Posing with a loaded bacon cheddar burger by Wendy Gauthier, Chef Chic, in the Daily Star studio, Tuesday, September 17, 2013, Tucson, Ariz. Photo by Kelly Presnell / Arizona Daily Star

Kelly Presnell / Arizona Daily S

It’s been nearly 60 years since Ray Kroc discovered a small burger restaurant in California and built a burger empire that would change the way America eats.

Today you can find McDonald’s in 118 countries. Its more than 34,000 restaurants serve nearly 69 million people daily, according to mcdonalds.com

There are more than 25 in the Tucson area — including two along South Park Avenue on either side of Interstate 10 that always look busy.

Want even more convenience? Burger King recently made headlines for its decision to deliver your Whopper, large fries and soda right to your front door. The Burger King at 871 W. St. Mary’s Road near I-10 made its first two deliveries late last month as part of the hamburger chain’s growing 18-month-old BK Delivers program.

Want upscale burgers? There are franchises that have that covered as well.

Because these heavyweights are such a force on their own, we devote this week to an exhibition round of voting. Voting on the 32-bracket round of reader favorites starts next Thursday.

Cast your ballot for your favorites here

  • Burger King
  • Carl’s Jr.
  • Culver’s
  • Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
  • Firebirds Wood Fired Grill
  • Five Guys
  • Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers
  • Fuddruckers
  • In-N-Out Burger
  • McDonald’s
  • Red Robin Gourmet Burgers
  • Smash Burger
  • Wendy’s
  • Whataburger