The Great 8: A Selection of the Best Burgers in Memphis

Find an awesome burger in Memphis.

Burger at 3 Angels Diner (closed). Photo Credit: Justin Fox Burks

Three Angels Diner on Broad Avenue partners with local farmers to serve delicious and fresh food daily. Photo by Justin Fox Burks.

Soul Burgers at Earnestine & Hazel's. Photo Credit: Justin Fox Burks

Famous Soul Burgers at Earnestine and Hazel's. Photo by Justin Fox Burks.

Kooky Canuck's 4-Pound Hamburger. Photo Credit: Eli Cloud

When you think of food in Memphis, you think of barbecue. You think of soul food and hot chicken and those delicious sides. What you don’t necessarily think about is burgers. Like any city, Memphis has its fair share of burgers. Any bar with a kitchen can put one together for you. But Memphis likes to put its own spin on things, and that applies to the one food that’s more American than apple pie.

If you’ve got the time and the appetite, here are eight awesome burgers made in Memphis. Bon appetit.

World Famous Huey Burger 

The world of burgers has gotten glorious and gastronomically creative. And we love it. But sometimes an art form is best appreciated in its most basic and pure form. This is the position the World Famous Huey Burger holds, and it’s in keeping with the classic Memphis joint’s graffiti walls and one-million-toothpick ceiling. What do you get? One of the best burgers’ in Memphis: A classic one-third pound burger, a basic sesame-seed bun, cheddar or swiss (your choice) and dressed the way you want it. Pro tip: try the onion rings instead of fries.

Poutine Burger

When you’re looking for a unique place to eat in Memphis who wouldn’t love a Canadian-themed located in the Deep South? It’s a strange, dare we say kooky, idea that has caught on in Memphis out of sheer will of personality, force and menu full of great food. Known for their enormous four and six-pound Kookamonga burgers, Kooky Canuck actually offers up some unique north-of-the-border cuisines, specifically the Poutine Burger. The Poutine features a unique cheese over a giant portion of hand-cut fries and smothered in gravy. Wash it all down with one of their signature cocktails.

Dyer’s Double Double

The secret sauce in Dyer’s Double Double cheeseburger isn’t a sauce, or the cheese, or even the beef. It’s the grease. Yes, grease. At Dyer’s the grease is a hundred year’s old and infused with garlic. So valuable is this grease to Dyer’s food that when Dyer's moved into a new building a few years ago, they brought the grease with them. But don’t ask us if it tastes good; take New York City chef Justin Warner, who declared the Double Double one of the best burgers in the country.

Soul Burger

Not entirely different from the Double Double in terms of style, the Soul Burger’s simplicity belies its mystery. This burger is great and no one knows why. The tangy soul sauce doesn’t hurt, but a lot of fans think it’s the atmosphere. Earnestine & Hazel’s is a former brothel with a killer jukebox and a great beer selection people tend to frequent at the end of their night, not at the beginning.

Bibimbap Burger 

Some of the best places to eat in Memphis are really only known by locals. The Kwik Check Food Store is one of them. A low-key lunch spot that’s part convenience store, part lunch counter, diners have the unique opportunity to order a newspaper or cigarettes along with a classic deli sandwich, pasta salad, gyros or arguably the most unique burger in Memphis, the Bibimbap. The Bibimbap comes with pickled carrots, sprouts, cucumbers, red sauce, and a fried egg all on a blackened beef burger. It’s different and it’s awesome.

Pimento Cheeseburger 

Like so many great upscale restaurants, Sweet Grass offers an elegant and delicious low-country take on the pimento cheese sandwich. Using 8oz of local beef over with a healthy amount of gooey pimento cheese, Sweet Grass’ burger (they also serve it at their bar Next Door), comes with standard lettuce and onions, as well as peppers and house-made sweet pickles. There may be no better hand-crafted local-ingredient burger in Memphis.

LBOE – Last Burger On Earth 

Re-opening Fall 2016.

There’s a debate raging across the country handcrafted purists and enthusiasts. How many toppings is too many toppings? At LBOE, which stands for Last Burger On Earth but pronounced “elbow,” the answer is pretty clear: Anything worth doing is worth over-doing. And the burger at LBOE in Overton Square definitely overdoes it with 8oz of local butcher beef, Havarti cheese, garlic cream cheese, bacon, green chiles, and corn chips on a ciabatta bun.

Big Frank with Cheese

Sometimes what makes a great burger great is nothing more than volume. Thankfully the Big Frank with Cheese at the Green Beetle gives us more than just weight to cheer about. Found in the South Main District, the Big Frank is comprised of two half-pound patties (that’s 1lb folks), onion slices, classic tomato and your choice of cheese. A nice touch is the toasted sourdough bun. But if a 1 pound burger is out of your comfort zone, take a step back and order the patty melt, which is also great.

by Peter Short