a fried egg and miso aioli or the signature Proper Style with caramelized onions and American cheese. Vegans and vegetarians are well served here with housemade patty options even carnivores will enjoy.
The Katzourakis and Katsanevas families have been shepherding this Utah brand for more than three decades. Every burger on the menu comes in well under the $10 mark and locations abound. Burgers are flame grilled and fry sauce aficionados rank theirs as one of the best. Try the signature Crown Burger—a quarter pound hamburger slathered with Thousand Island dressing and topped with hot pastrami on a sesame seed bun.
Heading north, Facebook users insisted that a trip to Burger Bar in Roy was worth the drive for nostalgia and noshing. This old-school drive-in is now run by the third generation of the Fowler family and serves up thick ice cream shakes, onion rings and old-timey burgers. The Big Ben (named for the founder Ben Fowler) can be ordered in varying sizes (baby, double, triple or quad) and feature ground beef (or game and “exotic”) patties cooked on a flattop, with or without cheese and typical burger toppings on a locally made bun. All come with fries and all but the quad are under $10.
Hires Big H
True to its founding in 1959 by Don Hale, this hamburger drive-in still offers car hop service around the valley. The signature Big H with either a single or double ground chuck patty is garnished with Utah’s famous fry sauce and American cheese. Making it a combo with fresh cut fries and a root beer will cost you more than $10 but memories of yesteryear are priceless.
This second-generation Sugar House staple now owned by Dan Neilson has been serving up burgers, malts and more since 1976—and you can follow the history by perusing the memories on the walls. Several things keep Millie’s high on the list of favorite old-school burger joints after all these years: all their sauces are still made in-house using family recipes and they serve rarely seen English-style chips. Prices are a bargain with every quarter pound Millie burger on the menu coming in under $9 with many just over the $5 threshold.
While the days of filling up on the dollar menu may be gone, Utah is fortunate that these locally owned burger joints still offer a dining experience to remember without breaking the bank
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