Burgers and good times get the island treatment at this 2021 newcomer from executive chef and owner Eric Nelson (formerly of Galveston’s Prime 13). The fun-loving joint took over the old King’s Biergarten space, rocking a serious lineup of made-to-order burgers alongside tropical cocktails and bites like shrimp-and-crab stuffed jalapenos and fried quail and pickles. Dig right on into the RC Ranch Wagyu Good Vibes Signature, with vibin’ sauce and a cheesy garlic bun; or go with the fancified Kraken (pictured above), which turn the tides with a cracked pepper crusted-patty, gooey onions, Muenster, mushrooms, and a dreamy peppercorn Cognac sauce.
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable or order take-out via Toast.
The revamped Heights House Hotel’s new trendsetting bar and lounge is a true unicorn, pairing island-style drinks with comfort fare dreamed up by one of Houston’s top chefs—that’d be Lyle Bento, the mastermind behind the too-short-lived Southern Goods and the beloved Underbelly—and a pool that you can dip in before or after you partake in some excellent food and drink (day passes for non-hotel guests start at $20). Which gets us to Bento’s Boom Boom Burger, a hearty endeavor featuring a double dose of cheesy patties, deeply caramelized onions, and “boom boom sauce,” a garlicky, sweet chili-spiked mayo. It comes with miso-kissed fries, and yeah, it tastes just as good as it sounds.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating.
Catching a flight out of Hobby? Schedule in some extra time to take in this burger and beer hub, which opened its hangar doors right by the airport in the backend of 2020. It offers a sturdy roster of big, juicy beef bombs accompanied by housemade sauces like Bulldog sauce, a mashup of ketchup, mustard, mayo, and barbecue that dresses patties of all sorts like the no-nonsense house-ground chuck Straight Up burger as well as the more adventurous Notorious P.I.G., which cradles beef and bacon patties beneath a dollop of “super melty” beer cheese. Billionaire Tots act as the perfect companion, laced with goat cheese, smoked cheddar, truffle butter, even more bacon, and a sunny egg.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order take-out and delivery via Toast.
Secret “shhh” sauce, a toasty potato bun, LTO, and a gorgeously griddled patty are all that’s needed to make this shack-style burger shine—that and a slab of good old-fashioned American cheese. The burger bar’s Montrose location just opened in June, and it’s brought with it house favorites like loaded tots, fried pickles, and shakes, plus features like late-night only food and drink specials (which that signature FM Burger is a part of, thankfully).
How to book: Reserve via OpenTable, order take-out via Toast (Shepherd, Montrose), and get delivery via DoorDash.
Burger purists can definitely get behind Hubcap’s hand-formed, crisply seared patties, sitting pretty between buns made specifically to withstand the inevitable drips of grease. To double the pleasure, we suggest going with the twice-the-beef, twice-the-cheese monstrosity Hubcap Decker. It comes stacked club sandwich-style with a slice of crisp bread, special mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles. Add a side double-fried fresh-cut fries or go HAM by ladeling on the chili and cheese.
How to book: Stop by for counter service, call your nearest location for take-out, or order delivery via DoorDash.
The Hay Merchant’s signature Cease & Desist burger is so ridiculously good, it’s almost criminal. No, but really, when Underbelly started serving its UB Double Double, the resto was promptly served a cease and desist letter courtesy of a certain California-based cult-favorite. 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. Keep an eye out for Underbelly Hospitality’s upcoming burger joint, Underbelly Burger, set to open inside the completely revamped Houston Farmers Market later this year.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, order take-out via Toast, or get delivery via DoorDash.