A perfectly cooked, well-dressed burger is appropriate all year round, but something about it just screams summer. And with its simple building blocks — patty plus bun plus creativity — it’s the ultimate vehicle for customization. In the first-ever Tampa’s Best Burgers contest, 15 local restaurants put that formula to the test, and our readers sent four burgers to the top of the pack. From ultra traditional to gourmet to even meatless, these burgers show the expanse of our readers’ tastes. Find out which burgers came out on top on the following pages.
HOW THE WINNERS WERE SELECTED
This spring, 15 local restaurants entered one of their burgers into Tampa’s Best Burgers contest. Over two weeks in late May and early June, we, along with the participating restaurants, spread the word on social media, and thousands of you responded by voting for up to three of your favorite burgers each day. We then tallied the votes to determine the winners you see here.
GLORY BURGER (pictured above)
Glory is what you’ll receive for taking down this hefty creation in one sitting. The team at Glory Days Grill recommends going all the way and upgrading to a ½ lb. proprietary blend burger, handmade with brisket, chuck, sirloin and short rib. Towering atop the patty is pepper Jack cheese for a hint of heat, thick slices of bacon, a fried onion ring and a fried egg. It’s the only burger where you’ll find the homemade Glory sauce, a blend of barbecue, honey and different styles of hot sauces for a sweet, savory and smoky flavor all in one bite. No matter who you’re dining with, the Glory Burger is meant to bring you back to family cookouts and hangouts by the grill — only with some major upgrades.
GLORY DAYS GRILL
Locations in St. Petersburg, Brandon, New Tampa, Odessa, Riverview and Wesley Chapel glorydaysgrill.com
SECOND PLACE (TIE)
The personal creation of Graze head chef Lawrence “Bubba” Durley, the Graze burger has homemade touches from bun to bun. It starts with the pillowy brioche buns, delivered daily from a local baker, that serve as the perfect base for the short rib and brisket blend patty. The white cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and maple-pepper bacon give the burger a unique sweet and savory flavor, especially when combined with the patty’s custom seasonings and — the finishing touch — barbecue aioli, all made in house with Graze’s own recipes. For an extra special experience, pair the burger with a side of sweet potato fries, which come topped with a cinnamon-ginger drizzle to immediately transport you to Thanksgiving any time of year.
Armature Works & Palma Ceia
1910 N. Ola Ave. | 2219 S. Dale Mabry Highway | graze1910.com
SECOND PLACE (TIE)
Grown from a love of great wine, Cru Cellars has been a Tampa staple for more than 10 years. Last year’s menu overhaul pushed the brand to embrace food like never before, with dishes like the Cru Burger joining the lineup. Topped with aged cheddar, greens, tomato, house-pickled red onion and rémoulade, this burger is served on a Sullivan’s Bianca bun with a side of crispy fries. This burger is available at all three Cru Cellars locations: Palma Ceia, Armature Works and the new Westshore Marina District. In addition to a full menu and thousands of wine selections, the waterfront location also features Cru’s first craft cocktail program.
Locations in Palma Ceia and at Armature Works and the Westshore Marina District
Plants power Revelations Café’s House Burger. This vegan option uses either an Impossible or Beyond patty (diners choice), both of which emulate the cooking style and taste of beef more than a typical veggie burger made from black beans or chickpeas. Topped with your choice of cheese — vegan mozzarella shreds or one of a selection of dairy-full options for omnivores — caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms and Revelations’ “secret sauce,” the burger comes to you on a multigrain bun with Terra Chips and a pickle. Though a plant-based diet is not inherently “healthy,” the House Burger is certainly a lighter option to power you through your day — and a delicious way to get some vegetables in.
17808 N. Dale Mabry Highway
Lutz | (813) 442-5697