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Who has the best burger in Tampa/St Pete/Clearwater

My wife and I will be coming down to Clearwater for a 10 day vacation. I always love to search out the best burger joint every time I travel. Any suggestions. I would even be willing to travel outside of this area.

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  1. El Cap on 4th street in St. Pete. Cash only joint, casual, cold draft beer. Ted Peters in South Pasadena, near St. Pete Beach. If you go there, dont miss the fish spread too...it beats any I've ever tried and I've tried a lot!...also cash only. The beachside bar at the Bon Aire hotel on St. Pete beach...it's huge! and you can watch the sunset! The only place in Clearwater I can think of is called Diner Sixty West. All of their food including the burgers are pretty good and if you go on Tuesday, burgers come with a free milkshake.

    1. I've been to quite a few in the Tampa bay area and my favorite these days is Square One Burger on Henderson in Tampa.

      1. IMHO, Nicko's Fine Food on N. Florida Ave, in Tampa is a great little Pullman car greasy spoon...

        While the Nicko Burger might be a no frills, dirt cheap burger; it is easily one of my my favorite burgers in town. Plus, you can eat a burger in the same booth that Elvis ate in.

        1. CJ's Bar-B-Skew in Carrollwood in Tampa does a really really good burger, and on Wednesdays they do 'Burger Wednesday' where you can get a burger with whatever toppings you want for $7.49, and that includes a second 1/2 pound wood-fire grilled prime burger patty...

          Their potato chips are thick, crunchy, potatoey, and home made...
          Almost all the sides are good to great...

          So far, it's my favorite burger in the area... A juicy medium rare burger cooked on that wood fire tastes great... I'm doing a low carb diet right now, but I'm still going tomorrow... I'll be getting a double burger with cheese, bacon, and grilled onions---with no bread, and a salad...


          Food porn up ahead!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Mild Bill

            CJ's does have good food, and their 1/2 lb burger is great. My wife likes CJ's because she can get her fried pickle fix.

            Of course there is Twinz Big City Hotdogs, down on Waters Ave.

            Tampa Tap Room, on North Dale Mabry, has a pretty good burger also.

          2. Flemings, near the airport, has a good burger. Plus if you go during happy hour, 5-7PM in the bar, it's $6.00 for a bacon cheeseburger with either fries or onion rings, plus a mini-wedge salad (more like a garnish actually).

            It's an upscale steakhouse with a nice atmosphere and good cocktails too.

            If you're looking for something more casual, Burger 21 is pretty good, as is Burgermonger.

            1. The Green Iguana has excellent burgers. On Dale Mabry near Tampa Airport.

              1. The Capital Grill has an excellent burger, with the bacon ground into the patty. It comes with truffle and parmesan fries that are excellent. Grill 116 also has an excellent burger that is very inexpensive at lunch. For shear creativity, Burger 21 has done an excellent job. I didn't really care for Square One, particularly for the price.

                1 Reply
                1. re: slpreston

                  I tried Burger 21 recently and they make a very good burger. Their skinny fries were delicious too.All in all a pleasant surprise!

                  My BIL loves the tuna burger. I heard negative reports on the veggie burgers. I just went with the basic burger and was very happy.

                2. Big fan of Burger Monger on N. Dale Mabry in Carrollwood. Akaushi Kobe beef, handcut fries, gourmet toppings and Haagen-Dazs shakes. All at very affordable prices. I see a lot of families in there and considering it's right next door to a Mickey D's, that says something.

                  1. (showing my age -- anybody else remember Goody Goody and Jimmie Mac's? THOSE were good burgers)

                    El Cap is the surviving champion these days.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: sunshine842

                      Nothing TOUCHED Jimmy Mac's burgers!!!
                      I went there so often and I miss it bad...

                      1. re: Mild Bill

                        I spent a lot of happy hours out there on the porch eating burgers and listening to the band (two guys - a short guy and a big guy with a beard...never thought I'd forget their names!)

                        1. re: Mild Bill

                          They have been in the mountains in NC for a while now in case you MUST satisfy a craving!


                          I loved them in Tampa but have not been able to get that far west in NC to try them again.

                          1. re: meatn3

                            Great to read!
                            Now I'm dyin' for a burger...

                            I remember tasting 'the grill' (not griddle) on their burgers and for me, any burger contending for best burger will have to do that...
                            That's what made CJ's Bar B Skew my favorite burger until they sadly closed a few months ago.... Mega-weep....

                            1. re: Mild Bill

                              We had a good burger at Gaspar's last weekend at 56th and River Hills Dr. 6.00 burger and fries on Sundays and Mondays. Nice garlic butter toasted bun and a BIG burger cooked how you like it. No qualms with rare or medium rare.

                        2. re: sunshine842

                          i remember Goody Goody very well...It was absolutely the best hamburger ever..You might not have known that that recipe was bought by a restaurant on Florida Ave in Tampa called Oakwood or something...it was where the old Frisches Big Boy used to be but sadly its gone now too...I have no idea what will become of the recipe...I searched the internet and found what some think is the recipe for that tomato sauce they used on the hamburgers and I experimented with it until I got it pretty darn close..Also important is making the burger itself as much like theirs as possible...Just a 4 oz patty of 80/20,a regular sized hamburger bun,diced white onions and a few sour hamburger dill chips...Also important,toast the bun face side down on a griddle then assemble all of the above items and top with a generous amount of the tomato sauce...I actually made goody goody burgers last night and it always takes me back to my childhood...Again...google Goody Goody hamburger sauce recipe and see if you can find it...

                        3. Check out Munch's I eat there when i was a kid and still go back when in town 40 years later


                          1 Reply
                          1. re: makymark02

                            Need to throw in the BonAire on St Pete Beach - awesome burger with a so laid back beach feel.

                          2. Second El Cap and Ted Peters, great old school burgers. To add to that type i'd say Chattaway's and biff burger. Someone brought up Square One Burger, which is good, if you like the fad of crazy big burgers with random toppings on them. The Burg downtown has a couple of that type of burger as well, like the gyro burger, and a burger between two bacon grilled cheese sandwiches.

                            1. Your original question was posted in January, 2012, and the question of "Who has the best burger in Tampa- St. Pete- Clearwater?" rages on with Chowhounds still coming out of the woodwork to mention their favorites. I'm "up the road" just a couple of hours, and I can put the information to good use the next time I'm down in the Bay area.

                              My question to Picklesmcd... Your Clearwater vacation has come and gone. Where did YOU find the area's best burger???

                              1. Without a doubt O'Keefe's on Fort Harrison Road in Clearwater, Florida................I cannot believe it has not been mentioned..........aside from when Dad used to grill outside, this is the closet thing I have found to that! Flemings? Why on earth would you even go there for a hamburger? Unless you want to dress up...Flemings is owned by the Outback chain and we liked it for romantic dinners.....but it has gone down hill in the past year.......I have never had one bad thing at O'Keefes.......and you must try their Mushrooms in a Crock......Yum!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: u565425

                                  O'Keefe's was my childhood burger joint. It used to be quite small - just a bar really. There was a painting of a naked woman that we always sneaked peeks at. As teens we hung out hoping to spot the son, Frank, who was a member of the band the Outlaws. I believe the O'Keefe's sold it years ago...
                                  Glad to hear the burgers are still good!