Did You Realize Olive Burgers Originated in Michigan? Here’s Where to Find Them
In recent months there's been a major online discussion about the history of olive burgers in Michigan. I was surprised to learn about half of all Michiganders had no idea olive burgers were a local creation. Did you?
Olives alone can make or break a relationship: you either love olives or you hate them. As I've matured over the years so have my taste buds, and now I prefer olives (black or green) on my pizzas, sandwiches, and even as a snack by themselves. Having worked at Corky's Drive-In in Allegan throughout high school, I grew to love the olive burgers we served there. Once I moved away from Michigan and out to the Heartland, I discovered I could no longer find them on any restaurant menu which is perplexing considering how easy they are to make; if you can make a mushroom swiss burger then surely you can make an olive burger!
History of the Olive Burger
The Michigan staple was born in 1923 in Flint at Kewpee Hotel Hamburgs. Throughout various name and location changes, you can still find the original burger with olive sauce at Kewpee's in Lansing and Halo Burger in Flint. After nearly 100 years, the restaurant says their "oliveburger" [sic] is still the most popular burger on the menu.
Who Has the Best Olive Burger in Michigan?
In a Reddit post user u/idlesseye343 asked for help compiling a list of establishments that served the Michigan-created burger. I was shocked at how uncommon this knowledge is!
"Lived in Michigan almost my whole life, a short stint in AZ. I have never heard of an Olive Burger... What part of the state is it popular in?"
"I concur, also Michigan native. Never heard of an olive burger... Is it a burger with tapenade? Or, a burger with sliced olives and cheese? Maybe in the 90's hot'n now had small one.... it's been awhile."
The general consensus when it comes to local favorites is that eateries like Main St. Pub and Studio Grill in Kalamazoo, Mr. Burger in Grand Rapids, and Corky's in Allegan all serve a mean olive burger! Where's your favorite spot to grab this Michigan original?
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