Search for the Best Burger Joint in Austin: Nau’s Enfield Drug

Nau's Enfield Drug Austin

Nau’s Enfleld Drug in Austin

If 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 itself.

You’ll always get an honest take on the burger joints that I’ve visited. Keep in mind that these are just my opinions. I’m sure you may agree or disagree, and I’m good with that either way.

Regardless, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Nau’s Enfield Drug First Impression

Nau’s is actually not on Enfield. It’s on the corner of 12th and West Lynn. But you don’t have to tell most Austinites that; this little neighborhood joint has been pleasing customers since 1951.

As you enter the place, you are taken back a few years. It’s almost as if the hands of time haven’t touched Nau’s since the Fifties. Nostalgia reigns supreme here, and a broad smile came across my face as I glanced back to where the soda fountain and grill hide. The smell of the grill, old advertising signs that bring back memories of a simple past, and a busy restaurant combined to tell me that I was in for a treat.

As you make your way back to the grill area, you’ll find old, wooden, bench-style booths available right next to the grill. You also have the option of sitting in the bar area, which boasts dated orange stools. There are also a few round tables scattered around the center of the floor. No matter which seat you pick, you’ll feel like you’re in the center of the action.

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

Nau’s Enfield Drug Burger Joint Review

Nau’s Enfield Drug burger in Austin

  1. Burger Patties = 8. Thick patties that went right from the grill to my plate. They were juicy and flavorful, but not the best that I’ve had. However, they were piping hot and that makes a huge difference. The mark would normally have been a 6. But because of how thick the patties were, and how hot they were upon arrival, they get an 8.
  2. Bun = 6. The bun was a well-sized sesame seed roll that didn’t fall apart during the meal. Nothing too fancy, but a solid bun nonetheless.
  3. Cheese = 6. Real cheese, though I felt like there could have been one more slice. Again, when you are serving thick patties like Casino El Camino and Nau’s do, you really need to bump up the amount of cheese to balance out the amount of meat. One slice is enough for a thin meat patty, but two is almost a must for any thick burger.
  4. Messiness = 8. The burger was messy, which I like. Not too messy that everything was falling out, but messy enough to know they didn’t skimp on toppings. Well…other than the cheese.
  5. Garnish = 7. The garnish was fresh all around and it was cold, which was a nice balance to the heat of the just-off-the-grill patty. The bacon was crisp.
  6. Taste = 7.  I really liked my burger a lot. I would definitely go back. There was a peppery taste to the burger, and that “a million burgers have been cooked on this surface” taste which simply can’t be replicated.
  7. Fries = 1. Boo! No fries are available. I can’t really enjoy a burger joint that doesn’t have fries. I was really disappointed by this, and no burger joint should be without them. That’s like a PB&J with no peanut butter, or cereal with no milk. Burgers and fries go together.
  8. Atmosphere = 8. When you expect the cast from Grease to come walking in the door any moment, you know you’re in a special place. Nau’s hasn’t changed too much since 1951, and that’s what really makes this place special.
  9. Cleanliness = 5. The place was average in regards to cleanliness, some of the condiments were a little sticky, and there were a few pieces of the trash on the floor that hadn’t been picked up. Remember, 5 is an average mark. So not a bad mark, just nothing special.
  10. Other Factors = 8. The place is intimate enough to meet new folks. The cashier was new and made a mistake with the folks in front of me that took time to resolve, but he was really trying hard. And hey, he has to learn, right? Oh, and they have great shakes. They went out of their way to make me a root beer shake that wasn’t on their menu (without knowing I was a blogger). Bravo for the extra effort.

Bottom Line on Nau’s Enfield Drug in Austin: 6.4 out of 10

Overall Score = 6.4. The overall score is the average of the 10 categories.

The burger at Nau’s comes at you hot and juicy. The garnish was fresh and cold, which offset the heat of the burger patty. They used shredded lettuce, which was nice, and the bacon was crisp. The fact that they don’t offer fries really hurt this burger joint’s overall score, but their excellent shakes definitely helped balance the score back out.

If you are looking to go to a nostalgic joint that serves up a thick burger and great shakes, and you don’t care about fries, you won’t be disappointed by Nau’s. Though you may want to ask for an extra slice of cheese. Oh, and while I was there, two ladies ordered root beer floats that looked pretty amazing. This place has been around Austin since 1951 and there is a reason for it. I recommend you check out Nau’s Enfield Drug.

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.)

Nau's Enfield Drug on Urbanspoon

@EricHighland asks:

I’d love to hear what you have to say. Do you agree or disagree with me on Nau’s?  

  • Troy Herman

    Okay. Another good review that just helped me gain 6.4 lbs… It seems your review score correlates to my weight gains; what’s up with that? I need a day off so I can follow you on your quest, but I guess I will just follow your flavor trail after you have visited. Once again, thanks for the honest updates and reviews.

    • Eric Highland

      Haha you are too funny Troy. Appreciate the kind words my friend.

  • Jane Gibson @janeegib

    Who would have thought that Nau’s is the place to go for burgers? Never been there, but you’ve given me some incentive. Reviewing burgers is no easy task in this town because there are so many great places. Still, I’d like to throw out a couple of suggestions: Dart Bowl and Hat Creek are two of my faves. Great series!

    • Eric Highland

      @1e66b0795073a6afb7100b8651a5309e:disqus Keep in mind the shakes were great and the floats looked amazing too if you go. Thanks for the tips, I’ve added both Dart Bowl and Hat Creek to my list. And thanks so much for checking out the Austinot! Appreciate it!

  • Lani Rosales

    I’ve lived here my whole life and never heard of Nau’s. What’s wrong with me!?

    • Eric Highland

      It’s a fun place Lani, great to just go and have a shake or a malt. The burgers like I said are hot off the grill and tasty too. A fun place to browse around too. Let me know if you head out that way and what you think @facebook-727275754:disqus

  • WonderousATX

    The thing is about Nau’s it is mainly a drug store with a kitchen in the back. The tables are very basic, and most people sit at the counter. The store is 50+ years old, but they are still making the burgers the same way as if it were still the 60’s. Good thick well cooker burger, but I feel average taste. Well described review.

    • Brittany Highland

      I love supporting the whole idea of an old soda fountain. There aren’t too many around anymore.

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