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10 Can’t-Miss Houston Burgers

A photo of Red logo
by Lauren McDowell
Updated October 21, 2021

There’s little in life more enjoyable than a well-made burger. Whether it’s memories associated with childhood summers and a fry-milkshake combo, or a meat-loving Texan reveling in a perfectly cooked half-pound of the finest ground chuck patty, there’s a reason that burgers continue to grace the menus at restaurants across the dining spectrum.

In a city as large and diverse as Houston, the best burgers represent a range of techniques, styles, and price points. From simple but perfectly cooked classic beef options, to wild game versions and creative internationally-inspired flavor combinations, these are the burgers that should be on every Houstonian’s bucket list.

A photo of La Lucha restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1266)
$30 and under
Seafood
Heights / Washington
About the restaurant

Ford Fry, the chef-owner of La Lucha, grew up like many Houstonians: with a fondness for burgers from local favorites Whataburger and Avalon Diner. That inspiration led to a modern favorite at La Lucha called the pharmacy burger, beloved for its simplicity and depth of flavor. The ingredients are spare: beef, cheese, pickles, onions, mustard, lettuce, and tomato, wrapped in a crispy yellow paper like a gift. In her burger column in the Houston Chronicle, food critic Alison Cook gave it an “A plus plus,” writing, “This one broke the darn scale.”


Top review
ChillWill1
Dined 4 days ago
Our experience at LaLucha was extremely pleasing and enjoyable. The server, Shannon was extremely courteous and professional. The food was outstanding and arrived in a timely manner. I would definitely recommend LaLucha to my friends and family!
A photo of Maison Pucha Bistro restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1735)
$31 to $50
French
Heights / Washington
About the restaurant

This family-owned Heights bistro features French classics with distinct elements drawn from chef Manuel Pucha’s Ecuadorian heritage. The spicy lamb burger is just one example of the creative ways the two cuisines come together in a winning combination. Pucha grew up eating lamb in Ecuador but had his first lamb burger in New York City in the early ’90s. His version at the bistro includes a spiced lamb patty, mint Greek yogurt aioli, pickled red onion, French feta, harissa sauce, and a side of Maison frites.


Top review
mariabvip
Dined 3 days ago
Amazing experience every single time! Love this place
A photo of Liberty Kitchen & Oysterette - Memorial restaurant
4.6
4.6 (843)
$31 to $50
American
Westside
About the restaurant

Liberty Kitchen might be known for its seafood dishes, but the burger options are a celebration-worthy reason to book a table. The truffle cheeseburger features Wagyu beef topped with truffle cheese, foie gras aioli, oyster mushrooms, and arugula. Add a black sesame seed-covered bun from Slow Dough to the equation, and it’s almost too pretty to eat — almost.


Top review
Sethvip
Dined 4 days ago
They had a special appetizer with hummus, crab topped guacamole and queso that was perfect to share. The lobster roll was excellent as always. Oscar provided attentive service with a smile.
A photo of B.B. Lemon Washington restaurant
4.6
4.6 (968)
$30 and under
Unspecified
Heights / Washington
About the restaurant

It’s no surprise to fans of restaurateur Benjamin Berg that this throwback version of a New York City diner makes killer burgers. As the owner and proprietor of a butcher shop and steakhouse, lots of attention is paid to B.B. Lemon’s burger patties, made with Texas Wagyu beef sourced from local farmers. Though all of the burgers are top-notch, the diner’s patty melt is the stuff that beef dreams are made of, with melted Swiss cheese and caramelized onions nestled between toasted deli bread.


Top review
Lld71
Dined on May 11, 2024
Everything was top-notch. Food was excellent and our server was amazing. We will be back!
A photo of Grace's restaurant
4.8
4.8 (4098)
$31 to $50
American
Upper Kirby / Shepherd Corridor
About the restaurant

Where’s the beef? It’s not missed at Grace’s, where fans of hard-to-find seafood patties can enjoy a shrimp burger. The restaurant, named after local restaurateur Johnny Carabba’s grandmother, offers up Southern-style comfort food that’s simple but flavorful. Made with locally sourced Gulf shrimp, the juicy patty is topped with Thousand Island dressing and bread and butter pickles on a pretzel bun.


Top review
CourtneyAvip
Dined 2 days ago
Amazing staff ! Food was prepared well and priced well. Very flavorful I was not disappointed
A photo of Irma's Southwest restaurant
4.8
4.8 (681)
$31 to $50
Mexican / Southwestern
Downtown
About the restaurant

This family-owned Mexican and Southwestern restaurant is known for its emphasis on seafood and Texas-sourced wild game, including one species of antelope, the nilgai, from Broken Arrow Ranch. The nilgai’s fine-grained meat with a delicate game flavor plays the central role in one of the city’s most unique offerings: the B.W. burger, made with a half-pound of nilgai and topped with peppered bacon and Monterey Jack cheese.


Top review
JeremyH
Dined on May 18, 2024
Server was awesome. Guacamole was good. Drinks a little pricey.
A photo of Cowboys & Indians Tex-In Kitchen restaurant
4.5
4.5 (148)
$31 to $50
Indian
Montrose
About the restaurant

Creative takes on Indian and Texan food are central to this neighborhood restaurant, and that extends to the burgers. Case in point: the spicy Himalayan Heat burger, a juicy half-pound beef patty made with a blend of Indian spices and topped with mozzarella cheese, grilled onions, jalapeños, grilled tomato, and a proprietary sauce that packs a punch. Those looking for less fiery and non-beef burgers will appreciate the wealth of available options, all made with local ingredients on Slow Dough buns.


Top review
DebbyLvip
Dined 4 days ago
Amazing food, our waiter was fantastic but very busy
A photo of Roost Houston restaurant
4.8
4.8 (498)
$30 and under
Contemporary American
Heights / Washington
About the restaurant

A smashburger done right is deceptively hard to achieve, but Roost has perfected the key component: a patty with crispy edges, just the right amount of seasoning, and a juicy interior. Though the menu at this neighborhood restaurant changes frequently, the burger — made with 44 Farms beef, house pickles, thin onions, provolone, and mustard aioli — is a mainstay.


Top review
Luv2eat
Dined on May 19, 2024
First time here. Terrible parking. Quaint little house with quiet atmosphere. Tables very close together so limited space. We did their tasting menu. The cauliflower was excellent and the chicken karaga also good. Peach Burrata salad was good. Our 1st course selections were redfish and grits, Fuji pepper steak and brine turkey. The pepper steak taste was good but the medium rare steak was extremely chewy and I wouldn’t recommend. The redfish was probably the best item. The turkey breast was pretty good but nothing to really brag about. 3rd course dessert we had the coffee ice cream and donuts and the lemon cake. Both were really good. Also had the Brie for an appetizer and that was good. Overall I’m glad we chose the tasting menu as it’s more affordable than individually ordering each item. It wasn’t a bad experience but with vast selection available in Houston, it will be awhile before I go back. Worth a try though as their menu does change
A photo of FM Kitchen & Bar - Shepherd restaurant
4.4
4.4 (70)
$30 and under
American
Heights / Washington
About the restaurant

Houstonians are always on the lookout for a truly tasty roadside-style burger—the kind you can enjoy in the car, bopping along to the radio with the windows down, without a care in the world. FM Kitchen & Bar’s signature FM Burger, available with one or two 4-ounce patties, is the kind of perfectly executed example that draws folks from all over town when they need to scratch that itch. Made with fresh ground beef — a combination of chuck, brisket, and steak — American cheese, red onion, lettuce, and a tangy proprietary “shhh sauce,” the burger is completed with a classic, lightly toasted Martin’s potato roll. Vegetarians and those eschewing red meat can sub a vegan Impossible Burger patty for the beef.


Top review
Technofile
Dined on Sep 9, 2023
My group enjoyed our visit to FM Kitchen. The food is good and the cocktail menu is solid. Our server gave us great recommendations and we had a great time.
A photo of Upper Kirby Bistro restaurant
4.1
4.1 (650)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
Upper Kirby / Shepherd Corridor
About the restaurant

Though there are a few burgers on the menu at Upper Kirby Bistro — including a vegan house-made bean burger — the smokehouse bistro burger is undeniably the go-to option for a hungry lunch crowd. In addition to a thick beef patty, the accoutrements provide a satisfying texture (crunchy onion ring and Applewood maple bacon — check!), along with flavor, thanks to white cheddar cheese, bread and butter pickles, tomato, and house-made aioli.


Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on May 19, 2024
I liked the experience overall but a MAJOR! drawback for me is the parking situation. I am tired of going to these restaurants that you have to valet to eat there, risk getting towed, or walking a country mile to the restaurant and still hope you don't get ticketed. You are making the money so why not let people park in the parking lot for free!! I spent roughly $250 here for 3 of us (2of us orderd brunch) but also had to pay $20 to park because I couldn't find any on my own. Although I enjoyed myself I can't say that I will return because I'm getting tired of all the parking issues. I can definitely go to some places I know of that have great food and drinks and the parking is free.
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