Though there are hundreds, if not thousands, of places to grab a decent burger in the Lone Star State, few compare to the inexplicable deliciousness that can be found in Houston. From old-school crowd favorites that have practically become institutions to relatively new establishments swiftly making a name for themselves, the burger scene is alive and well in the heart of this Texan city. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
If you're looking for the best Texas pub food in Houston, a full bar, and over 40+ beer options on tap, you ought to make a beeline for Cottonwood. While the entire menu is extensive and filled with hearty options that will leave your taste buds singing, it's the undeniable call of The Squirrel Master Burger that brings many a burger lover to Cottonwood's doors.
The Squirrel Master Burger features a poblano-stuffed beef patty, sumptuous pepper jack cheese, bacon, and the pièce de résistance: a jalapeño fried egg. Another burger on the Cottonwood menu worth mentioning is the Bleu Cheese Stuffed Burger, which is served with bacon jam, lettuce, and delightfully crispy shoestring onion fries. Make sure to order the house-cut fries with chipotle aioli to devour alongside your choice of burger.
3422 N. Shepherd Drive, Houston, TX 77018, Phone: 713-802-0410
© Backstreet Cafe
The Backstreet Café started 30 years ago as the local watering hole, but has now evolved into a chef-driven dining institution with a focus on seasonal American cuisine. Although it's not the first place that comes to mind for burgers, this popular café offers one of the best burgers in town - Hugo's Burger.
Created by their award-winning executive chef, Hugo Ortega, Hugo's Burger is an elegant combination of avocado, tomato, lettuce, chiles toreados, Chihuahua cheese, and chipotle aioli atop a gorgeous burger and delicious bun. Served with a side of house-made fries, the only other thing you need is an order of their Nutella iced coffee and a seat with a view of the café's garden for a truly memorable meal.
1103 S. Shepherd Drive, Houston, TX 77019, Phone: 713-521-2239
3.Revelry on Richmond
© Revelry on Richmond
An upscale sports bar and local watering hole in Houston’s Montrose neighborhood, Revelry on Richmond has everything sports fans and beer enthusiasts expect: Wall-to-wall flat-screen TVs, 40 mostly local craft beers rotating on tap, and a nook with the latest electronic game machines. And let’s not forget the food! The elevated pub grub menu features dishes such as poutine, nachos with Saint Arnold beer-braised short ribs, french fries with creamy cilantro, queso and avocado puree, the Big Kidz grilled cheese sandwich lightly battered and served with tomato basil soup, or a boneless chicken breast burger. It is noisy and fun, and on nice days you can bring the whole game outside onto the spacious patio.
1613 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX 77006, Phone: 832-538-0724
4.The Burger Joint
© The Burger Joint
With several awards and tons of recognition under its belt, there's no arguing that the Burger Joint offers some of Houston's favorite burgers. Every burger is hand-crafted and made completely from free-range Angus beef and nothing is left to chance when it comes to the freshness and flavor of each topping added.
The all-time favorite burger at the Burger Joint is simply referred to as The Classic. However, diners who want to sink their teeth into something different can try creations like The Opa or The Mexi. In addition to the dine-in joint, the Burger Joint also has a food truck that roams the streets with mouth-watering burgers for every occasion.
2703 Montrose Boulevard, Houston, TX 77006, Phone: 281-974-2889
A relatively new player to the burger scene in Houston, BuffBurger has quickly become the talk of the town thanks to its new and exciting take on the good old American burger. Owned and operated by the husband-and-wife team of Paul "Buff" and Sara Burden, BuffBurger puts a premium on local, natural, and sustainable produce in their burgers. Partnering with 44 Farms, among other local establishments, means consistent quality and top-of-the-line burgers.
All burgers are cooked to medium and feature a 1/3-pound beef patty with gluten-free buns available upon request. Some burger creations to choose from include the Truffle Burger, which features truffle cheese, melted onions, truffled frisee, and truffle aioli, as well as the Texan, a combination of crispy onions, hand-cut bacon, cheddar, house pickles, and bourbon BBQ sauce.
1014 Wirt Road, Houston, TX, Phone: 281-501-9773
© Kuma Burgers
Don't let their food court location fool you, Kuma Burgers packs a mean umami-filled punch when it comes to burgers. The goal of Chef Willet, the man at the helm of Kuma Burgers, is to prove that food-court food can be high-quality, creative, and absolutely delicious. To say that he's accomplishing this feat is understating it, as his hand-formed 5-ounce burger patties are making a splash at Houston's Greenway Plaza.
What makes Kuma's burgers so special is that they are made completely out of ground chuck and will never see the inside of a freezer. All burgers are made and cooked fresh and are then topped with specialty sauces made in-house, like their sambal mayo, chunky guacamole, barbecue sauce, and scallion aioli.
3 Greenway Plaza Ste C220, Concourse Level, Food Hub, Houston, TX 77046, Phone: 832-542-3528
7.Bubba's Texas Burger Shack
© Bubba's Texas Burger Shack
Family owned and operated since 1985, Bubba's Texas Burger Shack has strong ties to the local community and really knows what it means to deliver outstanding customer service. This burger shack, once an ice house off of the freeway, also lives up to its reputation of having the best buffalo burgers in the state. In fact, they're the first burger joint to even serve the burger in the city and have been offering it on their menu since the '80s.
What draws people to Bubba's is the iconic Vegas Burger, which features an intensely meaty buffalo patty. The patty is then topped with an explosive combination of bacon, avocado, Monterey Jack, the shack's signature habanero hot sauce, and a fried egg. As if the burger wasn't packing enough heat and flavor, diners can opt for a side of creamy jalapeño potato salad too.
5230 Westpark Drive, Houston, TX 77056, Phone: 713-661-1622
8.Christian's Tailgate Bar & Grill
© Christian's Tailgate Bar & Grill
With four locations throughout the city, there's no doubt that Christian's Tailgate Bar & Grill has a menu to die for. From hot wings and tacos to wraps and sandwiches, there's a little something for everybody at this joint. However, what really draws the hordes of hungry patrons to Christian's is their selection of award-winning burgers.
There are six burger options available at Christian's Tailgate, including crowd pleasers like the Chili Burger, the Bacon Bacon Burger, and the Country Fried Bacon Burger. For the picky connoisseur, the option to build your own burger is there as well, with extra toppings like thick peppered bacon, fried eggs, grilled onions, and an assortment of cheese available. Diners can also choose between a 1/3-pound, ½-pound, and 1-pound burger patty.
2000 Bagby Street, Houston, TX 77002, Phone: 713-527-0261
9.Elevation Burger Kirby
© Elevation Burger Kirby
Beyond satisfying your tummy, Elevation Burger in Kirby also aims to satisfy your conscience by serving up 100% organic, grass-fed, free-range beef burgers. Seeking to elevate the standards of burger joints around the globe, Elevation Burger also cooks their french fries in heart-healthy Bertolli olive oil to deliver meals that are above and beyond good.
With an extensive menu, Elevation Burger also offers chicken, veggie, and vegan burgers in addition to their grass-fed beef burgers alongside toppings like caramelized onions, organic bacon, hot pepper relish, and more. For the health-conscious, the restaurant also provides calorie counts alongside each menu item.
3819 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX 77098, Phone: 713-524-2909
10.Hubcap Grill & Beer Yard
© Hubcap Grill & Beer Yard
Situated in Houston Heights, Hubcap Grill is a local favorite to grab an ice-cold beer, hang out, and devour outstanding burgers. The large patio and picnic table-style of dining makes for a welcoming environment as well, while the in-house entertainment includes a ping pong table, a bean bag toss area, and a horseshoe pit for competitive diners.
On the foodie side of things, the Hubcap Decker is the king of the menu, with its irresistibly juicy double meat and double cheese stack. Toppings of this thick and glossy burger can include fried eggs, grilled mushrooms, and whatever other accoutrements you could ever desire. For the ultimate Hubcap experience, pair your burgers with the Hell Fries - a combination of crispy thick fries, spicy mayo sauce, and jalapeños.
1133 West 19th Street, Houston, TX 77008, Phone: 713-862-0555
11.Kenny & Ziggy's Deli
© Kenny & Ziggy's Deli
What does a New York-style Jewish delicatessen know about a decent burger? A lot, apparently, because Kenny & Ziggy's Deli has won the hearts of many Houstonians with their monster of a burger, dubbed the "In Queso Emergency." The deli does everything on their menu the old-fashioned way and their burgers are certainly no different.
The "In Queso Emergency" burger starts with a classic beef patty cooked to perfection on the grill. A light and glossy challah bun is then cut and given a generous slather of chipotle mayonnaise before assembly begins. The burger is then topped with a heart-stopping combination of bacon, pepper jack, tomato, lettuce, avocado, and fried onion strings. Voila! A burger done right.
2327 Post Oak Boulevard, Houston, TX 77056, Phone: 713-871-8883
12.Little Bitty Burger Barn
© Little Bitty Burger Barn
Don't let this restaurant's name fool you. Little Bitty Burger Barn is one of the best places to grab a burger in Houston and the locals will be the first to agree. The Burger Barn features an all-American grill menu with 100% beef gourmet burgers as the star of the show. Fresh and never frozen, the deliciously beefy patties of Little Bitty Burger Barn have been voted the best in Houston by loyal customers.
The famous menu of Little Bitty Burger Barn includes classics like the Basic Burger, a cheeseburger, and a bacon burger, plus topping-loaded creations like the Red, Hot and Blue Burger, the BLK Blue Cheese, the Greek Burger, and the Texican Burger. This place is so good it's like getting a high five for your mouth.
5503 Pinemont Drive, Houston, TX 77092, Phone: 713-683-6700
© Pappas Burger
Excellent burgers and excellent staff is the name of the game at Pappas Burger, a classic 1950s style diner dedicated to serving fresh and flavorful ingredients. More than your typical burger joint, Pappas Burger has been serving huge Texan-sized burgers with fresh toppings to an adoring public since 2001. Their staples are tried and true diner delights while the burgers are made from a special blend of prime beef and chuck for an unbeatably delicious combination.
Best sellers include the Pappas Burger and the cheeseburger, while other equally interesting options include the Peppercorn Ranch Burger, the Lucy Juicy Burger and, for those trying to avoid beef, a turkey mushroom burger and a grilled salmon burger. Pappas Burger also offers a veggie burger for all you vegetarians out there.
5815 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX 77057, Phone: 713-975-6082
14.Stanton's City Bites
© Stanton's City Bites
To put it simply, Stanton's is a Houston classic. Opened in the 1960's, Stanton's was originally a grocery store before becoming one of Houston's top eateries. It's history as a grocery can still be very much seen in the look and feel of the restaurant plus in the boxes of Blow Pops and M&Ms that still sit at the counter. Now, Stanton's City Bites has received praise from some of the pickiest burger eaters with its impressive array of burgers.
From the 13 burger variations on the menu, the Cowboy Brunch and the Spicy Chipotle have done nothing short of stealing the limelight. The Cowboy Brunch features a fried egg, grilled onions, house-fried pickles, bacon, and Swiss and American cheese all between Texas toast. Meanwhile, the Spicy Chipotle includes toppings like jalapeño jack cheese, bacon, grilled onions, chipotle mayo, and butter on a jalapeño bun.
1420 Edwards Street, Houston, TX 77007, Phone: 713-227-4893
15.The Hay Merchant
© The Hay Merchant
In a story that made headlines all over Houston, The Hay Merchant was once famous for having been served a cease and desist letter by In-N-Out for serving the UB Double. It didn't take The Hay Merchant long to bounce back as they cleverly renamed it the "Cease and Desist Burger," much to the amusement of Houstonians.
Now, the Cease and Desist Burger has caused foodies from far and wide to flock to The Hay Merchant, and with good reason. The burger features a symphony of flavors, including gooey cheese, house-made pickles, and a farm-fresh beef patty with juicy meat ground by The Hay Merchant's in-house butcher.
1100 Westheimer, Houston, TX 77006, Phone: 713-523-9805
16.Cliff's Old Fashioned Hamburgers
© Cliff's Old Fashioned Hamburgers
A go-to place for burgers in the neighborhood, Cliff's Old Fashioned Hamburgers is a crowd favorite thanks to its homey atmosphere and no nonsense approach to food. Patrons can choose between dining in or ordering ahead of time online to pick up the mouth-watering meals that Cliff's has come to be known for.
Favorites at Cliff's include a Kobe beef burger served with the perfect balance of lettuce and American cheese, a bacon cheese burger, and a mushroom swiss burger. While the burgers are, of course, the main draw of the restaurant, Cliff's also has a great selection of tacos and sandwiches to choose from.
1822 Fountain View Drive, Houston, TX 77057, Phone: 713-780-4010
© Cue's Burgers
The epitome of a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, Cue's is unassuming and no-frills with a casual and comfortable atmosphere. It's the perfect place to grab a quick bite to eat or to hang out with buddies with voracious appetites, thanks to their generous portions and reasonable prices. The owners are also very friendly and are eager to help you out with some meal recommendations if the locals don't beat them to it.
While the breakfast menu is more extensive than the burger menu, diners shouldn't miss out on the ½-pound burgers that their regulars know and love. Handmade and cooked to perfection, the burgers have just the right amount of grease. Some local favorites include the avocado bacon burger and the bacon cheeseburger. Tater tots are also a popular side but the crinkle fries are just as good too.
10423 South Post Oak Road, Houston, TX, Phone: 713-726-0313
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© Killen's Burgers
Despite having just opened in 2016, Killen's Burgers is already starting to see long lines forming at its doors. Killen's Burgers features an expertly blended duo of brisket and chuck to produce a patty that is so good just one bite will have you addicted. Owner Ronnie Killen attributes the great taste of their beef patties to the fact that they are 100% all-natural Angus beef. That means no hormones and no antibiotics, ever.
Of the 11 mouthwatering burgers that Killen's has to offer, standout options include the Akaushi Burger, the Texas Burger, and a bacon burger. Diners with voracious appetites, however, should try the #99 out for size. Featuring two 10-ounce patties, the #99 is a massive burger topped with Nueske's bacon and delicious Wisconsin yellow cheddar.
2804 S. Main Street, Pearland, TX 77581, Phone: 281-412-4922
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© Sam's Burgers
Owned and operated by the husband-and-wife duo of Sam and Priscilla Crosser, Sam's Burgers is a homey and old-fashioned burger joint with an honest-to-goodness love for fresh, homemade food. It is that honest passion for food that has made them one of the favorite spots in town for a burger with a great bun, a handmade patty, perfect seasoning, and just the right cook.
Visitors can take their pick between a Certified Angus Beef® burger with a 6-ounce patty, a buffalo burger, spicy turkey burger, veggie burger, and chili cheese burger. Each offering comes with lettuce, onion, tomato, pickles, mayo, and mustard for toppings. The hand-cut hand-battered fries are also a thing of beauty and make a great side to Sam's fantastic burgers.
1017 Dairy Ashford, Houston, TX, Phone: 281-496-4052
20.Southwell's Hamburger Grill
© Southwell's Hamburger Grill
Made for locals by locals, Southwell's Hamburger Grill has brought fresh food and quality service to Houstonians since 1986. Following the mantra of "treat customers like family," Southwell's puts a premium on quality service and has consistently delivered a satisfying dining experience since they first opened.
From classics like the Old-Fashioned Hamburger and the double cheeseburger to more contemporary offerings like an onion patty melt and the Hickory Burger, Southwell's has a little something for every kind of diner to enjoy. One of the tried-and-tested favorites of this burger joint is their chili burger, which has classic toppings like mayo, mustard, pickles, tomatoes, and onions in addition to Southwell's famous chili and cheddar cheese.
5860 San Felipe, Houston, TX, Phone: 713-789-4972
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20 Best Burgers in Houston, Texas
- Cottonwood, Photo: Cottonwood
- Backstreet Cafe, Photo: Backstreet Cafe
- Revelry on Richmond, Photo: Revelry on Richmond
- The Burger Joint, Photo: The Burger Joint
- BuffBurger, Photo: BuffBurger
- Kuma Burgers, Photo: Kuma Burgers
- Bubba's Texas Burger Shack, Photo: Bubba's Texas Burger Shack
- Christian's Tailgate Bar & Grill, Photo: Christian's Tailgate Bar & Grill
- Elevation Burger Kirby, Photo: Elevation Burger Kirby
- Hubcap Grill & Beer Yard, Photo: Hubcap Grill & Beer Yard
- Kenny & Ziggy's Deli, Photo: Kenny & Ziggy's Deli
- Little Bitty Burger Barn, Photo: Little Bitty Burger Barn
- Pappas Burger, Photo: Pappas Burger
- Stanton's City Bites, Photo: Stanton's City Bites
- The Hay Merchant, Photo: The Hay Merchant
- Cliff's Old Fashioned Hamburgers, Photo: Cliff's Old Fashioned Hamburgers
- Cue's Burgers, Photo: Cue's Burgers
- Killen's Burgers, Photo: Killen's Burgers
- Sam's Burgers, Photo: Sam's Burgers
- Southwell's Hamburger Grill, Photo: Southwell's Hamburger Grill
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of arska n - Fotolia.com