Best Burger Bites
Grab a napkin and dig into the favorite hamburgers of locals and visitors alike
The Highland Lakes has gained a reputation as a hot spot for hamburgers among locals and visitors alike. Locals have their favorites, and visitors will have no problem getting a recommendation for the “best” hamburger around. One problem might be getting more recommendations than you have meal times. The hamburgers at Bill’s Burgers, Wings and Things and Trailblazer Grille have earned state and national accolades. The single cheeseburger at Bill’s was named to the list of “50 Greatest Burgers in Texas” by Texas Monthly, while Parade magazine selected the hamburger at Trailblazer Grille as one of the 10 best in the country. Ask around, however, and you’ll find a friendly debate about which burger truly is the best in the Highland Lakes. We aren’t here to rank the area’s burgers because we love sampling them all. What we are doing is highlighting some of our favorites and the reasons they stand out.
Reverend Jim’s Dam Pub
“Biggest Dam Burger”
The smallest hamburger size here is the half-pound burger. The one-pound burger is served open-faced with the thick patty on one bun and the lettuce, tomato, and purple onion on the other. Put them together, scrunch it down, and get to work. The Dam Pub caters to hungry locals and bikers and overlooks — you guessed it — the dam on Lake Buchanan. Reverend Jim’s Dam Pub is located at 19605 Texas 29 in Buchanan Dam. Go to reverendjimsdampub.com for more.
Fat Boy Burgers
“Burgers for Everyone”
Start with the Original Fat Boy Burger if you want to establish a baseline here. It’s a half-pound patty with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, mayo, and mustard. The restaurant offers burgers with all the toppings you’ll ever consider as well as chicken burgers, wraps, and salads. Sit outside in Fatz Garden and enjoy a cool beverage on a spring or summer evening. Fat Boy Burgers is located at 104 U.S. 281 North in Johnson City. Go to fatboyburgerstx.com for more.
Rae’s Bar & Grill
“Comfort Food Burger”
You can’t go wrong with the menu at Rae’s, but when you need something extra on your burger, the Spicy Mac & Cheese soothes the soul. The beef patty is topped with bacon, tomato, lettuce, chipotle mayo, and homemade spicy mac-and-cheese. The bun is light and sweet, the perfect complement to the filling. You can eat it with your hands and scoop up the bits of mac-and-cheese that fell with a fork when you’re done. Rae’s Bar & Grill is located at 904 Third St. in Marble Falls. Go to rbargrill.com for more.
“Italy Meets Hamburger”
Russo’s Restaurant prides itself on mixing Texas and Italian food styles, and the unique Texy Burger does just that. It’s made from high-grade beef and served with melted pepper jack cheese and thick-cut sautéed bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms. You’re unlikely to find a burger like this anywhere else with its melding of Italian flavors. Served with steak fries and a pickle spear, the burger will enrapture you with its sumptuous flavors to the point that you’ll forget to look up and enjoy the views overlooking Lake Marble Falls and the rest of the city. Russo’s Restaurant is located at 602 Steve Hawkins Parkway in Marble Falls. Go to texitally.com for more.
Grand Central Cafe
The ingredients in the Smokestack Burger at Grand Central Cafe are a list of items you love on their own: ham, bacon, onion rings, barbecue sauce, Swiss cheese. How do you resist a burger with all those items in between a bun? The building’s history as the nightmare home in the cult classic “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” might draw many to Grand Central Cafe, but the food lures people back for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Grand Central Cafe is located at 1010 King Court in Kingsland. Go to kingslandgrandcentral.com for more.
Boat Town Burger Bar
Drive your vehicle, boat, or airplane to Boat Town Burger Bar on Lake LBJ in Kingsland. The 3 Chile Burger is the perfect tasty — and messy — burger if you’ve been out on the lake all day. Boat Town has plenty of seating inside and outside. Order a specialty burger or build your own with countless mix-and-match possibilities. Boat Town Burger Bar is located at 151 Melodie Lane in Kingsland. Go to boattown.com for more.
Local Eats Craft Food
The best all-around burger can be found at Local Eats Craft Food because it’s in a food trailer that can be found all-around the Highland Lakes. Home base for Local Eats is the 281 Food Court, 1610 U.S. 281 in Marble Falls. However, there are days Local Eats sets up shop at other locations or events in the area. No matter where you locate chef Mike Maples, you are guaranteed to find the best ingredients on his hamburgers. The portobello mushroom burger is a top pick for local vegetarians. No matter the burger, you can’t go wrong. Local Eats Craft Food is located at 1610 U.S. 281 in Marble Falls. Go to facebook.com/localeatscraftfood for more.
Find more articles like this in Eat & Drink