By Brittany Anas / NewsBreak Denver
(Denver, CO) The results are in: The Denver Burger Battle crowned its 2023 winners.
More than 20 restaurants competed in the burger showdown Thursday night on the Auraria Campus, with ‘90s jams providing the soundtrack as carnivorous attendees (one dressed as the Hamburglar) roamed the festival grounds in search of the Mile High City’s top burgers.
The Judge’s Choice award was granted to Snarfburger, which served a double beef patty with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, mayo, mustard, ketchup, hot sauce on a buttery toasted bun and with an option of giardiniera (or pickled veggies) on the side.
The People’s Choice award, voted on by Burger Battle attendees, went to Cherry Cricket, also a runner-up for the Judge’s Choice. The Denver institution, which recently opened a location in Littleton, brought its gourmet A game with the Cricket Royale, which was a braised short rib burger with bone marrow, caramelized onion, melty cave-aged Swiss cheese, roasted garlic onion jam, crispy onions, black pepper aioli all sandwiched between a pretzel bun.
I went to the Burger Battle with a group, and combined, the four of us sampled all the burgers sliced in quarters. The competing burgers run the gamut from traditional to those with zany toppings (think: strawberry Pop Rocks on Stanley Beer Hall’s delicious limoncello burger).
Here were the burgers that emerged as our favorites and were competing for our vote tokens:
The Juicy Lucy Burger from Lucy’s Burger Bar
After the meat sweats struck and we were burgered out, my friend made a surprise move: She went for seconds at the Lucy’s Burger stand. What a testament to this Midwestern culinary marvel that would make Minnesotans everywhere proud! The cheese-stuffed burgers were served with grilled onions and pickles and consistently drew a long line. Lucy’s Burger Bar, 4018 Tennyson St., Denver
The Colorado Burger from Rooted Craft Kitchen
There’s civic pride that comes with attending the Burger Battle. You get an “I Voted” sticker after you cast your vote. And the burger that’s working hardest for the People of Colorado was from Rooted Craft Chicken, served with chopped Pueblo Green Chilies, our homegrown hot peppers that lent a nice crunch and a little heat. Playing a supporting cast role to the chilies on the Colorado Burger were other accouterments like diced bacon, crispy onions, and American (USA-USA-USA!) cheese. Rooted Craft Kitchen - West Highlands, 3940 West 32nd Ave., Denver; Rooted Craft Kitchen - Boulder, 1401 Pearl St. inside Avanti F&B
The Mighty Sweet Heat from The Mighty Burger
I’m a sucker for culinary juxtapositions, and the Mighty Sweet Heat won me over. A newcomer to the Denver Burger Battle, The Mighty Burger doled out a Mighty Sweet Heat burger that was the perfect bite, slathered in cream cheese and topped with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. It also had raspberry jam, pickled jalapeños and bacon. Catch these burger pros at Denver Beer Co. in Arvada, where they’re parked in a vintage Airstream, serving burgers, salt and pepper fries and tots. We’re hoping they add this should-have-been-a-winner burger to their lineup. 5768 Olde Wadsworth Blvd., Arvada