Burger lovers may unite behind their favorite dish, but the topic of the slider is a divisive one. Many rightfully believe that a slider is a small hamburger patty created with diced onions, served on a small potato roll. But these days, more and more restaurants use the term slider on their menus as more or less a mini-burger. Regardless of how you interpret the slider, its popularity can be attributed to the fact that its perfect appetizer size allows anyone to try a wide variety of different iterations.
Here are 8 places where you can find unique interpretations of the slider (or mini-burger):
Talk of sliders cannot go any further without mentioning the iconic chain White Castle, who introduced five-cent sliders in the 1940s. Walter Anderson, one of the founders of the fast food chain, innovated many techniques to make ‘slyders’ that would fly out the door. Its size would only take two bites to complete, making sure that you would buy a whole box full.
New York’s representative for must-try sliders resides at St. Marks in the East Village. For less than $3, you can purchase a high-quality original or bacon slider served with American cheese and grilled onions. St. Marks also several condiment choices, including jalapeño ketchup, chipotle ketchup, and barbecue sauce. Enjoy your St. Mark’s sliders with a Guinness or bacon milkshake.
LA’s food truck scene is one of the most prominent in the world, with Slammin’ Sliders leading the way. Since September 2010, the California Crazy Chefs Catering company have been putting their unique spin on the slider. The top of the menu features Kobe beef served with mushroom or grilled onions. You can also get your hands on even more extravagant choices such as lobster, shrimp po-boy, and Hawaiian black salt-roasted pulled pork.
Chicago’s Kuma’s Corner is where burgers and heavy metal collide. Try the “Dark Castle,” featuring four 2.5-ounce patties cooked in caramelized onions, served with cheddar cheese and a pickle. Or get more adventurous and try the buffalo Sriracha sliders. Just be prepared to wait — Kuma’s doesn’t take reservations and is almost always packed.
They say that everything is bigger in Texas, but The Porch is one place where smaller things are still being done right. Try a chopped brisket slider — the BBQ sauce and sweet Hawaiian roll will win you over. It’s no wonder it made the Dallas Observer‘s list of 100 favorite dishes.
Matchbox in D.C.’s Chinatown dubs itself a pizza bistro, so you may not expect much in the way of sliders. But with Angus beef you can order to temperature accompanied with a toasted brioche bun, pickles, and onions straws, your assumptions will quickly dissipate. Named Best Slider by Washington City Paper, you can order 3, 6, or 9 — and stop wondering why the staff is sporting “3.6.9” t-shirts.
For the last 80 years, Motz’s in Detroit has been doing sliders like no one else. If you’re patient enough to wait in the crowded lines, your reward is an ideal half-size burger without fancy gimmicks. You’ll appreciate that the grill is within eyesight and the beef is ground daily onsite, signs that true burger fanatics look for when seeking the best.
When it opened in 2009, Little Bigs was named one of Bon Appetit‘s 10 best new burger spots. Since then, Little Bigs has served beef, chicken, black bean, and pulled pork sliders. Beef is ground fresh daily and served in 3-ounce patties. Order a trio of sliders, which amounts to half a pound of meat. Also be on the lookout for tokens, which may entitle you to a free slider.
Editor’s Note: Did we miss any? Where do you get your favorite slider? – KK
Mr. Lew is a high school teacher from Montreal, Quebec. In 2009, after trying Montreal's supposed best burger, he decided to see what else was out there. So, every week, a new burger was added to the Great Burger Search. Since then, Mr. Lew has tried more than 100 burgers in cities across Canada, and hopes to one day expand to the rest of North America. Since Mr. Lew is part Chinese, the search isn't limited only to great burgers, but to other types of cuisine that makes Montreal one of the greatest culinary cities in the world.