Celebrate National Hamburger Day at one of our 12 favorite Waco burger joints
Few foods are more American (and more beloved) than a good hamburger. Luckily, Waco is full of amazing burger joints guaranteed to make your mouth water. National Hamburger Day (May 28) is the perfect time to find a new favorite.
As long-time Waco residents, we’ve scoured the area looking for the best bites; in no particular order, here are our picks for Waco’s best burger joints — from longtime classics to new-on-the-scene revelations:
* Health Camp — The classic smash burger features a patty that is thin, full of flavor, and crusty from where someone smashed the beef into a hot griddle, like they wanted to press the patty through the seasoned surface. Health Camp has been serving up this style of burger on the Waco Circle since 1948. Their menu is classically simple: burgers, fries and hot dogs — and as an added bonus, some of Waco’s best shakes and malts.
* Revival Eastside Eatery — Cross the Brazos to East Waco for a burger that takes nearly every element and elevates it. Forgoing a standard melty cheese in favor of whipped herb goat cheese and ensuring that the onions aren’t raw, but instead caramelized in balsamic vinegar, each of these adjustments amplifies the burger patty’s natural flavor, and beckons the diner to take another bite.
* Dubl-R Burgers — In the heart of Waco, you’ll find a local secret: Dubl‑R Old Fashioned Hamburgers. Though it may not look like much from the outside, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. License plates line the walls of this tiny joint, which offers a selection of fresh and delicious burgers with an array of classic sides. The diner‑esque aesthetic of Dubl‑R makes one feel right at home among family and friends.
* Guess BBQ — It seems odd to send people to one of Texas Monthly’s favorite barbecue places in Texas and not advise you to order the brisket, ribs and sausage that make Texas’ barbecue so alluring. But… Should you crave a burger that carries with it the smoky char of great barbecue, the burger you’re looking for is here.
* Cupp’s Drive Inn — Nestled behind several fast food chains at 15th Street and Speight Avenue, Cupp’s has been serving Bears and Wacoans for 70+ years. Cupp’s prides itself on its fresh ingredients, all sourced in Texas. They prepare their own meat for their well‑known thin patties, using the same recipe from their 1947 founding. Their simple, no‑frills menu, classic diner atmosphere, and longstanding legacy have been keeping customers coming back for generations.
* Milo All Day — Just outside downtown, and fashioned inside an old automotive service station, sits Milo All Day — an airy, rustic‑chic eatery serving up seasonal Southern comfort grub. Their MAD Burger is something to sing about: a one‑third‑pound burger placed between a sweet challah bun with redneck cheddar mornay, greens, pickles, and topped with chimmichurri aioli for a bright and tangy finish. <*chef’s kiss*> Grab some truffle fries, a sweet tea, and enjoy.
* Kitok Restaurant — The Kitok Lip Locker with Cheese is precisely what one would expect of a diner‑style burger: flattened on a griddle, thin patties, with American cheese melted over both to secure the patties together. The flavor of the griddle crust makes the whole burger work — whether you add bacon, jalapeños, or a fried egg (yes, really). Regardless of your burger choice, don’t forget a side of Oriental Fries. You won’t be sorry!
* Cafe Homestead — Sometimes you need to escape to a simpler way of life, and on those days, you go to Cafe Homestead. Nestled in a traditional farming community 20 minutes north of campus, Cafe Homestead offers pasture‑raised beef, fresh breads and house‑made condiments. We obviously advise ordering a burger — specifically, the quesadilla burger. Wrapped in a tortilla, topped with pico, and blessed with queso, this one-of-a-kind burger will send your tastebuds flying.
* Whizzbang’s — The restaurant known until recently as Captain Billy Whizzbang’s has been serving up “the best burger in Waco” since 1977. Known for its signature Whizz‑Pig burger (half ground bacon and half ground beef, with all the fixings), this family‑owned and -operated joint prides itself on offering a welcome environment to enjoy a meal with your loved ones.
* Helberg BBQ — “The Big Kahuna” comes with bacon and so much melted cheese that it might also qualify as a grilled cheese, all on a pillowy bun just big enough to hold all the burger’s ingredients in place. The catch is that this special only shows up on Fridays, and is only available until it’s sold out. The exclusivity and high demand not only make The Big Kahuna the definitive “tasty burger,” but worthy of its name.
* Kim’s Diner — A blast from the past, Kim’s Diner on Waco Drive leans heavily on the Americana of the 1950s, including bright red checkerboard tiles, a jukebox set to classic rock, and a no‑frills, homestyle menu that stands out in its simplicity. Choose from classic hamburgers and cheeseburgers or the crowd‑favorite patty melt, served on rye toast. Couple your sandwich with onion rings, fries or crispy tater tots, and you’ve got a full basket at an unbeatable price.
* William Hoyt Bagel — Yes, we’re sending you to a bagel shop for a burger. Between the crunch of toasted bagel buns, William Hoyt beautifully combines a lean beef patty, bacon, sharp cheddar and veggies to create a meal containing the best of both meals. Snag yours from one of their locations: behind Common Grounds off 8th Street, or in front of Pinewood Roasters.
Sic ’em, burger-lovers!
You might also like:
* Our 10 favorite Baylor-area coffee spots (Feb. 2021)
* Where to eat if you’re new to Baylor/Waco (and what to order) (Nov. 2019)
* 25 epic dishes every Baylor Bear knows (or should know) (Aug. 2016)