Where To Find Tulsa's Best Hamburgers
BY BEA BAKER, MATT CARNEY & AARON MILLER
3817 S. Peoria Ave., Tulsa, OK 74105
Weber's charming roadside burger stand remains a Brookside staple. The family-owned institution opened in 1933, making it the longest-running business on the Brookside stretch of Peoria. Sharing a parking lot with a strip mall, Weber’s is essentially an indoor walk-up window with enough room for about five people to stand in line and less than eight people to eat indoors at the counters.
Served the old fashioned way, the thin bun, thin patty burgers are best with onions, mustard and pickles. Make sure to get a double patty with cheese; the cheese melts between the patties for a greasy and godly culinary experience.
You are not allowed to leave Weber's without a refreshing, ice-cold mug of homemade root beer. Don't be bashful—order the 32 ounce. Hell, splurge for the root beer float. Don't be shocked if the lunch hour line wraps around the building. My advice? Call in your order and plan to eat outdoors at the picnic tables or bar top. You can watch the cars drive up and down Brookside, returning to a simpler time while grazing on one of the best burgers in the Tulsa area. —Matt Carney
3834 S. Peoria Ave., Tulsa, OK 74105
The smaller, simpler the building and decor, the bigger and better the burger, right? Claud’s, on Brookside and across the street from Weber’s, certainly fits this adage. A tiny white building with iconic green signage, Claud’s is a tight space with an open kitchen where you can sit at the counter watching patty-flippers hustle over the hot grill. You don’t go to Claud’s for the atmosphere, but for the old-fashioned burgers they’ve been preparing since 1954.
The double-patty isn’t actually two patties but a heftier single patty. The grilled onions are a 100 percent mandatory upgrade – even for those who don’t normally like onions. The burgers are a handful to chow down. Share fries with your group and order more as needed, because you don’t pay until after you eat your food at Claud’s. —Aaron Miller
1614 W. 51st St., Tulsa, OK 74107
The Andy Griffith Show, in all its 1960s black-and-white TV glory, blares in the small eating area at Linda-Mar Drive... on repeat. This perfectly encapsulates the Linda-Mar experience. A time capsule with greasy burgers and lunchtime regulars is fittingly located at 51st and Union near the intersection of highways 75 and I-44. Linda-Mar opened in the late ‘60s, named for the proprietor’s daughters Linda and Margaret.
The double cheeseburger towers over a heaping basket of seasoned fries. Muscle memory forces your burger into your mouth because your eyes are transfixed on the charming Opie and Andy. Suddenly, your arteries are jolted back to reality as you take the first bite. A lightly toasted, butter-soaked bun envelopes a hearty double patty with pickles, onions, lettuce, mustard and tomatoes. The subtle crunch of the bun is unexpected and very much welcome. Like any good doubleburger, the cheese in between the two patties melts over the sides of the bun.
Unique to Linda-Mar are the deep-fried cheese balls, another staple of this west side joint. What Linda-Mar may lack in atmosphere, they make up for in charm and damn good food. Linda-Mar isn’t the idealized version of the 1960’s burger joint with waitresses on roller skates serving malts and onion rings; it’s the real deal: thorough authenticity and slovenly delicious. —Aaron Miller
1419 E. 15th St., Tulsa, OK 74120
Located on Cherry Street, Society is a veritable craft burger laboratory. An upscale and inviting restaurant with a massive covered patio ideal for college football viewing in the fall, Society’s menu boasts some truly wild burger innovations.
Their take on the classic Theta burger comes ringed with a skirt of melted cheddar cheese, as well as house-made fried pickles, BBQ sauce and mayo. If that doesn’t get your mouth watering, try one of Society’s other specialties or build your own burger. Personally, I’m a fan of the Pim’ & Jam, which is served with a melty slathering of pimento cheese and bacon jam. —Matt Carney
140 N. Greenwood Ave., Tulsa, OK 74120
Fat Guy's is home of the "Fat and Juicy," two beef patties filled with butter and cheese, sealed and cooked. Known for their wide variety of specialty burgers, sauces, ballpark fries and beers, Fat Guy's can be found near the Tulsa Driller's stadium, ONEOK Field.
Finish the Fat Guy's Burger Bar Challenge—a two pound patty, one pound of bacon (15 slices), two (four ounce) hotdogs, eight slices of American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, your choice of condiments, one pound bun and one pound of fries—in under an hour and the meal is on them. —Matt Carney
2130 S. Harvard Ave., Tulsa, OK 74114
A Tulsa icon since 1956, Brownie’s Hamburger Stand is one of the oldest burger joints in town. They are known for not only their burgers but also their refreshing homemade root beer.
Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, they have everything from pancakes and coffee to pies and sodas. —Aaron Miller
4253 Southwest Blvd., Tulsa, OK 74107
You don’t find many classic Wurlitzers around anymore and Arnold’s plays the classics. This West Tulsa hotspot opened around 1990 but recreated a great 1950’s vibe for weary roadtrippers and locals alike. The classic diner setup with blue booths and neon lights makes it easy to settle in at Arnold’s. The proprietor, reading the Holy Bible while meticulously cleaning up after customers, thanked each and every customer on their way out.
Speaking of holy, that is the only way to describe the onion rings at Arnold’s. Golden, crispy, rich and flaky, these onion rings are perfect. The burger is marvelous too—lettuce, onions, tomatoes, pickles and mustard—classic Tulsa-style. Greasy in a good way and wrapped neatly in quaint yellow paper, the sandwich is a big one but worth the conquest.
But perhaps the best feature on the menu are the creamy malts and milkshakes, and sweet and tangy cherry limeades. Drive through or eat in and bask in the nostalgia. —Aaron Miller
2900 W. Edison St., Tulsa, OK 74127
Flipping char burgers since 1963, this tiny stand is close to downtown and just across the street from Central High School, making it a favorite of students, teachers and business professionals in-the-know. Family owned and operated, Ted’s offers delicious fried fish and chili, in addition to hamburgers and cheeseburgers of various sizes and thickness.
Get your order to go, in case there isn’t enough seating. —Aaron Miller
2002 E. Admiral Blvd., Tulsa, OK 74110
Bill’s Jumbo Burgers sits nestled along I-244 a few blocks off on the old Route 33 in Tulsa’s Kendall Whittier neighborhood. If Harden’s Hamburgers (now, sadly, closed) was the place to take the kids, Bill’s is the place to take your dad or favorite uncle. This place is as authentic as it gets—no frills, fuss or polish—so don’t judge Bill’s from the gravel parking lot. Step inside and you’ll quickly discover what the beef is all about.
Other than a few coats of primary-colored paint during the years, the small hut that houses Bill’s hasn’t seem many updates since opening in 1960. But a loyal customer base and a strong family heritage in the burger world keep the fryers and grills bubbling. Namesake Bill was a restaurant partner with Hank from Hank’s Hamburgers before splitting off to open Bill’s Jumbo Burgers.
From your stool at the five-seat counter you can watch the cooks grill enormous patties while you devour some soft, fresh cut fries. The burger is huge (not surprising considering the establishment’s name). It’s one of the more charred burgers, which gives it really great flavor. Adorned with tomatoes, pickles, onions, mustard and cheese, this burger keeps your focus on the food in front of you during the entire dining experience. —Aaron Miller
201 N. Main St., Tulsa, OK 74103
Hooo, boy. If there’s such a thing as an iconic Tulsa burger, it may just be this one.
Served on a puffy challah bun with Stilton cheese, mushroom cognac cream and a pile of crispy frites, the Tavern burger can be yours for half-price every night after 9:00 p.m. Pairs beautifully with a late night out in the Tulsa Arts District. —Matt Carney
8933 E. Admiral Pl., Tulsa, OK 74115
The greasy waft of air that greets you at Hank’s Hamburgers floats heavy with tradition. In the same location since 1955, this Route 66 burger stand is true Americana. Linoleum floors, mustard yellow booths, red and white plaid curtains, Hank’s is no fluff and pure classic. Photos and article clippings detailing the establishment’s history (including a photo of singer-songwriter Waylon Jennings chowing down on the main fare) adorn the walls.
Hank’s perfectly sized burger comes on a crunchy, toasted bun. Cheese melts between the patties and the combination of grilled and raw onions is perfect. This burger comes standard: lettuce, tomato, pickles and mustard, on top of the onions and cheese, and is surprisingly less greasy than expected. When you press the bun together, your hands will be free from the river of artery-clogging lipids that normally ooze out of these classic burgers. There’s bound to be plenty of grease inside, but it’s nice not to have it all over your hands.
Hank’s holds a supreme place in Tulsa Burger Heaven and is a must-stop on your classic burger tour. —Aaron Miller
2604 E. 11th St., Tulsa, OK 74104
The outside window decal advertises Flo’s as the home of the “bomb burger.” Whether this is a reference to the ‘80s slang term “bomb” or alluding to dropping a bomb on your stomach, either definition suffices. Loaded with jalapeño cream cheese, multiple layers of cheese, two patties, bacon and mayo, this burger has the ideal grease-to-sustenance ratio. Fries don’t come with the burgers but are worth the couple of extra bucks to add on. Crispy yet soft in the middle, they add some consistency next to the wild flavors found in Flo’s burgers.
In the mood for something lighter? You’re out of luck, but if you’re just in the mood for something different, Flo’s has got you. Try their mushroom burger, blue cheese bacon burger, or “Floyaki” (teriyaki) burger for those who crave a little more umami. Add a dollop of homemade ranch for 25 cents. —Bea Baker