Best Burger in Ketchikan

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Conner O’Bryan
Staff Writer

In the United States, where fast food is especially popular, there’s one item that’s reigned supreme. It’s not the hotdog, or even pizza, but the humble cheeseburger. Here in Ketchikan there’s a couple of good burger places. The most popular seem to be AJ’s, Burger Queen, and the Burger Shack, but which one is the best?

Third Place – Burger Queen
Coming in third is Burger Queen, located right outside the tunnel. Don’t get me wrong, they are good, but something about them just isn’t as satisfying as the others on the list. They’ve got lettuce both under and on top of the burger, along with everything else you’d expect on a burger like pickles and tomatoes. They’re also the least economical burgers on this list, at $10.75 for a cheeseburger and small fries compared to AJ’s and the Burger Shack, which are both about $10 for a burger and fries. The milkshakes there are also pretty good, but really thick, which wouldn’t be a bad thing except that the straws are really small. High 7/10.

Second Place- Burger Shack
In second place is the Burger Shack, located by the Knudson Cove Marina. This place for sure has the best milkshakes in my opinion. They’re a similar price to the others, and come in a bigger cup, and there’s lots of flavors like cookies and cream, and rootbeer. The burgers themselves are also great, but in my experiences they fall apart too easily. There’s a couple of different types of burgers other than the basic hamburger or cheeseburger, like a bacon cheeseburger, and a hickory cheddar burger, but still not as many options as the other places. Truly a very solid choice.  8/10.

First Place- AJ’s 
Finally in first place is AJ’s, located on the side of the North Tongass Highway a little bit south of Walmart. It’s very good, the base cheeseburger has everything that should be on it, and nothing that shouldn’t. The fries are for sure the best fries you can buy on this island. They can compete with some of the best fast food fries in the country, and I’m certainly proud to say that they’re exclusive to here. They too offer more than just a couple types of burgers, in fact they have far more choices than the other places I’ve already mentioned. The most interesting ones to me are the shrimp burger, and the “Mac Daddy”, a barbecue bacon cheeseburger with deep fried mac and cheese as one of the toppings. AJ’s is to cheeseburgers, what the Burger Shack is to milkshakes. All in all this is my favorite place here in Ketchikan, and it deserves a 10/10.

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