The topping: Mac ‘n’ cheese | The burger: The Mac and Cheese Burger | The Place: Beer Market Co.
If a cheeseburger is never a bad idea, a mac ‘n’ cheese burger is the stuff of genius. Here a bountiful heap of creamy, mild, white-cheddar macaroni is served atop bacon and a thick, well-executed pub-style burger, grilled to a perfect medium. It conjures hallucinations of the mac of our childhood, the type with bits of burger thrown in by good old Mom. Comfort food at its finest.
The Topping: Kimchi | The Burger: Kimchi Akaushi Burger | The Place: Wokker
One of downtown’s lesser-known lunch gems is this popular food truck’s brick-and-mortar location, tucked away inside Craft Beer Cellar on Franklin Street. And it’s serving up one killer kimchi burger. A sizable Akaushi beef patty is topped with a healthy dose of spicy mayo and cumin ketchup on a soft bun grilled in all the right places. But the add-ons are where it gets real. Tender house-made kimchi adds an addictive chile-meets-salted-shrimp flavor, and grilled jalapeños turn up the heat. Melty gouda, bacon, and molten egg cloak this baby in Fertitta-level richness; you’ll want to sop up your spills with an order of curly fries, too.
The Topping: Deep-fried, cheese-stuffed portobello | The Burger: Flip ‘n Patties| The Place: Flip ‘n Patties
The panko-crusted, deep-fried, cheese-stuffed portobello that tops the signature dish at this beloved food-truck-turned-brick-and-mortar joint is bigger than the juicy Akaushi beef patty it rests upon. From the cotton-soft, house-made sweet bun to the juicy beef, this is a burger you need to cut in half, if only to watch as melted gouda and cheddar pour from its portobello lair, before swiping it all up with the salty, thick cut fries.
The Topping: Sambal mayo, jalapeños | The Burger: The Spicy!!! | The Place: burger-chan
Willet and Diane Feng turn out one of Houston’s absolute best burgers, featuring stackable two- and five-ounce 44 Farms patties and an incredible sweet-sourdough bun. But once you’ve ordered it Spicy!!! there’s no going back to basic-ville. The sambal mayo (garlicky and pungent) provides an entry-level slather of heat, backed up by jalapeños three ways—charred to sweet tenderness, pickled to subdued tanginess, and piled on raw and sexy. The heat freaks among us will also want to add pickled habaneros, soy serranos, or ghost-pepper crumbles.
The Topping: Pineapple, raspberry jams | The Burger: Beef Hamburger| The Place: Tropical’s Colombian Steak House
This two-outpost local chain is home to perhaps he oddest burger in town, and the insanity doesn’t stop with the two sweet jams: Ham, crisp bacon, and crushed potato chips bring on even more craziness. This inventive creation comes dressed with lettuce, tomato, mustard, and pink sauce (ketchup and mayo), because sometimes things that don’t make sense are the most intriguing—and delicious—of all.