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. I’m not on any burger joint’s payroll. Agree or disagree, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
First Impression of Phil’s Icehouse Austin
Burgers, shakes, ice cream, playscape, beer…what’s not to love?
Phil’s Icehouse has two locations in Austin. One on Burnet and one on Lamar. For this review, I visited the Burnet location, which is co-located with Amy’s Ice Cream and the HQ for Amy’s. (We recently did a podcast episode on the Top 4 Cool Treats in Austin that featured Amy’s Ice Cream.)
When you pair Phil’s and Amy’s together, it’s tough to go wrong. Every Austinite loves supporting local businesses, and sometimes will go out of the way to do so. But when both joints are superb and located together, Austinites come out in droves.
The day of my review was no different. The parking lot was packed, but hungry families didn’t give up. They parked on the adjacent Northland Dr. or in the shopping center across the street before making their way over to Phil’s/Amy’s.
As you approach the building on Burnet, you’ll no doubt have children running underfoot. There is a large playscape outside with plenty of semi-shaded seating for parents to sit and enjoy some adult time, while the kids do their thing.
Phil’s Icehouse is on the south side of the dynamic dining duo. As you enter, you’ll quickly notice the bustle of activity behind the counter and in the kitchen. The staff is friendly and they aim to please.
The menu is posted right on the wall, and the line moves fairly quickly. I went with the Brentwood Burger, minus onions. Step up and place your own order. You won’t be sorry, though you may need to wait for a bit to get your burger.
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:
- Burger Patties
- Burger Taste
- Other Factors
Phil’s Icehouse Burger Joint Review
- Burger Patties = 7. Thin, but flavorful 1/3 pound, all-beef patties. Well-seasoned.
- Bun = 9. Brittany said this was her favorite bun that we’ve had on our journey. I still think The Tavern’s buns are the best I’ve had. Regardless, the buns at Phil’s Icehouse are sizable sourdough buns that leave little to be desired.
- Cheese = 8. Ample real cheese that melted over the sides of the burger. The right amount for the size of the burger.
- Messiness = 8. Messy enough to know you are getting your money’s worth. Several napkins perished for the greater good for this review.
- Garnish = 7. Phil’s would have had higher marks (possibly a 9, definitely an 8) if it weren’t for the tomatoes. The tomatoes were sliced really thinly and there were just two small slices on the burger. The iceberg lettuce was crisp, cold and plentiful. The bacon was excellent, abundant and crisp.
- Taste = 8. Again, Brit thought that this was her favorite burger that we’ve had in Austin so far. There is no question that the taste of this burger is excellent. We both enjoyed our meal. I can’t say that it was the best, but it definitely ranked highly among the burgers we’ve had thus far.
- Fries = 8. The burgers come with 1/2 traditional fries and 1/2 sweet potato fries. Or you can get all of one or the other, though I think all sweet potato has an upcharge. I went with all traditional fries for consistency within my reviews. They were really good and salted just right.
- Atmosphere = 7. Phil’s Icehouse is inside a former garage; it’s a fun place. Because of the number of kids and the echo in the joint it can get pretty loud. There are tons of neighborhood locals, families, grandparents and little ones about.
- Cleanliness = 6. The place was clean, but there were some tables that needed wiping down and a few food items that had found their way to the floor. Other than that, Phil’s was a little bit above average in cleanliness. This mark would have been a 5, but I’m giving consideration because of the amount of toddlers that were dropping food on the floor. The staff was active though, and toward the end of my meal they wiped down the tables (though the items on the floor remained ignored).
- Other Factors = 8. Brit was jealous of the strawberry shake I ordered. We were convinced to order it by Corbin, a young man who works at Phil’s on Burnet. Corbin claimed to be the second best shake maker at Phil’s. Well, I’d be hard pressed to see how someone could improve on his skills. The shake was fantastic! This mark would have been a 9, but they actually got Brittany’s order wrong. However, they fixed it incredibly quickly and all in all it was a great outing.
Bottom Line on Phil’s Icehouse in Austin: 7.6 out of 10
Overall Score = 7.6. The overall score is the average of the 10 categories.
Phil’s Icehouse was named after a friend of Amy Simmons (of Amy’s Ice Cream) who was one of her scoopers. Sadly, he passed away, but his legacy lives on through great burgers, great service and lots of smiles.
Parking can be tight, there will be a lot of kids around, and you may need to wait a little bit for your food. But sit back, grab a cold one, or a shake. Let the kids play on the playscape, enjoy the shaded patio and relax at this Austin icon.
I highly recommend you try out Phil’s Icehouse for yourself. If 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:
#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.
#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)
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.)
Other places that have been suggested to review:
- 2nd Bar + Kitchen
- 24 Diner
- Austin Land and Cattle
- Austin Java
- Black Sheep Lodge
- Blue Star Cafeteria
- Burger Tex 2 on Guadalupe
- Cain and Abel’s
- Counter Cafe
- Cow Bells
- Dan’s Hamburgers
- Dart Bowl
- Foreign and Domestic
- Fran’s Hamburgers
- Hat Creek
- Hill’s Cafe
- Hideout Pub
- Hoover’s Cooking
- Hula Hut
- Hut’s Hamburgers
- Jack Allen’s Kitchen
- Luke’s Inside Out
- Ski Shores
- South Congress Cafe
- 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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I’d love to hear what you have to say. Do you agree or disagree with me on Phil’s Icehouse? Do you know of any places that I need to add to my list?