The best burgers, Juicy Lucy diehards maintain, have the cheese inside. One of the Twin Cities’ most iconic dishes, a Juicy Lucy is a classic beef patty stuffed with cheese, which liquifies (or oozes magnificently, at the very least) upon grilling. It’s a messy meal, and one with many local renditions: Both the 5-8 Club and Matt’s Bar (which spells its signature burger the Jucy Lucy, to distinguish it from other takes) claim to be the original home of the burger; Blue Door Pub serves a popular blue cheese version while The Nook keeps it classic; Peppers and Fries tops its Lucy with extra American and Wendy’s House of Soul deep fries the whole thing all together. There are many restaurants across Minneapolis and St. Paul serving great Juicy Lucys — here’s a map of 12 essential spots.Read More
Where to Eat the Twin Cities’ Iconic Juicy Lucy
A dining guide for the Cities’ quintessential cheese-stuffed burger
The Juicy Nookie, a local cult favorite, is classic and unassuming. Gooey American cheese is well-distributed throughout the not-too-thick patty. The Nook is a Twin Cities gem in terms of ambiance, too — downstairs there’s a small bar papered in dollar bills, and a bowling alley with arcade games. Note that you can get this same burger at sister restaurant Shamrock’s on West 7th in St. Paul.
This Mac Groveland neighborhood pub is popular with college kids and families alike. Possibly the best bite on the menu is a spicy take on Minnesota’s classic cheese-stuffed burger: the Cajun Lucy. Ample pepper jack cheese and jalepeños fit inside the patties with surprising ease. For an extra indulgent Lucy experience, try the BCO Lucy, made with bacon, American cheese, and fried onions.
Blue Door Pub Longfellow
The Blue Door Pub’s signature Lucy is actually a “Blucy” — it’s stuffed with blue cheese. That said, you can order a classic American rendition here, plus a number of other cheese-stuffed variations. The Longfellow Blucy is an herbed goat cheese and blackberry sauce combo, and the Mount Blucuvious comes with ghost pepper cheese, fried avocado, spicy bacon, and cilantro-lime sauce. Blue Door has another Minneapolis location on Como Avenue.
Peppers and Fries
A popular, baseball-themed sports bar in Minneapolis’s Longfellow neighborhood, Peppers and Fries serves a solid Juicy Lucy. The stout patty is packed with a dense pocket of American that doesn’t entirely liquify (though prepare for the cheese to leak onto your plate on first bite). Peppers and Fries serves its Lucy with an extra slice of American on top — a “spare tire,” the menu explains, “in case of a blow out.”
Matt’s, one of the Twin Cities most essential restaurants, claims to have invented the Jucy Lucy. (To distinguish its Lucy from other Twin Cities renditions, Matt’s spells its burger without the “i.”) The legend goes that in 1954, a Matt’s customer ordered two patties with a slice of cheese in the middle — after taking the first molten bite, he declared “That’s one juicy Lucy!” Matt’s Lucy is classic and unadorned (in the best way), flavor-dense and charred at the edges. The American cheese takes on a particular liquid quality compared to some oozier others.
The 5-8 Club (one of two contenders for the “Home of the Juicy Lucy” title, along with Matt’s Bar) first opened in 1928 as a speakeasy. Today, it’s better known for its cheese-stuffed patties: The 5-8 rendition involves classic American cheese, a broad patty, and a layer of pickles. For something a little wacky, try variations like the Buffalo Chicken Juicy, or the PB&J, stuffed with a gooey blend of peanut butter and American cheese and topped with strawberry jam.
Hell's Kitchen Inc.
There are as many hot takes of which Juicy Lucy as there are renditions of the burger itself. But none could deny there’s but one Jucy Lucifer, and it lives at Hell’s Kitchen on South 9th Street. The meaty monster is stuffed with American cheese with a side of sweet and spicy red pepper jelly. This one can even be made gluten-free for the diner with celiac in your life.
Wendy’s House of Soul, Inc.
Wendy’s House of Soul has a unique take on the Juicy Lucy. The Mogul Burger features two pre-baked, quarter-pound patties with a center of American, pepper jack, house, and provolone cheeses, plus green pepper, onions, and turkey bacon. The whole thing is encased in a gluten-free wrap and deep fried, then served with pepperoncini, a pickle, and fries. Grab a deep-fried Soul Roll to go while you’re here.
Crooked Pint Ale House
Crooked Pint runs a chain of restaurants across Minnesota, Wisconsin, Arizona, and the Dakotas, and offers a number of respectable Juicy Lucys. One you likely won’t find elsewhere in the Cities is the Poutine Lucy, which is stuffed with American cheese, then topped with more American cheese, plus chopped bacon, pub fries, cheese curds, and beef gravy.
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Uncle Franky’s in Minneapolis offers an affordable, ketchup-washed riff on the iconic locals-only burger. It’s a half-pound burger with all the fixings for just $8.95, a classic Juicy Lucy for under $10.
Francis Burger Joint
There are few other restaurants in Minneapolis with such a powerful plant-based restaurant and bar program. Opening in February 2023, Francis is a vegan’s delight. Nor should the herbivores be left out of the Juicy Lucy conversation. This Impossible patty-stuffed riff goes for $16, comes with all the fixings, and arrives between two brioche buns.
Jersey's Bar & Grill
Jersey’s Bar and Grill isn’t officially in the Twin Cities proper, but Inver Grove Heights is just a stone’s throw from St. Paul. A popular neighborhood bar with frequent live music and DJs, Jersey’s serves some of the best Juicy Lucys in the east metro. Choose between seven Lucy offerings, from the French Onion Juicy to the Jalapeno Popper Juicy, which comes breaded, deep fried, and topped with jalapeno cream cheese.