There’s a reason why the deftly seasoned turkey burger ($13) is a signature menu item at the Craftsman (4300 E. Lake St., Mpls., 612-722-0175, www.craftsmanrestaurant.com); yeah, it’s that good.
For nearly 10 years, the lamb sliders, dressed with minted yogurt ($11), have been an eternal lure into the lounge at La Belle Vie (510 Groveland Av., Mpls., 612-874-6440, www.labellevie.us).
A five-spice blend, a Thai peanut sauce and crunchy Napa cabbage deliver all kinds of Asian overtones to the zesty pork burger ($14) at Muffuletta (2260 Como Av., St. Paul, 651-644-9116, www.muffuletta.com)
For vegetarians, it’s a tie, between the quinoa-roasted beet version ($7.50) on an onion bun at Be’wiched Deli (800 Washington Av. N., Mpls., 612-76704330, www.bewitcheddeli.com) and the falafel-inspired variation ($9), stuffed with onions, at World Street Kitchen (2743 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., 612-424-8855, www.eatwsk.com).
Track down the whereabouts of AZ Canteen food truck (@AZCanteen, www.andrewzimmerncanteen.com) and dive into the splendors of Andrew Zimmern’s deliriously savory goat burger ($11). It’s smothered in sweet-smoky charred onions, with tangy pickles and roasted tomatoes contributing much-needed acidic balance.
Elk fans, listen up: Fuddrucker’s (3801 Minnesota Dr., Bloomington, 952-835-3833, www.fuddruckers.com), that bastion of 1980s burger-mania, has an elk burger ($10.72) on the menu. Ditto ($8.49) the burger-obsessed Buffalo Tap (4990 W. 123rd St., Savage, 952-808-7317, www.buffalotap.com.
Chef Matthew Bickford lays on the luxe at Icehouse (2528 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., 612-276-6523, www.icehousempls.com), adding shimmering foie gras to a dazzler ($25) already topped with a truffled Bordelaise sauce.
The city’s most memorable stuffed burger just might be at Fika (2600 Park Av. S., Mpls., 612-871-4907, www.fikacafe.net), where the kitchen nudges the Juicy Lucy tradition in a decidedly Nordic direction, stuffing a ground brisket patty with Vasterbotten (Sweden’s Parmesan) and serving it, smörgås-style ($checking), on a slice of caraway rye with a whole-grain mustard sauce. Yes, that’s a lingonberry ketchup on the fries. Note: the Juicy Lucia is served Wednesdays only, from 3 to 8 p.m.