When you're craving a burger, no fast food joint is going to truly satisfy that hunger. Burgers are one of the staple foods of the Midwest and America as a whole, and we here in eastern Iowa are blessed with a variety of places we can go to grab a tasty and reliable sandwich.

The website Iowa Starting Line recently compiled a list of a dozen burger joints in the region that stand above the rest. Of course, all lists of this nature are subjective, but I thought it'd be fun to highlight five delicious eateries from this list; including one right here in Dubuque!

The Map Room in Cedar Rapids, IA:

The Map Room has been serving delectable burgers to the hungry folks of Cedar Rapids and the surrounding area for years. One of the most unique aspects about their menu is their burgers are inspired by/named for regions all across the world, including Delhi, Seoul, Melbourne, and Saigon, just to name a few.

For example, their Memphis burger features smoked pulled pork, American cheese, pickles, French's fried onions, and Memphis-style BBQ sauce. Meanwhile, their aforementioned Saigon burger includes ham, mortadella, cucumber, cilantro, pickled jalapeño, carrot & radish, mayo. Browsing their menu is an adventure in itself.

Find out more about The Map Room on their Facebook page.

Food Garage Eatery in Dubuque, IA:

Me and some friends actually visited Foodie Garage Eatery in Dubuque a couple of weeks ago. The restaurant's aesthetic is straight out of a 1950s/1960s diner. There is even a table that is retrofitted to look like a car (think of a child's car-bed, but a full-sized table).

Foodie Garage boasts 50 different burgers on their menu with just about every topping you can imagine. They also specialize in breakfast favorites, including biscuits and gravy, pancake sliders, and more!

Find out more about Foodie Garage Eatery on their Facebook page.

Short's Burger & Shine in Iowa City, IA:

Sometimes, a restaurant pulls you in on the name alone. That's the case with Short's Burger & Shine in Iowa City (there are two locations in Iowa City and another location in Marion). Per Iowa Starting Line, the restaurant gets its name from a former shoe shine shop in Iowa City, whose motto was "Expert Workmen. Best Materials Used. Prompt Service."

Mention "Short's" in Iowa City, and gourmet burgers and delicious toppings come to mind. The restaurant prioritizes never-frozen beef from local farmer Ed Smith of Columbus Junction, as well as French fries that are hand-cut daily. Almost every burger on the menu takes its name from a town in Iowa.

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I checked the menu: while there is no burger named for Dubuque, there is one named for Farley. The "Farley burger" boasts mushrooms, bacon, swiss cheese, and garlic aioli. The burgers are very affordable at only $14.99 (compare to that a fast food restaurant's prices).

Find out more about Short's Burgers & Shine on their Facebook page. You can also make the trip out there worthwhile and check out Swinging Bridge Park in Columbus Junction!

Steel Plow Burger Company in Davenport, IA:

Steel Plow Burger Company boasts two locations in the Quad Cities, one in Illinois and one in Iowa. One aspect that makes this restaurant unique is that the menu offers a range of burger patties, including grass-fed bison, grass-fed beef, vegan, turkey, and prime rib. The variety in patties assures a different burger experience every time, if you're willing to experiment.

Furthermore, Steel Plow has become locally known and renowned for their fries, which includes poutine, and savory shakes!

Find out more about Steel Plow Burger Company on their Facebook page.

Fishback & Stephenson Cider House in Fairfield, IA:

Cideries, or "cider houses," are popping up all over the country offering a sweet yet boozy alternative to the sometimes bitter bite of beer. Fishback & Stephenson in Fairfield offers local and house-made cider in addition to a delicious assortment of burgers.

Their meats come from Adrian Family Farms, a family-owned, local farm-to-table operation that sources their ingredients from Maharishi International University Regenerative Agriculture Program. This assures freshness and quality to their core.

Whether you're in the mood for a simple cheeseburger (featuring American cheese on a sesame seed bun) or you want to get adventurous with their Das Kraut Burger (boasting sauerkraut, grilled pineapple, housemade pickled jalapeno, swiss cheese, and boetje’s spicy dutch mustard on a sesame seed bun), Fishback & Stephenson got you covered. Peep their menu for more!

Find out more about Fishback & Stephenson Cider House on their Facebook page.

See more must-try eastern Iowa burger joints on Iowa Starting Line's website.

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Gallery Credit: Gabe Glidden

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