What is a cheeseburger? You take a hamburger then put cheese on it. Boom, just like that, you have yourself a cheeseburger. Pretty simple. Nowadays, it is hard to go somewhere that sells a hamburger without cheese. You usually have to ask for it without. If you ask me (and I’m sure you did) a hamburger needs to have cheese on it every single time because it just makes it better. Whether you pile a cheeseburger high with other condiments is totally up to you, but remember if it has cheese, it’s a cheeseburger. There are plenty of places to get a good juicy cheeseburger in our Curious Communities. The ones on this list (in no particular order) are some of the local favorites and offer plenty of different options for whatever your taste buds desire.
Short’s Burger and Shine
Short’s has shorts two locations in Iowa City. Although offering a regular version, Short’s has the largest cheeseburger menu with around 20 different options to choose from with a plethora of fixings. Each one has its’ own unique name to it like The Burnside, pictured above on the left, featuring pepper jack cheese, jalapeño cream cheese, chipotle mayonnaise, and jalapeños. That one is more for the spicy food crowd. Their meat is never frozen black Angus beef sourced from an eastern Iowa farmer. Monday night is burger night with all burgers (and cheeseburgers) priced at only $7.99.
Opening in 1939, George’s is located in the Northside Neighborhood of Iowa City on Market Street. As you can see from the pictures, this low lit dive bar has loads of history and sells the classic cheeseburgers you think of coming to you on white butcher paper. They are made with locally sourced fresh ground beef, melty cheese, pickle, onion, ketchup, and mustard on a sesame seed bun. The difference is they are cooked in an electric broiler. This is all they offer for cheeseburgers and one is only $5.50 so if you’re hungry it is very hard to just order one. Trust me when I say there is nostalgia in every bite.
Burger Haul opened downtown on the Iowa City Ped Mall in August of 2020. This American Bar and Restaurant has a wide menu offering around ten different cheeseburgers from classic to ones piled high with toppings. Pictured above on the right is their cheeseburger dubbed “The Spice Machine” with, you guessed it, pepper jack cheese along with sautéed mushrooms, grilled onion, lettuce tomato, and fire sauce. All their cheeseburgers are half pound USDA beef, flame broiled, steak burgers.
Shakespeare’s Pub & Grill
This old school restaurant opened on the Eastside of Iowa City in June of 1999. Shakespeare’s sells three regular styles in what are listed as a cheeseburger, double cheeseburger, and bacon cheeseburger. Fixings include a fresh ground beef patty, ketchup, mustard, pickle, onion, lettuce and tomato. It is up to you if you would like to add more toppings from the list provided. They also have three other specialty cheeseburgers that branch out from the regular. They also offer a different specialty cheeseburger every Monday for lunch (pictured above on the right) for only $8.00 and Monday night is dollar off all burgers.
Tribute Eatery & Bar
Tribute opened on the Iowa River Landing of Coralville in November 2020. They only have three cheeseburgers on their menu but they are worth trying. Tribute’s website says their food is “our take on some of your favorite classics”. This is true for their burgers because there is nothing regular about them. The Tribute Burger, pictured above on the left, is the headliner with two patties, white American cheese, house pickles, slaw, and garlic aioli. The other cheeseburger on their menu is the French Onion Burger and only on the brunch menu is their Sunny Brunch Burger.