Jucy Lucy
Cross-section of a Jucy Lucy, showing the molten cheese in the center of the patty
Alternative namesJuicy Lucy
Place of originUnited States
Region or stateMinneapolis, Minnesota
Created byMultiple claims
Serving temperatureHot
Main ingredientsHamburger, cheese
Food energy
(per serving)
600 kcal (2512 kJ)

A Jucy Lucy (or Juicy Lucy) is a stuffed cheeseburger with the cheese inside of the meat instead of on top, resulting in a melted core of cheese. It is a popular, regional cuisine in Minnesota, particularly in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Two bars in Minneapolis claim to have invented the burger, while other local bars and restaurants have created their own interpretations of the style.


Two bars about three miles (5 km) from each other on Cedar Avenue in South Minneapolis both claim to have invented the burger: Matt's Bar and the 5-8 Club. Matt's credits the bar's former owner (and namesake) Matt Bristol. One account claims it preceded his purchase of the bar in the 1950s, but that Bristol formally added it to the menu and thus popularized it. Another version is that the burger was invented by a customer in 1954 who remarked "Oooh, that's one juicy lucy!" after biting into it. The 5-8 Club does not provide a particular origin story, but the bar itself was originally a speakeasy dating to the 1920s.[1][2]

The two bars offer slightly different versions of the burger. One difference is the spelling: Matt's removes the letter "i" in "Juicy" (supposedly an inadvertent misspelling dating to the burger's creation), while the 5-8 Club utilizes the normal spelling. Shirts worn by staff at the 5-8 Club have the motto "if it's spelled right, it's done right" while advertising for Matt's Bar says "Remember, if it is spelled correctly, you are eating a shameless rip-off!" The 5-8 Club offers several different cheese options for their version while the version at Matt's only contains American cheese. [1][3]

Matt's Juicy Lucy burger
Jucy Lucy burger from Matt's Bar enjoyed by a lake

The rivalry between both bars and their interpretations is longstanding, but has gained more exposure since receiving a mention in Time in 2008 and being featured on food-related television shows such as Man v. Food and Food Wars. In 2014, President Barack Obama visited Matt's and had a Jucy Lucy, prompting the 5-8 Club to offer him one of theirs.[4][5]

In 2018, the editors of the Thrillist wrote that "The Jucy Lucy is ... an important milestone in the evolution of hamburgers themselves, leading the charge for industrious chefs (and more than a few infomercial entrepreneurs) to begin stuffing their burgers."[6]


A homemade Juicy Lucy patty, uncooked and unassembled

The burger is prepared by putting cheese between two patties of meat, then sealing both patties around the cheese to create a single patty with a cheese core. As the burger cooks, the cheese inside melts. This has the effect of keeping the meat near the center of the burger very juicy. It also separates the cheese from the bun, resulting in a slightly different texture than the usual cheeseburger. Burger toppings such as condiments, onions, and pickles may be added.[1]

Other variations

Variations of the burger at other area restaurants are encouraged rather than quashed. Most use the same basic preparation procedures but offer different variations in terms of toppings, the burger's filling, and any accompaniments.[7][8]

Several restaurants aside from Matt's and the 5-8 Club offer their own versions of the burger, each claiming that theirs is superior. Some of the best known are Blue Door Pub and The Nook.[9] In 2018, Bon Appétit magazine declared the best Juicy Lucy in Minneapolis and neighbouring Saint Paul to be the one served at The Nook.[10]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Grumdahl, Dara Moskowitz (August 12, 1998). "A Tribe Called Lucy". City Pages. Archived from the original on July 15, 2016.
  2. ^ Flower, Justin; Boller, Jay (March 13, 2008). "Burger Battle". Minnesota Daily. Archived from the original on July 10, 2009. Retrieved September 10, 2008.
  3. ^ Zimmern, Andrew; Mogren, Molly (2012). Andrew Zimmern's Field Guide to Exceptionally Weird, Wild, and Wonderful Foods. Macmillan. pp. 110–111. ISBN 9780312606619 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Turtinen, Melissa (March 17, 2014). "Minneapolis bar tops Travel Channel's chow down list". Bring Me the News.
  5. ^ Hammerand, Jim (June 26, 2014). "Obama takes a position in Juicy Lucy wars". Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal.
  6. ^ "The 101 Dishes That Changed America". Thrillist. March 20, 2018.
  7. ^ Brenden, Carl (February 12, 2014). "The 8 Best Juicy Lucys in MSP". Thrillist.
  8. ^ Henderson, Eric (May 5, 2011). "Best Juicy Lucys In The Twin Cities". CBS Minnesota.
  9. ^ Moskowitz Grumdahl, Dana (February 2, 2018). "The Best Juicy Lucy Burgers in the Twin Cities". MSP Mag.
  10. ^ Delany, Alex (September 13, 2018). "Who Makes the Best Juicy Lucy in Minneapolis? I Ate at 9 Spots to Find Out". Bon Appétit.