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Chattanooga has had its share of really good burger joints, and that doesn't even take into consideration that Krystal was born here.

Seriously, for most folks of a certain age and time, there was nothing better than a burger and cold beer in a frosty mug at Leonard's on Brainerd Road, but it's hard to beat a classic cheeseburger from Zarzour's for longevity and taste. At 102 years old, Zarzour's is the oldest continuously operating restaurant in the state, and it consistently ranks high on people's lists when it comes to burgers.

The Times Free Press had more than 150 votes in our most recent online poll, and Zarzour's got a number of picks. Tremont Tavern and Main Street Meats got the bulk of the selections in our unscientific poll; but Urban Stack, Merv's, Armando's on Lee Highway and Armando's in East Ridge also got mentions, as did Slick's and Jack Brown's.

Burgers, like a lot of other foods, have become trendy with some restaurants offering vegetarian versions and others offering gourmet sandwiches with avocado and eggs on top. But judging from our poll, people like a straightforward burger with fresh ingredients where the meat is the star. Nearly all of the voters who left comments said freshness was key.

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Readers agree that the burgers at Zarzour's are thick, fresh and delicious. / Contributed Photo by Bob Payne

"Zarzour's because of the atmosphere, the meat, the bun, the fresh veg," wrote Kate Forbes.

Paul Mallchok echoed those sentiments, writing, "Zarzour's. The blend of meat is fresh and patted, cooked on an ancient flat-top griddle and served with attitude and love. The blend of meat is fresh."

Main Street Meats was mentioned for its delicious, locally sourced meats, Niedlov's fresh-baked buns and crisp local produce.

We will ask a different food-related question every other Monday, and we'd love to hear from you.

Next week's question: Who has the best dessert and what is your favorite?

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6354.

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