Best Burger: Burger Bodega
Houston’s burger wars haven’t quite reached their Good Burger-Mondo Burger peak, but people in this hamburger rich city do maintain devout allegiances. Of course, the more local the offering seems, the more love it gets. Anything which smacks of something that is not on-brand Houston – let’s say a type of corner store associated with New York City – can have a tough go ahead of it.
Burger Bodega’s decor features graffiti you might see in the Bronx. One of its most delectable options is its chopped cheese, not really but kinda sorta like something you’d get in a Brooklyn bodega. And despite these nods to a far-off, foreign land, the Washington Avenue burger restaurant just keeps adding devoted foodies to its tally. That’s how good these smashburgers are, yo. They’re so good you’re willing to turn in your Astros jersey for Yankee pinstripes, at least for as long as it takes to chow down on a smash-double with crispy edges doused in bodega sauce and Harlem aioli. Turncoats!
In all seriousness, the food is incredible, showcasing brilliantly-seasoned hamburger, whether chopped or smashed, on fresh, tasty bread varieties. And there’s plenty of local, H-town flavor built into the menu, too, with “chopped” and “screwed” versions of fries and mouthwatering Mango Lassi and Vietnamese coffee shakes, nods to Houston’s diversity. Best of all, there are frequent collaborations with other area tastemakers that have patrons lined outside the building for all things hamburger. A recent example was Burger Bodega’s team-up with Chris Shepherd for a “Jucy Lucy” blended with Franklin Barbecue brisket to benefit Shepherd’s Southern Smoke Foundation. The graffiti might recall a subway train someplace else but those restaurant partnerships for good causes run right through the heart of Houston.