The word "hamburger" comes from the German city of Hamburg. Raw beef was brought to this port city by a nomadic group, the Tartars. The Germans, who preferred the meat fried with onions, developed hamburger steak.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, German immigrants carried their hamburger steak recipes to the U.S. By the early 1880s, the dish was being served in New York City restaurants. During the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, the hamburger sandwich received a great deal of attention. Wichita, Kansas became home to the original White Castle restaurant in 1921, which sold miniature-sized burgers. This was the beginning of the first hamburger chain.