Food & Drink

The Best Burgers in Houston to Enjoy From Home

All available for pickup and delivery.

The Burger Joint
The Burger Joint | Becca Wright
The Burger Joint | Becca Wright

We care a lot about burgers here. Remember that time we embarked on a full-on quest for the city’s best classic burgers? That was fun. It was, however, a few year’s back, and today’s food scene, well… it looks a bit different, global pandemic and all. The good news is, this is Houston, a city that cares a lot about burgers as well. So though the juice-dripping, beefy creation of your dreams may need to be enjoyed in a socially distanced setting, at least you can still enjoy the hell out of it.

With that in mind, we’re bringing you our current picks for the best burgers in the whole damn city -- from diner-style griddled patties to modern monsters stacked between grilled cheese and honey buns -- each available for either takeout, delivery, or both.

Bernie’s Burger Bus
Bernie’s Burger Bus | Kimberly Park

Bernie’s Burger Bus


These new school burgers -- made with Black Angus beef ground on the daily -- are worth the late slip to work (or to your Zoom call, if you’re still WFH). The Principal is a classic, but get the Detention if you’re feeling anything like that bully who used to give you wedgies in third grade. That’s two beastly patties smothered with Cheddar, bourbon-glazed “tipsy” onions, and all the fixins. Oh, and all of that is stuffed between made-from-scratch buns fashioned out of bacon grilled cheeses. Obviously. The original outpost in Bellaire is the only one currently open for curbside takeout, delivery, and inhouse dining; but look out on social media for the reopening of the Heights, Katy, and Missouri City locations.
Order online for pickup and delivery

Hubcap Grill Best Burgers HOU
Kevin Alexander/Thrillist

Hubcap Grill

Heights (& Galveston & Seabrook)

Burger purists can definitely get behind Hubcap’s hand-formed, crisp-seared patties that sit pretty between buns made specifically to withstand the inevitable drips of grease. They are near-perfect as is, but to double the pleasure, we suggest going with a twice-the-beef, twice-the-cheese monstrosity, The Hubcap Decker. It comes stacked in true decker style, with a slice of crisp bread, special mayo, and lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles layered throughout. Add a side of burger companions, from double-fried fresh-cut fries to those same exact fries blanketed in chili and cheese.
Call in to-go orders at 713-862-0555 (Heights), 409-220-3551 (Galveston), or 281-339-7116 (Seabrook)

The Hay Merchant
The Hay Merchant | Julie Soefer Photography

The Hay Merchant


The Hay Merchant’s signature Cease & Desist burger is so ridiculously good, it’s almost criminal. No, but really, it’s actually kinda criminal. When Underbelly started serving a "UB Double Double", the resto was served a cease & desist letter courtesy of In-N-Out. A quick name change later, this double-cheese, double-beef burger, now found full time at The Hay Merchant, is as juicy and legally delicious as ever. That’s because the beef is ground fresh straight from UB’s in-house butchery. 
Order online for pickup from 11am-8pm daily at 1100 Westheimer

Stanton's City Bites Houston
Phaedra Cook/Thrillist

Stanton's City Bites


For a damn fine burger with a little side of nostalgia, hit this neighborhood champion of all things beef. The family-run grocer has obviously been doing something right, because it's been keeping Houstonians well-fed since the '60s. While you can go full throttle by loading your loosely packed, properly crusted patties with stacks of candied bacon and hash browns, you should really start by getting a taste of the burger that started it all, the Original Bacon Cheeseburger that helped Stanton’s earn its stripes.
Call 713-227-4893 for pickup or order delivery via DoorDash and Uber Eats

Tookie's Hamburgers Houston
Kevin Alexander/Thrillist

Tookie's Hamburgers & More


A few years back, our resident burger expert ran around Houston eating a bunch of classic cheeseburgers in order to find the best of the best. Well, he didn’t actually run, because the thought of doing that and eating nine burgers makes us physically ill, but you get the point. In the end, he crowned the long-running bayside burger institution’s perfectly thin, peppery crusted & smashed patties the winner. The burger is truly best enjoyed out on a picnic table next to bikers and old dudes in Tommy Bahama shirts, but for now, you can also order it curbside.
Call 281-942-9334 for curbside pickup

Lankford Grocery & Market


Trying to destroy that quarantine bod you’ve been working on? Simply snag on of the insanely bad-for-you, but oh-so-worth-it beef bombs from the greasy, lunch-only spot. Lankford’s been around since 1939 when it opened as a grocery shop, and it’s been building a dedicated army of burger fanatics since the ‘70s. Fans of fiery things should go for the scorching Firehouse Burger, which gets its mouth-numbing heat thanks to cayenne butter, jalapeños, and habanero sauce. Other varieties include the Pimento Cheese Burger, old-fashioned Patty Melt, and over-the-top Grim Burger, oozing with mac & cheese and sunny-side-up egg.
Call 713-522-9555 for takeout

The Shack


Since they’re fresh-formed, deftly seasoned, and locally sourced, all the burgers at this Cypress darling have that Texas beef swag (even when smothered with mac & cheese). If you want to go really wild, break your quarantine health kick with the Grease & Weasel, a half-pounder with seriously thick bacon and melty Cheddar cheese that comes sandwiched between two griddled honey buns. Since you’re obviously watching your weight, you’ll also want some pickle chips on the side.
Call 281-256-1575 for pickup


Greenway/Upper Kirby

Despite its hidden location (inside the Greenway Plaza food court), burger-chan is a citywide favorite. The fresh, umami-packed, build-your-own burgers are pure pleasure thanks to a crisp griddle and schmear of soy and shiitake sauce. Take things to the next level by going SPICY!!!, which means your burger will be made with three kinds of jalapeño, house sambal mayo, pepper jack cheese, and soy-marinated serrano chiles, plus additional add-ons like bacon and egg, because this is Texas and we like gluttony.
Order online for curbside or in-store pickup and contactless delivery within an 8-mile radius

Hopdoddy Burger Bar

Heights (& other locations)

It may originally hail from Austin, but this burger all-star’s all-natural burgers have won the hearts of many a Houstonian. Go traditionalist with The Classic, dressed simply with the usual suspects (LTO) and a “sassy sauce,” which is a mind-blowingly good combo of mayo, mustard, and horseradish that sings alongside all that beef. Or try house favorites like the Goodnight/Good Cause, which comes with jalapeños, caffeinated BBQ sauce, and a side of feel-good with a donation to a local charity; and the Impossible, a burger so good you’ll forget it’s meat-free. 
Order online for curbside pickup and local delivery

The Burger Joint

Montrose (& Heights)

Now with two locations, this local patty flipper sports hand-crafted 44 Farms burgers that sit plump and pretty atop soft, squishy buns. You can get ‘em any which way, satisfying your burger cravings with the bacon and onion ring topped BBQ burger; the jalapeno, avocado, and queso fresco adorned Mexi; the Kimchi burger with fried egg, and cheddar; or the pulled pork, slaw, and mac & cheese smothered Smoke Stack. The Classic is plenty good, too.
Order online for pickup and delivery

Tejas Burger Joint


From the smoke savants behind Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue comes a new favorite smokehouse, and this time, burgers are the star. Whether you live up North or not, you’ll want to get your hands on Tejas’ signature smoked burgers, which get an aggressive salt-and-pepper treatment before taking a turn in the wood smoker and being plopped down on a buttery potato bun. Order the half-pound Smokehouse Burger and the flavor-forward Angus beef gets an extra shot of smokey love from smoked cheddar and bacon, with caramelized onions and a green onion aioli providing the pizzazz. 
Order online for delivery or carryout

Squable | Brooke Viggiano



If you dig fancy burgers, we cannot stress enough how much you need Squable’s French cheeseburger in your life. It comes from kitchen virtuosos Mark Clayton and Drew Gimma and  features a medium rare stout beef patty absolutely smothered by a cascade of raclette. There’s maître d' butter, chopped cornichons, and Chef Gimma’s flawless pain de mie bun. While pre-global pandemic you’d have likely needed a reservation or encountered a bit of a wait to get one, you can now enjoy the fat, juicy, gooey number by ordering curbside pickup. The best part? You can enjoy sans pants.
Call 832-834-7362 or place an order online for curbside pickup

Rodeo Goat


We Houstonians don’t like many things that have to do with Dallas very much (just kidding… kinda), but we definitely do like this Big D by way of Fort Worth import. The burger hotshot’s house-ground patties come in the form of beef, chicken, turkey, and Impossible, and selections range from the no-joke fiery Hot Bastard and the sugary sweet candied bacon and grilled peach topped Sugar Burger to the (281) 330-8004, a tribute to Houston rapper Mike Jones that’s made with melty gruyere, garlic-roasted creminis, and a soy caramel glaze.
Call 281-853-9480 for takeout or get delivery via DoorDash and Uber Eats

Flip 'n Patties

Downtown (& Eldridge)

Pillow-soft steamed buns make the bed for off-the-charts juicy Akaushi beef at this Filipino burger joint. The popular food truck went brick-and-mortar with an outpost in Downtown food hall Understory in 2019, offering its mix of Filipino street eats -- think crispy lumpia and Spamsilog plates -- and gourmet burgers. The namesake Flip 'n Patties Burger is a beast, with that Akaushi patty, bacon, Cheddar, leafy stuff, tomato, spicy sauce, and tang sauce, and an oozing, crispy panko-coated, cheese-stuffed portabella mushroom. Need a hangover helper? The egg, spam, and banana ketchup aioli topped Brekpas Burger is smarter than any decision you made the night prior.
Order online for curbside pickup and delivery at both the Downtown and Eldridge locations

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Brooke Viggiano is a Houston-based writer who could use a good burger via contactless delivery right about now. Shoutout your favorite local burger joints to her @brookiefafa on IG and @brookeviggiano on Twitter.
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