Sue’s J & S Hamburg, Traverse City

I was snowshoeing in northern Michigan last weekend. After finishing my first trail of the day, the Muncie Lakes Pathway south of Traverse City, I headed to Sue’s J & S Hamburg Restaurant on South Airport Road. It’s easy to miss, being stuffed into a strip mall across the street from a bigger mall.  You can call it… mini-mall. (Bad “Austin Powers” reference.)

Sue's J & S Hamburg

Sue's J & S Hamburg

I had chosen J & S because I read on TripAdvisor that they had a good burger, and I’m game for good burgers. It’s been a burger month. I didn’t intend it that way, it just sort of happened. The cow population has come to fear me. Hey, it’s them or us.

If you are looking for a typical diner in Traverse City, then Sue’s J & S is the place for you. You will not get anything fancy, though the lake mural on the wall was a nice touch. And I had no idea, but J & S collects quite the cast of famous characters:

Sue's J & S Burger

Sue's J & S Burger

I ordered the 1/4 pound burger with olives. I could have gone for larger patty – I had, after all, been snowshoeing, burning up all those calories – but in the end, it was fine – the portion of fries was enough to satisfy me. The guy next to me had the all-you-can-eat fish fry, and that looked pretty tasty. If I go back, I’ll probably try that. But if I do eat at J & S, I’ll try the original location on Front Street, to check out that location. Variety is the spice of life.

Sue's J & S Hamburg

Sue's J & S Hamburg


Susanne left a comment, asking what the food tasted like. Since this seemed like a reasonable question, and I had completely glossed over that rather important aspect of my visit, here goes:

My first look at the burger was disappointment. Talk about a “Where’s the beef?” moment! But, I figured that I got the small size, so I should just suck it up. I had mentioned I had been on a burger kick in January, which was true. What is also true is that this was at the bottom of the rankings for all those dead cows I consumed. I feel bad for the bovine that ended up on my plate – it died for nothing. And the Aunt Millie’s hamburger buns I got from Meijer are better than the one I had at J & S.

OK, I feel better. Well, not really – I don’t enjoy being critical. But it’s honest, so I’ll live with it.


3 thoughts on “Sue’s J & S Hamburg, Traverse City

  1. Uhm, how was it? It is probably one of the saddest looking burger plates I have seen in a long time and the simple fact that you don’t even mention the taste makes me think it sucked bad.
    I am in TC quite a bit during the summer, and we like to try some local joints but after trying Auntie Pasta’s we have gotten a little more careful.

    • Not that great, honestly, not something I would get again. I was too busy editing my photos to get around to how it tastes, so I’m sorry about that. And you’re right – it was a sad looking little patty. I’d recommend Bootleggers on Union in Traverse City for a good burger. I’m a fan of olive burgers, and the olives and cheese were stuffed inside the patty.

      • Yeah, I love olive burgers too – but they need to be with cheese or at least some sour creamy sauce like at Hot’n’Now. That is just a sad pile of sliced olives on a bun! Never been to Bootleggers but have gone by it. I’ll give it a try! Thanks for your reviews, I always enjoy reading them!

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