In the second year of Tampa Bay’s Best Burgers contest, 19 local restaurants entered a mouth-watering burger into the competition. During the second half of April, we along with the participating restaurants took to social media to encourage Tampa Bay to vote and over 11,000 of you answered the call, voting for up to three of your favorites daily. It was a close race with many worthy competitors. We tallied the votes to present you with this year’s winning burgers. Trust us when we say that you’ll want to taste every single one of these for yourself.
Bacon Bomb Burger
Experience the bold flavors of the land down under with Aussie Grill (AG) by Outback. This year’s national winning handheld includes a 100% certified USDA Choice beef patty, bacon onion jam, crispy bacon, rich cheddar cheese, AG house-made pickles and smoky mayo, finished with a pickled jalapeño on top.
“When we developed the Bacon Bomb Burger the ultimate goal was to have an over-the-top bacon explosion,” executive chef Efrem Cutler describes. “All the rich flavors in the burger are balanced out with the sweet and tangy AG pickles. The cherry on top is our house-made pickled jalapeño pepper that brings the ensemble of flavors home.”
Aussie Grill seeks to redefine the possibilities of fast-casual and this burger is no exception, filled with bright, bold, indulgent flavors.
Aussie Grill By Outback
Locations include Wesley Chapel/Lutz, Brandon, Clearwater, Trinity and Raymond James Stadium (open during events only) | aussiegrill.com
COVID-19 Vaccine Burger
Ready for your third dose? This cheeky nod to current events is crafted using an Angus beef patty, caramelized bacon, crispy onion rings, fresh cheddar, lettuce and tomato inside a brioche bun. The menu promises “the real COVID vaccine” syringe on top, but between us, the syringe is filled with TNT Burger’s homemade smoked sauce – inject it for maximum flavor.
“We are so honored to be the winners and we thank everyone for their continued support,” co-owner Carolina Martinez says. “We believe that the COVID-19 Vaccine Burger was chosen for its high-quality ingredients and above all, for its creativity. It’s not just a burger, it’s about having a dynamic and unforgettable experience.”
While we can’t guarantee the medical benefits of this year’s best local burger winner, we know that this creation has what it takes to cure your hunger.
7206 N. Dale Mabry Hwy. | Tampa | (813) 812-2869 | instagram.com/tntburgertampa
Local Runner-Up (Two-Way Tie)
Quality ingredients are at the heart of the Cru Burger. A juicy beef patty is topped with aged cheddar and served with fresh greens, tomatoes, pickled red onions, rémoulade and a focaccia-style Bianca Bun from Sullivan Street Bakery, winners of the prestigious Outstanding Baker James Beard Award.
“Our dedication is always to high-quality ingredients and the chefs put a lot of time into finding the best ingredients possible in curating the menu,” Cru Cellars CEO Kyle King says. “My wife and I eat the Cru Burger at least once a week. We are focused on high-quality products, service and engagement with our guests. The Cru Cellars experience is hard to come by. It’s a special place in Tampa that’s been special for 12 years.”
Bite into the Cru Burger’s textured crust and you’ll see that there’s nothing fast about the food you’re enjoying. Prime ingredients come together for a premium burger experience served with a side of fries.
Locations at Westshore Marina, Palma Ceia and Armature Works | crucellars.com
Local Runner-Up (Two-Way Tie)
Optimus Prime Burger
Named after a giant, and for good reason, the Optimus Prime Burger is a creation consisting of an 8-ounce Angus beef patty with a garlic butter compound and horseradish aioli. It’s topped with shaved prime rib, braised mushrooms, fried onions and a french onion fondue, served in a brioche bun.
“We are extremely grateful to be one of the award-winning burgers of Tampa Bay,” Prohibition Kitchen + Tap head chef Courtney White says. “We encourage everyone to come out and try our latest creations and other great new additions.”
Although this burger is a transformer in its namesake alone, it’s got ginormous flavor and crowd-pleasing taste packed between its buns.
Prohibition Kitchen + Tap
1600 Main St. | Dunedin | (727) 754-8448 | prohibitionkitchendunedin.com
Want to see some more tasty Tampa handhelds? Check out our 2022 Ultimate Burger Guide.