Jucy Lucys at Matt’s Bar in Minneapolis

by foodhoe on July 16, 2010

3500 Cedar Avenue S., Minneapolis, MN  55407 | 612.722.7072 | website

Do you know what a Jucy Lucy is?  It is a Minnesotan delicacy, a cheeseburger constructed from two thin ground beef patties that are sealed together with the cheese on the inside.  The Jucy Lucy along with hotdish casseroles, fried things on a stick from the state fair, cheese curds and walleye comprise Minnesota’s claim to fame in the culinary arts.  Matt’s in Minneapolis, is the home of the original Jucy Lucy, which has been documented in John T. Edge’s book Hamburgers & fries : an American story, and voted #1 in the Travel Channels epic burger battle Food War.  We recently traveled to the land of great lakes to celebrate a happy  family event and using my phone’s indispensable GPS, found Matt’s Bar in a very unassuming building located in a residential neighborhood in southern Minneapolis.

It’s a very popular spot.  We got there on a weekday around 1:30 and were surprised at how busy it was.  The menu is simple and includes tax and makes no mention that the Jucy Lucy is a half pound burger…  I love how sodas are referred to as Pop here.

Here you can see the grill piled full of burgers in the various stages of doneness.

We sat impatiently waiting for our orders, which took a while considering the size of the grill and the amount of people waiting in the dining room…

When the Jucy Lucy finally arrived, it looked a bit charred but I imagine they have to grill the burgers very well in order to cook each patty through, as well as melt the cheesy center.  It left a smoky charred flavor on my lips, which I liked.  Our waitress warned us, as she warned every other table, to wait a few minutes to let it cool down, because the Jucy Lucy has a molten cheese core that will melt your lips off.  She said to start off by taking little bites off the edge and that said molten cheese will begin to spill out.

I had to take a few bites before I reached the cheese.  So here it is, cheesy molten core a gushing… and having the melted cheese infused in every bite reminded me of a philly cheese-steak burger.  It was good, very very good even… The bun seemed like it came straight out of the bag, but did manage to hold up to the double layer patty spurting out molten cheese.

The fries were a large pile, our waitress said it was big enough to feed three and came with a stack of tiny paper cups to pour ketchup into for dipping.  How very civilized!  They were good too, we split one order between two adults and two 13 year old boys, and it got a bit competitive towards the end.

Here is Nick’s burger, I don’t think he waited very long to bite the edges, thus the cheesy puddle around his plate.  He added some fries to make an all-in-one.  Mr.K was a bit grossed out and said once was enough, but I distinctly heard Nick say he wished he could hit the rewind button and start over with another jucy lucy on his plate…

Part of the reason I chose Matt’s Bar is because my brother in law wanted a t-shirt from here (his name is Matt)…  But I’m so glad we made the effort, and I’m surprised this inside out burger has kept such a low profile over the years.  Sadly, I’ve never seen this rendition of cheeseburger in my many years of research on the subject here in California

Matt's Bar on Urbanspoon

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosa July 16, 2010 at 7:32 am

Those look devilishly good!




Cookie July 16, 2010 at 10:41 am

I drooled over the Lucy Jucy before realizing that it’s not in SF! You’re not allowed to do that to people! Ok maybe I can attempt it at home?


Juliana July 16, 2010 at 1:50 pm

What a torture…I should not be reading this right before lunch…


Kristen July 16, 2010 at 4:47 pm

I am a Matt’s devotee of many years and they are frankly addictive. Just looking at your story made me want to run over there after work tonight. I just might. But the line will likely be out the door as it usually is on Friday night. Love your recount of the experience and the photos. Matt’s has a charm all its own.


Kirk July 16, 2010 at 5:52 pm

I’ve always wanted to try a Jucy Lucy, or two…. not why does that just sound wrong???


grace July 17, 2010 at 5:55 am

your trip wouldn’t have been complete without a jucy lucy!


Carolyn Jung July 17, 2010 at 6:30 pm

I remember seeing this touted on that “Food War” show. How fun that you actually got to try the Jucy Lucy. Love the name! Truly a memory to savor.


Pete July 18, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Dang … I am suffering here!!
hey … the 5th picture with the guy in the blue “Fear the Cheese” shirt… is that a man or a woman? What is that outline on his back? a bra? but he looks like a man… (Ms. Swan)LOL


Bonnibella July 19, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Saw this on Man v Food and can say it’s my cup of tea. Serious Eats did a few post on how to make one at home. I think I’m inspired…


Sarah July 20, 2010 at 3:36 am

Love your blog. Raunchy and gritty, full of soul food. Thanks. will be back.


Ria July 22, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Good review! I live in Minneapolis too and now I have another place to check out during weekends! 🙂


Gastronomer July 22, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Thanks for the Jucy Lucy lesson. I’d never heard of such a thing. It sounds like the kind of gut bomb I’d very much appreciate!


foodhoe July 23, 2010 at 8:58 am

Rosa, yes evil but the good kind…
cookie, sorry! but we don’t have them here… I did see some recipes online, and grilling season has just begun!
Sorry Juliana
Kristen, thx for the visit. I’m thinking I must try other place that makes the Juicy Lucy now!
Kirk, well that would make a 4×4 wouldn’t it? nothing wrong with that
grace, next time it’s sloppy joes!
Carolyn, I forgot to watch the Man v. Food, I think it replayed last night – boo!
Pete, dunno… I liked the shirt, which is from the bar and warns, Fear the Cheese!
Bonnibella, ooh thx for the tip, gotta check it out on Serious Eats
Sarah, thx for visiting, I like the title of your blog!
Ria, lucky you
gastronomer, you most definitely would appreciate it


Edmund July 25, 2010 at 3:03 am

It’s really nice to hear someone give the Jucy Lucy it’s due. I’ve tracked it down, ever since I saw it on one of the food channels once–it was just such an interesting concept, I just had to have one. And I agree, it’s a very good burger, but I think it’s almost exclusive to Minnesota.


foodhoe July 25, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Edmund, how funny that you also hunted it down! One of these days I hope to see it featured on a menu here in SF…


Tom Holmes@Home Bar November 11, 2010 at 3:17 am

Before reading the actual article I was just dragging down viewing the images, I felt they were Yumm. After realizing on what you intend to show.. I felt yakss, truly can’t read before or after eating food.


kirk November 10, 2012 at 1:54 am

Traveled from Hawaii to see the Vikings at the Metrodome in October. Thank “GOD” they beat the Titans! Made special trip to Matt’s Bar to try the “Juicy Lucy”! It was awesome! I wanna order a Matt’s Bar t-shirt! Please help! Mahalo!


Shannon November 13, 2013 at 1:03 pm

I am from WA and on a trip over to MN about 6 years ago we tried the Juicy Lucy. It was so YUMMY!! My husband and I bought tee-shirts but now they are starting to show wear. How can I order a new one???


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