With Austin quickly becoming known as one of the country's biggest foodie destinations, we're seeing a major shift in dining trends. From the farm-to-table movement to molecular gastronomy, it's hard to keep up with all the latest innovations.
One staple that never fails to disappoint is a trusty, dependable hamburger. From classic fast food takes to health-conscious vegan options, the burger is as versatile as any other dish. Check out our collection of the best burgers in Austin.
Our favorite drive-thru burger is the good ole Texas classic, Whataburger. The first Whataburger location opened in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1950, selling burgers for 25 cents apiece. While you won't find burgers for 25 cents these days, you still get great bang for your buck, so come hungry. Available for a limited time, the Avocado Bacon Burger is one of our favorites. A pure beef patty topped with fresh avocado, crispy bacon, onions, tomatoes, American cheese, and a creamy pepper sauce served between two slices of Texas Toast, this burger is worth writing home about.
Nothing says "American classic" like a diner in a bowling alley. It's not fancy, but Lebowski's Grill is an Austin hidden treasure, tucked away inside Highland Lanes bowling alley on Burnet Road and Research Boulevard. Lebowski's Grill delivers when it comes to greasy, delicious comfort food. The Dude burger is complete with a half pound beef patty, a fluffy roll from Lil Mama's bakery, and all the classic toppings (including pickles of course). When it comes to a no-frills burger, you can't go wrong with The Dude. But that's just, like, our opinion, man.
Honorable mention: Mighty Fine Burgers (The Classic with Cheese), P. Terry's Burger Stand (Double with Cheese)
Just because you're eating burgers doesn't mean you can't eat gourmet. Hopdoddy is an Austin staple, serving craft beer, specialty cocktails, and spiked milkshakes. They have one location in SoCo and another on Anderson Lane. Hopdoddy was one of the first Austin establishments to join the locally sourced food movement, and they've also hopped on the gluten-free train, serving gluten-free buns. The Primetime burger lives up to its name. It's made with Texas Akaushi beef, topped with Brie, caramelized onions, steak sauce, and truffle aioli. It's as decadent as it is delicious. Be prepared to wait, but it's worth it.
Not to be confused with Hopdoddy, Hopfields is a French-inspired gastropub with a charming feel and gorgeous decor. In addition to great food, they're also known for a great selection of craft beers. While their menu is filled with French staples like ratatouille, moules frites, and foie gras Torchon, their Pascal Burger is as equally influenced by French cuisine. Topped with creamy camembert cheese, tangy cornichon pickles, sharp whole-grain mustard, delicate caramelized onions, and served on a soft and delicious bun from the Slow Dough Bread Company, this burger will have your mouth watering. Bon appétit.
Honorable mention: Odd Duck (Grilled cheese pimiento burger), Second Bar + Kitchen (Congress Burger)
When it comes to eating vegan and vegetarian, sometimes you want a burger that simulates the real thing, and other times you want something totally off-the-wall. Bouldin Creek Cafe delivers just that. Their secret recipe, award-winning veggie burger, appropriately named "Veggie Royale", strives for innovation instead of imitation. Packed with grains, peanut butter, and a medley of spices, the Veggie Royale achieves the heartiness of a burger without striving for that meaty taste. You have the choice of topping your burger with BBQ sauce, chipotle-pecan pesto, or a basil oili, so we certainly recommend visiting three separate times.
On the other hand, the Bac'n Cheeze Burger from Arlo's food truck brings a full meaty flavor that you wouldn't expect from a vegan burger. Made with a soy and gluten-free patty, topped with homemade seitan "bac'n" and melted "cheeze", mayo, ketchup, mustard, tomatoes, onions, pickles, lettuce, the Arlo's vegan burger is almost indistinguishable from the real thing. Their food trucks set up outside Cheer Up Charlie's and Spider House in Central Austin 7 days a week.
Honorable mention: Hopdoddy Burger Bar (La Bandida), Mother's Cafe & Garden (Bueno Burger)