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!
2nd & Second
St. Pete’s favorite 24-hour diner serves up the ultimate Breakfast Burger with bacon, American cheese, fried egg between two slices of French toast! Have it any time of the day, any day of the week because it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert all in one. Visit 2nd & Second at 201 2nd Ave North in downtown St. Pete.
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. Pro tip: Wednesday nights are good time to go for $5 burgers starting at 7pm. Try the Smoke Stack with bison, fried onions, smoked gouda and sweet BBQ sauce. One of our faves! The Avenue, 330 1st Avenue South.
*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.
Cassis is known for its great drinks, super popular brunch and extensive happy hour specials. While it’s a fine place to lounge, it also low-key makes one the best burgers on Beach Drive. The Cassis burger is a no frills pleasure: The thick burger is topped with caramelized onions and gruyere cheese. Dig in, St. Pete. Cassis, 170 Beach Drive Northeast.
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.
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.
*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’re all about being inclusive — and 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.