Showdown: Convention Grill vs. The Malt Shop

Burgers, fries, and malts are one of America’s oldest combos. Since the mid 1900’s, burger joints and malt shops have been the favorite restaurants and hangout spots for Americans. Locally, there are many options for a traditional old-fashioned burger joint, but some carry a better reputation than others.


Lauren Beh

Both Convention Grill and The Malt Shop offer excellent burgers, shakes, and malts. The only question is which one is better?

Our first showdown of the year pits two Twin Cities’ favorites for burgers, fries, and malts against each other. Convention Grill in Edina has been a favorite among locals since 1934, boasting “great hamburgers, homestyle french fries, and the best malted milkshakes in town.” Convention Grill is as old-fashioned as it gets, with servers dressed in in thirties outfits, old timey-booths, patterned tiles, and menus to match the old-fashioned feel.

It’s opponent has been a south Minneapolis staple since 1973. The Malt Shop is family owned and is known for their top-notch malts (as the name implies,) along with burgers, fries, salads, and more. The colorful glass panes, historical photographs, and live music all play into a comfy, family environment.

The criteria for this showdown are based on three simple menu items: the burgers, fries, and malts. For the burgers, we are judging them on appearance, first bite, and overall taste. The malts will be judged by drinkability (or ability to drink through a straw) and taste. Lastly, the fries will be judged by their saltiness and crunch.


Bacon Cheeseburger


Malt Shop: 10/10

Appearance: Their fluffy, perfectly toasted bun wants to be eaten so badly, and thankfully, the pickle is served separately.

First bite: It tasted as good as it looked; the perfectly cooked, thick-cut bacon is reminiscent of mama’s home-cooking.

Taste: Everything—the cheese, medium-well burger, bacon, and barbecue sauce—blended together stupendously, and that’s why this burger (officially called the “LS Burger” on the menu) earns a perfect 10.

Convention Grill: 9/10

Appearance: The presentation was on point, with the top bun on the side of the plate with the pickles on the side, and they didn’t forget the barbecue sauce.

First Bite: The burger was well cooked, and the smoky cheddar lived up to the name.

Taste: Overall, the burger was savory and quite memorable. It wasn’t too dry nor too juicy, and the smoky cheddar cheese blended quite nicely with this well-cooked burger. The bun left a little to be desired.


Caramel Malt


Malt Shop: 10/10

Drinkability: You can drink it with a straw, or you can use the metal spoon, either one works—The Malt Shop doesn’t discriminate.

Taste: Nobody does malts better than The Malt Shop. Unlike its opponent, The Malt Shop blends the caramel with the malt, so you don’t get the occasional globs of caramel. The taste is so good; it’s indescribable.

Convention Grill: 8/10

Drinkability: This malt was almost perfect texture. Judging drinkability on how easy it was drink with a straw, the malt performed well.

Taste: The classic malted flavor was definitely there, but it felt like something was missing. Overall nothing bad to say about this malt.




Malt Shop: 5/10

Saltiness: I’ll say it now: fries can’t get much worse. They looked nice, but there was literally not a speck of salt on any of them. You could lick these fries, and you still wouldn’t get a taste of salt. It’s like eating a warm, plain potato.

Crispiness: No crisp whatsoever. They looked like they were soaked in water, and then served hot—it’s confusing how fries can be this bad. They get a 5/10, and only because at least they’re (barely) still fries.

Convention Grill: 8/10

Saltiness: Most would prefer fries to be salty for a successful bite—and Convention Grill definitely knows what they’re doing here. A half order gave two people plenty of fries along with the rest of the meal.

Crunchiness: How about that crunch. The fries were golden, crunchy (a little too much at times), and lightly salted—you can’t ask for much more.


The Verdict


Overall, Convention Grill is the winner. If you’re looking for the well-rounded burger, fry, and malt meal, Convention Grill is way to go—and the entrees are generally cheaper than The Malt Shop. With that being said, if awful fries aren’t a big turn-off for you, and you’re willing to spend a little extra for stellar burgers and malts, The Malt Shop may be the better option. The burger was 10/10 perfect, and you won’t find better malts in town.