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The List: Best burgers

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Every Monday through the end of March 2009 (when we unveil the Best of Denver 2009) we'll be posting a list of some of our favorite Denver dishes/restaurants on Cafe Society. Have a request? A comment? Post it here.

Jason Sheehan's recent review of The Counter (shown here) got us thinking about the town's best burgers. A lot. Bud's Cafe & Bar in Sedalia took the Best Burger prize in the Best of Denver 2008, just as it had the year before (and the year before that). But there are other great burgers in town, and here are a half-dozen of our favorites, broken into categories, with links to Westword reviews.

The chain gang
1. The Counter. This California-based chain, which opened an outpost at the Vistas in Park Meadows in August, offers 300,000 possible topping combinations for its thick, juicy burgers -- which it will even cook to order.

2. Smashburger. Good beef and a very hot grill combine to create a burger that's surrounded by meat candy. And there are plenty of people sweet on this concept, which is spreading across the country -- but got its start right here on South Colorado Boulevard.

Bar burgers
3. My Brother's Bar. Flat, greasy and just plain great, My Brother's burger comes wrapped in paper, on a plastic tray with condiments. There's nothing fancy about this bar burger, but how it's served and where -- in the town's oldest continually operating tavern -- combine to make it a classic. Like My Brother's itself.

4. Cherry Cricket. Over the past six decades, the Cherry Cricket has changed names and owners, it's added and subtracted a smoking area. But one thing remains constant (besides the unbelievable crowds): the excellent, flame-broiled burger. In chi-chi Cherry Creek, the Cricket is the real deal.

Unexpected burgers
5. Elway's. Number 7 calls his burger a "smashburger," too, but it's really just one huge, meaty burger that scores every time.

6. Jax Fish House. Why is a great seafood restaurant serving one of the town's great burgers? We don't have the answer to that one, but we know that we're hooked hooked on the burger served at the Jax in Denver.

The winner and still the chomp:
Bud's.

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