Our expert guide to the best burgers in The Woodlands
Best Burgers in The Woodlands
We love a great burger. Perhaps the most American of all foods, burgers can range from the simple and classic to an elaborate chef-created work of art. Lots of places offer burgers; we’ve done the legwork, eaten a bunch of burgers, and are here to report on the best we’ve found around The Woodlands.
Did we miss your favorite? Share your opinion in the comments.
Updated May 2019 – Originally posted Aug 2017.
World class craft barbecue is the draw at Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue, a classic Texas barbecue joint located just off Main Street in Tomball. Pitmaster Scott Moore, Jr. and his brother (and chef) Greg smoke some of the best brisket, ribs, and sausage to be found in the state. Thursdays are a special treat, when housemade pastrami is added to the mix; don’t miss it. Wednesdays have become a big deal with the appearance of the Smoked Burger on the menu; it’s a destination burger worthy of a trip.
BBQ | Outside the Bubble: Tomball
Fast casual meets upscale cuisine at The Kitchen, the laid-back cousin of the award-winning Tris. Don’t let the counter service fool you; Chef Austin Simmons has created a serious menu full of creative dishes. We’re especially fond of the Greek Chicken and the Dinner Steak Omelette. Burgerphiles love the Kitchen as well; Chef Austin knows his burgers. Breakfast/Brunch is another don’t miss; the etherial croissant-based Biscuits & Gravy may be the best breakfast item around. Wine drinkers rejoice… the Kitchen sells wine at retail prices (not restaurant prices) so you can get a great bottle for as little as $10. Carefully curated craft beer selection. Service surprises for fast casual, GM Austen Goodwin and his team are raising the bar in this segment.
(Formerly Hubbell & Hudson Kitchen)
American, Burgers, Salads, and Sandwiches | Research East
Chef-driven restaurants are rare in The Woodlands, but Chef Austin Simmons demonstrates how successful they can be. Formerly known as Hubbell & Hudson Bistro, TRIS features innovative cuisine, and everything from the outstanding burgers to the most elaborate entree shows the kind of attention to detail that is the hallmark of a great restaurant. Chef Austin has the uncanny knack of combining diverse and unique ingredients into dishes that surprise and delight, while maintaining the integrity of the cuisine. Steaks are also a strength; prime, of course, but Akaushi Texas Wagyu and in-house dry aged cuts are offered as well, and Japanese A5 (Miyazaki) is available for the true connoisseur.
TRIS has a bit of a split personality. Upscale and slightly formal at dinner, much more casual at lunch. Happy hour is a great time to sample different dishes (including that incredible burger); the well-priced list of offerings is the perfect way to begin your night out.
American, Burgers, Seafood, and Steaks | Waterway
Happy Hour, Outdoor Dining, and Private Room
Mesquite is the thing at this popular Houston-based burger chain. Thick, beefy burgers grilled on an open mesquite flame carry the wood’s distinctive flavor, and keep hungry locals coming back for more. The menu goes beyond burgers; it may be the only place in Texas where you can order a mesquite-grilled ribeye steak through the drive-through. (Please don’t eat it in traffic.)
Tucked away in the Grogan’s Mill Village Center, the inviting restaurant boasts wrap-around decks and even hidden tables beside Lake Harrison. Counter service is friendly and efficient.
Burgers | Grogan's Mill
We love the patio at Del Frisco’s Grille; the view over the lake is perhaps the best in The Woodlands. The food satisfies too; from the legendary Del Frisco steaks, to the enticing flatbreads, cheesesteak egg rolls (believe us, it works), and well executed entrees. At lunch, we’re especially fond of the Grille Prime Cheeseburger, a double-patty creation worthy of any burger lover’s attention.
The well-trained staff anticipates patrons’ needs and provides excellent service. Chef Brian McNamara serves up outstanding specials; call ahead to see what magic he’s worked today.
American, Burgers, and Steaks | Hughes Landing
Outdoor Dining and Private Room
Gourmet burgers cooked over a wood grill are the centerpiece at Fielding’s Wood Grill, the original member of the Fielding’s family of restaurants. Founder Cary Attar sweats the details, and believes in making everything in-house, from the custom grind of 44 Ranch Beef to the house cured bacon. Culinary Director Edel Goncalves takes these ingredients and creates unique burgers that keep the regulars coming back for more. The appeal of Fielding’s extends past the burgers; a very popular weekend brunch features creative spins on brunch classics, and the bartenders pull mugs from a great selection of locally brewed beers when they’re not slinging craft cocktails. Service is brisk and efficient; an iPad bar keeps the kids busy while the parents kick back.
American and Burgers | Research East
Families, friends, and sports teams flock to Fuddruckers for their big burgers (ranging from large 1/3 lb to humongous 2/3 lb) served on fresh baked buns. An expansive interior allows kids room to roam, but unlike many kid-friendly places, adults aren’t penalized by substandard food. Fudd’s has been serving great burgers to the Woodlands for decades, and there’s a reason they’ve stuck around so long.
Burgers and Sandwiches | Grogan's Mill
Towering custom burgers are on the menu at Grub Burger Bar, the Texas-based chain that foodies have grown very fond of. Skip your basic cheeseburger and go with one of the gourmet creations; the monthly specials are also often well worth trying. Save room for a milkshake; both the PG-rated and the boozy versions are very good. Fast casual service, but your food is delivered to the table, and you probably won’t see your server after that.
Burgers, Salads, and Sandwiches | Research East
Looking for a big, well-prepared burger without breaking the bank? Jax has you covered. This locally-owned restaurant chain specializes in half-pound burgers cooked the traditional way on a flat griddle. Execution is very good; the thick, juicy burgers are consistent and flavorful. Other options include third-pound burgers and an exceptional crispy chicken sandwich.
Jax has expanded from one location to several, and the quality has been maintained. Families and little league teams flock to Jax for a great burger at a great price, and it’s become a part of our regular burger rotation.
Burgers and Sandwiches | College Park
Spring gets a great new comfort food option from Ray Aker, the mind behind Q-Shi. Qomfort serves up breakfast classics on weekends, and unique specialties during the week, like Chef Jonathan Branch’s beautifully executed Creole shrimp ‘n’ grits and the addictive Bread Pudding Waffles, served with Butter Maple Bourbon syrup, no less. Lunch and dinner options range from burgers to creative sandwiches to soul food classics and other Southern specialties, and most of the excellent breakfast menu is still available.
American, Breakfast, Burgers, and Sandwiches | Outside the Bubble: Spring
A visit to Robard’s is about more than just dry-aged USDA prime beef. The beautiful setting is reminiscent of a private club, and the outstanding cuisine does not end with superb steaks. We’re fond of the excellent seafood entrees as well, and be sure to save room for the opulent desserts.
Social Hour at Robard’s is one of our favorite happy hours in The Woodlands. An impressive craft cocktail program keeps us coming back to the beautiful bar and the expansive deck outside.
Update: Robard’s experienced a change in leadership in 2017. We’re looking forward to seeing how the new team smooths out the inevitable bumps that happen with a shakeup in both the front and back of the house.
Seafood and Steaks | Grogan's Mill
Happy Hour, Outdoor Dining, and Private Room
The flavors of Texas are served up on a plate at The Republic Grille, a locally-owned bistro located centrally in the Woodlands (with a new, second location on the far west end). Entrees like chicken-fried steak, shrimp & grits, pork chops, and fried chicken satisfy the appetites of hungry Texans, and the upscale casual setting (featuring historic photos of the early days of the Woodlands by noted photographer Ted Washington) serves as a comfortable backdrop for families, couples, and groups of friends. The chicken-fried-steak is getting a bit of a reputation; numerous publications have named it among the Houston area’s best.
American and Salads | Panther Creek
Outdoor Dining and Private Room