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Few meals are more heartily satisfying than a perfectly composed burger: A juicy flavorful patty paired with just the right blend of toppings—gooey melted cheese, lightly toasted bun, crispy lettuce, caramelized onions, housemade dill pickle, extra special sauce...

Thrillist—the NYC-based online publication for aficionados of food, drink, travel and entertainment—just revealed its picks for the top 100 burgers in America, and Loretta's Northwesterner (a Seattle tavern operating out of South Park since 2008) came in No. 4 on the list.

The site's James Beard Award-winning writer, Kevin Alexander, spent a year criss-crossing the US, eating his way through 330 burgers in 30 states, and in the Emerald City, stopping at 14 different joints that ranged from local fast food staple Dick's Drive-In to the fancier hotel-housed Loulay. He also got some pointers from some knowledgeable locals that included Seattle Times food writer Bethany Jean Clement and one of The Stranger's own food and drink freelancers, Naomi Tomky.

Get details on what prompted this expansive quest and how Kevin ranked the burgers here. Check out his rankings of Seattle burgers (and why he selected Loretta’s tavern burger as our city's best) here.

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