Some men were born to write the next great America novel. Others were destined to lead nations or play golf on the moon. But Kevin Alexander? He was born to find America's best hamburgers. A national burger critic at Thrillist, the intrepid foodie set off on his noble quest to find the country's finest pillars of beef and buns one year ago. Kevin vowed never to quit until he uncovered the juiciest, heartiest, cheesiest, and downright tastiest specimens.
Over the course of his year-long quest, Kevin consumed 330 burgers. Of those 330 burgers, 100 made his best burger list. Of those 100 burgers, a whopping nine were sizzled up in the great state of Texas. So next time you're in the Lone Star state, you've got to try these nine out-of-this-world hamburgers.
Editor's Note: All numbers are in the order in which they appear in the Thrillist list.
73. The No. 5 Special at Keller's Drive-In
6537 Northwest Hwy, Dallas, TX 75231
If you were just to glimpse at this unassuming drive-in, you might not have pegged Keller's as the birthplace of one of the country's best burgers. For more than half a century, the classic burger joint has been delivering burgers, chili dogs, and beer to hungry patrons waiting patiently in their car.
Locals agree Keller's magnum opus is the No. 5 special--a glorious tower of two patties, tomatoes, lettuce, special dressing, and two expertly griddled poppy seed buns.
72. Dry-Aged Burger at Neighborhood Services
5027 W Lovers Ln, Dallas, TX 75209
Within the sleek interior of this posh Dallas restaurant, you can browse a menu of raw plates, flatbread, and New American entrees. But why bother looking at the menu?--you're here for the burger.
One of the nation's finest, Neighborhood Services' Dry-Aged Cheeseburger is made with aged chuck delivered exclusively to the restaurant from Southeast Family Farms in Alabama. The chuck is piled high with aged cheddar, caramelized onions, and Applewood bacon.
64. The Cheeseburger at Remedy
Standard Service: 760 W Ralph Hall Pkwy #120, Rockwall, TX 75032
We'll give you the bad news first: Remedy, the fatherland of this phenomenal cheeseburger, shuttered its doors several months ago. Here's the good news: you can still order the eatery's beloved burger at Standard Service, a restaurant hatched by Remedy's creators.
Chefs keep it straightforward but scrumptious, topping a Kansas City Kobe beef patty with American cheese, mustard, and pickles. It's all served on a soft, sweet challah bun from Village Baking Co.
61. The Royale with Cheese from Justine's Brasserie
4710 E 5th St, Austin, TX 78702
???Damn!!! The Royal with Cheese makes @thrillist?s list of 100 BEST BURGERS IN AMERICA!!!!! This is some serious burger love with only two Austin burgers making the list! We?re number #61! What?! National Burger Critic Kevin Alexander went on a year-long Burger Quest, he visited 30 cities in one year to compile this list! Hugest congrats to @chezreneortiz & @launderetteatx for coming in #31! To see the whole list, click the link in bio! #royalewithcheesebaby #burgerlove #thrillistburgerquest #thisburgermakesmesohappy #austintexasforever @chambersth
Among the most esteemed French restaurants in Austin, Justine's Brasserie slings a Royale with Cheese named for the French Quarter Pounder described by John Travolta in Pulp Fiction.
The burger nestles hand-ground Angus beef, gruyere, and house-made mayo between ciabatta. Bonus: Justine's boasts some of the latest hours and prettiest patios of any restaurant in town.
56. Do It Murph-Style at Off-Site Kitchen
331 Singleton Blvd #100, Dallas, TX 75212
I hate when people use the word "finally" about trying out a new restaurant that has only been in existence a few short months. But I believe I've earned the right to use the word when I say I finally tried Off Site Kitchen, a place Dallas has been worshipping for burgers for a number of years. Their "Do it Murph Style" burger will absolutely be included in my next best burgers in Dallas list. FINALLY.
The Do it Murph-Style isn't the only burger on the menu at Off-Site Kitchen. But while all seven options are memorably mouthwatering in their own way, it is the Do it Murph-Style that was named one of America's best.
The burger sets itself apart with a "secret sauce" and sneaky spiciness from its jalapeño-bacon relish.
36. Cheeseburger with Grilled Onions at Hubcap Grill
1133 W 19th St, Houston, TX 77008
Texas is speckled with five Hubcap Grill locations, each serving up fresh, handcrafted chuck patties on homemade toasted buns.
It was the Houston Heights location that whipped up the prize-winning burger, a hefty cheeseburger with caramelized onions and a wonderfully thick, chewy bun. Fans note the 1/3-pound patty is griddled with a faint soy, umami flavor.
31. Plancha Burger at Launderette
2115 Holly St, Austin, TX 78702
In a city abounding with exceptional, imaginative burgers, the Plancha Burger at Launderette manages to shine. Named the Spanish word for "metal plate", the Plancha burger is griddled on a flat-top so the challah bread is "chewy but not soggy".
Pro Tip: After polishing off your masterpiece of American cheese and beef, don't miss your chance to order one of Launderette's unforgettable Birthday Cake Ice Cream Sandwiches.
21. Cheeseburger with American and Grilled Onions at Tookie's Hamburgers & More
1202 Bayport Blvd, Seabrook, TX 77586
30 minutes outside Houston lies Tookie's Hamburgers & More, a buzzy spot beloved by locals and country's-best-burger seekers alike.
Under the shade of a live oak tree in the sprawling outdoor seating area, you can chow down on one of the country's best burgers, an artfully compiled pillar of peppery beef, buttery grilled onions, pickles, and lettuce on a sesame seed bun. Patties are crafted fresh daily, and produce is locally grown.
6. The Ozersky Burger at Knife Dallas
5300 E Mockingbird Ln, Dallas, TX 75206
While other chefs bury their burgers in elaborate toppings like caviar and wasabi mayo, Chef Tesar of Knife Dallas keeps it simple. He skillfully chars beef from 444 Farms, and tops the meat with nothing but red onion and pickles.
The Ozersky is proof that great burgers are not made by their zany garnishes, but with the love of a dedicated burger chef.
Do you think Mr. Alexander made the right choices when it comes to Texas burgers? We think there are some real gems in the state outside of the metro areas that he seemed to gravitate toward. To read the full list, follow here.