Of the nearly 100 burgers that critic Rick Nelson has chronicled at Startribune.com/tabletalk, these dozen made a lasting impression.

Chef Shack Ranch: A fried egg-topped bison patty, served with outstanding hand-cut fries. $15. (3025 E. Franklin Av., Mpls., 612-354-2575, chefshackranch.com)

HauteDish: The city's most labor-intensive cheeseburger is a bargain ($14), even more so during happy hour ($10), when chef Landon Schoenefeld throws in a beer. (119 Washington Av. N., Mpls., 612-338-8484, haute-dish.com)

Il Foro: A cheese-draped, calorie-clogged double patty that celebrates simplicity. Lunch only. $15. (40 S. 7th St., Mpls., 612-238-2300, il-foro.com)

The Kenwood: A sublime patty topped with pork belly, Gruyère and an oozy fried egg. Yeah, wow. $15 (2115 W. 21st St., Mpls., 612-377-3685, thekenwoodrestaurant.com)

Lake & Irving: An early player in the double-patty cheeseburger race, and still a top performer. By all means, add the bacon. $14 (1513 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-354-2453, lakeandirving.com)

Lyn 65 Kitchen & Bar: The pickles alone are worth a trip, and the patty's secret flavor weapon is fat-laced short ribs, cured for 48 hours. $10 single, $13 double. (6439 Lyndale Av. S., Richfield, 612-353-5501, lyn65.com)

Nightingale: A dream of a California-style cheeseburger, with a bun for the ages, and served to 1 a.m. daily. $13. (2551 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., 612-354-7060, nightingalempls.com)

Rabbit Hole: Your basic umami nuclear device, with fries to match. $14. (920 E. Lake St. in the Midtown Global Market, 612-236-4526, eatdrinkrabbit.com)

Spoonriver: Flavorful Minnesota-raised ground lamb, ramped up with a Moroccan spice rack. $14.50. (750 S. 2nd St., Mpls., 612-436-2236, spoonriver.com)

Tongue in Cheek: A meatloaf-inspired patty, inventive condiments and herb-coated fries. Lovely. $12. (989 Payne Av., St. Paul, 651-888-6148, tongueincheek.biz)

Victory 44: It's not called the "Perfect" burger by accident. $17, or go during happy hour and get it at half-price with a drink purchase (2203 44th Av. N., Mpls., 612-588-2228, victory-44.com)

Wise Acre Eatery: Brie and bacon make this fresh-off-the-farm heavyweight as decadent as all get-out. $16. (5401 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., 612-354-2577, wiseacreeatery.com)