The Moos Room™

For the past four years, Dr. Joe has been searching for the best burger in the Twin Cities. Even if you don't want to come to the cities, sometimes it is unavoidable, so why not know where to go to get the best burger? Dr. Joe breaks down the top 5 burgers in the Twin Cities and reveals the clear number one. 

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Hosted by members of the University of Minnesota Extension Beef and Dairy Teams, The Moos Room discusses relevant topics to help beef and dairy producers be more successful. The information is evidence-based and presented as an informal conversation between the hosts and guests.


Dr. Joe Armstrong: Welcome to The Moos Room, everybody. This is Dr. Joe Armstrong. Much different episode today. Much, much different. Every once in a while, I like to throw something completely different and change it up, keep it interesting, way off the beaten path. We're talking burgers today. Hamburgers in the Twin Cities metro area. I know that a lot of you listening probably don't love to come to the cities, but there's times that you have to.

It's unavoidable in certain situations, whether it's doctor's appointments or anything else that you have to come to the cities. It's state fair, other shows. You got to be in the cities. There's nothing you can do about it. I'm here today to make that process just a little bit easier to handle. What we're talking about is comfort food. The best comfort food, always good, never bad, and that's a burger, a good burger.

Now, why do I feel uniquely qualified to talk about this at this point? Well, for the last four years, I've been meeting once a month with a group of my friends in something we've deemed Burger Club. Now, Burger Club is exactly what it sounds like. It's a group of guys getting together, searching for the best burger in the Twin Cities. We just pick a new place every month, get out of the house, go eat a burger, have a cold beer, and take the time to relax.

For four years, we've been traveling around the Twin Cities in search of the best burger in the cities. I feel it's my obligation to share with you what I've found so that when you do come to the cities and you're forced to be here, you might as well know where to go to get an incredible burger. Now, right out of the gate, I'm going to address some questions that I know were going to come up. How did we rank them?

There is no scientific way that we went about this at all. Pure enjoyment, group consensus, a little bit of a recap at the end of the meal just to say, "Does it break into the top five or didn't it break into the top five?" We have our top five and that's all we consider. We don't rank after that. If you're good and you can beat one of the top five, you get thrown in the top five, and the other place is out. That's all the recordkeeping we do.

Another question I know is going to come up, can you have a good burger without fries? The answer is yes. Absolutely. We didn't take fries into consideration. Do I love a good fry? Absolutely. Does it go well with a burger? You bet, but we're looking for the burger. This is about the beef. We want to know who's got the best burger. Another question, of course, is, did we consider the bun? Absolutely.

You got to consider the bun. That's part of the hamburger experience. It plays into it. No one likes a soggy bun. If you had a soggy bun, odds are you're not breaking that top five. Absolutely not. Other requirements of the venue. Do we account for the atmosphere? A little bit. We're trying to make this about the beef like I said. Yes, atmosphere plays into it. Food is going to be affected by your mood and the atmosphere of the service, those kind of things.
We try to not include those things when we're just tasting the burger. If I'm going to take it into this list and say, "That's going to play into it because I'm telling you where to go," so service atmosphere, those things play in. The only other requirement we have is there's got to be cold beer available. That's part of our criteria. We're not considering places that don't have cold beer available. That's the way it is. Important to note before we really get into this list, we haven't tried everything.

We've been to nearly 50 places at this point trying burgers around the Twin Cities. I can comment on those 50 places, but I can't comment on places that I haven't been with this group. There are some notable places that we haven't been and I'll mention those at the end so that you know that, yes, we're planning to get there. I want to try them all. Why not? We haven't been to those places yet and so we'll throw those out at the end and make sure you know.

The last thing that we'll cover before I get into the actual list is cost. Did we account for cost? Yes. Quality is quality. We want a great burger. I prefer it didn't cost me an arm and a leg to get it. If the burger was a little more expensive, we took that into account by saying, "Well, it better be that much better if I'm going to pay that much more for it." Yes, we did account for cost. I'm going to work this list. We got a top five.

There is a clear number one based on the group consensus and we double-checked because we went there twice to make sure that it was the best. The floor below that are in no particular order. They made our top five. They're in the top five. There's just a clear number one and we've all agreed. The first one that we're going to go with I'm going to tell you about is the Parlour Bar. Parlour Bar, there's a couple of different locations. The one we went to was in the North Loop in Minneapolis.

Now, I'm going to tell you right away, this is the most expensive burger on our list. I should also tell you based on what I said before that it must be pretty good if we're willing to pay a little bit more for it. The cool thing about Parlour is that they've got some of the best cocktails in the Twin Cities. If that's your thing, this is the place to go. That burger comes out crispy, ready to go, American cheese on an egg bun. Its ground, chuck, ribeye, and brisket, so good.
Important to note. This burger is � la carte. You order that burger, you get just the burger. I don't want anyone to be surprised by that. If you're a fry lover, it's just the burger. You want fries, you better order them separate. All right, next place is the Bull's Horn Food and Drink. Amazing place. Atmosphere? On point. I'm pretty sure if I'm remembering correctly, there's not a TV in the place. There's some music playing, but you can hear each other talk.

It's got a good vibe. It doesn't feel overly expensive. There's pull-tabs if you want them. Lots of taps. Good beer. Great spot for a burger. This burger is solid. You got some different choices on the menu. There's a pizza burger available, the Bull's Horn Burger, the Double Bulls Horn Burger if you're feeling real hungry. They got a fully-customizable version called the Weather B Burger. It's so good. I'm getting hungry thinking about it, having to take a couple of breaks just because I'm drooling a little bit. I'm not going to lie.

Another thing to note just so you're not surprised. Burger comes with chips. You got to upgrade to fries. I'm telling you, the burger is so good. I just double down, get a bigger burger, take the chips, not the fries, my opinion. Bull's Horn Food and Drink, also in our top five. Next place we're going to talk about in Saint Paul, Burger Dive on Bay Street. Personally, this is the closest one for me to beating our number one.

For whatever reason, this burger really stood out to me. I'm a pickle guy, so maybe it was the pickles. I really appreciated how much attention they paid to the bun, so it was real crispy and ready to go. I like smash burgers, so maybe that was it. I don't know, but the place is excellent. Lots of choices on this menu as well. House Burger, Wedge Burger, Onion, Mushroom Swiss, Nacho, PB&J, Peanut Butter, very underrated condiment on a burger. Patty Melt if that's your thing as well.

Again, I don't want anyone to be surprised. I'm pretty sure if my memory is serving me correctly, you got to order your fries on the side. This burger is � la carte as well if I remember correctly. You want fries, better order them. Burger Dive on Bay Street. If you're in the cities, you're craving a burger, this is definitely one of the places that needs to be on your list.
All right, one more place before we get to the number one. Next place on the list is Town Hall Station in Edina. This is my chance to rip on Edina a little bit. I grew up in St. Louis Park. Huge rivalry with Edina. Not a fan. Of course, I married my wife, who is from Edina. I don't have a whole lot of room to talk. If you're going to be on that side of the cities and you're close to Edina, there is an amazing burger on that side of the cities. It's so good that, yes, I'm willing to set foot in Edina to get it. This burger comes with fries.

Say that right away. You get fries with this burger. No need to order them separately. You got all sorts of different choices, but the burger itself, it's 100% certified Angus beef. The menu is simple. There's a Brewer's Double, two-quarter pound beef patties, American cheese, pickles. Southwest Metro, half-pound beef patty, barbecue sauce, bacon, cheddar, or the Black & Bleu Burger, half-pound beef patty, red onion, blue cheese. That's it. Your only choices. We're keeping it simple. Brewer's Double is ridiculously good.

Okay, the moment we've all been waiting for, I'm sure. What's the best burger in the Twin Cities that we've tried as a group with Burger Club? Hands down, it's Matt's Bar. I don't see anything in the future coming no matter how many more places we try that's probably going to beat this bar. There's a lot of hype around Matt's Bar, but it is worth it and it is well-deserved. Right off the gate, I'll tell you again, you got to order your fries on the side.

Now, there's debate in some circles whether or not Matt's Bar created the Jucy Lucy, the famous Jucy Lucy with a hamburger patty that has cheese on the inside. It doesn't matter who created it first. Matt's does it best. That's all I'll say. You can debate on that. You can email me. You let me know if you disagree. We've tried the Blue Door. We've tried 5-8. Matt's is, hands down, the best burger in the Twin Cities. We tried the regular hamburger, which I think, personally, I like better than the Jucy Lucy.

There's something about that grill that's been there forever, cooking the onions and the pickles. It's just something magical about that place. One thing to note, this place, we target on off nights, right? I'm not trying to get into Matt's Bar on Friday night or Saturday night because even when we go on Tuesday night, sometimes there is a wait. It's not a big place and that's part of the charm. It's part of the magic, but you've got to expect to wait.

I am telling you, the wait is worth it. It's so good. It's the only place that we've ever waited for Burger Club. We haven't waited anywhere else, but we still ranked it number one even though we waited. It is just an amazing place to be. If you're looking for a burger, you've got time, you got to be at Matt's. Before I wrap up, huge point. Do not miss this. Matt's Bar, cash or check only. Preferably cash, local checks only. No credit cards at Matt's. Don't be surprised by that. I'm sure there's an ATM there. Cash only.

Okay, I promised I'd tell you there's a couple of notable places we haven't been as a group yet. We got to put them out there because I know I'm going to hear from you if I don't. We have not been to The Nook yet. Haven't been to The Nook. I hear a lot about it. I have been there myself, but we haven't been there as a group. We're going to get there. It's on the list. I promise we will get there. The Nook is a notable place we've not been yet. Then a little bit south of the cities, but I would still consider it part of the metro area.

It's down in Miesville. There's a place called King's. So many different burgers on the menu. Great atmosphere. Always busy. Wonderful place. I used to stop there when I was in practice because it was within my area. If had a good herd check up there and we got done early, I'd swing in and grab a burger at King's. We haven't been there as a group yet, so I can't comment on it on whether or not it broke into our top five for this group. There you go. I hope that helps you come to the cities and at least know, you know where to get a burger or two or three, have a good meal.

If you have comments, questions, scathing rebuttals to this episode, please email The Moos Room. That's Check us out on Twitter @UMNmoosroom and @UMNFarmSafety. Check Bradley out on Instagram @UMNWCROCDairy. Check out our extension website, Special shout-out to Burger Club, Bill, Dan, Charlie, Trevor, and Ryan. Always have a great time every month. We're going to keep this going. If we have some big shake-ups in the top five, I will let you know. For now, thank you, everybody, for listening. We'll catch you next week.