Food & Drink » Restaurants

Between The Buns: 26 Can't-Miss San Antonio Burgers

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Fast & Furious

Burger Boy - SARA LUNA ELLIS
  • Sara Luna Ellis
  • Burger Boy

Burger Boy
2323 N. St. Mary's St., (210) 735-1955

The North St. Mary's Strip is renowned for its many venues and restaurants, but perhaps none are more iconic than Burger Boy and its signature rotating sign. The restaurant, which has remained largely unchanged since its 1985 opening, couldn't be better represented by anything other than its own 278-bulbed orange marquee. Every year the Spurs make the playoffs, every day the sun rises and every second the Burger Boy sign keeps spinning. Just like the restaurant continues, day after day, to produce the same menu it has always has offered in the same no-frills style stand they've had since its conception. Staples of the tangerine burger angel include the Bates Special, which comes with a quarter-pound burger, small fries and a soft drink, as well as the Working Man Special, which includes a half-pound burger, a half-pound of fries and a drink. — Sebastian Oates

Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers
Multiple locations, freddysusa.com

San Antonio's rivalry between Whataburger and In-N-Out Burger distracts us from acknowledging which franchise actually has the best fast food burger in town. That would be the bacon and cheese double Steakburger at Freddy's. This 'burguesa includes two made-to-order patties sandwiched between two butter-toasted buns with bacon, cheese, two slices of deli-style pickles — the real kind, not the sad, limp kind — plus onion slices and a tangy smattering of mustard. Order this sandwich with Freddy's signature shoestring fries and one of its deliciously thick concrete shakes — and a Chicago-style hot dog, if you're nasty — and you'll end up asking yourself: "In-N-Out and Whataburger, who?" — Albert Salazar

In-N-Out Burger - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • In-N-Out Burger

In-N-Out Burger
Multiple locations, in-n-out.com

When the California chain spread south, lines of cars began to pile and never really stopped. The virtues of In-N-Out are its simplistic, no-gimmick menu and the consistency of its product. The actual menu only contains six items: hamburger, cheeseburger, double-double, shakes, fries and beverages. If you want to throw simplicity out the window, you can try their "Not So Secret" menu and get your burger double-wide as a 4x4 (four patties and four slices of cheese) and your fries "animal style" with extra house sauce. In-N-Out is also a good option if you're on a budget. Its hamburger combo, for example, with fries and a medium drink will run you $5.35. Can't argue with that. — Felicia DeInnocentiis

Whataburger - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Whataburger

Whataburger
Multiple locations, whataburger.com

I'm sure I made the most pedestrian choice on this list, but real talk: for the two years I lived as a Texpat in Atlanta, the only thing I talked to strangers more about than Whataburger was the Alamo. In the same way that other Southerners swapped "fiddin'ah" for "fixin' t'" and served ice tea sweet by default, the ubiquity of Waffle House's alphabet-block logo instead of that iconic Whatafont "W" was mildly disorienting. I love gourmet burgers as much as the next carnivore, but there were nights I would have traded a dozen steak-tartar-and-pickled-shallot burgers for a No. 2 combo. Back now in The Greatest State, I keep it simple: two buns, double patties and a slathering of yellow mustard. No vegetables or cheese, just the Lone Star satisfaction of meat, bread and God's own condiment. Pair with Shiner Bock and Doug Sahm. – Lance Higdon

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