Quick, handheld, warm and juicy, the burger is an iconic, all-American meal with a global reputation. It’s believed that in America we eat over 50 billion burgers per year and here in Tampa Bay, we’re doing our fair share to contribute to that statistic. There are plenty of burgers to enjoy throughout the city, whether you’re looking for a humble handheld or a decadent creation.
In our Burger Bucket List, you’ll find carefully curated selections of beloved, unexpected, off-the-beaten-path and unique burgers to add to your list. And, it’s not just beef between these buns. You’ll find Angus beef, yes. But we’ve also included selections made of bison, brisket, bacon and beyond. What ties these bad boys together is that they’re all downright delicious—not your average patty between buns. Here are some of Tampa’s best spots for biting into a classic with cheese or trying something new.
Chicago’s Best Burgers | The Rise and Grind Burger (featured above)
This mom-and-pop burger joint isn’t sticking to a traditional family recipe. They’re breaking the burger rules and it’s paying off. This made-to-order specialty includes 100% grass-fed beef, American cheese, wasabi mayo, applewood smoked bacon and avocado. It’s topped with a cage-free fried egg and served on a pretzel bun. “We take great pride in our high-quality burgers, wings and fresh-cut fries,” boasts owner Lisa Williams. “Stop in either of our two locations and taste the difference.”
Locations in Brandon and Lutz
The Bier Boutique | Balboa
The Bier Boutique makes its burgers with a house blend of bison and bacon, handcrafted to be extra juicy and packed with flavor in each bite. The Balboa is named after none other than the famed fictional heavyweight, and a heavyweight it is. It’s topped with house-made bruschetta, fontina cheese and Brick Street Farms lettuce. Given a balsamic glaze drizzle, it’s served on a brioche bun. “It delivers a little fresh Italian flair,” describes Heather Brookey, owner.
465 7th Ave. N., St. Petersburg
(727) 827-2691 | thebierboutiquestpete.com
Bull Market | Build Your Own Burger
Bull Market is a South Tampa sweet spot for American comfort dishes with an Asian flare. “Food, clean ingredients and flavor are my love languages,” says co-owner Brittany Eppler. “My husband and I shop locally for almost everything and cook in the kitchen together.” The build-it-yourself burger is made of a short rib, chuck steak and brisket blend, served on a Kaiser roll. Eppler suggests getting fun and creative, topping with jalapeño, miso bacon, pickled red onions, kimchi, fried egg, avocado, spicy mayo and Swiss cheese.
4807 S. Himes Ave., Tampa
(813) 898-2049 | bullmarkettampa.com
Golden Dinosaurs | GDVD Melt
No need to wait until Meatless Monday to dig into this masterpiece from Tampa Bay’s cult-favorite vegan eatery. “Golden Dinosaurs is consistently voted as the region’s top vegan hotspot, for all four years that we’ve been open,” says owner Brian Dingeman. It’s not hard to see why when you bite into the GDVD Melt, made with a smashed beyond burger, pepper jack, house-made seitan bacon, provolone, caramelized onions and house dino sauce. It’s all lovingly sandwiched between two slices of garlic-toasted sourdough.
2930 Beach Blvd. S., Gulfport
(727) 873-6901 | goldendinosaurs.com