Dallas, TX

A List of Refined Chef-Driven Burgers in Dallas

Steven Doyle

Photo bySteven Doyle

by Steven Doyle

Dallas has no shortage of the delicacy that is a burger.  What makes a perfect burger is the flavor of the beef, and the freshness of the bun, and the toppings. A burger should develop a nice sear to trap all the juices inside itself. Pressing a burger releases all of its flavors and makes the burger dry and ends up crumbling. The toppings are just as important as the cooking process. Using fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and onions helps bring a crisp texture and flavor depth that makes your burger scream fresh. Sure, bacon.

To add more depth a spread or sauce needs to compliment the other toppings without making the burger too messy or all you have is excessive use of napkins. Innovative burger toppings just make the flavor depth more interesting you just need to keep them in check because there is such a thing as “too much of a good thing.”

Today we examine Dallas restaurants that create a fantastic burgers. These are all mostly chef-driven and not from one of our favorite burger joints which the city has plenty of.

The list is in no order except the first one is definitely our favorite. Feel free to reach out and try these burgers and tell us your favorite fancy chef burger!

Photo bySteven Doyle

Knife: Two-time Top Chef John Tesar is the last word in burgers in Dallas, he is also behind the Knife Burger locations popping up – soon in Fort Worth. Here you may taste the burger of his childhood, the Magic. Tesar began his cooking career plating lettuce and tomato on burgers at Magic’s Pub in Southampton Beach, New York where the Magic began. It was a great time for him.

“We had it all. There was rock and roll, beer and pretty girls. And we would work at night and surf all day,” reminisced Tesar about his first cooking position. The burger is sandwiched between an English muffin and has a unique bite and flavor like no other. There are plenty of other favorites and there are no wrong choices.

Photo bySteven Doyle

Stock and Barrel: Jon Steven’s grill in Oak Cliff hosts many fine plates on an ever-rotating menu of freshness, but none speak to us more loudly that his burger. This burger is laden with fresh tomato jam, house-cured bacon and cheddar. Simple in execution using fine ingredients creating a classic burger kicked up to a level only this chef could create.

The burger is served with hand-cut russet potatoes that are thin and crispy and has their own aioli on the side. This is exactly what a chef-made burger should be, and definitely tops our list of favorites in a city that holds dear to this sandwich.

Photo bySteven Doyle

TJ’s Seafood Market: This can’t be right, or can it? A class local seafood shop in Dallas with a great burger? Look for a hand-formed brisket short rib patty, Whistlepig maple bacon, white cheddar, onion jam, a house-made pickle and more fixings. For a few extra shekels, you may add a smattering of very large grilled shrimp to complete the burger. Thurston Howell would approve.

The patty is juiced and tastes of fresh grilled meat, as it should. The bun is exciting and does a decent enough job of holding the ingredients together. A Herculean task. The added shrimp smack of the grill and are crisp and taste of a sweet salted breeze coming off the Cape. All this and served with a side of freshly cooked Old Bay seasoned chips.

Photo bySteven Doyle

Boulevardier: We are guessing Oak Cliff is now a burger Meccas, and Boulevardier knows meat. Cheffed by partner Nathan Tate, a burger whiz in his own right, the burger is made with a half-pound of grass-fed beef, house bacon, Gruyere cheese and caramelized onions. It will be difficult to ignore the rest of the menu, but you may always order oysters as a starter and one of the sublime cocktails or well-curated brews. Go a little crazy and ask for bone marrow on top of the burger!

Photo bySteven Doyle

Up One Knox: Truly a gentleman’s burger made lovingly by their chef, this burger will trip your lights. The restaurant is literally open all day including breakfast, so there are plenty of opportunities for this burger made with the legendary 44 Farms beef, a Duroc-onion compote (oh my), cheddar and house-made pickles for the win. Duroc is an amazing breed of old-school pig that is bred to be extra tasty. Luxuriate with a burger and a side of caviar with a martini!

Photo bySteven Doyle

Parigi: We have recently discussed Parigi for their delicious and fun brunch where the scene is seen and the diners dine. We discussed the joys of that brunch but also slipped in a burger unbeknownst to our readers. It has some major wow factor as owner-chef Janice sources everything local and everything fresh. Consider this burger which changes daily, but you may create your own version by merely looking for key ingredients on the menu. How about we design one now? A great beef patty medium rare with their award-winning Caesar salad (with Reggiano shavings), bacon and heirloom tomatoes. Sound good? Order that, but we would also add jalapenos.

Photo bySteven Doyle

Hillside Tavern: An East Dallas wunderkind serving amazing food and wine. Amazing steaks, burgers and delicious fries.

Photo bySteven Doyle

Lounge Here: This is an amazing chef-driven hide-a-way that looks more bar than a restaurant. But the food is stellar with chefs that have worked for some of the finest restaurants in the country. That said... crazy good burger.

Photo bySteven Doyle

Town Hearth: Owned by a fellow that had previously owned a burger shack that was hands down the best burger in Dallas. He owns a slew of restaurants including this upscale steakhouse that happens to serve one amazing, and very expensive burger: the Tillamook.

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CraveDFW is owned by Steven Doyle who has been on the Dallas food scene for 20+ years and has written for Food & Wine, USA Today, New York Times and other national publications. CraveDFW has been published for 15 years and is on the forefront of Dallas food and entertainment news.

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