What’s not to love about an ooey, gooey cheeseburger? Thankfully, you can celebrate America’s favorite sandwich on Sept. 18, during National Cheeseburger Day. We’ve rounded up some of the best burgers throughout the state (some meatless alternatives, too) to satisfy any craving, big or small.
1. Charcoal Pit
A tradition in Delaware (the original Concord Pike location turns 60 this month), you cannot go wrong with the Pit Special—a charbroiled hamburger with melted cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion. You can choose from an eight ounce or four ounce burger—just be sure to save room for ice cream. | 2600 Concord Pike, Wilmington, 478-2165; Kirkwood Highway and Greenbank Road, Wilmington, 998-8853
2. Chelsea Tavern
Chelsea Tavern, the People’s Choice winner at the Burger Battle this year has had their winning burger— a custom-blend burger with smoked chorizo, red onion jam, crispy shallots and Pepper Jack cheese—running as a special since the battle. It has since come to an end, but they’ve got plenty of other juicy favorites to fill your belly. | 821 N. Market St., Wilmington, 482-3333
3. Iron Hill Brewery
A restaurant known for its beer has some tasty burgers, too. Try the Brewski Burger, topped with lettuce, tomato, mushrooms, bacon and your choice of American, sharp cheddar or Swiss on a brioche bun. | Several locations, www.ironhillbrewery.com
4. Kid Shelleen’s
Kid Shelleen’s is a neighborhood favorite for juicy burgers. They are made with fresh ground chuck and a blend of special house seasoning. Those with a massive appetite should order the Goldrush, a 10 ounce burger with Lancaster bacon, smoked brisket, iceberg lettuce, vine-ripe tomato, smoked Gouda and an over-easy fried egg. | 1801 West 14th St., Wilmington, 658-4600
5. Metro Pub & Grill
Enjoy the sirloin burger, which is eight ounces topped with Applewood smoked bacon, white cheddar and mayonnaise. | 17 Wood St., 376-3876
6. Nordstrom Grill
Nordstrom Grill took home the Critic’s Choice trophy this year at the Burger Battle with their grill burger, made with freshly ground beef, balsamic roasted onion, sharp white cheddar cheese, tomato, peppercorn aiÌˆoli on a toasted artisan bun. Order it next time you need a refuel after a shopping spree. | 100 Christiana Mall, Newark, 613-6000
7. Restaurant 55
The father-daughter team at Restaurant 55 serves probably the most creative burgers in town. Case in point: the cordon bleu burger with grilled ham and Gruyère cheese; the Santa Fe burger with cheddar cheese, bacon, homemade root-beer barbecue sauce and onion confetti; and the NFB (not for breakfast) burger, a meat patty laced with sage and topped with a fried egg, bacon and American cheese. | 2461 S. State St., Dover, 535-8102
8. Sharky’s Grill & BBQ
No need to worry about your beach bod anymore. Order the Hot Damn one-third-pound charbroiled burger, served on Texas toast with pepper jack cheese and deep fried jalapeño peppers—just be sure and wait at least two hours before swimming. | 1508 Coastal Hwy., Dewey Beach, 226-3116
9. Summerhouse Restaurant and Saloon
When you order the fresh grilled hickory bleu burger at Summerhouse Restaurant and Saloon be sure and ask for extra napkins. The one-half-pound, just-ground chuck burger is topped with apple-smoked bacon, bleu cheese and BBQ sauce. | 228 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach 227-3895
And a few meatless alternatives:
The black bean burger with jerk spices, mozzarella and avocado aioli at Ulysses American Gastro Pub (1716 Marsh Road, Wilmington, 691-3456).
The cauliflower “steak” burger with mushrooms, tomato, cheddar and aioli at 8th & Union Kitchen (805 N. Union St., Wilmington, 654-9780).
The garden burger at Two Stones Pub: A grilled veggie patty with roasted red pepper vegan aioli, queso fresco, red leaf lettuce, jalapeño, pico de gallo on a grilled brioche bun. (300 Lantana Drive, Hockessin, 239-2200; this burger is served at their other locations with a slight variation).
Who makes your favorite burger, and what makes it so great? Share your secrets with us!