I don't know about you, but there's something about biting into a juicy hamburger that makes my taste buds go crazy. Iowa City is home to many great restaurants that offer their own version of a burger, but how are we supposed to know which one is best?

For a school project this semester, a friend and I compared three burgers available in Iowa City from three different price points and then decided which one was the best value. We chose our burgers from Burge Marketplace (don't judge), Teddy's Bigger Burgers, and Pullman. 

Burge Marketplace

Yes, we stooped as low as you could go and ate at good ol' dirty Burge. Our burger wasn't nearly as delicious looking as this chicken sandwich, but it was free. Kind of. We asked the worker if they had any "special sauce" we could put on our burger, and they gave us a substance similar to barbecue sauce.

Overall, the burger was pretty decent. Because you can really choose to put whatever you want on your burger, it's hard to be disappointed. However, we thought the bun was a bit dry and crumbly and the patty tasted sort of funny. It was pretty decent for a free burger, though.

Teddy's Bigger Burgers

french fries, meat, tomato, beef, cheese, lettuce, bread, sandwich, bun, hamburger
Carly Koemptgen

While Teddy's isn't unique to just Iowa City, it has been a staple on Washington Avenue for a while now. Neither of us had ever tried it, so we decided to give Teddy's a shot.

The burger was juicy and their "special sauce" added a nice flavor. It came with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles and their special sauce. It was the perfect size, and the bun was chewy and tasty, unlike the Burge one. It ended up costing us $6.69, which in my opinion isn't too terrible.


The Pullman burger tasted just as majestic as it looked. Not captured in this photo is the two strips of thick-cut bacon that made this entire sandwich. The bacon cost extra, though, and ended up totaling just over $11.

The most standout part of this burger was the bun. It tasted like it had been buttered and grilled before constructing the burger, which was something we didn't see at Burge or Teddy's. The two patties appeared to be overwhelming, but were actually small enough that we could eat the whole thing and be completely satisfied.

The consensus?

At the end of the day, my friend and I were both in agreement that Teddy's is definitely the best burger for your money. While Burge is great because it's on campus and included in our meal plans, their burger just didn't wow us. On the other hand, Pullman certainly wowed us but we figured that $11 is a little too much for a college student to pay for a burger. Teddy's had great flavor AND was affordable, which led us to crown them as our winner.