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A hamburger is a sandwich consisting of a cooked patty of ground meat usually placed inside a sliced bread roll. Hamburgers are often served with lettuce, bacon, tomato, onion, pickles, cheese and condiments such as mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup and relish. The hamburger has attained widespread popularity and has proliferated worldwide.

The term hamburger or burger can also be applied to the meat patty on its own, especially in the UK where the term "patty" is never used, although the term "hamburger" is rarely used in the Commonwealth countries unless referring to a menu item of an American restaurant.

Hamburgers are usually a feature of fast food restaurants. The hamburgers served in major fast food establishments are usually mass-produced in factories and frozen for delivery to the site. These hamburgers are thin and of uniform thickness, differing from the traditional American hamburger prepared in homes and conventional restaurants, which is thicker and prepared by hand from ground beef. Generally most American hamburgers are round, but some fast-food chains, such as Wendy's, sell square-cut hamburgers. Hamburgers in fast food restaurants are usually grilled on a flat-top, but some firms, such as Burger King use a gas flame grilling process. At conventional American restaurants, hamburgers may be ordered "rare", but normally are served medium-well or well-done for food safety reasons.

Hamburgers are often served as a fast dinner, picnic or party food, and cooked outdoors on barbecue grills.

There is an increasing popularity of new types of burgers that use alternatives to ground beef as the primary ingredient. For example, a turkey burger uses ground turkey meat, a chicken burger uses ground chicken meat. A buffalo burger uses ground meat from a bison, and an ostrich burger is made from ground seasoned ostrich meat. A deer burger uses ground venison from deer. Burgers can also be made by mixing seafood or lamb with beef.

A veggie burger, garden burger, or tofu burger uses a meat analogue, a meat substitute such as tofu, TVP, seitan (wheat gluten), quorn, beans, grains or an assortment of vegetables, ground up and mashed into patties.

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