Search for the Best Burger Joint in Austin: Mighty Fine Burgers

Mighty Fine Burger Fries ShakesI’m a huge burger fan. Anyone who knows me knows that burgers are one of my all-time favorite foods. If my metabolism weren’t so darn slow, I’d eat them four days a week. I’m always looking for that next great burger joint.

When I first started blogging in Austin, I wanted to do a series on the best burgers in town, so I started actively looking for recommendations on places to go from friends and colleagues.

I was pleased to find that there were no shortage of recommendations. All the posts in the series will start with “Search for the Best Burger Joint in Austin” in the title. Since this is the first post in the series, be patient. More will come. Next time you are in the mood for a burger, just remember to come back to The Austinot and do a search for that term in our search bar. You’ll get an honest take on the burger joints that I’ve visited.

Mighty Fine Burgers Austin First Impression

Mighty Fine Popular Burger Joint in Austin

Mighty Fine was packed on the day of my visit

Just looking around when I stepped into the doors of Mighty Fine Burgers, the first thing that came to mind was Five Guys Burgers. At first glance, the concept of the place seemed nearly identical. If you’ve never been to Five Guys that won’t mean anything to you. But if you have been, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

There’s basically one large open room with sharp signs, a main counter with uniformed workers behind it, and boxes of things that would normally be in a storage room, neatly arranged out in the open to provide decor.

I was a little disappointed in the ambiance of the joint. I had heard so much about this Austin-area burger joint being so unique. I mean, come on guys, it’s just not what I expected from an Austin “original.”

Austinot Eric’s Burger Review Criteria

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

Mighty Fine Burger Review

  1. Burger Patties = 9  Mighty Fine uses all-natural, hormone free ground chuck that they grind and form into patties on site. Tough to beat.
  2. Bun = 6 The bun was better than average, but not too much better. Right size bun for the burger gives it above average marks.
  3. Cheese = 7 Real American cheese, what’s not to love? Melted just right.
  4. Messiness = 5 No overflowing toppings or terrible mess. (I like a messy burger, where everything just drips down your arm.)
  5. Garnish = 7 All garnish was fresh and crisp, and complimented the burger nicely
  6. Taste = 8. Mighty Fine makes a mean burger that won’t disappoint. Juicy and rich meat, fresh garnish and real cheese. A classic.
  7. Fries = 6 They get one extra point for having the only fresh-cut crinkled fries around. But they are too thin and salty, and need more substance.
  8. Atmosphere = 6 The employees are nice and the atmosphere is inviting, but I just can’t get over the similarities with Five Guys. I like the concept, it’s just not original.
  9. Cleanliness = 8 The place was really clean when we were there. Considering how busy it was, it was actually rather remarkable. Kudos!
  10. Other Factors = 7 Great Blue Bell ice cream shakes. They use the terms red, yeller, and white instead of ketchup, mustard and mayo. Burgers are a bit pricey, but worth it.

Bottom Line on Mighty Fine Burgers in Austin: 6.9 out of 10

Mighty Fine Burgers T-ShirtOverall Score = 6.9. The overall score is the average of the 10 categories.

The burger itself is fantastic and you won’t be disappointed. If you are looking for a classic American burger with great taste, Mighty Fine Burgers will fill that need. Garnish was fresh and the meal was filling. A bit pricey, but worth the price for the taste. The fries left something to be desired, but the shakes were great. The place was really clean, the employees nice and the crowds there were obviously happy. I’d recommend you give Mighty Fine a shot.

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.)

Mighty Fine Burgers on Urbanspoon

@EricHighland asks:

What do you think of Mighty Fine Burgers? Do you agree or disagree with my review? Do you know of any other burger joints that should be on my list?

  • slavetofashion

    I have never been a big Mighty Fine fan. Don’t get me wrong the burgers are decent, but I also see a lot of similarities to other places, and frankly there’s nothing that really sets it apart. I look forward to more reviews – I too love a good burger!!

    • Eric Highland

      @slavetofashion:disqus are there any places that are “must adds” to my search for the best burger in Austin list? I’d love to hear your thoughts on some places to check out.

      • slavetofashion

        If I want a quick, drive thru burger that is good and fresh, I love Hat Creek Burger. For a sit down burger, Billy’s on Burnet is awesome!! And of course Dirty Martin’s on the Drag is always fun. It may not look like much, but it’s been around forever and the burgers are great. You also have a great list going there. I can’t wait to read your review of Casino El Camino!!

        • Eric Highland

          Definitely will add Hat Creek, Billy’s and Dirty Martin’s to the list. Thanks Cathy!

  • Lisa Desbois

    Very thorough review! I can’t wait till you experience a burger closer to 10! We will be right there! I also like to enjoy a beer with my burger, and it doesn’t appear like they serve alcohol.

    • Eric Highland

      I’m not sure if Mighty Fine Burgers offers beer. It isn’t listed on their online menu so maybe not. If you take a look at some Yelp! reviews it shows that they do, but I personally don’t remember it. Regardless, their shakes are worth sparing the beer for. Thanks for the comment @ec74d227d6d59a5f5c1142242785714e:disqus !!

  • Lani Rosales

    This is still my favorite burger joint in Austin, and I say that having grown up here. My favorite part is how clean everything is (they literally wipe every surface several times per day, I DARE you to find a spec of dust, even above and behind jars on the wall) and that I can see everything happening, AND that when you order and they say “how are you today?” and you answer then say “and how are you?” they HAVE to say “Mighty Fine” which I personally find hilarious, so I try to work it in two or three times per order.

    The actual burger can be slightly inconsistent, but I’m never pumping odd chemicals into my body (and I don’t eat the bun, so I don’t remember what it tastes like). GREAT review, Eric. Fabulous!

    • Eric Highland

      @facebook-727275754:disqus really? Your favorite burger joint in Austin huh? Fair enough. Didn’t know about them having to say “Mighty Fine” that cracked both Brittany and I up. Now we have to go back just for that reason. What other burger joints in Austin are ones that you’d recommend?

      • Lani Rosales

        Hut’s fo sho. Ooh, also, Dirty Martin’s – it’s where my grandparents had their first date in 1950, and it’s kind of divey, but their burgers are fab (especially with bacon)! OH, and there’s the Brick House on 183 that’s newer that’s hella good – strange, but good.

        • Eric Highland

          Maybe you, Benn, Brit and I will have to hit one of those up for our lunch date. :)

  • JimNtexas

    The Mighty Fine burgers are fine, but if I want to sit on a park bench, I’ll go to the park!

    • Eric Highland

      Good point @JimNtexas:disqus I failed to mention the “picnic” style seating.. good catch.

  • Derek Phelps

    Mighty Fine is fine. I’ve been on this same search for the best burger in Austin for a couple years now. Recently went to Justine’s and was satisfied but not totally impressed, mostly for their choice of bun (ciabatta) and the freshness of the tomato slice.

    • Brittany Highland

      Can’t say that ciabatta buns make a real burger. Totally with you on that one!

  • Christopher Huang

    Not too sure about the Five Guys rip-off remark there… I think Mighty Fine not only predates Five Guys Austin’s market entry (though maybe the same year), it’s also a lot more similar to its older sibling restaurant, Rudy’s BBQ, to warrant its comparison to any other eatery (identical in almost every way except decor and food items).

    • Brittany Highland

      Christopher, appreciate your comment. Five Guys was founded in 1986, and as far as I know the first Mighty Fine opened in 2007. I guess I can see some similarities to Rudy’s, including the open seating, but I definitely saw the Five Guys resemblance the moment I stepped through the door. Not a bad thing though, I like Five Guys and I now I like Mighty Fine too!

  • WonderousATX

    Mighty Fine is over rated. very much from the company that owns Rudys BBQ. I would put my top 3 as this: Hopdoddy, Casino El Camino, Your Mom’s Burger Bar. There are more top burger places but these should be the Austin top 3.

    • Eric Highland

      In all fairness, I never said they were the best. But their patties are excellent at MightyFine. This is just the first post in a series that I’m doing over the course of time. I’ll be at Casino next Wednesday

      • WonderousATX

        3/4 lb Burgers at Casino so come starving. Also take longer to cook. If you can handle the really spicy burger, get the Amarillo burger. I say order 2nd burger with a friend, cut in half, and split them. Quality fries too.

  • WonderousATX

    I stand by my top 3 but to add candidates: Hoovers, Burger Tex (Guadalupe or Airport), Hula Hut, Cypress Grill, Shady Grove, Blue Star cafeteria, Black Sheep Lodge, Cow Bells trailer, Luke’s Inside Out trailer, 24 diner, Dan’s, Hut’s, Nau’s, Dirty Martins. A mixed list, some great ones, some averages ones.

    • Eric Highland

      Surprised you didn’t mention Top Notch. That one is definitely going to be on my list.

  • Jenna Wakeley

    I feel like it’s very good, but it’s just really really pricey! I miss living south, I love Dan’s. delicious burger, fries, plus drink for about 5 bucks!

    • Brittany Highland

      There’s a Dan’s close to where we live, but I haven’t been there yet. I have been to Fran’s in SoCo. Do you know how the two compare?

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  • PuddinPop

    I’d like to see a review of Big Daddy’s Burgers on 183. I’ve never had more creative combos. The Chris Chronic is soooooo spicy. I love it.