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Tom Minervino

Maine's Most Iconic Burgers

20 burgers is almost a full week of meals.

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People who say the American Dream is dead don't eat enough burgers. Anything is possible between the buns. These 20 of Maine's best burgers prove that. Some, like those at Harmon's, Vivian's, and Fat Boy's, earn respect over time, perfected by countless hours spent over a cook top. Others, like the Palace Diner's Palais Royale, earn fame quickly by taking a well-known formula and making it mind-blowing. Then there's places like LFK with its pimento cheese and 3CROW with its tobacco onions showing that it's okay to expand horizons — different can be delightful. Grab a napkin and get to work.

Places are ordered alphabetically.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Harmon's Lunch

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Double cheeseburger, loaded. That's fried onions, mustard, and relish. There's no lettuce, no tomato, no mayo — but you won't miss 'em. There's a reason Harmon's has been cranking out its simple specialty since 1960.

Owls Head General Store

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The Seven Napkin Burger. It's perhaps Maine's most famous burger, and it's worth the trip. There's a huge, lightly packed patty that's cooked any way you want it, topped with cheese, mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, and onions. If the name is hyperbolic, it's only slightly so — good luck finishing one without the help of at least four napkins. .

Nosh Kitchen Bar

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The quad cheeseburger. That's four of Nosh's special blend patties (along with chuck and brisket, the grind includes pork shoulder and bacon) that are seared on a flattop and stacked with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, and pickles on a brioche bun.

Mainely Burgers Food Truck

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The Mainah from this Portland-based mobile operation won the best burger title from readers during Eater Maine's 2013 Burger Week. It's topped with cheddar, bacon, sauteed onions, apple slices, and homemade maple mayo. Look for the truck on the streets of Portland or out at Scarborough Beach this summer.
A gourmet burger at a fine-dining restaurant for roughly the same price as a Wendy's Baconator? Yup, there's the $6 Grace Burger — it's topped with cheddar, tomato confit, and pickled onions. It's even got its own Twitter account: @GraceBurger.

Ruski's

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The half-pound cheeseburger is a classic example of a pub burger, with a nice exterior char and juicy center. No bells and whistles here, just a high-quality burger that's prepared right.

King Eider's Pub and Restaurant

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The half-pound burger is made from a custom blend of cuts and hand packed, then chargrilled.

Fog Bar & Café

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The Fog House Burger is a grass-fed beef patty topped with bacon jam. sriracha onion rings, and asiago cheese, served on a brioche roll.
The LFK Burger is a lovely, juicy hunk of meat served on a pretzel roll and topped with pimento cheese. Why this cheese spread hasn't reached greater popularity in these northern parts remains a mystery, but LFK's use of it is genius.

Nocturnem Draft Haus

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The Nocturnem Burger uses grass-fed Maine beef topped with Chimay beer cheese and caramelized onions. It pairs nicely with the bar's extensive, well-curated beer list.

Fat Boy Drive-In

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The "Whoperburger" at this throwback Brunswick institution is what a Whopper would be if it were cooked to order with some care. It lost the second "P" some decades ago when Burger King threatened a lawsuit.

The Bag & Kettle

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While the menu at this ski bum favorite boasts a handful of "Gourmet Designer Burgers," it's the Original Bag Burger that has achieved legendary status: a charbroiled cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, onion, and house sauce.

The Frog and Turtle

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The Jalbert takes a 6-ounce Black Angus burger and tops it with bacon, blue cheese, mushrooms, dijon, and barbecue sauce. It's tough to pass on the other entree selections here, but this is a burger that will cause no regrets.

Little Tap House

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The Tap House Burger features house-ground local beef topped with aioli, greens, tomato tapenade, and pickled onion, all on a grilled bun. It's sorta fancy, but in a way that even burger purists can respect.

Petite Jacqueline

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The "French Attitude" burger is topped with gruyere, caramelized onions, and aioli. Say what you want about the French, but they know how to eat.

Vivian's Drive-In

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Cheeseburger with grilled onions is the way to go. Maybe three or four of them, as they're little. Vivian's is not much to look at, and the seasonal thing is a bit unusual given the Forest Ave location, but this place has been putting out cheap, delicious burgers for many decades.

Palace Diner

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A $13 diner burger? Yup, and the Palais Royale is worthy every penny. Imagine a Big Mac, only bigger and made with great local ingredients.
Two words: tobacco onions. Two more: bacon burger — as in, a burger ground in-house with whole slab bacon. Add sharp cheddar and tomato and the result is masterful.

Boone's Fish House & Oyster Room

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Feel weird ordering a burger at a fish house? Don't, at least not here. The NOB burger has fried oysters on top, but it's the crisp, thick-cut bacon, Tabasco mayo, and lightly packed half-pound patty that make this burger a standout.

Hot Suppa

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The HS Double Double uses two quarter-pound patties from local Pineland Farms, smothers them in American cheese, and adds caramelized onions and pickles.

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Harmon's Lunch

Double cheeseburger, loaded. That's fried onions, mustard, and relish. There's no lettuce, no tomato, no mayo — but you won't miss 'em. There's a reason Harmon's has been cranking out its simple specialty since 1960.

Owls Head General Store

The Seven Napkin Burger. It's perhaps Maine's most famous burger, and it's worth the trip. There's a huge, lightly packed patty that's cooked any way you want it, topped with cheese, mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, and onions. If the name is hyperbolic, it's only slightly so — good luck finishing one without the help of at least four napkins. .

Nosh Kitchen Bar

The quad cheeseburger. That's four of Nosh's special blend patties (along with chuck and brisket, the grind includes pork shoulder and bacon) that are seared on a flattop and stacked with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, and pickles on a brioche bun.

Mainely Burgers Food Truck

The Mainah from this Portland-based mobile operation won the best burger title from readers during Eater Maine's 2013 Burger Week. It's topped with cheddar, bacon, sauteed onions, apple slices, and homemade maple mayo. Look for the truck on the streets of Portland or out at Scarborough Beach this summer.

Grace

A gourmet burger at a fine-dining restaurant for roughly the same price as a Wendy's Baconator? Yup, there's the $6 Grace Burger — it's topped with cheddar, tomato confit, and pickled onions. It's even got its own Twitter account: @GraceBurger.

Ruski's

The half-pound cheeseburger is a classic example of a pub burger, with a nice exterior char and juicy center. No bells and whistles here, just a high-quality burger that's prepared right.

King Eider's Pub and Restaurant

The half-pound burger is made from a custom blend of cuts and hand packed, then chargrilled.

Fog Bar & Café

The Fog House Burger is a grass-fed beef patty topped with bacon jam. sriracha onion rings, and asiago cheese, served on a brioche roll.

LFK

The LFK Burger is a lovely, juicy hunk of meat served on a pretzel roll and topped with pimento cheese. Why this cheese spread hasn't reached greater popularity in these northern parts remains a mystery, but LFK's use of it is genius.

Nocturnem Draft Haus

The Nocturnem Burger uses grass-fed Maine beef topped with Chimay beer cheese and caramelized onions. It pairs nicely with the bar's extensive, well-curated beer list.

Fat Boy Drive-In

The "Whoperburger" at this throwback Brunswick institution is what a Whopper would be if it were cooked to order with some care. It lost the second "P" some decades ago when Burger King threatened a lawsuit.

The Bag & Kettle

While the menu at this ski bum favorite boasts a handful of "Gourmet Designer Burgers," it's the Original Bag Burger that has achieved legendary status: a charbroiled cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, onion, and house sauce.

The Frog and Turtle

The Jalbert takes a 6-ounce Black Angus burger and tops it with bacon, blue cheese, mushrooms, dijon, and barbecue sauce. It's tough to pass on the other entree selections here, but this is a burger that will cause no regrets.