by Margaret Williams
Photographs by Kathleen Pieratt
I love a good burger. Always with mustard, pickles and cheese and sometimes wrapped in lettuce (#adulting). There are many ways, high and low, to serve up a great burger, and thankfully many in Austin are knocking their patty offerings out of the park. Since no time of year screams grilled sirloin more than summertime, we are taking the opportunity to anoint our favorites. I present you with Tribeza’s highly unscientific roundup of Austin’s best burgers.
We had to bend our knees for this one thanks to its three-quarters of a pound of chargrilled Angus beef and bacon. The East Sixth Street bar has devoted regulars, due to its great food, old-school vibes and owner, Paul “Casino” Eighmey. One even pulled us aside to proclaim, “I think it’s the best damn burger in the United States.”
A friend of the magazine told us about this one and, man, are we glad she did. With tomato jam, a fried egg and Chinese barbecue sauce, this burger is what salty-sweet dreams are made of. Pro tip: As you take your first bite, let the egg yolk drizzle over your Parmesan fries.
Where my parents at? Hat Creek’s double-patty cheeseburger layered with tomato, thick-cut pickles, crunchy red onion, iceberg lettuce and mustard is just the right size to hold in one hand while wrangling your child with the other. Not an insignificant factor, as the burger joint, founded by Drew Gressett in 2008, is a family favorite.
Ritchie Valens Burger
How to choose? When in doubt follow the jalapeños and guacamole — and Texas-raised beef, grated cheddar, chopped tomato, onion and mustard. Since 1939, the classic restaurant, with its iconic neon sign, has been holding its own, and nostalgia aside, the burgers are still spot-on. You have until October to enjoy this one as co-owner Mike Hutchinson recently announced Hut’s upcoming closure.
The Loyal Forever
There McGuire Moorman goes again, solving a problem we never knew we had. Now all our Deep Eddy trips beg to end with a burger and fries. The double-patty Loyal Forever (named for nearby Austin High School) gets our order at the tiki-themed joint thanks to its grilled onions, pickled jalapeños and ranch dressing.
Pure Single with Cheese
As classic as it gets and about as good as it gets. Wholly Cow uses “local, hormone-free, organically raised and grass-fed beef” and surrounds its patties with King’s Hawaiian buns. Ours came fully dressed with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, chopped onion, dill pickle, mustard, mayo and ketchup. Perfection.