Search for the Best Burger Joint in Austin: Moonie’s Burger House

N Burnet Moonie's Burger HouseIf you’ve been looking for the best burgers in Austin, you’ve come to the right place. This post is part of a series on The Austinot.

All the posts in this series start with “Search for the Best Burger Joint in Austin” in the title. Remember, I’m looking at not only the burgers, but the experience as a whole.

You’ll always get an honest take on the burger joints that I’ve visited. I’m not on any burger joint’s payroll. Agree or disagree, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

First Impression of Moonie’s Burger House in Austin

Moonie’s has four locations. I visited the North Austin location at 12001 N. Burnet Road, east of where Burnet and Mopac meet, in a little strip mall. I went to Moonie’s because it was suggested in a comment on one of my burger reviews. See folks? I do listen.

The interior and exterior of this Austin burger joint are unremarkable. Moonie’s leases one of those small cookie-cutter spaces that strip malls have. Although they do have a pleasant outdoor patio available for customers.

When you first enter, you’ll see reviews on the wall hailing Moonie’s as having the best burgers and fries for five years in a row, in Leander and Cedar Park.

Okay. But Cedar Park and Leander are not Austin. How does Moonie’s stack up to our Austin burger joints? Read on, my friend.

Moonie's Burger House in Austin, TX

Austinot Eric’s Burger Review Criteria

If you’ve read my other articles in this series, you’ll know that I rate burger joints using a 1-10 scale, with 5 being Average. (Don’t be a hater. If I rate you a 5, that means you were average.)

Roughly speaking, a score of 1 translates to “worst ever,” while 10 translates to “God handcrafted this himself.” Remember, you are free to disagree with me. This is just my honest take.

When reviewing a burger joint, these are my categories:

  1. Burger Patties
  2. Bun
  3. Cheese
  4. Messiness
  5. Garnish
  6. Burger Taste
  7. Fries
  8. Atmosphere
  9. Cleanliness
  10. Other Factors

Burger Joint Review: Moonie’s Burger HouseMoonie's Burger House with Blue Bell Shakes

  1. Burger Patties = 7. Medium-size, well-seasoned patties that were not paper thin like other joints. Yet they weren’t as large as some that have made the top of Austin’s list thus far.
  2. Bun = 8. Large and soft, with a bit of toasting. The buns were actually very large for the size of the patty and looked like they were going to be too filling. However, they were actually soft and fresh, and worthy of an 8 in this category.
  3. Cheese = 7. Ample amount of real cheese that adorned the burger, melted just right over the sides of the patty.
  4. Messiness = 5. The sizable bun made the burger not as messy as I prefer, but there were still a few napkins that perished in the consumption process.
  5. Garnish = 7. Two thin slices of tomato were on the burger; fresh shredded lettuce was used and the bacon was crisp. Though Moonie’s didn’t skimp on the lettuce and the bacon was crisp, the size of the tomato slices left something to be desired. But they did choose Heinz Ketchup, which we all know is the best, and that keeps this category at a 7.
  6. Taste = 8. Not sure what they season their patties with or what kind of secret cows they have, but my goodness. The taste of the burger itself was superb, definitely worthy of an 8 mark.
  7. Fries = 9. I struggled with this mark because the fries weren’t as hot as I like them to be. But they were abundant, crisp and flavorful – some of the best fries I’ve had on my journey so far. The fries were even decent as the meal went on and they cooled off even more. Plus, Moonie’s fries have 0 trans fat. So they get the nod of the nine on this mark.
  8. Atmosphere = 4. This mark is going to kill the overall score. But honestly, the location was only average. Nothing special, nothing to really remember, and definitely lacking in charm.
  9. Cleanliness = 8. Far above average in cleanliness, though there were a few discrepancies that I noticed here and there. Crumbs on chairs and that sort of thing, but minor.
  10. Other Factors = 7. Moonie’s has a decent selection of beer. Fifteen beers to choose from. During happy hour, all beers are just $2. They also offer Blue Bell ice cream shakes, which is nice. The shakes we ordered had ice crystals in them that Brittany didn’t care for, but I liked the crystals so it was a wash. The staff was friendly and attentive. The combination of the extra offerings and friendliness of the staff bumped this mark up significantly.
Outdoor Patio at N Burnet Moonie's Burger House

Simple, but pleasant, outdoor patio at Moonie’s Burger House

Bottom Line on Moonie’s Burger House in Austin: 7.0 out of 10

Overall Score = 7.0. The overall score is the average of the 10 categories.

Moonie’s Burger House makes very tasty burgers and has excellent fries. They also offer great specials on beer during happy hour from 4-7 PM. Combo meals are around $8 as of this writing, and you can get a $22 family meal deal for two adults and two kids. You can also substitute a Blue Bell shake for your drink for an additional $1.25 (or purchase one separately for $3.20).

I ordered my standard bacon cheeseburger and Brittany had their teriyaki pineapple Hawaiian burger, which was actually pretty tasty. I snuck a bite when she wasn’t looking. The total cost of our meal was around $20 for two people.

Moonie's Burger House Bacon Cheeseburger

Moonie’s bacon cheeseburger with fries

Though Moonie’s Burger House may be the best in Cedar Park and Leander, it has a way to go before claiming the title of Austin’s best. But it’s definitely worth trying out for yourself.

Give it a shot. When you do, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

And so my…

Search for the Best Burger Joint in Austin Continues

So far, of burger joints in Austin reviewed on the Austinot, here is the scorecard:

#1 – score 8.1 – The Tavern

#2 – score 8.0 – Your Mom’s Burger Bar (Tied for 2nd so far) CLOSED see below.

#2 – score 8.0 – Opal Divine’s Freehouse (Tied for 2nd so far) 6th Street location CLOSED see below.

#3 – score 7.64 – P. Terry’s

#4 – score 7.6 – Phil’s Icehouse

#5 – score 7.2 – Casino El Camino

#6 – score 7.1 – Crown & Anchor Pub

#7 – score 7.05 – Dirty Martin’s Place

#8 – score 7.0 – Billy’s on Burnet (Tied for 8th so far)

#8 – score 7.0 – Moonie’s Burger House (Tied for 8th so far)

#9 – score 6.9 – Mighty Fine Burgers

#10 – score 6.7 – Wholly Cow Burgers

#11 – score 6.4 – Nau’s Enfield Drug

#12 – score 5.9 – Old School Bar and Grill

#13 – score 4.8 – Cover 3

Burger joints that have shut down since they were reviewed:

1. Opal Divine’s (The 6th street location is closed but they have other locations so give them a try.)

2. Your Mom’s Burger Bar (The owners decided to buy an RV and see the country. But they did write a farewell letter to Austin. We’ll miss you Your Mom’s!)

Other places that have been suggested to review: 

  1. 2nd Bar + Kitchen
  2. 24 Diner
  3. Austin Land and Cattle
  4. Austin Java
  5. Black Sheep Lodge
  6. Blue Star Cafeteria
  7. Burger Tex 2 on Guadalupe
  8. Cain and Abel’s
  9. Counter Cafe
  10. Cow Bells
  11. Dan’s Hamburgers
  12. Dart Bowl
  13. Foreign and Domestic
  14. Fran’s Hamburgers
  15. Hat Creek
  16. Hill’s Cafe
  17. Hideout Pub
  18. Hoover’s Cooking
  19. Hopdoddy
  20. Hula Hut
  21. Hut’s Hamburgers
  22. Jack Allen’s Kitchen
  23. Jackalope
  24. Lambert
  25. Luke’s Inside Out
  26. Parkside
  27. Ski Shores
  28. South Congress Cafe
  29. Sputnik
  30. Top Notch

Got one you’d like added to the list? Comment and let us know! (Only suggestions of burger joints founded in Austin will be added.)

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@EricHighland asks:

I’d love to hear what you have to say. Do you agree or disagree with me on Moonie’s Burger House?  Do you know of any places that I need to add to my list?

  • Clint

    Add Collie’s to your list to review. Right now it’s a trailer on 3600 S. Lamar, but at the end of the month they are moving to 415 Jessie Street near Flip Happy Crepes.

    • http://www.facebook.com/eric.highland Eric Highland

      Consider Collie’s added @9fa56ee4fc22faeb580be51fa6af31d0:disqus thanks for the suggestion. What has been your favorite place (other than Collie’s) in Austin?

  • Clint

    Also, I’m really enjoying this series. I now have some burger joints to add to my list to try!

  • Noz

    I work right next to this Gracy Farms location but I still always head out to the Anderson Mill/183 location for Moonie’s. The Gracy Farms location is just too cramped. Anderson Mill/183 has counter service and plenty of space.

  • steve

    Check out School House Pub on Manor rd.

    • http://www.austinot.com/ Brittany Highland

      I just heard from them today, @steve. They said they’re about to celebrate their one year anniversary! What’s your favorite thing on the menu?

  • Luke

    there’s a teeny tiny trailer next to the Gibson Bar…