May 28, 2021

Where to find the best burgers in Alabama

4.5 min read

Alabamians know a good burger when they taste one. From state-based chains like Milo’s and Jack’s to its diners and dives—even its temples of gastronomy—the magical combination of beef patty, bun, cheese and condiments is a Yellowhammer delight. 

The best burgers are hand-patted and cooked to order. Many are ground in-house, with flavor boosters like high-fat Wagyu beef, bacon, or tallow. Some offer double patties. A few are topped with a fried egg, which provides its own sauce.    

We searched throughout the state for local legends and online darlings, collating several “best-of” lists to choose 10 representatives that we consider to be the best burgers in Alabama. Try one on May 28 to celebration National Hamburger Day.

Anchor Bar (Orange Beach)

OK, you might not think of burgers when you think of the beach, but here us out. Anchor Bar’s “More In Than Out Burger” ($13) pays tribute to the beloved West Coast-based chain In and Out Burger. It’s a half-pound patty of Kobe-style Wagyu beef from Louisiana, seared in Anchor Steam beer mustard, and topped with American cheese. It’s dressed with lettuce, caramelized onion, tomato jam, and “Wickles mayo.” Plus, this burger is served with a spectacular view of Hudson Marina and Terry Cove.

best burgers in alabama

Butch Cassidy’s Café (Mobile)

With eight options, Butch Cassidy’s hamburgers are a perennial favorite in the Port City, winning several “best burger” contests. Cassidy’s dubs its namesake Butch Burger ($12) as “Soon to be NOW famous,” but the bacon cheeseburger (topped with all the usual suspects) has long had a loyal following. The frontier theme continues with the Wild West Burger ($10, with mayo and mustard) and the Prairie Bacon Burger ($9, with fried green tomato and house-made “Prairie” sauce)

Chubbfather’s (Alabaster, Chelsea)

Its namesake is the Chubba Burger (bacon, American and Swiss cheeses, lettuce, tomato, grilled onion, mayo, and pickle) but the attention-grabber for many fans is the Zydeco, with bacon, house-made Cajun horseradish sauce, and a mound of fried onion straws. Both are $11.50; for $3 more, double up on the patty on any burger or slider set. Twenty sauce options range from ranch and barbecue to the self-explanatory “Quite a Bit Hotter.”

Farm Burger (Huntsville)

It prepares patties with a pedigree, grass-fed dry-aged beef raised nearby and ground in-house with a bit of beef tallow for extra flavor. The Farm Burger ($8.99) includes aged Vermont white cheddar, caramelized onions, and house “FB” sauce. The menu includes Weekly Local specialty burgers, build-your-own choices, and the Double Bacon Cheeseburger ($10.99; patties are made from a beef-bacon blend). Other options: house-made vegan and chorizo pork patties, Beyond Burger, and chicken.

Niffer’s Place (Auburn, Opelika, Lake Martin)

Known collectively as “Niff’s Specialties,” two-dozen choices ($10.95–$12.95) include The Wickled Drummy (house-made pimento cheese, bacon and Wickles pickles) and The Niff Jr. (four cheeses, bacon and fried egg). Patty choices include a half-pound beef burger, vegetarian garden patty, black bean patty, grilled or fried chicken breast, turkey burger, and vegan Beyond Burger. Any burger can be “Nifferized,” with double protein for $4 more.

Oasis Bar and Grill (Cottondale)

No-frills Oasis Bar and Grill in Tuscaloosa County, which has been operating under that name since 1951, draws locals and savvy eaters. Order single-patty or double-patty hamburgers ($6/$7) and cheeseburgers ($6.25/$7.25), or the Bear Burger Combo ($10.99) with a double cheeseburger, fries, and a soft drink. The Patty Melt ($6.25) is nestled in Texas toast with cheese, sautéed mushrooms, onions, and house-made brown gravy. (FYI: Smoking is allowed inside.)

Chez Fonfon (Birmingham)

No burger in Alabama has received more press than the Hamburger Fonfon ($17) at Chez Fonfon, Frank and Pardis Stitt’s bistro next to their much-lauded restaurant, Highlands Bar and Grill. The heritage-beef grind is topped by nutty French Comte cheese, and served with a griddled Brioche bun, pickles, and dijonnaise—all house-made—and grilled red onion.

J&J Grocery and Deli (Bessemer)

This family-run restaurant in a small store outside Bessemer has been flipping burgers, a couple hundred a day, for decades (the store’s even older). A great sandwich (making several best-of lists) at a great price (all under $8), the thick, juicy patties are hand-formed and grilled. Variations on the standard hamburger-cheeseburger theme include bacon, chili, barbecue, Hawaiian, or mushroom.

Vicki’s Lunch Van (Montgomery)

Originally a parked food truck, it moved to a brick-and-mortar building in 2013. Choose burgers ($5.50–$7.50) by patty size —four-, six-, or eight-ounce. The Gunter Pile ($8.50) is a no-bun mashup—a base of fries topped with a six-ounce burger patty, and covered in cheese, gravy, grilled onions, and fried onions.

Avenue Pub and Grill (Tuscaloosa)

Available at lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, The Bacon Burger ($15) boasts provolone cheese, bacon, red onion, house-made pickles, mixed greens, and mayonnaise. It’s drawn accolades from online publications like BuzzFeed, Best Things Alabama, Delish, and Big 7 Travel. Look for casual dining and both traditional and funky cocktails at the downtown Tuscaloosa establishment.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Subscribe to the newsletter

The inside scoop straight to your inbox.

Thank you for your message. It has been sent.
There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later.

Thank you for your message. It has been sent.
There was an error trying to send your message. Please try again later.