Once known as a “leftover food,” the hamburger hasn’t evolved much, in the history of Waco, anyway. Hamburgers are here to stay, born deep in the heart of our American culture. Some of the juicy burger joints I feature are some of the first restaurants known in Waco. That’s history.
One of my favorite foods in the world is hamburgers. Cheeseburgers! It is THE comfort food for me. If I have been sick, if you know me at all, you know I need a hamburger. My all-time-favorite-you-can-only-get-in-Texas burgers are the ones with the orange logo. You know the one!
I am not discussing chains here, so I must go to the next best thing—the greasy, yummy, melt-in-your-mouth-you-need-fifty-napkins type of burger. Waco has many choices for these. Many quick-service kitchens that provide Wacoans the perfect, juicy burger, served along the perfect homemade, fresh-cut french fries.
Is your mouth watering? Mine is.
Hamburgers are associated with the diner and short-order cooks; they started out that way. In Waco, we have restaurants that cater to the hamburger-lover. They are known for burgers–you go there for a good burger. And, fries.
Whether you take yours “all-the-way”, double-meat, with LTO (lettuce, tomato and onion), plain jane, or ketchup only, however you like yours, you will love these burgers. I am featuring.
Cupp’ s Drive Inn
Although, no longer a drive-in restaurant, this is a diner you must see, smell, and of course, taste.
The family moved to Waco in the 20’s, opened and changed the name of this diner to Cupp’s Drive Inn, in 1947. The restaurant at the corner of 15th Street and Speight Avenue has been serving up burgers to Wacoans and Baylor students, since 1929, when it was called Heating’s Eatings.
Made fresh, never frozen. You need lots of napkins while eating this meal. The french fries and onion rings are made from scratch. As well as everything else on this menu.
They start serving breakfast at 8:30, Monday through Saturday; they close at 3:30 p.m., so get there early!
Early due to only four booths and eight barstools. The little diner can be crowded when Baylor is in school. Cupp’s is popular with all of Waco so this can be a problem year long.
While I recommend the cheeseburgers, Cupp’s also serves up a club sandwich, chicken fried steak, hamburger steak, steak fingers and they serve breakfast daily. They also have salads, but why??
Cupp’s is located at 1424 Speight Avenue, in Waco, and open Monday through Saturday, 8:30 to 3:30, closed on Sunday.
Located at 2601 Circle Rd, since 1949, and named after the eggs used to make the custard, Health Camp serves their burgers with a side of calcium–homemade custard ice cream, plus more than 40 shake and malt flavors.
Talk about old fashioned. This will take you back. And if you are too young to go that far back, (like me!) it will help you envision the carhop days of the 50’s, with a cheeseburger and a shake.
Ironic, huh? You must get your veggies and calcium somewhere, right? Might as well get them with a side of ground beef sandwich!
The burgers and cheeseburgers are, I think, one of the best in Waco. They should know how to make them good because they have been doing it possibly the longest in Waco.
This retro, historical hamburger joint is located on Waco’s iconic circle, beside The Elite Café. (more history, including recently.) The owner started the Health Camp to grab customers making the long drive from Austin to Dallas—before I35 was built. They continued their popularity afterward the highway was built because so many already knew about the goodness served inside. The classic-feel, the reto-ness is still maintained on the outside, as well as the inside. It is part of the appeal. (But, I would eat here even if it had a modern look.)
Known as both a “no-frills Korean-American eatery” and one of the best burgers in town, Kitok’s serves a wide-variety of food—all delicious. But I must tell you about The Lip Locker. If you, when you, visit this burger joint there are two items you must order-The Lip Locker and the Oriental Fries. Trust me here. Yes, the menu has other amazing choices—you’ll just have to go back the next day and order again.
The Lip Locker is just that, an open-your-mouth-wide cheeseburger followed by a lot of napkins. I need not say another word.
The Oriental fries are like no other. A nest of onions, carrots, and some other stuff, deep-fried along with the thinnest of potatoes, and all freshly homemade. I suggest asking for a bowl of soy sauce (even though they have a bottle on the table!) and ketchup. May sound weird but it is the most delicious way you’ll get a serving of veggies (yes, deep-fried, I know!)
The staff are friendly, fast and good at what they do–serving happiness on a plate. Located at 1815 N 18th St, in Waco, family-owned since 1975.
Closed Sunday and Monday, open Tuesday through Thursday, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Dubl-R Old-Fashioned Hamburgers
Located right down the road, you’ll find Dubl-R Old-Fashioned Hamburgers at 1810 Herring Ave, on the corner of 18th. This place does burgers and sides right.
When you walk in, you know you’re in the right joint. You know you’re about to need many napkins, and perhaps, even wash your hands AND face afterwards.
Pick your size—the Dubl-Dubl and Triple-Triple, or the 4×4 (four beef patties, four layers of melted cheese) served alongside crispy curly or regular fries, onion rings or tots. If that’s not enough calories, they will top it all with cheese!
Open Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Closed on Sunday.
Locals love them and travelers do as well. While there are far more great burgers served in Waco, we will start here and continue in the future, featuring more juicy, cheesy, beefy goodness Waco has to offer.