Simplified: It's the 11th Annual Downtown Burger Battle this month – with 37 restaurants sharing their creative burger offerings in the hopes of earning your vote. Sioux Falls Simplified chatted with several folks about how they're approaching the battle (and is anyone going to eat all 37?).

Why it matters

  • The burger battle is a way for downtown restaurants to show off their creative culinary skills, but more importantly, it's a way to draw traffic to restaurants during some of the coldest days of the year when customers can be harder to come by.
  • Last year, the burger battle had an estimated economic impact of more than $1.7 million, and over the years it's also become part of the culture of Sioux Falls.
  • As the number of entries seems to grow every year, it's getting harder to eat all of the burgers – more than one burger a day is, frankly, more than most can handle. But people have come up with a number of different strategies, from spreadsheets to team work to ranking systems.
"Whether I get through all of them or not, that's OK," burger battler Morgan Mundt said. "I just like to be able to push myself and try new foods."

Let's talk strategy

For Mundt, it's about breaking the list of entries down into categories – burgers she really wants to try, burgers she's OK missing but would still like, and burgers that don't get her excited.

  • Burger battler Leah Simmons takes a similar approach, by making a list of the top five or six burgers she wants to try based on either ingredients she knows she'll like or intriguing-looking flavor combinations.

For others, though, it's still a mission to try all of the entries.

Burger battler Scott Millar is over halfway through the 37 burgers, and he says he's been doing one burger each weeknight and two on each day during the weekend.

"The hardest part of this is organizing where to eat and fitting an hour of biking every day so I don’t take weight," Millar said.

OK, but burgers aren't free

Yeah, no, that's kind of the whole point of the battle is to bring money to local downtown businesses.

Some burger battlers said they do think about burger battle when they're budgeting for the month of January.

  • Mundt, for example, cancels her regular food delivery subscription in favor of eating out more.
  • Simmons noted that she sometimes will split the burgers with her partner, and they'll get takeout to help resist the temptation to spend additional money on drinks, etc.

What are the don't miss burgers so far?

Everyone you ask will have a different answer to this question, but a couple that came up included:

  • Minervas' root beer float burger
  • Remedy's beer-fed beef burger
  • Glacial Lakes' Queso-Birria burger
  • Flying Santos' steak burger
  • Mackenzie River's "The Mack"

Show me all of the burgers

You can find the whole list of burgers to try here. And if you eat them all, I want to hear from you (if for no other reason than to just see if you're feeling OK.)