Sometimes you just crave a juicy burger you can shove in your face with ribbons of sauce running down your chin as evidence of its glory. It is a backyard barbeque staple. The wisps of smoke from the grill are a sure sign summer has arrived. And, there are countless variations on the humble sandwich introduced at the 1904 St. Louis World Fair.
When the longing for the American classic hits, there is a restaurant on 30A ready to satisfy your burger needs.
1. Bomber Burger - The Bay
Chef Jim Shirley has something special going on at his waterfront restaurant overlooking the Choctawatchee Bay. It is called the Bomber Burger,
Enjoy 8 ounces of tender burger topped with caramelized onions, roasted tomato, and asiago cheese crisp dripping with Chef Shirley's super and street sauces,
My mouth is watering just remembering. Pair it with house-cut sweet potato chips and you have burger nirvana.
There is a table and bar seating inside and outside on the deck. Wednesdays you will want to stay for the beach bonfire, and Sundays have “Pickin at the Sand Ole Opry.” The Bay is open 11:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. daily.
2. Austin Burger - Blue Mabel
Located in Blue Mountain Beach, this popular eatery serving up smokehouse specialties has the lock on BBQ-style handhelds with its Austin Burger. Sandwiched between toasted brioche buns are two 4-ounce short rib/brisket patties topped with sharp cheddar, fresh jalapeno, crispy bacon, hatch chile aioli, and zesty barbecue sauce. Served with hand-cut fries, you get a little bit of Texas on the coast.
Blue Mabel is open with burgers at the ready Monday, Tuesday 2 p.m. – 9 p.m.; Wednesday, Thursday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Saturday 10:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Sunday 10:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
3. The Shunk Burger - Shunk Gulley Oyster Bar
There is no arguing with the view at Shunk Gulley — it is stunning. There is also no arguing with their signature burger, The Shunk.
They blend their meet in-house , top it with sharp Vermont cheddar, smoky applewood bacon, onions caramelized with honey, tangy tomato jam, and if that wasn't enough, it comes on a toasted challah bun.
Did I mention the house pickles and garlic aioli? They’re there too.
Sidle up, order a burger, stay for sunset, and one of their top-secret-recipe Bushwacker cocktails. Stop by the Santa Rosa Beach restaurant 11:00 a.m – 10:00 p.m daily.
4. Brie Burger - Stinky's Fish Camp
Making its home in the quiet Dune Allen section of Scenic 30A, Stinky's Fish Camp is keeping it stinky with their Brie Burger. Accompanying that funky wedge of brie are caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, and made-in-house mayo. Add some sidewinder fries or tropical slaw to finish the burger extravaganza.
The beach casual vibes are always on at Stinky’s, and you can grab a burger Monday through Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
5. Fried Pickle Burger - Pickle's Beachside Grille
Burgers and milkshakes, is there a better combination? I think not.
Pickle's has the best of both. The milkshakes are made from ice cream straight out of Fort Walton at G.S. Gelato. The burgers are crafted from sustainably sourced, grass-fed beef. Hands-down my favorite is the Fried Pickle Burger because when at a place that specializes in fried pickles why wouldn’t you get a burger with some? Though they do have a rotating burger of the month and it is always worth a look before you order the Fried Pickle Burger.
After some time on the sand, make your way to Pickles…you don’t even have to change out of your bathing suit. The Seaside icon is open daily starting at 8 a.m.
6. Beyond Burger - Shades Bar & Grill
Looking for that sumptuous burger experience, but adopted the veg lifestyle? Shades Bar & Grill has you covered. The Beyond Burger is a spicy blackened meatless patty topped with pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and smoky chipotle aioli. All that magic is nestled in a kaiser bun and served with your choice of side.
With over 20 years in service, 17 HD TVs, and one of the best draught beer selections in Northwest Florida, Shades Bar & Grill can satisfy your burger longing and more 11 a.m. – 1 a.m. daily.
7. Double Stack Burger - Grayton Beer Brewpub
A local brewpub is always a good bet for great burgers, and Grayton Beach has one of the best.
The Double Stack Burger is crafted with grass- fed beef, pickles, shaved onion, and cheddar cheese on a brioche bun. Oh and, they kick it old school with a squeeze of French's yellow mustard.
It comes with yummy fries, but I love the kale coleslaw for something a little different.
In addition to their delicious burgers, the local hotspot features a fully operational brewery with over 15 beers on tap. Grab a pint and a Double Stack Burger seven days a week 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
8. The Pimento Burger - The Craft Bar
Serving artisanal pub creations and craft beer, this Grand Boulevard watering hole is a local's favorite for burgers. There are many on the menu, but in my mind, there is only one: the Pimento Burger. It is half a pound of grass-fed ground beef from Heureux Farms, a generous slathering of pimento cheese, thick applewood bacon on a soft brioche bun. And, the house-cut fries accompanied by homemade spicy ketchup are no slouch. Add some fresh jalapenos and a fried egg to have a spicy breakfast for dinner because what is not better with an egg?
The Craft Bar opens at 11 a.m. daily, and every Monday starting at 5 p.m. is Burger Night with discounted prices.