Utah has a passion for burgers, and if you’re craving one, there is no shortage of burger joints to choose from. Whether you’re in Salt Lake City, or a tiny Southern Utah town, no matter what type of burger you prefer, you’ll find one you should try on this list:
Capitol Burger’s Mac N Cheese Burger
If you check the reviews for Torrey’s Capitol Burger food truck, you’ll see many people claiming that this is the best burger they’ve ever had, period. This is no random desert burger truck, but the brainchild of Luke Fowles, a former upscale dining chef who now devotes himself to concocting the most amazing burgers you’ll ever taste.
Fowles and his crew grind their patties fresh daily and bake their own brioche buns. Each burger comes loaded with toppings, and their Mac N Cheese burger topped with smoked bacon, roasted chiles, a house mustard sauce, and mac n cheese, is one of their most popular offerings. Find the Capitol Burger food truck parked outside Torrey’s Chuckwagon on weekends. Otherwise, follow them on Facebook to track their current location.
Cotton Bottom Inn’s Garlic Cheeseburger
When the Bar X Group acquired the Cotton Bottom Inn in 2020, they vowed to keep much of the historic bar’s menu the same, which was good news for lovers of the tavern’s signature garlic cheeseburger. Enjoying a Cotton Bottom burger smothered with roasted garlic and cheese served on a hunk of French bread after a day skiing or hiking in the Cottonwoods has been a Utah tradition for more than fifty years, and now that it’s no longer a bar only, the whole family can enjoy burgers on the Cotton Bottom’s cozy, tree-lined patio.
Ray’s Tavern Burger
If you find yourself at Ray’s Tavern in Green River, Utah there’s a good chance you’ve been living off of trail mix, canned chili, or other camp foods for the past few days. A trip to Ray’s is the reward for many Southern Utah backpacking trips and river trips through Desolation Canyon, because the burgers at Ray’s are top notch.
Ray’s no-frills 1/2-pound burgers are simple and fresh and come served with a side of hand-cut fries or homemade coleslaw. Meat-free folks will find a veggie burger on the menu, although they are taunted by a sign behind the bar that says a grilled cheese and fries will cost you 55 bucks. If the menu is written on a whiteboard above the bar, the burgers have to be good.
The Shooting Star Saloon’s Star Burger
Not only does Huntsville’s Shooting Star Saloon claim to be the oldest continually operating bar in Utah, it may just be the oldest running saloon west of the Mississippi. With hundreds of dollars bills signed by patrons from around the world covering the bar ceiling, and a mounted head of a St. Bernard hovering over one of the booths, this old-fashioned saloon is a sight to see.
But the saloon’s real claim to fame is the Star Burger; a grilled knockwurst Polish sausage sandwiched between two ground-beef patties and two slices of cheese. Just be sure to have some cash on hand. The Shooting Star Saloon still doesn’t take credit cards, which although slightly inconvenient, only contributes to the vibe.
Lucky 13’s Pastrami Burger
Utah has some serious love for pastrami burgers, and one of the best places to get one, besides the obvious Crown Burger, is Salt Lake City’s less conspicuous Lucky 13 Bar and Grill.
Lucky 13’s burgers have received all sorts of accolades, including the Best Burger in the World at the 2012 World Food Championships, for its spicy candied bacon cajun burger, and their pastrami burger often tops Utah “best of” lists. Lucky 13’s version comes topped with smoked pastrami and melted swiss with plenty of fresh veggies on the side. Upgrade to the rosemary-garlic fries for even more flavor
Millie’s Burgers: Doing it Right, Fresh and from Scratch in Sugar House
Burger Battle – How Does Shake Shack Shake Out vs. a Local?
Eclectic Eats at Local Breweries and Pubs in Salt Lake and Beyond
A History of French Fries With a Side of Ketchup
SUPPORT LOCAL JOURNALISM AND SUBSCRIBE TO PRINT MAGAZINE
Subscribe to Utah Stories weekly newsletter and get our stories directly to your inbox