1. Local

Finding the Best Hamburgers in Oklahoma City

The Great OKC Burger Hunt

By

Finding the Best Hamburgers in Oklahoma City

Irma's Burger Shack

© Adam Knapp, Licensed to About.com, Inc.
In the summer of 2006, I set out on the great Oklahoma City Pizza Hunt. My quest sent me, based on your suggestions, all around the metro. By the time it was over, I had gained a few extra pounds certainly, but I was also able to put together a list of favorite pies around town.

As I expected, the list received plenty of disagreement, many residents claiming I didn't know what I was talking about. And now, a glutton for punishment, I embark on yet another OKC food hunt.

This time, I go looking for the best hamburger in Oklahoma City. I'll do my duty to the About.com readers and scour the city's best burger joints based on your recommendations. And by the end of the quest, my waist line willing, I'll utilize my expertise to compile a list of my favorites.

As with pizza hunt, I'll begin with my disclaimer of tastes...
  • While I certainly enjoy a unique gourmet hamburger from time to time, for the most part I'm a simple burger man.
  • Give me lettuce, tomato, cheese and mustard, and I'm more than happy to taste the burger quality.
  • I generally prefer my hamburgers with just a tiny bit of pink, what many places call medium or medium well.
So it's time to get to the quest. I'm relying on your suggestions, so don't let me miss a gem. Post your favorite OKC hamburgers on the discussion forum, and I'll add it to my list. Over the course of the next few months, I'll update this article several times with thoughts on various spots I've tried, their pros and cons and whether they have a chance to make the final list.

To kick us off, I'll start with a well-known OKC establishment, Irma's Burger Shack. I posted my full review of Irma's, and obviously, I'm a big fan. The comfortable, casual atmosphere is perfect for a quick lunch or a family night out, and the burgers are top notch.

Pros:
  • The "No Name" burger is made from local organic beef and has great flavor
  • I liked the temperature contrast of the shredded cheese, not melted when the burger is initially served
  • Good side item quality
  • Affordable price
Verdict: I have been to Irma's many times and rarely have any complaints. Thought I plan to sample plenty of places in the metro before my burger hunt is complete, Irma's sits currently as definite top 5 material.

Irma's was a good place to start my burger hunt recap, one I was quite familiar with. Another similar OKC hamburger spot in that regard would be Johnnie's Charcoal Broiler, possibly the most well-known burger joint in the metro. Originally established in 1971, it has even appeared on TNT's OKC-set television series "Saving Grace".

With multiple locations around the metro, drive through service and the "Express" restaurants with car-hops, Johnnie's feels a bit like a fast food place. Luckily, it has far better hamburgers than any fast food staple.

Not overly greasy but still juicy, the burgers are charcoal grilled and have a very distinctive flavor. Even the regular-order burgers are of good size, but if you're really hungry, there are doubles as well. I particularly enjoy the unique Johnnie's sauce and large amount of cheese.

Pros:
  • Good size and texture
  • Cheese is plentiful
  • Love the Johnnie's sauce
  • Casual, family-style atmosphere
Verdict: Johnnie's is famous for its unique taste, so I probably won't make a lot of friends by saying I'm really not a huge fan of the charcoal-grilled flavor. I just never have been. Nevertheless, for a quick burger alternative to the mundane, Johnnie's still gets a visit from me periodically. Right now, I'd say it has a chance of making the top 10, but it could also get knocked out if I get some quality tips from the readers. So visit the link above and give your thoughts.

Along with Johnnie's and Irma's, I received a number of recommendations for Ron's Hamburgers. Oklahoma City residents gushed over the no-frills presentation and gut-busting chili burgers of Ron's. I responded to many that honesty forced me to admit Ron's was one of the first places I thought of when deciding to do this list. I grew up in Tulsa and can remember having a burger and a frosty mug root beer as a young kid.

Today, my stomach can't so easily handle the more adventurous fare at Ron's such as the "Jumbo Chili Cheeseburger" or the "Big Daddy" with fried onions and plenty of cheese. But it's no matter. Even the simple options are some of the juiciest and tastiest burgers around. There are multiple locations in the metro, and you won't find much in the way of dining room decoration at any of them. The places are simple, and food is served in a red plastic basket.

Pros:
  • Fantastic juicy taste
  • Love the chopped bacon in place of traditional strips
  • Large variety of burgers, sides and other dishes
Cons:
  • Far from a fine dining experience
  • Don't go on a weak stomach day
Verdict: I feel pretty comfortable in saying that Ron's will be in my top 10. This certainly isn't the place you go for a gourmet burger, but if you're in the mood for something unique and delicious, pick up some Ron's on the way home.

Continue to page 2 for reviews of Barry's, Earl's and Edmond's Flatire Burgers...

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.