The 2014 best burger.

Ten restaurants across the state were notified this week that they’re in the running for the title of “Iowa’s Best Burger.” The annual contest is sponsored by the Iowa Cattleman’s Association and the Iowa Beef Industry Council. The 10 finalists received the most nominations from Iowans who submitted their picks over the last month.

Brooke Young, with the Iowa Cattleman’s Association, says a panel of judges will now evaluate the hamburgers based on taste, appearance and proper serving temperature (160 degrees).

“They will be visiting all 10 of these restaurants and the winner will be announced on May 4,” Young said. The restaurants that made the top ten list are (in alphabetical order):

Ankeny Diner, Ankeny
Big City Burgers & Greens, Des Moines
Down Right Delicious, Clarinda
Elm’s Club, Creston
First Street Grille, Keosauqua
Ride’s Bar & Grill, Fort Dodge
Saucy Focaccia, Cedar Rapids
The Cider House, Fairfield
The Ritz, Arnold’s Park
Zombie Burger, Des Moines

Iowans submitted more than 4,000 nominations for the contest. Last year’s winner was Brick City Grill in Ames. Previous winners were 61 Chop House Grille in Mediapolis (2013), Coon Bowl III in Coon Rapids (2012), The Rusty Duck in Dexter (2011), and Sac County Cattle Company in Sac City (2010).

 (Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)