Bludorn’s Dry Aged Beef Burger is juicy enough to satisfy the pickiest of burgerholics. Image: Julie Soefer
Although as red-blooded Houstonians, we think burgers should be celebrated every day, it’s especially important to celebrate these juicy, sent-from-heaven meat sandwiches every year on National Hamburger Day, happening this year on Saturday, May 28. While burgers are many things, they are most importantly here for you in both your lowest and your highest of moments. Anyone who has ever scarfed one down after a night out on the town — this is a judgment-free zone — can attest that nothing quite hits the spot when you have the spins quite like a juicy slab of ground beef gently bookended by two perfectly toasted buns.
Happily, if you’re in the mood for a fancy, Dijonnaise-dressed burger from Bludorn on this most hallowed of burger days, or you’re angling for an entirely guilt-free vegan patty from the Burger Joint, Houston is home to endless burger-slinging restaurants that will help you satiate your burger lust.
To help you on your quest to find a Houston burger that exceeds all of your wildest expectations, we’ve put together a little Houston burger guide fit for the most burgerholic of National Hamburger Day observers.
The Dry Aged Beef Burger at Bludorn
You can always count on Chef Aaron Bludorn to deliver in the areas of decadence and delectability, and his restaurant’s expansive menu of French-inspired classics features one of the juiciest burgers to be found in H-Town. Bludorn’s Dry Aged Beef Burger consists of a wantonly juicy blend of a dry-aged beef patty, redneck cheddar cheese, and Dijonnaise nestled gently between a benne seed bun. When Houston’s reigning R&B maven Lizzo, who happens to be a vegan, famously crooned, “Gotta blame it on my juice, baby,” it was most definitely a direct reference to her having relapsed on her veganism through this juice-laden burger, and we think that says a lot.
The Loch Burger at Loch Bar
River Oaks District’s reigning seafood tavern may be known primarily for its expansive raw bar, but sometimes the turf there outshines the surf. If you’re looking for a burger so tasty it might give you sea legs, look no further than the Loch Burger, a mouthwatering medley composed of prime dry aged angus, white cheddar, bread and butter pickles, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and an uber-tasty Churchill sauce sure to have your inner Anglophile queuing up for a second helping. But don’t just take our word for it, because as Winston Churchill famously (we think) once said, “Never, never, never give up — especially when you can have a Loch Burger at the end of it all.”
The Double Double at Johnny Good Burger
When Jack Nicholson shoved his head through the bathroom door in The Shining while uttering his famously creepy “Here’s Johnny!” line, what you didn’t see is that he was holding some Johnny Good Burger behind his back. And indeed, the burgers at FAM Hospitality Group’s POST Houston-located burger restaurant are so good you might just find yourself busting through doors to gift one to a friend. The Double Double at Johnny Good Burger is a standout on the menu made from a positively sinful combination of two patties, American cheese, onions, pickles, and a special sauce on a toasted bun — and fortunately POST Houston comes equipped with sliding doors, so there’s no need to bust them down in order to get your burger fix.
The ImpossibleTM at the Burger Joint
Although the Burger Joint sports a menu that is meatier than a Crossfitter on their 57th leg day, the buzzy burger restaurant, which has locations in Montrose, the Heights, and Daybrook, has a vegan burger on the menu worth throwing in the proverbial meat towel for. The ImpossibleTM features a flavorful plant-based patty alongside lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, and vegan aioli. It’s the full burger experience without the guilt, and that’s something worth writing home about. If you’re looking to jazz your ImpossibleTM burger up a bit, which we highly recommend, consider topping your perfectly plant-based patty with vegan cheddar for only $1.
The La Grange Burger at La Grange
When the burger is named after the establishment that serves it, you know it’s going to be good. That’s definitely the case with the La Grange Burger at buzzy Montrose Tex-Mex hot spot La Grange. Composed of a special blend of Angus beef and brisket, the patty is crowned delightfully with refried black beans, pepper Jack cheese, guacamole, pico de gallo, and crunchy tortilla strips. It’s through the bun, however, that the true magic happens. The La Grange Burger sports a homemade torta-style bun that serves as the perfect meat pillow for one of Houston’s best south-of-the-border burgers. It pairs nicely with the restaurant’s classic margaritas, as it should.
The Chito Burger at Umbrella Fellas
It’s hard to find a pop-up in Houston that hustles harder than Umbrella Fellas. The hot dog-and-burger-dispensing dive bar staple, founded back in 2016 by Chito Perez, can be found decamped throughout the week at places like Axelrad, Lil’ Danny Speedos Go Fly a Kite Lounge, Two Headed Dog, Barbarella, and Grand Prize Bar. Beneath its famous red- and yellow-striped umbrella, Perez cooks up some of the most perfect burgers you can find in the city. A standout on the menu is the Chito Burger, a barfly-worthy concoction that sports a beef patty topped with bacon, gorgonzola, and cranberry — all served together on a buttered challah bun. If you’re looking to make your already messy night a bit messier, consider topping it with a sunny-side-up egg. Just keep your drunk-boasting to yourself so the egg stays on your plate and doesn’t end up all over your face.
The Build-Your-Own Burger at Burger-Chan
If you’re looking for a burger that meets all of your expectations, sometimes you just have to build it yourself, and there’s no better place to do that than at Burger-Chan, Diane and Willet Feng’s custom-built burger joint in the Galleria area. Burger-Chan’s 2-oz or 5-oz patties can be served on either sweet sourdough, brioche, rye bread, lettuce, or no bun at all. And when it comes to toppings, Burger-Chan has offerings like sambal mayo, seared spam, charred jalapenos, and kimchi relish that will help satisfy your inner burger artist. If you consider yourself a creative in the burger space, well, then you have your work cut out for you.
In the past, the writer of this article did promotional work for Johnny Good Burger.