Houston's Top 10 Pub Burgers

With the new Texans season in full swing and plenty of great spots around town to catch the game, we decided to scope out the best burgers at our city's pubs and sports bars, because you can't put your body through the stress of an NFL game without a full belly.

Sorry, Arian Foster. None of these pub burgers are vegan, but they're all delicious.

Honorable mention goes to Crazy J's, the new icehouse from the owners of Little Bitty Burger Barn. While Crazy J's doesn't serve food (that and its newness are the only things keeping it from being included on the list), you can order it from LBBB down the block and have it delivered to you for no extra charge.

10. Rudyard's

While there is better food to be had at Rudz (try the $1 hot dogs or $1.50 chili dogs from 3 to 7 p.m. with purchase of an adult beverage), that doesn't mean its burger is shabby -- it just means the rest of the food is fine stuff. The Rudz burger comes with the basics: lettuce, pickle, onion, tomato. But you can always jazz it up by ordering a basket of Nuts & Bolts on the side. (Go for the fried okra.)

9. Coaches Pub

Maybe the most surprising entry on the list for some, Coaches Pub in Midtown nevertheless turns out a very nice, cooked-to-order burger (ask for it medium-rare for maximum ooze potential) in addition to offering consistently friendly service. My favorite is the Coaches Pub Burger, which comes with sautéed mushrooms, onions, two kinds of cheese and barbecue sauce, plus a side of fries -- and is less than $6 at lunch.

8. Community Bar

Burger nights are Thursday nights at Community Bar, which is equally famous (and deservedly so) for its Tuesday steak nights -- all of it cooked up by owner/chef Bob Covington. For only $8, you'll get a home-cooked burger and fries, with the burger on a sweet bun that spills over with bacon, mushrooms, sautéed onions, cheese and much more. The only thing that would make Burger Night better at Community Bar is if they also started screening episodes of Community too.

7. Christian's Tailgate

No matter which Christian's location you choose, you're guaranteed to have plenty of cold beer and big-screen TVs on which to watch the Texans. My favorite location for burgers, however, will always be the original on Washington -- the Washington that's north of I-10. The hefty, iceberg-topped burger tastes like old-school Texas, and that's just what the doctor ordered sometimes.

6. The Hay Merchant

The Butcher's Burger at Hay Merchant is advertised as "the cheeseburger we'd give you at our house." And the finely textured meat that's ground daily surely attests to its homemade nature, but you'd expect only the best meat to show up at a beer bar that shares a kitchen with Underbelly. The burger is best enjoyed in its simplicity, but you can always top it with bacon and/or a fried egg.

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Katharine Shilcutt