Italian cuisine has pasta and Japanese cuisine has sushi; Mexican cuisine has tacos and Indian has its curries. If we had to choose one signature dish that defines American cuisine, it’s the hamburger. From McDonald’s and In-N-Out Burger, to local diners, high-end steakhouses, school cafeterias and backyard barbecues, the burger is the entrée you can always depend on to be there, and be tasty.

In true American fashion, the burger comes in every size and flavor. It’s been customized and changed to meet the tastes of a country brimming with different cultures and cuisines, and the result is an infinite list of burger varieties. From sauces and veggies, to cheeses, meats and the burger patty itself, the options to make a burger your own abound.

We’ve picked five of our favorite burger varieties to help you wrap your head (and your lips!) around some of the top-notch takes on the hamburger available in a restaurant near you.

Traditional – with a Twist: It’s easy to love the traditional burger, with a beef patty on a sesame seed bun. Add ketchup, mustard, lettuce, onion, tomato and fresh dill pickles and voila – but there are plenty of opportunities for a twist! One of our favorites is the “breakfast burger,” which pairs a few thick slices of bacon, a fried egg and a slice of cheddar cheese. If the thought of egg yolk on your burger gives you pause, trust us, this is something you want to try. Egg as a burger topping is more common than you might think, and you’re definitely missing out if you’ve yet to order one up to experience how the rich flavors complement one another. Egg is a staple on burgers in Australia, where your order will also come topped with pickled beets.

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[Pic via Pinterest: Aussie burger: http://bit.ly/1jyPniJ]

The BBQ Burger: If your definition of barbeque is a sauce, not a backyard grill, this is the burger for you. This burger plays on the sweet, tangy flavors of barbeque sauce and adds all the goodies that complement those flavors. Most versions will start with a plain bun, like sesame seed, Kaiser roll or egg bun, and a traditional burger patty – then, the fun begins. The burger is topped with melted cheddar cheese, doused in barbeque sauce, crispy onion straws, fried onions or onion rings, and a dollop of refreshing coleslaw to finish it off. Some adventurous versions also include a heaping portion of barbeque pulled pork, baked beans, or chili.

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[Pic via Pinterest: BBQ Burger: http://bit.ly/1sluGHc]

The Southwestern Style: This burger brings south-of-the-border style to the grill. If you’re a fan of Mexican food or spicy dishes, you’ll be in your element with this masterpiece. A beef patty is covered in melted pepper jack cheese then topped with a variety of goodies that could include everything from avocado slices or guacamole, roasted poblano peppers, fresh pico de gallo, salsa, jalepenos, chipotle aioli, bacon and pickled onions. This burger style is popular with turkey burgers and black bean veggie burgers instead of beef. Pair it with a cold beverage to combat the heat!

southwestern burger

The Hawaiian – Tired of ketchup and mustard? Take your taste buds on a trip to tropics with this burger variety. Hawaiian burgers combine the sweet, fruity zest of a generous slice of pineapple with a salty slice of ham (or Spam, in some cases!). Most start with a bun made of sweet Hawaiian bread, then add a beef patty – or choose to substitute a salmon, tuna or pork burger for your meat – often marinated in a teriyaki glaze. Top it off with a big slice of pineapple, a thick slice of ham, grilled onions and crisp lettuce.

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[Pic via Pinterest: Hawaiian Burger: http://bit.ly/1mi4flO]

The Steakhouse: Looking for a less expensive way to get that steakhouse flavor?  Give this burger a try. A pepper-crusted beef patty is sprinkled with a generous portion of blue cheese or gorgonzola crumbles, then smothered in sautéed mushrooms and onions. Add a splash of A1 steak sauce or Worcestershire sauce and pair it with steak fries to round out the steakhouse feel. You’ll get all of the gourmet taste without the fuss (or the pricetag!)

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Pic via Pinterest: Steakhouse burger: [http://bit.ly/1gcEOlY]

Ready to give one of these a try? Start your search for your next burger adventure at Restaurant.com.