For a small town, Durango has more than its fair share of yummy burgers. It would be impossible to compare them all, so we’ve rounded up seven of the weirdest and most original. Keep these in mind for your next food adventure.
Address: 726 1/2 Main Ave.
Hours: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily
Grassburger made its Durango debut in 2014, selling burgers that are both healthy AND cheap. The sandwiches are quite small, so you feel full but never bloated, though if you’re especially hungry or full-bodied, you might want to order the ¼ pound “double.” You can get a single 1/4 pound “Grassburger” for just over 5 bucks. The beef is 100 percent grass-fed, making it a third fewer calories than grain-fed. Grass-fed beef also has more vitamins and less total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, so it can help lower your risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. The cattle lead happy, natural lives before they’re killed for your pleasure, and you can sleep easy.
Address: 42 County Road 250, #400
Hours: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily, closed Mondays
Plate reopened back in June (it was Main Event Sports Bar & Grill before, but the new restaurant has completely different ownership) and talented chef Tyler Henderson competed on Food Network’s “Chopped” this past August. Green Chile is an essential spicy add-on here in the Southwest, but Plate steps it up a notch with their Green Chile Popper Burger ($15), which features a Black Angus patty, a tempura fried ball of green chiles, two cheeses, Applewood smoked bacon, hydroponic Bibb lettuce, heirloom tomatoes and a New Mexican telera roll.
Animas Brewing Company
Address: 1560 E 2nd Ave.
Hours: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Tues. Wed. Thurs. Sun., 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Fri. & Sat., 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. Sun.
A cozy, rustic-cabin-inspired spot tucked next to Rotary Park on the river, Animas Brewing has great beer – but don’t overlook the food. Three of their burgers combine 50/50 splits of two types of meat, a rare feat (and all of them are $10.50). The J.W. pairs El Dorado beef and house smoked brisket with onions, cheese and sarsaparilla BBQ sauce; the Reub is El Dorado beef plus fresh corned beef topped with beer kraut and cheese; and the Hanz couples beef and ale brats with onions and horseradish cheddar.
Carver Brewing Company
Address: 1022 Main Ave.
Hours: 6:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily
Carver’s might be best known for their breakfasts (they’re packed in the mornings!) but this isn’t a burger you’ll want to eat first thing in the a.m. Carver’s Tatanka Burger ($14.50) is a buffalo burger with bacon, mushrooms, green chiles, queso fresco and garlic aioli. Made with meat from the American bison, a leaner (and more expensive) meat than beef, buffalo burgers are healthier than your standard beef option, with less cholesterol and fat. Bison are grass-fed, allowed to roam, and are not given hormones, antibiotics or other chemicals, whereas beef varies on these issues, with many cattle unfortunately fed on grain and injected with hormones.
Eolus Bar & Dining
Address: 919 Main Ave.
Hours: 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. daily
OK, Eolus is pretty fancy. This is probably where you invite a hot date to impress her (on pay day) or where your parents take you out when they come to visit, especially if you’re an impoverished college student. But for the distinctiveness of their Lobster Burger ($26), the price might just be worth it. The cheeseburger includes beef from James Ranch, half a lobster tail, a house baked local whole wheat bun, smoked tomato aioli, shredded romaine, special sauce and pickles. Have you ever eaten lobster and beef simultaneously? Now might be a good time to start.
Steamworks Brewing Company
Address: 801 E 2nd Ave.
Hours: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. daily
Ah, Steamworks. You might guess the burger we’ve chosen will be greasy and cheesy like all the best pub food, but you’d be wrong. They serve a vegetarian quinoa burger (it’s pronounced ‘keen-wah,’ by the way) with a house-made quinoa patty, mushroom, spinach, feta, ale braised onion, tzatziki sauce and a sesame brioche bun ($10). In case you didn’t know, quinoa is a very healthy grain crop known for its edible seeds. It is gluten-free, high in protein and one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids.
Address: 764 Main Ave.
Hours: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m./4 p.m. -10 p.m. Mon. – Fri., 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. Sat./Sun.
This American bistro serves the most expensive burger on our list: the ‘Gastro’ Burger ($29) with L.B. Co-Op beef (Local Brands Farm & Ranch Markets in Southwest CO), seared foie gras, Sunnyside Farms egg, crispy onion strings, lemon aioli and a house-baked onion bun. Foie gras (pronounced ‘fwah-grah’) is made from the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened for your digestive inclinations. It’s a well-known delicacy in French cuisine, and seems a very extravagant thing to have on a burger – but maybe you’re looking for a little something special? Well, you’ve found it.