A burger done right can offer a revelatory food experience. Restaurants new and old in the Burg have continued to raise the bar on the American classic. From high-end twists to comfort food in its purest form, here is a list of our personal favorite burgers in the Burg. The selections made were as much about atmosphere and service as they are juiciness and flavor. Help us grow the list by sharing your favorite local burger in a comment!
Over the last few years, The Avenue‘s innovative list of burgers has impressed residents. Respectively, their drink list, live music program and overall vibe has made them a popular weekend hangout spot. We’re big fans of “The FireCracker,” fried green tomato, slaw, sweet BBQ and pimento cheese. The Avenue, 330 1st Avenue South.
Don’t sleep on the burgers BellaBrava is churning out from their kitchen. Their Americano Burger — featuring applewood bacon, red onion and melty American cheese — is an unmatched lunchtime delight. Pair it with a mountain of herb fries to complete the feast. BellaBrava 204 Beach Drive Northeast.
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Bacon + caramel + beignet-style buns = perfection. Chef Joe Garcia of Beach Restaurant at the Bay Harbor Hotel did some simple math to create a complex flavor sensation. While we frequently indulge in Beach’s awesome nacho plate and grilled scallops dish, the thing that brings us back to this restaurant is the doughnut burger — beignet style bun, American cheese, applewood smoked bacon, caramel sauce. Pair it with their signature strawberry daiquiri or cold beer and prepare to experience the feast of local champions. Beach at the Bay Harbor Hotel, 7700 West Courtney Campbell Causeway.
*Photo via Scott P. on Yelp
One of only two Biff Burgers remaining in the U.S., this restaurant serves up some exceptional classic burgers with the best fries and tater tots you’ve ever tasted. You really can’t go wrong with their 1/2 pound burger special. You can visit them today at 3939 49th Street North.
The Burg Bar and Grill
More than just serving the best damn chips in St. Pete, The Burg Bar and Grill is a Grand Central staple that provides rich meals for hearty appetites. Forget traditional buns, indulge in their Double Grilled Cheese Bacon Burger — an 8oz cheese burger served between two grilled cheese bacon sandwiches with natural fries. The Burg Bar and Grill, 1752 Central Avenue.
Burger Monger uses 100% Akaushi beef for all of their burgers and it is absolute perfection. We highly recommend getting a good serving of Monger sauce on your burger, too. The restaurant also cooks their fries in tallow for a little extra flavor. While they’ve been in Tampa Bay for a few years, they only recently debuted on 4th Street in the Burg. For those with a gluten allergy, their fresh gluten free buns are amazing. Visit them today at 1325 4th Street North.
Nothing quite compares to your first Chattaway Burger. They’ve been serving the Burg since 1951 and their consistent commitment to serving the savory classic just the way you like it has made them a mainstay for residents and visitors alike. The Chattaway, 358 22nd Avenue South.
Just before you hit the bridge to Treasure Island, way down on Central Avenue is a small restaurant called Dead Bob’s. It’s a great hangout gem in the Burg that features live music and provides an intimate atmosphere. It’s the choice spot for those with big appetites and a small budget. Their Texas BBQ burger topped with pepper jack cheese and jalapeños is a treat that comes with a powerful southwestern kick. Dead Bob’s, 6716 Central Avenue.
El Cap is a favorite among longtime St. Pete residents. The old school burger joint features tons of outdoor seating for families and pups, TV screens can be found all over so you don’t miss a second of the big game, and photos and memorabilia from the Sunshine City adorn every wall. We personally love grabbing a Daily Double with mushrooms, bacon and swiss cheese after a long day. The spot also receives high praise from New York Times bestselling author, screenwriter and Eckerd alum Dennis Lehane (Shutter Island, Live By Night, Mystic River). El Cap, 3500 4th Street North.
Engine No. 9 Burgers
Engine No 9 is a haven for hockey fanatics, especially Blackhawks fans. This restaurant has successfully infused the flavors of Chicago in the Burg and the result is phenomenal. Their Wine-O Burger — red wine BBQ sauce, aged white cheddar, bacon and fried onions — is an absolute must try for those who have yet to experience the restaurant. Engine No 9, 56 Dr. MLK Jr. Street North.
FarmTable Kitchen is one of the premiere restaurants in St. Pete. Their locally sourced recipes have wowed critics from all around the world. Their St. Petersburger, which can also be found downstairs at Locale Market, is as exquisite as it is filling. The burger is topped with American Cheese, smoked bacon, caramelized onions and mushrooms and is served with a side of duck fat fries. FarmTable Kitchen, 179 2nd Avenue North.
After taking a bite of a Hangar burger you’ll feel a little criminal. Every Wednesday, they offer $5 burgers. Mix that with an extra thick shake and some curly fries and you’ll find yourself caught in a thundercloud of flavor. The Hangar Restaurant and Flight Lounge 540 1st Street Southeast.
Harvey’s 4th Street Grill
Harvey’s 4th Street Grill is comfort food and local character incarnate. They opened their doors on 4th Street more than 30 years ago. Owner Dan Harvey outfitted his restaurant with remnants from St. Pete landmarks. Their burger is an old fashioned delight and we can never get enough of their perfectly made fries. Harvey’s 4th Street Grill, 3121 4th Street North.
The Mill, named best new restaurant in St. Pete by Florida Trend, has a list of unique recipes you need to experience. One of them is The Mill Burger. This dish redefines the traditional burger, it is made with 8oz Prime Beef and topped with gruyère, tomato caponata, house dill pickles, gem lettuce, lemon herb crema and malted rye mustard. Their house made chips are a perfect salty companion. The Mill, 200 Central Avenue.
This pick might seem strange among a sea of shacks, joints and hole-in-the-walls, but Rococo Steak puts an expert and decadent twist on an American classic. Their Black and Blue Burger is in line with their Farm-to-Fork fresh concept — black angus, blue cheese butter, tomato jam, brioche. Rococo Steak, 655 2nd Avenue South.
Square 1 Burgers
Square 1 Burgers began in Tampa Bay years ago and has since expanded all over the state of Florida. Their growth isn’t a surprise. Their lengthy happy hour, X-Rated milkshakes and all natural, hormone and antibiotic free burgers set them apart from most restaurants. When our appetite grows profound we turn to the Drunken Pig and Bull Burger — Angus with wild bourbon pulled pork, pepper jack cheese, double dipped onion rings and SQ1 Sooner sauce. Square 1 Burgers, 3942 Tyrone Boulevard.
Stillwaters Tavern on Beach Drive is one of the premier craft cocktail spots in St. Pete. Chef Jeffrey Jew has helped elevate its culinary offerings. Their fried chicken salad, rainbow trout and shrimp and grits dishes are bursting with savory southern flair. It’s no surprise then that their burger is equally on point. The short rib burger, made with sharp cheddar, pickled mayo, chopped onions, lettuce, tomato and brioche with house bacon, is our go-to. You can enjoy half price burgers all day every Tuesday. Stillwaters Tavern, 224 Beach Drive Northeast.
*Photo by Jen D.
Willy’s Burger and Booze
Willy’s Burgers and Booze is a straight forward burger joint. The small hole-in-the wall sits among a sea of tourist traps in St. Pete beach. The difference between Willy’s and the others is Willy’s is damn indelible. The food is cheap but packs a million dollar haymaker. It’s certainly worth the quick trip beyond the Burg. Willy’s Burger & Booze, 645 Corey Avenue.
We’d be remiss if we also didn’t include a few of our favorite vegetarian burgers, as well.
Cider Press Cafe
This one’s for our vegan friends. Even the most carnivorous customer will have trouble resisting the vegan Bella Burger at Cider Press Cafe. Indulge in a marinated portobello cap topped with arugula, tomato, eggplant bacon and cashew cheese crisp. Cider Press Cafe, 601 Central Avenue.
Love Food Central
This gluten-free, vegan-friendly restaurant is an absolute gem on Central Avenue. The jackfruit sandwich will have those with more carnivorous appetites discovering unrivaled flavor on the veggie side of things. The Love Burger is a palate pleaser. The homemade beet and black bean burger is served with arugula, cucumber and sauerkraut on a toasted sourdough bun with soy-free vegenaise. Love Food Central, 2057 Central Avenue.