There is no shortage of great burger joints in the Duluth area, but the undisputed king of them all for the past three decades has been the Anchor Bar. Among the other dozen nominees in Perfect Duluth Day’s poll, only the Fitger’s Brewhouse pulled a significant chunk of the vote. When the two went head to head, the Anchor took 61 percent, and the Brewhouse took 39.
It isn’t any one thing that makes the Anchor the best burger joint, it’s the combination of food, atmosphere and prices. The burgers themselves are great – with options like the Cashew Burger, Olive Burger or the 2/3-lb. Anchor Burger – all made with patties from Superior Meats and buns from Twig Bakery. But the prices, even though they went up a few years ago, still can’t be beat. All of the burgers are $5 or less, except for the $6 Gally Buster – a ridiculous 1-lb. triple cheeseburger. The atmosphere of random nautical garbage nailed to the walls simply completes the experience.
There is probably no one alive who can remember when the first bar opened up at 413 Tower Ave. in Superior, but the name “Anchor Bar” first appears in city directories in the mid-1940s. Tom Anderson bought it in 1977 and later started serving burgers and fries there. It wasn’t long after when everyone in the Twin Ports knew the Anchor was the place to go for good ol’ cheap, greasy burgers. In more recent years, the word has spread far and wide – the Anchor was one of four local restaurants featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives program in 2010.
Tom Anderson died in 2008, but his sons, Adam and Aaron, along with longtime manager Bean Prettie, have made sure the Anchor has continued to be the same old Anchor. Sit down, shut up and get fat and drunk.
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