In our Newcomer’s Guide we picked our Dirty Dozen, 12 burgers from across Collin County (and a few we couldn’t resist in Dallas) that we found truly spectacular, rated on a scale that takes into account the sum of their parts, as well as the quality of those parts. The final 12 burgers were sorted into six categories, gourmet, wild card, trendy, classic, diner and butcher shop and two of each were chosen.
However, we reviewed many, many more. Presenting the full list of burgers reviewed and considered, including our 12 winners, our honorable mentions and honestly, the ones that we wish had been better. Take your cholesterol medication before browsing and note that our opinions are our own.
1. The Grape burger, The Grape
How we ate it: house-cured bacon, Vermont white cheddar, salt-and-peppered tomatoes, red onion and house-made pickles that gave me a new appreciation for pickles that aren’t dill.
Why we love it: It’s a classic for a reason: simple and understated, yet remarkable. It is still among the very best burgers in Texas, if not still the very best.
2808 Greenville Ave., Dallas | thegraperestaurant.com
2. O.M.G. Burger, Whiskey Cake
How we ate it: Roasted crimini mushrooms inside a beer-battered onion ring, muenster cheese, grain mustard, red chile mayo, lettuce and tomato all on a challah bun.
Why we love it: It’s creative. Plus, we love farm-to-table and locally-sourced burgers. We also love roasted crimini mushrooms.
3601 Dallas Pkwy., Plano | whiskeycake.com
3. The “Rose” Burger, Mesero
How we ate it: Double meat, double cheese, stacked iceberg, tomato and pickles.
Why we love it: We didn’t expect to find it at a Mexican restaurant. But there it is. And, if you can tear yourself away from the tacos, it’s glorious.
7501 Windrose Avenue D180, Plano | mesero.net
4. Wagyu Burger, Grub Burger
How we ate it: Wagyu patty, roasted garlic A1 aioli, marinated grilled tomato, arugula, Swiss and French fried onions
Why we love it: It’s the perfect combination of flavors, particularly the savory with a hint of sweet aioli and the perfection of Wagyu. And, marinated grilled tomatoes.
8255 Preston Rd. Ste. 300, Plano | grubburgerbar.com
5. Burger, Rick’s Chophouse
How we ate it: certified angus beef, beefsteak tomato, lettuce, cheddar, tobacco onions, pickles
Why we love it: That smoky, satisfying flavor of those tobacco onions. It’s only available at lunch, but we would eat it any time, anywhere.
107 N. Kentucky St., McKinney | rickschophouse.com
6. Angus Burger, The Keeper
How we ate it: lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, Old Bay remoulade
Why we love it: We love The Keeper for its inventive and praiseworthy seafood, but when he tried the burger for kicks, we were pleasantly surprised. Land lovers, you don’t want to miss this one, or the tiki cocktails.
5840 Legacy Cir. Ste. D100, Plano | thekeeperplano.com
7. Bourbon Burger, Bottled in Bond
How we ate it: Portobello mushrooms, grilled red peppers, emmental cheese, fried onion strings and blackberry bourbon glaze.
Why we love it with caution: Currently, Bottled in Bond is redoing their menu. We don’t know if there will even be a Bourbon Burger anymore, but it was a good one, and is on the list, at least, out of remembrance.
5285 Dallas Pkwy Ste. 420, Frisco | bottledinbondparlour.com
8. House Hamburger, Harvest
How we ate it: ground brisket, chuck and short rib on a whole-wheat bun with smoked cheddar
Why we love it: We love farm-to-table and few places do it better than Harvest. They’ve created a simple, elegant burger.
112 E. Louisiana St., McKinney | harvesttx.com
9. The Royale With Cheese, Royale Burger
How we ate it: 7oz local angus beef, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, caramelized onion, pickles, Royale sauce
Why we like it, but aren’t sure we love it: We love a Wes Anderson theme, but the question that has always haunted Royale–and still does–is: is it all surface and no substance? It’s a good burger. But is it as good as it should be, considering the shakes, the atmosphere and the ingredients? Maybe. Maybe not.
3310 Dallas Pkwy. Ste. 121, Plano | royaleburgers.com
1. LoYo Burger, Local Yocal Barbecue and Grill
How we ate it: Cheddar, shredded lettuce, tomato, house pickles, red onion, house burger sauce on a buttered and toasted bun.
Why we love it: We love grass-fed patties and there’s magic in that secret sauce. Just look at those layers.
350 E. Louisiana St., McKinney | localyocalbbqandgrill.com
2. Cheeseburger, Ye Ole Butcher
How we ate it: Buffalo patty with cheddar, grilled onions, shredded lettuce, tomato and pickles. Barbecue sauce on the side.
Why we love it: They’ve mastered traditional burgers and exotic ones like elk or wild hog.
811 E. 15th St., Plano | yeolebutchershop.com
3. Kelly Classic, Kelly’s Family Farm Burger Stand
How we ate it: fixin’s, one slice of cheese and chips on the side
Why we like it: Yes, it’s off the beaten track and not technically a butcher shop, but we love the ambiance of this family-owned food truck. It makes us feel nostalgic.
1989 W. Lucas Rd., Lucas | kellyfamilyfarms.com
… We need more butcher shop burgers.
1. Kimchi Burger, LA Burger
How we ate it: Kimchi, pickled jalapeno, bulgogi glaze, lettuce, tomato, sriracha mayo, American cheese and a fried egg on one of LA Burger’s perfect doughy buns.
Why we love it: It’s not simple or understated, but a powerhouse of flavor and seriously, what are these glorious LA Burger buns made out of?
3216 E. Hebron Pkwy., Carrollton | 2000 N. Plano Rd., Richardson || la-burger.com
2. Sugar Burger, Rodeo Goat
How we ate it: Caramelized onions, grilled peaches, candied bacon and jalapeno jam.
Why we love it: Did you know you could put peaches on a burger? We sure didn’t. Sometimes an interesting burger isn’t good, and sometimes a good burger isn’t all that interesting. The Sugar Burger is both.
641 Powell Ln., Plano | rodeogoat.com
3. High Society, Square Burger
How we ate it: Prosciutto di parma, aged balsamic, roasted red pepper relish, and fontina.
Why we like it: Grass-fed beef burgers and craft brews. Also, the flavors are inventive and different, so there’s always something new to discover.
115 N. Kentucky St., McKinney
4. Waffle Cheeseburger, Baker’s Drive-in
How we ate it: American cheese, mustard, lettuce, tomato and pickles.
Why we love it: A warm maplely waffle with a crisp outside and soft inside? Holding a perfect diner burger? Sweet tea on the side? (One note: if we were smart, we would have done it with cheese, a fried egg and bacon.)
1001 S. McDonald St., McKinney
5. Kimchi Burger, K-Pop Burger & Crab King
How we ate it: fixin’s, plus ketchup, grilled kimchi, cheese and a fried egg.
Why we like it but don’t love it: the Kimchi burger has that necessary Korean twist, but the kimchi isn’t handled with the same level of grace that LA Burger can. Still, it’s worth your time, especially if you live further afield.
2575 Main St., Frisco | kpopburgerfrisco.com
6. Sliders, BurgerIM
How we ate it: One dry-aged patty with mustard and American cheese and one Wagyu beef with garlic aioli, grilled onion and sauteed mushrooms
Why we like it but aren’t sure we love it: These are popping up everywhere all of a sudden. It’s a fine concept. We do like sliders. But we don’t need 20 of them all at once.
8549 Gaylord Pkwy., Ste. 111, Frisco (19 more coming soon to a DFW metroplex near you) | burgerim.com
1. Pimento Burger, Knife Burger
How we ate it: Sous vide style beef, pimento cheese, red onion.
Why we love it: When it comes to preparing beef and presenting at its best and most pure, no one can beat John Tesar.
7800 Windrose Ave., Plano | knifeburgers.com
2. The Liberty Burger, Liberty Burger
How we ate it: Sirloin and tenderloin patty with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle.
Why we love it: Give us Liberty Burger or give us death. This is our version of a Happy Meal.
824 W. Stacy Rd. #800, Allen | givemelibertyburger.com
3. Good night/Good cause, Hopdoddy Burger Bar
How we ate it: Angus beef, Tillamook cheddar, caramelized onions, jalapeños, caffeinated BBQ, sassy sauce, lettuce, and tomato.
Why we love it: caffeinated barbecue sauce. All around, a satisfying, crave-worthy experience worth the short jaunt to Addison.
5100 Belt Line Rd., #502, Addison | hopdoddy.com
4. Umami Tsunami, The Grind Burger Bar and Tap Room
How we ate it: Charred tomato, bacon, wild mushrooms, baconnaise, crispy parmesan
Why we like it: We love a good chef-driven burger. This is a welcome newcomer, and check out those toppings. Enough said.
7500 Stacy Rd. Ste. 150, McKinney | grindburgerbar.com
5. Champagne and Cheddar Burger, Village Burger Bar
How we ate it: Cheddar, the fixin’s and champagne mustard
Why we like it: This is the best burger on the menu, hands down. There’s real champagne in the sauce.
957 Garden Park Dr., Allen | 5700 Legacy Dr., #5a, Plano | villageburgerbar.com
6. Signature Burger, Hat Creek Burger Company
How we ate it: Double with American cheese, Happy sauce and spicy sauerkraut.
Why we like it: An Austin transplant that brings something legitimately new to the area. Plus, it’s very kid-friendly, which is nice.
555 E. Exchange Pkwy., Allen | 3321 S. Custer Rd., McKinney | hatcreekburgers.com
7. Built-your-own, Dugg Burger
How we ate it: Cheddar, grape tomatoes, greens, Dugg sauce, crispy onions, mushrooms and bacon.
Why we like it: The hollowed-out bun gimmick is fun and saves on the calories (a little). We like the free unlimited toppings.
4701 W. Park Blvd. #110, Plano | duggburger.com
8. ShackBurger, Shake Shack
How we ate it: Cheeseburger topped with lettuce, tomato and ShackSauce
Why we like it, but don’t love it: This is a good, simple cheeseburger. But while the Emporium pies are amazing, as are the shakes, this burger just isn’t worth its reputation. For the price, you could get a much better burger elsewhere and fries that aren’t crinkle cut. We suggest going up the street for a Knife Burger.
7401 Windrose Ave., Plano | shakeshack.com
1. Dr Pepper barbecue bacon burger, Snuffer’s
How we ate it: Bacon strips, bacon bits, Dr Pepper barbecue sauce, American cheese, pickles and diced red onion.
Why we love it: Round of applause for two kinds of bacon. Again: two types of bacon. Also, the Dr Pepper-infused barbecue sauce is as light as a feather.
4901 W. Park Blvd. Ste. 521, Plano | snuffers.com
2. Royale with Cheese, Kenny’s Burger Joint
How we ate it: A half-pound hickory-grilled burger with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and mayo.
Why we love it: Kenny Bowers has yet to fail us.These are gold standard burgers with a lovely hint of hickory.
1377 Legacy Dr. #120, Frisco | 5809 Preston Rd. #588, Plano || kennysburgerjoint.com
3. Chip’s Hamburgers
How we ate it: Third-pounder with the fixin’s, hickory sauce and fried green tomatoes
Why we like it: It really does feel old-fashioned, and eating at The Boardwalk is really fun.
5840-5876 TX-121, Plano | chips-hamburgers.com
4. Cheeseburger, J.C.’s Burger
How we ate it: ⅓-lb burger with American cheese and all the fixin’s.
Why we like it: A neighborhood burger joint that, time and again, churns out a friendly, neighborhood burger. And it’s fun to watch people tackle the Toddzilla.
2919 W. 15th St., Plano | 4135 Belt Line Rd., #100, Addison | 8612 Preston Rd., Ste. 107, Plano | 335 Central Expy., Allen | 6840 Virginia Pkwy, #100, McKinney || jcsburgers.com
5. Texas Cheddar, Dirty Burger Bar
How we ate it: mixed greens, red onions, fried egg, bacon and cheddar cheese with DDB sauce
Why we like it: Any burger with Texas in the name is bound to be good. Add a hearty, nicely cooked patty and a great secret sauce and you’ve got a great meal.
5804 Windhaven Pkwy., The Colony | dirtyburgerbar.com
6. Good Morning Joe, Hub Streat Food Port
How we ate it: Angus beef, applewood smoked bacon, fried egg, lettuce, cabbage, tomato, onion, pickle, tomato bacon jam and espresso mayo
Why we like it: There’s a lot–almost too much–going on here. Cabbage? Tomato bacon jam? Espresso mayo? But hey, the end result is pretty cool. … We could maybe do without the cabbage.
1212 14th St, Plano | hub.st
7. American classic cheeseburger, Stan’s Main Street
How we ate it: A classic burger with fixin’s
Why we like it: This is a basic, satisfying pub burger, nothing more and nothing less. Eat with a beer.
7210 Main St., Frisco | stansfrisco.com
8. Jalapeno Bottle Cap Burger, Jake’s Uptown
How we ate it: double cheese, double meat, onion, lettuce, tomato, pickles and mustard, topped with jalapeño bottle caps.
Why we like it, but aren’t sure we love it: This is a solid burger with plenty of heat from the bottle caps, but it really needed the second patty. Without it, the patty would have been overwhelmed.
6195 W. Main St., Frisco | jakesburgersandbeer.com
9. The Preston Trail Burger, Scotty P’s
How we ate it: Homemade chili, grated cheese, mustard, onions and fresh jalapeno.
Why we liked it, but didn’t love it: It lacked the magic that others, even other diner burgers, had. It’s hard to go wrong with homemade chili and cheese, but we expected a little more from this old standby.
109 Central Expy. #501, Allen | 2950 Craig Dr., McKinney | 2929 Custer Rd. #300, Plano || scottyps.com
1. Cheeseburger, Sky Rocket Burger
How we ate it: Secret sauce, Angus beef, American cheese, shredded lettuce, tomato and pickles, and the perfect touch of grease.
Why we love it: This is the quintessential, iconic, classic-as-Coke classic, wholesome diner burger. We ate this one last, when we were most sick of burgers and we still couldn’t get enough of it.
7877 Frankford Rd. #101B, Dallas | skyrocketburger.com
2. Cheeseburger, One and Only Burger
How we at it: Cheddar cheese, signature sauce, lettuce, tomato, pickles
Why we love it: Free unlimited toppings? Yes please. Fries that come in three sizes: Small for One, Regular for Two, and The Large in Humongous? Yes, yes please.
1330 N. McDonald St., McKinney | oneandonlyburgersandfries.com
3. #4, Olive Burger
How we ate it: 1/3-pound beef, white American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, sauteed jalapenos, grilled onions and spicy ketchup.
Why we love it: White American cheese that works strange magic with the patty, in part because the ratio of toppings and meat is perfect. We don’t love Olive Burger for its parts, but the balance of its whole. And it’s Halal, which is nice.
2129 W. Parker Rd. #301, Plano | 5720 State Hwy. 121 Plano | 451 W. Arapaho Rd. #100, Richardson || oliveburger.com
4. Classic with cheese, Nest Burger
How we ate it: Angus beef, American cheese and fixin’s
Why we love it: Fresh and casual, with an excellent veggie burger menu (all come with Masala sauce), Nest Burger is no-frills and great for a quick lunch.
2540 E. Plano Pkwy. #114, Plano | nestburgers.com
5. Jimmy’s Special Burger, Jimmy’s Big Burgers
How we ate it: sauteed onions, mushrooms, jalapenos, bell peppers, American and provolone cheeses, fixin’s, hickory sauce and mayo, ketchup and mustard.
Why we like it: We can’t decide if this is overkill, or awesome. We’re going to have to eat more burger to figure it out.
3611 14th St., Plano | jimmybigburgers.com
6. Old Fashioned cheeseburger, Gazeebo Burger
How we ate it: Half-pound burger with cheese and fixin’s.
Why we like it: It’s a solid get-the-job-done burger in a very basic space. What more could you ask from a burger?
6009 Parker Rd. # 165, Plano | gazeeboburgers.com
7. The Works, Fuddruckers
How we ate it: Applewood-smoked bacon, American cheese, mushrooms
Why we like it, but immediately forgot about it: This is definitely a DFW classic. It’s nothing special, but it’s, you know, a good burger. But that’s it. It’s just, you know, a burger.
2947 Preston Rd., Frisco | 741 N Central Expy, Plano | fuddruckers.com
8. Country Cheeseburger, Country Burger
How we ate it: All the fixin’s and cheddar
Why we didn’t love it: This is a classic piece of Plano and the pulled pork sandwich is a real treasure. But we found the burger average and underseasoned. It’s not a bad burger, but not a great one either.
3115 W. Parker Rd., Plano | 1700 14th St., Plano | countryburgertx.com
There are many more burgers in Collin County. Is your favorite missing? Let us know: [email protected]