Guide to the 10th Annual Downtown Burger Battle

December 29, 2022

32 Burgers. It’s a lot. Where do you start? Never fear! We’ve sorted through all the 2023 contenders to help you decide what to check out first!

Hot take: You don’t need a plan to enjoy the Downtown Burger Battle presented by First Western Bank & Trust.

  • You can avoid the over-the-top burgers
  • You can eat only the over-the-top burgers
  • You don’t need to try them all
  • You can try them all
  • It’s a great time to try a brand new restaurant
  • It’s a great time to visit your fave restaurant

But if you want to plan, here are some categories for sorting the options. Want more than a taste? View full burger descriptions and see photos in the master list.

Sweet & Savory

You say you like the balance, but maybe you actually like chaos. You already know if it’s a huge yes or hard pass on these ones.

  • Blarney Stone: The PB & JB (Peanut Butter & Jelly Burger)
  • Crawford’s: Truffle Jam Burger
  • JL Beers: The S’More Burger
  • Phillips Avenue Diner: Peanut Butter & Spicy Jelly Burger


Okay, yes, burgers are all meaty. But what if you’re the type yelling “More! MORE!” as someone heaps meat on meat? These burgers have the beef and then some, from bacon to crispy chicken skin.

  • Covert/Windy City Bites: The Son of Zeus
  • Bread & Circus: Chicken Bacon Ranch Burger
  • Chef Lance: The Big Bison Burger
  • Falls Landing: The Mario Burger (prosciutto)

Some Heat

Hot take: Spicy is in. In your mouth, when you try these.

  • Holiday Inn City Centre: The Chipotle Bacon Burger
  • MacKenzie River: The Hatch Queso Burger
  • PAve: The Kunco
  • Fernson/Wagoo Burger: The Big Zing

Foods As Other Foods

You know, for when you want a burger but also spaghetti. Or carnitas. Or meatloaf. Peak burger building creativity.

  • Crave: El Padrino – Carnitas Torta Burger (carnitas)
  • Ode to Food and Drinks: Hoppy Loafing Around (meatloaf)
  • Papa Woody’s: The Italian Stallion (spaghetti)
  • Pizza Cheeks: Pizza Cheeks Burger (pizza)
  • TommyJack’s: Philly Burger (philly cheese sandwich)
  • Sunny’s Pizzeria: The Frenchie Burger (french onion dip)
  • Remedy: The Rimedio (italian beef)

Elevated Classics

Sometimes you want a really great classic burger. These hew to the classic flavor profile, but watch out! There are plenty of delightful additions kicking it up a notch!

  • La Luna Café: La Luna Steak Burger
  • Leonardo’s Café: The Triple B (Big Basic Burger)
  • Minervas: The Local Steak House
  • The Treasury: The Smash & Grab
  • Wileys: West Coast Smasher


Some of us just want so much cheese. You know who you are.

  • 5 Guys: The Wonder Burger (grilled cheese sandwich buns)
  • Boki European Street Food: Cheese Curds Burger (the name says it all)
  • Falls Overlook Cafe: The BCB (colby jack and cheese curds)

Fresh Takes

Organizing burgers is an art, not a science. These ones defy tidy categorization. Try ’em and decide if they need a narrower category.

  • DaDa Gastropub: The Italian
  • Glacial Lakes/FadeAways: The Captain
  • M.B. Haskett
  • Monks: The Griddy (MN inspired, wild rice & mushroom)
  • Swamp Daddy’s: Magnolia Burger (sausage infused patty with okra & more)