Akron-born Swensons' Galley Boy crowned best burger in Ohio by Reader's Digest

·2 min read
A Galley Boy is served with fried mushrooms and a vanilla shake at Swensons at 40 S. Hawkins Ave. in Akron.
A Galley Boy is served with fried mushrooms and a vanilla shake at Swensons at 40 S. Hawkins Ave. in Akron.

Akron is home to the best burger in Ohio.

At least that's what the fine folks at Reader's Digest think.

And generations of Akron residents won't disagree.

Reader's Digest has released its list of the best burgers in each of the 50 states, and the Swensons burger was crowned the best in Ohio.

The best burgers in each state were selected based on reviews by critics, competitions and everyday folks who simply love a good burger and posted online accolades.

Swensons has long been a staple drive-in burger place in Akron.

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Swensons' original Hamburger and Hot Pork stand in Akron.
Swensons' original Hamburger and Hot Pork stand in Akron.

It dates to the 1930s when Wesley “Pop” Swenson began flipping burgers and selling them out of the back of his car near Buchtel High School.

The original car hop is still open on South Hawkins near Market Street, but there are other locations in North Akron, Stow, Copley and now in other Northeast Ohio cities, as well as Columbus and Cincinnati.

Swensons now even has a food truck that travels around the area.

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Swensons review

Reader's Digest professed its love for the Swensons' signature Galley Boy burger.

"You’d be hard-pressed to find someone in Ohio who hasn’t tried a Galley Boy from Swensons Drive-In," it wrote in its review. "This double-patty burger is served on a buttery toasted bun with cheese and two secret sauces. Though the popular drive-in (with multiple locations across the state) has never shared what exactly those secret sauces are, they best resemble tartar sauce and barbecue sauce.

"The burger is finished off with a signature olive on a toothpick for a recognizable flair."

Perhaps the most famous person ever born in Akron has publicly shared his love of Swensons.

NBA superstar LeBron James on numerous occasions has shared his love for a fresh Swensons burger.

LeBron's go-to order when he's back in the 330 is a double cheeseburger, an order of onion rings and a banana milkshake.

Craig Webb, who is a big fan of Reader's Digest Drama in Real Life stories, can be reached at cwebb@thebeaconjournal.com.

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Swensons' Galley Boy named best burger in Ohio by Reader's Digest