The 40-mile stretch between the Colorado towns of Pueblo and Colorado Springs may be the only place on Earth where you can ask the waitress for a “slopper” and no one will bat an eye.
Even though its unforgettable name has graced local menus for more than 45 years, no one’s sure who served the dish first. Many versions exist, but all approximate a cheeseburger smothered in green chile sauce and more cheese, with french fries on the side. One eatery stacks the burger patty on top of a grilled cheese sandwich. Another adds raw onions and oyster crackers upon request, akin to the toppings found on another decadent American classic, Cincinnati chili.
The hearty meal’s unique blend of Americana and Southwestern flair highlights one of Pueblo’s most iconic natural resources: green chiles. More than 130,000 people attend their annual Chile and Frijoles Festival, now in its 24th year. And local chefs can be competitive when it comes to their secret chile sauce recipes, many of which have been passed down from previous generations. While the slopper offers room for innovation, the green chile sauce that smothers the dish is what truly provides its distinctive local flavor.
Sometimes you might spot a green chile–soaked burger going by a different name. For example, the “Green Giant” and “Mad” editions come from different eateries. But rest assured, if it has the basic components, it’s a slopper at heart. With a name like “slopper,” can you really blame an establishment for trying to add a little creative distraction to the menu?
Where to Try It
Gray's Coors Tavern515 W 4th St, Pueblo, Colorado, 81003, United States
More than 2,000 Pueblo residents ranked Gray's version the best slopper in 2017.
Crave Real Burgers7465 N Academy Blvd, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 80920, United States
This burger restaurant is known for its rendition of the slopper—a burger served on a grilled cheese sandwich, topped with avocado, pico de gallo, and green chile sauce.