Hamburger Heaven: Top Burger Joints in Oklahoma
Oklahoma’s burger restaurants are taking the classic hamburger to new heights of burger bliss. Here, we’ve singled out the best places to get a mouthwatering burger in Oklahoma.
The hamburger is a legendary sandwich that is nowhere more celebrated than in Oklahoma. From the state’s iconic Route 66 diners, where well-seasoned griddles serve up sizzling burger patties topped with cheese and toppings, to the regional convenience of nearby American ranches that produce some of the tastiest beef on the planet, Oklahoma lays claim to some of the best burgers around.
Wrapped in white paper, dripping with heavenly juices and handed to you by a cook who has been standing in front of the same griddle for decades, the hamburgers in Oklahoma have been honed and perfected over decades. Order a burger at any of these top burger joints in the state and you’ll see what we mean.
Meers Store & Restaurant - Meers
Experience the perfect blend of Oklahoma history and burger nirvana at Meers Store & Restaurant in southwest Oklahoma. Visitors are invited to dine in the same narrow shack that was a popular gathering place for miners seeking gold in the Wichita Mountains more than 100 years ago to taste what many consider to be Oklahoma’s best burger. Sink your teeth into the giant Meersburger and you’ll see what all the buzz is about. The same family that owns and operates the restaurant raises the Texas Longhorn beef that goes into the famous hamburger. You’ll need the 22-ounce Meers Gold Beer to wash down the massive burger, which is outfitted with a slather of mustard and a stack of dill pickles, tomatoes, purple onions and green leaf lettuce.
Tucker's Onion Burgers - Oklahoma City
Oklahomans know the combination well: sizzling onions, tender ground beef and a hot grill equal burger perfection. This mouthwatering mixture began in Oklahoma and while many regional eateries continue the tradition, none serve it up quite like Tucker’s Onion Burgers in Oklahoma City. Onion-filled patties on toasted buns get tucked into paper wrappers that become tiny steam ovens as the luscious burgers make their way to your table. Unwrap to enjoy a sandwich dripping with the smooth edges of greasy onion beneath a shiny blanket of melted cheese.
Ron's Hamburgers & Chili - Tulsa
Tempting taste buds since 1975, Ron’s Hamburgers & Chili is known for a truly special burger patty that keeps customers coming back for more. Head to this Tulsa-area staple to indulge in the sausage chili cheeseburger and feast on a patty made of half beef and half pork country sausage. This famous sandwich is built like a basic burger before a large scoop of chili goes on top of it all. Sprinkled with cheese and diced onion, there is no way this hamburger could be taken on without utensils. Wash it all down with a frosted mug of root beer and you’ll see why Ron’s is one of the most beloved burger joints in the state.
Irma's Burger Shack - Oklahoma City
Irma’s Burger Shack may be located smack dab in the middle of the state, but this burger place draws fans from all over Oklahoma. Irma’s touts patties made with beef raised only an hour from Oklahoma City at a ranch in Wynnewood. Your burger comes to your table in a basket lined with red and white checkered paper, becoming the type of nostalgic meal that will put a grin on your face before you even take a bite. While the traditional burger is no doubt the star of the menu, the true stand out at Irma’s is the What U Lookin’ At - 12 ounces of beef accompanied by bacon, fried eggs, hot links, ham and cheese and stuffed between two grilled cheese sandwiches serving as the buns.
Oklahomans know the combination well: sizzling onions, tender ground beef and a hot grill equal burger perfection.
Nic's Grill - Oklahoma City
A burger is only as good as the man at the griddle and that’s never been truer than at Nic’s Grill in Oklahoma City. You won’t find any frills at Nic’s, but that’s because the burgers are so special on their own. Your burger starts as a heap of beef larger than your first and only flattens slightly as it cooks. Sweet, slow-cooking onions take a special place on the griddle near the beef and get pulled over to the meat in heaping portions as the burger finishes cooking. Your burger is dressed when the one man at the griddle, owner and cook Justin Nicholas, hollers to you personally from his post. You’ll be handed the masterpiece alongside fries that are cut into long curls. Warning: you won’t be able to finish without a fork!
El Reno Onion Burgers - El Reno
El Reno’s not known as the Burger Belt for nothin’! This tiny Oklahoma town boasts three of the greatest hamburger restaurants in the entire state within a couple yards of one another. El Reno is where the onion burger originated - a hamburger that married pricey beef and cheap onions out of necessity during the Great Depression. The onion was first used to add bulk, but when it also added an unintentional zing of flavor, it remained a hit long after the economy bounced back.
Sink your teeth into these masterfully prepared burgers at Johnnie’s Grill, Robert’s Grill or Sid’s Diner. This legendary meal is honored in El Reno annually with a Burger Day Festival, but you can head to the local burger counters year-round to get your fix. Very little has changed at these three restaurants over the years. Beef is laid on the griddle to get a crunchy char before thinly shaved onions are added to caramelize. Your mouth will begin to water when you see the twisted knots of onion peeking out from the uniform white buns. Restaurants throughout the state make onion burgers, but don’t be fooled. The onions shine brightest in El Reno.
S&B's Burger Joint - Oklahoma City
Settle into your seat on the patio at S&B’s Burger Joint in Oklahoma City and you’ll soon be on a culinary journey to another time or place. One bite out of the Columbian, featuring a burger patty with a generous sea salt and coffee rub, and you’re headed to South America. Sink your teeth into the Elvis, a burger topped with peanut butter and bacon, and you’re transported to the heyday of rock ‘n roll. While the burgers at S&B’s are no doubt special, this Oklahoma City restaurant takes just as much care with the sides. Order the Thanksgiving Fries and savor sweet potato fries swimming in marshmallow cream, dried cranberries and chopped pecans.
Hank's Hamburgers - Tulsa
Hank’s Hamburgers in Tulsa has been making the exact same burgers for more than 60 years and the locals hope they never stop. Watch from almost any seat in the tiny restaurant and you’ll see your burger created from start to finish. A patty hits the heat and a heavy grill press gets placed on top until the griddle perfectly cooks the burger, which gets finished with a sprinkling of secret seasonings. Many of Hank’s long-time customers like to enjoy their burger patties piled four high on the Big Okie, a sandwich that totals a solid pound of meat. The uniform meat stack is broken up only by slices of bright, gooey cheese before it’s encased in a fluffy white bun, glistening with butter. Don’t forget to polish off that burger with one of Hank’s chocolate covered peanut butter balls.
Claud's Hamburgers - Tulsa
A lot has changed since 1954, but not the burgers at Claud’s Hamburgers. This Tulsa burger joint has become a regional legend, partly because of how long it’s been operating, but mostly because of the restaurant’s mouthwatering burgers. Take a load off at the tidy bar facing the window and watch Tulsa traffic pass by, or strike up a conversation with the guys at the griddle who somehow recreate the exact burger people remember from the 1950s. Burgers at Claud’s are cooked medium-well and dressed with a thin spread of mustard on a squishy white bun with a perfect portion of pickle and onion to finish it off. Savor the golden fries they’ve been making for decades, course-cut to show off a little potato skin on the edges.
The Cow Calf-Hay - Edmond
If it’s a traditional burger topped with mustard and pickle you seek, The Cow Calf-Hay in Edmond is not your kind of place. This burger joint specializes in signature burgers that knock the socks off even the most seasoned burger consumer. True beef lovers order the mad cow burger, a saucy combination of beef chuck, diced grilled chicken, grilled Idaho potatoes, smoked bacon and two kinds of cheese piled high between two buns. Other toppings you’ll find at this one-of-a-kind eatery include fiery grilled jalapenos, spicy pork sausage or a juicy ring of grilled pineapple. Regardless of what combination of savory toppings you choose, every burger at Cow Calf-Hay starts with top-quality certified angus hand-formed into generous patties and cooked to perfection.
J&W Grill - Chickasha
Diners who get a taste of the burgers and fries at J&W Grill in Chickasha soon realize they’re experiencing what burgers used to taste like, before they became something picked up in a drive-thru window and eaten with one hand from behind the wheel of a car. First-time diners can immediately tell why this place is a hit with locals. A string of red barstools across from the griddle lets burger lovers in on all the action. This Chickasha eatery serves breakfast and it’s not uncommon for people to select an onion burger here as their first meal of the day. Enjoy the savory meat, charred onions and cold toppings encased in a soft bun alongside a steaming cup of coffee.
Waylan's KuKu Burger - Miami
The KuKu Burger was once enjoyed at more than 200 KuKu Burger locations all over the Midwest. Today, the only place you can get this legendary sandwich is at Waylan’s KuKu Burger in Miami. Waylan opened this Route 66 restaurant more than 30 years ago and has been satisfying burger lovers ever since. The menu is large, but everything is still cooked to order. Golden fries accompany fresh burgers made almost any way you want them. While the burgers shine bright, KuKu Burger also knows how to treat the hamburger’s favorite side. The KuKu Fries get a special treatment of chili, cheese and green onions that will make your mouth water just ordering them. Polish it all off with a towering soft serve cone.
Geroge's Drive In - Durant
While many burger joints throughout the state are no doubt legendary, there’s something George’s Drive In in Durant has maintained through the years that has made it a genuine stand out - the carhop. Dream about your juicy burger and piping hot fries from the comfort of your vehicle and a carhop will soon arrive to make that dream a reality. Employees at George’s deliver the restaurant’s legendary fare right to customers waiting outside for a true 1950s burger experience. The place has remained a hit thanks to George’s famous Number Four - a burger spilling over with cheese and secret-recipe chili. Although George’s has changed owners through the years, the mouthwatering burgers, outstanding service and feel-good atmosphere haven’t changed a bit.