Forgive the title of this dive bar crawl as the alliteration was a bit too irresistible to pass up, much like a Juicy Lucy, or “Jucy Lucy” as we’ll come to discuss. On rare but wonderful occasion, the worlds of dive bar authenticity and tourist destination can overlap. Food tourism in Minneapolis could be built around a lot of the region’s Upper Midwest classics, but the discussion almost universally centers on the Juicy Lucy, a hamburger patty molded to encase a molten cheese center. Done right, and allowed to cool so as not to induce third-degree burns, oozing melty cheese pouring out of a well-cooked burger is pretty hard to beat.
There are two dueling originators of the delicacy, 5-8 Club and Matt’s Bar
. The stories conflict, but perhaps the more material difference today is that Matt’s Bar offers a “Jucy Lucy” one way where the 5-8 Club allows for some modification of burger toppings. 5-8 Club feels a bit more like a diner that happens to have a bar in back. Matt’s Bar is a proper dive bar that happens to have a grill in front. The experiences are different, amazing and worth the trip.
But like any great phenomenon, it has not been contained to its originators and countless bars and restaurants offer a juicy hamburger of some variety throughout the city. This is certainly a driving endeavor rather than a walking dive bar crawl, and some serious timing is going to be required to hit them all in any reasonable time period but were our stomachs made of steel and our car at the ready, these are our favorite Juicy Lucy destinations.