The 14 Best Burger Joints in Austin

Move over tacos—it’s the patty’s time to shine.

Salt & Time
Salt & Time | Photo by Chee Sim
Salt & Time | Photo by Chee Sim

Here in sunny Austin, it’s pretty much always barbecue season—meaning there’s never a time when a patty and bun isn’t appreciated. And as we reunite for pool parties, sports matches, lunch dates, and good old-fashioned tailgate pregaming, the big question is ‘Where’s the best burger in town?’

Fear not, Southerners—Austin has enough beef (not to mention faux beef) to keep us fed and happy until the cows come home (the ones that aren’t mincemeat, at least). Whether you’re in the mood for a sloppy, rolled-up-sleeves situation or a white tablecloth affair, here’s everything you need to build the ultimate burger bucket list.

LeRoy & Lewis

South Congress

This inventive food truck on the lawn of Cosmic Coffee and Beer Garden sources all their meat from small, responsible Texan ranchers before firing them to perfection. The L&L is their richest and tastiest, made with a smoked, reverse-seared half-pound Texas Akaushi brisket patty, melted American cheese, house made pickles, chopped and grilled onions, and housemade beet barbecue mayo, all on a Martin’s potato roll. A side of Kale Caesar Slaw should help fan the flavor.
How to book: Stop by for counter service or order take-out online.

Salt & Time

East Austin

This butcher shop and salumeria serves up quality local and sustainable meats at their 7th street patio, where it’s totally acceptable (and encouraged) to pair wine with your burger (their lineup of Texas-born wine deserves special shout out). The Signature Burger was such a hit that it spawned two forthcoming spinoff properties—both called The Butcher Burger—set to open in Austin and Houston later this year. It features a half-pound beef patty, prepared daily with steak trimmings, layered with mayo and sour pickles and tucked into a sweet-yet-savory brioche bun. An order of deliciously crispy beef fat French fries sweetens the deal. 
How to book: Reserve via Resy, order take-out online, and get delivery via Favor.

Buddy’s Burgers

Cameron Industrial

Texan grad squad Saad, Zain, and Isha launched Buddy’s in June 2020 and subsequently got a generation of burger addicts, well, addicted. The trio harnessed trusty family recipes for Smack sauce and seasoned fries using 11 homegrown spices, and focused on creating quality to-go options during lockdown. The menu is short and simple, using natural stunners like 100% Angus beef patties handmade fresh daily. Go for the Spicy Burger with Jack cheese, jalapeños, and Smack sauce if you like a kick with your meat, then cool down with an Oreo milkshake.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, call 512-401-3325 for take-out, or get delivery via Grubhub.

Contigo

East Austin

With an almost entirely outdoor seating plan, a visit to ranch-inspired Contigo is the best way to enjoy the summer nights—especially if you’re chowing down on thick juicy burgers. Our favorite is the Smash Burger, a manageably sized, fast food-style delight that packs a lasting punch with double meat, double cheese, grilled onions, shredded lettuce, pickles, and special sauce. And don’t skip the fries. Or the crispy green beans. Or anything else, really.
How to book: Reserve online or order take-out via Toast, or get delivery via Uber Eats and Postmates.

The Cavalier

Webberville Boulevard

With friendly owners and staff, potent cocktails, and great Southern-inspired fare, there’s a lot to love about The Cavalier. We adore The Cavalier Burger, with your choice of beef or veggie patty in an Easy Tiger bun, topped with white American cheese, house pickles, and house mayo. Happy hour runs every day from 3 pm to 7 pm and it’s extended until 10 pm on Sundays for sweet deals on drinks and fries. 
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out and delivery via Toast.

Hopfields

Hyde Park

Hopfields’ Pascal Burger, with its toasted Challah bun, poignant-smelling Camembert cheese, cornichons, grain mustard, and caramelized onions—not to mention pommes frites and aioli—is the answer for those in search of the bougiest burger in town. Pro tip: Hopfields boasts one of Austin’s best beer selections so be sure to grab a growler to-go.
How to book: Reserve via Resy and order take-out via Toast.

Better Half is the all-day hang out for downtowners, complete with a trio of brilliant burgers up for grabs. There’s the Better Half Cheeseburger (44 Farms ground beef, dijonnaise, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion), a vegan option with Beyond Meat patty, and a Better Half Chicken Burger (house ground chicken, Duke’s mayo, swiss, lettuce, tomato, and onion). What a treat.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable or order take-out and delivery via Toast.

Dai Due

Manor Road

Dai Due is a butcher shop and supper club that makes indulging feel oh-so-good. The menu is littered with fresh local ingredients, including the dry-aged Wagyu double cheeseburger, made with two 4-ounce Wagyu beef patties, Stryk cheddar from Stryk Jersey Farm in Schulenburg, white onions, dill pickles, and sauce ‘especial.’ Accompanying French fries come with beet ketchup.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable or order take-out online.

Hopdoddy Burger Bar

Multiple locations

Hopdoddy’s is to Austin what Shake Shack is to New York, but better (well, we think so). Staples include the Classic with Doddy mayo, the Buffalo Bill featuring a free-range bison patty, a Japanese-style Ahi Tuna burger, and the extra meaty Bacon Double Jam (two quarter-pound beef patties, tomato-bacon jam, and two cheeses). Big boozy cocktails like The Skinny Dip—a mini Corona beer dunked into a goblet brimming with frozen margarita—make for a stellar night out.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out and delivery online.

Kalimotxo

Downtown

Kalimotxo, Hestia’s casual Basque-inspired sister restaurant, offers the hearty Kali Burger, a thing of beauty spanning 44 Farms beef, Pedro Ximénez-spiked onions, mushroom aioli, Mahon cheese, and a housemade bun served with patatas bravas or a refreshing garden salad. Grab a spot along the gorgeous stand-up bar or hit the breezy outdoor patio overlooking Shoal Creek for the ultimate experiece.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable, order take-out via Toast, or get delivery via Favor.

Nightcap

West Sixth Street

This might be where Austinites come to satisfy their pesky midnight cravings, but rest assured the burger here is prime-time meal worthy. The decadent stack includes two four-ounce Ranger Cattle Wagyu ground beef patties plus special sauce, housemade pickles, and American cheese on a sesame bun, fries included.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable, call 512-628-0144 or take-out, or order delivery via Grubhub.

The Peached Tortilla’s signature Asian fusion style is on full display with their JapaJam burger, a complex mound of savory tomato jam, pepper Jack cheese, a fried egg, tempura onion strings, and Chinese BBQ sauce supported by a hefty six-ounce all-beef patty. If that’s too adventurous for you, they also have the Social Burger, which limits twists to peached sauce and Japanese pickles.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable, order take-out via ChowNow, or get delivery via Favor and Postmates.

Pool Burger

Lake Austin Blvd

Pool Burger, the burger-and-tiki combo near Deep Eddy Pool, is a true midsummer's day dream. Step up to the vintage airstream trailer for The Deep End: a Triple Pool Burger (AKA three quarter-pound patties) layered with Swiss cheese, bacon, fresh jalapeños, and dijonnaise. Or go tropical with the Blue Hawaiian, complete with griddled pineapple, bacon, blue cheese, and Thousand Island dressing. Regardless, be sure to wash it down with a Frozen Hurricane—you only live once, right?
How to book: Stop by for counter service, order take-out via Toast, or get delivery via Favor.

Arlo's

Multiple locations

This vegan food truck has a huge local following, thanks to burgers so ridiculously packed with flavor you’re guaranteed to forget you’re not actually eating meat. Go for the munchie-worthy Bac'n Cheeze Burger, decked out with housemade seitan bac’n, melted cheeze, vegan mayo, ketchup, and veggies and snuggled into a gluten-free bun. See for yourself by tracking down an Arlo’s truck stationed at Cheer Up Charlies or Spider House.
How to book: Stop by for counter service or order take-out via Toast.

James Wong is a contributor for Thrillist.