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17 Essential Houston Burger Joints

Where to find the city’s juiciest patties

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The holy union of cheese, meat and bun is prepared in multiple, equally divine forms around Clutch City — from prized old school institutions to newly opened favorites, Houston’s burger game is unparalleled.

But where does one find Houston’s best burgers? Because there are literally hundreds of quality burger joints to choose from, use this map as a guide to the city’s top spots, ranging from old-school favorites to hip new haunts that should definitely be on any burger enthusiast’s radar. At the very least, meat enthusiasts can now finally stop wading aimlessly through Houston’s cheesy, meaty burger scene.

Is your favorite burger joint missing from this map? Make your case in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Hubcap Grill - Houston Heights

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The pure and simple methodology of thick glossy burger bun, juicy handmade double meat and double cheese creates the Hubcap Decker, ideal for the pickiest, no-fuss eaters. If that’s too plain, consider topping it with a dazzling array of accoutrements, ranging from fried eggs to grilled mushrooms. Pair with “Hell Fries” a creation of jalapeños and spicy mayo sauce that will set both the heart and mouth and heart ablaze.

Hubcap Grill Houston

BuffBurger

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This spot is really serious about keeping it local. Buffburger serves 44 Farms beef on Slow Dough buns. Unique toppings include piquillo pesto and the sticky sweet bourbon onion jam. Try the truffle fries sprinkled with parmesan and dipped in aioli. Gluten-free options, lettuce wraps (in the buff), and vegetarian corn fritter patties offer something for everyone.

Christian's Tailgate Bar & Grill

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Top the perfectly thin patties at Christian’s Tailgate with oozing fried egg, American cheese, mushrooms, chili, avocado, thin crispy bacon, jalapeños, and more. Pick from a hearty list of options and add a side of classic crispy fries or onion rings for greasy burger perfection.

Christian’s Tailgate Bar & Grill/Facebook

FM Kitchen and Bar

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Now officially home at FM Kitchen, Chef Ryan Hildebrand’s famed FM Burger can finally be eaten on a daily basis. Good quality toppings, “special sauce” and a perfect patty add up to one of Houston’s most substantial burger offerings.

FM Burger Houston FM Burger

Stanton's City Bites

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Old school since 1961, Stanton’s serves up an impressive array of thirteen burgers ranging from “The Cowboy Brunch” (fried egg, grilled onions, bacon, house fried pickles, Swiss and American cheese on Texas toast) to “Spicy Chipotle” (chipotle butter, jalapeño jack cheese, grilled onions, bacon, chipotle mayo on a jalapeño bun). Each burger is made from a half pound of fatty, smoky deliciousness and topped with house made condiments.

Backstreet Cafe

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Not known primarily for their burgers, Backstreet Cafe offers a top contender named the “Hugo’s Burger”, made from a winning combination of chipotle aioli, avocado, lettuce, tomato, chiles toreados and chihuahua cheese. Dig in with a Nutella iced coffee and a view of the scenic garden to round out the perfect lunch experience.

Lankford's Grocery & Market

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When a burger sticks around for more than 70 years, it’s definitely a winner. Order up a classic Old Fashion burger at this Montrose favorite, or try Lankford’s most outlandish offering, the Grim burger. Topped with mac & cheese, bacon, jalapenos, and a fried egg, a nap is definitely required after taking this monster to the face. Note: bring cash.

Mario G./Yelp

Rodeo Goat

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DFW-based Rodeo Goat has arrived. Now, Houstonians can enjoy juicy hand-formed patties, heaping piles of cheese fries, and delectable brie-filled goat balls dipped in blackberry compote. Top your burger with brisket chili, candied bacon, grilled peaches, habanero cheddar, or pickle chutney. Add a Steaming Pile of cheesy tots, bacon, and a runny egg to complete your food coma.

Flip 'n Patties

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This former food truck is now slinging its Akaushi beef patties in a permanent location, and they pair perfectly with the Flip ‘n Fries: double cooked for an extra crunch and loaded with melty cheese, spicy sauce, aioli, and the choice of ground beef, pecan smoked pork butt, chicken, or longanisa sausage.

The Burger Joint

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This Montrose institution (with another location on the way) uses fresh Angus beef. For a taste of the world, try the Mexi, Kimchi, or Opa lamb burger. Or, keep it local with the Smoke Stack piled with pulled pork, mac, and slaw. Don’t forget a side of hand-cut fries smothered in creamy queso.

Two hands holding a burger with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and pickles. The Burger Joint/Facebook

Hopdoddy Burger Bar

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With daily ground beef, fresh baked breads, hand-cut fries, and scratch made sauces, Hopdoddy Burger Bar doesn’t cut corners. Aside from beef, Hopdoddy offers bison, lamb, turkey, tuna, and two vegetarian patties, one of which is the bleeding, vegan Impossible Burger. Go during happy hour for a cocktail or boozy milkshake.

Hopdoddy/Facebook

Kenny & Ziggy's New York Delicatessen

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The Jewish delicatessen’s “In Queso Emergency” has scored big points with Houstonians. Swimming in a sea of fries and side of cold coleslaw, you’ll find a monstrous burger worth every cent of the $18 it costs. They start with light, glossy challah buns spread with chipotle mayonnaise, topped with a lethal combination of meat, bacon, pepper jack cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato, and fried onion strings.

Shake Shack - Houston Galleria

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East coast import Shake Shack uses all natural beef and non-GMO potato rolls. The fried ‘shroom burger is perfect for vegetarians, and non-burger options include all natural chicken sandwiches and hot dogs that recall the company’s origin as a roadside cart. Pair you meal with a frozen custard, crisp crinkle-cut fries, and a doggy biscuit for four-legged friends in tow.

Ellie Sharp

Elevation Burger Kirby

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A burger chain for serious eco-obsessives, the beef served at Elevation is organic, grass fed, and free range. Non-carnivores can choose between a vegetarian or a vegan burger. Feeling adventurous? Try the Vertigo Burger, a mountain of up to 10 stacked patties.

Bubba's Texas Burger Shack

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This divey gem lives up to its iconic reputation as having some of the best buffalo burgers in the Lone Star state. Crowds flock to polish off the “Vegas Burger” topped with BJ’s signature habanero hot sauce, bacon, avocado, Monterey Jack cheese, and a fried egg served over the juicy intensely meaty buffalo patty. Toss in a side of creamy jalapeño potato salad for the best meal you’ve ever eaten in a shack.

Bernie's Burger Bus

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Bernie’s burgers blend fresh angus brisket and chuck for fatty flavor perfection. Vegetarians can sub a handmade falafel patty. Check out The Fire Drill or the Homeroom, a burger topped with tipsy onions, chipotle aioli, and a fried egg. Head back to the cafeteria with the Lunch Lady Fries or sweet potato tots.

Killen's Burgers

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Here, an expertly-blended duo of brisket and chuck produce a patty that can only be described as ridiculously delicious, and the addition of fresh toppings and a buttery bun only adds to the magic. Pair with crinkle fries or onion rings and enjoy burger nirvana.

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Hubcap Grill - Houston Heights

Hubcap Grill Houston

The pure and simple methodology of thick glossy burger bun, juicy handmade double meat and double cheese creates the Hubcap Decker, ideal for the pickiest, no-fuss eaters. If that’s too plain, consider topping it with a dazzling array of accoutrements, ranging from fried eggs to grilled mushrooms. Pair with “Hell Fries” a creation of jalapeños and spicy mayo sauce that will set both the heart and mouth and heart ablaze.

Hubcap Grill Houston

BuffBurger

This spot is really serious about keeping it local. Buffburger serves 44 Farms beef on Slow Dough buns. Unique toppings include piquillo pesto and the sticky sweet bourbon onion jam. Try the truffle fries sprinkled with parmesan and dipped in aioli. Gluten-free options, lettuce wraps (in the buff), and vegetarian corn fritter patties offer something for everyone.

Christian's Tailgate Bar & Grill

Christian’s Tailgate Bar & Grill/Facebook

Top the perfectly thin patties at Christian’s Tailgate with oozing fried egg, American cheese, mushrooms, chili, avocado, thin crispy bacon, jalapeños, and more. Pick from a hearty list of options and add a side of classic crispy fries or onion rings for greasy burger perfection.

Christian’s Tailgate Bar & Grill/Facebook

FM Kitchen and Bar

FM Burger Houston FM Burger

Now officially home at FM Kitchen, Chef Ryan Hildebrand’s famed FM Burger can finally be eaten on a daily basis. Good quality toppings, “special sauce” and a perfect patty add up to one of Houston’s most substantial burger offerings.

FM Burger Houston FM Burger

Stanton's City Bites

Old school since 1961, Stanton’s serves up an impressive array of thirteen burgers ranging from “The Cowboy Brunch” (fried egg, grilled onions, bacon, house fried pickles, Swiss and American cheese on Texas toast) to “Spicy Chipotle” (chipotle butter, jalapeño jack cheese, grilled onions, bacon, chipotle mayo on a jalapeño bun). Each burger is made from a half pound of fatty, smoky deliciousness and topped with house made condiments.

Backstreet Cafe

Not known primarily for their burgers, Backstreet Cafe offers a top contender named the “Hugo’s Burger”, made from a winning combination of chipotle aioli, avocado, lettuce, tomato, chiles toreados and chihuahua cheese. Dig in with a Nutella iced coffee and a view of the scenic garden to round out the perfect lunch experience.

Lankford's Grocery & Market

Mario G./Yelp

When a burger sticks around for more than 70 years, it’s definitely a winner. Order up a classic Old Fashion burger at this Montrose favorite, or try Lankford’s most outlandish offering, the Grim burger. Topped with mac & cheese, bacon, jalapenos, and a fried egg, a nap is definitely required after taking this monster to the face. Note: bring cash.

Mario G./Yelp

Rodeo Goat

DFW-based Rodeo Goat has arrived. Now, Houstonians can enjoy juicy hand-formed patties, heaping piles of cheese fries, and delectable brie-filled goat balls dipped in blackberry compote. Top your burger with brisket chili, candied bacon, grilled peaches, habanero cheddar, or pickle chutney. Add a Steaming Pile of cheesy tots, bacon, and a runny egg to complete your food coma.

Flip 'n Patties

This former food truck is now slinging its Akaushi beef patties in a permanent location, and they pair perfectly with the Flip ‘n Fries: double cooked for an extra crunch and loaded with melty cheese, spicy sauce, aioli, and the choice of ground beef, pecan smoked pork butt, chicken, or longanisa sausage.

The Burger Joint

Two hands holding a burger with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and pickles. The Burger Joint/Facebook

This Montrose institution (with another location on the way) uses fresh Angus beef. For a taste of the world, try the Mexi, Kimchi, or Opa lamb burger. Or, keep it local with the Smoke Stack piled with pulled pork, mac, and slaw. Don’t forget a side of hand-cut fries smothered in creamy queso.

Two hands holding a burger with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and pickles. The Burger Joint/Facebook

Hopdoddy Burger Bar

Hopdoddy/Facebook

With daily ground beef, fresh baked breads, hand-cut fries, and scratch made sauces, Hopdoddy Burger Bar doesn’t cut corners. Aside from beef, Hopdoddy offers bison, lamb, turkey, tuna, and two vegetarian patties, one of which is the bleeding, vegan Impossible Burger. Go during happy hour for a cocktail or boozy milkshake.

Hopdoddy/Facebook

Kenny & Ziggy's New York Delicatessen