There are a few things Austin has absolutely perfected when it comes to great food – barbecue, tex-mex and breakfast tacos! Let’s face it, no other city can even come close to outclassing Austin and our “big three” food options, NO-ONE! But in case you haven’t noticed, Austin has suddenly become a destination for an entirely different food, and it’s quickly becoming one of a little controversy and struggle for ultimate power.
It’s not a food truck war or a battle to find the next great brisket recipe. Whether anyone wants to admit it, Austin is in the midst of an all-out burger war! Restaurants, food trucks and drive-thru lanes are opening up faster than the summer blockbusters at your local theater! The problem is that most of them are really good! From Hopdoddy to P. Terry’s and Top Notch, you literally have more options than you can possibly choose from even if you selected a new spot every week of the year.
Fortunately, we’ve done the work for you! You could easily drive around town tasting every burger in the city until you find your favorite (and we suggest you do), but just in case you want to save yourself from 50 thousand calories or so we’ve compiled our very own ultimate guide to the best burgers in the city.
VOL. 1: Fast-Food Joints
Austin’s obsession with good, quality food is certainly well-known. In fact, most of the hardcore “foodies” in town will tell you that they never eat fast food, some for health reasons and others for their own form of food-snobbery. Who can blame them? Fast-food has been given a particularly bad rap when you consider the amount mega-chain stores like McDonald’s and Wendy’s, shoveling lower quality ingredients out for dirt cheap prices in to everyone’s faces.
Fortunately Austin burger lovers can revel that there are several local fast joints, focused on delivering higher quality ingredients and better taste even if you’re on a budget. We weaved through the monstrous Austin traffic, unfolded a few dollar bills and filled our bellies with these little beef monsters to present our favorite fast food burger joints. “Research” like this isn’t always easy, but… well actually it WAS rather easy, so enjoy!
P. Terry’s | www.pterrys.com | @pterrys
An Austin Original since 2005, P. Terry’s was opened by Patrick and Kathy Terry at the corner of South Lamar and Barton Springs Rd.
Why its good: They sell very high quality all-natural “Never-Ever” beef burgers which has no preservatives or steroids, and shoe string french fries with potatoes from their family farm.
Hat Creek | hatcreekburgers.com | @hatcreekburgers
Founded by Drew Gressett in 2008, Hat Creek was originally started as a food truck before opening their flagship store in 2011 in Westlake. The burgers are stacked with all-natural never-frozen beef served on buns baked daily with homemade pickles.
Top Notch Hamburgers | topnotchaustin.com | @topnotchburger
Alright alright alright! Top Notch is Austin’s most original buger joint, since 1971. Serving up their vintage burgers, onion rings and shakes with curbside service just like the old days, this classic spot is probably most well known for its appearance in Dazed and Confused, starring Oscar Winning Actor Matthew McConaughey in his iconic stoner role as David Wooderson.
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Our amazing intern @lelajamalabad is so excited to try her first Top Notch burger @topnotchaustin as we add their classic burger to our first annual #AustinBurgerRoundUp! Where should we go next? Tell us your favorite! —— #burgerlover #bestburgerever #collegefoodie #atxfoodie #austinfoodstagram #austinfoodie #classicburgerjoint #texasgirls #txlonghorns #interns
In N Out Burger | in-n-out.com | @innoutburger
In what can be considered part of the California invasion of Austin, In N Out Burger is originally based out of the sunshine state in Baldwin Park, CA. Founded by Harry Snyder, In N Out Burger is the most classically establish fast food burger joint in California’s history, making their burgers from fresh, 100% pure beef free of any additives, fillers and preservatives of any kind.
Shake Shack | www.shakeshack.com | @shakeshack
As part of the other half of the invasion of Austin, this time coming from the east coast, Shake Shake is based out of Madison Square Park in Manhattan, New York City. Born in 2004 Shake Shake is known as the modern day “roadside” burger stand serving up delicious burgers, hot dogs, frozen custard, shakes, beer, and wine. They focus on fresh, simple, high-quality versions of the classics in a slightly more upscale setting than their competitors.
The Winner: Coming soon!
First and foremost, we loved every single spot we visited, but there can only be one winner! We can’t wait to tell you our ultimate pick, but we want to hear from you first!
What’s your favorite spot from the list? Tell us below for a chance to win a gift card from your favorite spot and stay tuned for the next volume in the series! Find out who will be crowned the ultimate winner in our grande finale as we close out the series next week!
Next Up… Vol. II Budgeted and Crafted Burgers (coming soon)