We think you’d agree that any excuse to grab a burger is a good one — and Sept. 18 just happens to be National Cheeseburger Day.
To celebrate, we’ve compiled a list of the best burgers in Bradenton and Manatee County with help from members of our Manatee Eats Facebook group.
So grab the ketchup and mustard, and don’t forget a side of fries.
Here are the burgers you need to try around Manatee County, according to locals.
Jalapeno Swiss Burger at Central Cafe
Opposites attract deliciously in Central Cafe’s Jalapeno Swiss Burger. The mild and sweet profile of Swiss cheese meets the heat of jalapeno pepper in this unlikely but intriguing combination.
The cafe’s burgers are grilled medium well and served on a brioche bun. Don’t miss out on the hand-cut fries.
Central Cafe is at 906 Manatee Ave. E. in Bradenton.
Cheeseburger at Chumlee’s Wings
Chumlee’s specialty is the namesake chicken wings, but the rumor among locals is that they sling a pretty good burger, too.
And there are no difficult choices to make on this menu; just the one eight-ounce cheeseburger topped with lettuce, tomato and onion and served on a hard roll.
Chumlee’s Wings is at 3436 U.S. 301 in Ellenton.
Info: 941-981-5383. locu.com/places/chumlees-wings-ellenton-us.
European Burger at Cremesh European Restaurant
At Cremesh European Restaurant, you’ll find a totally different take on the hamburger.
The European Burger’s patty is 70 percent beef and 30 percent pork belly. And if that isn’t decadent enough, it’s topped with caramelized onions, applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato and melted provolone cheese.
Cremesh European Restaurant is at 7232 Manatee Ave. W. in Bradenton.
Leland Special at Council’s Bradenton Recreation
Council’s has been serving up burgers in Bradenton for nearly 100 years, and according to locals, they know what they’re doing.
The Leland Special features a generously-sized patty topped with extra cheese, bacon, lettuce, grilled jalapenos and onion.
Bring your appetite and head to Old Main Street to get counciled.
Council’s Bradenton Recreation is at 536 12th St. W. in Bradenton.
Jalapeno and Havarti Burger at Duffy’s Tavern
Duffy’s Tavern is described as a hamburger heaven, and it’s no wonder when you consider that locals have been enjoying the restaurant’s burgers since 1958.
One favorite comes with fresh jalapenos, Havarti cheese and an optional topping of lettuce, onion, tomato and mayo.
The restaurant’s bacon cheeseburger also gets high praise.
Duffy’s Tavern is at 5808 Marina Dr. in Holmes Beach.
Matty Matt at Full Belly Stuffed Burgers
As the name suggests, Full Belly Stuffed Burgers in Bradenton specializes in loading burgers with tasty ingredients.
The Matty Matt is a bold burger that combines sweet maple bacon and all-natural peanut butter in a juicy, Angus beef patty.
Full Belly Burgers is at 8742 State Road 70 E. in Bradenton.
Impossible Burger at Shake Station
There are lots of restaurants that have a meatless burger on the menu, but few of them offer up the nostalgic warmth and comfort of an old-school burger and ice cream joint.
The walls of this 1950s-inspired diner are lined with ephemera and jukebox classics play amid the chatter of bustling tables.
Enjoy this modern burger in a vintage setting.
Shake Station’s other burgers, made with hand-pattied, hormone-free beef and cooked on a vintage grill, are also worth a stop.
Shake Station is at 4219 U.S. 301 in Ellenton.
Skinny Cheeseburger at Skinny’s Place
The Skinny Cheeseburger is the signature hand-crafted offering at Skinny’s Place, an old-Florida burger joint in Holmes Beach.
It comes open-faced with the burger on one side of the bun, and the tomato, lettuce, pickle and onion on the other. It’s regarded as a good, satisfying burger, and even better with some of the coldest beer in town, served in a frosted mug.
Don’t drink beer? Maybe you’ll want to try one of the bottled Cokes, made the old-fashioned way with cane sugar.
Skinny’s Place is at 3901 Gulf Dr. in Holmes Beach.
Brisket Burger at Smoqehouse
Smoqehouse serves quick, quality eats on Anna Maria Island.
The Brisket Burger at Smoqehouse features smoked cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and the restaurant’s signature Smoq’n Sauce.
The Smoqehouse staff is always inventing new burger creations, so you’ll have a reason to come back for more.
Smoqehouse is at 1701 Gulf Dr. N. in Bradenton Beach.
Voodoo Burger at S.O.B. Burgers
S.O.B. Burgers is a Bradenton gastro pub established in 2014. Since then, the place has been slinging burgers like crazy.
The Voodoo burger is topped with Cajun cream cheese, caramelized onions and bacon.
S.O.B. uses Angus beef for its burgers, and there’s also a house-made veggie burger on the menu.
S.O.B. Burgers is at 5866 14th St. W. in Bradenton.