Austin Burger Places

Though many in Austin consider themselves to be health conscious, there are still moments in each of their lives when a good hamburger sounds delicious. Austin is home to many burger joints, and some have been around for over half a century.

Hut's Hamburgers has been around since 1939. Homer "Hut" Hutson opened his establishment originally on S. Congress Avenue. That same year, Sammie's Drive-In opened on W. 6th Street. In 1959, Hut moved his burger joint to the current location of GSD&M's Idea City on 6th, and a decade later bought the Sammie's Drive-In lease. Though the Drive-In was no longer there, the dining rooms they added on were, and it's from this location that Hut's still stands, selling 20 different burger combinations, named after 50s legends such as the Buddy Holly burger, or the Wolfman Jack. In 1981, Hut's survived the massive flood which devastated the surrounding Shoal Creek area, and their slogan, "God Bless Hut's" was born.

The Frisco Shop, on Burnet Road in north Austin, was established in 1953 as part of the Night Hawk restaurant chain. Harry Akin, who served as mayor of Austin through the late 60s, ran the chain of restaurants, and was the first in Austin to integrate public dining facilities, and make them available to black and white patrons. Though the Night Hawk chain has gone away, the Frisco Shop still stands, serving up the "Frisco Burger", with cheese, relish and Russian-style dressing. R. Harry Akin, nephew of Frisco's original owner, bought the Frisco Shop in 1994, and currently co-owns the restaurant with two other partners.

Sandy's Frozen Custard, located at 603 Barton Springs Rd., set up shop in 1947. Though obviously Sandy's sells a variety of frozen treats, their hamburgers are not only delicious, but on Thursdays the lines form around the building to get their "Thursday Special": a 1/4 lb. burger, fries and a drink come to a total of $3.19.

Dirty Martin's Place (commonly referred to as just "Dirty's") is located just west of UT's campus at 2808 Guadalupe St., and has been in business longer than many establishments in town. They opened their doors in 1926, and have been making the "Kum-Bak" burger longer than many of the surrounding university buildings have been standing. The price of the burger, hovering just over 2 dollars, brings in a large college crowd, as it has for over 80 years.

Though Casino El Camino has not been in business since the middle of the century, their burgers have been voted "Best in the City" in the Austin Chronicle more than once. Casino's is located on 6th street, and has remained longer than most other neighboring establishments, and for good reason. Their burgers are topped with anything from bacon to avocado to blue cheese, and are 3/4 lb. and 1 inch thick. Though the atmosphere is very dark, literally and figuratively, it fits the rock and roll feel of the place, and the award-winning juke box is the perfect touch.

It seems that regardless of what part of town the hungry burger-lover is in, a good burger place will probably been a stone's throw away.

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About The Author, Dane Smith