When you put together local beer, juicy burgers and a perfect summer night, you can’t help but fall back in love with this Minnesota season. Biting into a perfectly cooked burger reminds us of backyard cookouts—those layers of meaty and cheesy goodness make up the quintessential summer comfort food. This month, we feature a handful of St. Louis Park eateries that know how to make a blissful burger. Each of the following restaurants has remixed the plain old hamburger and put their own twist on it. Burger culture is evolving in America, with sliders, creative meat varieties and killer topping combinations—and these top burgers are no exception.
ASTEROID CHEESE CURD BURGER
Galaxy Drive In
Who says that you can only eat cheese curds at the State Fair? Get ready to chow down on some golden, deep-fried nuggets with this burger. St. Louis Park’s retro Galaxy Drive In is open seasonally; savor a trip there when you can. And grab an Asteroid cheese curd burger—a juicy beef patty, crisp lettuce, a slice of tangy onion and a pile of chewy-good curds, all on a soft bun. Bring your honey for a romantic car-picnic date, your kids, or even your four-legged friends—try one of Galaxy’s doggie cones for Rover. $5.99.
3712 Quebec Ave. S.; 952.277.7777
The history of the hamburger is a long one, but we’re pretty sure Park Tavern’s technique—marinating the juicy burger in a swirl of delicious Guinness—is one of a kind. The Guinness burger is marinated in the dark Irish dry stout and then topped with Welsh cheese sauce and an onion ring. You’ll perhaps feel a wee bit more Irish while eating this burger—and that’s just what chef Daniel Cleary intends. Cleary invented this delectable burger while experimenting with Guinness- and Jameson-inspired recipes, inspired by his own Irish heritage. The Guinness burger pairs great with a friendly competition in Park Tavern’s epic game room or classic bowling alley. Bowling, beer, and Welsh cheese sauce? We’re in. $10.50.
3401 Louisiana Ave.; 952.929.6810
Cooper Irish Pub
The team behind Cooper is also behind several other Twin Cities Irish-American establishments: Kieran’s, the Local and the Liffey. Their St. Louis Park restaurant is named for whiskey-barrel makers (coopers) and Cooper Theater, which used to stand near Cooper’s current spot. Masters of Irish pub food, the guys and gals at Cooper offer an American twist with their tasty bison burger. Locally sourced meat from Silver Bison Ranch, with Tillamook cheddar on a brioche bun, makes this burger the perfect pairing for a Big Ginger, one of Cooper’s signature drinks—whiskey and ginger ale. Although most people are newbies to the bison burger, chef Nick Hess says that many folks end up finding it preferable to beef, because it is leaner. Enjoy your burger on Cooper’s lovely patio on a nice day, in a cozy wooden booth, or in an Eire-inspired room that can be rented for events. $13.99.
1607 Park Place Blvd.; 952.698.2000
McCoy’s Public House
If you’re a bacon lover, McCoy’s Triple B burger is what you crave. Appropriately named, the Triple B burger includes three delicious manifestations of the pork delicacy: ground bacon and beef in the patty, smoked bacon jam, and bacon aioli to top it off. McCoy’s Public House grinds their own meat for the burger and covers everything with soft gouda cheese. Head chef Brian Kooman suggests pairing this burger with a Size 7 beer from local Steel Toe Brewery. This summer, enjoy a burger in McCoy’s posh bar area with your favorite bacon aficionados. $14.
3801 Grand Way; 952.224.9494
Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar and Grill (NOW CLOSED)
Sometimes all you want is the original. This is a classic fire-grilled cheeseburger, topped with—what else?—American cheese. Singer Toby Keith and his team named this burger in honor of military members serving our country, and any active-duty personnel can show their ID for a free burger (one time only). Grab a bite and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of this eatery, inspired by Toby Keith’s country hits. Lots of live music is on the agenda this summer, and good beer—served in mason jars—is always on tap. $9.99.
1623 Park Place Blvd.; 763.450.9999
THE RACK ATTACK
Bunny’s Bar and Grill
Bunny’s Bar and Grill has been a St. Louis Park institution for more than 80 years. Of course, we know it as a favorite spot for catching a game or hanging with friends and neighbors. Originally called Aretz’s Place, the bar got its new name after the owner found a bargain on a sign that said “Bunny’s.” He couldn’t pass up a good deal—and you shouldn’t pass up the Rack Attack burger, a thick Angus patty topped with your choice of cheese, applewood-smoked bacon, sautéed mushrooms and a side of barbecue sauce. Half-pound burger $11.50; third-pound burger $10.50.
5916 Excelsior Blvd.; 952.922.9515
PASTRAMI BENEDICT BURGER
Eggs aren’t just for breakfast anymore. When foodie culture gets onto something, all sorts of exciting new combinations ensue. A fried egg on a burger? Sign us up. Yard House’s pastrami Benedict burger is crowned with roasted tomatoes, fried onions, Swiss cheese, béarnaise sauce and a golden-fried runny egg, all elements that work together in harmony. Don’t forget the beverage with your burger: Yard House is known for its yard of beer, which is perfect for sharing with a table of friends on a warm July evening. $13.25.
1665 Park Place Blvd.; 952.417.0490