Tampa is for burger lovers. The classic dish is always a crowd pleaser, but these restaurants go above and beyond in adding their own artisanal touch. There’s no shortage of spots to add to this list, so please let us know your favorite spot in a comment. We’d love to grow this guide to feature the very best that Tampa has to offer.
We couldn’t begin a best burger list without paying homage to the culinary innovators over at Datz. The restaurant made waves in the food world when they unveiled the Amazon Warrior Burger — a three-tiered tribute to Wonder Woman. The dish featured red, yellow and blue buns, the top is covered with cheese stars, two beef patties, pineapple, lettuce, tomato, pickle, and onions. Their Mac & Cheese Burger is equally heroic. If you’re craving something hearty, look no further than this Tampa institution. Datz, 2616 South MacDill Avenue.
A top spot for fine dining, Boca Tampa also knows how to make an American classic right. Their OMG Burger is made with 100% USDA prime beef, bibb lettuce, aged white cheddar, pickled onions, tomato, and sweet relish aïoli. The dish is served with parmesan truffle fries. Boca Tampa, 901 West Platt Street.
Burger 21 is the place for meticulously crafted burgers and shakes. You really can’t go wrong with any of their burger creations, however, if we had to pick, we’d say our favorite is the Tex-Mex Haystack. Certified Angus Beef is topped with applewood smoked bacon, Gouda cheese, guacamole, onion strings, chipotle- jalapeño sauce lettuce, and tomato on a brioche bun. Don’t forget to grab a chocolate malted milk ball shake on the side. Locations:
- 11777 North Dale Mabry Highway
- 20304 Trout Creek Drive
- 9664 West Linebaugh Avenue
Burger Culture delivers a bare knuckle haymaker of flavor. The food truck, permanently parked in the Harley Davidson Parking Lot on Dale Mabry, has a menu that is something beyond eclectic. Rise and shine with their steak and eggs on a waffle sandwich, lunch like a pro with their granny grilled cheese — brie, caramelized apple, prosciutto — and cap off any meal with their killer beef and cheese empanadas. The main event is, of course, their iconic burger list. Our go-to is the B.S.G.C. — burger served between Burger Culture’s grilled cheese with tomato, and pickles. Burger Culture, 6920 North Dale Mabry Highway.
BurgerFi has left its brand on the Tampa food scene. The gourmet burger chain began in 2011 and has received wild acclaim in every city its expanded to. When we visit, we make plans to meet with the “CEO.” This dish features a double Wagyu and brisket blend burger with homemade candied bacon-tomato jam, truffle aioli and aged swiss cheese. BugerFi, 714 South Howard Avenue.
Danny’s All American Diner
Danny’s All American Diner has long been a staple in most Tampa resident’s diets. The Diner’s appearance on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and the addition of Guy Fieri’s Triple ‘D Triple Play burger gave them national notoriety. The Triple Play features a Danny Burger topped with mojo pork, pastrami, Swiss cheese, American cheese, tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, french fried onion rings and mustard on grilled sourdough bread. Danny’s All American Diner, 4406 North Falkenburg Road.
Goody Goody made its triumphant return to Tampa in 2016. Owner Richard Gonzmart took extra care to ensure that the new incarnation of the beloved Tampa restaurant remained faithful to the original concept. Whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch or dinner, Goody Goody in Hyde Park has the comfort dish calling your name. We go for the burgers, and stay for the sensational butterscotch pie. You can’t go wrong with the original Goody Goody Burger POX, made with Fresh from Florida beef, pickles, onions and the restaurant’s secret sauce. Goody Goody, 1601 West Swann Avenue.
The Seminole Heights haunt is a hub of great drinks, live music and plenty of foodie delicacies. Their sweet meat burger is a flavorful behemoth. Savor 1/3 lb Adena Springs Ranch Florida, grass-fed burger, Asian pear, ginger, pomegranate molasses, Niman Ranch bacon, and goat cheese on a brioche bun. Mermaid Tavern, 6719 North Nebraska Avenue.
New Burger Thursday is our new favorite thing in the city. The exceptional culinary minds behind The Refinery continue to improve upon perfection with each and every Burger. On May 4, the restaurant revealed a special burger creation — leaf lettuce, bread & butter pickles, bleu, and black pepper blueberry ketchup. Follow them on Facebook for updates on their rotating list of specials. The Refinery, 5137 North Florida Avenue.
Square 1 Burgers began in Tampa Bay years ago and has since expanded all over the state of Florida. Their lengthy happy hour, X-Rated milkshakes and all natural burgers set them apart from most restaurants. When our appetite grows profound we turn to the Drunken Pig and Bull Burger — Angus with wild bourbon pulled pork, pepper jack cheese, double dipped onion rings and Chipotle Ranch. It’s worth the quick trip over to Brandon. Square 1 Burgers, 2042 Badlands Drive, Brandon, FL 33511.
For those looking for a fine veggie burger, look no further than . . .
Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe
Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe is a space where art, music and food join in wonderful matrimony. It’s also where you can find our favorite veggie burger. Ella’s Good Burger is a housemade veggie patty with glory road sunflower shoots, curried mayo, avocado relish and crispy onion strings. Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe, 5119 North Nebraska Avenue.