The nominations for Iowa’s Best Burger show that whether you live in a town of 1,000 people or in a metropolitan area of more than half a million people, great hamburgers are being served across the state.

Iowans submitted more than 4,000 nomination votes between Feb. 11 and March 10 that selected the 2015 Top Ten restaurants and their burgers.

In its sixth year, Iowa’s Best Burger contest received nominations for 286 Iowa restaurants. The Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association counted the nominations that came in via online, texting and paper ballots. Those making the Top Ten list are (in alphabetical order):

  • Ankeny Diner, Ankeny
  • Big City Burgers & Greens, Des Moines
  • Down Right Delicious, Clarinda
  • Elm’s Club, Creston
  • First Street Grille, Keosauqua
  • Ride’s Bar & Grill, Fort Dodge
  • Saucy Focaccia, Cedar Rapids
  • The Cider House, Fairfield
  • The Ritz, Arnold’s Park
  • Zombie Burger, Des Moines

Saucy Focaccia and The Cider House joined 102 other new restaurants at being nominated for the contest. Those two, along with Down Right Delicious, are also in the Top 10 for the first time.

“The addition of new restaurants shows that Iowa restaurants know that burgers will always be a popular item on their menus. Restaurants love to make burgers and their customers love to eat them,” said Roger Brummett, a Bedford cattle producer who is also chairman of the Iowa Beef Industry Council.

Iowa’s Best Burger contest now moves to the next stage. All Top Ten restaurants will be visited by judges who will evaluate the hamburgers based on taste, appearance, and proper serving temperature (160 degrees).

“We’re really happy to promote Iowa restaurants who do a great job of serving beef,” said ICA President Phil Reemtsma, D.V.M., of DeWitt. “We have a lot in common. Cattle producers and local restaurants are both small business owners who have a great passion for food – either producing it or preparing it. And, both local restaurants and farmers are important to the economic well-being of hundreds of communities around the state.”

“Although we won’t announce Iowa’s Best Burger until May 4, we encourage everyone to stop at one of the Top Ten restaurants for a burger,” Brummett said. “This year we have a good representation across the state, which shows Iowans have a very special place in their heart for burgers. The burger is the all–American classic served in almost every restaurant from the local café to the finest white tablecloth establishment.”

To continue to learn more about the contest, you can visit www.iabeef.org where you’ll find a map showing the locations of the Top Ten restaurants, or “friend” the Iowa Beef Council Facebook© page.

Last year, Brick City Grill of Ames too home the final prize. Winners in previous years are: 2013- 61 Chop House Grille, Mediapolis; 2012- Coon Bowl III in Coon Rapids; 2011- Rusty Duck in Dexter; and 2010-Sac County Cattle Company of Sac City.