Forget about apple pie. Well, don’t forget about it entirely, of course, because apple pie is delicious, but we all know “as American as a hamburger” is a much more accurate phrase.

As its core, the burger is a humble sandwich, but it also is a blank canvas on which a whole melting pot of flavors can be painted. Many restaurants have one or two solid burgers on their menus, but here’s a selection of local eateries that specialize in that most American of meals.

The Sink

1165 13th St.

11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily for food, bar open until 2 a.m.

303-444-7465, thesink.com

The best part of a Sinkburger ($8.50) is you can take that basic patty of certified Angus beef and throw the kitchen sink at it in the form of customization: Six choices of bread, six choices of cheese and more than a dozen toppings. The number of possible combinations is impressive — though we recommend all combinations include The Sink’s delicious house pickles.

The burger menu also boasts the Texas Onion Straw ($11), which was featured on “Diners, Drive-ins & Dives” and comes with provolone, cheddar, jalapeno and chipotle aioli. Then there’s the Boulder Burger ($12.50), which is a grass-fed beef patty topped with the restaurant’s creamy spinach dip. If you want the grass without the spinach greenery, though, you can upgrade to grass-fed beef on any burger for $2.50.

Dark Horse

2922 Baseline Road

11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily

303-442-8162, darkhorsebar.com

Yes, the Dark Horse is a dive bar, and refreshingly so in oft-pretentious Boulder. Their third-pound burgers are amazing, though, because they’re willing to shamelessly dive into some deliciously unhealthy topping options.

Take the Royale Burger ($7.99), which layers the beef patty with smoked ham, an onion ring, barbecue sauce and provolone, or the Fried Egg and Ham Burger ($7.99), which tops your burger with a what’s basically a diner breakfast. Those in the know, however, will head straight for the Jiffy Burger ($7.29). With peanut butter, bacon and provolone, the flavors might sound odd to the ears but are a salty-sweet heaven on the tastebuds.

Mountain Sun and Southern Sun

1535 Pearl St.

11 a.m.-1 a.m. daily

303-546-0886

627 S. Broadway

4 p.m.-1 a.m. Mondays, 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays

303-543-0886

mountainsunpub.com

“Please let us know if your french fries aren’t perfect,” reads Mountain and Southern Suns’ menus. “We will replace them with perfect fries.” There are few better sentences in the English language than that, especially because the Suns’ fries ($1 upcharge over potato chips) are hand-cut and golden brown and totally delicious. Thankfully, the third-pound burgers those fries often accompany are equally high quality.

The menu standouts are the Basil Blue Cheeseburger ($8, with blue cheese and basil dressing) and the Date Night Burger ($10.25, with roasted poblano peppers, bacon, goat cheese and date puree). But for build-your-own fans, you can add pesto for $1.50 or green-chile sauce or chili for $1.25.

The Attic Bar and Bistro

949 Walnut St.

11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. daily f

or food, bar open until 2 a.m.

303-415-1300, atticbistro.com

With the atmosphere of a neighborhood watering hole and a gourmet pub menu of made-from-scratch eats, the Attic strikes the right balance between comfort and taste — and keeps most of its tasty burgers priced in the $9- to $10- range.

There’s the GSM Burger with mushrooms, Swiss and gorgonzola; the Graceland burger with fried onions, coleslaw and American cheese; and the house burger, the Bucky, which boasts smoked bacon and American, cheddar and Swiss cheeses. The I-dare-you-option on the burger menu is the over-the-top Bucky Supreme. For $13.95, it’s a traditional Bucky Burger, but served between two grilled-cheese sandwiches rather than bun.

Bonus: tater tots! All burgers comes with choice of tots or fries, with sweet-potato fries available for 75 cents more.

Faster eats:

When you, or your wallet, are in the mood for something more fast-casual:

•Five Guys. On the Hill

1143 13th St. (11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sundays-Wednesdays, 11 a.m.-12 a.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 303-449-6500) and 1855 29th St. (10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily, 303-440-3780)

fiveguys.com

Basic hamburger: $6.09.

•Larkburger

2525 Arapahoe Ave., 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays

303-444-1487, larkburger.com/boulder

Basic hamburger: $5.95.

•Smashburger

1650 28th St., 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily

303-656-4694, smashburger.com/menu/boulder

Basic hamburger: $4.99.

•Snarfburger

2000 Arapahoe Ave., 11 a.m.- 12 a.m. Sundays-Thursdays, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays

303-444-7711, snarfburger.com

Basic hamburger: $3.75.

Follow Kate Jonuska on Twitter: twitter.com/kjonuska.

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