Just off of Main Street in Old Town Carmel, Indiana, you will find possibly one of the best tasting and largest hamburgers you will ever encounter at Bub’s Burgers & Ice Cream Shop.

Opened in 2003, Bub’s Burgers & Ice Cream Shop is known for its legendary Bub’s Big Ugly burger, which starts off at a whopping 22 ounces of hand-pattied, fresh ground chuck beef. When cooked to order, the Big Ugly results in a one-pound burger that is so large it simply oozes over the edges of the freshly baked and buttered hamburger bun.

At first I was simply terrified to even contemplate ordering the Big Ugly, but the whole reason why we were even here was because we came across this gem of a restaurant through the Man versus Food television show. I had to try at least one burger, right?

A the time taping the “Indianapolis Burger Challenge,” 95% of the challengers were able to eat one Big Ugly burger. For completing this task, you will get your picture taken and placed onto their Wall Of Fame. Approximately 20% of the challengers were able to complete two burgers, which gets you a headshot on the wall. Three challengers completed three burgers, which netted them a poster and no challengers had completed four Big Ugly burgers in one setting.

However, in the summer of 2011 a gentlemen from Indonesia visiting his brother who was studying at Indiana University, completed the ultimate Big Ugly challenge by consuming four Bub’s Big Ugly burgers in approximately two hours. To be successful one must eat everything that comes out on your platter, so here is a tip: avoid the condiments such as cheese, pickles, lettuce, etc. They will only fill you up more (like that is possible with a one pound burger in your tummy).

To date there have been only three people that have successfully ate all four of Bub’s Big Ugly burgers and since early 2014, Bub’s Burgers has sold over a whopping 80,000 Big Uglies. To only have three people complete the four Big Ugly burger challenge is simply amazing. When I walked in and saw all walls adorned with pictures of those challengers that attempted to eat at least one burger, I knew mine had to be on the Wall of Fame. And indeed you can find mine on the wall of Bub’s Burgers.

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Please make sure you have plenty of time to wait around for a table as the two times I visited Bub’s there was a line going out the door. Granted both times were during the summer and people were relaxing outside enjoying the sunshine. However, while you are waiting you must check out the very cool outdoor art exhibits that line Main Street in Old Town Carmel, Indiana.

After you had the chance to walk around the Arts District, be prepared to settle in to your chair, order up a drink and try the Big Ugly challenge. However, don’t fret if you don’t want to try the Big Ugly, as Bub’s also has other types and sizes of burgers (half pound, quarter pounder and Elk), as well other items such as hotdogs, soup and chili.

Rest assured, though the lines might initially be long, don’t run away as the wait will be worth the weight (yes, I spelled that incorrectly).


Bub’s Burgers & Ice Cream Shop now has three locations: Carmel, Bloomington and Zionville. Hours are Monday through Sunday from 10:00am to 11:00pm.  Full menu can be found here. You can also find Bub’s Burgers & Ice Cream Shop on Facebook and Twitter.