Dallas-Fort Worth is teeming with hamburger joints. We offer happy homes to drive-throughs like Whataburger and In-N-Out, and we're equally hospitable to homegrown companies like Goff's Hamburgers, Keller's Drive-In and Twisted Root Burger Co.
Here's a list of some of Dallas-Fort Worth's most essential burger spots, as well as a list of top picks by Dallas-area celebrities.
If you don't see your favorite burger joint on our list, don't fret. There's a poll at the end where you can tell us which place you love. Or tweet us at @guidelive.
Your cheeseburger checklist: Dallas-area favorites
It was nearly impossibly to cull the list of essential burger joints into 5 or 10 spots, so 15 it is.
Bubba's 33: The sign might also tout pizza and beer, but burgers are one of the biggest stars. The national chain from Kent Taylor, who founded Texas Roadhouse, has a heavy Texas presence, so you're sure to pass by one as you travel the state. Make it a Monday so you can indulge in "Monday Madness" by ordering a so-good-that-condiments-are-
Burger House: This favorite has been serving the Park Cities for more than 65 years. Burger House is a family-friendly place known for thin burger patties and crispy seasoned fries. Get a double double: two patties, two slices of cheese. Original is at 6913 Hillcrest Ave., Dallas; others are at 6248 E. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas; 5323 Harry Hines Blvd. (Building C at UT Southwestern Medical School), Dallas; and 14248 Marsh Lane, Addison.
Fred's Texas Cafe: It's a Fort Worth institution. The FredBurgers and the fries are the things to get here. But we also have to love a restaurant that offers loaded queso and chips as an appetizer. If you're dining with anyone who doesn't want a burger, first, why?, and second, point them to Fred's famous chicken-fried steaks. 915 Currie St., 2730 Western Center and 3509 Blue Bonnet Circle, all in Fort Worth.
Goff's Hamburgers: Another Park Cities hamburger institution, Goff's boasts nearly 70 years of Dallas history. Its new restaurant is near Mockingbird Lane and Central Expressway. It reopened after a fire destroyed the burger joint on Hillcrest Avenue in 2016. 3032 Mockingbird Lane, Dallas.
Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House: This East Dallas restaurant is a hippie-cool spot to eat a great burger and drink local beer. Kids are welcome, too. Branch out from the typical meat-and-cheese burger and you'll be rewarded with a dressed-up version of a classic, like this one: smoked brie, egg and pepper bacon on the East Side burger. 1154 Peavy Road, Dallas.
Hat Creek Burger Company: It's quickly making its way into Dallas-Fort Worth. North Texas' first Hat Creek opened in McKinney in November 2017. It was followed by restaurants in Rowlett, Dallas and Allen in 2018, and more are coming soon. Interestingly, and unlike most of the other burger joints in North Texas, this restaurant serves breakfast. Find a Hat Creek here.
Keller's Drive-In: Go back in time at Keller's Drive-In, easily one of Dallas' best longtime restaurants. The late Jack Keller helmed it for years. Pull into the drive-in, hop in the bed of your pickup and order a cheeseburger and a beer, "dressed" (which means covered in salt, with a slice of lime). It's probably not possible to replicate these burgers at home, but here's the recipe if you want to try. 6537 E. Northwest Highway, Dallas.
Kincaid's Hamburgers: This Fort Worth original started as a small grocery on Camp Bowie Boulevard. Kincaid's three stores in Fort Worth, plus ones in Southlake, Weatherford and Arlington, all keep the small-town grocery theme, but it's more for show. The loaded burgers are legendary, especially those loaded "the Cowtown way" with grilled onions and jalapeños. The shakes and fries are top notch, too. But it's the atmosphere that always wins. Original is at 4901 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth.
Liberty Burger: Pick a city in D-FW and you might find a Liberty Burger there. This burger joint has popped up in Dallas, Fort Worth, Frisco, Las Colinas, Allen and Richardson. Burgers range from The Napa — gorgonzola, arugula, tomatoes, red onions, green olives, basil-garlic aioli — to the South of the Burger — avocado, shredded lettuce, cheddar, tortilla strips, refried beans and pico de gallo. And seriously, you must order a milkshake. Several D-FW locations; original is at 5211 Forest Lane, Dallas.
Maple and Motor: Maple and Motor's website says it celebrates "low-class cool." And really, this place doesn't need a website; its allure is that it serves a simple, small menu in a no-nonsense setting that most people probably heard about by word of mouth. Pretty much everything here is good. 4810 Maple Ave., Dallas.
Off-Site Kitchen: For a time, the original Off-Site Kitchen in Dallas was a hidden gem. Now, it has moved to Trinity Groves and is officially one of Dallas' most popular burger joints. The Do It Murph Style, which is a beef patty topped with jalapeño-bacon relish — is a spicy winner. While you're there, take a photo with the Shepard Fairey mural on the outside of the building. 331 Singleton Blvd. (in Trinity Groves), Dallas.
Rodeo Goat: While it might be easy to pick a favorite burger at Rodeo Goat, the best idea here is to try one of the specials, which are off-the-menu options that sometimes make it onto the menu permanently when they get enough customer attention. Rodeo Goat is a Fort Worth original, and its Dallas offshoot offers a decidedly relaxed vibe. 2836 Bledsoe St., Fort Worth, 1926 Market Center Blvd., Dallas, 2095 Summer Lee Drive, Rockwall and 641 Powell Lane, Plano. The newest one just opened in Cypress Waters in Dallas.
Shake Shack: This New York City burger joint's move into Dallas was one of the beefiest food stories in Dallas in 2016. This is the kind of place where people wait in long lines to order a burger and crinkle-cut fries. Some consider it overhyped, but if they're bringing their A-game, Shake Shack serves up simple, delicious cheeseburgers. Instagram or it didn't happen. 6 locations in Dallas, with the newest near Lovers Lane and Greenville Avenue in Dallas. Details.
Snuffer's Restaurant and Bar: Snuffer's is as famous for its cheddar fries as it is for its cheeseburgers. Both are great. Look out for deals, like $5 Classic Cheeseburger Tuesdays or $2 domestic draft beers and $3 margaritas during happy hour (weekdays from 3-7 p.m.). Lots of locations in North Texas; original is at 3526 Greenville Ave., Dallas.
Twisted Root Burger Co.: Though Twisted Root has grown to nearly two-dozen restaurants in the South, each one feels a little bit different. The Deep Ellum restaurant has some edge while the one near SMU has a patio often populated with college coeds. In addition to serving many varieties of beef burgers, Twisted Root also offers buffalo meat and at least one other exotic offering like ostrich. 10 restaurants in North Texas (not including D/FW Airport).
The big burger chains
Let's say you're looking for a quicker bite: A drive-through where you can order a reliable burger you might be able to find at hundreds of fast-food joints across the country. Here's your essential list:
- Whataburger: Duh. This Texas tradition is the best option on your list of big burger chains.
- Five Guys: Their motto is "burgers and fries done right," and many agree they are. This chain makes some of the most delicious french fries — but they're also some of the unhealthiest.
- In-N-Out: One of this California company's buzziest traits is its secret menu (which isn't really that much of a secret). When In-N-Out opened its first Texas store, one woman cried happy tears.
Other mega chains include Burger King, McDonald's and Wendy's, of course. But we prefer the list above.
Dallas celebrities pick favorite burger spots
Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers shortstop: While San Francisco is his favorite city to get a cheeseburger, he does like a fast-food joint that you can find in North Texas. "[I] love In-N-Out," he says. "When I want a cheeseburger, I just go there."
Jenna Owens, co-host of the Kidd Kraddick Morning Show: "Angry Dog, no question," she says. "Cheeseburger with jalapeños. It's not trying too hard — and they have the best buns."
Stephan Pyles, chef at Flora Street Cafe in Dallas: He says he likes his burgers "unadulterated: good beef, good bun (preferably an 'eggy' one), cheese (preferably sharp cheddar), mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and salt. No chiles, no chili, no bacon, no frou-frou." He goes two places for his favorites:
- The Grape is "casual and relaxed," he says, "but offered with great service and in a high energy, fun atmosphere."
- Maple and Motor is "more about the burger than the experience." Nothing wrong with that.
LeeAnne Locken, cast member on Bravo TV show Real Housewives of Dallas: "In my opinion, Snuffers serves the perfect burger. It's the perfect size, cooked to your liking and the service is always speedy! Not to mention, their ooey-gooey cheese fries make for a perfect pairing," she says.
Mike Rawlings, Dallas mayor: Easy: He picks Deep Ellum joint Adair's Saloon, which he calls "the best real bar in Dallas." His order? A cheeseburger with everything on it.
Rachel Lindsay, former Bachelorette star: Village Burger Bar is her go-to spot because she loves to customize her order. "I love VBB because I can always change up my burger and it's in my neighborhood. Plus, it's one of the few places that Bryan and I both like!" Lindsey says of her fiance whom she met on the show.
Dawn M. Burkes, Dave Lieber and Tiney Ricciardi contributed to this story. Story originally published May 24, 2018 and updated in May 2019.