Burgers Your Way
Jackson Hole’s variety of restaurants means there’s a perfect hamburger for everyone.
// by Rachel Walker
There are few foods as synonymous with ski towns as the mighty hamburger, likely because even the most kitchen-averse ski bum can manage to brown a beef patty and slap it between a bun. But just because the original hamburger is basic doesn’t mean that they all have to be. From no-frills meat sandwiches to customized artisanal creations, the burgers below showcase valley chefs’ many different approaches to beef and bread.
Miazga’s calls its menu “East Coast comfort food,” and many of the glowing reviews rave about the pierogies, meatballs, and Rueben sandwiches. But Miazga’s burgers are just as deserving of accolades. What makes them so great? The simplicity. Miazga’s burger doesn’t dress up for a night on the town or get down and dirty and smothered with one sauce or another. Instead, it’s a 5.5-ounce beef patty (the menu also has a bison burger) served with lettuce, onion, and tomato on a crusty bun with a choice of fries, slaw, or onion rings on the side. Pro tip: save room for one of the made-from-scratch desserts. $13.50 (bison burger, $14.50); Tuesday–Saturday 11:30 a.m–9 p.m.; 399 West Broadway; 307/733-2784, miazgas.com
Knotty Pine Supper Club
The classic old-school Knotty Pine Supper Club in Victor, Idaho, pays homage to the classic burger with a modern farm-to-table angle, sourcing its beef from nearby Blue Iris Gardens. The tender meat is cooked to order and served without fuss—just the meat, bun, lettuce, pickle, and onion. Optional add-ons include cheese, grilled onions, sautéed mushrooms, hot peppers, avocado, and bacon. The burger comes with thick-cut French fries or onion rings. This is bar food at its best in one of the most low-key and authentic eateries around Jackson Hole. Half-pound, $15 and 1 pound, $20; open daily 4 p.m.–close; 58 S. Main Street, Victor, ID.; 208/787-2866, knottypinesupperclub.com
At Gather, the burger is as surprising as it is satisfying. Featuring buttery, tender Wagyu beef, rich and spicy (though not too spicy) chili de arbol aioli, verde sauce, roasted mushrooms, onions, and smoked gouda—it’s a burger elevated to a multicultural sensation. Be prepared for superlatives to burst from your mouth with the first bite, thanks to the fine balance of flavors. $19; open daily 5 p.m.–9:30 p.m.; 72 S. Glenwood St.; 307/264-1820, gatherjh.com
The Bird Old School Kitchen and Bar
Beloved by locals, The Bird Old School Kitchen and Bar wants customers to eat well and have a damn good time. Not only will staff bust their butts to cook your food how you want it, but they’ll also listen to your inappropriate jokes and drive you home if you drink too much. Come for the party, but stay for the burgers, made daily with fresh ground brisket (no freezer to fryer action, here) and offered in 20 varieties, including the vegetarian Bushy Beaver. From the basic Ghetto burger—meat and bun—to the loaded Birdhouse—with two four-ounce patties, bacon, grilled onions, American cheese, ketchup, mustard, and pickles—there’s something on the menu for every burger lover in the valley. Burgers from $9 to $18.50; open Sunday–Tuesday 4 p.m.–10 p.m. and Wednesday–Saturday 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m.; 4125 US-89; 307/732-2473, thebirdinjh.com
The beef in The Spur’s mouth-watering burgers hails from pasture-raised cattle from western Idaho and eastern Oregon. Free of hormones and antibiotics, the half-pound patty comes on a brioche bun. Topped with Adam’s Farm sharp white cheddar, organic spring mix, and Roma tomatoes, this burger is both fresh and hearty, a perfect complement to a powder day (or any type of ski day, for that matter). Dress it up with à la carte options like truffle aioli, roasted jalapenos, mushrooms, grilled onions, bacon, avocado, fried egg, and blue cheese. Or swap the beef for a Beyond Meat patty for a vegetarian twist. $23; open daily 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.–9 p.m.; Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa 3385 Cody Lane; 307/201-6066,tetonlodge.com/spurrestaurant
Owned by fifth-generation ranchers (and sisters) Jessica and Nikki Gill, Jackson Drug serves burgers that are about as local as they come. The beef hails from happy cattle born and raised on the Gill family’s Jackson Hole Hereford Ranch, and the meat is guaranteed to be free of growth hormones and antibiotics. The burgers are served on a brioche bun with classic toppings—lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and pickles—and a choice of crispy tater tots, regular, waffle, or sweet potato fries, or coleslaw. Still hungry? Upgrade to the Truck Driver, a double cheeseburger with bacon and two fried eggs. $14 (The Classic) and $20 (Truck Driver); open daily 11:30 a.m.–9 p.m.; 15 E. Deloney; 307/201-1275, jacksondrug.com JH