by THE MERCURY STAFF
129 E Hopkins St., No 120 | Map
Travis Kelsey bought The Taproom in 1999 and made changes that turned the the smoky downtown hangout into a bonafide San Marcos institution. The restaurant is famous for its 42 domestic and import beers on tap, but its top-shelf hamburgers can’t be far behind in popularity. Kelsey said the burgers are actually a loss leader — he sells them more or less at cost as a way to get people in the door.
“Nobody spends more on ingredients for each burger than we do,” Kelsey said.
San Marcos Mercury readers voted the Taproom’s Guacamole Queso Burger their favorite in our first Best Burgers competition. Readers first nominated a total of 16 restaurants and bars as contenders for the big prize. Then readers — more than 300 of you — cast electronic ballots for their top three choices.
Scroll down for second and third places.
3946 Interstate 35 South | Map
Centerpoint’s basic hamburger — mouthwatering Angus beef, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and onions on white wheat or jalapeno cheese buns — was voted the second best burger in San Marcos by Mercury readers. The folksy filling station gift shop and burger joint also serves the Avocado Jack the Big Chief burger — two Angus patties and all the fixins’. All their bread is homemade.
2550 Hunter Road | Map
A well-kept secret of burgers is that some of the best can be found at Mexican food joints. Tres Hermanas enthusiasts cast enough ballots to put its Zapata Burger in third place. The burger features Angus ground in-store on a toasted bun with grilled onions, tomatoes and lettuce.
Vodka Street Bistro | Map