It’s no secret that the heart of Dallas is its restaurants. From the strip mall hidden gems of Frisco to the fine-dining spots in the Park Cities to the endless options on Beltline, this food-loving city only continues to expand its repertoire. So it’s no surprise that Dallas is home to some truly delicious burgers, where the city’s most creative chefs have all kinds of takes on the American classic — a jerk burger, a falafel burger, and a rattlesnake burger, to name a few.
One upscale eatery slings a cheeseburger basket fit for kids (you’ll love the side of tater tots), but make no mistake — it appeals to the most sophisticated palates. A couple of restaurants have entire burger menus. Whether you like your burgers traditional with a slice of tomato and a little ketchup, or you’re of a “the-fancier-the-better” mindset, you’ll find your soulmate burger on this top ten list.
The Island Spot (Oak Cliff)
If you love Jamaican food, you’ll love The Island Spot’s jerk burger, seasoned with spices that owner Richard Thomas imports from Jamaica, where he grew up. Fresh off the grill, the burger comes with tomato, lettuce, mayo, and fries, but it would be a shame not to order a couple appetizers to share, too, such as the crispy fried plantains or the coconut shrimp with sweet and spicy sauce.
Dining in: One perk of eating in the restaurant is choosing from 30-plus types of rum. The cocktails are a must. Photos of Jamaica line the walls and the playlist is reggae, of course. Outdoor seating is available.
Takeout: The Island Spot’s website offers online ordering for pickup. Delivery is available through third-party apps.
Ferah Tex-Med Kitchen (Garland)
The signature Ferah burger steals the show at this husband-and-wife-owned Mediterranean-Texan fusion restaurant. Combining half a pound of locally sourced Angus beef with Texas goat cheese, wild mushrooms, caramelized onions, and homemade pesto aioli on a toasted brioche bun, the Ferah burger pairs perfectly with parmesan-dusted truffle fries. Other options include a classic cheeseburger and a falafel burger. Be sure to finish off your meal at this casual but elegant eatery with a Turkish coffee crème brulee prepared with Texas-grown wild berries or a chocolate mousse cake made in the shape of the Lonestar State.
Dining in: An exposed brick wall, pottery wall hangings, and funky chandeliers lend the space in Firewheel Town Center a modern, minimalist vibe. Outdoor seating is also available.
Takeout: Those who prefer to enjoy their Tex-Med in the comfort of their own homes can order pickup and delivery through Ferah’s website.
Lovers Seafood & Market (Park Cities)
Restaurateurs Tracy Rathbun and Lynae Fearing are the brains behind this popular seafood spot where the ceviche depends on the daily catch, the oyster selection rotates by the season, and simple recipes like pan-seared halibut meet innovative dishes such as shellfish yellow curry. Though it might seem counterintuitive to order a burger at a fish joint, the cheeseburger is simple and delicious. Topped with griddled onions and sharp cheddar, the meal comes with a side of fries — a hearty finisher after knocking back a few oysters from the raw bar.
Dining in: On OpenTable, diners can choose among standard seating, bar seating, and outdoor seating for those who want to feast on lobster rolls or burgers on the patio.
Takeout: Lovers offers pickup and delivery via the restaurant’s website.
Local (Deep Ellum)
Tracy Miller’s seasonally driven, upscale contemporary American restaurant in the Boyd Hotel offers an amazing seven-course tasting menu with wine pairings, but diners who prefer to order a la carte will love the cheeseburger basket. Consider the playful juxtaposition of high-brow and low-brow: a meal that would please a child, but is a delicacy geared toward the most sophisticated palates. Heritage Angus beef and grilled sweet vidalias mingle with melted gruyere. Panko tater tots and homemade ketchup fill in the rest of the basket.
Dining in: Local does not provide outdoor seating, but the indoor dining experience offers minimalist décor, artful plating, and extraordinary service.
Takeout: Call the restaurant for curbside pickup or delivery, or order online.
Though the rattlesnake burger’s name is a bit of a misnomer — it’s actually a nod to the in-house bar, Rattlesnake — it’s still one that stands out in the city. Chef Dean Fearing’s upscale Southwestern eatery, Fearing’s, located inside the Ritz-Carlton, is the pinnacle of the Dallas fine-dining scene, and everything on the menu is flawless. Served on a pretzel bun with pepper jack, bacon, and Dean’s “secret sauce,” the locally sourced, lunch-only beef burger is mesquite-grilled and served with homemade rosemary fries using potatoes specially imported from Maine.
Dining in: Diners can choose between indoor and outdoor seating at this grand and opulent venue. Inside, cool chandeliers and rich, patterned throw rugs complement the open kitchen and fine-art plating.
Takeout: Fearing’s offers pickup but not delivery.
Meddlesome Moth (Design District)
This casual gastropub is all about the beer and shared plate pairings. The wide and ever-changing craft selection draws the city’s beer lovers, and executive chef Joshua Bonee’s culinary skills bring those passionate about food. The grass-fed chuck burger with cheddar and Thousand Island dressing is a consistent crowd-pleaser. Juicy and flavorful, chuck tends to be the tastiest burger meat because of its high fat content (it’s cut from the shoulder). An item on the “For Those Who Won’t Share” menu, the chuck burger is served with fries, but also plays well with share plates such as crispy Brussels sprouts or cheesy potatoes (gruyere, mozzarella, chives, and garlic confit). A frosty beer completes the meal.
Dining in: The restaurant offers both indoor and patio seating. Weekend brunch is a neighborhood favorite.
Takeout: Diners can call the restaurant to order pickup. Delivery is available through third-party apps.
The Mercury (Preston Hollow)
Not everything on The Mercury’s lunchtime burger menu counts as a burger in a conventional sense. There’s a fried fish sandwich with spicy tartar sauce, for instance, as well as a reuben, a patty melt, and a grilled cheese sandwich with four kinds of cheese. Which is not to say the menu skimps on burgers. Apart from the classic burger, there’s the “double double” diner burger, the fried egg and bacon burger, the jalapeño fire burger, and seven others. So if you’re in a burger mood, you’re sure to find one you like. The Mercury is upscale with an extensive wine list, minimalist décor, and fine-dining prices to match the skills of chef Chris Ward, whom D Magazine once named the Best Chef in Dallas.
Dining in: The spacious parking lot is a treat. So is the moody lighting and friendly service. The Mercury does not offer outdoor seating.
Takeout: Those who prefer to enjoy their chili cheese burgers at home can call the restaurant and order them to go. Delivery is not available.
Chelsea Corner (Uptown)
On the extensive menu of this iconic contemporary American restaurant, first opened in 1974, diners can choose among three burgers, each served with a side of fries. The Backyard Burger boasts a grilled chuck and short rib patty, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and “1974 sauce” on a toasted brioche bun; the Remedy Burger contains a grilled chuck and short rib patty, bacon, cheddar, fried egg, lettuce, tomato, pickle, and avocado mayo; and the Park Cities Impossible Burger offers a vegetarian alternative — a plant-based Impossible patty with sautéed portobello mushrooms, avocado, oven-dried tomatoes, boursin cheese, and balsamic reduction. You can’t go wrong with any of them.
Dining in: Chelsea Corner offers both indoor and “beer garden” dining, but the beer garden is first come, first serve. Reservations for indoor dining are available through OpenTable.
Takeout: Diners can order pickup online through the restaurant’s website or delivery through third-party apps.
Chip’s Old Fashioned Burgers (Park Cities)
For anyone who’s serious about their burgers, Chip’s Old Fashioned is a dream come true: Diners choose either 1/3 pound or 1/2 pound of meat (turkey, bison, veggie, portobello, or tuna), a bun (four bread options or a lettuce wrap), and any of six kinds of cheese. The twelve topping options include traditional items such as bacon and mushrooms, as well as more creative choices like hickory sauce, fried egg, and fried green tomato. Each built-to-order burger is topped with mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles.
Dining in: Red-and-white checkered tablecloths and cozy booths lend the space a casual, old-timey vibe. All three locations (a fourth is opening soon in Oak Cliff) sling local craft beer.
Takeout: Diners can call the restaurant to place a to-go order.
Smoky Rose (East Dallas)
This beloved chef-driven smokehouse across from the Arboretum smokes meat in-house, “low and slow,” on a wood-burning smoker. The cheeseburger on a challah bun is prepared with house-ground beef, bacon, cheddar, and caramelized onions. Those who prefer their burgers in miniature will enjoy the sliders, either brisket or pork, served with a side of pickles. Like any barbecue joint worth its salt, Smoky Rose offers an extensive list of outstanding sides. Burgers pair with fried okra, jalapeño hush puppies, or collard greens, and don’t forget the Dr. Pepper sheet cake for dessert.
Dining in: Smoky Rose offers both indoor and outdoor dining.
Takeout: Diners can order pickup and delivery through the restaurant’s website.