A Search For The Best Local Burger In Manhattan, Kansas
The burger is a staple of American cuisine, it’s ingrained into our culture. People serve them for anything here, cookouts, birthdays, holidays, even weddings. Americans all have their own beliefs as to who has the best burger, whether it be In-N-Out, Shake Shack, or Whataburger. We set out to find the best burger in Manhattan, Kansas. We came up with our own list of the best burgers in town, as well as asking around to see which spots we would check out. After much deliberation, we decided on 5 native burger joints to visit, with the mission to try their most popular burgers and determine the winner of the Battle for Best Burger. We graded the burgers on the basis of four criteria: Taste, Ambience, Price, and Toppings. It’s safe to say that going to any of these joints is a good decision. They are the cream of the crop, but only one can reign as the best burger in Manhattan.
#5 Vista Burger
Taste: 6.7 Ambience: 6.3 Price: $ Toppings: 5.2
Walking into Vista Burger is like stepping into a different era. It reminds you of days gone by and something so familiar (even though you didn’t grow up in that time). The inviting atmosphere isn’t the only thing they have to offer, however, their classic Vistaburger is something any self-respecting Manhattanite should try. As Hannah put it, “It’s what McDonald’s should taste like.” The toppings weren’t anything crazy, but they didn’t need to be. This was a classic burger in every sense of the word. This is one of the cheaper burgers on our list and is a great value. Compared to most other burgers it is a cut above, but there are some heavy hitters on our list and although the Vistaburger stacks up, it comes in as #5 on our list.
#4 The Hi Lo
Taste : 7.2 Ambience: 8 Price: $ Toppings: 6.2
Coming in at #4 on our list, the Royale with Cheese is another classic cheeseburger, in a very interesting locale. Known for its pizza, The Hi Lo comes as a surprise to some as a burger joint. The Hi Lo is situated in the middle of Aggieville, and although it is fairly new to the scene, it has quickly found favor with the people of Manhattan. It’s eclectic, yet welcoming decor is interesting to see. It is as though you have emerged into this modern groovy era. Pricing wise, the Royale stands at a surprising $5 alone, leaving room in your wallet to make it a double. The burger itself is very tender and juicy while assisted by a delightful crunch of fresh lettuce and onions. The beef patty is not overly greasy, which left my stomach in a good place. By the time you have finished, you are very fulfilled. Royale is a solid classic cheeseburger that doesn’t try to test the bounds of how you would view a great cheeseburger.
#3 So Long Saloon
Taste: 8.2 Ambience: 8 Price: $$ Toppings: 7
Sitting on our list at #3 is So Long Saloon’s “The Resist Temptation”. One thing, for sure, is that if I need a hangover cheeseburger after a night out in The ‘Ville, this is what I’ll be ordering. The egg, bacon, and mayo blend together so nicely in the burger that it is sensational. The toppings worked great together but were minimal to say. The patty itself was a little salty, but not overbearingly salty. As you enjoy your burger you are submerged into a decor of an artistic twist on a western saloon. Located in the middle of Aggieville, So Long Saloon is easily one of the best “people-watching” locations in The ‘Ville. The price seemed a little high at $11, but most people would agree with the value compensated in fries. Overall, enjoying a So Long burger with a couple of “Nancies” is our idea of a good night out.
#2 Ana’s Burger Shack
Taste: 9.2 Ambience: 6.7 Price: $ Toppings: 8
We pulled up to the burger shack off of Tuttle Creek Boulevard and knew we were in the right place. It’s a simple establishment in a strip of businesses that screams “secretly amazing”. All of us being new to Ana’s, we had a tingle of excitement when stepping in. We looked around and saw the walls covered with names of testimonies to the love of the establishment (formerly known as Big D’s). The hype around “Burger Shack” had built a near legend of the burger joint in my mind, and Ana’s did not disappoint. Coming in at #2 on our list, this establishment left me in awe. We decided to try Ana’s personal favorite the “4 Alarm”. It was a warming combination of a cheeseburger and peppers. Every bite felt like salvation to the taste buds. Sometimes you can taste when food is made by someone with a passion for what they do, this was one of those times. It was the perfect day to enjoy a cheeseburger out in front of Ana’s and talk over our ratings. We decided Ana’s was the best overall tasting cheeseburger, however, we had more criteria contributing to our rankings.
#1 Tallgrass Taphouse
Taste: 8.7 Ambience: 8.3 Price: $$ Toppings: 8.8
Our pick for The Best Burger in Manhattan is found at Tallgrass Taphouse in downtown Manhattan. This is what many would choose for a quality dining experience on a weekend. Tallgrass Taphouse previously was a brewery. Moving forward now, solely as a restaurant, the essence of the brewery lives on for those who visit. As we walked in, our eyes immediately drew to the huge brewery tanks behind the glass wall and towered up to the two-story ceiling. You instantly feel a sense of power as you walk to your table. The long list of local beers to choose from is a staple of the establishment that pairs well with the atmosphere. The Tallgrass Burger is a haven of flavors that show your taste buds what can be possible with a cheeseburger. The bleu cheese paired with the peppered bacon is an experience of its own. The patty, made from Braveheart Ground Beef, tastes as though they hand-picked the cow out of the field. Just as the initial bleu cheese hits your taste buds you feel the crunch of the fried onion strings. The quality of the taste is matched by the diversity of textures you experience while eating the Tallgrass Burger. With quality, comes value. Being a $12 burger, it’s a bit pricey for a cheeseburger, but one is compensated with quite an experience of awesome.
As previously stated, any of these burgers will rock your world. Also, there are many more burgers in Manhattan that we didn’t have the chance to try. The point of this review is to show what local establishments have to offer, and that we should support these wonderful businesses. I am a huge supporter of (local) hamburgers, and always will be. Eat local and eat well!