Colorado Springs, you have come through in shining style. We asked you tell us about the burgers that we missed, and you did. Oh, did you.
Following are a list of spots where apparently the ground beef is beyond par, and the toppings are top of the heap, and the fries are fry-tastic and the napkins are ... are, like, beyond wonderful.
Before we do so, let's talk about Drifter's Hamburgers. Over time, we've received multiple tips that this place is dishing the best hamburgers in the city, complete with (apparently) the ultimate compliment: "The closest thing we have to In-N-Out Burger."
And I even wanted to include them in our recent burger round-up, where we try and find that elusive burger beast. The only problem? Me. Or rather, my cursory examination of their website, which felt rather chain-y, especially with the multiple mentions of franchising opportunities. And, of course, we mostly left chains out of our contest (other than Five Guys Burger and Fries, which our readers voted Best Burger last year). In the end, it turns out they're local and that the mistake was mine, and that I should have called. Reader Powers that be was so taken with our failure to include them that they felt compelled to comment, "Another failure. Best local burger hands down is Drifter's, and not even a mention?"
In any case, my very real apologies.
So, in an attempt to somewhat mitigate my oversight, I made the drive north today and hit the little spot on Mark Dabling Boulevard. And you know what? Those burgers are pretty damn good! Not good enough to win our contest, mind you, but Drifter's is doing enough solid things with meat-based products that a visit to any other speed-driven eatery is pretty ridiculous.
My girlfriend and I went with their standard cheeseburger, but went "wild style," where apparently pickles and a more mustardy-style sauce is added to the mix. The standard burger already comes with a house dressing that's reminiscent of Mickey D's Big Mac sauce. The dude at the counter was probably as helpful as is possible to be, kicking in an unasked-for water when we ordered a chocolate shake; turning some of the order into a combo to save money; and basically knowing everything about everything on the menu. This was even more impressive considering the full lobby and line behind us going out the door.
In the end, we ended up with three burgers, a big basket of fries — with the combo — a chocolate shake and a soda for like $14. So it's not the dollar menu, but eating these burgers was one of the funner things I've done recently. They eat like a mashup of mayo-based flavor goo, veggies and standard fast-food-style beef on a nicely toasted bun. All in all, not bad. (As for the chocolate shake, it tasted to me like a warmish, melted Wendy's Frosty, which I think is gross, but my girlfriend totally enjoyed.)
So without further delay, here's a list from readers (with names removed) that have tried to send us in the right direction through e-mail and online comments.
Patty Jewett ... great burgers, awesome view!
I enjoyed your article on burgers and got pretty hungry reading it. However, none of these burgers (with the possible exception of The Famous which I haven't tried) could top Marigold Cafe and Bakery's burger. They describe it as Ground Angus Chuck Burger, 10 oz. Ground Chuck flame grilled and served with French Fries for $10.99 at dinner, $9.25 at lunch. What they don't say is it is served on their home made cibatta, cooked perfectly to order and served with batter coated French Fries and includes big slices of tomatoes, onions and lettuce. It is the best burger I have had in Colorado Springs. I always feel a bit conspicuous ordering a burger while the diners around me order escargot, grilled fish, rack of lamb etc. but it is really great.
Great review of burgers. I'm fond of Ted's Montana Grill for burgers. Yeah, a bit too much coin like The Famous but pretty tasty. Give 'em a try. Their buffalo is great as well ... duh ... lol.
The Famous?... Why you got hurt me like that? Sure its big, sure its beefy, but is it the end all be all of burgers in our humble little town? ;)
I can't believe Smashburger didn't make the list. It's by far the best burger I've ever eaten(and probably the most unhealthy). I demand a retraction! Kidding, but seriously, go try them out.
My current gold standard in the Springs is the Kobe Burger at Walter's Bistro. It's served with excellent quality cheddar and bacon, and their seasoned fries are great. It has so much more flavor than any other burger I've had anywhere else in town and it's thick enough that they can cook it as you like it and it's right on the money every time.
Best burger and value: Burger City at Cinema Point.