Make no buns about it, Jacksonville knows a thing or two about cooking a good hamburger. So there's perhaps no better place to celebrate Hamburger Day than right here in the River City.
From chains that have beef down to a science (we're looking at you, Five Guys) to local haunts that offer their own brand of goodness, there's no shortage of places to sink your teeth into a juicy patty.
We're listing off some of the best burgers in town (more on that later), but first, let's whet our appetites with a little history lesson on this simple and savory handheld dish now widely known as the hamburger.
The exact origins of the hamburger are up for debate – over the years, many people claimed to have invented it – but people first began celebrating the hamburger in 2011, according to Checkiday.com.
As you might guess, celebrating the May 28 holiday is fairly straightforward: step 1) buy a hamburger; step 2) cook the hamburger (ignore this step if you're at a restaurant); step 3) devour the hamburger.
OK, without further ado and in no particular order, let's dive into our selections:
Dee's Music Bar & Grill
We're not ranking these burger joints, but if we were, Dee's would be at or near the top of our rankings. Why? Well, for one thing, it's home to the best burger in Jacksonville, according to our 2018 Jax Best rankings. Plus, my mouth is watering just looking at this image.
If you've ever been to M Shack, you know they serve up a variety of burgers. This place has something for everyone, from the health-conscious Cross-Fit Burger to the decadent Sunrise Burger. You really can't go wrong. But if you're up for a challenge, try the Insanity Burger.
Like Dee's and M Shack, Cruisers was rated as having some of the best burgers in Jacksonville last year. And like Dee's, it's not strictly a burger joint. But the burgers are hearty and sandwiched between fresh ingredients. Don't forget to order some fries while you're there.
No matter where you go, it seems like you're bound to find a Five Guys. That's because their burgers (and fries) are just that good. Sure, they can get a little messy and I'm almost certain my doctor would prefer I cut back, but these burgers are the stuff of final meal requests.
This is not the place for those looking for some wild toppings or a darying new take on the burger. Instead, The Loop keeps things simple. You could try the BBQ bacon cheddar burger, or the mushroom and swiss, but you'd be just as happy with a standard Loop burger.
When I took an informal poll of the newsroom, it quickly became clear that the burgers at Poe's Tavern in Atlantic Beach are among the local favorites. And not for nothing, but Poe's won "Best Burger" among other accolades in Folio Weekly's 2019 "Best of the Beaches."
Tasty's Fresh Burgers and Fries
You may not have heard of Tasty's if you don't spend a lot of time in Fernandina. If that's the case, you're really missing out. If you're a fan of Five Guys, chances are you'll enjoy Tasty's. Just order a cheeseburger and say "Tasty's All The Way." I promise you won't regret it.
T-Ray's Burger Station
If you ever find yourself feeling particularly gluttonous in Fernandina, consider stopping at both Tasty's and T-Ray's. You'll only have to park once since they're essentially neighbors (incidentally, both resemble gas stations). T-Ray's burgers are a bit bulkier, but oh so good.
By now you've noticed this list is far from conclusive. So sound off in the comments and let us know if we've overlooked something.