Timeless burgers: 10 of Houston’s oldest burger joints you have to try

Trigger unrelenting cravings in an instant with three simple words: burgers and fries.

Stanton's City Bites
Stanton's City Bites (Stanton's City Bites)

Listed chronologically by opening date, here’s a look at the longstanding Houston eateries that have been dishing out burgers and fries for decades. Note that several of the burger joints listed below have been in business longer than half a century.

Clearly, these long-standing locales get it right -- from simply scrumptious, made-to-order burgers to crisp golden fries, there’s something delicious at each of these iconic Houston institutions.

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Prince’s Hamburgers (1932)

Houston history: Doug Prince opened his first burger joint in Dallas in 1929. Soon after, he relocated to Houston to build his burger empire. He opened his first Houston restaurant in a former Weber’s Root Beer stand on Main Street and went on to open an additional 20-something drive-ins and restaurants. Though the chain expanded to other cities like San Antonio and Beaumont, the bulk of the restaurants remained concentrated in the Houston area. Prince’s Hamburgers closed its last Houston location at 3425 Ella Blvd. at the beginning of 2018 due to issues resulting from Hurricane Harvey. In October 2020, current owner John Broussard revived the iconic restaurant at a new location inside the clubhouse at the Sharpstown Park Golf Course. View the menu here.

Review: “Right on the golf course!! The menu is small but has all your favorites! The Oldtimer and the original Classic as well as thick malts and shakes! Hotdogs and shrimp baskets are still on the menu. The place is clean and nostalgic with lots of memorabilia from the original stores.” - Raven of Southwest Houston

Location: Prince’s Hamburgers is located at the Sharpstown Golf Park at 6600 Harbor Town Drive.

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Lankford’s Grocery & Market (1937)

Houston history: Lankford’s Grocery & Market opened in 1937 and continues to operate out of its original location -- a converted garage -- located in Midtown at 88 Dennis St. Initially opened as a fruit stand, Lankford’s grew into a grocery store before evolving into its current iterations as a burger joint in the eighties. Third-generation family members operate the longstanding establishment to this day. The beloved, off-the-beaten-path burger joint routinely appears on “best of” lists and Lankford’s menu sums up the eatery best, stating it serves “nothing small, nothing healthy, and nothing fast. We never give you a check but that does not mean it’s free. You pay at the register as you leave. If you do not have 30 minutes to spend, you should try us another day. WE have great food, but it’s not fast food. Everything is made to order just like you like it!” View the menu here.

Review: “This place is a Houston/Montrose gem. It’s in a time warp in a great way. Cash only, great shakes, killer burgers and old school like no other place in the Tros!” - Shaun of Houston’s Fourth Ward

Location: Lankford’s Grocery & Market is located in Midtown at 88 Dennis Street.

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Someburger (1955)

Houston history: One of the last remaining old Heights eateries, this iconic Houston institution is a downhome dive serving no-frills burgers, fries and hand-dipped shakes and malts since 1955. View the menu here.

Review: “Love someburger, best old school hamburger around. Have been going here for years and will be going for years to come.” - Andrew of Houston

Location: Someburger currently operates at 745 E 11th Street in Houston’s Heights area.

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Stanton’s City Bites (1961)

Houston history: Opened in 1961, Stanton’s City Bites began as a family-run grocery store. Over the years, it evolved into a burger joint, which currently operates at 1420 Edwards Street. View the menu here.

Review: ”They’ve done it, folks, we can all go home. They’ve perfected the classic burger. Operating from an old-school white house in the Heights, Stanton’s slings burgers, sandwiches, salads, and sides that take simple ingredients and make them sing.” - Ritodhi of Houston

Location: Stanton’s City Bites is located at 1420 Edwards Street.

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Cream Burger (1961)

Houston history: This family-run stand began slinging burgers in Houston’s Third Ward back in 1961. View the menu here.

Review: “Full of nostalgia, hospitality, flavor. Great portions, unbeatable prices and friendly service. They made a great first impression on me. Will definitely be back!” - Megan of Houston

Location: Cream Burger is located at 3481 Elgin Street in Houston’s Third Ward.

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Poppa Burger (1963)

Houston history: This hidden gem is located on North Main Street near University of Houston Downtown. Opened in 1963, the longstanding stalwart is a relic of an era long since past. The old-fashioned stand serves its no-nonsense burgers, fries, corn dogs, tacos and ice cream cones 24/7, 365 days a year. View the menu here.

Review: “Wow I love this place I’m 49 now and I remember my dad bringing us here when we were little. It hasn’t changed and it is a historic gem. Now I’m bringing my kids here and they love it just as much. Thank you for keeping my childhood alive!!! Highly recommended.” - Gomez of Houston

Location: Poppa Burger is located at 1622 North Main Street.

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Champ Burger (1963)

Houston history: Open since 1962, this Houston gem claims it’s the home of the original “Texas Size Steak Sandwich.”

Burger aficionados attest to the mouth watering, real beef burger served by Champ Burger,” the eatery boasts on its Facebook page. “Our loyal customers come from all areas of Houston to taste a little bit of “burger heaven”. Some say Champ Burger is one of Houston’s Best Kept Secrets.” View the menu here.

Review: “Man, this place is like the ultimate dive bar of burgers and the food is amazing! I love their burgers and if you like dreamsicles you’ll LOVE their orange milkshake! Anything on the menu is good, really, so you can’t go wrong! They’re always busy, so if you don’t want to wait in line as long, do yourself a favor and call your order in ahead of time.” - Todd of Houston

Location: Champ Burger is located in Houston’s Second Ward at 304 Sampson Street.

Mytiburger (1967)

Houston history: MytiBurger has been serving Space City the “mytiest Texas-style burgers, fries, homemade onion rings” since 1967. Mytiburger’s website sums up the eatery best: “If you’ve been by, you already know our burger is Myti’r than... just about any joint in town. And, if you haven’t been by, bless your hungry heart... We open at 10:30am.” Other menu items of note include burritos, chili dogs and stuffed jalapenos. View the menu here.

Review: “Great old school hidden gem for a burger and some rings. You get a card for your order number. I was Jack of hearts when I ate there. Seating is limited and you can tell the customers keep coming back as many were greeted by name while I sat there and had by burger. If you dine inside you will go home smelling like a burger but I’d say it’s worth it.” - Jake of Tomball

Location: Mytiburger is located at 2211 W 43rd Street in northwest Houston.

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Burger Park (1968)

Houston History: This bare-bones burger stand has been serving its patties, sandwiches and slush drinks since 1968. View the menu here.

Review: “Burger Park is one of the neighborhood spots I grew up on being a kid from the inner city. As a child I loved going to snatch up a burger and the slush for the win. You get all the feels of the city and culture visiting this legendary establishment. Usually I’d get a cheeseburger, and they are always delicious, put together with real love and care. This was my first time getting a grilled chicken sandwich, and it was just as good as the burgers. Burger park has never let me down, whenever my friends from out of town come into the city I make sure to brag and show off one of my childhood favorites. It’s cash only, and inexpensive, but the neighborhood isn’t the best of neighborhoods, especially if you aren’t as familiar with the area as I am, so don’t carry too much cash, but you definitely won’t be disappointed. I’ve been going for years, and I’ve been in love since day one. ALWAYS GET A SLUSHIE when you go, it’s a must!” - Kendrick of Houston

Location: Burger Park is located at 6704 Martin Luther King Boulevard in south Houston.

RELATED: Get your chicken fried steak fix at one of these longstanding Houston-area eateries

Bubba’s Texas Burger Shack (1985)

Houston history: Located underneath the Westpark Tollway in Houston’s Galleria/Uptown area, Bubba’s Texas Burger Shack boasts it’s served more than one million burgers since it opened back in 1985. Bubba’s keeps things simple, serving its small assortment of bison and beef burgers with chips. Don’t expect any fries here. Other menu highlights include Frito pie, bison chili and jalapeno potato salad. View the menu here.

Review: “As they say, a messy burger is a good burger! Possibly one of the best burgers I’ve had in Houston. This spot is definitely a hidden gem!” - Tamsin of Houston

Location: Bubba’s Texas Burger Shack is located at 5230 Westpark Drive, underneath the Westpark Tollway in Houston’s Galleria/Uptown area.

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Don’t see your favorite old-fashioned burger joint listed here? Share your recommendations in the comments below!


About the Author:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team as a community associate producer in 2019. During her time in H-Town, she's covered everything from fancy Houston homes to tropical storms. Previously, she worked at Austin Monthly Magazine and KAGS TV, where she earned a Regional Edward R. Murrow award for her work as a digital producer.