If you’ve been looking for the best burgers in Austin, you’re in the right place. This post is part of a series on The Austinot.
All the post titles in this series start with “Search for the Best Burger Joint in Austin.” 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 either way.
Regardless, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Billy’s on Burnet First Impression
Billy’s on Burnet is located between W. 51st and W. 49th, just off Burnet at 2105 Hancock Drive. What? Billy’s isn’t actually on Burnet? Nope…but for those following the burger series…Nau’s Enfield Drug isn’t on Enfield either.
Billy’s may as well be on Burnet, and it doesn’t matter anyway because everyone in the neighborhood knows exactly where it is. This is a quintessential neighborhood bar, and a really good one too. The regulars may not want the attention, but it wouldn’t be fair to keep this local gem a secret.
Some old, round, sticky wooden tables, a smattering of benches and a few bar stools are your seating options at this well-known Austin hangout. Billy’s has a sense of local camaraderie and familiarity. Every time someone walks through the front doors, you can sense the regulars checking out any new folks. But all are welcome and it isn’t the least awkward for newbies.
There are a handful of older televisions with various sports games on, and one larger flat screen in the main bar area. Additionally, there is a jukebox on the wall, a few older arcade games in a separate room, and another room with a pool table and dart boards. Billy’s on Burnet also has an outdoor patio area.
There is no table service, so don’t bother sitting down when you arrive. The line forms at the counter and it is usually fairly long. While you are waiting in line, make sure to check out the ample selection of beers on tap. Once you’ve ordered, find yourself a seat, but remember the sticky tables? Well, we weren’t kidding.
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
Billy’s on Burnet Austin Burger Joint Review
- Burger Patties = 6. The pre-formed, hockey puck-looking patties weren’t very appealing to the eye, but don’t let appearances fool you.
- Bun = 8. The bun was ample and fresh, perhaps a bit too large for the burger patty. But still, the freshness was what increased the mark here.
- Cheese = 8. The cheese was plentiful for the size of the patty, and it was real cheese, which is always a plus.
- Messiness = 7. Went through several napkins while eating this burger. I like a messy burger, so this is a good thing. After all, if it isn’t messy, it probably isn’t worth eating.
- Garnish = 8. There was a crisp dill pickle spear that was served with the burger. The piece of lettuce was small, but fresh. The tomatoes were thickly cut, which rounded out the burger well.
- Taste = 7. Though the burger patty wasn’t very appealing to the eye, it had a solid neighborhood-bar-burger taste.
- Fries = 6. The fries were seasoned well, but overcooked on my visit. It may have been an off day, or that may be the way they make them all the time. I’m giving Billy’s the benefit of the doubt though, and bumping the Fries mark to a six because of the flavorful seasoning.
- Atmosphere = 8. Billy’s on Burnet is a true local neighborhood joint, which is a welcome alternative to the chains that pollute our city. The tables are sticky and the TVs are old, but the regulars couldn’t care less. Everyone seemed genuinely happy here.
- Cleanliness = 4. The place wasn’t very clean. There were things on the floor, and the sticky tables were left with items from previous customers. It’s a self-bussed place, so some inconsiderate person caused this mark to drop. Sorry Billy’s, but for review purposes I have to tell it like I see it. Sucks that people can’t bus their own table, but if they don’t, ya need to hop out from behind the counter and take care of it.
- Other Factors = 8. This was a tough mark to figure. The place wasn’t clean; everyone was happy. The TVs were old; everyone was happy. The burgers weren’t the best; everyone was happy. There are no refills on soda (they are sold by the can); everyone was happy. There was a huge selection of beer and everyone was happy.
Bottom Line on Billy’s on Burnet: 7.0 out of 10
Overall Score = 7.0. The overall score is the average of the 10 categories.
If you’re looking for something fancy, this isn’t it. If you are looking for a regular place to hang out with great beer choices, decent burgers and a local Austin vibe, this might be your dream spot.
Though the burgers weren’t the best I’ve had in Austin, and the joint itself wasn’t very clean, Billy’s on Burnet held its own. Bottom line is that everyone was having a good time and this is “their” spot. The regulars seemed welcoming to us “new folk” and we appreciated it.
If you live near Billy’s on Burnet, you probably already hang out there. If you don’t and find yourself in the area, looking for a good beer with a good burger, Billy’s is worth checking out.
Give it a shot yourself and let me know if you think my review is on point or completely off the mark.
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.)