Wisconsin’s Best Burger Contest Winner Announced

The Wisconsin Beef Council announced that the All American Burger at Pickles Bar and Grill in Hazelhurst is the winner of the inaugural Wisconsin’s Best Burger Contest. The All American Burger is a half-pound burger with lettuce, tomato, raw onion, smoked garlic mayo and choice of cheese.

“We are honored to have our burger named as the winner,” said Justin Koshak, who co-owns Pickles with Dan Linscott. “We are happy to represent what the Northwoods has to offer when it comes to restaurants, taverns and grills. There are so many great spots up here that showcase great menus and fantastic food.”

The contest was designed by the Wisconsin Beef Council to seek out and also promote 100% beef burgers prepared in Wisconsin restaurants. Pickles Bar and Grill earned the highest score from a secret panel of three judges who traveled to the Elite Eight restaurants named in the contest.

“We are thrilled with the overwhelming response from Wisconsin residents,” Tammy Vaassen, executive director of the Wisconsin Beef Council, said. “The Wisconsin Beef Council’s mission is to grow demand for beef. Our Elite Eight restaurants have also reported a strong increase in business and sales of beef burgers. The feedback from our judges was immensely positive for all the competitors. This is a testament to the large number of nominations received for each of them. We are honored to have Pickles as our first-ever winner. The judges comments included: ‘the burger was juicy and thick, bun was delicious, cooked to perfection, flavor was amazing, and also the owner stopped by several times to check on us.’”

Contest Rules

The announcement follows a nomination period of 30 days where consumers across the state could submit their favorite burger joint. The Elite Eight restaurants were those that received the most nominations. Throughout April, a secret panel of judges visited each restaurant to evaluate a burger on the menu. They rated taste, appearance and presentation, proper cooking temperature, overall eating enjoyment, and bonus points could be awarded for the environment, atmosphere and experience in the restaurant.

The 2024 Elite Eight Restaurants:

  • Brazen Head Pub, 147 N Main St, West Bend
  • Crafty Cow, 2675 S Kinnickinnic Ave, Milwaukee
  • Dog House Bar & Grill, 117 S 1st St, Mt. Horeb
  • Ferry Xing Bar & Grill, 306 Main St, Merrimac
  • Pickles Bar & Grill, 5507 Co Rd Y, Hazelhurst
  • Skippy’s Burger Bar, 113 Green Bay Rd, Thiensville
  • Straight Home Bar & Grill, 184060 WI-153, Eland
  • The Dump Bar & Grill, 105 W Edgewater St, Cambria

A map of the Wisconsin’s Best Burger contest Elite Eight can be found here.


To be eligible for the contest, the hamburgers on the restaurant menus had to meet the following guidelines:

  • The burger must be 100% beef (other ingredients may be added to the patty such as spices, vegetables, etc.)
  • All burgers must be composed of a formed ground beef patty/patties served on a bun or other bread product. Burgers may include any combination of condiments, sauces, cheeses as well as toppings. Every component of the burger must be placed between the bread pieces or served open-faced on a bread product.

“Restaurants can watch for details about next year’s contest coming out in February of 2025 on our website,” said Vaassen. “The contest has shown us that whether you’re from a rural area or one of our larger cities, beef brings our communities together for delicious meals.”