While the location of the first hamburger in America is disputed by multiple states, there is no question that Corpus Christi is the home of the first Whataburger (pronounced ‘waterburger’ by locals) opened in 1950 on Ayers Street. The Texas State Historical Association tells the story of this quintessential Texas burger joint, started by Harmon Dobson and Paul Burton. They increased the size of the standard hamburger from two ounces to a quarter pound, the two-and-a-half inch bun to five inches. Fresh beef and vegetables were used, and the burger wasn’t cooked until the customer ordered. Dobson and Burton hoped customers would be so delighted with the taste, they would declare “What a burger!”
That innovative change 67 years ago to the standard 2 ounce burger forever cemented Corpus Christi as the Burger Capital of Texas. Texans love beef, BBQ and grilling; not surprising, as we have the largest number of cattle in the country. Cattle ranches across the state supply beef to the U.S. as well as export it oversees. Corpus Christi burgers are as varied as the chefs who create them. And while it all may have started with Whataburger, Corpus Christi continues on with the tradition of creating bigger, better, unique hamburgers.
Lava Burger at House of Burgers
Kick it up a notch! Grilled jalapeños and ghost pepper sauce heat up this half pound burger. Cool lettuce, tomato, and pickles contrast the hotness, while the soft bun disguises the spiciness that is coming. Ask for extra water with this burger!
House of Burgers goes through 2,100 pounds of french fries and 2,400 house made ground beef patties each month.
Poblano Burger at Texas Mesquite BBQ & Grill
A sourdough bun toasted with Kerrygold butter contains a thick patty of hand ground ribeye and prime brisket. The homemade family recipe of creamy poblano mayo consists of poblanos, parsley, garlic, mayo, and secret ingredients. It’s so delicious, you may forget to even ask for the secrets! Not that they’d tell you.
In the mood for something more exotic? Texas Mesquite BBQ & Grill carries lamb, bison, elk, camel and kangaroo burgers, as well as fried alligator!
Explosive Pizza Burger at JP Bombers
Love pizza and hamburgers but can’t decide which to eat? This family-owned restaurant has the solution. Their concoction of a beef patty covered in homemade marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni on a sourdough bun satisfies pizza and hamburger lovers alike.
Get your name added to JP Bomber’s Wall of Fame by completing their Son of a Burger challenge. Finish a stacked 3 pound burger complete with lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles, half a pound of fries, 3 stuffed Jalapeño Bombers and a 32 oz. drink in 30 minutes or less to receive a t-shirt and the meal on the house, or pay $35 if you fail.
Stuffed Cheddar & Bacon Burger at Wallbangers Burger Bar
Toasted buns made in-house from scratch, this sandwich showcases two pure ground chuck patties sealed around cheddar and bacon. Lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion lay beneath the crammed beef, as cheese oozes onto the veggies. Open wide for this burger gift!
Special, homemade buns are made from scratch in-house daily, then buttered and toasted before being added to the custom made burgers.
The Chronic Burger at Padre Island Burger Company
A half a pound of meat is the centerpiece of this slightly spicy burger. The green chilis throw in a mild kick, while the sliced avocado adds a creaminess to every bite. Pepper jack cheese melts into the burger, contained between large, shiny, sourdough buns.
In addition to the speciality sweet sourdough bun, wheat bun, and Texas toast, Udi’s gluten-free buns are available for all burgers.
VooDoo Mushroom Burger at Grub Burger
This 50/50 chuck and brisket blend is covered with Swiss cheese sliced in-house, topped with mushrooms that have been sautéed in absinthe liquor, slathered with mayo combined with Louisiana-made Tabasco sauce, and infused with Cajun seasoning. Made-from-scratch buns complete this Louisiana-inspired burger.
Grub Burger Bar goes through at least 2,500 hundred pounds of hi-gluten flour, 975 pounds of bacon, 675 25oz ketchup bottles, and cuts, grinds, and cooks at least 7,000 pounds of brisket and chuck combined each month.
Heisenburger at The Post
Organic, hormone-free, 28-day aged, in-house blend of round and chuck make up this specially seasoned patty. One-year aged cheddar tops the beef from Texas’ own 44 Farms. The brioche bun holds the lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, patty and cheese.
Located in Cameron, Texas, 44 Farms supplies their delicacy to restaurants in Texas and nationwide, including several located in Disney World.
“Everything but the Kitchen Sink”
The Ultimate Burger at Vick’s Famous Hamburgers
Created by owner George Pollakis's son, this massive burger is available as a single, double, triple or quad. Sautéed mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and jalapeños, crispy lettuce, bacon, fried pickles, mustard, mayo, ketchup, and Swiss and American cheeses are packed between two toasted buns.
The Ultimate was created by owner George Polanski’s son, Anthony, in response to what customers said they wanted in a burger.
Dixie Cheeseburger at Snapka’s
This classic quarter pounder with cheese got its moniker from owner Method Snapka. After increasing the size of their burger from the standard at the time, but not sure what to name his new creation, Snapka drew inspiration from a southern beer from the Dixie Brewing Company.
The curb service restaurant’s delicious onion rings are cut by hand and fried using homemade breading.
Taylor at PRIME (Shoreline Sandwich Company)
Homemade brisket chili, winner of two chili cook offs, and melted Colby Jack cheese combine to create the taste of Texas. A brioche bun is spread with mustard before surrounding the chili- cheese covered grass-fed organic beef. Sliced red onions complete the flavor combination.