Memorable | One of the Best
Anchor Bar | Best Burger in the Northland | Superior, Wisconsin
Review by: Jane & Michael Stern
Location, Location, Location?
Look for the Anchor Bar in an industrial non-neighborhood near the Duluth shipyards. None of the somewhat foreboding taverns around here appear to be promising culinary destinations. A quick look inside the Anchor Bar does nothing to alleviate that first impression. It’s nearly pitch-dark. When eyes adjust you see walls packed with dusty nautical memorabilia. Rugged-looking seamen having rugged-sounding conversations occupy seats at the bar and big round tables. It’s hard to believe the oft-asserted claim that this raffish joint serves the best burger in the Northland.
About That Burger
When you enter the Anchor Bar, inhale. The beguiling aroma is a mix of beef grilling and potatoes frying. Pretty soon you see beautiful hamburger plates emerging from the galley kitchen at the far end of the bar. And now you notice that not all patrons of this unlikely eatery are old salts. All kinds of citizens of the Twin Ports (Duluth, MN, and Superior, WI) and beyond can tell you that the Anchor Bar really does serve the best burger in the Northland.
Each burger is a thick, 1/3-pound patty. The cook forms it of meat fatty enough that, when cooked, it weeps juice into the bun even before you apply finger pressure to lift it. No, you are not eating high-end prime beef, that’s for sure. But neither can honest taste buds deny its stout, blue-collar satisfaction. Hand-cut French fries — big, spuddy logs laced with crisp squiggles and burnt ends — transcend their proletarian surroundings.
How Hungry Are You?
Big eaters, consider the Anchorburger. That’s a sandwich of two 1/3-pound patties. A Gallyburger — three patties, three layers of cheese — challenges the mightiest appetite. “That’s what we call meat loaf on a bun,” the waitress jokes when she sets a Gallyburger in front of us. A plastic fork and knife come with it. But I find that careful handling makes it eatable with only minimal spillage.
Other than a cheese sandwich and a ham sandwich, burgers and fries are the only items on the Anchor Bar menu. Of course, that’s not including countless ales, stouts, and porters, and plenty of non-yuppie hard liquors, too.
No Credit Cards… But That’s OK
It costs little to eat at the Anchor Bar. As of late summer, 2021, a single burger, served in over a dozen guises including topped with cheeses, hot sauces, even cashews, costs under $5. A heap of fries adds exactly one dollar, twenty-five cents to the bill.
Note: Wisconsin law requires that customers must be at least 21 years old to be in the Anchor Bar without a legal guardian.
Directions & Hours
|Meals Served||Lunch, Dinner, Late Night|
|Credit Cards Accepted||No|