Best Burgers in Connecticut
With its significant coastline and interior farmland, Connecticut suffers no shortage of great food from land and sea. But notwithstanding the state’s well-documented affection for pizza, it seems that the humble hamburger is the point of greatest pride in these parts–and it may have even been invented here. Where would American cuisine (and the U.S. economy) be without our classic beef-and-bun combo?
Four generations of the Lassen family have been running this diner continuously since 1895, making Louis’ the oldest burger joint in the nation. The creation story goes like this: One day in 1900 a customer asked for a quick meal to go, so Louis piled some ground-steak trimmings on toast for him–and made history. Be forewarned: you won’t find any condiments–just toppers such as onion, tomato, and cheese. 261-263 Crown St., New Haven. 203-562-5507; louislunch.com
In Meriden, the folks at Ted’s have been doing their share of burgering for more than five decades, and the secret to inspiring their loyal following is the way they steam the patties. Juicy, tender, and topped with cheddar … We’re reluctant to suggest that they’re healthier than grilled or broiled burgers, but for sure they’re mighty good. 1046 Broad St., Meriden. 203-237-6660; tedsrestaurant.com
Bobby’s Burger Palace
We like that celebrity chef Bobby Flay appreciates a simple, good burger enough to open a palace of an eatery suitably equipped to showcase them. Right on the gaming floor at Mohegan Sun, Flay offers big, juicy patties with a nod to American regional cooking. His “L.A. Burger” with avocado relish plus a side of sweet-potato fries, for example, takes the sting out of a few bad rounds at the craps table. 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd., Uncasville. 860-862-2277; bobbysburgerpalace.com
Burger Bar & Bistro
The chefs grind their organic beef in house, and their basic burger on a big, soft bun is one very good reason to visit. But they don’t stop there: Their decadent Kobe burger, for example, may come with a high price tag, but the deep, rich flavor is so worth it. And the ground-beef soul of the “Ultimate” may get lost under a heavy veil of gorgonzola, pancetta, and sweet onions–but it tastes so good. 58 North Main St., South Norwalk. 203-853-2037; burgerbarsono.com
Yes, it’s the Latin word for “cheese.” The menu here is dairy-centric, with comforting, oozy options, from poutine (fries, cheese curds, and gravy) and a classic raclette mac-and-cheese to a rustic grilled cheese that should be the standard by which all others are judged. But it’s the cheeseburger, made from local beef and tucked into a fluffy, buttery brioche, that keeps us coming back for more. 93 Whitney Ave., New Haven. 203-624-3373; caseusnewhaven.com
Please Note: This article was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.