Austin’s 10 Best Burgers

Credit: Contigo

The Austin culinary scene centers high-quality beef: From steakhouses to tacos to barbecue, there is no shortage of places to get the best beef. That extends to burgers, too — from a family-run spot that sources the beef on its burgers from its own ranch to burger patties made from wagyu, the restaurants in Austin let burger lovers get their fix every night of the week. Here are ten of the best burgers in the city.

Swift’s Attic (Downtown)

This farm-to-table restaurant takes its burgers seriously. Every month during the first Monday to Wednesday, Swift’s Attic offers a brand-new “Big Ass Burger” that captures the signature Swift’s Attic whimsy. Past offerings have included the Flaming Dr. Pepper burger — a beef patty treated with a sweet Dr. Pepper glaze, Dr. Pepper caramelized onions and griddled jalapeños, and Dr. Pepper ketchup on a habañero bun — and the Mary Had A Little Lamburger with a ground lamb patty, mint chimichurri, mint jelly, cilantro yogurt, and caramelized onion on a curds and whey bun.

Dining in the restaurant: Indoor seating means hanging out in a hip and stylish “attic” above the bustle of downtown. Thursdays through Saturdays from 4pm to 5:30pm, Swift’s offers fun happy hour specials on select drinks and snacks. No outdoor seating.

Takeout: Diners can order curbside pickup through the restaurant’s website. Delivery is not available.

Cafe Blue (Downtown)

Credit: Leonid Furmansky

Seafood restaurant and oyster bar Café Blue slings a bacon-and-brie burger with fried oysters on top: The bacon is smoked, the brie is decadent, the Louis sauce offers a creamy kick, and if fried oysters don’t provide enough crunch, the crispy onion strings should do the trick. The menu also offers two more burger options, a black and blue burger (the blue part is blue cheese, and the burger is black because it’s blackened) and a classic cheeseburger with cheddar. All burgers are freshly ground in-house and served on brioche buns with a side of fries.

Dining in the restaurant: This casual eatery has both indoor and outdoor seating, a $3-off happy hour that runs all day on Monday and from 3pm to 6pm on Tuesdays through Fridays, and a popular special on Tuesdays that knocks $5 off any shrimp dish.

Takeout: Diners can order both curbside pickup and delivery through Café Blue’s website.

Parkside (Downtown)

Ask an Austinite for their favorite burger, and there’s a good chance you’ll hear about the bacon cheeseburger at Parkside. A beloved gastropub that emphasizes sustainable fare, Parkside grills up a burger that manages to be simultaneously top-shelf and unpretentious. The beef is high-quality, the bun is made in-house, and the fixings are the classics — lettuce, tomato, and pickles. Served with a side of garlic-shallot fries, the bacon cheeseburger pairs well with any of the local craft beers on the menu. A staple on the downtown dining scene since 2008, chef Shawn Cirkiel’s flagship restaurant remains a favorite, even all these years and restaurants later. (With restaurant and hospitality group Parkside Projects, he also helms Olive & June, The Backspace, and others.)

Dining in the restaurant: Along with other select items, that bacon cheeseburger is half off during happy hour (Tuesday through Saturday from 5pm to 6pm).

Takeout: Order pickup online through Parkside’s website or delivery through third-party apps.

Arlo Grey (Downtown)

Helmed by Top Chef winner Kristen Kish, Arlo Grey, an international (or as Kish calls it, “elevated Midwestern”) restaurant in the LINE Hotel, is a destination for tourists and locals alike. The upscale space with its lake views, art composed of pages from Kish’s cooking journals, and lush plants pairs well with the innovative menu, including a burger topped with whipped potatoes, caramelized onions, pickles, mayo, and greens. The cocktails are not to be missed. Try the garden margarita made with tequila, chambery vermouth, tarragon, lime, and jalapeño.

Dining in the restaurant: Both the indoor and outdoor seating areas afford diners beautiful views of the lake.

Takeout: Diners can order pickup through OpenTable. Delivery is not available.

Hank’s (Windsor Park)

Credit: Hank’s Burger

Pretty and airy with minimalist décor — plenty of sunlight, plants, and pale wood — this neighborhood restaurant provides the perfect ambiance for a leisurely lunch, especially on Mondays, when the burgers are half off. Served with sharp cheddar and dijonaise, the burger is a steal at $6.50, especially considering everything at Hank’s is made in-house from scratch. The Brussels sprouts are famous, so don’t miss them.

Dining in the restaurant: Diners can choose between indoor and patio seating. The patio is dog-friendly; you’ll even find water bowls out there. Hank’s runs a happy hour special on drinks daily from 3pm to 6:30pm.

Takeout: Diners can order pickup through the website and delivery through third-party apps.

Roaring Fork (Downtown)

Burger-lovers flock to this cozy, Old West-inspired restaurant inside The Stephen F Austin Royal Sonesta Hotel for dishes prepared by wood-fire rotisserie, open-flame grill, and wood-oven roasting. The “Big Ass Burger” is, as promised, large (even potentially shareable), and piled high with goodies: poblano pepper, cheddar, smoked pepper bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles. Served with a heaping pile of fries, this is hangover fare at its finest. Like all Guy + Larry restaurants (this restaurant group is behind a number of famous eateries and chains, including Hopdoddy and Z’Tejas), Roaring Fork is consistently delicious.

Dining in the restaurant: Roaring Fork offers both indoor and patio dining. Despite white tablecloths and atmospheric lighting, the ambiance is casually intimate. A large, polished-wood wrap-around bar completes the welcoming vibe.

Takeout: Diners can order pickup through Roaring Fork’s website. Delivery is available through third-party apps.

Verbena (Downtown)

Credit: Verbena

Chef Nic Yanes of Juniper and Uncle Nicky’s helms this farm-to-table concept where the vegetables are seasonal and abundant and the meats are locally sourced. Known for its fresh oyster menu, Old World/New World wine list, open kitchen, and bustling weekend brunch, Verbena has been warmly welcomed to the Austin dining scene since it opened in the thick of the pandemic (offering only outdoor seating). The Verbena burger quickly became one of the most popular dishes: The toasted bun holds two 4-ounce Wagyu beef patties, American cheese, shredded lettuce, dijonaise, white onion, and pickles. A side of fries completes the picture. 

Dining in the restaurant: Located on the street side ground level of the Canopy by Hilton hotel, Verbena offers both indoor and patio dining. The vibe on the patio is peaceful and fun — a waterfall, lots of greenery, and comfy, stylish outdoor furniture.

Takeout: Diners can call the restaurant to order pickup. Verbena does not offer delivery.

Corner Restaurant (Downtown)

This bustling indoor/outdoor restaurant is a choice spot for people-watching in Austin. Located on the pedestrian-friendly corner of 2nd and Congress inside the JW Marriott, Corner offers a great atmosphere for brunch on a sunny day. The menu has two popular burger options: the Old Fashioned Burger with white cheddar, bibb lettuce, tomato, caramelized onion, and mayo and the Corner Burger made with Brush Creek all-American wagyu, bacon, candied jalapeño, blue cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayo. The beloved sides menu offers perfect burger accompaniments, including pancetta Brussels sprouts and cheddar grits.

Dining in the restaurant: Diners can choose between indoor and outdoor seating. Weather permitting, the patio is where the action is.

Takeout: Order both pickup and delivery through Corner’s website.

Contigo (East Austin)

Credit: Contigo

Dining in the restaurant: Contigo is almost entirely outdoors (even the indoor seating is open-air) and adorned with soft string lights. The restaurant is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Takeout: Diners can order curbside pickup through Contigo’s website or delivery through third-party apps.

Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile (East Austin)

Imagine any time you were craving a burger, you had a whole herd of cattle at your disposal. That’s what life is like for the Jacoby family — on their ranch, they keep cattle that eventually becomes hand-cut beef, which turns into the all-natural, pasture-raised, dry-aged Jacoby Beef cheeseburger. Lucky for Austinites, they’re willing to share, and this ranch-to-table restaurant on the Colorado River has been delighting lovers of high-quality tender beef since 2014. Feel free to order a fried egg on top. And if you want to get your greens in, try the crispy Brussels sprouts with agave mustard and Texas pecans.

Dining in the restaurant: The rustic space is cozy and beautiful. During happy hour (daily from 5pm to 6pm and all night on Wednesdays), a burger and fries costs just $10.

Takeout: Jacoby’s offers pickup options on OpenTable and delivery through third-party apps.