Memories of driving an old Willis Jeep around the deer lease, listening to ducks come in to my spread just before the sun comes up, and waterskiing on the lake until my arms could no longer hang onto the handle, stick out in time. I am very fortunate to have a great many memories of time spent outside.
I can recall with vivid detail pulling our 1984 Mastercraft Prostar into the Duck Cove Marina and Bait Shop after a long morning waterskiing on Lake Tawakoni with my dad. It was always special to me that he would let me dock the boat while he handled the dock ropes; I am blessed to have had him as my instructor on all things boating. As we got out of the boat and walked into the dimly lit four table floating café, the aromatic smell of the various things sizzling on the hot griddle overwhelmed in the small, humble restaurant. Dad and I would sit down in a corner booth, order up some Dr. Peppers and cheeseburgers and patiently await what was to come. Looking back, I really can’t tell you whether the burger was actually good or not. It’s the memory of the experience that matters to me. This established in my head the basis and appreciation for what has now become one of my all time favorite things to eat… the hamburger.
I keep my burger simple: meat, cheese, bun, lettuce, tomatoes, and I often add bacon. I rarely put mayonnaise, catsup, mustard, or any other dressings as I think it takes away from what the burger is truly supposed to be. Friends have jokingly accused me of being a “true connoisseur” of the hamburger. Maybe I am. It comes down to delighting in the best version of an incredibly basic package. I am delighting in the journey as I try to find the best burger in Texas.
My quest has led me to some truly incredible burgers, and I’d like to share some of my favorite burger joints so far. Hopefully y’all can enjoy some of these iconic Texas highway stops while traveling to your ranches, lake houses, friend’s ranches, or weekend trips between the big cities. No doubt there are hundreds, if not thousands, of great places out there, many of which I hope to visit, but this list represents my personal favorites thus far. While I do have a favorite, I’ve made the list alphabetical to hide my bias.
Burger Fixins | Celina, Texas
Don’t let the slightly run-down structure fool you. . . . These burgers are classic and never disappoint. Outside seating only.
Counter Cafe | Austin, Texas
This is the only “big city” burger joint to make this list. If you have not been there, you need to try it. Words won’t do it justice.
Double R Burgers | Waco, Texas
I have been eating at this place for over 15 years. Simple, traditional, griddle cooked hamburger. Don’t let the first impression of the outside fool you!
Jucys Hamburgers | Tyler, Texas
They actually have a handful of locations in East Texas. My first visit I believe they only had two, maybe three stores. Could they technically be a chain, possibly, but they don’t feel like one.
Lone Camp General Store | Lone Camp, Texas
Recently re-opened by the Winbourn family, this is a true gem on the Scenic HWY 4 in Palo Pinto County. Great burgers and fresh cut fries. You can pick up a wide variety of supplies as well.
Morgan Street Burgers | Meridian, Texas
Great spot in the heart of Bosque County. Hearty classic hamburger on a great homemade bun, hand cut fries, great milkshakes. Great place to meet friends.
Now get out there and make some memories. And grab a burger on the way… and on the way back!
Have a favorite burger joint of your own in Texas? Share with our readers in the comments section. From outside of the state? Don’t be shy, share your favorite burger joints of all-time in your hometown or local area!