Texas Burger Project


Texans take their burgers seriously. Everyone has an opinion and everyone’s favorite burger is the best.
A few months ago I set out to photograph some of the best burgers in Texas and the unique places that serve them.
Pat Sharpe, food writer for Texas Monthly, inspired the idea based on an upcoming article she was working on. We met at the Counter Café in Austin for a burger and talked about burger joints she had scouted throughout the state. I went on to meet Alison Cook, food writer for the Houston Chronicle, again for burgers this time at Lankford’s Grocery in Houston. She shared her knowledge of Texas burgers and places she liked.
There were my starting points. I was not only looking for good burgers, but good atmosphere and lots of character. As I found them, each one led to another as locals recommended new places.

This photographic exploration into Texas burgers told me one thing; there is not just one great burger in Texas. There is an entire world of them and each offers something completely unique, whether it’s flame-broiled, hand packed, sauced to an extreme, on sweetened buns or topped with dozens of cheeses. There are some great one’s out there, grab your camera and go out and try them!



Places I visited:

KinKaid’s Grocery Market- Fort Worth

Diary-Ette- Dallas

Twisted Root- Dallas

Angry Dog- Dallas

Adairs Saloon- Dallas

Club Schmidt- Dallas

Jake’s Old Fashion Hamburgers- Dalles

Keller’s Drive-In- Dallas

Burger House- Dallas

Bellaire Broiler Burger-Bellaire

Lankford’s Grocery- Houston

Sparkle Burger-Houston

Lucky Burger- Houston

Counter Café-Austin

P.Terry’s- Austin

Top Notch- Austin


Filed under Domestic Assignments, Favorite Places, food culture, Hamburgers, Houston, Restaurants, Texas, travel

49 Responses to Texas Burger Project

  1. Lovely shots. The article actually inspired a group of us to visit all the places in and around Austin that made the list.

  2. Burgerlicious! I LOVE seeing the state’s best burgers through your eyes. Thanks for publishing them here. The landscapes are particularly nice…

  3. I love your photos, Penny. So which spot do you recommend? I kind of like the idea of checking out Sparkle Burger, just for the name.

  4. thecosmiccowgirl

    gorgeous photos that really capture the spirit of the hamburger joint. i have to say i am a counter cafe hamburger junkie, but i really need to get out there and do some more research…!

  5. Mmmm mmmm mmmm. Love this set. Love the shot of the bored waitress behind the counter. Love ‘em all. Curious as to why you chose to visit so many places in Dallas vs the other towns? I haven’t had a burger from Adairs Saloon in years, but I remember how good it was at 1AM. Mmmmm mmmm mmm.

  6. Sue Jenkins

    Beautiful pictures! I’m off on a crusade to check the Houston spots first, then I’m going to Austin. Who knows which ones from there. Thanks for making me appreciate Texas even more!

  7. It may be a franchise now, but Fuddrucker’s is a San Antonio startup, and it still makes a great burger. As does the Lonestar Cafe. Next time, make sure you go further south than Austin!

  8. Simon

    Nice shootin’ Tex! Great food-photo-blogging indeed.

  9. Great pics. I wish I had your skill.

    A couple of Texas Burger Joints I liked a lot:

    Dippity’s in Lumberton
    Hut’s Hamburgers in Austin.

    Eat well and often.


  10. tastyeatsathome

    Love the photographs. That shot of the burger with jalapenos is making me hungry. I live in the Dallas area, and I have to say, Dairyette is one of my favorites. I hope you had a frosty root beer when you visited, as they make their own. And if you’re sitting inside (rather than in their drive-in) they serve it in a frosty mug…it is amazing.

  11. Penny, your pictures are making my mouth water. Thanks for sharing burgers your way. P.S. My older sister will tell you that Lankford’s in Houston has the best burger. I’ll defer to her on that one.

  12. Hi,

    You must try Big’z in San Antonio.


  13. Joy

    Nicely done! And Whataburger the chain deserves some props, I think!

  14. lounatik

    i love your photos! :D

  15. laborlawguy

    Good work. How long did it take you to visit all these places, and how much weight did you gain? LOL I love your photographs.

  16. 1russian

    Photos makes me hungry)))

  17. Steve

    Incredible photos there. I went to Texas a couple of years ago, and vowed to return – Austin in particular was amazing. Now I’ll have a few burger joints to head to when I do make it back…

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  19. Jeff

    Three in Amarillo…

    1. Beef Burger – classic burgers cooked up in a kitchen shaped like a giant barrel.

    2. Arnold’s Burger – you won’t believe how big the make ‘em. As about the teddy bear burger, or the christmas tree burger.

    3. Blue Sky – more main stream, but a dang good burger on a killer bun.


  20. Moi

    I just found your blog and I am sure glad I did. Your photographs are wonderful

  21. bobbygee

    This is great. please send so burgers now. I am hungry.

  22. Mary Peng

    I just moved to Houston so I’m still a super tourist when it comes to Texas food…I’ll definitely be checking back here to get some weekend trip ideas!

    Oh and BTW…your pictures are amazing! :)

  23. Kalla Vieaux

    Mmmm! Delicious!

  24. Wonderful photo’s and thoughts on the Amercian Tradition – The Burger. We recently watched on Food Network how the Hamburger got it’s name! Thanks again – Lunch time! LOL…….


  25. pum-pum-pum

    That’s sound delicious… i hopw some day go there and eat one.

  26. Beautiful pictures, looks like a series you would see in NG on Texas. Well done!

  27. I work for a small accounting firm and one of our clients is a place called Speedy Burger located on Irvington Dr in Houston. Don’t know if they have a good burger or not but the name alone warrants a try.

    Seriously though… one of the best burgers I’ve ever had was from a convenience store (the one in the northeast corner of the one stop light) located Marquez, Tx. The double meat burger though… not the regular one.

  28. Thank you so much for all these great comments. Just like when I was in the field photographing this project…people are enthusiastic about their burgers.
    Rightly so…

  29. thethoughtherder

    Great post, love the pics, the fact they capture not just the food but a bit of Texas burger joint abiance too. Never been to Texas yet but I know what I’ll be having when I get there. If you ever find yourself in Whistler BC check out Splitz Grill, well worth a visit.

  30. Awesome. I once stumbled upon this little place in Aubrey, north of Dallas, east of Denton, called Miss Lizzy’s. If you ever get up that way, go. It’s worth it. A bit cleaner than Kincaid’s, but still nice and juicy.

  31. redpipes

    Wow! You hit the best places in Dallas! I can never decide who’s best Angry Dog or Jakes. Twisted Root is too new to be in the best of running, but I’ sure it will be there soon!

  32. nice photo… love it… must be profesional…

  33. Some excellent shots there, nice documentary. The burgers looked pretty fine as well, here in Japan a good burger isn’t easy to come by….

  34. Mary

    Gorgeous photos! Congrats!

  35. Where is Sparkle’s located? That looks like my kind of burger joint!

  36. pHagah

    beauty!!! nice hamburguers =D

  37. insidethesparkling

    I lived across the street from Keller’s for 3 years before I got up the courage to join all the bikers…and I was so glad I did! I can’t eat there very often because it’s so bad for you, but MAN it’s good! I’ve only had 3 of Texas Monthly’s 50, so I’m arranging a burger tour with my friends.

  38. sara

    huuummm burgers…and..huuummm your photos

  39. angelic

    Adairs is one of my favs!

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  41. Jam

    wow, this is such a great post. I love it. Now my list is bigger than ever. I shall live so long. Which burger is the one in the picture, it looks like it needs to be eaten, right now.

  42. Michelle

    you should really go to San Antonio. They have some great burger places. Most notable, Chris Madrids and The Lords Prayer

  43. avs

    I love these photos Penny!

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  45. Nice site and great photos, Penny…
    Let’s talk Texas Hamburgers soon!