If you're searching for the best burger in Austin, you're in luck. The capital city of Texas is bursting with mouth-watering burger joints that offer something for everyone, from classic to gourmet, from meaty to vegan. In this article, we'll take a deep dive into the best burger spots in Austin and all the different ways you can enjoy this iconic American dish.
The history of burgers in Austin
Before we dive into the present-day burger scene, let's take a brief look at how burgers became a staple in Austin. The first burger stand in Austin opened in the 1920s, but it wasn't until the 1950s that burgers started to gain popularity. Today, Austin is known for its creative and diverse burger offerings that reflect the city's unique food culture.
One of the most iconic burger joints in Austin is the famous "Hut's Hamburgers," which opened in 1939 and has been serving up delicious burgers ever since. In the 1970s, the "Mighty Fine Burgers" chain was established, which quickly became a local favorite for their classic, no-frills burgers. In recent years, Austin has seen a surge in gourmet burger restaurants, such as "Hopdoddy Burger Bar" and "P. Terry's Burger Stand," which offer unique and high-quality burger options. With so many delicious options to choose from, it's no wonder that burgers remain a beloved staple in Austin's food scene.
Top burger joints in Austin
First up, let's start with the top burger joints in Austin. These places have earned a reputation for serving up some of the best burgers in town:
- Hopdoddy Burger Bar
- P. Terry's Burger Stand
- Top Notch Hamburgers
- Shake Shack
- Hut's Hamburgers
Each of these burger joints has its own unique style and flavor, but they all have one thing in common: delicious, mouth-watering burgers that will leave you satisfied.
But Austin is not just about burgers. The city is also known for its vibrant music scene, with live music venues scattered throughout the city. From blues to country to rock, you can find it all in Austin. Some of the most popular music venues include the Continental Club, Antone's, and the Mohawk.
And if you're looking for something to do during the day, Austin has plenty of outdoor activities to offer. You can take a dip in Barton Springs Pool, hike the trails at Zilker Park, or rent a kayak and paddle down Lady Bird Lake. With its warm weather and beautiful scenery, Austin is the perfect place to get outside and explore.
The most popular burger chains in Austin
If you're looking for a more familiar burger experience, there are plenty of burger chains in Austin that you already know and love. Here are some of the most popular chains:
- In-N-Out Burger
- Five Guys Burgers and Fries
- Mighty Fine Burgers
These chains offer reliable and tasty burgers that are perfect for a quick and convenient meal.
However, if you're looking for a unique and local burger experience, there are also many Austin-based burger joints that are worth checking out. Some of the most popular local burger spots include Hopdoddy Burger Bar, P. Terry's Burger Stand, and Casino El Camino.
At Hopdoddy, you can enjoy a variety of creative burger options made with high-quality ingredients, such as the "Magic Shroom" burger with goat cheese and mushrooms. P. Terry's offers classic burgers and fries, as well as vegetarian and gluten-free options. And at Casino El Camino, you can try the famous "Hamburger with attitude" topped with chili, cheese, and onions.
No matter which burger chain or local spot you choose, Austin has plenty of delicious options to satisfy your burger cravings.
Best vegetarian burgers in Austin
For those who prefer a plant-based diet, there are many delicious vegetarian burgers to choose from in Austin. Here are some of the best:
- Arlo's Food Truck
- The Vegan Nom
- Better Half
- Bouldin Creek Cafe
These vegetarian burgers are every bit as delicious as their meaty counterparts, and they're a great option for those looking for a healthier or more environmentally friendly meal.
Arlo's Food Truck is a popular spot for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Their veggie burger is made with a black bean and quinoa patty, topped with avocado, vegan mayo, and all the classic burger fixings. The Vegan Nom offers a variety of plant-based burgers, including a BBQ jackfruit burger and a spicy chickpea burger.
Better Half is known for their creative take on classic dishes, and their veggie burger is no exception. Made with a beet and black bean patty, it's topped with feta cheese, pickled onions, and a spicy aioli. Bouldin Creek Cafe has been a staple in the Austin vegetarian scene for years, and their veggie burger is a must-try. Made with a house-made patty and served on a whole wheat bun, it's topped with avocado, sprouts, and chipotle mayo.
Best gourmet burgers in Austin
For those who are looking for a more upscale burger experience, there are plenty of gourmet burger joints in Austin that offer high-quality ingredients and unique flavor combinations. Here are some of the best:
- Clark's Oyster Bar
- Vista Brewing
- Fixe Southern House
These gourmet burgers are perfect for a special occasion or a romantic night out, and they're sure to impress even the most discerning burger connoisseur.
One of the standout features of these gourmet burger joints is their commitment to using locally sourced and sustainable ingredients. Many of the restaurants on this list partner with nearby farms and ranches to ensure that their burgers are made with the freshest and most ethically produced ingredients possible.
In addition to their delicious burgers, many of these restaurants also offer a wide selection of craft beers and cocktails to pair with your meal. Whether you're in the mood for a hoppy IPA or a refreshing gin and tonic, you're sure to find the perfect drink to complement your burger.
The best burger deals in Austin
If you're on a budget, don't worry – there are plenty of great burger deals to be had in Austin. Here are some of the best:
- P. Terry's Burger Stand: Double with Cheese Value Meal
- Pluckers Wing Bar: Simon Burger Monday
- Punch Bowl Social: Burger and Shot Night
These deals are a great way to get a delicious burger without breaking the bank.
But if you're looking for something a little more unique, there are also some specialty burger deals worth checking out. Hopdoddy Burger Bar offers a "Goodnight/Good Cause" burger on Monday nights, where $1 from each burger sold goes to a local charity. And at Casino El Camino, you can try the infamous Amarillo Burger – a half-pound patty topped with roasted serrano peppers, grilled onions, and jalapeno jack cheese.
Best burger happy hours in Austin
Looking to unwind with a burger and a drink after work? Check out these burger happy hours:
- Hopdoddy Burger Bar: Weekday Happy Hour
- The League Kitchen and Tavern: Burger and Beer Night
- Flying Saucer Draught Emporium: Burger Night
These happy hours are a great way to relax with friends and enjoy a delicious burger and a drink.
But if you're looking for something a little different, there are also some unique burger options available at other happy hours around town. For example, at the Black Sheep Lodge, you can try their famous "Big Ass Burger" during their weekday happy hour. And at the Jackalope South Shore location, you can enjoy their "Texan" burger with a side of tater tots during their daily happy hour.
Don't forget to also check out the drink specials at these happy hours. Many of them offer discounted beers, cocktails, and even milkshakes to pair perfectly with your burger. So next time you're in the mood for a tasty burger and a drink, head to one of these happy hours for a great time.
Most unique burger toppings in Austin
For those who like to experiment with their burgers, Austin has plenty of unique and creative toppings to try. Here are some of the most interesting:
- Hopdoddy Burger Bar: El Diablo Burger (pepper jack cheese, habanero salsa, and serrano peppers)
- Top Notch Hamburgers: Green Chile Cheeseburger (roasted green chiles and melted cheese)
- Wholly Cow Burgers: The Outlaw (bacon, cheddar, guacamole, and a fried egg)
These toppings may sound unconventional, but they add a delicious twist to the classic burger experience.
Best burgers for under $10 in Austin
If you're on a tight budget, there are plenty of great burgers to be had in Austin for under $10. Here are some of the best:
- Hill-Bert's Burgers: Regular Cheeseburger
- José's Café: Cheeseburger
- Whataburger: Original Whataburger
These burgers may be inexpensive, but they're still delicious and satisfying.
The best burger and beer pairings in Austin
For those who love to pair their burgers with a cold beer, Austin has plenty of great options. Here are some of the best beer and burger pairings:
- Hops and Grain: River Beer and Hopdoddy's Classic Burger
- Banger's: Real Ale's Fireman's #4 Blonde Ale and Banger's Housemade Brat Burger
- Black Star Co-Op: Black Star Co-Op's Vulcan Gas Company India Pale Ale and Black Star Burger
These pairings highlight the unique and complementary flavors of both beer and burgers.
Best late-night burgers in Austin
For those late-night burger cravings, Austin has plenty of options that stay open late. Here are some of the best:
- 24 Diner: Cheeseburger
- Whataburger: Whataburger Jr.
- P. Terry's Burger Stand: Single with Cheese
These burgers are perfect for satisfying those late-night hunger pangs.
The ultimate guide to building your own burger in Austin
If you're feeling creative, many burger joints in Austin offer the option to build your own burger. Here's how to do it:
- Choose your patty: beef, turkey, veggie, or even a chicken breast.
- Choose your bun: classic, brioche, pretzel, or gluten-free.
- Choose your cheese: cheddar, Swiss, pepper jack, or blue cheese.
- Add your toppings: lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, bacon, avocado, jalapenos, and more.
- Add your sauces: ketchup, mustard, mayo, barbecue, aioli, and more.
Building your own burger is a fun and tasty way to customize your meal to your liking.
Best burgers for delivery and takeout in Austin
For those who prefer to enjoy their burgers from the comfort of their own home, many Austin burger joints offer delivery and takeout options. Here are some of the best:
- P. Terry's Burger Stand
- The Frisco Shop
- Hopdoddy Burger Bar
- Black Sheep Lodge
These burgers are just as delicious when enjoyed at home.
Where to find the juiciest, meatiest burgers in Austin
Finally, if you're in the mood for a truly meaty burger, these places in Austin won't disappoint:
- LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue: Big Beef Rib Burger
- Brew and Brew: Brew Burger (bacon, cheddar, and brisket chili)
- Contigo Austin: Contigo Burger (beef, bacon, cheddar, and aioli)
- Mighty Fine Burgers: Double Meat Mighty Fine Burger
These burgers are sure to satisfy any meat lover's cravings.
Burger challenges and eating contests to try in Austin
For the truly adventurous burger lovers out there, Austin has some burger challenges and eating contests to put your skills to the test. Here are some of the most challenging:
- The Tower Challenge at Mighty Fine Burgers
- The Ghostland Observatory Burger Challenge at Hut's Hamburgers
- The Challenge Burger at Cow Tipping Creamery
These challenges are not for the faint of heart, but they're sure to provide some fun and excitement for those willing to take them on.
The best gluten-free and vegan burgers in Austin
Finally, for those with dietary restrictions, here are some of the best gluten-free and vegan burgers in Austin:
- Austin Daily Press: Vegan Chorizo Burger
- Amy's Ice Creams and Burgers: Gluten-Free Burger
- P. Terry's Burger Stand: Vegetarian or Gluten-Free Veggie Burger
These vegan and gluten-free burgers offer delicious and satisfying alternatives to traditional meat-based burgers.
That's the ultimate guide to the best burger spots in Austin, from classic to gourmet, from meaty to vegan. No matter what your taste buds are craving, Austin has something to offer. So go ahead, sink your teeth into one of these delicious burgers – you won't be disappointed.