Best of the Best $100 Hamburgers

Subscribers vote for favorite fly-in spots.

Mesa Grill Tom Johnson

Mesa Grill Tom Johnson

** Mesa Grill (Photo by Tom Johnson)**

If you are looking for a new place to fly for breakfast, lunch or dinner, you may want to take a look at a list of fly-in spots called the "Best of the Best" created by John Purner, the founder of "The $100 Hamburger." Purner used feedback from a pool of 54,000 web-based subscribers to create a short list of 26 airport restaurants. The "Best of the Best" shortlist includes restaurants spread around all four corners of the country.

In order for the subscribers to be able to vote for a restaurant, it had to be listed in the latest print edition of "The $100 Hamburger, the 2014/2015 Edition." This resource only includes restaurants located on an airport, not near one. The status at these restaurants runs the gamut. “Some are very, very impressive, high dollar, white table cloth, uptown style cafes; others are downhome, family spots,” said Purner. But they have one thing in common. “Each is special,” Purner said.

The $100 Hamburger website currently reviews more than 1,600 restaurants around the country. It uses several symbols to rate each destination, including a red airplane indicating that the restaurant is on the field and a scale of one burger to five, with five being the highest rating. The website also includes resources for fly-in hotels, campgrounds and golf destinations and blogs by Purner on a variety of GA topics.

Reader comments, called Pireps, are also good resources, although they are not dated, which makes it difficult to know how current the information is. In addition to being able to add comments to existing restaurants, the subscribers can also add new destinations.

Here is the "Best of the Best" list:

  • The Mesa Grill, Sedona, Arizona (SEZ)
  • Gaston's Restaurant, Lakeview, Arkansas (3M0)
  • Harris Ranch Restaurant, Coalinga, California (3O8)
  • Izzy's Steakhouse, San Carlos, CA (SQL)
  • The Perfect Landing, Denver, Colorado (APA)
  • 121 Restaurant and Bar, Oxford, Connecticut (OXC)
  • Jet Runway Café, Fort Lauderdale, Florida (FXE)
  • Jekyll Island Club Grand Dining Room, Jekyll Island, Georgia (09J)
  • Pilot Pete's, Chicago/Shaumburg, Illinois (06C)
  • The Airport Steak House, Hutchinson, Kansas (HUT)
  • Bistro Le Relais, Louisville, Kentucky (LOU)
  • Nick's Airport Inn, Hagerstown, Maryland (HGR)
  • Nancy's Air Field Café, Stow, Massachusetts (6B6)
  • Rick's Crabby Cowboy, Montauk, New York (MTP)
  • Pik N Pig BBQ, Carthage, North Carolina (5NC3)
  • Sky Galley Inn, Cincinnati, Ohio (LUK)
  • Tin Goose Diner, Port Clinton, Ohio (PCW)
  • Jake's Joint, Ardmore, Oklahoma (ADM)
  • Enrique's Mexican Restaurant, Ponca City, Oklahoma (PNC)
  • DeNunzio's Italian Chophouse and Sinatra Bar, Latrobe, Pennsylvania (LBE)
  • Ryan's Hangar Restaurant & Ace Lounge, Huron, South Dakota (HON)
  • Southern Flyer Diner, Brenham, Texas (11R)
  • The Hard Eight, Stephenville, Texas (SEP)
  • Rickenbacker's Bistro, Ogden, Utah (OGD)
  • The Basin Harbor Resort, Vergennes, Vermont (B06)
  • Airport Diner, Bremerton, Washington (PWT)

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