10 Best Places To Get A Juicy Lucy In Minnesota

If you’ve ever had a Juicy Lucy before (and that telltale tongue burn), you know this is one burger you can never get enough of.

But did you know that this is a Minnesotan innovation?

The Land of 10,000 Lakes is also the home of the Juicy Lucy, and you’ve never really had a Juicy Lucy until you’ve had one in Minnesota.

In today’s article, we list down our picks for the best Juicy Lucys in Minnesota, where to get them, and some additional information when visiting Minnesota so you can plan a foodie trip and get yourself some tasty burgers.

What’s A Juicy Lucy And What’s The Story On It?

It’s been called iconic and even revolutionary, but what exactly is a Juicy Lucy?

A Juicy Lucy at its simplest is a burger made by placing cheese in between two burger patties so that when the burger is cooked, the cheese inside melts. The result is a juicy, cheesy burger with a slightly different texture from a regular cheeseburger, in which the cheese is between the bun and the patty.

Toppings may vary but usually include onions, pickles, ketchup, and mustard.

The Juicy Lucy is so legendary that it has two different origin stories from the same street in Minneapolis.

Matt’s Bar on Cedar Avenue claims that they came up with the burger in 1954 when a customer asked for a burger with two hamburger patties with a slice of cheese in between. Because the customer is always right, they made the burger for him.

Legend has it that when that customer bought into the burger, he exclaimed “That is one juicy Lucy!” and the name stuck.

They advertised it on their shop, but the same legend says that the sign was inadvertently spelled “Jucy Lucy” and they didn’t want to change the sign so they stuck by the spelling.

But wait. We have a challenger.

Three miles down the road, the 5-8 Club also claims to have invented the Juicy Lucy, although their story doesn’t offer up any details aside from being a speakeasy in the 20s.

The rivalry extends to their advertising; Matt’s claims that “Remember, if it is spelled correctly, you are eating a shameless rip-off!” while the 5-8 Club claims that “If it’s spelled right, it’s done right.”

The competition even made its way to the national news when President Barack Obama stopped by Minneapolis and ordered a Jucy Lucy from Matt’s and 5-8, not to be outdone, invited the president to try their Juicy Lucy.

But no matter where it was born, the Juicy Lucy is undoubtedly one of the best takes on the classic burger.

It’s been named as one of the 17 Most Influential Burgers of All Time by Time Magazine, as well as one of the The 101 Dishes That Changed America by Thrillist.

10 Best Places To Get A Juicy Lucy In Minnesota

So now that we know how it came about, the next question is where to get the best Juicy Lucy in Minnesota. Here are the XX best places to get one.

1. Matt’s Bar and Grill: Jucy Lucy

This dive bar is one of the two places that claims the distinction of being the birthplace of the Juicy Lucy, but more importantly, Matt’s Bar hasn’t changed much since then.

Matt's Bar Jucy Lucy
Photo Credit: Dale Cruse

Their Jucy Lucy is simple: grilled beef patty that’s almost charred on the outside but tender on the inside from the melted American cheese, served on a bed of pickles with everything in between a couple of nondescript buns.

The only things you get asked are whether you want onions with your burger and whether you want a half order or a full order of fries on the side. That’s as simple as it gets, as you’ll see when we go through this list.

The burger, as well as the fries that go with it, has few frills but is big on taste. It comes to your table quickly, with a warning not to bite into the burger straight away or risk being burned.

What else to order: Nothing else stands out, really; the Jucy Lucy is the lone star of this dive bar

Essential Information
Address: 3500 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN | 612-722-7072/612-729-9936
Hours: Bar: Sun-Sat 11am-12mn; Grill: Sun-Sat 11am-10:45pm
Attire: Casual
Reservation Required: No
Cost: $7.75
Website: Matt’s Bar

2. The 5-8 Club: Juicy Lucy

If Matt’s is known for the simplicity of their Jucy Lucy, 5-8’s chefs are known to be more creative with their Juicy Lucy.

5-8 Club Juicy Lucy
Photo Credit: Kim

Their Juicy Lucys are all served with pickles and with a side of French fries or carrot sticks with coleslaw, but the difference is that you can choose from the following types of cheese to put inside their Juicy Lucy: American, Pepper Jack, Swiss, or blue cheese.

An aspect the 5-8 is especially proud of is the bun that they use, which is freshly baked every day at Denny’s 5th Avenue Bakery. For many fans of their Juicy Lucy, the bun makes all the difference.

What else to order: Onion straws

Essential Information
Address: 5800 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN | 612-823-5858
Hours: Sun-Wed 11am-10pm; Thu-Sat 11am-11pm
Attire: Casual
Reservation Required: No
Cost: $8.99
Website: 5-8 Club

3. The Nook: Juicy Nookie Burger

Casper’s and Runyon’s Nook, or simply The Nook, is Saint Paul’s answer to Minneapolis’ top two.

Nook Juicy
Photo Credit: edkohler

This may be far from where the Juicy Lucy originated, but their Juicy Nookie has gotten enough accolades from critics and even featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives to be a contender for the best Juicy Lucy in the Twin Cities.

The Juicy Nookie Burger is the classic Juicy Lucy with the cheese stuffed into a patty, but they have other versions.

The Paul Molitor, for example, is stuffed with pepper jack cheese, and the Spanish Fly is has a chorizo burger patty filled with queso blanco.

And let’s not forget the Guy’s Big Bite, which is a pepper jack-stuffed burger topped with roast beef, cheddar, and bacon.

All their burgers are served with pickles and a side of French fries, with various options for their patties (bison, turkey, or black bean) and sides (chips, slaw, onion rings, sweet fries, or waffle fries) for an additional fee.

What else to order: Nookie Wings; win a free t-shirt if you manage to eat 20 wings dipped in their Hot Damn sauce in 20 minutes or less.

Essential Information
Address: 492 Hamline Avenue South, Saint Paul, MN | 651-698-4347
Hours: Sun-Thu 11am-1am; Fri-Sat 11am-2am
Attire: Casual
Reservation Required: No
Cost: $11.50
Website: The Nook

4. Blue Door Pub: Blucy Burger

Yet another Saint Paul joint, the Blue Door Pub offers another innovation on the Juicy Lucy: their Blucy Burger is stuffed with blue cheese and garlic, giving you a whole new experience.

They’re not lacking in creativity, though. Aside from their signature Blucy Burger, the Blue Door Pub offers nine other versions of cheese-stuffed burgers with different cheeses and cheese blends, toppings, and sauces inspired by different influences.

They even have the classic Juicy Lucy with American cheese and pickles.

The Blue Door Pub is so popular and successful in Saint Paul that they opened branches in Minneapolis. Is it to move closer to the top 3 Juicy Lucys in Minneapolis? Who knows.

Whatever it is, the Blucy Burger is a strong contender for the best Juicy Lucy in Minnesota.

What else to order: Wings, especially the buffalo wings (want extra heat? Say “Make It Scary.”)

Essential Information
Address: 3448 42nd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN | 612-493-1865
Hours: Mon-Sun 11am-1am
Attire: Casual
Reservation Required: No
Cost: $8.95 (ala carte; add $3 for fries)
Website: The Blue Door Pub

5. Crooked Pint Ale House: The Classic Lucy

The Crooked Pint has numerous branches, mostly in Minnesota but also scattered in the Midwest. They pride themselves on being voted the best Juicy Lucy in Minnesota based on a survey by USA Today in 2017.

Their take on the Juicy Lucy is called the Classic Lucy, but they still take it a step further; aside from stuffing the patty with American cheese, they also top it with a slice of American cheese. It’s a Juicy Lucy and a cheeseburger in one!

This is not their only stuffed burger offering, though. Try the Beer Cheese Lucy, stuffed with creamy beer cheese sauce, topped with a slice of habanero jack, and served on a pretzel bun.

Or if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, try the PB & Bacon Lucy, stuffed with peanut butter and topped with bacon and romaine lettuce.

What else to order: Poutine

Essential Information
Address: vary per location; see this list of Crooked Pint Ale House Locations
Hours: vary per location; see this list of Crooked Pint Ale House Locations
Attire: Casual
Reservation Required: No
Cost: $10.99
Website: Crooked Pint Ale House

6. Jersey’s Bar and Grill: Classic Juicy

Jersey’s Bar And Grill is proof that you don’t have to go to the Twin Cities to have a tasty Juicy Lucy.

Juicy Lucy
Photo Credit: Michael Salazar

Their Classic Juicy is made with a beef patty stuffed with American cheese on a toasted sourdough bun and served with lettuce and pickles.

The rest of their cheese-stuffed burgers, which they call Jersey Juicys, vary with the type of cheese stuffed, toppings, sides, and even the bun they’re served on. They even have a Juicy Of The Month that they only serve for a 1month.

What else to order: The Cheesiest Burger in MN: 2 quarter-pound, non-stuffed burger with American, Swiss, pepper jack, and cheddar jack, and then smothered in queso; served in between rosemary sliced Tuscan flatbread

Essential Information
Address: 6449 Concord Blvd, Inver Grove Heights, MN | 651-455-4561
Hours: Mon-Wed 11am-1am; Thu-Fri 11am-2am; Sat-Sun 9am-2am
Attire: Casual
Reservation Required: No
Cost: $9.99 (add $0.99 for fries, chips, or coleslaw)
Website: Jersey’s Bar and Grill

7. B-52 Burgers and Brew: Juicy Lucy

Another Inver Grove Heights place, B-52 Burgers and Brew has their own take on the Juicy Lucy: beef patty stuffed with plenty of cheddar and American cheese.

Sounds simple, but it’s so good that it won a People’s Choice Award on the Twin Cities Burger Battle in 2018 as the best Juicy Lucy in Minnesota.

What else to order: The Carlton Burger: non-stuffed Hereford Beef patty with gruyere cheese, arugula, jalapeno bacon jam, and herb mayo

Essential Information
Address: 5639 Bishop Ave. Inver Grove Heights, MN | 651-451-3838
Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-2am; Sun 11am-1am
Attire: Casual
Reservation Required: No
Cost: $9.99
Website: B52 Burgers and Brew – Inger Grove branch

8. The Breeze Inn: Classic Juicy

The Breeze Inn is Duluth’s answer to the Twin Cities’ Juicy Lucys.

They have seven types of Juicy Lucys, all served on a grilled Kaiser bun with French fries, chips, or coleslaw.

Their classic Juicy Lucy is stuffed with American cheese and then topped with grilled onions. But their other creative takes have a wide variety of cheese, toppings, and sides.

One of the bestsellers is the Roasted Pepper Juicy Lucy, made with a half-pound of ground beef stuffed with pepper jack and topped with green chilies, jalapeños, onions, bell peppers and seasoned sour cream.

What else to order: Time Square Melt: corned beef and pastrami sandwich with baby Swiss cheese, spicy brown mustard, and served with sweet onions.

Essential Information
Address: 5168 Jean Duluth Rd, Duluth, MN | 218-525-2883
Hours: Sun-Thu 11am-11pm; Fri-Sat 11am-12mn
Attire: Casual
Reservation Required: Encouraged
Cost: $10.99
Website: The Breeze Inn

9. Dooley’s Pub: The Jacked Lucy

Dooley’s Pub in Rochester is a sports bar that has a hot take on the Juicy Lucy; quite literally.

The Jacked Lucy is a ghost pepper-infused, Cajun-seared burger stuffed with pepper jack cheese, topped with bacon, jalapeno, and a chipotle aioli on a toasted bun. You can choose among French fries, cottage cheese, fresh fruit, tater tots, or coleslaw for the side.

That’s the only cheese-stuffed burger they have on their menu, but one food item done well is enough to keep customers coming back.

What else to order: Dooley’s French Dip sandwich: demi style roll with slow-roasted Angus sirloin layered with sautéed onions and Swiss cheese; served with au jus.

Essential Information
Address: 255 1st Ave SW, Rochester, MN | 507-208-4085
Hours: Mon-Sun 11am-2am
Attire: Casual
Reservation Required: Encouraged
Cost: $14
Website: Dooley’s Pub

10. Buffalo Tap & Grill: “THE” Juicy Lucy

Buffalo Tap & Grill is a laid-back burger and beer joint that has an expansive menu.

Their classic is simply named “THE” Juicy Lucy, and it’s just as simple as its name. Fresh beef patty filled with your choice of American or pepper jack cheese and with or without raw or fried onions as toppings.

Burger sides like French fries, wedge fries, tater tots, and many more cost extra.

Notable variations of their Juicy Lucy to try would be their Elk or Buffalo Juicy Lucy (elk or buffalo patty instead of beef) or ‘Shroom & Swiss (topped with Swiss cheese and fresh sautéed mushrooms).

What else to order: Buffalo Tap Famous Wings: fresh and crispy bone-in wings served with a variety of sauces

Essential Information
Address: 4990 123rd St W, Savage, MN | 952-808-7317
Hours: Mon-Thu 11am-12mn; Fri-Sat 11am-1am; Sun 11am-11pm
Attire: Casual
Reservation Required: No
Cost: $11.99
Website: Buffalo Tap

Vegan Juicy Lucy
Photo Credit: Tony Webster

What You Need To Know Before Visiting Minnesota

Here’s what you need to know before you go hunting for the best Juicy Lucy in Minnesota.

Getting To Minnesota

If you’re flying from out of state and staying in one of the Twin Cities, you’d probably be coming in from the Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport, which is the largest of the Minnesota airports.

But depending on which city you intend to land, you can also land on Duluth International Airport or Rochester International Airport.

Getting Around

Renting a car to get around is most convenient when you’re restaurant-hopping, but public transport by train and bus are accessible as well.

What To Do

When you’re not eating your way around the Twin Cities, make a note to visit one of the 240 theaters in the Twin Cities. Notable ones include the Orpheum Theatre, the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, and the Fitzgerald Theater.

If the theater doesn’t do it for you, how about the Minneapolis Institute of Art in Minneapolis? It’s the sixth-largest art museum in the US promises to be an extraordinary celebration of art.

Minnesotans are also proud of their sports teams, so if you can catch a hockey, football, baseball, or basketball game while you’re there, prepare for some of the most enthusiastic sports fans you’ll ever encounter.

Just 15 minutes from Minneapolis is the Mall of America, which is so much more than a mall. It has an indoor theme park, an aquarium, restaurants, cinemas, and of course retail stores. Do some tax-free shopping (clothes, shoes, and accessories) before you go back home.

What To Wear

Minnesota is cooler than you might think, even in the summer. It’s practical to wear layers so that you’re prepared for both sun and shade temperatures.

Planning to visit during the winter? Their winters are harsh, so make sure your layers are thick ones.

What To Expect

Minnesotans, particularly those in the Twin Cities, are known for what’s called “Minnesota Nice.”

Abrupt, abrasive people just won’t be able to blend in here. The way to a pleasant experience with the locals is to be extraordinarily polite. Not fawning, but courteous and friendly.

It’s a simple matter of saying “thank you,” “I’m sorry.” “excuse me,” and “have a nice day” whenever applicable. It’s saying “how are you” and “have a good day” instead of walking on by and ignoring people.

Which Juicy Lucy in Minnesota are you going to try first?

The only thing I would say is that please don’t eat all 10 of these Juicy Lucys in one day. Your arteries will thank you.

Which ones are you going to try first? Or are you from Minnesota and agree or disagree with any of our picks? Let us know (but please don’t yell) in the comments below!

Go Out and Explore