Food & Drink

Houston’s 11 Best Under-the-Radar Burgers

Published On 03/09/2015 Published On 03/09/2015

Lankford Grocery’s Grim Burger, The Hay Merchant’s Cease & Desist. While completely delicious and worthy of praise, we see these mighty burgers on list after list. But what about the other guys? There's so much more beef around Houston that's worthy of your love. Here are 11 under-the-radar burgers that deserve their time in the spotlight, and also your stomach.

Just Burgers

Southwest burger

Just Burgers (address and info)
Spring 
With fresh beef ground on the daily and the best housemade pretzel buns in the South, you can’t go wrong with any burger at this homegrown joint. Get the Southwest burger if you’re feeling avocado, the Chubbs if you’re feeling egg, or the Slap Yo’ Momma if you’re feeling EVERYTHING.

Bubba's Texas Burger Shack

Buffalo chili cheeseburger

Bubba’s Texas Burger Shack (address and info)
Gulfton
Bubba’s is the "Home of the Buffalo Burger," which in turn means any of its excellent burgers can be made with buffalo meat, which in another turn means the patty has 70% less fat and 30% more protein, while remaining quite tasty... especially because you can feel better about piling things like chili, cheese, and bacon on top. 

House of Pies

Bayou City burger

House of Pies (address and info)
Upper Kirby
Monster half-pound patties fly off this old-school diner’s griddle faster than you can demolish that slice of pie you ordered at the counter before you sat down for lunch (why do you always do that?!). The Bayou City burger shows up dripping with juice and stacked with ‘shrooms, bacon, cheddar, and "Texas Sticks" – which are battered and deep-fried onion and jalapeño strings, because Texas is awesome.

Tornado Burger

Spicy burger

Tornado Burger (address and info)
Stafford
Loosely packed with garlic, jalapeños, onions, and spices ground directly into the meat, this Spicy burger is a 10. Pro tip: go for the double, since the patties are only 3oz and you’re not a human baby.

The Petrol Station

The Rancor

Petrol Station (address and info)
Oak Forest/Garden Oaks
This beer bar’s five-napkin Rancor burger could have easily made our best burger list. And since we feel bad about missing it, we’ll include it here. Made with half a pound of aggressively-seasoned angus, this beef-bomb is crowned with cheddar, smoked bacon, and a beautifully fried egg. All of which makes both Star Wars fans and people that don’t get the rancor reference happy.
 

Deluxe chili cheeseburger

Bellaire Broiler Burger (address and info)
Bellaire
BBB may not be fancy, but the throwback burger joint hits the sweet spot with its infinitely sloppy, flame-broiled chili cheeseburger. Get it with thick, crunchy onion rings or crinkle cut fries and an old-school milkshake.

Pena's

The Ole Burger

Pena’s Donut Heaven & Grill (address and info)
Pearland
Not only is there chipotle mayo, pico, and jalapeño stacked on top, but there’s also a borderline unsafe amount of queso coating this beefy, gloriously greasy burger. Look at it! 

Chief's Cajun Snack Shack

The Big Baby

Big Chief’s Old Fashion Hamburger (address and info)
Third Ward
These bigass Cajun-style burgers – formerly served out of Chief’s Cajun Snack Shack in the Third Ward – remain just as big and babylike as ever. Assertively seasoned and loosely packed with a radius that’s about two fingers larger than the bun itself, the burger's definitely worth the time it will take the kitchen to grill it up (but call ahead if you don’t want to wait in the heat).

Mytiburger

Double Meat & Double Cheese Mytiburger

Mytiburger (address and info)
Oak Forest/Garden Oaks
Fact: Nostalgia makes burgers taste better. This tiny roadside stop has been serving up classic old-style burgers since 1967. Go full-out with twice the meat and twice the cheese, or load up with a seriously messy chili burger as you think back to the good ol’ days (even if the good ol' days are like, 1998).

JerryBuilt Homegrown Burgers

DIY burger

JerryBuilt Homegrown Burgers (address and info)
Multiple locations
Whoever this guy Jerry is, he’s got serious swagger. Or at least his homegrown burgers do. Build your own all-natural, humanely raised beef burger with things like jalapeño cream cheese, sautéed Portobello, bacon, and fried eggs.

POPPA BURGER INC

24 Hour Burger

Poppa Burger (address and info)
Northside Village
You can get these no-frills, road stand-style burgers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That, coupled with the fact that you can get them with a bag of nacho cheese-coated Cheetos on the side, makes them burgers you owe it to yourself to try.

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1. Just Burgers 16724 Stuebner Airline Rd, Spring, TX 77379

With fresh beef ground on the daily and the best housemade pretzel buns in the South, you can’t go wrong with any burger at this homegrown joint. Get the Southwest burger if you’re feeling avocado, the Chubbs if you’re feeling egg, or the Slap Yo’ Momma if you’re feeling EVERYTHING.

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2. Bubba’s Texas Burger Shack 5230 Westpark Dr, Houston, TX 77056

Bubba’s is the "Home of the Buffalo Burger," which in turn means any of its excellent burgers can be made with buffalo meat, which in another turn means the patty has 70% less fat and 30% more protein, while remaining quite tasty... especially because you can feel better about piling things like chili, cheese, and bacon on top.

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3. House of Pies 3112 Kirby Dr, Houston, TX 77057

Insomniacs flock to this late-night staple that slings classic diner foodstuffs EVERY hour of EVERY day. Get omelets, greasy burgers, and chicken fried steaks, and finish off with a slice of Bayou Goo (pecan-crusted cream cheese, chocolate, and vanilla custard pie).

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4. Tornado Burger 505 FM 1092 Rd , Stafford, TX 77477

Tornado Burger, a Stafford neighborhood fast-food burger joint, offers greasy, divey burgers that feel so wrong but taste so right. The patties are hand-formed in-house, using onions, jalapenos, garlic, and other peppers that get mushed right in. Tornado burgers air on the slim side, so be sure to double up on your meat-to-bun ratio with the Double Cheeseburger. And while you’re ordering at the counter, don’t forget to bulk up on loaded fries, which you can customize to your waistline’s desire, with toppings like feta, bacon, ranch, and grilled onion.

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5. Petrol Station 985 Wakefield Dr, Houston, TX 77018

Petrol Station used to be exactly that: a gas station. Now, this refurbished counter-service spot is dishing up of the tastiest burgers in Houston. You'll also find a fantastic craft beer list that's divided into beginner, intermediate, and expert levels. Once you've made your burger and beer picks (a favorite is The Rancor, a 10-napkin burger topped with cheddar, smoked bacon, and a fried egg), you can enjoy your meal out on the patio.

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6. Bellaire Broiler Burger 5216 Bellaire Blvd, Bellaire, TX 77401

BBB may not be fancy, but the throwback burger joint hits the sweet spot with its infinitely sloppy, flame-broiled chili cheeseburger. Get it with thick, crunchy onion rings or crinkle cut fries and old-school milk shake.

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7. Peña's Donut Heaven And Grill 11601 Shadow Creek Pkwy, Pearland, TX 77584 (Pearland)

"Where all good doughnuts go," Peña's Donut Heaven has been serving Texans since '96 and is still going strong with this family-owned Pearland spot. This ain't your average or generic donut shop; when you come here, you're met with a selection of creatively topped donuts and cronuts (oreos, maple bacon, Foot Loops) along with the options of breakfast tacos and breakfast plates stacked high with bacon, sausage, eggs, pancakes, potatoes and grits.

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8. Big Chief’s Old Fashion Hamburger 4605 W Orem Dr, Houston, TX 77045

A must-try at this Big Ward burger spot is "The Big Baby." These bigass Cajun-style burgers – formerly served out of Chief’s Cajun Snack Shack in the Third Ward – remain just as big and babylike as ever. Assertively seasoned and loosely packed with a radius that’s about two fingers larger than the bun itself, the burger's definitely worth the time it will take the kitchen to grill it up (but call ahead if you don’t want to wait in the heat).

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
9. Mytiburger 2211 W 43rd St, Houston, TX 77018

Fact: Nostalgia makes burgers taste better. This tiny roadside stop has been serving up classic old-style burgers since 1967. Go full-out with twice the meat and twice the cheese, or load up with a seriously messy chili burger as you think back to the good ol’ days (even if the good ol' days are like, 1998).

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
10. Poppa Burger 1622 N Main St, Houston, TX 77009

Poppa Burger is about as greasy a spoon as it gets. Northside Village’s cash-only fast-food burger joint provides customers with juicy patties and fries 24/7, and since the burgers are slim, they’re just as perfect for a late-night bite as a midday meal. At the counter, order the Big Poppa cheeseburger for an extra hunk of meat. While Poppa is not conducive to a leisurely sit-down meal, do take your fluffy bun and oily fries out to the patio, where you can plop your other buns down on a green picnic table and take your first bite.

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