Dallas' Five Best Burgers

Smoke Burger.jpg
Sara Kerens
Picking the best burger is a bear. It's not that the work isn't fun -- my waistline is a testament to my enthusiasm -- it's just that there are so many types of burgers to choose from. Is the burger served at a top-end steakhouse better that what you'd pull out of a greasy paper sack? Sure, sometimes, but you're not always in the mood to throw on a starched shirt every time you're craving a burger. Sometimes you actually want to add another mustard stain to that faded T-shirt. Sometimes you're barreling down the tollway when you need a hunk of beef. And sometimes you just want to sit in a tavern with a cold beer and an affordable burger that doesn't suck.

These are City of Ate's five favorites, including our recent Best of Dallas winner for Best Burger, categorized for your convenience, and, like it or not, completely Grape-burger free. Get more of Dallas' best with our Best Of app, available for the Droid and the iPhone.

5. Smoke: bovinity defined (pictured above).
When burger cravings are at their absolute highest -- an almost deafening roar -- indulging a burger made from top-shelf ingredients produces a contented state of mind that can only be described as bovinity. Smoke's burger does this with a soft-cooked egg fritter, house-cured smoky bacon, a beautiful bun and a juicy hunk of beef. Burgers like this induce an almost visceral response. They make burgermeisters weep.

maplemotor best.jpg

4. Maple and Motor: the every man's burger
"Ya want that pink or gray in the center." The simple question, asked by the woman working the register, sums up everything you need to know about Jack Perkins' simple burger. Bolster your common-man experience with a cold can of Schlitz. Just don't play grab-ass with your table-mates.

NHS burger porn.jpg

3. NHS Tavern: the super juicy burger.
I've eaten or witnessed the consumption of five of these burgers now and despite consistent over-cooking they're always ridiculously juicy. Not just errant drips, either; we're talking full on plate puddle. Cheese and a house-made mayo-based sauce make the NHS burger a full-on belly buster. I've never finished my fries.

Location Info

Smoke

901 Fort Worth Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

Maple & Motor

4810 Maple Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

Tried and True

2405 N. Henderson Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

Whataburger

5500 Lemmon Ave., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

Dairy-Ette

9785 Ferguson Road, Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant


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97 comments
Gabe_s
Gabe_s

Best burger in Dallas is at Flaming Burger on Garland Rd. @ Jupiter by Home Depot, and fries are fresh cut, not frozen like most.  Homemade hickory sauce is amazing, as is poppy seed bun, fabulous.

Tini
Tini

You forgot to mention how rude the owners are at Maple & Motor....not worth the trip to the counter!

Txbubbaofbc
Txbubbaofbc

there is no list without the dairyette!

Ralphy
Ralphy

Solid list (and suprising).   I would like to see the top 5 that came close but didn't make your list.

Foodie1
Foodie1

No way can you beat a Chili's cheeseburger w/a side of chili on top!  And their fries are the best - hot and perfectly seasoned!  The best!!!  I've tried burgers around town, but keep coming back to Chili's!

Jamo
Jamo

If you're including a fast food chain, then I'd have to say Burger Street's burgers blow Whataburger's out of the water.

Marc
Marc

Not in Dallas but how could Square Burger not be mentioned?  The drive to McKinney is not that far and definately worth it.

The Stig
The Stig

I wish they would open more Dairy Queens. The term gourmet burger is an oxymoron. Ground beef, bun and lipstick.

jo
jo

Griffs

burger monster
burger monster

2am is cool but whataburger? for real. I like Jakes much better with a case of whatever beer you want or a shake. wingfeilds or kellers is better than whataburger. you might as well put carls jr on the list if your just throwing names up. heck wendy's and jack in the crack stay open late what about waffle house? I thought it was a great burger list not whoever is open.

Sidewalkastronomer
Sidewalkastronomer

Years ago Dairy-Ette served root beer in frozen mugs. Does any know if they still do that?

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

I would like a report on Louie's Ifn it's:

A: Still openB: If any of y'all "foodies" can tear your asses away from your local winebar long enough to handle up.

Seen on DDD and it looks bad ass.

mark
mark

They do not charge extra to grill the onions on your burger, or at least they've never charged me. Maybe you need to be nicer to the people behind the counter/in the window?

Sturms_Bloody_Rectum
Sturms_Bloody_Rectum

yawn, waiting for the hard hitting behind the scenes expose, of outside the loop dives, with the best BLT, subs, and grilled cheese sandwiches.

Bob
Bob

See, Nancy Nichols? This is what a best burger list looks like when a California-based chain has not paid to put their burger on your magazine cover and blog.

aggie91
aggie91

Angry DogLouie'sAdar's KellerBurger House

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

The only thing I find more funny than Dallas burger talk would be in order:

#1: Dallass-ites in general.#2: Refer to #1.

I've had but one this list, Whataburger, if this was a list of burgers served after 2AM exclusively it should be on a top 5..but in an open competition there is no way it should sniff top 20.

I've had Adairs, not bad..pretty solid even...give me a few cold ones, maybe some 1100 Springs over in the corner.

I've enjoyed Keller's from the comfort of my running vehicle with the windows rolled up tight.

Texas Monthly says that the Grape has the best in Texas, not just Dallas, while I don't know if that's true..if it's better than their third place pick of Alamo Springs Cafe or their fifth place pick of The Cove (had a Blue Buffalo there last week! Wowza) then I would assume it should make anyone's short list.

I found Joe Tone's comment very humorous as well, I too figured the sheep of the Greater Dallas area would all agree that The Grape's burger had to be the best cause it's surely the one of the most expensive.

Scott, you and Joe are both welcome to come over to the affordable side of the Westoplex for a guided feast of five burgers that would whip these in a battle royal.

In no particular order, any of these would take over the top spot of your list: 

Dutch'sLove Shack (a block from my place of employ)Fred'sPop'sKincaid'sTommy'sCharley'sClown BurgerAl's (technically not in the Fort, Arlington)Chop House (Arlington as well) 

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Freaking burger elitists annoy me....

Whataburger may not be burger utopia, but for $5-7 for a complete meal it's hard to beat when they're on their game. You can't always hit up some of the other places for a quick lunch--there's something to be said about a damn fine burger you don't have to leave your car for no matter what part of town you reside in.

Ghiberti
Ghiberti

Dude, you need to keep trying some burgers. The two best burgers in town are at The Grape and The Commissary and you rank Whataburger ahead of them? More research is definitely needed.

G_David
G_David

Wow, yet another best burger post.  What a complete waste of time and bandwidth.  Next, can we please get a discussion of who was better, Emmett or Barry?  Pete Rose, Hall of Fame or no.....?

islandkiwi
islandkiwi

You say Dairy-ette, I say Circle Grill.  Double cheese, do onion rings instead of the fries.  The onion rings are phenomenal.

Berniemccool
Berniemccool

Maple and Motor isn't that great. Carry on.

raeckart
raeckart

Anybody try Lee Harvey's?

The bacon is a foot thick and you can just plop a couple of their onion-rings on top. I've tried 4 of the 5 you list here, and it smokes them all.

Whataburger? You must be kidding. In-n-Out or Steak & Shake handle up on your #2.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

this list is ok. I don't like how you Richie Whitt'd us with having to click to page 2. Honorable mentions:Jake'sMooyahTwisted RootHouston's

M Dot
M Dot

Whataburger? Maybe on a fast-food list, but not here. From a price standpoint it's hard to compare a place that's serving cheap fast-food burgers with places using beef/brisket mixes that are $7 and up.

Dairy-ette: a nod to nostalgia with the old-school magnet letter sign and drive-up? yes! best burger?..no.

My top 51. Maple & Motor2. Cedars Social3. Company Cafe4. Angry Dog5. City Tavern

Daily Reader
Daily Reader

I'm fixated on that picture of the Maple&Motor burger.  Showed it to someone else and they instantly started licking their lips.  All they could say was "oh my"

Boo
Boo

Can't believe you omitted my all-time favorite POINT burger (any Point, i.e. Addison Point, Midway Point, etc.)

Ralphy
Ralphy

I would have put Milo Butterfinger's on the top 5 list....(taken Whatburger off).

G_David
G_David

It is indeed still open, I've been there within the last month.  Not sure if I would call it bad-ass, but it feels like home.  As does the Lakewod Landing, which is my all-time favorite dive.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

they did grilled cheese already, I couldn't find it but I remember reading it. Must have been a slow day for CoA.

G_David
G_David

That list is pretty definitive, the glaring omission of Lee Harvey's notwithstanding.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

I don't know if you got here because of my link but I knew this one would get your BP up.

Davy Crockett
Davy Crockett

Hmph! I spit upon the Whataburger's of the metroplex!

Sorry, been reading this blog a lot lately - felt the need to try my hand at being an elitist douche bag when it come to a god damned hamburger.

Kergo 1 Spaceship
Kergo 1 Spaceship

Dude, you are conversing with a s/load of tollway trolls and yuppies, what do you expect?  You could give them the nastiest burger in the land (Jack, BK) and put a sprig of green on it, and put it on a fancy plate-and charge em 15 bucks.  Sure, Whataburger is good, but they don't get it.........it's like trying to tell them they have souls.  See, it's all about THEM, and the TOLLWAY, not reality.  That's why I only "go into town" when I HAVE to.  Imagine  a half a million Chris Chris'.  

foodbitch
foodbitch

My list would have the Moth's burger and Smoke's. No need to choose!

Wanda 561
Wanda 561

Can't fit it in to your cranial cortex, can ya' buddy?  Whataburger='s rock n' roll. You='s sippin' tea and scones-bitches!

Craig Monty
Craig Monty

Let's see......yo mama when she slept with that guy from the dump?

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

I did indeed sir and it did indeed. I'd like to know if Scott has had the Porch burger actually. I don't care for an egg on my burger, unless it was a breakfast burger..I guess. I don't order the Dirty Love burger, cause Ifn I wanted a quail egg I reckon I would go squeeze a quail..but they make a damn fine burger minus the egg as well.

G_David
G_David

If you haven't seen Arrested Development on DVD, do it now.  Listen to the cab driver in season 3.  It's the Whataburger guy.  I had to Google it to make sure.

4xtex
4xtex

Whataburger is a great "give me something cheap cause I ain't goina keep it down anyways" burger at post 2 am.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Your luck to live where the West begins Davy, you can't hardly throw a stick over here without hitting a good burger joint.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

Them: I really enjoyed the ambience and the plating of the burger.

Me: So, howd it taste?

Them: I saw Modano at another table, and the mamosas were tremendous.

Me: Welp, see ya later.

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

I don't need no ding dang chicken leavings up on a burger, although I do know many a Northener who does.

List of add-ons for a Texas Burger, in no specific order:

JapsOnionsCheeseChiliTomatoesRetried beans-don't laugh the Texas burger from The Cove is a badass.Green chiliesAvocadoBacon-crispy of courseGrilled onionsTabascoPicklesMayoMustardCatsup

And I still haven't got to an egg.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

A fried egg on a burger is a self-regulated rare but glorious experience to behold.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

I had Fuddrucker's for lunch. Hangover burger, 1/2 lb, egg sunny side up with American cheese. It was damn good.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Well said. You forgot to mention that they thought the Chef looked at them. Chef? Wtf, we're talking about burgers. He's a griller.

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