Maryland has crab, Louisiana is known for its gumbo, and you can’t go to Texas without sampling some brisket.
So 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 dangerous if you’re not expecting it.
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. (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.
Ready to give the Juicy Lucy a try? These bars and restaurants, and likely many others, will be happy to oblige: