Ankeny burger named best for 2024

ANKENY — An Ankeny establishment is the winner of this year’s “Best Burger” contest.

J J’s Bar and Grill co-owner Mike Roberts says he changed the name and added burgers to the menu when he took over in 2023. “They were doing more of a fine dining steakhouse, so we wanted to kind of still incorporate that, but my goal when we opened this up was to get a flat top in here to do burgers that’s that was my number one priority,” he says.

The Best Burger contest was created by the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and the Iowa Beef Industry Council to bring attention to May, which they dubbed Beef Month. Roberts, who is also the general manager, says they noticed the impact as soon as they were selected as a finalist. “Ever since the top ten you pretty much increase your business probably by 75%,” Roberts says. “It’s been a nonstop since March, we’ve been selling probably about 300 burgers a day.”

Roberts owns the eatery along with Rick and Lilia Romero and Liberty Van Genderen. The menu currently features eight smash burgers, including the J.J.’s Smash Burger, the Brock Curdy Burger, and the Jalapeno Cheddar.

Previous Iowa’s Best Burger winners include: 2023 – Flight Bar + Grille of Huxley; 2022 – The Flying Elbow of Marshalltown; 2021 – Bambino’s of Ossian; 2020 – Twisted Tail Steakhouse & Saloon of BeeBeeTown; 2019 – Wood Iron Grille of Oskaloosa; 2018 – Café Beaudelaire of Ames; 2017 – The Smokin’ Hereford BBQ of Storm Lake; 2016 – The Chuckwagon Restaurant Adair; 2015 – The Cider House of Fairfield; 2014 – Brick City Grill in Ames; 2013 – 61 Chop House Grille in Mediapolis; 2012 – Coon Bowl III in Coon Rapids; 2011 – Rusty Duck in Dexter; and 2010 – Sac County Cattle Company of Sac City.