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Down-home Memphis cuisine is flavorful and made with love — it’s evident in every bite. And sometimes the simplest dishes are where you find the most satisfaction. Today, we’re focusing on an American classic that Memphis does really well. Here are 10 exceptional burgers around town that you’ve GOT to try!


Neighborhood: Midtown
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The Cameo Burger deserves the first mention because, in my opinion, it reigns supreme. It is made with locally sourced beef from Homeplace Pastures. The delicious beef is smashed thin and nestled atop a perfectly toasted brioche bun, then doused with a special sauce and topped with all the fixings — lettuce, tomato, pickles, and grilled onions. It is simply PERFECTION! This burger is an absolute must-try.

Close-up of burger topped with cheese, tomato, and lettuce
Check out this beauty from Cameo!

Momma’s Bar

Neighborhood: Downtown
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Momma’s Bubba Burger tastes just as good as it looks. This beautiful burger is a classic made with American cheese, Momma’s mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles. As a bonus, it comes with the most deliciously salty fries. This 21-and-up dive bar will have you returning for more in no time.

Close-up of burger with tomato, onion, cheese, lettuce, and pickle
Sink your teeth into a Momma’s Bubba burger.

Magnolia & May

Neighborhood: East Memphis
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The double cheeseburger at Magnolia and May is extra special. Why? You might ask. It’s simple: the cheese skirt. What is a cheese skirt? It’s the most delicious, crispy, crunchy fried cheese, and it sends this burger over the top. The ground beef is perfectly seasoned and top-of-the-line quality. It’s topped with all the classics, including lettuce, tomato, onion, and a special sauce. The fries are also delicious!

Burger and fries in takeout box.
Ever heard of a “cheese skirt?” Head to Magnolia & May to see and taste it!


Neighborhood: Downtown
More info:

The Bishop Burger may not be your typical burger — it’s a fork-and-knife situation. But man, is it worth it! This juicy burger has a double patty, B1 (their take on A1) sauce, American cheese, and tangy tomato aioli. It is absolute decadence and has all the savory and slightly sweet components that make a great burger. “Fancy” and “burger” are not often mentioned in the same breath, but this burger absolutely takes it to the next level.

Cheeseburger with knife and tin of fries
Behold, the next-level, double-patty Bishop Burger.

Tops Bar-B-Q

Neighborhood: Midtown
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There simply can’t be a “Best Burger List” in Memphis without including a Tops burger. Don’t let the low price and unassuming storefront fool you — this baby is jam-packed with flavor and perfectly smoky! A simple Tops burger can compete with the best of them. Not to mention, it’s completely customizable. I like the double cheeseburger with barbecue sauce, bacon, pickles, and jalapeños. It is smoky, sweet, and packs a little heat. If you’re feeling extra saucy, get the Fireman burger, which boasts the signature Top’s BBQ. With nearly 20 locations in the city, this burger is a Memphis staple.

Burger being held in front of restaurant exterior
Customize your perfect burger at Tops.

Hog & Hominy

Neighborhood: East Memphis
More info:

The John T. Burger is a straightforward, Oklahoma-style burger made with onions, then smashed into a delicious beef patty topped with American cheese, pickled lettuce, and mustard. Of course, it’s also served with fries. Don’t let the unassuming description fool you — this burger recently ranked #1 in the nation in Food and Wine magazine! I encourage you to pair it with your favorite local brew and camp out on a patio. You won’t be disappointed.

Cheeseburger and fries
Highly lauded, this burger from Hog & Hominy is a must-try.

The Green Beetle

Neighborhood: Downtown
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The Green Beetle is a Downtown Memphis landmark that has been slinging delicious food and burgers since 1939. These burgers are consistently delicious! There’s a wide variety to choose from and a build-your-own option, too. My favorites are the Bacon Jam Burger (yes, bacon jam!) and the eatery’s signature offering, the Beetle Burger.

Pro tip: Keep your eye out for their weekly specials, as you’ll find some of their most delicious burger creations featured there.

Burger topped with cheese and onion rings, served with fries
Serving up the goods since 1939, The Green Beetle has fantastic burgers.

The Slider Inn

Neighborhood: Downtown
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This former auto garage turned neighborhood bar is located in the heart of the South Main Arts District, and it’s a regular stop for many Memphians. These sliders may be small, but they’re packed full of flavor. The Big Deuce is my go-to: two Angus beef patties adorned with bacon, American and Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and mayo. Ask them for the bourbon mayo instead of typical mayo — it’s a total game changer!

Slider with two patties cheese, tomato, and lettuce
Formerly an auto garage, The Slider Inn is now a burger mecca!

Earnestine & Hazel’s

Neighborhood: South Main
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Earnestine & Hazel’s is such a unique piece of Memphis history. It is your classic neighborhood dive bar that has garnered national recognition thanks to its rich history and oddities. This haunted (yes, haunted!) hangout offers great music, spooky vibes, ghost tours, and cold drinks. After a few drinks, do yourself a favor and get the world-famous Soul Burger. This super simple burger consists of a soft bun, beef patty, onions, cheese, pickle, and “Soul Sauce,” and it’s sure to ward off any evil spirits that may be lurking.

Person holding a cheeseburger in front of lake
Is Earnestine & Hazel’s haunted? Yes. Does it serve one heckuva burger? Also yes.

Chile Verde Taco Truck

Neighborhood: Varies
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Ok, ok … I admit that the first time I heard someone say one of the best burgers in town was from a little taco truck parked in a gas station, I was a little skeptical. I shouldn’t have been. This juicy, cheesy burger absolutely blew my expectations out of the water, and it has become sort of a cult classic here in Memphis. There are several options, ranging from the California Burger (two patties, cheese, ham, bacon, and pineapple) to the Muy Grande Burger (four patties, lots of cheese, thick-cut onion, lettuce, and tomato). My go-to is simple: double bacon cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, onion, and the amazing Chile Verde green hot sauce. This burger goes to show that some of the most delicious food can be found in the most humble places.

Muy Grande burger
Cheers to the Muy Grande Burger at the Chile Verde Taco Truck.

Eat up, Memphis! All photos by 901 Noms unless otherwise noted.


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About the Author
Jo Bateman