Beef, chicken or garden, nothing is quite as quintessentially American as a big juicy burger

click to enlarge The Awe Geez burger at Wisconsinburger. - YOUNG KWAK
Young Kwak
The Awe Geez burger at Wisconsinburger.

24 Taps Burgers & Brews 24 Taps' name rings true about its beer selection — with a dozen local brews on tap plus 12 additional options behind the bar. The menu, already bold with choices like the Poutine Burger and the Taco Burger, is getting another update, with plenty of fresh, homemade pastas, soups, and desserts. To top it all off, the walls are lined with 75-inch TVs — 16 of them. 825 W. Riverside Ave. • 868-5657 • 24taps.com

D. Lish's Hamburgers D. Lish's serves up juicy burgers. Go ahead and take a pass on the many fast-food joints lining North Division and hit up this classic place for a top quality lunch or dinner. It's fast-food cheap with a lot more taste. The review for D. Lish's is contained in its title. 1625 N. Division St. • 323-7130 • dlishs.com

Dick's Hamburgers What would Spokane be without Dick's Hamburgers? Our city would be lost, with only chain hamburger places remaining for fast-food junkies, off-the-wagon vegetarians and the bar crowds. But thankfully Dick's low prices, as well as their comforting food, have kept people coming back to this drive-in since 1965. The menu is varied, but the items are simple. You won't find anything too complicated on the hamburger — no bacon or ham. Just ketchup, mustard, onions and pickles. They'll add cheese if you ask for it. Buy these guilty pleasures by the bagful and remember Dick's is cash-only. 10 E. Third Ave. • 747-2481

Dub's Drive-In A slice of Americana, this rustic burger joint has all the fast-food goodies, with classic hamburgers, fried fish, fried fries, ice cream and huckleberry milkshakes made with real fruit. Worth the stop if you're just passing through — especially for 40-cent doughnuts and ice cream cones so tall they'll make even the most spoiled brat of a child gasp in wonder. 703 US 2 • Sandpoint, Idaho • 208-263-4300

EPIC Below the "Legends of Fire" cigar bar and festooned with a 30-foot wide HDTV, EPIC is the Northern Quest Resort and Casino's version of "this is what a sports bar can be." It's not just classic pub fare, either. Along with burgers topped with guacamole and stuffed with pulled pork, tomato, and red onion, calamari, ahi tuna, and a charcuterie sampler are on the menu. EPIC is open until 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays; the perfect spot to hit after a night of gaming or dancing at the casino. Northern Quest Casino, 100 N. Hayford Rd., Airway Heights, Wash. • 242-7000 • northernquest.com/resort/dining/epic

Hills' Restaurant and Lounge While the food at Hills' is often simple, it's prepared with such care and fresh ingredients that we can't stop thinking about it. Try the elk burger, of the protein burger, made with black beans, shiitake mushrooms, and brown rice. Or go for our favorite, the chicken-bacon-pineapple sandwich. Chicken, bacon and pineapples are all wonderful ingredients for a sandwich, but the tomato chutney is the real star of the piece. Order the scotch egg as your appetizer. 401 W. Main Ave. • 747-3946 • hillsrestaurantandlounge.com

Hudson's Hamburgers Don't order fries (they don't have 'em). Don't ask for lettuce, or tomatoes or any frou-frou blue cheese on your burger (they don't have any of that, either). All the rest is just a distraction. Just order one of Hudson's no-frills burgers. They'll shape the patty in front of you, throw it on the grill, and once you take a bite, you'll understand why Inlander readers love Hudson's so much, and why, after over a century in business, it's become an Idaho must-see. And must-taste. 207 E. Sherman Ave., Coeur d'Alene • 208-664-5444

The Onion The Onion is bustling with families and smiling servers, but it's no chain restaurant. The Spokane eatery is a great place for family dining, with a menu boasting comfort food for everyone. Hearty burgers and towers of onion rings promise to send your family home fat and happy. Expect prompt service, and plenty things kids have to look at while they munch. 302 W. Riverside Ave. • 747-3852 • 7522 N. Division St. • 482-6100 • theonion.biz

Rusty Moose Bar & Grill Amid the vast, upscale hunting-lodge feel, this place is serious about its burgers: From a bacon-jam topped venison burger to Rocky Mountain Elk burger, to a Free Range Bison burger. Add to that entrées like blackened salmon, Timber Lake pot roast, brick and chicken-pot pie. And the portion sizes? Let's put it this way: Even the lunches are served on platters. 9105 W. US 2, Airway Heights, Wash. • 747-5579 • rustymoosespokane.com

Wisconsinburger One word (in the vein of "hamburger"), Wisconsinburger gives Spokanites the opportunity to enjoy genuine, deep-fried cheese curds in all their Midwestern glory. The restaurant offers up a menu of hearty premium Angus burgers and "fried goodies" that defy anyone who believes that "fresh and local" is a synonym for health food. Try the Spooner — a burger topped with Wisconsin sharp cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, a fried onion ring and a spoonful of housemade bacon jam — or the vegetarian "Madison" Bean Burger. 916 S. Hatch St. • 241-3083 • wisconsinburger.com

Wolffy's Hamburgers This staple of the Gonzaga neighborhood serves a lot of regulars and the college kids who can get up early enough for a spot in the tiny diner. They serve big, delicious omelettes, classic burgers and creamy milkshakes. Catch them for breakfast, lunch or an early dinner and enjoy the '50s nostalgia that comes with the great food. 1229 N. Hamilton St. • 487-1587