I am something of a hamburger afficionado. Which mainly means I don't do drive-through hamburgers unless there are absolutely no other options. And why would anyone get hamburgers at a drive-through in Austin, TX when there are so many other excellent hamburger options?
I'm also a fan of hamburger joints that serve wine and mixed drinks, which most do here. In Texas, it's now a law that you can even get drinks to go, as we were able to do during COVID. It may be the only good bill passed by the Lege this session.
Hopdoddy is my main go-to for the best hamburgers and the best margaritas.Tripadvisor ranks them number one as well. Hopdoddy was born in Austtin, TX, and now has franchises throughout the state. They also have franchises in L.A, Arizona, Colorado, Arkansas, and Tennessee. They make their patties by hand, and bake the bread for the buns. They have the best truffle fries, also hand made. The burgers come out pink in the middle, unless you specify otherwise, which I do. It was also one of the first places to offer the Impossible burger, a plant based burger that tastes like and resembles meat. Since I'm single, I particularly like that they have bar seating. All the better to order their Doble Fina or Big Larry margaritas.
Wholly Cow is my second favorite burger place in Austin. Their hamburgers are made from local, organic, grass fed beef. The cows have been pasture raised. Wholly Cow also uses locally grown organic produce in season. The hamburgers are made and served inside a small farmer's market shop which also carries a good selection of bottles of wine. Order a burger and fries, buy a bottle of wine, and sit at one of red checkered table cloth covered two tables outside or one fo the five booths and tables inside. And if you need to pick up milk and eggs while you're there, you can.
Loro serves one of the best burgers on the planet. Only in Austin, TX, and only from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. However, it's still worth the mad dash there, or taking the afternoon off, or even driving or flying in. After all, Loro is the offspring of a partnership between the iconic award winning Franklins Barbeque and award winning Uchi. People stand in line for barbeque from Franklins starting at 8:00 in the morning. Uchi requires reservations even for happy hour. I hesitate to write about Loro lest it become as popular and I can't get my seat there. The Asian fusion restaurant, billed as an Asian Smokehouse Bar, may be Austin's best kept secret. The burger is small, but the meat is exceptional. It comes with a brisket jam made with shavings of Franklins Barbeque brisket. Luminaries such as Jimmy Kimmel, Gordon Ramsey, and Barack Obama have cut in line at Franklins Barbeque for the brisket. President Obama was the first person Aaron Franklin allowed to cut the line, and in gratitude, Obama paid for the people behind him in line. Tyson Cole's restaurants, Uchi and Uchiko provide the Asian part of Asian fusion. Cole is one of the few American sushi masters, and has won numerous awards, including the 2011 James Beard Award for "Best Chef: Southwest." On Sundays and Mondays, when they stop serving the hamburgers, they serve ribs.
Gourdough's Big Fat Donuts and Gourdough's Public House has my niece Laura Moore's favorite burger. And yes, it is served on an actual huge donut. I can't vouch for it, but I trust her entirely. I have had their French-EE, a doughnut french toast that is astounding. They have doughnut sandwitches and sides as well, with imaginative names such as Okra Winfrey and Wiz Kale-Leafa.
P. Terry's. Okay, there is one drive-through I'll do. P. Terry's is an Austin original, and they use all organic products. Their burgers and chicken burgers are all natural, and their fries are fresh cut on site. Their website states, "P. Terry's offers the freshest incredients you can find served out of a drive-thru window," and I must agree. They also serve a house veggie burger, home-made shakes and cookies. They even serve breakfast. Plus, they beat California based In and Out Burger by a Texas mile.