🍔 Smashed, buttery, or old school: These are top places to get a burger in Houston

Find out which spots James Beard award-winning chef Chris Shepherd hits up for a good burger in the series premiere of ‘Eat Like a Local’

Looking for a new lunch or dinner spot? James Beard award-winning chef Chris Shepherd has more than a few recommendations.

From burgers to barbecue, Vietnamese to tacos, and so much more, “Eat Like a Local with Chris Shepherd” is your guide to the best food in Houston. Watch new episodes Saturdays at 10 a.m.

The series premiere features some of the acclaimed chef’s picks for the best burgers in town. Whether you’re craving a classic patty, a perfectly seasoned smashed burger, or a savory butter burger, Shepherd tells you exactly where to go.

Watch the series premiere in the video player above.

Burger Bodega

4520 Washington Ave. | Houston

What it’s known for: Smash burgers and chopped cheese sandwiches (The chopped cheese concept comes from the bodegas in New York)

How Chris describes it: Super cool, funky joint that’s a blend of Houston and the bodegas in New York City

“It’s New York culture, and we use New York as a template you know, but I still gotta keep it H-town,” said Abbas Dhanani, Burger Bodega owner.

Dhanani said he’s intentional with the type of beef he uses, the seasonings, and the techniques, but he wouldn’t completely share the secrets of his mouth-watering burgers.

“I grew up an only child for the first ten years of my life, so I hung out with my mom a lot while she was making dinner,” said Dhanani as he described how he developed his passion for food. “She was really into food, so I really started to understand different dishes and flavors and all that sort of stuff, so I’d say from a very young age, food was a big part of my life.”

Here are Chris Shepherd's picks at Burger Bodega (KPRC/Click2Houston.com)

Champ Burger

304 Sampson St. | Houston

What it’s known for: Classic burgers served up in a neighborhood for 60 years

How Chris describes it: Super old-school classic burgers, reminds you of what your grandparents used to make for you, one of my favorites in this city

Champ Burger has been a staple in Houston for six decades and that entire time, it’s been owned and run by one family.

“Champ Burger was my great grandparents’ homestead before the turn of the century. Sometime between then and the early ‘60s, the house was torn down and Champ Burger was built on the corner,” said Christopher Saladino, Champ Burger owner. “We’ve been in the neighborhood a long time.”

Here are Chris Shepherd's picks at Champ Burger (KPRC/Click2Houston.com)


1927 Fairview St. | Houston

What it’s known for: Globally inspired Gulf Coast cuisine; slider butter burgers are among the restaurant’s popular dishes

How Chris describes it: The butter burger came from Wisconsin, but Ryan brought them to Houston, and I appreciate that.

Riel owner Ryan Lachaine demonstrated how his butter burgers are made for the “Eat Like a Local” audience. From the french onion soup mix that goes into the patty, to the butter generously added to the burgers at three different times during the preparation, the butter burgers at Riel are a must-try.

🍔 More “Eat Like a Local” picks for burgers

Bookmark the Eat Like a Local website, so you can find more restaurants serving up great food near you. We’ll be adding restaurants to the map every week.

Watch new episodes of “Eat Like a Local with Chris Shepherd” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on KPRC 2.

About the Authors:

Field producer by day. Cruise director by night to a busy, foodie, outdoorsy family, which includes two sports loving boys and one craft beer loving husband.