Minnesota's Most Iconic Dish Will Melt in Your Mouth

By Erica Wacker

When you come to Minnesota, what’s the one food you have to try?

While some will argue it’s walleye (the state fish), lefse or lutefisk (two Scandinavian staples), anything on-a-stick (ubiquitous at the Minnesota State Fair), or tater tot hot dish (just ask Jimmy Fallon), the one that gets the most acclaim is: the Juicy Lucy.

The premise of this delightful dish is simple: Take a cheeseburger, but instead of putting the cheese on top, stuff it inside the patty. The result? A delicious cascade of molten cheese at first bite that can be downright dangerous if you’re not expecting it (many come with a warning right on the menu)!

Origin Story

As for the Juicy Lucy’s history, it’s a bit more complicated. Two bars—which, incidentally, are on the same Minneapolis street—claim to have invented it in the 1950s. Matt’s Bar, which spells it “Jucy,” and the 5-8 Club famously battle over who served it first—and who serves it best. Every local has their opinion, and there's no convincing them to switch sides. (Read more in this Star Tribune article.)

Since then, several other restaurants in the Twin Cities and beyond have created their own versions, ranging from the classic American cheese-stuffed variety to Lucys stuffed with blue cheese or pepper jack or mac ’n cheese, and topped with everything from bacon to onion rings to pulled pork. As long as there is cheese in the middle, it's a Lucy—and it's delicious.

Where to Get One

Ready to give the Juicy Lucy a try? These Minnesota bars and restaurants, and likely many others, will be happy to oblige:

   

Twin Cities

Greater Minnesota