The quest for the perfect burger is never ending. Meat/cheese/bread ratio is huge component as is the age old debate of mayo vs. mustard. In the last issue of Texas Monthly, the magazine attempted to count down Texas’ fifty best hamburgers. While their goal was admirable they tend to prefer a burger of the gourmet variety and in turn picked the bacon burger from Beck’s Prime as their number one burger in Houston. While I will admit this is a delicious burger, I wouldn’t say it’s the best in town. I understand there is a time and place for a fancy-pants blue cheese and bacon or avocado burger, but I feel Texas and more specifically Houston has more to offer than burgers of the frou-frou variety. A good, simple, home town burger is hard to beat and luckily for you and me, Houston has its fair share of mom and pop joints that have been serving up juicy patties for hungry crowds for years on end. Therefore I would like to devote this month’s blurb to what I consider great indoor air quality, the smell of a grilling burger. This is not a countdown nor is it a face off. I did not seriously scrutinize each meal to maintain scientific integrity. This is purely a list of places that I think have some of the best burgers in town.
Mike’s Restaurant & Ice House: 8746 Lipan Rd, Houston, TX 77063 A great pit stop if you’re stuck in brutal Houston rush hour. Not at the original location but with the original grill, Mike’s serves up burgers that are thicker than most. This tall sloppy burger is made better by the fact that they are open until 10pm everyday.
Lankford Grocery: 88 Dennis St, Houston, Texas 77006 Located in a lopsided building in the Montrose that started as a grocery store in the 1940’s, Lankford started serving up burgers in 1977. These burgers have a great ooze factor and the price to size ratio can’t be beat. Some old timers seem to think quality has gone down in recent years but my experiences have been favorable.
Christian’s Totem: 7340 Washington Ave, Houston, Texas 77007
Staff is not always the friendliest but the burgers are always fantastic. A second location opened in midtown but it is definitely not the same (they have karaoke for heaven’s sake!). Lot’s of seating and a spacious deck make this a great place for a group or families. This is a good ol’ burger shack, with a good greasy burger that will have you reaching for extra napkins. Consistently named the best burger in town.
Guys Meat Market: 3106 Old Spanish Trail, Houston, TX 77054Guy’s is great because you can get your burger and BBQ fix in the same bite. A real meat market that doesn’t offer in house (or outside) seating, but offers unique burgers that are smoked along with the links makes them one of a kind. Get there early though because they only make a certain number each day and when they’re out they’re out.
Bellaire Broiler Burger: 5216 Bellaire Blvd, Bellaire, TX 77401 Basically it’s the BBQ Inn of burger joints, not due to the taste but the décor. Walking into this dark wood and brink paneled tiny building it’s easy to forget you’re in the fourth largest city in America in the 21st century. BBB has their system down resulting in perfectly executed, no frills burgers that really hit the spot.
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