Burgers Beyond Compare: Prestigious Patties from the Carolinas

There is nothing quite like the moment you bite down into a juicy, expertly cooked and perfectly dressed hamburger. It's nothing short of life-changing. The hard part is finding the places that know burgers from bun to bun and never disappoint. We've compiled a list of the best local burger joints so you can celebrate National Burger Day with the quintessential deliciousness of this American classic:


Beacon Drive-In in Spartanburg, South Carolina, has been a Southern landmark since 1947, known for their Chili-Cheese-A-Plenty, a chilli cheeseburger piled high with sweet onion rings and french-fried potatoes. Open 7 days a week, the Beacon serves 1 million customers each year and offers up other favorites including sandwiches, seafood, ice cream, and shakes.  Enjoy their "World Famous" Beacon Iced Tea, which they say is the most popular iced tea in the country.


Pinky's Westside Grill, with locations in Charlotte and Huntersville, North Carolina, opened a few years ago and has quickly become a local favorite. While you can find familiar comfort dishes like classic burgers and fried pickles with ranch, Pinky's also serves creative dishes like corn dog shrimp and crab puppies. Check out Pinky's burger of the month for some out-of-this-world burger combinations. 


Head to Northgate Soda Shop in Greenville, South Carolina for a taste of the past in a comfortable setting where locals gather for food, drink, and socializing. With burgers and hot dogs just about any way you like them, the Northgate Soda Shop serves meals with the '50s charm you grew up with. Their pimento cheeseburger is legendary and tastes best served with an ice-cold Cherry Pepsi. 


Clyde's Restaurant of Waynesville, North Carolina serves a full menu including fresh, made-to-order burgers in a traditional diner setting. Clyde's offers good ol' Southern food with the service and hospitality to match. If you are famished, try Clyde's 1 Pound Double Deluxe Hamburger Combo. 


Located in Columbia, South Carolina, Pawleys Front Porch prides itself on serving up the best burgers and fries in the area. Pawleys grinds its beef daily with Angus chuck roast and seasons their burgers with a secret blend of spices for a taste you can't get anywhere else. All of their burgers are named for historic South Carolina destinations, like the Isle of Palms and the Kiawah, so make sure to try all of them. 


Corbett's Burgers in downtown Cary, North Carolina delivers freshly ground burgers with the perfect blend of beef. Order one of their signature burgers like the Sodalicious Burger topped with Corbett's signature sauce, or choose your own with any combination of toppings. Corbett's also serves Nathan's Hot Dogs and just about any soda you can imagine with over 250 varieties offered. 


With locations in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, Sullivan's Island, South Carolina and Atlantic Beach, Florida, Poe's Tavern knows a thing or two about serving up the best hamburger to beachgoers. Named for the prolific and mysterious poet Edgar Allen Poe, Poe's serves up mouthwatering Angus chuck burgers in a relaxing oceanfront atmosphere. In addition to their fresh burgers and hand-cut fries, Poe's also offers seafood, innovative salads, and an inspired beer and cocktail menu. 


Pete's Burgers & More in Reidsville, North Carolina takes pride in the fresh quality products they serve and their fast and friendly service. Pete's offers classic burger combinations as well as delicious sandwiches, salads, and desserts all at an affordable price. Don't miss their "Fixin' Bar," where you can add as little or as much of your favorite toppings. 


Located in the heart of Charlotte's NoDa neighborhood, Brooks' Sandwich House has been serving some of Charlotte's best burgers since 1973. In addition to Brooks' all the way burgers topped with their signature chili, the eatery also offers hot dogs and sandwiches, including delicious breakfast options. The restaurant is only open during the week from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., so make sure you arrive in time to get your burger ordered. 


The name Fat Patties says it all. With two locations in Bluffton and Beaufort, South Carolina, Fat Patties serves thick 8 ounce burgers with choices of grass-fed beef, turkey, shrimp or black beans. Their two most popular features are the "Who's Your Pattie?", piled high with BBQ pork and bacon, and the "Virginia V", topped with bacon and pimento cheese. Make sure to try one of their innovative ice cream flavors, like kettle corn, bacon maple syrup, or the ever popular burnt marshmallow. 

Prepare for your burger adventure with a visit to your local AAA Car Care location for all of your car maintenance needs, including battery checks. Contact your local AAA travel agent to help make your planning easy with hotel discounts, reservations, TripTiks — AAA's exclusive travel planner — and AAA's Mobile App. Before leaving town, make sure your home is secure, and that you are covered with the right vehicle and homeowner's insurance for any unexpected situation. You can easily manage your AAA membership online, or call 1-866-593-8626 while on the road.

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