Houston's Top 10 Pub Burgers

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Photo by Mai Pham
The $13 burger at Branch Water is worth the price.
5. Branch Water Tavern

Branch Water isn't a sports bar by any stretch, but it is a nice place to catch the game if a calmer and chicer climate suits you. In keeping with that climate, chef David Grossman offers an outstanding $13 Texas Wagyu beef burger that's worth every cent (Bon Appétit thinks so, too): Grossman grinds nine ounces of the Texas version of the thickly marbled Japanese beef, then tops it very simply with tomatoes, red onions, butter lettuce and his own pickles, all atop a fluffy bun that soaks up the steam of beef juices nicely. You'll still need plenty of napkins for this one, though.

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Rockwell Tavern's big burgers don't mess around.
4. Rockwell Tavern

You may not expect a stellar craft beer selection and big, beautiful homemade burgers in this little strip-center tavern in Cypress. But Rockwell Tavern has cultivated a fervent following for offering those two things in spades, and it shows in the regulars who pack the place each night. One of the best things about Rockwell's burgers is the sweet buns that sandwich the beefy patty in place, a nice eggy lightness to them in the face of all that meat.

3. BRC Gastropub

Monday night burger night at BRC isn't the madhouse you'd expect, given how damn good the burgers are -- and how discounted. A burger on a normal night runs you $8.50 ($3 extra if you get fries). But burger night gives you BRC's classic burger -- a sort of upscale version of the Big Mac, complete with "special sauce" but with bacon and cheese to boot -- along with a basket of fresh, hot, homemade fries for only $6.50.

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Photo by Nicholas L. Hall
A tangy, tzatziki-topped lamb burger at Petrol, one of several burger options.
2. Petrol Station

Petrol is a less than ideal spot in which to watch any kind of sporting event -- but that's because it's a pub first and foremost. The draft beer selection is among the city's best, and the special casks and kegs that Petrol taps keep the place a perennial favorite among craft beer lovers. Even folks who could care less about beer, however, come to Petrol for its famous burgers -- especially now that the kitchen is back up and running. Burger and a pint night on Mondays may seem like the best night to go, but it's also the busiest. Stick to another night and enjoy the huge, craggy burger topped with salty Cheddar cheese with a cool, crisp pint. (Or go whole hog and order The Rancor.)

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The Queen Vic's English burger comes with plenty of house-cut fries, to boot.
1. The Queen Vic

This is the burger that caused me to question what I thought was a constant in my life: hamburger buns. Why don't more places use English muffins for buns? They are much sturdier than regular buns but still soft, their craggy interior soaks up meat juice admirably and they're far thinner, which means the important meat-to-bun ratio is always perfectly tipped in favor of the meat. Oh, and that meat -- The Queen Vic's patties are ground fresh daily, then topped with housemade bread-and-butter pickles, salty English cheddar and peppy Coleman's mustard for a truly out-of-this-world burger experience. You might even forget the Texans are on TV.



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Location Info

Little Bitty Burger Barn

5503 Pinemont Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Rudyard's

2010 Waugh, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Coaches Pub (Midtown)

2204 Louisiana, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Community Bar

2703 Smith, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Community Bar

2703 Smith, Houston, TX

Category: Music

The Hay Merchant

1100 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Branch Water Tavern - CLOSED

510 Shepherd, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Rockwell Tavern

12640 Telge Road, Cypress, TX

Category: Restaurant

BRC Gastropub

519 Shepherd, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

The Petrol Station

985 Wakefield, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Queen Vic Pub & Kitchen

2712 Richmond Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Crazy J's Ice House & Wine Bar - CLOSED

5022 Pinemont Dr, Houston, TX

Category: Music


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40 comments
texmex01
texmex01 topcommenter

So is this a list of Pub Burgers, or Bar burgers????

Miguelito66
Miguelito66

DANGEROUSLY ON EDGE HERE. How in the name of Houston, can Beaver's not only be left off the list, but not be in the Top 5??? I have not been to every joint on your list, but I've been to most, and sans Petrol and Christian's TG, there ain't no burger like a Sirloin, Beef, & Bacon Beaver Burger.

Jay Farr
Jay Farr

Stefanie Thanks!! I just sent mysef a link to this to put in my favorites. I plan to try them all.

TheRegular
TheRegular

Hay Merchant has crap food. Period.

Shiloh Mitchell
Shiloh Mitchell

Now thats a burger! Also a new location opening downtown.

MamaJuice
MamaJuice

 I have had many of the burgers on your list but Red Lion's burger is still one of my favorites. Order it with Irish bacon and it is perfect. The bun is semi sweet almost like Hawaiian bread but dense enough to hold up to the meat and fillings.

Amy Garcia Leonhardt
Amy Garcia Leonhardt

I have had many of the burgers on your list but Red Lion's burger is still one of my favorites. Order it with Irish bacon and it is perfect. The bun is semi sweet almost like Hawaiian bread but dense enough to hold up to the meat and fillings.

Glenn Ray
Glenn Ray

Rockwell Tavern got the goods. Also Kilburn's has some pretty good burgers.

Teresa Cristina Delgado
Teresa Cristina Delgado

Refinery Burgers & Whiskey! Great burger, nice selection of Texas beers... and the staff is very friendly.

Mon Ica
Mon Ica

Hubcap grill has some good ass burgers too!

ThatGirl
ThatGirl

Have you guys tried The Refinery Burgers and Whiskey?  Tasty!!  The Wild Hog is awesome!

FRL713
FRL713

Max's serves an excellent (albeit expensive) burger

TonyG916
TonyG916

@nobius @RyanLostinTX @HoustonPress never been to queen vic. might have to change that

Dylla
Dylla

@joannahqueen yes

jkellymassey
jkellymassey

Bob doesn't work at Community anymore. He was the only reason worth going there.

erichenao
erichenao

@EatingOurWords are these "dive" bars? Just making sure…don't wanna be confused…ya know whaddamean? okaythanksbye!

mattmadeiro1987
mattmadeiro1987

An English muffin!

 

Have you tried the Wagyu burger at the Hubbell and Hudson Bistro in the Woodlands, Katharine? I've given it the esteemed (dubious) honor of being my favorite burger in Texas due in no small part to the toasted muffin it comes out on. (It also might be a little too salty at times, but dear lord do I love salt).

 

The Queen Vic is next on my list. Thanks!

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

 @texmex01 Pub, bar -- we're in Houston, so I'd say they're somewhat interchangeable terms.

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

 @Miguelito66 The only reason is because I consider Beaver's a restaurant first and foremost, although it could be argued that it's an icehouse "in spirit."

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

 @TheRegular I'm not a fan of the pretzel nor the gumbo. But my God -- have you had the chicken wings? Or the barbecued chicken with mac 'n' cheese? Oonf.

kshilcutt
kshilcutt moderator editor

 @MamaJuice I'll admit it's been ages since I had a Red Lion burger. I always get Indian food there. Need to rectify that!

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

 @mattmadeiro1987 It's also made by one of the former chef's from Tesar's, which was where the best burger I ever had was.  English muffins really do work on a burger.

 

Except at Pub Fiction, for some reason.

craig13
craig13

Love to have you by as my guest and try our burger!!

Craig (owner)

MamaJuice
MamaJuice

 @kshilcutt  They also have a great night owl menu (1030pm -1am).  The burger is only $7 and the their delicious Tandoori quesadillas are $10.

lschaffner
lschaffner

Bob was never an owner at Community.  Community is owned by Karen Racine, who is also a co-owner of Absinthe.

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